Background Bible Study

The Passover
Ancient Manners and Customs, Daily Life, Cultures, Bible Lands

The Passover
Painting of an Israelite Applying the Blood on Passover © Bible History Online

Quick Overview of the Passover

The Passover was an event in history when the LORD smote the Egyptians and "passed over" the houses of the Hebrews because they had applied the blood of a lamb on their doors on the evening before and prepared for their exodus (departure) from Egypt. Moses and Aaron had warned Pharaoh that the LORD would destroy the first-born of every house in the land of Egypt, but the Hebrews would be delivered. Pharaoh would not listen and would not let the Hebrews go. God prepared the Hebrews ahead of time and instructed them to choose an unblemished lamb one year old from their flocks on the 10th day of the month (Nissan) and sacrifice it on the 14th day. Then they were to roast the flesh of the lamb and eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. They were to eat it with their loins girded, sandals on their feet, and staff in hand being ready for speedy departure. They were commanded to take the hyssop plant and dip it in a bowl of the lambs blood and sprinkle it on the door-posts and lintels of their home. When the LORD goes through the land of Egypt to strike the firstborn of each house, when he sees the blood on the door of the Hebrew houses he will "pass over" them and spare their first born. At midnight the LORD came and slew all the firstborn in the land of Egypt as he swore he would, from the house of Pharaoh to the maidservant at the mill, and even of the animals. When Pharaoh, his attendants, and all the people rose in the night there was a loud lamentation throughout the land of Egypt and there was not a house of the Egyptians where there was not someone dead. Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron and said "Get out from among my people, both you and the Hebrews and go worship the LORD and also take your flocks and herds and be gone, and pray for me also." The Egyptians also told the Hebrews to "please go, lest we all die." On the eve of departure from Egypt the LORD instituted Nissan 14, as the LORD's Passover, and this feast was to become the new beginning of the year for the Hebrews and they were to remember it and celebrate the Passover every year throughout all their generations. The descendants of Abraham would now be one nation under the LORD, and the Passover would commemorate this event.

The Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread has continued among the Jews every year throughout history and even to this day. To believers in Christ the Passover is a foreshadowing of the blood of Jesus, and that eternal death would "Pass over" anyone who has applied the blood of Christ in their own heart. Christians remember the blood of Jesus in the partaking of the Lord's supper.

Passover in the Bible

Exodus 12:13 "and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt."

The Passover is when the LORD judged Egypt and her gods and "passed over" the houses of the Hebrews because of the blood of an unblemished lamb. The event is revealed in in Exodus 12 and the mighty miracles of the God of the Hebrews delivering them from bondage in Egypt, the most powerful kingdom in all the world at that time. The LORD revealed this event 400 years earlier to Abraham, the first Hebrew:

Genesis 15:13-14 - And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance. 

Historical Background of the Passover

Map of the Passover in the Land of Egypt
Map of the Land of Egypt During the First Passover

The Hebrews were dwelling in Goshen, the best land in all of Egypt. This was all orchestrated by the LORD in all the events surrounding the life of Joseph. He was betrayed by his brothers, and sold into slavery in the land of Egypt, and eventually was called in to interpret a dream for Pharaoh. Joseph interpreted the dream and was rewarded by Pharaoh and made governor of all Egypt. Joseph eventually revealed himself to his brothers and because of a severe famine the Hebrews were all brought to Egypt to live in Goshen, the exact location is unknown. After a period of time a cruel Pharaoh arose who did not know Joseph and despised the Hebrews and saw them as a threat. Pharaoh gave the order that all male children of the Hebrews were to be slain.

Exodus 1:22 - And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, Every son that is born ye shall cast into the river, and every daughter ye shall save alive. 

During this time Moses was born from Hebrew slaves. The mother of Moses attempted to save his life and placed him in a basket along the Nile River. Moses was found by the Pharaoh's daughter and she adopted him and raised him as a prince of Egypt. Later Moses saw an Egyptian taskmaster who was beating a Hebrew slave and killed him, and from fear of being discovered Moses fled Egypt and dwelt in the land of Midian. He married Zipporah, the daughter of Jethro and became his shepherd. After a period of time Moses saw the burning bush and God revealed to him that he would be the deliverer of Israel. Moses returned to Egypt with his brother Aaron as his spokesman, and he demanded that Pharaoh let the Hebrew slaves go free but Pharaoh refused to let the Hebrews go free. After a series of 10 devastating plagues Pharaoh finally released the Hebrews, because the last plague was so gruesome. At midnight on the 14th day of the month the LORD smote the firstborn in every house where there was not the blood of a lamb on the lintel and doorposts. Every house from the least to the greatest, only the Hebrews escaped because God saw the blood as he commanded.

