Passover On The 14th or 15th? (IIb)

See the source imageDraft IIb

Chapter 3 – 4

In Chapter 3 and 4, Fred Coulter takes issue of the word evening (h6153 ba·erev), which according to him, a time period of 3 to 5 minutes, is correctly translated as “dusk” or elsewhere by other English translations as “twilight.” By quoting JPS translation, Fred felt he was right to have a Jewish Publication Society on his side, but he didn’t know that publications from JPS was from a movement by Reform Jews, and not by the Rabbinic Jews. More on this later, but in the meantime, we’ll consider the term ba·erev ’ which is translated as “at evening” or in some other places ben ha arbayim, translated as “between the two evenings.” Since Strong Concordance locates both terms as h6153, it indicates both words came from the same root.

Both word or phase are used in Exodus 12 to describe the timing of the Passover.

(1) Exodus 12:6 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 (h6153 ben ha arbayim).

(2) 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 (erev). Or Exodus 12:18 In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at even (ba·erev, same root word as ben ha arbayim), ye shall eat unleavened bread, until the one and twentieth day of the month at even (ba·erev).

The Jewish definition of ben ha’arbayim “between the two evenings” makes more sense. It is in between the first phase of erev when the sun had passed noon to the next phase of erev after sunset. Or as another way of expressing it, “after noon and until nightfall.” Note that “after noon” is a 2-word phase.

Fred Coulter wrote:

In all eleven passages where ben ha arbayim is used in the Scriptures, Strong’s concordance numbers and defines it as #6153, including it with ereb.

See the source imageThis is correct, ben (h996) ha arbayim (h6153) occur 11 times, so let’s study them in details:

(1) Exodus 12:6 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.
(2) Exodus 16:12 “I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel. Speak unto them, saying, ‘At evening ye shall eat flesh, and in the morning ye shall be filled with bread; and ye shall know that I am the Lord your God.’”
(3) Exodus 29:39 The one lamb thou shalt offer in the morning, and the other lamb thou shalt offer at evening.
(4) Exodus 29:41 And the other lamb thou shalt offer at evening, and shalt do thereto according to the meat offering of the morning and according to the drink offering thereof, for a sweet savor, an offering made by fire unto the Lord.
(5) Exodus 30:8 And when Aaron lighteth the lamps at evening, he shall burn incense upon it, a perpetual incense before the Lord throughout your generations.
(6) Leviticus 23:5 On the fourteenth day of the first month at evening is the Lord’S Passover.
(7) Numbers 9:3 In the fourteenth day of this month at evening ye shall keep it in his appointed season. According to all the rites of it and according to all the ceremonies thereof shall ye keep it.”
(8) Numbers 9:5 And they kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the first month at evening in the Wilderness of Sinai. According to all that the Lord commanded Moses, so did the children of Israel.
(9) Numbers 9:11 The fourteenth day of the second month at evening they shall keep it, and eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.
(10) Numbers 28:4 The one lamb shalt thou offer in the morning, and the other lamb shalt thou offer at evening,
(11) Numbers 28:8 8 And the other lamb shalt thou offer at evening; 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 savor unto the Lord.

See the source image

When the real Jewish definition of ben ha’arbayim “between the two evenings” is interpreted as “after noon and until nightfall,” all the pieces from the Passover puzzles fall into place. From the study of eleven cases above, there are five observations:
(1) The commandment to sacrifice daily a lamb in the morning and one in the evening: normally at 3 PM, “after noon and until nightfall” (3,4,10,11).
(2) The Passover lamb to be killed on the fourteenth at around 3 PM: (1,6,7,8,9).
(3) Lighting of the Sanctuary before nightfall (5).
(4) Quails arriving as food for the Israelites (2).
(5) None of the above were to start a Sabbath, or a new day, which would be around 6 PM: sunset, dusk, twilight or nightfall.

When ben ha’arbayim is interpreted as “after noon and until nightfall,” there are sensible amble time for killing, cleaning and roasting of daily sacrifice and Passover lamb before nightfall arrives. And Aaron wouldn’t stumble lighting the Sanctuary after dark, neither with the Israelites catching quails among nocturnal snakes in the Sinai desert.


Fred Coulter wrote in Chapter 4:

“At sunset,” or ba erev, is a very short period of time. It begins when the sun appears to touch the horizon, and ends when the sun drops below the horizon. The total duration of its setting is no more than 3-5 minutes.”
— “phrase ba erev, or “at sunset,” designates the end of one day and the beginning of the next day.”

See the source imageIn Chapter 3 earlier, Fred defines ben ha arbayim as the time between sunset and dark.“Between the two evenings’ is usually taken to mean between sundown and dark, a period of about an hour or so….”

The difference in the two definitions creates clarity on some issues but confusion on others since Fred Coulter says ba·erev could mean the ending or beginning of a day. If the lamb were killed early during the five minute period it could be designated as the previous day, and therefore it would be an invalid sacrifice. If the lamb is killed slightly late after the five minutes allowed, it could also be an invalid sacrifice. Within a five minute period has a very narrow margin for error. Second, if the lamb have to be killed within the five minute period then why it is also allowed within the one and a half hour period ben ha arbayim?

Also do the two periods ba·erev followed by ben ha arbayim? If so, then two lambs would be needed, one at ben ha arbayim to fulfil Exodus 12:6 and another at ba·erev to fulfil Deuteronomy 16:6. One lamb definitely couldn’t fulfil two sacrifices. Fred Coulter’s analysis can only adds to more confusion. His definition for ba·erev and ben ha arbayim is a slight of hand! Magic! It is definitely a touch of Simon Magus. His devotees would admire his skill with admiration!

His devotees are not thinking. If they did, they wouldn’t be following him.

The Talmud tells the story of a Gentile who went to Hillel the Elder and said to him, “I want to convert, but I want to accept only the Written Torah, and not the Oral Torah. I don’t wish to accept the words of the Rabbis. So teach me only the Written Torah.”

But Hillel knew that the man wanted to do the right thing, but he didn’t understand the purpose of the Oral Torah. So Hillel began to teach him the Aleph Bet (Hebrew alphabet). The first day, Hillel taught him the first two letters, aleph and bet.

The next day, Hillel taught him the same two letters in reverse. He showed him the letter aleph, but called it “bet.”

The man objected, “but yesterday you taught it the other way!”

“Well, then, you need me, a Rabbi, to teach you the Aleph Bet? So you have to trust my knowledge of the tradition of the letters. What I tell you is the Oral Tradition. You can’t read the alphabet if no one tells you how they are pronounced. And you think you don’t need the Rabbis’ knowledge of Jewish Tradition in order to understand the words of the Torah? Those are much more difficult! Without an Oral Tradition you will never be able to learn the Torah.”

So it is clear that an Oral Tradition is needed, and that one exists.

For over three thousand years ago until the destruction of the Temple in AD 70, the Jews and Levites had been killing the daily sacrifice at 9 am in the morning and 3 pm in the afternoon. “Between the two evenings” is an idiom meaning “between the beginnings of the two evenings,” or “after noon and until nightfall.”

Once this concept is used, all the rest of the Bible jigsaw puzzles will fall nicely into place.

~ by Joel Huan on August 3, 2019.

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