Tag Archives: Passover

Behold the Lamb of God!

“Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”

What powerful compelling words, which now nearly 2000 years later still reach across the ages, providing us with a vivid redemptive picture of the Son of God. Did you know these words were not spoken by a polished religious leader of Yeshua’s day, but rather a simple man who wore camel’s hair and ate locusts?

What’s even more fascinating about the these famous words Continue reading

Messiah & Middle Wall of Partition

Scape-goat-sacrifice600Did you know that nearly 2000 years when Yeshua paid the price for our sins (thus reconciling us to YHWH), there was a wall built around the house of YHWH which prevented gentiles, on pain of death, from approaching the presence of God. That’s correct, at that time Gentiles were tough out of luck. The apostle Paul described it this way:

…That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: (Ephesians 2:12)

But something happened that famous Passover week which changed the history of the world and gave the Gentiles the privilege to approach the presence of YHWH. This week let’s look at how Yeshua’s death and resurrection forever changed the dynamics of how mankind approaches their Creator. This Passover season I hope to give you another way of seeing the love and mercy YHWH showed mankind by becoming our Yeshua (Salvation of YA).The following is a excerpt from my book The 13th Enumeration: Key to the Bible’s Messianic Symbolism.

 

Chapter-14-Blog-HeaderChapter 14:
The Middle Wall of Partition 

“That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:

But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us.” —Ephesians 2:12–14

If I’ve accomplished my purpose in writing about the 13th Enumeration, by now you’ve recognized the Messianic symbolism associated with the numbers 13 and 14 as found in the biblical record. These “Messiah factors,” as I like to call them, are like a prophetic thread woven into the Bible’s fabric which shows YHWH’s desire to reconcile mankind to Himself through Yeshua, the Messiah promised in the Scripture from the very beginning.

In this final chapter, I would like to look at one last aspect of the Messiah factors as they relate to the Second Temple era, that exciting time when the Jewish people returned from Babylonian exile to rebuild the temple and Jerusalem. By all accounts, the Second Temple, as finally reconstructed by Herod, was a truly impressive structure. So impressive, in fact, that we find in Mark 13 one of Yeshua’s disciples commenting on its grandeur. It’s beyond doubt that the temple was important to the Jewish people, but is it also possible that within its design were hidden the symbols of the Messiah’s redemptive purpose? I believe so; see what you think.

The Number 13 in Jewish Thought
It may come as a surprise to some, but Jewish thought does not attach the same negative superstition to the number 13 as does the rest of the world. In fact, 13 finds great prominence in Rabbinic traditions related to both the Torah and the Second Temple. Continue reading

Passover & the Bible’s Sacrificial Symbolism

Christ-bearing-His-crossIn two weeks the Biblical calendar commemorates one of the most important milestones in YHWH’s redemptive plan for mankind. We know it as Pesach or Passover and it is a Biblical holyday in which nearly every aspect of the celebration reminds us of Yeshua’s sacrifice on our behalf.

Each year more and more believers are becoming aware of the rich context and symbolism of Passover. From the Passover supper and Unleavened Bread to the Firstfruits offering several days later this holyday practically shouts to us of YHWH’s redemptive plan through Yeshua our Messiah.

Today I’d like to share with you a bit of wonderful symbolism which is often overlooked in the celebration of Passover. As many of you know Passover is part of the “law” YHWH gave to Israel through Moses. The author of the book of Hebrews described the law as but a “shadow of good things to come…” Hebrews goes on to show why Yeshua was a literal fulfilment of those shadow pictures found in the Torah.

We have to look no further for confirmation of this than Matthew 5:17 where Yeshua proclaimed: Continue reading

The Flood & the Coming Messiah

Noah-offering-sacrifices

Noah Offering Sacrifices

In my last blog post, Halloween and the Bible, we looked at the fascinating history of Halloween and the flood of Noah. Today I want to share with you how those events are related to Israel’s exodus from Egypt, the Biblical calendar, and the promise of the coming Messiah. David Jesse, a blogger I read, has a saying which I really love. He says “Context makes the Bible come alive”. Today I want to share with you some unique historical facts about Egypt and Israel’s exodus in the hope that this information will make the Bible come alive for you in a new way.

The Descendants of Seth
First let’s travel back to the time of Christ and a Jewish historian named Josephus. Nearly two thousand years ago Josephus had this to say about the flood:

Now this Seth, when he was brought up, and came to those years in which he could discern what was good, became a virtuous man; and as he was himself of an excellent character, so did he leave children behind him who imitated his virtues…

They also were the inventors of that peculiar sort of wisdom which is concerned with the heavenly bodies, and their order. And that their inventions might not be lost before they were sufficiently known, upon Adam’s prediction that the world was to be destroyed at one time by the force of fire, and at another time by the violence and quantity of water, they made two pillars, {e} the one of brick, the other of stone: 

they inscribed their discoveries on them both, that in case the pillar of brick should be destroyed by the flood, the pillar of stone might remain, and exhibit those discoveries to mankind; and also inform them that there was another pillar of brick erected by them. Now this remains in the land of Siriad [Egypt] to this day…. (Antiquities of the Jews 1:68-71)

