On What Night was the
Passover Sacrifice Eaten?

YAHshua said that the Scripture can not be broken!

John 10 (34) YAHshua answered them, Is it not written in your law [torah], I said, Ye are elohim [Psa. 82:6]? (35) If HE called them elohim, unto whom the word of YAHWEH came, and THE SCRIPTURE CANNOT BE BROKEN; (36) Say ye of Him, Whom the FATHER hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of YAHWEH?

YAHshua said that He did not come to destroy the Torah (Torah, or the teaching of the Torah by Moses) or (the teaching of) the Prophets, but that He came to fulfill it.

Mat. 5 (17) Think not that I am come to destroy the law [Torah, or the teaching of Torah as taught by Moses], or [the teaching of] the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. [to fulfill that which the Torah and the Prophets taught concerning Him]

YAHshua came to fulfill that which was taught concerning Himself in the Torah. This included the laws of sacrifices and ceremonies which were only part of the "Law" (Torah) that YAHWEH gave through Moses. This especially included the Passover sacrifice. (He also came to fulfill those same things as they were taught by the Prophets and in the Writings in the Tanakh i.e. the Old Testament).

We must compare the New Testament accounts of the timing of the Passover to the timing according to the Torah to see if YAHshua truly fulfilled or if He broke the Torah. We can find that record as to when YAHshua died in three of the four separate accounts of the Gospel. (Three witnesses establish a very very good witness indeed!).

Mat. 27 (45) Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour. (46) And about the ninth hour YAHshua cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? That is to say, My Elohim, My Elohim, why hast THOU forsaken Me?

Mark 15 (33) And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. (34) And at the ninth hour YAHshua cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? Which is, being interpreted, My EL, My EL, why hast THOU forsaken Me?

Luke 23 (44) And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. (45) And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst. (46) And when YAHshua had cried with a loud voice, He said, FATHER, into THY hands I commend My spirit, and having said thus, He gave up the spirit.

All serious Bible researchers will readily admit that the ninth hour in the first century was approximately three o’clock in the middle of the afternoon. It has already been more than adequately established at the mouth of three witnesses as to when YAHshua actually died. Therefore, how can the middle of the afternoon death of the Messiah on the 14th day of the 1st month fulfill the requirements of the Torah if the first and all subsequent Passover sacrifices were made between sunset on the 13th day of the 1st month and dark at the beginning of the 14th day of the 1st month as many contend? Surely the witness of those three witnesses is true. Therefore, some must have a flaw in their understanding and/or translating of the Hebrew word ‘ereb, which has been translated as even, evening, night, eventide, sunset dusk and dark etc.

Just for a moment, let us forget the given meaning of ‘ereb and trace the root word back from which it came.

(Strongs) H6153. 'ereb, eh'-reb; from H6150; dusk:--

H6150 'arab, aw-rab'; a prim. root [rather identical with H6148 through the idea of covering with a texture]; to grow dusky at sundown:--

Just what is this texture that does the covering? It does not take a rocket scientist to figure that answer out. Here is the KEY: When the sun passes a certain point in the sky, the covering texture (shadow) from the mountains, hills, and vegetation, continues to cover more and more of the landscape as the sun continues to decline in the west. When the sun finally sets, the covering texture (shadow) completely covers the land to start a new Biblical day!

When all knowledge has been revealed, we will find out that the English word "afternoon" is equally as adequate as "evening" to be a reasonably accurate translation for the vague term "ereb." (Just as the full moon becomes full in its cycle, so does the "afternoon" or "evening" becomes full when it gets eventide, sunset, dusk, and finally dark.) Obviously, afternoon begins after "noon."

(A.H.D.) noon (n›n) n. Abbr. n., N. 1.a. Twelve o'clock in the daytime; midday. B. The time or point in the sun's path at which the sun is on the local meridian. Also called noontide, noontime. 2. The highest point; the zenith.

Below, meaning B for the word "noon" is inserted in the KEY statement after the phrase "When the sun passes a certain point."

KEY: When the sun passes a certain point (i.e. B. The time or point in the sun's path at which the sun is on the local meridian.) in the sky, the covering texture (shadow) from the mountains, hills, and vegetation, continues to cover more and more of the landscape as the sun continues to decline in the west. When the sun finally sets, the covering texture (shadow) completely covers the land to start a new Biblical day!

All the above, including the 9th hour death of the Messiah, is in perfect harmony concerning the Passover Sacrifice as commanded in the Torah.

Deu. 16 (5) Thou mayest not sacrifice the Passover within any of thy gates, which YAHWEH thy Elohim giveth thee: (6) But at the place which YAHWEH thy Elohim shall choose to place HIS name in, there thou shalt sacrifice the Passover at even [afternoon or evening], at the going down of the sun, at the season [appointed time] that thou camest forth out of Egypt.

The above scripture itself makes it clear what is meant by "at even" (’ereb). It says "at the going down of the sun." Therefore, shortly after noon on the 14th day of the 1st month, the covering texture (shadow) continued to cover more and more of the landscape as the sun continues to decline in the west until the covering texture (shadow) completely covered the land. When the sun finally set, the 15th day of the 1st month arrived.

