Frank W. Nelte

April 2019


With the Passover approaching some people are again looking at the time when the Passover was kept by Israel before they left Egypt. It is always amazing to me that there are so many people who feel that Israel must have killed the Passover lambs at the end of the 14th of Nisan.

That is totally false!

The biblical evidence is quite clear that Israel did in fact kill the Passover lambs at the start of the 14th of Nisan!

I have heard on more than one occasion that there are many people, including ministers in God’s Church, who are convinced that O.T. Israel kept the Passover at the end of the 14th of Nisan. While such people generally acknowledge that the New Testament instructs us to observe the Passover at the start of the 14th day, they nevertheless believe that in Old Testament times Israel was instructed by God to kill the Passover at the end of the 14th of Nisan.

That is false!

In this article I present the evidence that O.T. Israel did in fact keep the Passover at the start of the 14th of Nisan. But first here is something to consider.



When it comes to choosing between believing the Bible or believing their traditions (i.e. "the traditions of the fathers", as they have been preserved in the Talmud), then the Jewish religion today will by and large always go with the traditions, even when those traditions contradict biblical instructions and biblical revelation.

In this way the Jewish religion is no different from the Catholic Church, which places the teachings of the "church fathers" ahead of what the Bible actually says. This is also evident from published statements in "The History of the Talmud" by Michael J. Rodkinson. It is a fact ... the Jewish religion doesn’t really accept the Bible, whenever the Bible contradicts its accepted traditions.

To justify their traditions, Jewish religious leaders have in the past, amongst other things, invented new meanings and new ways of interpreting Old Testament biblical Hebrew words. In this article we will look at what the Bible says. We’ll use the Bible itself to explain Hebrew words, where religious authorities have tried to twist the meanings of those words, for the sake of supporting their traditions.

For us the question then boils down to this:

Do we believe the Bible, and how the Bible itself explains those Hebrew words? Or do we believe Jewish "experts" who clearly have a vested interest in the outcome, and who have come up with "new meanings" for Hebrew words in situations where their traditions absolutely depend on those "new meanings"?

One example is the Jewish claim that the Hebrew word "shabbath" can also mean "week". That claim is absurd, when judged by everything that is written in the Old Testament. "Shabbath" never means "week".

The word "shabbath" literally means "day of cessation", and it is absurd to attach the meaning of "a period of 7 days" (i.e. a week) to a word that means "a day of cessation". But the reason why Jewish authorities today insist that "shabbath" can also (supposedly) mean "week" is that this is the only way for them to justify their tradition of keeping Pentecost on Sivan 6th.

Another example affects the Passover.

Jewish authorities claim that "the evening" can start at 3:00 p.m., or even at noon. And connected to this is the Jewish claim that "the morning" can start while it is still dark, or even any time after midnight. In this instance the Jewish leaders have simply invented new ways of defining "evening" and "morning", in order to be able to hold fast to their traditions. But these new definitions contradict what the Bible clearly tells us about "the evening" and "the morning".

So let’s now look at the evidence that the Passover in Egypt was observed at the start of the 14th day.



The Bible instructions read as follows:

And you 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. (Exodus 12:6)

The Hebrew word here translated as "in" is the word "beyn", which is used as a preposition, and which means "between". This is also acknowledged in the KJV by the marginal comment which reads "between the two evenings".

(Hebrew "beyn" is also transliterated as "ben" in other places.)

Now the evening is a period of time that starts with sunset and ends with the onset of total darkness. "The evening" comes time-wise after "the day" and before "the night". The unqualified statement "the evening" does not refer to one specific point in time, like, for example, the word "sunset". No, "the evening" refers to a short period of time. This is elementary.

But what if we want to pinpoint very precisely the whole period we have in mind, to avoid the possibility of starting that period too early or going too late ... how would we do that?

To be very precise for the period we have in mind, we need to identify the exact starting point, and also the exact ending point for the period we identify as "evening". With those two reference points clearly identified, we have precisely limited the period we identify as "evening".

So if we want to pinpoint "the period from after the sun has set until just before total darkness sets in", then we say "between the two evenings". With this expression we mean that the first evening is the point in time when the sun has just set, and the second evening is the point in time when total darkness begins. And in this way the expression "between the two evenings" very precisely pinpoints the entire period between these two extremities.

No other time of day qualifies for the word "evening".

Any time before sunset is not evening; it is day. And any time after darkness has set in is also not evening; it is night. Evening is the short period of transition between day and night.

This short period of time is identified by the OT Hebrew expression "beyn ha-arbayim", meaning "between the two evenings". And so the correct translation of Exodus 12:6 should read:

"... the congregation of Israel shall kill it between the two evenings".

In this matter the above quoted marginal comment for this verse in the KJV is correct.

Since this correct translation cannot be disputed, therefore people then argue instead about: "yes, but how must we define "evening"? That’s the same argument as asking: "yes, but who is my neighbor?".

Thus the correct translation of Exodus 12:6 shows that the Passover lambs were to be killed after sunset at the very start of the 14th day. And a late-14th Passover is contrary to the account in Exodus.

Now let’s examine the Jewish claims that the "evening" can start at 3:00 p.m., or even at noon. Let’s look at the Jewish evidence, first in the Jewish Translations of the Old Testament, and then in the Talmud.



Here are a number of different English language translations for Exodus 12:6. We have already seen the KJV.


"Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month, when all the members of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight."


"You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month; then the whole assembled congregation of Israel shall slaughter it at twilight."


"And ye shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month; and the whole congregation of the assembly of Israel shall kill it between the two evenings."


"And it hath become a charge to you, until the fourteenth day of this month, and the whole assembly of the company of Israel have slaughtered it between the evenings;"

LXX with Apocrypha, English Translation

(The only LXX available today was produced by Origen in the 200's A.D.)

"And it shall be kept by you till the fourteenth of this month, and all the multitude of the congregation of the children of Israel shall kill it toward evening." (Greek reads "pros esperan"; "pros = towards" and "espera = evening")


"And ye shall have it in keeping until the fourteenth day of the same month; and then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it toward evening."


"You are to keep it until the fourteenth day of the month, and then the entire assembly of the community of Isra’el will slaughter it at dusk."


"and ye shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month; and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at dusk."


(downloaded from:

"You shall keep watch over it until the fourteenth day of this month; and all the assembled congregation of the Israelites shall slaughter it at twilight."

Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary (from:

"And you shall keep it for inspection until the fourteenth day of this month, and the entire congregation of the community of Israel shall slaughter it in the afternoon."


"And it will be with you for mishmeret (examination, checking for blemishes) up until the fourteenth day of the same month; and kol Kehal Adat Yisroel shall slaughter (shachat) it in the afternoon [before dark]."

The above eleven translations should suffice to illustrate what has happened. Let’s divide these eleven translations into three groups: firstly, the Greek language LXX translation, produced by the Catholic scholar Origen in the 200's A.D. Next, we have the translations produced by Christian translators. And thirdly, we have the translations produced by Jewish translators.

Group 1 = Greek language LXX

This translation ("toward evening"), made in the 200's A.D. (proof for a supposed B.C. origin for the LXX simply does not exist!), reflects the Jewish tradition of a late-14th Passover. This is not a correct translation of the Hebrew text. Rather, it is a reflection of the prevailing Jewish custom at Origen’s time.

(In the Latin Vulgate Jerome copied this wrong Greek translation into his Latin text, which reads "ad vesperam", Latin for "toward evening". So the Latin translation is also wrong.)