Interestingly in Isaiah 19:19 such a pillar is mentioned in the land of Egypt in a future messianic context. Here take a look:

In that day shall there be an altar to YHWH in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar at the border thereof to YHWH. And it shall be for a sign and for a witness unto YHWH of hosts in the land of Egypt: for they shall cry unto YHWH because of the oppressors, and he shall send them a saviour, and a great one, and he shall deliver them. (Isaiah 19:19-20)

XVIII_700pixYou see, nearly two thousand years ago the Great Pyramid in Egypt was already considered a monument built by the descendants of Seth to monumentalize a warning to mankind that judgement was coming. Some even claim this pillar has messianic significance. A discussion of whether this tradition is true or not will have to wait for another article, but we do know from the evidence of the Great Pyramid itself, that it was built in such a way that it marked the first day of November (and the Flood) in a very special way. I’ll get to that in a moment, but first let me describe this monument in a little more detail. For context’s sake keep in mind that Goshen, where the children of Israel lived for several hundred years, was only fifty miles or so from this great monument. In a moment you will see why the Great Pyramid was known to the ancient Egyptians as Ta Khut “The Light” and why it is still one of the greatest manmade wonders of the world.

Now let me paint you a picture of the Great Pyramid as it was during the time of Israel’s sojourning in Egypt. The base of the Great Pyramid was 365.24 cubits squared covering 13 acres. This stone structure was laid out in relation to the cardinal points of the compass with the precision of a modern observatory. Its base circumference was 36,524 inches and its height was 5813 inches or nearly 484 feet. Quite literally, it was a manmade mountain. For perspective, you could take the stone mass of the Great Pyramid and it would make a wall one foot thick and four feet high stretching from New York to San Francisco. Now that is big!

Air_Photograph_Showing_HallWhat really stood out about the Great Pyramid was its covering. The four slightly concave triangular sides of this incredible monument were covered with a casing of pure white polished limestone and fitted with such precision that even today engineers and archeologists have no conclusive idea how the task was accomplished. Oddly enough, the capstone or ‘head corner stone’, as it might be called in Biblical terms, was never placed on the Great Pyramid. In antiquity it was considered a stone rejected by its builders.

The Greek historian, Diodorus Siculus, observed that in his day (56-60 BC) the Great Pyramid was complete without any decay, but it lacked its capstone. (Diodorus Siculus, Book I, 63.4-64.14)

The Greek geographer Strabo who lived as a contemporary of Siculus is said to have stated that, “It seemed like a building let down from heaven without the aid of human hands.”

So we have a massive manmade structure with highly reflective sides fixed precisely to the cardinal points of the compass. This arrangement then produced reflective beams of lights and shadows marking the limits of the astronomical year with a brilliant display, hence the Egyptian title, “The Light”. Among its many characteristics the Great Pyramid was in fact an astronomical almanac. This purposeful design marked the 1st of November and the sowing season with a specific reflective effect which was used by the Egyptians to begin their agricultural cycle as well as their New Year. The chart below comes from Davidson’s Pyramid Records and it shows what the children of Israel likely saw during their captivity. In the far right of the chart note the reflective design which was seen on the 1st of November.

Egyptian_Calendar_Year_And_

So okay, this is all a neat bit of history you might be thinking, but what does this have to do with Israel? Well, this is where it gets really amazing in my opinion. The Great Pyramid defined Egypt’s agricultural calendar and seasons with its reflective effect. This was the calendar system under which all Egypt operated during Israel’s captivity, one which reminded them of a great destruction of mankind.

After the exodus of Israel from Egypt one of the first things YHWH did was change Israel’s calendar from what they were familiar with in Egypt to a new calendar which began in the spring and commemorated the events of the Exodus.

And YHWH spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you. Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house;

…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. And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it…. 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 YHWH’s passover. (Exodus 12:1-11)

Thou shalt keep the feast of unleavened bread: (thou shalt eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded thee, in the time appointed of the month Abib; for in it thou camest out from Egypt: and none shall appear before me empty:) (Exodus 23:15)

You see, Israel, while in slavery to Egypt (which can also be seen as a symbol of mankind’s slavery to sin), kept a calendar which immortalized the righteous judgment of God on a sinful world. After the exodus, YHWH directed Israel’s focus away from a remembrance of the flood and towards a calendar which celebrated their deliverance from Egypt and foreshadowed their redemption through the coming Messiah. A messiah who became “the lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world.” Now how awesome is that!

Noon_Reflections_SummarThe Ark and Deliverance
But there is more. Remember how the Bible describes the flood as occurring on the 17th day of the second month of the pre-flood calendar, a day which modern tradition observes in ignorance as Halloween. Have you ever thought about the day Noah’s ark finally rested on the mountains of Ararat? Well, that day was just as symbolically important? Here take a look:

And the waters returned from off the earth continually: and after the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters were abated. And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat. (Genesis 8:3-4)

Yes indeed, the ark rested on a date which YHWH, hundreds of years later, would commemorate as Feast of Unleavened Bread. So in wonderful prophetic symbolism Noah and his family were delivered from the flood on the 17th day of the 7th month which according to Israel’s religious calendar after the exodus became the 17th day of the1st month. In modern calendar terms this would be our March or April. In other words, the ark rested on the mountains of Ararat on the same day in which Israel was delivered from Egyptian bondage. Then over a millennium later on that very same day, Yeshua the promised Messiah, rose from the grave and became the firstfruits of them that slept, thus delivering mankind from their bondage to sin.

