A Critique of Fred Coulter’s Passover (Ic)

A Critique of Fred Coulter’s Passover (Ic)
Passover on the 14th or 15th?

Fred R. CoulterImage result for quail in exodus pics

Christian Biblical Church of God
Post Office Box 1442
Hollister California 95024-1442

Draft Ic

The Critique continues:

Chapter 5

Exodus 16 begins with an account of the journeying of the children of Israel from Elim to the Wilderness of Sin, where they murmured for want of bread, Exodus 16:1, when the Lord told Moses that he would rain bread from heaven for them.

The issue in this chapter is mainly about God providing food for the children of Israel while they were travelling to the Promised Land. The test was the sixth day, where they were to gather twice the amount of manna needed for that day and the following Sabbath where no food would be provided.

The topic and problems raised in Exodus 16 are never about how to define what evening (erev or ben ha arbayim) is, as Fred Coulter alleges, but about those Israelites who gathered too much food, except on the preparation day, who found their collection bred with worms or rotted. And those that went out on the Sabbath didn’t find any. The subject matter was about preparation and keeping the Sabbath, a concept that God had to teach them by way of practical example.

God promised in Exodus 16:11 And the Lord spoke unto Moses, saying, 12 “I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel. Speak unto them, saying, ‘At evening (ben ha arbayim) 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.’”

The evening in verse 12 is ben ha arbayim and according to Fred Coulter, is a very short period of time, “between sundown and dark, a period of about an hour or so.” The Scripture wasn’t a dictionary, but Fred Coulter seems able to pull a rabbit out of his hat.

And Fred wrote in Chapter 5, pages 40 and 46:

We do not need to rely on the traditions of rabbis and on scholars who follow them. There is a valid, Biblically based, chronologically sound, conclusive way to determine the true meaning of ben ha arbayim. God has preserved this knowledge for us in Exodus 16. By examining the context and chronological order of the events that are recorded in Exodus 16, we will be able to determine the exact point in time at which ben ha arbayim begins. (Pg 40)

Now it was AT SUNSET [Hebrew ba erev] a horde-of-quail came up and covered the camp…” (Ex. 16:13)

Fred advocates erev is a transition of 3 to 5 minutes of one day to the next, perhaps half in the new day and the other half in the previous day (Pg 36-39).

See the source imageThe truth is, at “evening” (ben ha arbayim) ye shall eat flesh. At ben ha arbayim, the flesh arrived during the first evening, or during the time “after noon” but before nightfall. This is done during the day where there is light. The bread arrived in the morning where there is also light.

The Hebrew phase ben ha arbayim has been used 11 times in the Bible but it has never been used for the beginning of a Sabbath, weekly or annual, or a beginning of a day in which case erev (which would be the second evening) is used. “Between the two evenings” is an idiom meaning “between the beginnings of the two evenings,” or the “between the eves of two evenings.” The first evening is right “after noon . . .til nightfall.”

The problem is how could the Israelites eat the quails within the hour and a half after it had just arrived after dark? And here is Fred’s definition: “Between the time that the sun is below the horizon, no longer visible, and total darkness.” Yes, all the gathering, killing, cleaning and cooking within such a time constraint after dark?

The answer lies in the first part of Exodus 16:5 “And it came to pass . . .” which indicates a lapse of time had passed. How long the time had passed, it wasn’t given. It could be a day, it could be a few days, or it could even be after 430 years (Exodus 12:41). And this phase had been used numerous times in chapter 16 alone (verses 5, 10, 13, 22, 27), which means, there are numerous lapses of time for this chapter. In short, it means “when the appropriate time comes.” Do not be mistaken, the Bible isn’t a dictionary, neither does it have an appendix, which might elaborate on what a word means. Sometimes it could hint what a word means, but more often than not, it assumes the readers already know its meaning. Most of these Hebrew words and meanings were already known orally when Moses wrote them down, and later some of these knowledge and commentaries were written down into what is known as the Talmud. To say that erev is a transition of 3 to 5 minutes from one day to the next is not only misguided, but foolish. It was a concept that originated and pioneered from those who didn’t have any oral traditions — they were cut off from the mainstream although these misguided were also serious about studying the Scriptures. They were the Samaritans.

The Scriptures cannot be broken, and It is the glory of God to conceal a thing, but the honor of kings is to search out a matter (Proverbs 25:2). And that searching out could only come from their Oral traditions, which says “between the two evenings” is a period of time between the first phase of erev when the sun had passed noon at its zenith to the next phase of erev following sunset.