Group 2 = Translations by Christian translators

Translations like Darby and Young’s ("between the (two) evenings") have translated the Hebrew text literally. They are correct.

Translations like the NIV and NRSV ("at twilight") have correctly understood that the Hebrew expression refers to the period we in English call "twilight" or "dusk". And so these translations are also correct.

Group 3 = Translations by Jewish translators

Three translations translate this verse correctly as "at dusk" (1917 JPS and the Complete Jewish Bible) or as "at twilight" (1985 Revised JPS). So the Jewish translators of these three translations understand the expression "beyn ha-arbayim" to refer to the period that starts with sunset and ends with total darkness. Instead of translating the Hebrew literally, they opted to present the correct application (i.e. dusk or twilight) of this expression in our English language context. They are correct.

Three other translations translated this verse incorrectly as "toward evening" (1853 Leeser OT) or as "in the afternoon" (Orthodox Jewish Bible and Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary). "Beyn ha-arbayim" does not mean "toward evening", and neither does it mean "in the afternoon". These two English expressions represent very flawed biased interpretations of the Hebrew text; they do not represent accurate translations.

These two groups of three Jewish translators each illustrate the differences between "translations" and "interpretations". The three "translations" are correct, and the three "interpretations" are incorrect.

Coming back to changing the meaning of Hebrew words:

The three "translations" have accepted the established meaning for "evening" as "the period of dusk or twilight". The three "interpretations", on the other hand, don’t care about the actual meaning of the Hebrew phrase they are supposedly translating. Instead, they insist that the word "evening" also includes parts or all of "the afternoon". It is, in fact, absolutely essential for these three "interpretations" to insist that "evening" must surely include parts of the afternoon before sunset.

Without their changed definition for the word "evening" their entire position collapses. They are the same people who insist that the Hebrew word "shabbath" must also mean "week", or else their teaching about Pentecost also collapses.

So when it comes to examining translations provided by Jewish scholars, then we need to always ask ourselves: are they faithfully translating the Hebrew text, or are they interpreting the Hebrew text so it will be compatible with their own beliefs? Understand that all of the translators are looking at the exact same Hebrew text. The different ways they translate the same Hebrew expression is not due to any differences in understanding Hebrew words and expressions. The differences between them are due to the different meanings some of them arbitrarily (i.e. without biblical support) assign to specific Hebrew words, when other equally qualified scholars don’t do that.

Thus the Jewish scholars that translated the JPS and the Revised JPS have just as good an understanding of Hebrew as do the scholars who chose to translate the Hebrew as "in the afternoon". Yet in spite of equally good understanding of biblical Hebrew they came up with different translations.

It is clear that the translation "toward evening" is very contrived. The Hebrew preposition "beyn" doesn’t mean "toward"; and if "beyn" did mean "toward", then it still would have to be "toward the evenings", plural! And that doesn’t make sense. But it doesn’t mean "toward".

And the translation "in the afternoon" is even more contrived! No part of the Hebrew expression "beyn ha-arbayim" means "afternoon"! And if it did mean "afternoon", then it still would have to be "between the two afternoons". That also doesn’t make any sense. But it doesn’t mean "afternoon".

The literal meaning of "beyn ha-arbayim" is well known and beyond dispute. And so when people interpret the Hebrew expression to support their own personal beliefs, then that can be spotted fairly easily, provided we are looking for the truth.

We should note that even though the Greek LXX and the Latin Vulgate both translate Exodus 12:6 incorrectly, the Christian English language translators overwhelmingly did not follow those wrong translations. The reason they didn’t follow the LXX and the Vulgate is because "beyn ha-arbayim" is really an easy expression to understand. It is not really ambiguous. And without any late-14th Passover tradition to defend, the Christian English language translators were free to translate this expression correctly, in spite of the misleading LXX and Vulgate precedents. And that’s what they did; they translated it correctly.

Now let’s examine some evidence from the Talmud.



We’ve seen that some Jewish translators have translated the expression as "in the afternoon" or as "toward evening". But we have not yet seen how they arrived at these incorrect translations.

The Talmud will show us this missing information. The Talmud exposes the reasoning they have used to conclude that the original Passover was in the late afternoon. The Talmud shows that this reasoning is specious and contrived.

The quotations from the electronic computer version of the Talmud that I will present are all taken from the Soncino edition of the Jewish Talmud. All capitalization, all punctuation, spelling mistakes, etc. are exactly as they appear in the Talmud. I have not made any changes to the text, except that I have bolded specific words to highlight them. There is a lot of capitalization employed, but that is how it appears in the Talmud.

The format I will use with these Talmud quotations is as follows:

First, I’ll quote a section of the text from the Talmud. Embedded within that text are numbers from "1" into the "50's" and even higher. These numbers refer to footnotes that follow each section of text. Second, I then present any relevant footnotes. Where no relevant footnotes apply, I will omit this step. Third, only after that will I present my comments on the text and/or footnotes in question.

This format I will follow for all Talmud quotations below. In a number of cases the significance only becomes apparent upon closer inspection. Without such closer inspection it is easy to miss the significance of those quotations.

Understand also that many of the Talmudic statements will not make sense to you or to me. It is only the statements that I will address in my comments that are significant for our subject.

One last preliminary comment: You can find the meaning of strange words (e.g. "terumah", "Cutheans", "tamid", erub, exedra, etc.) that appear in the text of these quotations on my website under "Research Center" and then "Jewish Terms and Their Meanings".

So here we go.

Talmud - Mas. Eiruvin 36b

For it was taught: 41 If a man buys wine from among the Cutheans 42 he may 1 say: `Two log 2 which I am about to set aside 3 are terumah, ten 4 are first tithe and nine 4 are second tithe’, and this 5 he redeems 6 and may drink [the wine] forthwith; 7 so R. Meir, 8 but R. Judah, R. Jose and R. Simeon forbid [this procedure]. 9

(1) If the purchase took place on the Sabbath eve immediately before dusk (when there is no time to remove these priestly and levitical dues from the wine) and he requires the wine for the Sabbath. It is prohibited to separate priestly or levitical dues on the Sabbath, v. Bez. 36b.

(2) A log (v. Glos.) is c. 549 cubic centimeters.

(3) For the hundred log contained in the cask he bought.

(4) `Log which I am about to set aside’.

(5) The second tithe

(6) With money (cf. Deut. XIV, 25) that he has at home or anywhere else.

My Comments

Notice the following point from footnote (1), which talks about a man buying wine from the Cutheans. Footnote (1) explains what a man "may" do in this situation.

The situation they explain is if the man buys the wine late on Friday afternoon (which the Jews call "the Sabbath eve", even though the Sabbath has clearly not yet started, the man is still buying things). The reference to "immediately before dusk" shows that they understood quite clearly that with "dusk" a new day starts (in this case the Sabbath). This quotation makes clear that the Jews understand that dusk starts a new day.

Talmud - Mas. Eiruvin 41b



My Comments

Notice again that the Jews at the time of "R. Gamaliel" understood that with dusk a new day starts! And "dusk" is NOT before sunset. In this case Gamaliel reasoned as follows:

"Since we were "within the Sabbath limit" "before dusk" (i.e. before the Sabbath started!), therefore it is okay to disembark." So dusk is clearly the start of a new day.

Talmud - Mas. Eiruvin 45a


(49) On the Sabbath eve before dusk.

(50) After dusk when the Sabbath had already begun.

(51) I.e., the town was within his Sabbath limit.

