A Critique of Fred Coulter’s Passover (Id)

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

Fred R. Coulter

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

Image result for the samaritans pics

Draft Id

This is a continuation of a Critique of Fred Coulter’s Passover. The Passover is an extremely interesting Bible Study and we’ll follow it in details. The main issue is whether the Passover is on the early or late fourteenth of Nisan. Quoted are Fred Coulter’s work, from an internet PDF version, which I presume, is his latest. These excerpts are in block form, in PINK, and indented so as to differentiate it from other quotes or comments. The Scriptures, in RED, must be our primary focus and guide, and sometimes the Scriptures, which include the Septuagint and the Targum, say things very different from what we think!

And so with that in mind, we’ll begin:

Chapter 6 – 7

The killing of the Passover lambs took place AT THE BEGINNING of the fourteenth day. As the thirteenth day of the month drew to a close, all the children of Israel assembled their families and gathered around the lambs, watching the sun set and waiting for the sun to disappear below the horizon. The instant it dropped below the horizon, ending the thirteenth and beginning ben ha arbayim of the fourteenth, all the children of Israel killed the Passover lambs at precisely the same time! What a fantastic occurrence!

As God had commanded, “And the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it BETWEEN THE TWO EVENINGS [Hebrew ben ha arbayim]” (Pg 57).

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What is being described above resembles the Samaritan Passover! What Hayyim Schauss wrote below about facing WESTWARD toward the setting SUN and about the REJOICING KISSES could complement Fred Coulter’s book:

“Exactly at sunset the High Priest faces westward and reads that portion of the Pentateuch which orders the slaughtering of the Pesach sacrifice. About twelve or fourteen of the younger Samaritans busy themselves, meanwhile, with preparing the sacrificial animals. They form a circle about the pit of fire, holding the lambs between their legs, and as the High Priest utters the words, ‘And the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at dusk,’ they utter a benediction and throw the lambs, throats to the pit, where they are slaughtered by two ritual slaughterers. Six or seven sheep are slaughtered.

“The slaughtering is a signal for general rejoicing. Greetings are exchanged in the oriental manner; the participants kiss one another, first on the right shower and then on the left” (The Jewish Festivals, Pg 63).

In reality, the Samaritans, “AT SUNSET” and facing “WESTWARD” are SUN WORSHIPPERS, a syncretic blend of paganism and heresy, and this ancient apostasy is continuing in the CoG (CoGs) Communities today, unabashed.

“At sunset, or ba erev,” according to Fred Coulter, “is a very short period of time. It begins when the sun appears to touch the horizon,” and that’s when the lamb was killed, all simultaneously, during that no more than 3-5 minutes. “What a fantastic occurrence!” Fred Coulter added his expression as the Samaritans began kissing each other on the shoulders, first on the right , then on the left.

See the source imageBut note one significant difference. The Samaritans doesn’t have another sacrifice to satisfy ben ha arbayim in Exodus 12:6. Even the Samaritans are not that foolish, but Fred Coulter would whip out another rabbit from his hat and make another sacrifice. He wrote of others but in reality some of his observations are for himself. Here is one:

“WHAT FOLLY! What foolishness to accept a traditional belief that directly conflicts with the truth of God’s Word, and to use interpretations of Scripture that promote the false ideas of men! No wonder God says that He entraps the intelligent in the foolishness of their own human wisdom” (Pg 61).

According to Fred, “there can be no doubt whatsoever that ben ha arbayim comes after ba erev, or sunset.” And he kept on harping his stupidity, “we have found irrefutable proof that ben ha arbayim — “between the two evenings,” or “between the setting-times”—begins immediately after the day has ended at sunset, or ba erev.”

His analysis requires two rabbits for his passover, calls Fred Coulter’s passover, one for his analysis of Exodus 12:6 ben ha arbayim and the other to satisfy his definition of Deuteronomy 16:6 ba erev. Like a magical touch of Simon Magus, it’s another slight of hand. And together with most of today’s Churches of God Communities today, they also believe the same magic. It’s no surprise they came from the same homeland — from Samaria. They may fervently consider themselves as virgins, waiting, waiting, but they haven’t realize they are being described elsewhere as “wretched” and “blind” and “naked.”