But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. (1 Corinthians 15:20-23)

You see, the Israel that lived in the shadows and reflections of the Great Pyramid was only reminded of the judgment of God. The Israel that left Egypt was given the promise of a coming redeemer. How’s that for a new perspective on the Flood and the Exodus!

The Flood and Daniel 9
The above context provides a rather unique perspective on Israel’s calendar system and the promised Redeemer but there is another aspect to the flood story and the Messiah. In Daniel 9 we have the most important messianic prophecy in the Bible. Commonly called the Prophecy of 70 Weeks, its importance lies in the fact that it is the only prophecy in the entire Bible which gives a specific and datable timeline for the coming of the Messiah.

Daniel 9:25 tells us that after 7 “weeks” the Messiah will come. Keep in mind that the term weeks in Daniel 9 comes from the Hebrew Shabuwa and simply means sevens. The period of time intended by the prophecy is never stated.

Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks [sevens],… (Daniel 9:25a)

I won’t go into all the details in this article, but in Daniel 9:26 the prophecy goes on to tell us that the Messiah will be “cut off”. We know in retrospect from both the Old and New Testaments that the Messiah would have a dual role in the affairs of mankind. He would be both a suffering servant as described in Isaiah 53 and a future king as described in Luke 1:31-33. Here in Daniel 9:26 though we have a description of the Messiah as a suffering servant.

And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: (Daniel 9:26a)

VIII_1000pixNotice in the passage above, it says that the Messiah will be “cut off, but not for himself”. This is where we find an amazing connection between the promised Messiah and the flood of Noah’s day. You see the term “cut off” in Daniel 9:26 comes from the Hebrew karath which means to cut off or cut down. As many scholars have noted over the years, the first occurrence of a Hebrew word in the Bible often provides additional insights into its meaning. Here in Daniel 9:26 we find such an example because the first occurrence of the work karath comes to us from the flood story.

And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off [karath] any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth. (Genesis 9:11) 

Take a moment to read Daniel 9:26a once again. Notice it says the Messiah will be karath “but not for himself”. Contrast that with Noah’s day were we are told that nearly all mankind was cut off (karath) because of their sins. In Noah’s day mankind paid the required price for their sins. Daniel prophesied that a day would come when the Messiah would pay that price (karath) in place of mankind, it was his blood which would atoned for the sins of humanity.

Not for Himself indeed!

Let me give you a few examples from the Biblical record illustrating how the Messiah was cut off for the sins of mankind:

Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. (Isaiah 53:4-5)

And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends. (Zechariah 13:6)

So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. (Hebrews 9:28)

For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him. (1 Peter 3:18-22)
Did you catch the analogy Peter made above? The same waters which “baptized” the world and removed sin also lifted the ark and brought deliverance from the death. In a like manner it was Yeshua’s resurrection which brings salvation and deliverance from sin.

And the waters prevailed, and were increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark went upon the face of the waters. (Genesis 7:18) 

Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. (Romans 6:4)

Noon_Reflections_Solstice60The Flood and the Messiah
So next time you’re thinking about Israel and their exodus from Egypt remember the last surviving wonder of the ancient world. Remember a monument which Strabo described as, “…a building let down from heaven without the aid of human hands.” A megalithic wonder which reminded all Egypt of YHWH’s judgment on a sinful world. A monument which in its own way points mankind to the promise of a coming redeemer.

In that day shall there be an altar to YHWH in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar at the border thereof to YHWH. And it shall be for a sign and for a witness unto YHWH of hosts in the land of Egypt: for they shall cry unto YHWH because of the oppressors, and he shall send them a saviour, and a great one, and he shall deliver them. (Isaiah 19:19-20)

A Berean’s Challenge
For those Bereans out there who love to dig deeper into YHWH’s word, I have a challenge for you. In Daniel 9 there are three Hebrew words which the Bible first uses in describing the events of the flood. We already looked at the word karath which was used to describe mankind being “cut off” from the earth. The other two words are gabar (prevail) and beriyth (covenant). It was no accident that all three of these words found in Daniel 9 are first found in the flood story and the destruction of mankind. See if you can find the connection.

Book2_400x600YHWH willing, in a couple of weeks I will be releasing Book II in my Prophecy and Patterns series, Daniel’s 70 Weeks: The Keystone of Bible Prophecy. In the book we’ll search for an answer to these intriguing questions and many others as well. Remember if you are a blog subscriber you’ll receive a complimentary digital copy of the book when it is released. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy your own Biblical treasure hunt for the wonders YHWH has hidden for us to find.

 It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter. (Proverbs 25:2)

Authors note: All the charts in this article come from Davidson’s Pyramid Records (1924)

If you appreciate these types of articles I encourage you subscribe to my blog: Where History and the Bible Meet. Subscribers receive a free digital copy of my new book: The 13th Enumeration: Key to the Bible’s Messianic Symbolism.

