Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Exodus 12:14-20 Lasting Passover and No-Yeast Feast

"This is a day you are to commemorate;
for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the LORD --
a lasting ordinance.

For seven days you are to eat bread made without yeast.
On the first day remove the yeast from your houses,
for whoever eats anything with yeast in it from the first day through the seventh
must be cut off from Israel.

On the first day hold a sacred assembly,
and another one on the seventh day.
Do no work at all on these days,
except to prepare food for everyone to eat --
that is all you may do.

Celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread,
because it was on this very day that I brought your divisions out of Egypt.
Celebrate this day as a lasting ordinance for the generations to come.
In the first month you are to eat bread made without yeast,
from the evening of the fourteenth day until the evening of the twenty-first day.

For seven days no yeast is to be found in your houses.
And whoever eats anything with yeast in it
must be cut off from the community of Israel,
whether he is an alien or native-born.
Eat nothing made with yeast.
Wherever you live, you must eat unleavened bread."

Exodus 12:14-20 (NIV)

  • Commemorate:  "1. preserve in memory by a celebration or ceremony  2. be a memorial of" (The Oxford Desk Dictionary, pg. 115.)  The above passage holds both aspects of 'remembering' and 'celebrating'.  This is not just a dry memorial, but an ongoing celebration of the LORD's victory of delivering the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt.
  • Passover is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come. (v.14,17)
  • Yeast must be removed from each household.  Later, yeast would be seen as a symbol for sin.  I don't know if it was viewed in a similar way by these Israelites -- and I wonder if they wondered why the yeast had to be removed from their homes.  However, it is repeatedly emphasized (seven or eight times, by my count) in this passage that they had to remove the yeast/eat nothing with yeast/eat unleavened bread during this commemorative period.
  • This command to remove the yeast was a serious one.  Violation of this would result in being cut off from Israel.  Being cut off from Israel might result in execution or banishment (See Genesis 17:14, Exodus 31:14, Leviticus 20:2-3)  At any rate, it would definitely remove the offender from being part of the covenant relationship with the LORD.  Notice that this ordinance applied to both native-born Israelis and aliens living with them.  It was to be observed 'wherever you live' (v.20).
  • This Feast of Unleavened Bread would start at the Passover meal and continue for seven days.

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