The Rabbinic interpretation as to when to correctly kill the lamb is confirmed by the work of Ezra: The lamb were indeed killed on the afternoon of the fourteenth and eaten on the night of the fifteenth. The Targum (530 BC to 500 AD), whose origin was during the intertestamental period, translates and explains the eating of the Passover from the Hebrew in Exodus 12 into the vernacular, in a very simple language, and verse 8 is extremely clear: “And you shall eat the flesh on that night, the fifteenth of Nisan . . .”

When the Exile returned from Babylon, Ezra, a Levite and high priest, read and translated the Torah in Hebrew into the common Aramaic language, and he, or other Levites, explained the Torah so the people could understand.

“The Levites … instructed the people in the Law while the people were standing there. They read from the Book of the Law of God, making it clear and giving the meaning so that the people understood what was being read” (Nehemiah 8:7–8).

See the source imageAnother way of saying: The Law was read by Ezra, verse by verse, and each verse was followed by a recitation by the Levites into the Aramaic version. Hence in Nehemiah 8:8 Ezra narrated not only the reading of the Law, but the Levites interprete and explain the Torah from Hebrew into the vernacular in Aramaic.

Now on the subject of the true timing of when the quail arrived in the evening, the Rabbinic understanding is that the quail arrived in the afternoon, anytime when the sun moved passed its zenith, until sunset, which is the first phase of erev—this same period could be described as ben ha arbayim — “between the two evenings,” or “after noon and until nightfall.” During this time, it is daytime and the Israelites wouldn’t have any problem catching the quail, killing them, skinning and cleaning them, cooking and have them for food. There wouldn’t be any problem at all about keeping the Sabbath when it arrived a few hours later.

Also, the Scriptures is silent about the quails appearing six times a week, every week in a similar manner like manna did for forty years as expressed in Exodus 12:35. In fact, the story of the quail in Numbers 11 hints that it is an one-off event. This chapter has a chronological order. It began with “And when the people complained, it displeased the Lord; and the Lord heard it, and His anger was kindled. And the fire of the Lord burned among them, and consumed those who were in the uttermost parts of the camp.”

Despite fire consumed some of them, others still complained:

Numbers 11:4 And the mixed multitude that was among them fell to lusting. And the children of Israel also wept again and said, “Who shall give us flesh to eat? 5 We remember the fish which we ate in Egypt freely, the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlic;

Notice the next verse, this took place when the children of Israel already had manna to eat:

Numbers 11:6 but our soul is dried away. There is nothing at all besides this manna before our eyes.”

See the source imageWhile the story of the quails was taking place, the children of Israelites were already having “this manna before our eyes,” speaking with “disdain and contempt of the manna.” So pretending that their bodies lack of flesh food, and having no moisture in them (John Gill comments on what “our soul is dried away” means), they murmured and complained. This complaining continued until they weep pitifully in their eyes, so the wrath of God was rekindled again:

Numbers 11:10 Then Moses heard the people weep throughout their families, every man in the door of his tent. And the anger of the Lord was kindled greatly;

So in short, God in anger, sent them a month’s supply of quails, so much for them to eat until it comes out at their nostrils . . . “And while the flesh was yet between their teeth, before it was chewed, the wrath of the Lord was kindled against the people, and the Lord smote the people with a very great plague” (Numbers 11:33).

Sometimes the Masoretic Text are vague on certain issues, but the Targum could shed further light on these uncertainties. Numbers 11 ended with a plague where “the wrath of the Lord was kindled against the people, and the Lord smote the wicked (Targum) people with a very great plague,” (v 33) killing by “a flaming fire from the Lord” (Targum) all those who murmured against Him, being “contemptuous” (Targum) and lusted for flesh to eat, and after eating, and “offered no thanksgiving to Him” (Targum).

Also, the Targum confirms the time “all that day and all that night and all the next day” (v 32) was actually the time spent on gathering the quails. It has nothing to say about the time preceded by the Sabbath, disproving Fred Coulter’s sole hypothesis “that ben ha arbayim comes after ba erev”:

“And they who had been wanting in faith arose: and all that day, and all the night, and all the day that followed, they gathered the quails; even he who was lame and infirm gathered ten korin (ten donkeys’ loads), and they spread them abroad round about the camps” (Targum: Numbers 11:32).

