The Pesach of YHWH in the month Aviv by Wilhelm Wolfaardt

SETTING THE SCENE

When it became time[1] for YHWH to redeem His people from Mitsrayim (Egypt), after 430 years[2], He gave Pharaoh the opportunity to let the people go. Pharaoh had the choice to let the first-born of YHWH[3] go and perform a festival to YHWH in the wilderness[4], or, if refusing, face the consequence of Pharaoh’s first born killed by YHWH.

Before Mitsrayim was plagued, it was YHWH’s intent for Yisra’el to celebrate a festival unto Him in the wilderness. Pharaoh refused to let the people go and in the process of YHWH’s punishment on them, their land was destroyed and the first-born of Pharaoh and every other Mitsrean was killed.

The liberation of Yisra’el from Mitsrayim was brought about on a night to be remembered as Pesach. A night when the first-born of Mitsrayim was killed and the first-born of Yisra’el redeemed from their oppressors.

The month of Aviv was unknown to the Yisra’elites at that time, being subjected to slavery for 400 years. For this reason the instruction to them to take special notice of the New Moon of that night[5]. That specific New Moon signaled the beginning of the year to them.

On the 10th day of that month they were to separate a male lamb for themselves from the flock; a lamb for a family or more, depending on the size of the family.[6] The lamb had to be a perfect sheep or goat, without blemish, at least one year old.[7] YHWH expected only the best. They had to keep the lamb until the 14 day of the month. They were to kill the lamb between the evenings[8]. After that they were to smear some of the blood on the lintel of the door and on the doorposts.[9] They were then to roast the lamb in fire with unleavened bread.

Verse 11 specifically shows to us that the Pesach or Passover refers to the lamb that was slaughtered and eaten. “And you shall eat it in haste. It (the lamb) is the Passover of YHWH.”[10]

 We know that the blood on the lintel and doorposts was a sign to the Messenger of YHWH to pass those houses, not killing the first-born in those houses.[11]

What happened that night had to become a remembrance to Yisra’el after that for all generations – even until today.[12] The Pesach was continued by a festival of Unleavened Bread for seven complete days, which began in the night of the Pesach slaughtering. The Seven day festival was therefore a festival from the evening of the fourteenth day of Aviv until the evening of the twenty-first day of Aviv. The fifteenth and twenty first days were Sabbaths.[13] No leaven was to be found in their houses for those seven days.[14]

THE CONTINUATION

What we read in the book of Shemoth was the first Pesach observed, guarded or kept by Yisra’el. The instruction to them was to keep Pesach thereafter forever as a commemoration of their redemption from Mitsrayim. Every year on the 14th day of the month Aviv Yisra’el is to perform the Pesach. It is also clear from Scripture (see footnote 10) that the observance or performance of Pesach entailed the slaughtering of a lamb, commemorating the covering and redemption of Yisra’el with the blood of the lamb, preventing them from being killed. Without a lamb there can be no Passover. No matter how you approach this, Passover = the slaughtering of a lamb.

To many this might sound barbaric – killing a lamb in our day and age! However, most of us still eat meat almost seven days a week. That meat was also slaughter by a butcher. Is that barbaric?

Many may reason that it is only for the priests to do an offering. This is true; however, the Passover (Pesach) is NOT an offering. Ever since the first Pesach in Mitsrayim, it was the duty of each family to slaughter their own lambs. Shemoth 12: 21, “Go out and take lambs for yourselves according to your clans, and slaughter the Passover lamb.”

It is true that the priests did at one occasion slaughter the Pesach lambs on behalf of the people.[15] This was however due to some of the people being unclean, during which time it is not permitted to slaughter a Pesach lamb.[16]

 In other texts,[17] where Scripture says Yisra’el shall PERFORM or PREPARE the Passover, the literal meaning is to DO or MAKE the Passover, which is the parallel or synonym for slaughtering the Pesach. So, when Yahushua sent His talmidim (taught ones or disciples) to prepare the Passover for Him, they went to slaughter a lamb for Pesach.[18] If they did not slaughter a lamb, Yahushua would have been accused of breaking the perpetual commandment of performing or slaughtering a Pesach lamb, which we know He would never have done. 