(52) Sc. he is not allowed to move freely about the town as the people who were in it at the hour the Sabbath had commenced.

(53) At the time the Sabbath had set in.

My Comments

Again it is quite clear that the Pharisees (whose teachings the Talmud expounds) understood that the day started at dusk! It follows that Nisan 14th had to start at sunset and not with darkness. "Dusk" is always the first part of a new day.

Talmud - Mas. Eiruvin 76a (very long quote to maintain the context)

Rehaba tested the Rabbis: If there were two courtyards and between them two houses 3 and a tenant 4 of the one [courtyard] came through the one [house] and deposited his `erub in the other 5 while a tenant 6 of the other [courtyard] came through the latter [house] and deposited his `erub in the former, do they 7 thereby acquire the privileges of `erub 8 or not? Do we regard each house in relation to the one [courtyard] 9 as a house and in relation to the other [courtyard] 10 as a gate-house? 11 _ Both, 12 they replied, do not acquire the privileges of `erub. For, whatever you assume, [this must be the result]. If you regard either house as a gate-house, `an `erub deposited in a gate-house, exedra or balcony is not a valid `erub’; 13 and if you regard either as a proper house, the tenants would be carrying objects into a house which was not covered by their `erub. 14 But why should this ruling be different from that of Raba, 15 who laid down: If two persons said to a third party, `Go and prepare an `erub on our behalf’ and, after he had prepared an `erub for the one while it was yet day 16 and for the other at twilight, 16 the `erub of the man for whom it was prepared while it was yet day was eaten up at twilight while the `erub of the man for whom it was prepared at twilight was eaten up after dusk, both 17 acquire the privileges 18 of `erub? 19 _ What a comparison! 20 There 21 it is doubtful whether twilight is day-time or night-time, a point that cannot be definitely determined; 22 but, in this case, if a house is to be regarded as a proper house in relation to the former it must be so regarded in relation to the latter also, and if it is regarded in relation to the latter as a gate-house it must also be so regarded in relation to the former. 23

(16) Of the Sabbath eve.

(17) Since it is uncertain whether twilight is to be regarded as day or as night.

(18) In the former case it is assumed that twilight is night and, since the `erub was in existence before twilight when the Sabbath commenced, the `erub is valid. In the latter case it is assumed that twilight is still day and, since the `erub was prepared before twilight and was still in existence when the Sabbath commenced, the `erub is valid. Now why, it is asked, if twilight is here assumed to be day for one individual and night for another could not a house also be assumed to be a gate-house for one and a proper house for another?

(19) Shab. 34a.

My Comments

Notice Footnotes 16 - 18. These footnotes make quite clear just how the Jewish "religious authorities" push the facts around! For supporters of the Jewish explanation for Exodus 12:6 this is an absolutely devastating quotation!

When it suits them, then twilight belongs to the start of the day. And when it suits them, then twilight belongs to the end of the day!

Isn’t it obvious that when it suits them, then 3:00 p.m. represents the start of the evening. And at other times, when they have nothing to defend, then they will acknowledge that the evening is the period of dusk.

There are many hundreds of just such double-talk examples throughout the Talmud. At no stage do they ever accept God’s standards or God’s definitions! That becomes glaringly obvious when you examine the Talmud for yourself. Thus how God defines a day in Genesis chapter 1 never enters the discussion.

Keep in mind that this was written by Jews who understood Hebrew very well! Note that they do not base their understanding on any inherent linguistic features of the Hebrew words or expressions used!

They have simply "reasoned" regarding what seems expedient or suitable to them. And in so doing two men who each understood Hebrew as well as the other man, reach diametrically opposite conclusions ... one placing the period of twilight at the start of the day, and the other placing twilight at the end of the day!

Talmud - Mas. Eiruvin 105a

R. SIMEON SAID etc. What does R. Simeon refer to? 28 _ He refers to a previous statement 29 where we learned: If a man was overtaken by dusk even when only One cubit outside the Sabbath limit, he may not enter it. R. Simeon ruled: Even if he was fifteen cubits away he may enter, since the surveyors do not measure exactly on account of those who might err. 30 The first Tanna having thus ruled: `he may not enter’, R. Simeon said to him, `He may enter’. 31

My Comments

Note the comment "overtaken by dusk". So here dusk is the first part of the new day. As Genesis chapter 1 tells us "and the evening and the morning were the first day", etc.

Note also that they are arguing about "a couple of feet" (i.e. from half a yard to less than 10 yards) beyond "a Sabbath day’s journey". How would someone possibly be "overtaken by dusk" and be only two or three feet outside the limit of "a Sabbath day’s journey", a distance he could easily cover in less than five seconds? The whole argument is extremely silly. But here it suits them to have dusk as the first part of the new day.

Talmud - Mas. Pesachim 59a

Our Rabbis taught: The [evening] tamid is [sacrificed] before the Passover offering, the Passover offering is [sacrificed] before the [burning of the evening] incense, the incense before [the kindling of] the lights; let that in connection with which ba-‘ereb [at evening] and ben ha-‘arbayim [between the evenings] 1 are said be deferred after that in connection with which ba-‘ereb is not said, save ben ha-‘arbayim alone. 2 If so, let [the burning of] the incense [and the kindling of] the lights also take precedence over the Passover offering, [for] let that in connection with which ba-‘ereb and ben ha-‘arbayim are stated be deferred after that in connection with which nought save ben ha-‘arbayim alone is said? 3 _ There it is different, because Scripture expressed a limitation, `it’. For it was taught: [Aaron and his sons shall set it in order, to burn] from evening to morning: 4 furnish it with its [requisite] measure, so that it may burn from evening to morning. Another interpretation: you have no [other] service which is valid from evening to morning save this alone. What is the reason? Scripture saith, `Aaron and his sons shall set it in order, to burn from evening to morning’: `it’ [shall be] from evening to morning, but no other thing shall be from evening until morning; 5 and [the burning of] the incense is likened to [the kindling of] the lights. 6

(1) E.V.: `at dusk’.

(2) This is why the evening tamid is before the Passover sacrifice. For in connection with the latter both these expressions are used: Ex. XII, 6: and the whole assembly . . . shall kill it at dusk (ben ha-‘arbayim); Deut. XVI, 6: thou shalt sacrifice the passover-offering at even (ba-‘ereb).

(3) For only ben ha-‘arbayim is stated in connection with the former two, Ex. XXX, 7f: And Aaron shall burn thereon incense of sweet spices . . . And when Aaron lighteth the lamps at dusk (ben ha-‘arbayim), he shall burn it, `ben ha-‘arbayim’ applying to both the burning of the incense and the lighting of the lamps.

(4) Ex. XXVII, 21.

My Comments

Notice that the Talmud also translates the phrase "ben ha-‘arbayim" as "dusk". See footnotes (2) and (3).

Notice also from footnote 3 that "ben ha-arbayim" is the time when Aaron was to light the lamps. But that was not at 3:00 p.m.! That was only at dusk, after the sun had set.

So right here in footnote 3 the Talmud acknowledges that "ben ha-arbayim" refers to after sunset when the lamps were to be lit. This is another devastating quotation for those who accept the Jewish explanation for Exodus 12:6.

Talmud - Mas. Pesachim 61a


(7) Ex. XII, 6; lit., `between the evenings’.

My Comments

Here the biased Jewish reasoning is again clearly exposed!

They acknowledge that the Bible says "... and the whole assembly shall kill it at dusk"! They don’t deny that "at dusk" is a correct translation of the Hebrew term used, also acknowledging that it literally means "between the evenings". But they reason that this only means that one cannot kill the lamb "before midday"! They imply that it is okay to kill the Passover any time after midday.