The 14th Sacrifice

Authors Note:
Based upon the Bible’s calendar today is the 14th day of the 1st month. Nearly 2000 years ago about this time Yeshua of Nazareth became “the lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world”.  Later today many of us will celebrate Passover in rememberance of Yeshua’s sacrifice on our behalf. With this in mind I thought it appropriate to share some little known symbolism associated with this wonderfully symbolic Biblical holyday. The following is taken from my book The 13th Enumeration: Key to the Bible’s Messianic symbolism.

 

The 14th Sacrifice  
Altar-of-burnt-offering600Yet it pleased YHWH to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of YHWH shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
—Isaiah 53:10–12

I’m continually thrilled by the Messianic symbolism YHWH has hidden in the Scripture for us to find. To me, it’s the ultimate treasure hunt, with each new find bringing additional depth and beauty to our Creator’s plan of reconciliation for all mankind through Yeshua.

Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. (1 Corinthians 5:7–8)

 It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these . . . So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. (Hebrews 9:23–28) 

For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect . . . we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. (Hebrews 10:1–10)

 A Wonderful Puzzle

Right up front, I’ll admit my bias: I believe the Bible to be the inspired words of YHWH. When there are passages that don’t make any sense or seem downright funky—passages like Matthew 1—I like to look at these parts as a wonderful puzzle to solve.

Another good example of what I’m talking about is the order and number of sacrifices prescribed during the biblical feast days. I mean, have you ever looked at the numbers of the sacrifices YHWH commanded Israel to offer? For instance, why were two bullocks, one ram, and seven lambs required to be offered during the Feast of Unleavened Bread? Doesn’t that seem just a little unusual to you? Their number and order are obviously specific—but why?

For those who have looked, you would have to say it is almost like a code. If there is a symbolic or coded message in the number of sacrifices prescribed in the Old Testament, could it somehow be related to the Messianic symbolism we have already found in the biblical holy days—or to Matthew 1? What are the chances the 13th Enumeration could be the key? Let’s take a look and see.

 Scape-goat-sacrifice600The Book of Numbers

What better place to start than the book of the Bible the Jewish people call Bemidbar, “in the desert”—probably better known to you and me as the book of Numbers. The fourth book of the Bible, Numbers gives more details about the biblical sacrifices prescribed during the feast days than any other place in the Scriptures.

The first biblical feast day begins in the spring, with Passover, on the 14th day of the first month at “even.” In biblical timekeeping, evening, or sundown, begins the day. In this case, the evening of the 14th is the start of the 15th day of Nisan. Fourteen days earlier, the Torah honors the start of the biblical calendar with the following instructions:  

And in the beginnings of your months ye shall offer a burnt offering unto YHWH; two young bullocks, and one ram, seven lambs of the first year without spot . . . and one kid of the goats for a sin offering unto YHWH shall be offered, beside the continual burnt offering, and his drink offering. (Numbers 28:11–15)

You know, I still ask myself how I missed it all these years:

2 bullocks (burnt offering)
1 ram (burnt offering)
7 lambs (burnt offering)
1 kid of the goats (sin offering)
2 lambs (continual burnt offering)

13 total sacrifices

 

Right there in the book of Numbers, the biblical calendar begins with 13 sacrifices. How awesome is that! 

And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. (Ephesians 5:2) 

But the symbolism doesn’t stop there. Numbers 28 and 29 go on to prescribe 13 sacrifices each day for the entire Feast of Unleavened Bread, as well as during Shavuot, Yom Kippur, and the 8th day of Tabernacles.[1] As we will see in the next chapter, the sacrificial instructions for the first seven days of the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkoth) are nothing short of amazing!

But before we get to that, there is a hidden treasure yet to be discovered in the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Unleavened Bread is a feast of seven days which began with the Passover supper. In order to see the wonderful symbolism here, a little history of Israel’s exodus from Egypt is required.

 Modern-Jewish-Passover600The Passover and the Exodus

Few Old Testament stories capture our imaginations like the exodus of Israel from Egypt. From Moses’s confrontation with Pharaoh to the plagues, the angel of death, and finally the crossing of the Red Sea, the imagery is captivating, sobering, and finally triumphant. The events described in the book of Exodus set a pattern or shadow, if you will, which the New Testament sees fulfilled in the death and resurrection of Yeshua.

Most of us know the story of the Passover. Every Israelite household was instructed to kill a lamb and mark the doorposts with its blood. This sacrifice is described in the Bible as “YHWH’s Passover.” The angel of death would “pass over” any house upon which this blood was found, thus sparing the inhabitants the death of their firstborn in Egypt’s most terrible plague.

The order and timing of these events are fascinating, not the least because they mark the Passover with the symbolism of the numbers 13 and 14. Let’s take a look:

And they departed from Rameses in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the first month; on the morrow after the passover the children of Israel went out with an high hand in the sight of all the Egyptians. For the Egyptians buried all their firstborn, which YHWH had smitten among them: upon their gods also YHWH executed judgments. (Numbers 33:3 4)

The above passage gives us an excellent fixing point in the chronology of the exodus. Verse 3 makes it clear that the exodus from Egypt began on the 15th day of the first month. Further, it informs us that this same day, the Egyptians were busy burying their firstborn dead. Exodus 12 fixes the chronology even further with the instructions concerning the Passover lamb. They were to keep this lamb until the 14th day, kill it in the evening (sundown) of the 14th day, and then eat it that night, which began the 15th of Nisan—the same night the angel of death passed over Egypt.