See the source image

And after this incident, no repeat of the quail’s appearance were ever mentioned again hereafter. The story of the quails isn’t about what or when ba erev or ben ha arbayim appears. The story of the quails is about a contemptuous, a wicked and a ungrateful people deserving a death penalty by a flaming fire from the Lord, hinting strongly that it was an one-off event. All these bad attributes brought about their downfall, a lesson they needed to learn to be contented with just having manna for the rest of their forty years wandering in the desert.

Besides flouting and stigmatizing the Rabbinic understanding of evening (erev), Fred Coulter analysis also redefines morning (bôqer) in Genesis 1:5 And the evening (erev) and the morning (bôqer) were the first day. Such a day is a full 24-hours day. And this 24-hour day are divided into evening (erev) and morning(bôqer), each could only be a 12-hour period. The full extend of time for evening (erev) is from noon to midnight; and the full extend of time for morning (bôqer) is another 12-hour period, from midnight to noon.

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Up to Chapter 7 of Fred Coulter’s the Christian Passover, we can see Fred had quoted a lot from Everett Fox’s translation and from the Schocken Bible. And they translate boqer as sunrise or daybreak, defines as “the sun was beginning to rise,” (pg 71) or “beginning at the crack of dawn,” (pg 77). Flashback to Chapter 6, he wrote:

These two key verses must be kept in mind: “…And none of you shall go out of the door of his house UNTIL SUNRISE….And the children of Israel went away and did as the LORD had commanded Moses and Aaron; so they did” (Ex. 12:22, 28). (Pg 64).

The Schocken Bible conveys the directness of the command even more emphatically and pinpoints the exact time that they were permitted to leave their houses: “…Now you—you are NOT to go out, any man from the entrance to his house, UNTIL DAYBREAK” (Ex. 12:22, SB). (Pg 65).

 

Image result for Everett FoxAnd this is repeated in Chapter 7:

God strictly forbade any Israelite to leave his house until sunrise. The Schocken Bible conveys the precise meaning of the Hebrew word boqer, showing the exact time at which the children of Israel were permitted to leave: “Now you—you are not to go out, any man from the entrance to his house, UNTIL DAYBREAK” (Ex. 12:22, SB). ( Pg 71)

Morning, or boqer, does not include any part of the night, or lailah. Boqer begins with the first light of dawn, just before the sun rises above the horizon. Nowhere in Scripture is there any indication that boqer is “long before sunrise” or “the latter portion of the night.” The Scriptures never refer to the dark hours after midnight as boqer, or “morning.” (Pg 78)

So who is Everett Fox? And who are behind the Schocken Bible? Since Fred had quoted principally from Fox’s translation and the Schocken Bible we’ll take a deeper dive to find out more. Aren’t you curious? I am sure we all do.

Everett Fox spent years at Brandeis University as a college student, majoring in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies. A husband of Jewish educator, Rabbi Cherie Koller-Fox (a Jewish feminist), he was described, at best, as a conservative Jewish scholar. Although he studied at the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) of America in New York for only one and a half years at the Seminary, the influence from the reform-minded Seminary had a deep impact on him, as evidence showed in his translation of the Bible, published by Schocken Books. And they all teamed up to publish the Schocken Bible (described as an offshoot of the Buber-Rosenzweig translation), from which Fred Coulter quoted extensively.

The JTS seminary was started by Rabbi Zecharias Frankel (1801—1875) who was a leading figure in mid-19th Century German Jew. Known both for his traditionalist views and the esteem he held for scientific study of Judaism. Frankel was, ironically, at first considered a conservative within the nascent Reform Movement.

The Reform Movement advocates that Jewish law is not static, but rather has always developed in response to changing conditions. In his endeavour, Frankel amassed scholarly support which showed one must be open to a changing environment and developing Judaism in the same evolving fashion that the law should be reinterpreted, and as a way of restoring meaning to modern life.

Although the Jewish Theological Seminary of America was alleged to be a product of the Reform Movement, it claimed to be “a new rabbinical school” in New York City. There were power struggles between the two, but eventually the Reform Movement gained ground as the Seminary developed a new movement known as Conservative Judaism. This conservatism may not sound conservative—traditionalist, orthodox, conventional—but their Reform Movement were just only taking at a slower pace. Nevertheless the Jewish Theological Seminary became the primary educational and religious center of Conservative Judaism.