If Jewish scholars themselves admit that "at dusk" is a correct translation of the expression used in the Bible, how can non-Hebrew-speaking members of the Church of God possibly claim that the Hebrew expression refers to "before dusk"? Are people in God’s Church also going to define "dusk" as "any time after 12:00 noon"?

This quotation makes very clear that the Jewish reasoning about "after 12:00 noon" has nothing whatsoever to do with the Hebrew expression "beyn ha-‘arbayim". They didn’t get this idea from the Hebrew text. No, they invented this idea of a late-14th Passover themselves, and then they asserted new meanings or applications for the Hebrew text.

Talmud - Mas. Pesachim 78b

For it was taught, R. Nathan said: How do we know that all Israel can discharge [their obligation] with one Passover-offering? Because it is said, and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at dusk: 11 does then the whole assembly kill? Surely only one kills! But it teaches that all Israel can discharge [their duty] with one Passover-offering. 12 Perhaps it is different there, because if some withdraw it is fit for the others, and if the others withdraw it is fit for these? 13 _ Rather it is this [dictum of] R. Nathan.

My Comments

Again, it is clearly stated that the Bible says that the congregation of Israel shall kill it at dusk!

I am trying to show you that we are not dealing with some isolated and unintentional or careless translation of the Hebrew! The Jewish scholars of the Talmud understand very well that the Bible states "at dusk"!

This has nothing to do with "how well we may be able to reconcile all kinds of statements in the Old Testament". It is simply a clear matter that the Bible refers to the Passover being killed at dusk, which the Jews acknowledge, but then twist to supposedly mean any time after 12:00 noon.

Understand that the Jews themselves in their writings don’t make a difference between "in the evening" and "at dusk" ... when it suits them, they apply both to mean any time after 12:00 o’clock noon.

Those of you who have accepted the Jewish reasoning that "the evening" can be a reference to the late afternoon ... do you also accept their reasoning that "dusk" can mean "any time after 12:00 o’clock noon"?

Surely we can see the specious reasoning that is employed in order to justify this Jewish tradition?

Note one other point in this quotation. Israel’s obligation to keep the Passover could, according to some teachers, be discharged by killing one single Passover animal for all the people. This is obviously contrary to the biblical instructions (Exodus 12:3 reads: "... they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers ..."). This idea is a blatant violation of Exodus 12:3.

Yes, I understand that there is only one real "Passover Lamb" (i.e. Jesus Christ); but the O.T. instructions are very explicit that each family was to kill a lamb. If Jewish religious leaders cannot agree on this, then they are totally unfit for being looked up to for spiritual understanding in any area of the Bible!

Talmud - Mas. Yoma 46a

Raba said: Who is it that does not care what flour he grinds? 6 Have we not learnt: On all other days? 7 [These were four]-This is a real difficulty. Now he [Bar Kappara] disputes with R. Huna who holds: The continual offering suspends the Sabbath only at its beginning, but not at its end. 8

(7) Which includes the Sabbath.

(8) This offering is sacrificed on the Sabbath day, notwithstanding the fact that the labour involved many kinds of work expressly forbidden on that day. But only at the beginning. i.e., if the beginning of that sacrifice has to be made on the Sabbath. Of the Friday dusk-offering, however, the limbs must be smoked before the Sabbath. Since it belongs to Friday it would be desecration to continue it on the Sabbath. (9) Cf. supra 6b.

My Comments

Footnote 8 shows that they understood that the "Friday dusk-offering" was really on the Sabbath. So they understood quite clearly that "the evening sacrifice" always took place at dusk, at the start of a new day. They understood that "evening sacrifice" refers to "dusk".

Whether references to the daily sacrifices place the expression "the morning sacrifice" before the expression "the evening sacrifice" or not has nothing to do with this! The Jewish understanding is quite clearly revealed in this footnote, namely, that the evening sacrifice took place after sunset!

I mention this because some people have wrongly tried to reason that the expression "the morning sacrifice and the evening sacrifice" implies that "the morning sacrifice" is at the start of the day, and "the evening sacrifice" is at the end of the day ... thereby supposedly making "the evening" a time before sunset.

This quotation is quite candid in showing that "the evening sacrifice" took place after sunset, when a new day had started! The "Monday dusk-offering" and the "Thursday dusk-offering" etc. were all performed after sunset, at the start of a new day. It is precisely for this reason that for the "Friday dusk-offering" they devised a custom to deviate from this norm ... on Fridays they started work on the "dusk-offering" before sunset, reasoning that this was better than doing the physical work involved after sunset on the Friday evening. They didn’t seem to understand 1 Samuel 15:22, which tells us: "to obey is better than sacrifice"! We need to obey God, rather than reasoning our way into doing something differently from the way God has instructed us to do it.

There is no justification in drawing any conclusions from the sequence of words in the expression "the morning sacrifice and the evening sacrifice", trying to imply that because of the sequence of words in this expression therefore "the evening" must be the few hours before the end of the day.

This quotation shows that only on a Friday evening did the Jews perform the "evening sacrifice" before sunset; on the other six evenings in the week this sacrifice was performed after sunset! So for six evenings every week they performed the sacrifice at the correct time that God had instructed; but for the Friday evening sacrifice they reasoned themselves into doing it at an earlier time than God had instructed. Their Friday evening sacrifice was thus not at the time that God had instructed.

Talmud - Mas. Yoma 46b

[consequently] in the case of the law of levitical impurity, since it is suspended at the beginning it is also suspended at the end, but with regard to the Sabbath, since it is not suspended at the beginning 1 it is also not suspended at the end. Nor is there any difficulty according to R. Hisda: He does not hold that the end is like the beginning: [consequently] with regard to the Sabbath, since it is inoperative when a community sacrifice is concerned, it is suspended also at the end of the sacrifice, whereas as regards the law of levitical uncleanness, since in the face of a community sacrifice it is only suspended, 2 it is suspended only at the beginning which is essential for [the obtainment of] atonement, but not at the end, which is not essential for atonement.

(1) The Friday dusk-offering must be offered before Sabbath since the blood of the offering would become useless, invalidated, if not sprinkled before sunset.

(2) Only `with difficulty’ but never imperative, every attempt must be made to prepare the sacrifice in levitical cleanness. V. Supra 7b.

My Comments

Notice footnote 1: they falsely reason that the Friday evening sacrifice, which they freely call "the Friday dusk-offering" (because the Hebrew uses the word for ‘evening’), should be made before sunset!

Note that this also once again shows that they understand that "dusk" starts at sunset!

Realize that for the other days of the week they understand that the "evening sacrifice" should be brought after sunset, at dusk! But for a Friday evening they use human reasoning to get to a different conclusion. I would call that "carnal reasoning"!

Talmud - Mas. Zevachim 11b

Hence he informs us [that it is not so]. But surely it is written, At dusk? 27 _ Said `Ulla the son of R. Ila’i: [That means,] Between two evenings. 28 Then [will you say] that the whole day is fit for the daily offering too, seeing that at dusk 29 is written in connection therewith? _ There, since it is written, `The one lamb thou shalt offer in the morning’, it follows that `at dusk’ is meant literally. Yet say, One [must be offered] in the morning, while the other [may be offered] the whole day?- [Scripture prescribes] one for the morning and not two for the morning. Again, will you say that the whole day is fit for [the lighting of] the lamps, since `at dusk’ is written in connection therewith? 30 _ There it is different, because it is written, [to burn] from evening to morning, 31 and it was taught: `From evening to morning’: Furnish it with its [requisite] measure, so that it may burn from evening to morning. Another interpretation: You have no other [service] valid from evening to morning save this alone. Now [will you say] in the case of incense too, where `at dusk’ is written, 32 that the whole day is fit [for the burning thereof]?-incense is different,

(28) This being the literal meaning of the Hebrew "beyn ha-arbayim". I.e., between the evening of the fourteenth (which he counts as until dawn) and the evening of the fifteenth, hence the whole day of the fourteenth.