 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year . . . 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. And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it. And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof . . . And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire.

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 YHWH’S passover. For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am YHWH. (Exodus 12:5–12)

And it came to pass, that at midnight YHWH smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt . . . And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead. And he called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, Rise up, and get you forth from among my people . . . And the Egyptians were urgent upon the people, that they might send them out of the land in haste; for they said, We be all dead men. (Exodus 12:29–33) 

Trespass-offering-poor600Based upon the above chronology, the Passover lambs were killed on the 14th of Nisan just before or right at sundown, which began the 15th day of the month. This passage makes it clear that the sacrifice was not eaten until that “night,” the very same night the angel of death “passed over” the land of Egypt. Remember, a new biblical day begins at sundown.

And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. (Genesis 1:5)

Now consider once again the instructions of Numbers 28 in light of this chronology. Numbers 28 requires 13 sacrifices to be made on the 15th of Nisan, the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. But there is a 14th sacrifice as well. The Passover lamb, killed on the 14th, was to be eaten “in that night,” which began the 15th of Nisan. So in fitting symbolism, just as Matthew 1 showed Yeshua as both the 13th and 14th Enumerations, the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the very biblical holyday which represents Yeshua’s atonement on our behalf, requires 13 sacrifices to be made, but in fact 14 are consumed! This brings new meaning to the words of Paul in his epistle to the Corinthians:

Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us. (1 Corinthians 5:7)

 

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The 13th Enumeration: Key to the Bibles Messianic Symbolism

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 For more on Yeshua’s Passover Week chronology please see the following articles:
* The 14th Sacrifice
* “The Feast Day”: Judas’ Betrayal
* Defiled on the “Passover”
* The “Preparation” Day
* The “3rd Day”
* “The Sign of Jonah

And thou shalt say unto them, This is the offering made by fire which ye shall offer unto YHWH; two lambs of the first year without spot day by day, for a continual burnt offering. —Numbers 28:3–4

 “and in the fourteenth day of the first month is the passover of YHWH. And in the fifteenth day of this month is the feast: seven days shall unleavened bread be eaten . . . But ye shall offer a sacrifice made by fire for a burnt offering unto YHWH; two young bullocks, and one ram, and seven lambs of the first year . . . and one goat for a sin offering, to make an atonement for you. Ye shall offer these beside the burnt offering in the morning, which is for a continual burnt offering. After this manner ye shall offer daily, throughout the seven days, the meat of the sacrifice made by fire, of a sweet savour unto YHWH: it shall be offered beside the continual burnt offering, and his drink offering. —Numbers 28:16–24 

Also in the day of the firstfruits . . . But ye shall offer the burnt offering for a sweet savour unto YHWH; two young bullocks, one ram, seven lambs of the first year . . . and one kid of the goats, to make an atonement for you. Ye shall offer them beside the continual burnt offering, and his meat offering, (they shall be unto you without blemish) and their drink offerings. —Numbers 28:26–31

[1] The Feast of Trumpets, according to Numbers 29, also requires 13 sacrifices, but if the new-moon sacrifices of the first month are included, they make for 24. Leviticus 23 includes two peace offerings for the feast of Shavuot that are not included in the sacrifices of Numbers 28. This would make for 15 if both instructions were combined. It is also important to note that any day that fell on a Sabbath required two additional sacrifices.

 

 

 

The Sign of Jonas

Author’s Note: My recent article The 14th Sacrifice  looked at the gospel accounts pertaining to Yeshua’s Passover supper. That article concluded that Yeshua was not crucified on the 14th of Nisan but instead the most plain reading of  the New Testament record shows he was crucified on the feast day proper. (i.e. 15th Nisan, the 1st day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread) My next few articles will look at Yeshua’s Passover week chronology in light of some of the objections which are often raised by those who believe Yeshua was crucified on the 14th of Nisan.

Deliverance_Jonah_West

The Deliverance of Jonah – West

The Sign of Jonas

One of the most controversial and challenging aspects of Yeshua’s Passover week chronology is what is known as “the Sign of Jonas (Jonah)”. It is the one part of the Passover week chronology which is most often used as a proof text for a Thursday or even a Wednesday crucifixion. Personally, as far as this subject is concerned, I think the big picture is often overlooked in our perusal of the details. The following are the three passages which mention the Sign of Jonas.

Matthew 12:38-41  8 Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee.  39 But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:  40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth41 The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.

 Matthew 16:1-4  The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and tempting desired him that he would shew them a sign from heaven.  2 He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red.  3 And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?  4 A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed.

 Luke 11:29-30  29 And when the people were gathered thick together, he began to say, This is an evil generation: they seek a sign; and there shall no sign be given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet.  30 For as Jonas was a sign unto the Ninevites, so shall also the Son of man be to this generation.