Some say that Yahushua is now our Passover lamb, who was killed for us. Therefore we are no longer required to slaughter a lamb. There is exactly one verse in Scripture[19] that refers to Yahushua as our Passover. However, it does not make any reference to a change in command. On the contrary, when Yahushua ate the Pesach with his talmidim[20] He said, “With desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before My suffering, for I say to you, I shall certainly not eat of it again until it is filled in the reign of Elohim.” [21] From this text Yahushua implies that He is going to eat it again at the establishment of the reign (kingdom) of YHWH, which is also confirmed in the prophecy of Yehezqel 45:21, 22. This has not yet happened, so He is going to eat Pesach at least one more time WITH US. Contrary to the excuse that we should no longer eat the Pesach lamb, this means that we have to continue eating the Pesach lamb as commanded in the Torah – “…a law for you and your sons, forever.”[22]

Are you prepared to take a gamble on your eternal life! You either obey the command in the Torah, or you take a chance and do not eat the Pesach lamb.

The Torah instructs us to slaughter a lamb; man’s clever reasoning says it has been done away with – without a single proof of Scripture.

I know what I will do. If I were to appear before the Throne of YHWH in the judgment and is asked, “Why did you still slaughter a Passover lamb?” My answer will be simple – “Because Your Torah instructed me to do so – forever.” However, if I were asked the question before the Throne, “Why did you NOT slaughter My memorial Passover?”  A lame and unfounded excuse that Yahushua replaced the Passover lamb will simply not be acceptable, because there is NO change of Torah teaching us to stop the slaughter of a Pesach lamb. We cannot be condemned for DOING the Torah of the Pesach, but we can be condemned for NOT DOING the Torah of the Pesach. Are you willing to take this gamble?

 WHEN, WHERE and HOW?

From Shemoth 12 we now know that Pesach is on the 14th day of the 1st month Aviv[23]. However, how do we know and determine when the month of Aviv is? There are more or less twelve months in a year. However, in the Hebraic year there are only 29 or 30 days in any month, counted from New Moon to New Moon, which brings us to approximately 355 days in a 12 month year, short of about 10 days in a solar year. This means that an extra month or 13th month has to be added approximately every 3 years to balance the lunar months with the solar year.

Maybe YHWH did this on purpose to teach us to observe the beginning of the months. At the time of the creation, in Bereshith 1:14, YHWH specifically appointed the lights in the sky [24](sun and moon) for us as signs and appointed times[25], and for days and years. This makes a lot of sense; the sun to determine days and the moon to determine months.

We now know that we have the sun to establish days and the moon to establish months. However, we still have to determine when the 1st month (Aviv) is. In order to establish the first month, we have to delve deeper into the festival or appointed times of YHWH.

The seven day festival of Unleavened Bread, starting with Pesach on the evening of the 14th of Aviv requires a number of “activities”. These include the following:

  • Establishing the 1st day of the 1st month, without which there will not be a festival.
  • Establishing the 10th day of the month in order to select and separate a perfect lamb of a year old.[26]
  • Keeping the lamb until the 14th day of the month.[27]
  • Slaughtering the lamb between the evenings of the 14th day of the month in the place where YHWH chooses to put His Name.[28]
  • Applying some of the blood on the lintel and doorposts of the house with a branch of hyssop.[29]
  • Making sure all leaven is removed from the house / property.[30]
  • Roasting the lamb in fire,[31] making sure no bones are broken.[32]
  • Making sure all men participating in eating the lamb are circumcised.[33]
  • Eating the Pesach lamb with unleavened bread and bitter herbs[34] – an all night event. [35]
  • Burning the inward parts, dung, skin and remainder of what is not eaten before day-break (nothing to remain until morning of the same day – the 14th).[36]
  • The 1st day of Unleavened Bread, the 15th of Aviv, is a Sabbath, on which there should be a set-apart gathering, as well as the 21st day of the 1st month (the last day of unleavened bread).[37]
  • A burnt offering was brought before YHWH every day of the seven day festival (performed by the priests).[38]
  • When Yisra’el came to the Promised Land, which YHWH gave them, they had to reap their harvest (barley harvest) and bring a sheaf of the first-fruits of the harvest to the priest. The priest then had to wave the sheaf before YHWH making Yisra’el acceptable to YHWH.[39] The sheaf had to be waved before YHWH on the morning after the weekly Sabbath[40] falling in the seven day festival. This wave-offering was and is the key ingredient in determining the month Aviv, to which I will come later. With the wave offering the priest had to bring a male lamb as a burnt offering to YHWH, with its accompanying grain offering (flour and oil) and its drink offering of wine.
  • Yisra’el were not allowed to eat any bread or roasted grain or fresh grain until they have brought the above offering (wave offering, burnt offering and grain offering) to YHWH – “a law forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings” [41]
  • The feast ended with a Sabbath on the seventh day of unleavened bread.[42]