My Comments

Footnote (28) very clearly and very openly exposes the Jewish justification for interpreting "between the evenings" to refer to the late afternoon!

They interpret the expression "between the two evenings" as covering the whole 24-hour day of the 14th day of Nisan. That allows them theoretically to choose any part of that 24-hour period for conducting their Passover. And so they choose between noon and sunset.

Here is the point for us to understand:

The Jews misunderstand what God means by the expression "between the two evenings"!

In Exodus 12:6 God uses this expression to pinpoint the period between sunset and total darkness (i.e. the period of dusk or twilight). This was correctly understood by all Israelites in the days of Moses, and down throughout the whole Old Testament period.

But in New Testament times the Jewish sages took this expression to be a reference to the entire 24-hour day. They lacked understanding. This footnote in the Talmud exposes this lack of understanding. And with their lack of correctly understanding the God-intended application of the expression "between the two evenings", they then chose a late-afternoon Passover.

Note the logic in that footnote!

The expression "the evening of the fourteenth" simply must refer to the start of the 14th! This is because "the evening of the 15th" cannot refer to the end of the 15th! In this context both statements must refer to the start of each day.

Further, when they reason that "the evening of the 14th" means "from evening until dawn" (i.e. supposedly the whole night), then "evening" must again refer to the start of the 14th, because the dawn must still be on the 14th, on the same day. So they know that "evening", the time when the Passover was to be killed, must be at the start of a day.

This footnote reveals that the real Jewish justification for a late-14th Passover does not interpret the expression "between the evenings" to refer to "between noon and sunset" or "between 3:00 p.m. and sunset"!!

This footnote shows that the Jews simply interpret the expression "between the evenings" to refer to the entire 24 hours of Nisan 14! And that is in spite of knowing that it really means "dusk".

Can you still defend the Jewish custom of a late 14th Passover?

They know what "evening" means; and they know what "dusk" means. And they know what the biblical instructions refer to. But they justify their traditions by trying to make the expression refer to the whole 24-hour day!

Consider that some of the Jewish sages even claimed it was okay to slaughter the Passover on the morning of the 14th! While this was not the general custom, we should recognize that they all used the same lines of reasoning, that "evening" and "dusk" can mean things other than "evening" and "dusk"! How honest is that?


Talmud - Mas. Zevachim 11b

(This quotation appears immediately before the previous one in the Talmud.)

GEMARA. R. Eleazar said in R. Oshaia’s name: Ben Bathyra declared fit a Passover-offering which one slaughtered in its own name on the morning of the fourteenth, because [he holds that] the whole day is its season. 23 Then what does AS IF [etc.] mean? 24 Because R.Joshua states AS IF, 25 he too says, AS IF. If so, instead of disputing where it is [slaughtered] under a different designation, let them dispute where it is [slaughtered] in its own name? 26

My Comments

We see that some of the Jewish sages claimed it was okay to slaughter the Passover on the morning of the 14th! As already stated above, we should recognize that they all used the same lines of reasoning, that "evening" and "dusk" can mean things other than "evening" and "dusk"!

Talmud - Mas. Zevachim 22b

The Elders of the south hold: One who is unclean through a corpse can also send his sacrifices. 17 But it is written, If any man of you . . . shall be unclean [by reason of a dead body] . . . yet he shall keep the Passover [unto the Lord] in the second month [on the fourteenth day at dusk they shall keep it]? 18 _ That is a recommendation. 19 But it is written, According to every man’s ...

My Comments

Again they freely acknowledge that the Bible states at dusk was to be the Passover.

The translators of the JPS were also quite familiar with the Talmud, the teachings of the Pharisees. And the use of the word "dusk" in the JPS is in full agreement with how the word has been used in the Talmud going back almost two millennia.

Talmud - Mas. Berachoth 26b

Our Rabbis taught: If a man erred and did not say the afternoon prayer on the eve of Sabbath, he says the [Sabbath] Tefillah 1 twice on the night of the Sabbath. If he erred and did not say the afternoon Tefillah on Sabbath, he says the [weekday] Tefillah twice on the outgoing of the Sabbath; .....

My Comments

The expression "eve of the Sabbath" is the time when the Friday afternoon prayer is to be said. Then it is still Friday afternoon. The expression "the night of the Sabbath" refers to Friday night, the first part of the Sabbath.

So in speaking about the Sabbath itself, the Jews don’t really use the expression "evening". The "eve of the Sabbath" is still on Friday before sunset. And then they refer to "the night of the Sabbath". But Saturday afternoon is NOT called "evening". Saturday afternoon is NEVER "the evening of the Sabbath".

The expression "eve of the Sabbath" is used to refer to the time on Friday before the Sabbath even starts. So here is the double standard.

1) For Nisan 14th they like to refer to the late afternoon of the 14th as "the evening of the 14th", when they want to kill the Passover.

2) But for the weekly Sabbaths they don’t call late Saturday afternoon "the evening of the Sabbath". No, in this case they call Friday afternoon "the eve of the Sabbath". That is actually only the last part of the 6th day of the week. In this case it is actually not at all a part of the Sabbath.

Notice also how they blur the distinction between "afternoon" and "evening". They talk about "the afternoon prayer", but it is something that is supposed to be said "on the eve of the Sabbath". This demonstrates that the designation "eve of Sabbath", which refers to Friday afternoon, is quite artificial, designed to allow them to interpret "evening" in whatever way may suit them in specific circumstances (i.e. when applied to the Passover).

Talmud - Mas. Pesachim 58a


(1) The daily burnt-offering: one was brought every morning and another every afternoon. Num. XXVIII, 4.

(2) The day being counted from sunrise to sunset, i.e., about six a.m. to six p.m.

(3) The sacrificial ceremonies took an hour.

(4) The Heb. is in the plural: on the eves of Passovers.

(5) When the eve of Passover falls on a Friday, time must be left for roasting the Passover offering before the Sabbath commences; hence the earlier hour of the tamid.

My Comments

Notice footnote (2) which shows that the daylight part of the day was counted "from sunrise to sunset". Thus at sunset the next day started. Then "the evening and the morning were ..." the next full day.

Here is the point: Once the morning has come around you cannot again have "an evening" for that particular day! For that day you already had an evening before you had the morning. Claiming that the late afternoon can also be a part of "the evening" implies that a 24-hour day can have two evenings, one at the start (after sunset till dark) and another at the end (between noon and sunset). These two "evenings" on the same 24-hour day are separated by more than 12 hours. That view is obviously flawed.

We have now considered 15 quotations from the Talmud.

The repeated use of the word "dusk" makes quite clear that for the Jews it is not really a matter of not understanding what the expression "between the evenings" refers to. They know that it refers to dusk but then, to justify themselves, they redefine the word "dusk" to mean any time after 12:00 o’clock noon. See Luke 10:29 for the same line of reasoning by a Pharisee during Christ’s ministry. Like that Pharisee, Judaism today says: "Yes, but what is meant by ‘dusk’?"