Exodus 12:13 "and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt."

Pharaoh sent for Moses and Aaron and told them to leave the land and also take their flocks and herds with them. Pharaoh freed the Hebrews and even asked for Moses and Aaron to bless him also.

Exodus 12:31-32 - And he called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, Rise up, [and] get you forth from among my people, both ye and the children of Israel; and go, serve the LORD, as ye have said. Also take your flocks and your herds, as ye have said, and be gone; and bless me also. 

The Egyptians were glad to see the Hebrews leave them quickly and the Hebrews obeyed Moses and asked to borrow from them gold and silver jewels and fine clothes and by doing this they plundered the Egyptians and the Hebrews left with great substance. The Bible says there were 600,000 men not including women and children.

The Hebrews left Egypt in haste and not even their dough had time to leaven.

God instituted the Passover as a national event and the beginning of months. This was indeed the birth of the Nation of Israel and the feast of the Passover was to be remembered each year through all their generations. The ceremony remembers that death "passed over" the Hebrews because of the blood of the lamb. Jesus is the true passover and eternal death passes over the believer in Jesus who is the Lamb of God.

Passover Topics

The Paschal Lamb. The paschal lamb was the unblemished lamb which was slain and received the blow that sinful man deserved. A type of Christ, the Lamb of God, slain from the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:8). Just as the LORD passed over the houses of the Hebrews, which had the blood of the paschal lamb on the lintel and doorposts of their house, so the wrath of God passes over those whose souls are sprinkled with the blood of Christ. I Cor. 5:7, Heb. 12:24.

Eating the Paschal Lamb - It was a custom in the ancient world that eating a meal as a guest put that person under the protection of the host. So it was with the feasts of ancient Israel. God was always the host in the feasts of ancient Israel.

Hyssop - Cleansing the sin
Roasted Lamb - The fire of God's justice
Bitter Herbs - Remembering the bondage in Egypt
Unleavened Bread - Spiritual purity

The Feast of Unleavened Bread. The next day after the Passover celebration (Nissan 15) was the Feast of Unleavened Bread which lasted seven days, from the fifteenth to the twenty first of the month of Nissan no leaven was to be eaten. The focus was on purifying from sin. The first day and the last day were days of rest and worship of the LORD.

The Passover Observance Throughout History

Commanded by God at the Exodus. On the 10th of Nissan the head of each family would chose a 1 year old male lamb without blemish from the sheep or the goats. Then on the 14th of Nissan the lamb was slain at evening or specifically "between the two evenings". The male of the household was to dip a bunch of hyssop into a basin of blood and sprinkle or literally "strike" it upon the doorposts and lintel of the house where the lamb was to be eaten. The lamb was roasted and not a bone was to be broken and the household would eat the meal, slaves and strangers were permitted if they were circumcised. Neighbors who had small families could join together. They were to eat the meal with unleavened bread and bitter herbs, with their loins girded and shoes on their feet with their staff in their hands ready for a quick departure out of Egypt. Any remaining portions of the lamb were to be burned with fire and not taken out of the house. (Ex 12).

Commanded by God After the Exodus. All males were to appear before the LORD with the "first of their first fruits" (Ex 23:14-19). The first sheaf of the harvest was to be offered on the morning after the Sabbath (Lev 23:4-14). Whoever was prevented from keeping the Passover on Nissan 14 could observe it on the 14th of the next month (Num 9:6-14). Special sacrifices were to be offered every day of the festival (Num 28:16-25). The paschal lamb was to be slain at the sanctuary and the blood sprinkled on the altar instead of the doorposts and lintel (Deut 19:1-8).

Recorded Observances* in the Old Testament:
(1) On the evening of the Exodus from Egypt (Ex 12:28).
(2) The second year after the Exodus (Num 9:1-5).
(3) When they entered the land of Canaan (Ex 13:5; Josh 5:10).
(4) When Solomon was building the House of God (2 Chr 8:13).
(5) When Hezekiah brought revival (2 Chr 30:15).
(6) When Josiah brought revival (2 Ki 23:21; 2 Chr 35:1-19).
(7) While Dedicating the Second Temple (Ezra 6:19-22)
*The Passover was celebrated each year and these were recorded in the Bible

The Passover a Type of Jesus Christ

1 Corinthians 5:7 - "Christ our passover is sacrificed for us" 

The Passover was a type of Jesus, for example:
The Passover Lamb had to be slain (Ex 12:6)...Jesus Christ and him crucified (1 Cor 2:2)
The Passover Lamb was without blemish (Ex 12:5)...Christ was the lamb without blemish or spot (1 Pet 1:19)
The Passover Lamb gave its shed blood (Ex 12:7)... Jesus said No one takes my life but I lay it down of myself (Jn 1:18)
The Passover Lamb's bones were not to be broken (Ex 12:46)...A bone in him shall not be broken (Jn 19:36)
Without the Passover Lamb the firstborn would die (Ex 12:29)...The wages of sin is death (Rom 6:23)
The ones redeemed by the Passover Lamb were sanctified to the LORD (Ex 13:2)...You are not your own but were bought with a price (1 Cor 6:19-20)

