FROM PASSOVER TO CROSSING THE RED SEA
[Bible verses quoted are from the NKJV unless otherwise noted.]
Every person must prove for himself that the Bible is God’s word and free from error. One of the important events of the Old Testament is the first Passover and the crossing of the Red Sea by Moses and the Israelites. To make this event a reality for bible students it is necessary to look at the historical occurrences and the accompanying instructions for these eight days. It begins with Exodus 12:1 and continues through Exodus 15:20.
It starts with choosing of a male lamb or goat without blemish of the first year. Each family was to set aside the chosen animal for three days, taking it from its mother and not fed for those three days, emptying its urine and feces. This was necessary to follow the instructions that the animal be roasted whole, without removing the hide or internal organs. These instructions are found in Exodus 12:3-13. The three days to set aside the animal would be the 11th, 12th and 13th. The killing of the animal was to take place at the beginning of the fourteenth of the first month (Nisan).
Starting with Exodus 12:14 the instructions are found for keeping seven days of Unleavened Bread, which is a separate time element from the Passover. The first thing to note in verse 14 is the word “memorial,” meaning that the instructions that follow are to be kept every year and is called a feast of the Lord. Remember, these are the instructions given to Moses and Aaron to follow without deviation. The Passover was observed at the beginning of the 14th, and was not a convocation, as it was kept in individual homes. The Israelites traveled from their homes in Goshen to Rameses during the daylight portion of the 14th. It was at the start of the 15th that the Israelites came together for the first time as a nation. So, it was on the 15th that they held The Convocation of the 1st day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
It is important to remember that Goshen was a large area of land, accommodating the herds of cattle, sheep and goats. It wasn’t until they arrived at Rameses that the people came together as a nation. They then traveled a short distance from Rameses to Succoth, which was the start of the 15th, the first day of Unleavened Bread. The night portion was a celebration, found in Exodus 12:37-42 “Then the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about 600,000 men on foot, besides children. A mixed multitude went up with them also, and flocks and herds—a great deal of livestock. And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough which they had brought out of Egypt; for it was not leavened, because they were driven out of Egypt and could not wait, nor had they prepared provisions for themselves. Now the sojourn of the children of Israel who lived in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years. And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years—on that very same day—it came to pass that all the armies of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt. It is a night of solemn observance to the Lord for bringing them out of the land of Egypt. It is a night of solemn observance to the LORD for bringing them out of the land of Egypt. This is that night of the LORD, a solemn observance for all the children of Israel throughout their generations.”
To understand the 430 years read the article “430 YEARS OF EXODUS AND 400 YEARS OF GENESIS CLARIFIED/COMBINED.” Here’s the link: https://bit.ly/2FSNmlc
Continuing in Exodus 12:15 they are told to keep the seven days by eating unleavened bread. Then God tells them in verse 16 to hold a holy convocation on the first day and on the seventh day. A Convocation is the gathering of the nation to celebrate the first and last day of this feast as already explained. Verse 18 tells when the beginning of the seven days of eating unleavened bread takes place from the end of the 14th to the end of the 21st day. The context determines how this timeline should be understood.
In order to get the correct numbered day of the month placed on the named day of the week it is necessary to begin with the record of the Sabbath’s of Exodus 16, which occurred during the second month following the exodus from Egypt. Exodus 16:1 “And they journeyed from Elim, and all the congregation of the children of Israel came to the Wilderness Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they departed from the land of Egypt.” The 15th was a Sabbath because seven days later God stopped the supply of manna, making it clear that it was a Sabbath of rest. Please refer to the charts at the end of the article.
By knowing when the Sabbaths occurred, the seven days of unleavened bread can be tracked as Moses followed God’s instructions of having a holy convocation on the first and last day of the seven days. Remember, the Israelites held the Passover beginning at sunset—the night portion on the 14th and traveled from their homes in the Land of Goshen to the city of Rameses on the day portion of the 14th. They moved a short distance as a united nation to a campsite bordering the city of Rameses. The name of the campsite was Succoth.
On the daylight portion of the 15th Moses addresses the assembled nation. Read Exodus 13:1-16. At sunset they continue the journey to Etham, where they camped for the Sabbath. Exodus 13:20-22 “So they took their journey from Succoth and camped in Etham at the edge of the wilderness. And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so as to go by day and night. He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day or the pillar of cloud by night from before the people.” This was the Sabbath of the 17th. They resumed their journey on the night portion of the first day of the week (Sunday,) the 18th. They traveled night and day on the 18th, 19th and 20th. No other campsite is stated; God preformed the miracle which allowed them to travel three days and nights without stopping. Exodus 14:2 “Speak to the children of Israel, that they turn and camp before Pi-hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, opposite Baal Zephon; you shall camp before it by the sea.” This is the start of the 21st day—the last day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
In the early hours of the morning, they cross the Red Sea, and then celebrated their escape from the Egyptians. Exodus 14:30 “So the LORD saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore.” Exodus 15:1-22 records the celebration of the last day of Unleavened Bread.
The seven days of Unleavened Bread picture seven days without sin. Sin is represented by leaven in the Bible and these seven days picture seven days of a sinless life.
For clarification read the article “UNDERSTANDING LEAVEN.” https://www.biblicalcalendarproof.net/articles/understanding-leaven
To comprehend the importance of these seven days of Unleavened Bread read the article “THE WAVE SHEAF OFFERING.” https://www.biblicalcalendarproof.net/articles/wave-sheaf-offering
This time period tracks Moses and Aaron’s observance of the seven days of Unleavened Bread just as directed by God.
Don Roth 2021 06 29