All the above is also in line with Exo. 12:6 and Lev. 23:5. In the Interlinear Bible by J. P. Green SR, both verses translate 996/6153 as "between the evenings."

Exo. 12 (6) And it shall be for you to keep until the fourteenth day of this month: and all the assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it between the evenings.

Lev. 23 (5) In the first month, on the fourteenth of the first month between the evenings is the Passover to Jehovah.

In Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon to the Old Testament by H.W.F. Gesenius, we find two different opinions as to when the time (between the two evenings) for the Passover sacrifice is. (It must be noted here that the Passover lamb was always offered before the evening animal sacrifices were to begin.)

"According to the opinion of the Karaites and Samaritans, the time [for the Passover sacrifice was] between sunset and deep twilight. The Pharisees, however, and the Rabbinists considered the time when the sun began to descend [noon] to be called the first evening (little evening; when it begins to draw towards evening) and the second evening to be the real sunset." (See 6153)

Only the timing of latter coincides with the timing of YAHshua’s death and the regular temple services that were conducted during that period. YAHshua did indeed die between the beginning of "little evening" when the minor oblations were offered and the end of the second evening when major evening sacrifices were offered. He actually died at the ending of the "little evening" when the minor oblations were offered and the beginning of the second evening when major evening sacrifices were offered. He died between the evenings as well as in the evening on the 14th day of the 1st month, as the covering texture (shadow) continued to cover more and more of the landscape as the sun continued to decline in the west until the covering texture (shadow) completely covered the land. When the sun finally set, the 15th day of the 1st month arrived at which time the Passover sacrifice/Meal was eaten on the "Night much to be Observed"!

Exo. 12 (6) And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening [The Hebrew text reads "between the evenings"]. (8) And they shall eat the flesh in that night [the beginning of the 15th day of the 1st month], roast with fire, and unleavened bread [Because the Days of Unleavened Bread were part of the Passover Festival, the sacrificial meal was eaten with unleavened bread.]; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. (11) And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is YAHWEH’S Passover. (14) And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a *feast [chag:H2282; a festival] to YAHWEH throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a *feast [chagag:H2287; a Pilgrimage (i.e. to where YAHWEH places HIS name) festival] by an ordinance for ever.

*A "festival" almost always includes a "feast" plus all the time present while preparing, eating the feast and participating in all the activities until the "festival," including the "feast" is over and the participants return home.

The Passover Festival was to be continued for seven days in accordance with the instruction given in verses 12:15-20. The Festival started with the preparations, including the Passover sacrifice, at the going down of the sun [and/or "between the evenings"] on the 14th day of the first month and eating it that night with unleavened bread at the beginning of the 15th day of the first month (The first day of Unleavened Bread).

Deu. 16 (I) Observe the month of Abib, and keep the Passover unto YAHWEH thy Elohim: for in the month of Abib YAHWEH thy Elohim brought thee forth out of Egypt by night. (2) Thou shalt therefore sacrifice the Passover unto YAHWEH thy Elohim, of the flock and the herd, in the place which YAHWEH shall choose to place HIS name there. (3) Thou shalt eat no leavened bread with it [the sacrifice]; seven days shalt thou eat unleavened bread therewith [Therewith! The seven days of Unleavened Bread are part of the "festival."], even the bread of affliction: for thou camest forth out of the land of Egypt in haste: that thou mayest remember the day when thou camest forth out of the land of Egypt all the days of thy life. (4) And there shall be no leavened bread seen with thee in all thy coast seven days; neither shall there any thing of the flesh, which thou sacrificedst the first day at even, remain all night until the morning. (5) Thou mayest not sacrifice the Passover within any of thy gates, which YAHWEH thy Elohim giveth thee: (6) But at the place which YAHWEH thy Elohim shall choose to place HIS name in [Here is where the pilgrimage is required.], there thou shalt sacrifice the Passover at even, at the going down of the sun [and/or "between the evenings"], at the season [appointed time] that thou camest forth out of Egypt.

Ezek. 45 (21) In the first month, in the fourteenth day of the month, ye shall have the Passover, a feast [chag:H2282; a "festival," not just a "feast."] of seven days; unleavened bread shall be eaten.

Conclusion: The FESTIVAL called the "Feast of the Passover" and the "Feast of Unleavened Bread" is properly called "YAHWEH’S PASSOVER."

According to the Torah, the next time after the first "chag" (H2282; a festival) the Israelites were required to travel to where YAHWEH placed HIS name to keep YAHWEH’S Passover Chagag (H2287 a Pilgrimage Festival). As the first one, the festival began "between the evenings," i.e. the middle of the afternoon on the 14th day of the 1st month. It began with the sacrificing of the Passover lamb and the preparing for the feast that was to be eaten that night at the beginning of the first annual Sabbath during YAHWEH’S week long Passover Festival. That night was called "The Night Much to be Observed."

Just as the Passover Lamb died in the middle of the afternoon of the 14th day of the 1st month, so did YAHshua, the Lamb of YAHWEH! He was our Passover! (Even Paul knew that Passover was a "Festival." He tied the unleavened bread with it too.)

I Cor. 5 (7) Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Messiah our Passover is sacrificed for us: (8) Therefore let us keep the feast [heortazo:G1858 Festival], not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
Slightly revised-7/10/01

T.A.H.