This Bible 911 is from Numbers and is about the second Passover the Israelites were to celebrate in the Exodus. Our verse shows how important it was to God that all of His children remember their personal and corporate exodus out of Egypt. A problem had come up because some of the people were unclean during the first month and could not join the community in the observance. Exodus 12 has the story and the rules for the very first Passover.
11 The fourteenth day of the second month at even they shall keep it, and eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. (KJV) bold added
If you missed the first month you had to observe Passover during the second month of the year. The rules were the same; verse twelve stresses not leaving any of the lamb until morning, and breaking no bones of the lamb. The lamb was killed on the fourteenth and eaten overnight on the fifteenth. Remember their day starts in the evening.
Jesus was our Passover Lamb and He was killed before twilight and buried before the morning. His legs were not broken because He was already dead. All of this was not wasted on the centurion, that is why he said that Jesus was the Son of God (Matthew 27:54).
Extra: I have no doubt that Passover was celebrated it just is not mentioned that often in Scripture. Find all the times it is recorded that Passover was observed.
Passover to Pentecost – Out of Egypt/ End of Passover Week 2 Day 1
That day the Lord saved Israel from the hands of the Egyptians. Exodus 14: 30 NIV
I have used the metaphor “out of Egypt” for a key word many times in my blog. When you are out of Egypt you are going in to the Promise Land. Passover is compared to your salvation experience and “out of Egypt” is your journey afterwards. With metaphors explained let me tell the Exodus story with my “story telling glasses” on.
“We are partying now; people are dancing around playing tambourines and singing songs. But it has been a mess for a long time. It really started when this guy, Moses, showed up; it seems he had been gone a long time. He was all excited because God had done something great in his life. He told everyone that God knew about their problems and wanted to help them.
He went straight to the source of the problems. Our hope went sky high. Then things got horrible. Our water became contaminated; critters showed up and made our lives miserable. They died then gnats and flies were everywhere. It got better for us. But we watched as sickness and the weather went bad all around us. The neighbors started trying to take our stuff. Our friend kept working with all of these problems, but as the problems kept coming we were still not free.
Our friend told us we should plan a party and cleanup our houses and be ready to move. We were enjoying ourselves when the neighbors started showing up. They told us we need to leave and started paying us to go. They gave us whatever we asked for as long as we were leaving.
We tried to leave the country, but the roads out of town were blocked. After a couple of days all of the neighbors decided we had been the cause of all of the problems and we needed to be taught a lesson. They also wanted all of their stuff back. God stopped them and opened up a way out. The neighbors will not follow us now and we are out of the country. That is why we are celebrating!” Joshua told us this story before he went and helped our friend.
Time – Days, Months, and a Year – Before Passover
Biblical units of time are slightly different than the ones we use. Genesis 1 gives day, night, seasons, days, and years; the first use of “months” are in the Flood story with Noah. These units are important in the Passover story, but I am not going into them in depth. (I did a post about the Biblical Calendar; it takes a slightly different direction than what I need here but it is a good read.)
The twenty-four-hour cycle is the same but biblically the day starts at sundown, not sunrise. Joseph Prince said that allows us to start the day resting, think about it! In Exodus 12, the Passover story, the Lamb is killed at twilight – the start of the day. I am sure that I may slip up on specific days/dates; this is another reason that I chose to follow Passover and not Easter.
In Exodus 12 God redefines the Israelite calendar picking a new first month. They have gone back and added up all of the previous generations so their yearly number is over 5000. Since this is marked off by seasons and lunar cycles there is an 11-day difference in length. The High Priest could put in “leap years” to set the year back with the seasons.
On the Jewish calendar, it is the month of Nissan. I have read enough to know that there was a civil and religious calendar, and there are spots in scripture where the civil calendar is used – be careful if you are trying to make a specific point.
The other thing about the biblical month is that it follows the lunar cycle. That makes some of the months 29 days long and some 30 days long. The modern Jewish calendar is interesting; you should do a search and read on it.