The central theme for the Conservative Movement is that Jewish Law shouldn’t be regarded as static, but “to reignite a fresh religious insight,” that Rabbinic Judaism be regarded as non-binding and that individual Jew should be regarded as autonomous, and that our perception of Judaism “should incorporate openness to external influences and progressive values” as the years unfold. Concurrently, examining Jewish history and rabbinic literature through the lens of academic criticism, it maintained that these laws were “always subject to considerable evolution, and must continue to do so.”

Amy EilbergSo from the beginning in the 1970s, the topic of women’s ordination was regularly discussed at JTS. A special commission (which consisted of 11 men and three women) was established by the chancellor of the Seminary to study the issue of ordaining women as rabbis. After years of discussion, the JTS faculty voted to ordain women as rabbis and as cantors in 1983. The first female rabbi to graduate from the school (and the first female Conservative Jewish rabbi in the world) was Amy Eilberg, who graduated and was ordained as a rabbi in 1985. The first class of female rabbis that was admitted to JTS in 1984 included Rabbi Naomi Levy, who later became a best-selling author and Nina Beth Cardin, who became an author and environmental activist. Erica Lippitz and Marla Rosenfeld Barugel were the first women ordained as cantors by JTS (and the first female Conservative Jewish cantors in the world). They were both ordained in 1987.

Image result for Rabbi Naomi LevySince March 2007, JTS has accepted openly gay, lesbian, and bisexual students into their rabbinical and cantorial programs. This is to uphold the Seminary’s non-discrimination policies for their new founded admission policy, without taking a stance on same-sex unions. JTS marked the first anniversary of the change with a special program. Since then, special programs were established to recognize the pluralism in the student body. In April 2011, JTS held a Yom Iyyun, or day of learning, about LGBTQ issues, and their intersection with Judaism. Joy Ladin, a transgender woman who teaches English at Yeshiva University, gave a talk about her life. Other programs included creating welcoming communities, and inclusive prayer, among others. It was sponsored by other Jewish social action groups to ensure that all other queer individuals are included in all sectors of Jewish life.

Image result for Joy LadinLadin has described her girlhood intuiting at a young age, viewing her assigned male identity as “false” as a child. At age eight, she began calling herself a “pacifist” in order to avoid combative play and athletics.

She received her PhD from Princeton University in 2000, her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1995 and her BA from Sarah Lawrence College in 1982. In 2007, Ladin received tenure at Yeshiva University, and thereafter announced her gender transition. In consternation, the Yeshiva could only place her on 18 month paid leave, but with the aid of lawyers from Lambda Legal, Ladin returned to work at Yeshiva University in 2008.

Since its birth, Reform Judaism had given themselves a new challenge. In an effort to avoid what they perceived as “bondage to Judaism” the Bible has to be reinterpreted in a different way from what the Rabbinic believe. Thus the Hebrew term ben ha arbayim is reinterpreted as between the setting-times and erev as dusk. And bôqer, which Rabbinic Jews defined as the time after midnight to noon, is redefined and restricted to daybreak or sunrise. So Passover and the Exodus were redefined to recapture the spirit of the ancient Samaritans, a spirit that of persistently looking at Jewish laws and issues not from a static viewpoint, but from an evolving angle.

Biblical and non-Biblical history has recorded a couple of evolving reinterpretations at various times to suit a new social and political environment, each has its own axe to grind:

See the source image(1) King Jeroboam — Being anointed King of the Northern Kingdom he quickly felt he needed a new place of worship, least his subjects could be influenced to pledge their allegiance back to the Kingdom of Judah based Jerusalem. For the convenience of his subjects, he chose two places: Bethel and Dan. And to differentiate from Jerusalem’s feasts, he moved the Feast of Tabernacles to the eighth month. Also, he made himself the high priest, whose action drove most of the Levites and others in the priesthood south to the Kingdom of Judah.