The Passover and Archaeology

The Passover PapyrusThe Passover Papyrus is a letter from among the elephantine papyri that dates back to the time of Darius II, in 419 BC. In 1907 archaeologists discovered in Aswan papyrus fragments of a letter that bears the royal authority of the Persian Empire (note: Arsames was a Satrap of the Persian Empire who governed Egypt). In the letter there was a concern regarding a festival in the month of Nissan that was celebrated between the 14th and the 21st days of the month where unleavened bread was prohibited. He was no doubt referring to the Passover but the text was too faded to see that portion. This of course is clear archaeological evidence for the Passover among a Jewish colony at elephantine island on the Nile River (where a group of Jewish mercenaries dwelt from 600-380 BC) and far from Jerusalem where the Passover was to be celebrated.

The papyri dates to the fifth century BC, the time of Ezra. The letter is also important to archaeologists because it reveals the accuracy of the Bible regarding Persian policy, tolerating various religious beliefs among its satrapies (provinces). The text that has survived is clearly legible and the translation reads as follows:

"To my brethren Yedojniah and his colleagues the Jewish garrison, your brother Hananiah. The welfare of my brethren may the gods seek ... Now this year, the fifth year of King Darius, an order was sent from the king to Arsames, saying, 'Jewish garrison.' Now therefore do you count fourteen days of the month Nisan and keep . . ., and from the fifteenth day until the twenty-first day of Nisan ... Be ritually clean and take heed. Do no work . . . . nor drink . . ., and anything whatever in which there is leaven do not eat . . . from sunset until the twenty-first day of Nisan do not bring it into your houses, but seal it up between these days. ... king. To my brethren Yedoniah and his colleagues the Jewish garrison, your brother Hananiah." (Read Transcription)

The Dream Stele

The Dream Stela of Thutmose IV (son of Amenhotep II) contains an inscription suggesting that Thutmose IV was not the next in line to be Pharaoh but another son who was crown prince and not expected to ascend to the throne and become Pharaoh. This evidence is not conclusive but a possibility that Thutmose IV had an older brother who was the firstborn of his father Amenhotep II.

Exodus 12:29 - And it came to pass, that at midnight the LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that [was] in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle. 


Identity of the Pharaoh of the Exodus

There are two main opinions among scholars as to who the Pharaoh was during the time of the Exodus in Egypt by the Hebrews. Amenhotep II (1427-1392 B.C.), and Rameses II (1279 - 1213 B.C.). Amenhotep II was also known as Amenophis II and he was the son of Thutmose III. If Moses led the children of Israel out of Egypt during the reign of Amenophis II, then the main oppressor of Israel would have been his father Thutmose III who was also the greatest conqueror in Egyptian history. His sister Queen Hatshepsut would have rescued Moses and brought him up. If the Exodus from Egypt happened during the reign of Rameses II, then his father Seti I would have been the main oppressor of Israel. Most Biblical scholars have ruled out Ramesses II because he reigned from 1279-1213 and the Israel Stele reveals that the Hebrews were out from Egypt by the time of his reign. The Bible also gives us the approximate date of the Exodus in 1 Kings 6:1:

1 Kings 6:1 "And it came to pass in the 480th year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the 4th year of Solomon's reign over Israel, in the month Zif, which [is] the second month, that he began to build the house of the LORD."

966 B.C. - Solomon's 4th Year
Go back 480 Years
1445 B.C - Exodus took place
1445 B.C. - Would have been the 3rd year of Amenhotep II
(Dates are approximate)

For More Evidence see Pharaoh of the Exodus

Date of the Passover

The LORD did a great miracle by using Joseph and his situation which led him to becoming governor over all the land of Egypt. It was through Joseph that God brought the Hebrews down to Egypt. Some say that in this whole situation God was preparing a nation in the womb of Egypt. The Hebrews became slaves around 1580 BC. To give a chronological reference Abraham was dwelling in Canaan around 1900 BC. Joseph was made governor over Egypt around 1716 BC. He died around 1636 BC (80 years later) and Moses was born around 1571 BC (65 years later) and the Hebrews left Egypt around 1491 BC when Moses was 80 years old.

