Passover to Pentecost – Old Testament Passovers Week 1 Day 4
Josiah celebrated the Passover to the Lord in Jerusalem. 2 Chronicles 35: 1(NIV)
The Passover had not been observed like this in Israel since the days of the prophet Samuel. 2 Chronicles 35: 18 (NIV)
Holidays are something celebrated and enjoyed, but they are not necessarily news worthy. There are references to the Feast of the Lord, just not a lot of them. Contrast this to the references of the Exodus. (To be fair, Hezekiah did celebrate Passover five chapters before this one.) Josiah was the last king of Judah who “did right in the eyes of the Lord.” After cleaning up the Temple, the Torah had been found and he was going to do what was written in the Book.
The priest and Levites were in place and 36,700 animals were donated for the people to have a lamb. (This would have meant about 367,000 people celebrating.) Verse 18 must be a reference to it having been done on the correct day as Hezekiah’s was done on the “Second Passover” date. Apparently King Saul, David, and Solomon let the practice of observing the Feast slip or it was not done to this extent (2 Chronicles 35: 17).
Ezra 6:19 tells of the exiles who had returned from Babylon celebrating the Passover. It seems to be a dual celebration because they were also thankful because the king of Assyria had become favorable toward them. It could be that Josiah’s Passover may have had a positive effect on the people before they were taken into captivity. It may also be that Passover was being celebrated but not on large scale.
In chapter 45 God is instructing Ezekiel to reestablish the Feast, sacrifices, and sanctify the Temple in preparation for Passover. This wakeup call was effective because it continued into the time of Jesus. I found it interesting that David’s descendent was referred to as a “prince” and not a king.
There are no direct references to any of the Feast during his lifetime. The verse from Josiah does make it sound like the people celebrated them during his life. 1 Samuel opens with the story of his father and mother, and it seems that Elkanah and his wives were observing the Passover and other Feasts.
There are other references to Passover that will be written about.