(2) The Samaritans — After Shalmaneser king of Assyria had taken the Ten Tribes into Exile, he took the surrounding heathens to resettle the land. But lions plagued the new settlers, so they needed a priest from the previous populace to come and teach them how to worship the God of the land. Having secured a returning priest, the new settlers “feared the Lord, but served their own gods, after the manner of the nations who carried them away from thence” (II Kings 17:33).

(3) Sanballat the Horonite — He was a Samaritan governor and was a chief opponent of Nehemiah and Ezra, and who, with some Jewish allies, constantly fought against Jerusalem and the teaching of Ezra. Failing to infiltrate Jerusalem in the rebuilding Temple activities, he sought consent from the Persian Court to build a similar temple on Mount Gerizim as Nehemiah had done in Jerusalem. And he had one of the grandsons of Eliashib, the high priest in Jerusalem, made an high priest in Mount Gerizim. He was Manasseh, who married a daughter of Sanballat, and was dispelled from Jerusalem for not keeping his lineage pure (Nehemiah 13:28). The Mountain Gerizim was inserted into the Pentateuch to make the new mountain under their control as God’s sacred mountain.

Image result for sadducees pics(4) The Sadducees — the Sadducaic sect claimed they drew their name from Zadok, the first high priest of Israel to serve in the First Temple, with further claims they were the “sons of Zadok,” descendants of Eleazar, son of Aaron. Many of the Pharisees were also priests and both participated in the Temple and in the Sanhedrin, so there were intense rivalries battling each other for centuries. The Boethusians and the Herodias had strong blood ties and were close compatriots of the Sadducees.

(5) The Karaites — Anan ben David (715 – 795 or 811?), a nasi, a prince, from a family of exilarchs, the leaders of Babylonian Jewry, was the founder of the Karaite movement. His followers were, at first, called Ananites, but adopted Karaism as their movement. They rejected the Oral law as divinely inspired and because many of their other beliefs were similar to the Sadducees, some claimed they were descendents from them. Nehemia Gordon is a prominent Karaite today among English-speaking audience.

Image result for abraham geiger pic(6) Reform Judaism — Abraham Geiger (1810 – 1874), a rabbi in Germany, was considered the founding father of the Reform Movement. Emphasizing Judaism’s constant development along history and universalist traits, Geiger sought to reformulate a new form of Judaism in what he regarded as a religion compliant with modern times. And so he did, splitting Judaism further in varied forms: Reform, Conservatiive, Progressive, Liberal, Humanistic and Reconstructionist.

(7) Church of God Communities — together with the Church of God, Seventh Day, the Seventh-Day Adventists came from the teachings of William Miller (1782 – 1849), especially the need to keep the seventh-day Sabbath. Next came Herbert W Armstrong who started the Radio Church of God in 1933 and renamed Worldwide Church of God in1968, and Ambassador College in 1947. Following his death in 1986, the church and the college collapsed, and now a couple of its splinters remains, known collectively as the Church of God Communities.

But our concentration is on the (6) Reform Judaism for the moment:

The Orthodox or Rabbinic life faced many challenges since the Industrial Revolution and were subjected to numerous scrutiny among the majority of Jews living in the diaspora at large. And soon their claim as sole traditional theological authority to Torah Law and practice were not sustainable over time. This gave rise to demand for changes and reforms in various guises — a stiffnecked people adding sin to sin, a rebellious and lying children — all ending with a consuming fire. Thus says in the Sacred Text:

“Woe to the rebellious children,” saith the Lord, “that take counsel, but not of Me, and that cover with a covering, but not of My Spirit, that they may add sin to sin . . . 9 that this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the Lord” (Isaiah 30:1,9).

And the Lord said unto Moses, “I have seen this people, and behold, it is a stiffnecked people.10 Now therefore let Me alone, that My wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them” (Exodus 32:9).

“Understand therefore this day that the Lord thy God is He who goeth over before thee as a consuming fire” (Deuteronomy 9:3).

Could this wrath of “a consuming fire” that were destined for other people in ancient times turned around in our modern era toward the CoG Communities by the same Lord? And could it “begin at My sanctuary?” (Ezekiel 9:6). We’ll see as we investigate this question further in future critiques.

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~ by Joel Huan on January 22, 2020.

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

  1. […] A Critique of Chapter Six and Seven (Id) HERE […]

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