Chapter 16 of Exodus has a timeline of what happened during the seventh day, the Sabbath, and Fred Coulter alleged the time was the evening after sunset. He wrote:

The account in Exodus 16 explicitly tells us that God promised to provide meat for the people at sunset. In Verse 13, we read that God fulfilled His promise at that exact time: “And it came to pass AT SUNSET [Hebrew ba erev, the sunset ending that Sabbath], that the quails came up and covered the camp…” (Pg 46).

Note the start of verse 13 “And it came to pass . . .” as how long has passed wasn’t given — it could be a day, it could be several days. Second, how often these waves of quails came wasn’t given, but one thing is certain — the story of the quails wasn’t used to teach the Israelites about keeping the Sabbath, only manna did.

The Scriptural account makes it absolutely clear that the quail arrived at ba erev, or sunset. Then the quail covered the camp; that is, they were sent by God into the camp of Israel, not outside the camp. This event was another miracle of God. To fulfill His promise, God instantly created the quail and caused them to fall into the camp. Apparently, when the quail came, they literally fell out of the sky onto the camp grounds, and on the tents, which made gathering them a very easy task. (Pg 47).

But the Scriptures give a different picture. After the quails arrived in verse 13, the Scriptures were silent when the next wave came. Again, it could be a day, or it could be after several days. No details were given and Adam Clarke commented that one gathering requiring two days of catching “two cubits high” could last a month’s supply, if he interpreted Number 11:18-20 correctly:

Numbers 11:18 ‘Sanctify yourselves against tomorrow, and ye shall eat flesh. For ye have wept in the ears of the Lord, saying, “Who shall give us flesh to eat? For it was well with us in Egypt.” Therefore the Lord will give you flesh, and ye shall eat. 19 Ye shall not eat one day, nor two days, nor five days, neither ten days, nor twenty days, 20 but even a whole month, until it comes out at your nostrils and it be loathsome unto you, because ye have despised the Lord who is among you, and have wept before Him, saying, “Why came we forth out of Egypt?”’”

30 And Moses got him into the camp, he and the elders of Israel. 31 And there went forth a wind from the Lord, and brought quails from the sea, and let them fall by the camp, as it were a day’s journey on this side, and as it were a day’s journey on the other side round about the camp, and as it were two cubits high upon the face of the earth. 32 And the people stood up all that day and all that night and all the next day, and they gathered the quails. He that gathered least gathered ten homers, and they spread them all abroad for themselves round about the camp.

Adam Clarke: The people stood up, etc. – While these immense flocks were flying at this short distance from the ground, fatigued with the strong wind and the distance they had come, they were easily taken by the people; and as various flocks continued to succeed each other for two days and a night, enough for a month’s provision might be collected in that time. If the quails had fallen about the tents, there was no need to have stood up two days and a night in gathering them; but if they were on the wing, as the text seems to suppose, it was necessary for them to use dispatch, and avail themselves of the passing of these birds whilst it continued.

See the source imageEven if this catch didn’t last a month, it hints an enormous catch nevertheless. Much time, maybe after several days, maybe more could have passed before another catch appeared, but one thing is sure — the Scriptures is silent about the quails appearing six times a week, every week in a similar manner like manna did for forty years in Exodus 12:35. In fact, the story of the quail in Numbers 11 hints strongly that it is an one-off event. The chapter ended with a plague where “the wrath of the Lord was kindled against the people, and the Lord smote the people with a very great plague,” (v 33) killing all those who murmured against Him and lusted for flesh to eat. And no mention of the quail’s appearance were ever mentioned again hereafter.

Exodus 16 is a chapter using erev and ben ha arbayim interchangeability with various events in between. But everything makes sense when erev is deemed as the daylight portion (the first erev in the diagram below) for the Israelites to capture, clean, roast and eat the quails. It would be extremely difficult to do all these four things (gathering, killing, cleaning and cooking) within the one-and-a-half hour period, especially most are in the dark, and an impossible task when it is winter, on an even shorter period — perhaps just thirty to forty minutes! (Pg 50).