The Passover Account in the Bible

Exodus 12:1-51
1 - And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, 
2 - This month [shall be] unto you the beginning of months: it [shall be] the first month of the year to you. 
3 - 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: 
4 - And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take [it] according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb. 
5 - Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take [it] out from the sheep, or from the goats: 
6 - 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. 
7 - 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. 
8 - And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; [and] with bitter [herbs] they shall eat it. 
9 - 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. 
10 - 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. 
11 - 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] the LORD'S passover. 
12 - 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] the LORD.
13 - And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye [are]: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy [you], when I smite the land of Egypt. 
14 - And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever. 
15 - Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses: for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel. 
16 - And in the first day [there shall be] an holy convocation, and in the seventh day there shall be an holy convocation to you; no manner of work shall be done in them, save [that] which every man must eat, that only may be done of you. 
17 - And ye shall observe [the feast of] unleavened bread; for in this selfsame day have I brought your armies out of the land of Egypt: therefore shall ye observe this day in your generations by an ordinance for ever. 
18 - In the first [month], on the fourteenth day of the month at even, ye shall eat unleavened bread, until the one and twentieth day of the month at even. 
19 - Seven days shall there be no leaven found in your houses: for whosoever eateth that which is leavened, even that soul shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he be a stranger, or born in the land. 
20 - Ye shall eat nothing leavened; in all your habitations shall ye eat unleavened bread. 
21 - Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel, and said unto them, Draw out and take you a lamb according to your families, and kill the passover. 
22 - 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. 
23 - For the LORD will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he seeth the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the LORD will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite [you]. 
24 - And ye shall observe this thing for an ordinance to thee and to thy sons for ever. 
25 - And it shall come to pass, when ye be come to the land which the LORD will give you, according as he hath promised, that ye shall keep this service. 
26 - And it shall come to pass, when your children shall say unto you, What mean ye by this service? 
27 - 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. 
28 - And the children of Israel went away, and did as the LORD had commanded Moses and Aaron, so did they. 
29 - And it came to pass, that at midnight the LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that [was] in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle. 
30 - 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. 
31 - And he called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, Rise up, [and] get you forth from among my people, both ye and the children of Israel; and go, serve the LORD, as ye have said. 
32 - Also take your flocks and your herds, as ye have said, and be gone; and bless me also. 
33 - 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]. 
34 - And the people took their dough before it was leavened, their kneadingtroughs being bound up in their clothes upon their shoulders. 
35 - And the children of Israel did according to the word of Moses; and they borrowed of the Egyptians jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment: 
36 - And the LORD gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they lent unto them [such things as they required]. And they spoiled the Egyptians. 
37 - And the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand on foot [that were] men, beside children. 
38 - And a mixed multitude went up also with them; and flocks, and herds, [even] very much cattle. 
39 - And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough which they brought forth out of Egypt, for it was not leavened; because they were thrust out of Egypt, and could not tarry, neither had they prepared for themselves any victual. 
40 - Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, [was] four hundred and thirty years. 
41 - And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt. 
42 - It [is] a night to be much observed unto the LORD for bringing them out from the land of Egypt: this [is] that night of the LORD to be observed of all the children of Israel in their generations. 
43 - And the LORD said unto Moses and Aaron, This [is] the ordinance of the passover: There shall no stranger eat thereof: 
44 - But every man's servant that is bought for money, when thou hast circumcised him, then shall he eat thereof. 
45 - A foreigner and an hired servant shall not eat thereof. 
46 - In one house shall it be eaten; thou shalt not carry forth ought of the flesh abroad out of the house; neither shall ye break a bone thereof. 
47 - All the congregation of Israel shall keep it. 
48 - And when a stranger shall sojourn with thee, and will keep the passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as one that is born in the land: for no uncircumcised person shall eat thereof. 
49 - One law shall be to him that is homeborn, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you. 
50 - Thus did all the children of Israel; as the LORD commanded Moses and Aaron, so did they. 
51 - And it came to pass the selfsame day, [that] the LORD did bring the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt by their armies.


Bible Verses Mentioning Passover

Deuteronomy 16:1 - Observe the month of Abib, and keep the passover unto the LORD thy God: for in the month of Abib the LORD thy God brought thee forth out of Egypt by night. 

2 Kings 23:22 - Surely there was not holden such a passover from the days of the judges that judged Israel, nor in all the days of the kings of Israel, nor of the kings of Judah; 

2 Chronicles 35:8 - And his princes gave willingly unto the people, to the priests, and to the Levites: Hilkiah and Zechariah and Jehiel, rulers of the house of God, gave unto the priests for the passover offerings two thousand and six hundred [small cattle], and three hundred oxen. 

John 18:28 - Then led they Jesus from Caiaphas unto the hall of judgment: and it was early; and they themselves went not into the judgment hall, lest they should be defiled; but that they might eat the passover. 