From the Talmud we have repeatedly seen two clear facts. They are:

1) The Talmud in numerous passages makes quite clear that dusk is the time when a new day starts.

2) The Talmud makes equally clear in numerous passages that according to the biblical instructions the Passover lambs were to be killed at dusk.

In recognition of this fact we saw three Jewish translations of the Old Testament which state that the Passover was to be killed at dusk or at twilight, periods that refer to after sunset.

When other Jewish translations then assert that the Passover was to be killed before sunset, then such claims are not based on anything in the Hebrew text. Such claims are based on reading their own unbiblical teaching into the biblical text.

Now they simply cannot have it both ways! They cannot, on the one hand, acknowledge that a new day starts with dusk and that the Passover was also to take place at dusk; and on the other hand then claim that, as far as the Passover is concerned, "dusk" must refer to the late afternoon, to the last few hours of the day! That line of reasoning is clear manipulation of definitions for words, to suit their own private interpretations.

When the Worldwide Church started to change its teaching about the Passover a couple of decades ago, one line of reasoning they presented was an attempt to change the start of the day from sunset to the start of darkness. This was an attempt to fit the Passover into the end of the 14th day. This effort was no different from the Jewish approach of defining evening as something that starts right after noon.

It always comes down to attempts to find ways around God’s clear instructions.

Let’s now consider something else.



The late afternoon of the 14th day is the period from around 3:00 p.m. to around 6:00 p.m. We have been examining the Jewish claim that originally the Passover lambs were supposedly killed between about 3:00 p.m. and sunset.

In addition to the evidence in the Talmud that we have just examined, there is another problem with a late-14th Passover. And that problem is this:

It is utterly absurd to claim that God Almighty would instruct anything to be started in the closing hours of a 24-hour day!

The whole idea underlying this teaching reveals a total lack of understanding the mind of God, how God plans and thinks and reasons!

God owns time! And God never waits until a day is almost finished, before requiring some symbolical actions to be performed in the closing 2-3 hours of that day. The Passover animal symbolized the sacrifice Jesus Christ brought on our behalf. Paul pointed out that Jesus Christ was our Passover (1 Corinthians 5:7). And there is no way that God would let over 75% of the 14th day pass before requiring the Passover animals to be killed.

When God commands things that have symbolical significance to be done, then God will instruct those things to be done at either one of two possible times:

1) At the start of a 24-hour day, meaning soon after sunset.

2) At the start of the daylight period of a day, meaning the early morning.

This approach is to avoid anything from detracting from whatever it is that God has commanded for that particular day. Nothing can come ahead of what God has in mind for a specific day.

When we consider the day that God selected for the Passover to be killed, then it is absurd to believe that you could spend the first part of that 14th day by: watching a movie or even going to a party at the start of the 14th (i.e. after sunset in the night of the 14th before the Passover was supposedly killed on the next late afternoon), then play a round of golf in the morning (the early daylight part of the 14th), then go fishing for a couple of hours around noon (i.e. from noon till 2:00 p.m.), before at around 3:00 p.m. starting to get ready to kill the Passover lamb at perhaps around 4:00 p.m. or 5:00 p.m.

That is the scenario for a late afternoon 14th Passover.

What are you going to do in the hours on the 14th before God’s instructions need to be carried out?

Understand that there is nothing sacred or dedicated or hallowed about any period of time on the 14th day before the Passover was to be brought. So if there was a period of the 14th day that preceded the bringing of the Passover, then that preceding period is not afforded any special status by God, and it is therefore available for movies and parties and playing golf and going fishing, etc.

The time before any of God’s instructions need to be carried out is totally at your own discretion. Those who advocate a late afternoon Passover don’t understand a very basic point about the mind of God.

When God selected the 14th day of the 1st month for the Passover, then for that Passover day God does not give us any discretionary time before the Passover is to be performed!

Discretionary time before the Passover is to be performed would totally distract and detract from the significance of that day. On the 14th day there cannot possibly be any discretionary time (for partying, golf, etc.) before the Passover is to be performed. Such discretionary time before the Passover would be an affront to Jesus Christ, implying that there are some things, like a party or a movie or golf, that could take priority over (i.e. come time-wise before) the sacrifice of Jesus Christ which would be brought later on that same 14th day. Those things could be done on the 13th day, yes. But not on any part of the 14th day before the Passover was due.

After the sacrifice of Jesus Christ has been applied to repentant people, yes. Then there can be discretionary time, because what God has commanded for the 14th day has been taken care of. But never before the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on our behalf has been brought can there be discretionary time on the 14th day.

Once the Passover has been performed at the start of the 14th day, then the significance of that day has been taken care of. And then there is no further symbolism that needs to be fulfilled on that day. So there is no symbolism attached to the daylight part of the 14th day that follows the Passover.

And so that daylight period of time after the Passover is indeed "discretionary time" for us to use as we desire, without significant restrictions, before the Holy Day starts at sunset, at the start of the 15th day (i.e. we can still shop, work, etc.). That daylight part of the 14th day does not carry any specific symbolism, and it is not "holy time". In practice, that is the time to take care of any final deleavening of our homes, and also for preparing the food for the Holy Day, before the Holy Day begins at sunset.

So if God does not want to give us any discretionary time before we carry out God’s instructions for the Passover (since NT times this involves taking the NT symbols for the Passover), then God has to place the instructions for the Passover to be carried out at the beginning of the 14th day.

And that is precisely what God has done.

People who claim that the original Passover was supposedly observed in the late afternoon of the 14th day have some serious questions to answer, in the total absence of any instructions from God regarding how we are to use the 20+ hours of the 14th that supposedly precede the time when the Passover lambs were to be killed.

Think this through for yourself. What’s the supposed reason for waiting until the last three hours of a day before carrying out an extremely important instruction from God? Would you expect God to give instructions for the last 2-3 hours at the end of a day? Or would you expect God to give instructions for the first 2-3 hours at the start of a day?

To understand this particular reason for why the original Passover could not possibly have been commanded for the late afternoon of the 14th day, you don’t really need to turn to any specific Scriptures. You just need to understand the mind of God.

Every other observance that God has commanded starts at sunset, at the beginning of the day in question!


1) God expects us to observe the Sabbath from sunset Friday evening on.

2) God expects us to observe every Holy Day from sunset at the start of the day onwards.

3) In Leviticus 23:32 God tells us: "... from even unto even shall you celebrate your Sabbath". This principle applies to every single observance in the year, be it the weekly Sabbath, or be it the annual Holy Days, or be it the "category #1 mow’ed day" which is the Passover (for an explanation of the "category #1 mow’ed day" see my article "All The Days We Are To Observe In The Year").

It is totally weird to reason that for the Passover God supposedly has no instructions that apply to the first 20+ hours of that day.

The Passover instructions start at sunset, just like every other instruction for the year starts at a sunset. And of course, that is precisely what the account in Exodus shows, that Israel was to observe the Passover between sunset and total darkness, i.e. in the period we call "dusk" or "twilight", at the very start of the day.

So don’t be fooled by people who claim that Israel observed the Passover in the late afternoon back in Egypt. That’s not the way God has ever given any instructions to His people, that 20+ hours of a day need to pass before we need to act on some instruction from God.

There is no way that God would give a late-in-the-day instruction for an event of the magnitude of the Passover.

The very thought is plain foolishness!