Exodus 16:8 And Moses said, “This shall be when the Lord shall give you in the evening (erev) flesh to eat and in the morning bread to the full, — the erev in this verse could either be a day or night portion of erev when the Lord gave them flesh to eat, but the next few verses indicate it is the first erev (afternoon till nightfall) when the quails’ arrival and eating occurred during the day portion of the evening.
11 And the Lord spoke unto Moses, saying, 12 “I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel. Speak unto them, saying, ‘At evening (ben ha arbayim) 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.’” 13 And it came to pass that at evening (ba-erev, the first evening, the daylight portion) the quails came up and covered the camp, and in the morning the dew lay round about the host.

The gathering of manna were to be done on the preparation day, Exodus 16:5 And it shall come to pass that on the sixth day they shall prepare that which they bring in, and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily.” This same phase was used during the creation of man in Genesis 1:31 And God saw every thing that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And the evening (erev) and the morning were the sixth day.

See the source image

A full day is a 24-hour period. In Genesis 1:5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. So the full evening (which makes up of two phases of erevs) is a 12-hour period. On the sixth day, the preparation, the second phase of erev starts at around 6 pm Thursday for a 6-hour period until midnight. Then from midnight until noon is another 12-hour period which we call morning (boqer). The sixth day continues with another phase of erev, from noon to sunset, which is another 6-hour of daylight evening. Altogether they totaled a 24-hour day.

The truth is so easy to understand if we use the Jewish definition of technical words. It’s their language, it’s their Sacred Text, it’s written within the Jewish culture. They are the custodians of God’s oracles, we shouldn’t make a habit of stigmatizing them. The infidelity and obstinacy of the Jews could not invalidate the oracles committed to them. In fact, they were given the Oracles DESPITE their hypocrisies and frailties.

What if they don’t believe? Nar, let every man (including Fred Coulter, a misguided Pastor of over fifty years) be a liar and God be true, the Jews would still be the custodians. Their claim to the Oracles rests not upon the precarious fidelity of men, but upon the infallible promise of God (Roman 3:1-4). This was God’s promise! Ben ha arbayim is the time “after noon and until nightfall.”

Fred wrote further, “The account of these events shows that the 15th day of the second month was, in fact, a weekly Sabbath” (Pg 41). This is another sweeping statement; where could he prove that? Chapter 5 proves nothing about the above quote. His 15-paged “analysis” goes round and round addressing issues that are imaginary, displaying more of his loose and wishful thinking than any solid exegesis. This reminds me again of what Norman Edwards wrote, as quoted earlier: “. . . and every time he ran into a scriptural obstacle, he wove an elaborate web to get around it—hence the large size of his book, The Christian Passover. Readers frequently accept his arguments, not because they are simply and clearly true, but because proving or disproving his vast amount of writing is an exhausting task that few have the time to complete” (Edwards, Norman: Servants’ News. May/June 2002).

Below is another exemplar of his floating analysis throughout which could only bring his own demise. Fred wrote:

And since God Himself said that they would eat flesh during the time known as ben ha arbayim— ”between the two evenings,” or “between the setting-times”—we know without a doubt that ben ha arbayim IS THE TIME PERIOD THAT IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWS SUNSET. (Pg 47).

The chronological events that are recorded in Exodus 16 clearly define ben ha arbayim— “between the two evenings,” or “between the setting times”— as the time period that immediately FOLLOWS sunset, or ba erev. (Pg 48).

Wow! A touch from Simon Magus. For his magic to work two lamb would be needed to be killed for the Passover during the Exodus; one, within the first 3-5 minutes at sunset for Deuteronomy 16:6 (ba erev) and the other within the next hour or so to satisfy Exodus 12:6 (ben ha arbayim).

See the source imageBut only one lamb were selected on the tenth of the first month (Exodus 12:3-5) for Passover. For these Israelites to sudden sacrifice two lambs, one during ba erev and the other during ben ha arbayim they would need to perform miracles.

Nar, all his Bull Shits! Let me remind Fred of his own diatribe he wrote of himself earlier in Chapter One:

“In order to justify doctrinal beliefs that are not taught in the Bible, many writers and preachers have twisted and distorted the Scriptures to fit their own private interpretations. Whole churches have been subverted by arguments and disputes over words which have not been profitable but have been damaging to faith!” (Pg 13).

Such are false prophets, deceptive workers. It’s Fred Coulter who has “twisted and distorted the Scriptures to fit their own private interpretations.”


~ by Joel Huan on January 16, 2020.

One Response to “A Critique of Fred Coulter’s Passover (Ic)”

  1. […] A Critique of Chapter Five (Ic) HERE […]

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