Before I proceed, it is only fair to give my interpretational bias: When looking at chronological information I give greater weight to direct chronological statements than those chronological details found in analogies and parables. Yeshua’s statement concerning the “Sign of Jonas” is an analogy (some consider it a parable) and as such the comparative details of the two stories will not match in every aspect. In order to establish this we will compare the two stories for both their differences and similarities. I believe this effort with allow us to get a better idea of the message Yeshua was trying to convey.

Let”s look at the highlights of Jonah’s story first:

1. YHWH gave Jonah a message of repentance to the Ninevites.
2. Jonah did not want to perform the task so he tried to run. (not the smartest decision)3. Jonah’s destiny met him on a ship in the sea in the midst of a storm.
4. To save the lives of those on the ship, Jonah was cast overboard.
5. Jonah was swallowed by a “whale”.
6. After 3 days & 3 nights Jonah was spit out.
7. Jonah decided to do what YHWH asked. (smart decision)
8. Jonah went to Nineveh and warned them to repent or judgment would fall in 40 days.
9. Nineveh repented from the king on down. The city was saved.
10. Jonah did not appreciate the city’s repentance.

 Highlights of the Yeshua’s Passion:

1. Yeshua came to provide reconciliation for mankind’s sins.
2. He did not try to run but obediently carried out the will of YHWH.
3. To save the lives of Jerusalem and all mankind he was betrayed and crucified.
4. The gospel accounts specifically state (in 14 places) Yeshua rose on the “3rd day”.
5. Yeshua warned Jerusalem to repent. For 40 days after the resurrection he appeared as proof of his resurrection.
6. Jerusalem did not repent and 40 years later it was destroyed.

The above comparisons show that while the Jonah story and Yeshua’s Passion have several analogous events they are by no means a perfect match. Of the three gospel accounts which mention the “sign”,only one provides the comparison between Jonah’s stay in the belly of the whale and Yeshua’s time in “the heart of the earth”.  There are several problems with those who would take this analogy as a literal chronological statement of the time Yeshua spent in the grave.

First, there is no indication that Jonah died. In fact the Biblical account shows that he was very much alive in the belly of the whale. He was separated from mankind but he was not dead.

Second, this analogy cannot be taken as literal without contradicting the other 14 clear chronological statements which show Yeshua rose on “the 3rd day.” (For more on this see my article “The 3rd Day”.) Those who demand this analogy be taken literally, count Yeshua’s time in the grave as follows:

Thursday = day 1
Friday = day 2
Saturday = day 3

Thursday night = night 1
Friday night = night 2
Saturday = night 3

As you can see this creates a problem. The gospel accounts clearly show that Yeshua rose on the 1st day of the week (a.k.a Sunday).  So if the “Sign of Jonas” represented Yeshua’s time in the grave, as many have interpreted, then it places his resurrection on the 4th day thereby contradicting over 14 specific instances where the Bible says he rose on the 3rd day. In my opinion no interpretation of an analogy deserves to be given the same evidentiary weight as a clear statement of chronology much less the ability to undermine 14 clear statements of said chronology.

So is there a solution? I believe there is. Maybe our focus is wrong. Since only one of the gospel accounts mentions “three days and three nights” maybe we are overlooking the bigger picture in pursuit of the details. Could it be that Yeshua’s “sign” was simply a warning that judgment would fall on Jerusalem if they did not repent? That like the Ninevites they only had a certain period of time to repent? That His resurrection from the grave was the catalyst that set the analogous (Ninevite) prophecy in motion? History bares out that indeed Yeshua’s “Sign of Jonas” was a warning to Jerusalem and the inhabitants of Judea. History also records that YHWH was long suffering towards Jerusalem by extending their grace period to 40 years and sending them unmistakable signs that further warned them that judgment was coming. These signs were recorded historically in the Talmudic writings. Interestingly, both the Babylonian and Jerusalem Talmud record strange events during the 40 years before the destruction of Jerusalem. The Talmudists believed these events portended the temple’s destruction.  I think they provide confirmation of Yeshua’s prophecy. Note these events began in 30 AD the year Yeshua was crucified and rose again. Take a moment to read these fascinating accounts:

 “Forty years before the destruction of the Temple, the western light (of the Lamp-stand, the Menorah) went out, the crimson thread remained crimson, and the lot for the LORD always came up in the left hand. They would close the gates of the temple by night and the get up in the morning and find them wide open”. (The Yersuahalmi, p. 156-157)

“Our rabbis taught: During the last forty years before the destruction of the Temple the lot (‘for the Lord’) did not come up in the right hand; nor did the crimson-colored strap become white; nor did the western most light shine; and the doors of the Hekl (Temple) would open by themselves”. (Yoma 39a)

 “forty years before the destruction of the Temple, the Sanhedrin was Banished (from the Chamber of the hewn Stone) and sat in the trading-station (on the Temple Mount). (Shabbat 15a)

“Said Rabban Yohanan Ben Zakkkai to the Temple, ‘O Temple, why do you frighten us? We know that your will end up destroyed. For it has been said, Open your doors, O Lebanon, that the fire may devour your cedars’” (Sota 6:3)(Zechariah 11:1)

Interested in the odds for the above history? See my article What are the Odds?