Concomitant with this point is the matter that none of God’s instructions straddle two consecutive days. That is not how the mind of God works! When an activity is started on one day, then it must also be finished on that day.

Killing the Passover lambs was by itself not a complete activity! Having killed the lambs, the Israelites couldn’t just walk away and say: tomorrow we’ll do the next part. The whole Passover ceremony consisted of two very distinct parts, one ceremony with two interdependent parts.

Part 1 was that the Israelites had to kill the Passover lambs.

Part 2 was that they then had to roast and eat the meat of those lambs.

Now the Jewish customs in New Testament times placed the killing of the lambs in the late hours of the 14th day. And they placed the roasting and eating in the early hours of the 15th day. This means that their Passover observance stretched over two different days.

That is not how God works!

Everything associated with the Passover (i.e. the killing, roasting, eating and disposal of any leftovers) has to take place on the same day, based on the way God counts days (i.e. from sunset to sunset). If any part of the slaughtered Passover animal was still left on the next morning, but still on the same 24-hour day, then it was to be "burned with fire" that day (see Exodus 12:10). God’s intention with this instruction in Exodus 12:10 is very obviously that the entire Passover proceedings are to be carried out and completed on one specific day, the 14th day.

And you shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remains of it until the morning you shall burn with fire." (Exodus 12:10)

The principle of this verse precludes the entire Passover proceedings being spread over two separate days, which is what the Jews used to do. Today, in our age, the Jews don’t actually do anything on the 14th day; today all their activities are on the 15th day. Today they have totally rejected the 14th day! And those are the people you want to look up to for when on the 14th day the Passover was killed?

When you see that one of the most important activities of the entire year (i.e. the Passover) is spread over two consecutive days, then that should ring alarm bells in your mind. That is not something God would do.

The information I have presented from the Talmud and from the Jewish Old Testament translations is objective proof that the Passover took place at the beginning part of the 14th day. This point here (regarding how God does things) is only presented as additional proof for those who understand how God works and thinks and reasons. For those who don’t understand the mind of God this is nothing more than my personal opinion, appended to the clear Talmudic evidence presented earlier.

Let’s look at some additional biblical proof.



Let’s look at the sequence of events that took place when Israel observed the Passover in Egypt. Here is what we have:

1) Exodus 12:6 = they were to kill the Passover lambs "between the two evenings", i.e. at dusk, as we have seen even in the Talmud.

2) Exodus 12:7 = they were to put the blood on their door posts.

3) Exodus 12:8 = they were to eat the roasted meat at night. It was dark.

4) Exodus 12:11 = they were to eat with a spirit of fear and trepidation because of what God would shortly do ... kill the Egyptian firstborn. "In haste" is a gross mistranslation, which I have explained in another article on my website.

5) Exodus 12:29 = at midnight the death angel killed the Egyptian firstborn.

6) Exodus 12:22 = none of the Israelites were to go out of their houses until the morning. That means don’t go out before dawn.

7) Exodus 12:31 = this instruction was for the people, but it did not apply to Moses and Aaron, who were called by Pharaoh at some point well after midnight, probably somewhere around 3:00 a.m. There were no tarred highways, no cars, no electric street-lights, no telephones. All they had was a full moon. Moses and Pharaoh weren’t exactly "neighbors". So Moses and Aaron walked to Pharaoh’s palace, several miles of walking at night. This took time.

8) After seeing Pharaoh one last time Moses then walked back several miles to the Israelites. By then it was early daylight, and Moses gathered the elders and instructed them to get the people ready to leave Egypt. With daylight they were allowed to come out of their houses.

9) Exodus 12:37 = there were 600,000 Israelite men, and an equal number of women, plus children, making a total of over 2,000,000 Israelites.

10) The elders communicated the instructions to all the people. By then it was early morning daylight, and all the people had come out of their houses.

11) Exodus 12:33 = during the early morning hours the Egyptian people implored the Israelites to leave, helping them in whatever way possible to leave quickly.

12) Exodus 12:35-36 = during those morning hours after the Passover the Israelites "spoiled the Egyptians", taking their gold and jewels and fine clothing, etc. This is what God had told Moses in advance, back in Exodus 3:22. Think of one million looters in a riot in New York or Los Angeles. How long would they take to get all the loot they wanted? A million people would take several hours to do their looting. The point is: spoiling the Egyptians took several hours for the Israelites to gather everything they wanted from the Egyptians around them. They were clearly doing this during daylight hours.

13) Exodus 12:37 = then they began to gather at Rameses. How long does it take to get 100,000 people into a football stadium? So how long would it take for 2,000,000 people with all their sheep and cattle and the goods they had taken from the Egyptians to gather at Rameses? How long does it take you to pack your car when you go to the Feast with your wife and three children?

If 250,000 people were coming to the gathering area in Rameses every hour, or over 4,000 people arriving every minute, it would still take eight hours for 2,000,000 people to get there.

You don’t gather together 2,000,000 people in 60 minutes, never mind all their domestic animals and small carts. Forget the Hollywood version of the exodus, where they have about 200 people milling around instead of 2,000,000.

The point is that it takes many hours for 2,000,000 people to do anything together. So in the late afternoon about 2,000,000 people had gathered at Rameses. They were ready for Moses to give the instructions.

14) Deuteronomy 16:1 = As the sun goes down Moses gives the instruction to move forward, showing them which way to go. It takes well over two hours for the last of those 2,000,000 people to move over the starting line, as it were. That would be more than 16,000 people with their sheep and goats going over the starting line every single minute for two full hours. It was well into the night before the last Israelites crossed the starting line for leaving Egypt. And so we are told that they left Egypt "by night".

15) Exodus 12:37 again = The 2,000,000 people started the approximately eight mile walk from Rameses to Succoth. They were walking at night by the full moon.

16) To summarize, here are all the things that had happened since the Passover had been killed ‘between the evenings": The Israelites had taken some time to roast the animals, eat them, stay in their houses as the death angel passed over, stay in their houses until the morning, then they had taken hours to spoil the Egyptians, taken more hours to pack their belongings, walked with 2,000,000 other people to the gathering area, and once it was again night they had started walking the eight miles from Rameses to Succoth.

So what day was it when they started to leave from Rameses?

If you believe in a late-14th day Passover, with eating the Passover in the night hours of the 15th, then the Israelites could not possibly have started their walk from Rameses to Succoth before the night that started the 16th day. To be quite clear: with this scenario the Israelites would have been eating their Passover lambs during the night of the 15th, which is what religious Jews do today (i.e. eat their Passover on the 15th).

But back in Egypt that was not possible because the Bible tells us that they started to walk out of Egypt at night on the 15th day. "At night" refers to the starting hours of the 15th day. As Numbers 33:3 tells us:

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. (Numbers 33:3)

The expression "on the morrow after" is a translation of the Hebrew words "min mochorath". This Hebrew expression does not mean "on the morning after". It really means "on the day after" or "on the following day".

"The morning after" the Passover has been observed is still the 14th day, because the 14th day will only end at sunset that evening. But "the day after" the Passover has been observed is the 15th day, whether it is dusk or night or morning or afternoon. If it is "the day" after the Passover, then it can only be the 15th day. That is what the Hebrew text here tells us. They could not have walked out on the morning after the Passover. They walked out on "the day after the Passover".

Consider Exodus 12:22 again.