Deuteronomy 16:2 - Thou shalt therefore sacrifice the passover unto the LORD thy God, of the flock and the herd, in the place which the LORD shall choose to place his name there. 

John 13:1 - Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end. 

Deuteronomy 16:6 - But at the place which the LORD thy God shall choose to place his name in, there thou shalt sacrifice the passover at even, at the going down of the sun, at the season that thou camest forth out of Egypt. 

2 Chronicles 30:1 - And Hezekiah sent to all Israel and Judah, and wrote letters also to Ephraim and Manasseh, that they should come to the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, to keep the passover unto the LORD God of Israel. 

2 Chronicles 35:9 - Conaniah also, and Shemaiah and Nethaneel, his brethren, and Hashabiah and Jeiel and Jozabad, chief of the Levites, gave unto the Levites for passover offerings five thousand [small cattle], and five hundred oxen. 

Exodus 12:27 - 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. 

2 Chronicles 35:7 - And Josiah gave to the people, of the flock, lambs and kids, all for the passover offerings, for all that were present, to the number of thirty thousand, and three thousand bullocks: these [were] of the king's substance. 

2 Chronicles 30:5 - So they established a decree to make proclamation throughout all Israel, from Beersheba even to Dan, that they should come to keep the passover unto the LORD God of Israel at Jerusalem: for they had not done [it] of a long [time in such sort] as it was written. 

John 18:39 - But ye have a custom, that I should release unto you one at the passover: will ye therefore that I release unto you the King of the Jews? 

Numbers 33:3 - 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. 

2 Chronicles 35:16 - So all the service of the LORD was prepared the same day, to keep the passover, and to offer burnt offerings upon the altar of the LORD, according to the commandment of king Josiah. 

Exodus 34:25 - Thou shalt not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leaven; neither shall the sacrifice of the feast of the passover be left unto the morning. 

Ezra 6:20 - For the priests and the Levites were purified together, all of them [were] pure, and killed the passover for all the children of the captivity, and for their brethren the priests, and for themselves. 

John 12:1 - Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead. 

Joshua 5:11 - And they did eat of the old corn of the land on the morrow after the passover, unleavened cakes, and parched [corn] in the selfsame day. 

Ezekiel 45:21 - In the first [month], in the fourteenth day of the month, ye shall have the passover, a feast of seven days; unleavened bread shall be eaten. 

2 Chronicles 30:18 - For a multitude of the people, [even] many of Ephraim, and Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun, had not cleansed themselves, yet did they eat the passover otherwise than it was written. But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, The good LORD pardon every one 

2 Chronicles 30:15 - Then they killed the passover on the fourteenth [day] of the second month: and the priests and the Levites were ashamed, and sanctified themselves, and brought in the burnt offerings into the house of the LORD. 

Exodus 12:48 - And when a stranger shall sojourn with thee, and will keep the passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as one that is born in the land: for no uncircumcised person shall eat thereof. 

Numbers 9:10 - Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If any man of you or of your posterity shall be unclean by reason of a dead body, or [be] in a journey afar off, yet he shall keep the passover unto the LORD. 

Numbers 9:13 - But the man that [is] clean, and is not in a journey, and forbeareth to keep the passover, even the same soul shall be cut off from among his people: because he brought not the offering of the LORD in his appointed season, that man shall bear his sin. 

2 Chronicles 35:13 - And they roasted the passover with fire according to the ordinance: but the [other] holy [offerings] sod they in pots, and in caldrons, and in pans, and divided [them] speedily among all the people. 

Mark 14:1 - After two days was [the feast of] the passover, and of unleavened bread: and the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take him by craft, and put [him] to death. 

Numbers 9:5 - And they kept the passover on the fourteenth day of the first month at even in the wilderness of Sinai: according to all that the LORD commanded Moses, so did the children of Israel. 

Matthew 26:17 - Now the first [day] of the [feast of] unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the passover? 

Exodus 12:11 - 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] the LORD'S passover. Some experts believe that Joseph, who was cast into a pit by his brothers, was actually dropped into a cistern:

The Passover in Smith's Bible Dictionary
This feast was instituted by God to commemorate the deliverance of the Israelites from Egyptian bondage and the sparing of their firstborn when the destroying angel smote the first-born of the Egyptians. The deliverance from Egypt was regarded as the starting-point of the Hebrew nation. The Israelites were then raised from the condition of bondmen under a foreign tyrant to that of a free people owing allegiance to no one but Jehovah. The prophet in a later age spoke of the event as a creation and a redemption of the nation. God declares himself to be "the Creator of Israel." The Exodus was thus looked upon as the birth of the nation; the Passover was its annual birthday feast. It was the yearly memorial of the dedication of the people to him who had saved their first-born from the destroyer, in order that they might be made holy to himself.  Read Full Article