Let's come back to the wave offering, on the day after the weekly Sabbath during the feast of Unleavened Bread. Remember the name of the 1st month – Aviv, which means “green ears of standing grain”. The only grain that ripens at that time of the year is barley. The grain offering which Yisra’el started to harvest during the festival of Unleavened Bread, was the barley harvest. They started the harvest on the 1st day of the week, taking the first-fruits of that harvest as a wave offering to YHWH. Without that barley first-fruit wave offering, there could not have been a festival of Pesach / Unleavened Bread. The timing of the festival of Unleavened Bread therefore requires barley in the fields, without which the first-fruit wave offering could not be brought before YHWH. Therefore, in determining the month of Aviv, the deciding criteria to have a festival is barley ready to be harvested during the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which is 2 weeks after the 1st day of the month of Aviv or standing grain.

 That barley wave offering also sparked the counting of the seven weeks (complete weeks counted from Sabbath to Sabbath) to the feast of the wheat harvest, of which the first-fruits were used as a wave offering consisting of two loaves of bread on the Day of Shavu’oth – the feast of Weeks. Yet another festival dependent on the wheat harvest. Without the wheat harvest there could be no Feast of Shavu’oth. Similarly, the closing festival of the year, Sukkoth is dependent on the ingathering of the grape harvest.[43]

OBJECTIONS

In determining the month of Aviv, some people object, saying it might have been some other grain than barley that had to be brought as a wave offering. However, if we read in Shem. 9:31,[44] where the barley was smitten in Mitsrayim, it says the barley was in the head, which is the Hebrew word ‘aviv’. It was also in the month Aviv, or month in which BARLEY is in the HEAD that YHWH told Mosheh to have the Pesach. Way. 2:14 also speak of bringing green heads (Aviv) of grain as a First-fruit offering. The same first-fruits was to be brought as a wave offering by the priest, [45] on the Sabbath in the week of unleavened bread.

 There are many objections from people in regards to the slaughtering of a lamb. Many of these objections are directed towards the slaughtering of a lamb, but if they were valid, would just as well invalidate the observing of the feast as a whole as well as the other festivals.

 One of these objections is Dev. 16:5, 6, “You are not allowed to slaughter the Passover within any of your gates which YHWH your Elohim gives you, but at the place where YHWH your Elohim chooses to make His Name dwell, there you slaughter the Passover in the evening, at the going down of the sun, at the appointed time you came out of Mitsrayim.” This instruction was given to the people when they came into the Promised Land. This was after 40 years of wandering in the wilderness. The Torah was repeated to the new generation before entering the land, and new instructions were given to them pertaining to the slaughtering of animals.[46] The new instruction was to at first only slaughter at the place where YHWH chose to make His Name dwell, but as their borders increased, they were allowed to also slaughter meat for the purposes of eating within their gates.[47]

 Reading through Devarim 12 shows us that YHWH had a specific plan for the Yisra’elis when coming into the land. They were to drive out the inhabitants of the land; destroy their high places and Asherim. They were then no longer permitted to slaughter, or offer in any random place, but only at the place where YHWH chose to make His Name dwell. After many generations, as the nation increased and started walking in His Torah, when the current boundaries of the land could not sustain them anymore, they would have increased their land and would then be permitted to slaughter their meat at “home”; already in the culture of worshipping YHWH.

 Another objections is that we are not allowed to celebrate Pesach outside the land. However, this is not valid. Yisra’el celebrated Pesach in Mitsrayim for the first time, and the second time they celebrated Pesach in the Sinai desert[48].