And ye shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the bason, and strike the lintel and the two side posts with the blood that is in the bason; and none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning (Hebrew word is "boqer"). (Exodus 12:22)

Now some Jewish scholars may define "boqer" as starting after midnight. But the Bible does not support that contrived definition. King David used the word ‘boqer" shortly before his death, when he wrote:

And he shall be as the light of the morning ("boqer"), when the sun rises, even a morning ("boqer") without clouds; as the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain. (2 Samuel 23:4)

What is the Bible definition of "boqer"? It is "when the sun rises". How plain is that? The claim that "boqer" starts at midnight is a perversion of the truth. King David provided the obvious meaning for "boqer". The added expression "a boqer without clouds" shows that the obvious meaning refers to a beautiful clear sky at sunrise.

Anyone who claims "boqer" starts at midnight is not being truthful. This means that belief in a late-14th Passover requires one to believe a lie.

To get back to Numbers 33:3, this Scripture makes clear that the night the Israelites started walking away from Rameses and towards Succoth was the early part of the 15th day. It was the time we usually identify as "the night to be much observed".

So people who believe in a late-14th day Passover have the people of Israel eating their Passover lambs at the very time that Numbers 33:3 tells us the people were in fact starting to walk out of Egypt.

All the events we listed above can only be fitted into the picture if Israel observed the Passover at the start of the 14th day, the period called dusk or twilight. And that is what we have also already gathered from the Talmud quotations we looked at.

If the Israelites supposedly ate the Passover lambs in the early part of the 15th day, then they could not possibly have stayed in their houses till daylight, and after that then also started to leave Egypt "by night" on the 15th day. They could not eat the Passover and start to walk out of Egypt in the same night.

The sequence of events, as recorded in the Old Testament, is only possible for a Passover that was killed and eaten before midnight on the 14th day.

Now let’s look at the name God has given this event.



The name "Passover" has nothing to do with the lamb! The name is not connected to the lamb. Rather, this name describes something that God was going to do. As God told Moses:

"... and when I see the blood, I will pass over you ..." (Exodus 12:13)

So the Passover is named directly for something that God was going to do.

It is downright foolish to claim that God would call the 14th "the Passover" when God all along only intended to "pass over" the Israelites on the 15th! If God REALLY was only going to "pass over" the Israelites on the 15th, then God would have called the 15th "the Passover", as the Jews do today.

But in the Bible God repeatedly refers to the 14th as "the Passover". And God does not name one day after an event that He Himself was only going to perform on a different day. That wouldn’t make sense.

Here are some Scriptures where it is called "the LORD’s Passover, thereby identifying the time when "the LORD" passed over the houses of the Israelites.

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 trepidation: it is the LORD’S Passover. (Exodus 12:11)

That ye shall say, It is the sacrifice of the LORD’S Passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he smote the Egyptians, and delivered our houses. And the people bowed the head and worshipped. (Exodus 12:27)

In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD’S Passover. (Leviticus 23:5)

The 14th day is called "the LORD’s Passover" because that was the day when "the LORD" passed over the Israelites. The 15th day cannot possibly be "the LORD’s Passover", because on that day "the LORD" didn’t pass over anyone.



It is well-known and clearly documented in the gospel accounts that Jesus Christ ate the Passover about 24 hours before the Pharisees were going to eat their Passover; Christ ate it in the early hours of the 14th, and the Pharisees ate theirs in the early hours of the 15th.

So people who believe that the Passover in Egypt was performed towards the end of the 14th day, will often say something like: "well, Jesus Christ didn’t actually eat a real Passover with His apostles." And then they mention whatever they think Jesus Christ ate. And some will claim that it wasn’t a real Passover because Christ didn’t observe all the things the Jews have outlined for the Passover Seder. ("Seder" means "arrangement" or "order".)

The problem with this is that such people are calling Jesus Christ a liar!

Here are ten statements from the gospel accounts that make clear that what Jesus Christ ate was a real Passover meal!

Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, Where will You that we prepare for You to eat the Passover? (Matthew 26:17)

And he said, Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Master says, My time is at hand; I will keep the Passover at your house with My disciples. (Matthew 26:18)

And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them; and they made ready the Passover. (Matthew 26:19)

And the first day of unleavened bread, when they killed the Passover, His disciples said unto Him, Where will You that we go and prepare that You may eat the Passover? (Mark 14:12)

And wheresoever he shall go in, say you to the goodman of the house, The Master says, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the Passover with My disciples? (Mark 14:14)

And His disciples went forth, and came into the city, and found as He had said unto them: and they made ready the Passover. (Mark 14:16)

And He sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare us the Passover, that we may eat. (Luke 22:8)

And you shall say unto the goodman of the house, The Master says to you, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the Passover with My disciples? (Luke 22:11)

And they went, and found as He had said unto them: and they made ready the Passover. (Luke 22:13)

And He said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer: (Luke 22:15)

Jesus Christ Himself believed that He was going to eat a real Passover! And His disciples also believed that Christ was going to eat a real Passover!

And then along come a bunch of ninnyhammers and claim that it couldn’t have been a real Passover because it didn’t agree with the rules the Pharisees had established for the Passover observance. So, they claim, the Pharisees are right and Jesus Christ was lying, because He obviously would have known better when He claimed to eat a real Passover meal.

Is that what you believe? When Jesus Christ said that He ate a Passover meal, do you believe Jesus Christ or not?

Anyone who says that Jesus Christ did not eat a real Old Testament Passover, before He changed the emblems to the bread and the wine, is calling Jesus Christ a liar! You can’t just do away with the above ten verses.

It should be easy to see that "when the evening was come" (Matthew 26:20) was the time just after sunset, at the beginning of the 14th day. That was when Jesus Christ observed "a real Passover". The Pharisees had their Passover lambs killed the following afternoon, to then only eat their Passover meal after sunset, on the 15th day. It was the Pharisees who didn’t eat a real Passover, because they didn’t follow God’s instructions. And it is the Jewish people today who don’t eat a real Passover, because they don’t accept the day God has appointed.

And then today we have these ninnyhammers who present a lot of really sweet homespun analogies as to why the late afternoon of the 14th day supposedly perfectly fits the Passover symbolism.

They forget that God nowhere says that Jesus Christ would have to die at the very moment when some Pharisees decided that the late afternoon, towards the end of the 14th day, was the time to kill their Passover lambs, in clear violation to God’s plain instructions in Exodus 12.

Here is the point to understand:

God planned that Jesus Christ would do two things on that Passover day: 1) He would observe the Passover Himself; and 2) later on that same day He would also die for mankind’s sins.

Obviously, Jesus Christ could only do one of those two things at the specific time when the lambs were to be killed in the Old Testament. He couldn’t do both at the same time, no matter how many interesting parallels or analogies we might find for each of those two things.

Specifically, it would have been impossible for Jesus Christ to eat a Passover meal, if that meal had back in Egypt been instituted towards the end of the 14th day ... that would not have left any time for Him to die on the 14th day.

So if it was God’s intention from the beginning, that Jesus Christ would eat a Passover Himself for the last time, and after eating the Passover meal He would then change the Passover emblems to the bread and wine, then God had to plan back in Egypt already to institute the Passover at the beginning of the 14th day. That was the only way to leave enough time for Jesus Christ to then also die before the end of the 14th day.

And that covers all the points I wanted to mention.

All the evidence we have looked at in this article makes clear that God chose to institute the Passover at the time when Christ would be able to also observe it Himself ... and still die later on that same day. The Bible simply does not make any provisions for a "late-14th Passover" that happens to "spill over" into the 15th day. In Egypt God instructed Israel to observe the Passover at dusk, at the very start of the 14th day of the first month.

Frank W. Nelte