The Passover in the ISBE Bible Encyclopedia
The Passover was the annual Hebrew festival on the evening of the 14th day of the month of 'Abhibh (Abib) or Nisan, as it was called in later times. It was followed by, and closely connected with, a 7 days' festival of matstsoth, or unleavened bread, to which the name Passover was also applied by extension (Lev 23:5). Both were distinctly connected with the Exodus, which, according to tradition, they commemorate; the Passover being in imitation of the last meal in Egypt, eaten in preparation for the journey, while Yahweh, passing over the houses of the Hebrews, was slaying the firstborn of Egypt (Ex 12:12 f; 13:2,12 ff); the matstsoth festival being in memory of the first days of the journey during which this bread of haste was eaten (Ex 12:14-20).  Read Full Article

The Passover in Easton's Bible Dictionary
Passover the name given to the chief of the three great historical annual festivals of the Jews. It was kept in remembrance of the Lord's passing over the houses of the Israelites (Ex. 12:13) when the first born of all the Egyptians were destroyed. It is called also the "feast of unleavened bread" (Ex. 23:15; Mark 14:1; Acts 12:3), because during its celebration no leavened bread was to be eaten or even kept in the household (Ex. 12:15). The word afterwards came to denote the lamb that was slain at the feast (Mark 14:12-14; 1 Cor. 5:7). A detailed account of the institution of this feast is given in Ex. 12 and 13. It was afterwards incorporated in the ceremonial law (Lev. 23:4-8) as one of the great festivals of the nation.   Read Full Article

The Passover in Fausset's Bible Dictionary
So Hebrews 11:28; Exodus 12:23. Israel's deliverance front Egyptian bondage and adoption by Jehovah was sealed by the Passover, which was their consecration to Him. Exodus 12:1-14 directs as to the Passover before the Exodus, Exodus 12:15-20 as to the seven days' "feast of unleavened bread" (leaven symbolising corruption, as setting the dough in fermentation; excluded therefore from sacrifices, Leviticus 2:11). The Passover was a kind. of sacrament, uniting the nation to God on the ground of God's grace to them. The slain lamb typified the "Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world" (John 1:29). The unleavened loaves, called "broad of affliction" (Deuteronomy 16:3) as reminding them of past affliction, symbolized the new life cleansed from the leaven of the old Egyptian-like nature (1 Corinthians 5:8), of which the deliverance from the external Egypt was a pledge to the believing. The sacrifice (for Jehovah calls it "My sacrifice": Exodus 23:15-18; Exodus 34:25) came first; then, on the ground of that, the seven days' feast of unleavened bread to show they walked in the strength of the pure bread of a new life, in fellowship with Jehovah. Leaven was forbidden in all offerings (Leviticus 2:4-5; Leviticus 7:12; Leviticus 10:12); symbol of hypocrisy and misleading doctrine (Matthew 16:12; Luke 12:1). The seven stamped the feast with the seal of covenant relationship. The first and seventh days (the beginning and the end comprehending the whole) were sanctified by a holy convocation and suspension of work, worship of and rest in Jehovah, who had created Israel as His own people (Isaiah 43:1; Isaiah 43:15-17). From the 14th to the 21st of Nisan. See also Exodus 13:3-10; Leviticus 23:4-14. In Numbers 9:1-14 God repeats the command for the Passover, in the second year after the Exodus; those disqualified in the first month were to keep it in the second month.   Read Full Article

Passover in Naves Topical Bible

-Institution of
        Ex 12:3-49; 23:15-18; 34:18; Le 23:4-8; Nu 9:2-5,13,14;
        28:16-25; De 16:1-8,16; Ps 81:3,5

-Design of
        Ex 12:21-28

-Special Passover, for those who were unclean, or on a journey,
        to be held in the second month
        Nu 9:6-12; 2Ch 30:2-4

-The lamb killed by Levites, for those who were ceremonially
        2Ch 30:17; 35:3-11; Ezr 6:20

-Strangers authorized to celebrate
        Ex 12:48,49; Nu 9:14

-Observed at the place designated by God
        De 16:5-7

-Observed with unleavened bread (no yeast)
        Ex 12:8,15-20; 13:3,6; 23:15; Le 23:6; Nu 9:11; 28:17; De
        16:3,4; Mr 14:12; Lu 22:7; Ac 12:3; 1Co 5:8

-Penalty for neglecting to observe
        Nu 9:13

-Re-instituted by Ezekiel
        Eze 45:21-24

-Observation of, renewed
    By the Israelites upon entering Canaan
        Jos 5:10,11
    By Hezekiah
        2Ch 30:1
    By Josiah
        2Ki 23:22,23; 2Ch 35:1,18
    After the return from Babylonian captivity
        Ezr 6:19,20