 Along the same lines, some raise an issue, saying we are only allow to slaughter the Pesach at the Temple. This is not valid either, as Yahushua and His talmidim prepared Pesach in the upper room; the temple not mentioned at all.[49]

 During the years of the exile, the nation was in disobedience to YHWH and therefore did not observe the Pesach until returning to the Land.[50]

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[1]span> YHWH promised Avraham that He will redeem His people from slavery after 400 year;

Ber./Gen 15:13

[2] Yoseph was 30 years old when his father and brothers entered Mitsrayim, plus 400 years of them dwelling in Mitsrayim, resulting to 430 years.  Ber. /Gen.  41:46 & Shem. /Exod. 12:40.

[3] Yisrael is called YHWH’s Son and first-born. Shem. 4:22,23.

[4]/span> Shem. 5:1, 10:9

[5] Shem. 12:1

[6] Shem. 12: 3, 4.

[7] Shem. 12:5. literally, a ‘male son of a year,’ or a ‘male son that passed a year’.

[8] Between the evenings: A Hebrew term used for the time period between sunset and dark, at the going down of the sun, as witnessed in Bereshith 15:10-12, when YHWH made a covenant with Avraham. Read further to v. 17 & 18. Also see Deb. / Deut. 16:6. It is also very clearly illustrated in Shem. / Exod. 30:8, “And when Aharon lights the lamps  between the evenings, he shall burn incense on it – a continual incense before YHWH throughout your generations.”Lamps are normally set alight just before set-set.

[9] Shem. 12:7

[10] v. 21, “Go out and take lambs for yourselves according to your clans, and slaughter the Passover lamb.” Also see v. 26; 34:25; Deb. / Deut. 16:2, 5, 6; Ezra 6:20; 2 Dibre haYamim 30:15, 17; 35:1, 6, 11, 13.  All these texts clearly show that the Passover refers to the lamb that was slaughtered.

[11] v. 13

[12] v. 14, 24

[13] v.18

[14] v. 19

[15] 2 Dibre / Chronicles 30:17.

[16] Bem. 9:10; 2 Dibre 30:18

[17] Shem. 12:48, Bem. / Num. 9:2, 4, 5, 6, 13, 14; Deb. 16:1, Yeh. / Josh.  5:10; Ezra 6:19; 2 Dibre 30:1, 2, 5; 35:1, 16, 17, 18.  Hebrew, ( עשׂה  ’asah’, to do or to make.) The doing or making is the slaughtering of a lamb. Even the Greek word used in the New Covenant Writing (New Testament), (ποιέω , poieō) has the exact same meaning.

 [18] Markos / Mark 14:12; Luke 22:17.

[19] 1 Cor. 5:7

[20] Matt. 26:17, Mark. 14:12, Lukas 22:8, 11

[21] Luk. 22:15, 16

[22] Shem. 12:24

[23] Shem. 13:4 (אביב'  âbîyb – which means tender or young green ears of grain. More specifically, barley in this case.

 

[24] מאור   mâ'ôr  - lights

 

[25] מועד  mô‛êd  - appointed times or festivals.

 

[26] Shem:12:3

[27] Shem. 12:6

[28] Deb. 16:2

[29] Shem. 12:22

[30] Shem. 12:15; Deb. 16:4

[31] Shem. 12:8,9

[32] Shem. 12:46

[33] Shem. 12:15, 48

[34] Shem. 12:8

[35] Deb. 16:7 – returning to their tents in the morning.

[36] Shem. 12:10; Deb.16:4

[37] Shem. 12:16; Way. 23:7, 8; Bem. 28:18

[38] Bem. 28:23

[39]/span> Way. 23:11

[40] Way. /Lev. 23:15. The weekly Sabbath, because they had to count 7 complete Sabbaths from the day of the wave offering to get to the Feast of Weeks (Shavu’oth). They had to count 7 weeks from the time (1st day of the week) when they put the sickle to the grain (barley harvest) for the 1st fruit wave offering to YHWH – Deb. 16:9.

[41] Way.23:1-14. Also see Yeh. 5:10-11.

[42] Deb. 16:8.

[43] Deb. 16:13.

[44] “And the flax and the barley were struck, for the barley was in the head and the flax was in bud.” Verse 32 continues, excluding wheat as well, as the possible grain spoken of as first fruit during the week of unleavened read, “But the wheat and the spelt were not struck, for they were late crops.”

[45] Way. 23:10, 11

[46] Deb. 12:1, 11

[47] Deb. 12:20,21

[48] Bem. 9:4-5

[49] Matt. 26:17-19; Luqas 22:7-12.

[50] Ezra 6:19

April 30, 2008