Luke 11:29-30  29 And when the people were gathered thick together, he began to say, This is an evil generation: they seek a sign; and there shall no sign be given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet.  30 For as Jonas was a sign unto the Ninevites, so shall also

 Luke 13:34-35   34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!  : and verily I say unto you, Ye shall not see me, until the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of YHWH.

Psalm 118:22-27 22 The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.  23 This is YHWH’S doing; it is marvellous in our eyes. 24 This is the day which YHWH hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.  25 Save now, I beseech thee, O YHWH: O YHWH, I beseech thee, send now prosperity. 26 Blessed be he that cometh in the name of YHWH: we have blessed you out of the house of YHWH.  27 God is YHWH, which hath shewed us light: bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar.

Joel 2:30-32  0 And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.  31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of YHWH come.  32 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of YHWH shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as YHWH hath said, and in the remnant whom YHWH shall call. 

Yeshua showed proof of his resurrection for 40 days
Jerusalem was destroyed 40 years later
Our generation is living in the 40th Jubilee

40 days > 40 years > 40 jubilees
(For more on the significance of the Jubilees as described above
see my article The Jubilee Code)

In summary it is my opinion that the “sign of Jonas” was meant to be a warning by Yeshua to Jerusalem that they should repent or face judgment. By its own construction the analogy cannot be taken in a totally literal sense without creating more chronological problems than it solves. Like Jonah, Yeshua’s authority as a prophet was not confirmed by the length of time he spent in the grave (or the belly of the whale) but rather in the fact that he rose again from the grave. His resurrection was indeed the event which began the countdown to the destruction of Jerusalem 40 years later.

*    *    *

 For those of you who demand a solution to Yeshua’s statement of “three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” I believe there may be one; Frankly it may not totally satisfy any of us, but it is the only way that I have found to render the passage without at least some further complications. If Jonah’s stay in the belly of the whale was to be truly illustrative of Yeshua, then it was not death that was pictured, but physical or spiritual separation and a future resurrection.

I draw your attention to an unusual statement by Yeshua the night of the 15th of Nisan while he was in the garden:

John 17:1-11  These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee….  11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.

Mark 14:32-41  32 And they came to a place which was named Gethsemane:……  34 And saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death (thanatos): tarry ye here, and watch.………  41 And he cometh the third time, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: it is enough, the hour is come; behold, the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.

Matthew 26:38   38 Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death (thanatos): tarry ye here, and watch with me.

2288 thanatos {than’-at-os}
Meaning:  1) the death of the body 1a) that separation (whether natural or violent) of the soul and the body by which the life on earth is ended 1b) with the implied idea of future misery in hell 1b1) the power of death 1c) since the nether world, the abode of the dead, was conceived as being very dark, it is equivalent to the region of thickest darkness i.e. figuratively, a region enveloped in the darkness of ignorance and sin 2) metaph., the loss of that life which alone is worthy of the name, 2a) the misery of the soul arising from sin, which begins on earth but lasts and increases after the death of the body in hell 3) the miserable state of the wicked dead in hell 4) in the widest sense, death comprising all the miseries arising from sin, as well physical death as the loss of a life consecrated to God and blessed in him on earth, to be followed by wretchedness in hell

Jonah’s “three days and three nights” began when he was cast overboard for the saving of the rest of the ship. Based upon John 17, Mark 14, and Matthew 26 above, Yeshua, at the time of his betrayal, experienced physical/spiritual separation from the rest of mankind, even to the point his own disciples denied him.

If there is any validity to this line of reasoning then we have:

* Friday night (beginning the15th) and day of the 15th
* Saturday night (beginning the16th) and the day of the 16th
* Sunday night (beginning the 17th) and part of the day of the 17th

That’s the best I can do. I encourage you to do your own do diligence as a Berean.

*    *    *

Authors Note: This chart shows the chronology described above. For those looking to search this out for yourself you will find Scriptural references provided for each event. I know this is a little different format than most are use to but it helped me organize the events in a way which allows me to take the New Testament events at face value in their most natural and plain reading.

Click on the Image to enlarge:

Yeshuas_Passover_Week1200_2014

For more on Yeshua’s Passover Week chronology please see the following articles:

* The 14th Sacrifice
* “The Feast Day”: Judas’ Betrayal
* Defiled on the “Passover”
* The “Preparation” Day
* The “3rd Day”

 

Special Offer:
Subscribe to my blog and you’ll receive a complimentary copy of the first book in my new series on the Messianic symbolism of the Bible:
The 13th Enumeration: Key to the Bibles Messianic Symbolism



 

The “Preparation” Day

Author’s Note: My recent article The 14th Sacrifice  looked at the gospel accounts pertaining to Yeshua’s Passover supper. That article concluded that Yeshua was not crucified on the 14th of Nisan but instead the most plain reading of  the New Testament record shows he was crucified on the feast day proper. (i.e. 15th Nisan, the 1st day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread) My next few articles will look at Yeshua’s Passover week chronology in light of some of the objections which are often raised by those who believe Yeshua was crucified on the 14th of Nisan.