-Observed by Jesus
        Mt 26:17-20; Lu 22:15; Joh 2:13,23; 13

-Jesus in the temple courtyard at the time of
        Lu 2:41-50

-Jesus crucified at the time of
        Mt 26:2; Mr 14:1,2; Joh 18:28

-The lamb of, a type of Christ
        1Co 5:7

-The Lord's Supper ordained at
        Mt 26:26-28; Mr 14:12-25; Lu 22:7-20

-Prisoner released at, by the Romans
        Mt 27:15; Mr 15:6; Lu 23:16,17; Joh 18:39

-Peter imprisoned at the time of
        Ac 12:3

-Christ called "our Passover,"
        1Co 5:7

Read Full Article

Bible Verses Mentioning the Lamb

Exodus 13:13 - And every firstling of an ass thou shalt redeem with a lamb; and if thou wilt not redeem it, then thou shalt break his neck: and all the firstborn of man among thy children shalt thou redeem. 

Exodus 34:20 - But the firstling of an ass thou shalt redeem with a lamb: and if thou redeem [him] not, then shalt thou break his neck. All the firstborn of thy sons thou shalt redeem. And none shall appear before me empty. 

Leviticus 14:13 - And he shall slay the lamb in the place where he shall kill the sin offering and the burnt offering, in the holy place: for as the sin offering [is] the priest's, [so is] the trespass offering: it [is] most holy: 

Leviticus 14:24 - And the priest shall take the lamb of the trespass offering, and the log of oil, and the priest shall wave them [for] a wave offering before the LORD: 

Numbers 28:8 - And the other lamb shalt thou offer at even: as the meat offering of the morning, and as the drink offering thereof, thou shalt offer [it], a sacrifice made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD. 

Ezekiel 46:13 - Thou shalt daily prepare a burnt offering unto the LORD [of] a lamb of the first year without blemish: thou shalt prepare it every morning. 

Exodus 29:41 - And the other lamb thou shalt offer at even, and shalt do thereto according to the meat offering of the morning, and according to the drink offering thereof, for a sweet savour, an offering made by fire unto the LORD. 

1 Samuel 7:9 - And Samuel took a sucking lamb, and offered [it for] a burnt offering wholly unto the LORD: and Samuel cried unto the LORD for Israel; and the LORD heard him. 

Leviticus 14:12 - And the priest shall take one he lamb, and offer him for a trespass offering, and the log of oil, and wave them [for] a wave offering before the LORD: 

Leviticus 17:3 - What man soever [there be] of the house of Israel, that killeth an ox, or lamb, or goat, in the camp, or that killeth [it] out of the camp, 

Leviticus 4:35 - And he shall take away all the fat thereof, as the fat of the lamb is taken away from the sacrifice of the peace offerings; and the priest shall burn them upon the altar, according to the offerings made by fire unto the LORD: and the priest shall make an atonement for his sin that he hath committed, and it shall be forgiven him. 

Numbers 28:7 - And the drink offering thereof [shall be] the fourth [part] of an hin for the one lamb: in the holy [place] shalt thou cause the strong wine to be poured unto the LORD [for] a drink offering. 

Exodus 29:40 - And with the one lamb a tenth deal of flour mingled with the fourth part of an hin of beaten oil; and the fourth part of an hin of wine [for] a drink offering. 

Leviticus 5:7 - And if he be not able to bring a lamb, then he shall bring for his trespass, which he hath committed, two turtledoves, or two young pigeons, unto the LORD; one for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering. 

Leviticus 12:8 - And if she be not able to bring a lamb, then she shall bring two turtles, or two young pigeons; the one for the burnt offering, and the other for a sin offering: and the priest shall make an atonement for her, and she shall be clean. 

Leviticus 14:25 - And he shall kill the lamb of the trespass offering, and the priest shall take [some] of the blood of the trespass offering, and put [it] upon the tip of the right ear of him that is to be cleansed, and upon the thumb of his right hand, and upon the great toe of his right foot: 

Numbers 6:12 - And he shall consecrate unto the LORD the days of his separation, and shall bring alamb of the first year for a trespass offering: but the days that were before shall be lost, because his separation was defiled. 

Leviticus 12:6 - And when the days of her purifying are fulfilled, for a son, or for a daughter, she shall bring a lamb of the first year for a burnt offering, and a young pigeon, or a turtledove, for a sin offering, unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, unto the priest: 

Leviticus 3:7 - If he offer a lamb for his offering, then shall he offer it before the LORD. 

Revelation 21:22 - And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. 

Revelation 15:3 - And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous [are] thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true [are] thy ways, thou King of saints. 

Isaiah 66:3 - He that killeth an ox [is as if] he slew a man; he that sacrificeth a lamb, [as if] he cut off a dog's neck; he that offereth an oblation, [as if he offered] swine's blood; he that burneth incense, [as if] he blessed an idol. Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations. 

Numbers 28:13 - And a several tenth deal of flour mingled with oil [for] a meat offering unto one lamb; [for] a burnt offering of a sweet savour, a sacrifice made by fire unto the LORD. 

Ezekiel 45:15 - And one lamb out of the flock, out of two hundred, out of the fat pastures of Israel; for a meat offering, and for a burnt offering, and for peace offerings, to make reconciliation for them, saith the Lord GOD. 

Leviticus 5:6 - And he shall bring his trespass offering unto the LORD for his sin which he hath sinned, a female from the flock, a lamb or a kid of the goats, for a sin offering; and the priest shall make an atonement for him concerning his sin. 

Leviticus 14:21 - And if he [be] poor, and cannot get so much; then he shall take one lamb [for] a trespass offering to be waved, to make an atonement for him, and one tenth deal of fine flour mingled with oil for a meat offering, and a log of oil; 

Numbers 28:14 - And their drink offerings shall be half an hin of wine unto a bullock, and the third [part] of an hin unto a ram, and a fourth [part] of an hin unto a lamb: this [is] the burnt offering of every month throughout the months of the year. 

Revelation 14:10 - The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: 

Leviticus 4:32 - And if he bring a lamb for a sin offering, he shall bring it a female without blemish. 

Leviticus 9:3 - And unto the children of Israel thou shalt speak, saying, Take ye a kid of the goats for a sin offering; and a calf and a lamb, [both] of the first year, without blemish, for a burnt offering; 

More Passover Resources

Passover - Bible History Online - Second Temple: Passover People came from all over the Roman Empire to celebrate the Passover in Jerusalem and make their sacrifice at the Temple.

The Passover - Background Bible Study (Bible History Online) - The Passover was an event in history when the LORD smote the Egyptians and " passed over" the houses of the Hebrews because they had applied the blood of...

Ancient Jerusalem Passover and Population - Bible History Online - Scripture Backdrops - "And many went...up to Jerusalem" - John 11:55. Population of Jerusalem and the Passover.

Map of the Last Passover and Death of Jesus (Bible History Online) - Map of the last Passover and death of Jesus according to the Bible. The events were recorded in the New Testament during the First Century AD. The Map of...

Passover Lamb - Glossary - The Tabernacle of Ancient Israel - It is the LORD'S Passover. 'For I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and...

Passover Biblical - Bible History Online - Passover in Fausset's Bible Dictionary (Bible History Online)

Chronological Study of the Life of Christ - Xenos Christian Fellowship - Since the statement in Jn.2 was made prior to the Passover, probably in 30 AD, this indicates that He would have begun His ministry in the fall of 29 AD Since He ...

Elijah - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - One such decision was whether the Passover seder required four or five cups of wine. Each serving of wine corresponds to one of the "four expressions of...

Mark 14:1 After two days was [the feast of] the passover, and of ... - Mark 14:1 It was now two days before the feast of the Passover and the unleavened bread, and the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might seize him...


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"This handbook is dedicated to the proposition that every Christian should be a constant and devoted reader of the Bible, and that the primary business of the church and ministry is to lead, foster, and encourage their people in the habit."

"The vigor of our spiritual life will be in exact proportion to the place held by the Bible in our life and thoughts."

"Great has been the blessing from consecutive, diligent, daily study. I look upon it as a lost day when I have not had a good time over the word of God." - George Muller

"I prayed for faith, and thought that some day faith would come down and strike me like lightning. But faith did not seem to come. One day I read in the 10th chapter of Romans, 'Now faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.' I had closed my Bible, and prayed for faith. I now opened my Bible, and began to study, and faith has been growing ever since." - D. L. Moody

-H. H. Halley "Halley's Bible Handbook" (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1960) p. 4, 6


Archaeological Study of the Bible

"A substantial proof for the accuracy of the Old Testament text has come from archaeology. Numerous discoveries have confirmed the historical accuracy of the biblical documents, even down to the obsolete names of foreign kings... Rather than a manifestation of complete ignorance of the facts of its day, the biblical record thus reflects a great knowledge by the writer of his day, as well as precision in textual transmission."

-Norman L. Geisler, William Nix "A General Introduction to the Bible" 5th Edition (Chicago: Moody Press 1983) p. 253


Bibliography on Ancient Images

The Art of Ancient Egypt, Revised by Robins, 272 Pages, Pub. 2008

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