Peter_Denies_Yeshua

Peter denying Christ – Poussin

The “Preparation” Day

My last article on chronology of Yeshua’s Passover week looked at why Yeshua’s accusers were not willing to enter Pilate’s judgment hall for fear of being “defiled”. (see: Defiled on the “Passover”) Shortly after these events Yeshua was taken and crucified. In the gospel accounts it tells us that this day was the “preparation” day. In this article I want to look at this day in relation to the events of Yeshua’s Passover week. Take a moment to read the following verses, they represent each usage of the term “preparation” in the New Testament.

 Mark 15:42-43   42 And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath43 Joseph of Arimathaea, an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus.

 Luke 23:52-54  2 This man went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus.  53 And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid.  54 And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on.

 Matthew 27:59-62   59 And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,  60 And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed.  61 And there was Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, sitting over against the sepulchre.  62 Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate

 John 19:13-16   13 When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called the Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha.  14 And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King!  15 But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar.  16 Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away.

 John 19:31-42   31 The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away….. 42 There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews’ preparation day; for the sepulchre was nigh at hand.

 The word “preparation” comes from the Greek paraskeue, it means a making ready, a preparation, or equipping. It is used almost exclusively in the Scripture to designate the day before the Sabbath. I say “almost exclusively” because some contented that John 19:14 uses the term “preparation” to refer to the day before the “Passover”.

Of the verses above, Mark 15:42, Luke 23:52 & John 19:31 each clearly state that the “preparation” day is the day before the Sabbath. Taken at face value these verses need no further clarification. Yeshua was crucified on the day before the Sabbath. So how do we reconcile John 19:13 where it states that the day Yeshua died was the “preparation of the Passover”?

In my opinion this is another place where the term Passover is used in the general sense to represent the feast of Unleavened Bread. As I showed in my articles The 14th Sacrifice and Defiled on the “Passover” the term “passover” is used in the Bible to represent the Passover supper proper as well as the entire Feast of Unleavened Bread. John 19:13 then is not saying that Yeshua was crucified on the day before the Passover supper but that he died on the “preparation” day during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. There are several ways to prove this:

1. The Feast of Unleavened Bread does not require a “preparation” day because work related to the preparation of food is not prohibited.
2. John 19:31 states the day following the “preparation” was a “high Sabbath”. A “high Sabbath” can only refer to a Sabbath day which has been elevated by its inclusion within the feast days. The Feast of Unleavened Bread is not a true “Sabbath” or “rest” and it is never referred to as such in the Bible.
3. The gospel accounts show that the day following this “high” Sabbath was the 1st day of the week.

Take a look at the verse below. In this passage Luke is describing the burial of Yeshua. He describes the day as the “preparation, and the sabbath drew on”. Verse 56 provides a unique confirmation that this day is indeed the “Sabbath” or 7th day of the week. Notice it states that the women returned from the sepulcher and then “rested the Sabbath day according to the commandment”. The feast of Unleavened Bread has no such commandment because Exodus 12:16 allows work related to the preparation of food. 

Jerusalem_MT_Olives

View of Jerusalem from Mt. of Olives

With the above information in mind it can be reasonably concluded that Yeshua was crucified on the “preparation day” or the 6th day of the week which also happened to be the 1st day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. That the following day was the weekly Sabbath and by its very position within the 7 day feast it was a special or “high” Sabbath.

“Preparation” = 3904, paraskeue {par-ask-yoo-ay’}
Meaning:  1) a making ready, preparation, equipping 2) that which is prepared, equipment 3) in the NT in a Jewish sense, the day of preparation 3a) the day on which the Jews made necessary preparation to celebrate a sabbath or a feast
Origin:  as if from 3903; TDNT – 7:1,989;
Usage:  AV – preparation 6; 6

The references below are a sampling of historical references to the “preparation day”.

 Antiquities of the Jews 16:162-163  162 “Caesar Augustus, high priest and tribune of the people, ordains thus:–Since the nation of the Jews has been found grateful to the Roman people, not only at this time, but in time past also, and chiefly Hyrcanus the high priest, under my father, {a} Caesar the emperor,  163 it seemed good to me and my counsellors, according to the sentence and oath of the people of Rome, that the Jews have liberty to make use of their own customs, according to the law of their forefathers, as they made use of them under Hyrcanus the high priest of the Almighty God; and that their sacred money be not touched, but be sent to Jerusalem, and that it be committed to the care of the receivers at Jerusalem; and that they be not obliged to go before any judge on the Sabbath day, nor on the day of the preparation to it, after the ninth hour, {b} 

Ignatius to the Trallians 9:2
Martyrdom of Polycarp 7:1
Didache 8:1

Authors Note: This chart shows the chronology described above. For those looking to search this out for yourself you will find Scriptural references provided for each event. I know this is a little different format than most are use to but it helped me organize the events in a way which allows me to take the New Testament events at face value in their most natural and plain reading.

Click on the Image to enlarge:

Yeshuas_Passover_Week1200_2014

For more on Yeshua’s Passover Week chronology please see the following articles:

* The 14th Sacrifice
* “The Feast Day”: Judas’ Betrayal
* Defiled on the “Passover”
* The “Preparation” Day
* The “3rd Day”

 

Special Offer:
Subscribe to my blog and you’ll receive a complimentary copy of the first book in my new series on the Messianic symbolism of the Bible:
The 13th Enumeration: Key to the Bibles Messianic Symbolism