A Critique of Fred Coulter’s Passover (b)

A Critique of Fred Coulter’s Passover (b)

The Christian Passover What Does It Mean? When Should It Be Observed—the 14th or 15th? 

Fred R. Coulter
Christian Biblical Church of God
Post Office Box 1442
Hollister California 95024-1442

Chapter 3 – 4

Quoted are excerpts from Fred Coulter’s book, The Christian Passover. These excerpts are often in block form, in PINK, indented so as to differentiate it from other quotes or comments. The Scriptures, in RED, must be our primary focus and guide, and oftentimes the Scriptures, which include the Septuagint and the Targum, present concepts very different from what we think!

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

Day and Night Vocabulary | Vocabulary | EnglishClub

In Chapter 3 and 4, Fred Coulter takes issue of the word evening (h6153 ba·erev), which according to him, is correctly translated as “dusk” or translated elsewhere by other English translations as “twilight.” It is a time period of 3 to 5 minutes, he wrote. 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 were from a new movement where they call themselves the 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 into English as “at evening” or in some other places ben ha arbayim, translated as “between the two evenings.” Since Strong Concordance allocates both terms as h6153, it indicates both words came from the same root.

However, both words or phrases are used in the Scriptures to describe the timing of the Passover. Below, we’ll analyse their differences:

(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).

A prominent medieval Rabbi Rashi (1040-1105) explains this phase ben ha arbayim in Ex 12:6: Heb. בֵּין הָעַרְבָּיִם From six hours [after sunrise] and onward is called בֵּין הָעַרְבַּיִם, literally, between the two evenings, for the sun is inclined toward the place where it sets to become darkened. It seems to me that the expression בֵּין הָעַרְבַּיִם denotes those hours between the darkening of the day and the darkening of the night. The darkening of the day is at the beginning of the seventh hour, when the shadows of evening decline, and the darkening of the night at the beginning of the night. — in short, this means ben ha arbayim is the time after midday till sunset.

(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). In Orthodox terminology, there are two evenings (erevs), one from the time the sun begins to decline, and the other evening is after the sun has gone down. 

To make this clearer, “between the two evenings” is from the time when the sun begins to incline towards the west, which is from the sixth hour [noon or 12 o’clock] and onwards. It is erevim [“evenings”] because there are TWO EVENINGS, for “between the two evenings” is from the time that the sun begins to decline as one evening, and the other evening is after the sun has GONE DOWN. It is the space of time in between which is meant by “between the two evenings.”

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The Orthodox definition of ben ha’arbayim “between the two evenings” makes great 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 (Chapter 3, The Christian Passover, Pg 23-24, PDF copy).

This 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 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. 

When the Orthodox 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:

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(1) The commandment to sacrifice a lamb daily in the morning and one in the evening: normally one at 9 AM and another at 3 PM, where ben ha’arbayim is defined as “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, not after nightfall (5).

(4) Quails arriving as food for the Israelites in the “after noon” when there was light to do the catching, cleaning and cooking and not after nightfall (2).

(5) And most importantly, note that NONE of the above ben ha’arbayim were to start a Sabbath, or to start a new day, which would be after 6 PM (sunset, dusk, twilight) or after nightfall.

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

~~4~~

Fred Coulter wrote in Chapter 4:

The slaying of the lambs was the first of nine ordinances to be fulfilled on the Passover day. (Pg 33).

Look, Fred Coulter couldn’t even quote his own work accurately. Being so desperate trying to prove some misguided hypothesis he ran too fast that he put the cart before the horse! Caught flat-footed again and again, how could anyone trust his interpretations? Just a reminder of his first ordinances, in case: 1) Select an unblemished male lamb less than one year old on the 10th day of the first month (Ex. 12:3). (Pg 19). 

Also, to make his “domestic” Exodus passover more complete, Fred Coulter shouldn’t forget to include at least two other ordinances that night to his nine already stated: 

10) They shall eat the passover with loins girded, shoes on their feet, staff in their hands; and they shall eat it in haste:

Exodus 12:11 And thus shall ye eat it: with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste; it is the Lord’S Passover. If a “domestic” Egyptian passover were to be repeated, this should also be repeated every year thereafter.

11) Stay indoors in their houses and burn any food remains with fire in the morning (boqer):

Exodus 12:10 And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning, and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire. . . 22 . . .  and none of you shall go out from the door of his house until the morning (boqer).

Numbers 9:12 “They shall leave none of it [food remains] unto the morning (boqer), nor break any bone of it. According to all the ordinances of the Passover they shall keep it.” — See, staying indoors until the morning (including burning any food remains) is one of the ordinances.

Just as a reminder, Fred Coulter’s nine ordinances (Page19 of his book) are listed here:

1) Select an unblemished male lamb less than one year old on the 10th day of the first month (Ex. 12:3). 

2) Kill the lamb on the 14th day of the first month at dusk [Hebrew ben ha arbayim, “between the two evenings”].  Share the lamb with a neighbor if one’s own family was too small to eat it.  Do not break a bone of the lamb (Ex. 12:4, 6, 46). 

3) Strike the side posts and lintel of the door of the house with some of the blood (Ex. 12:7). 

4) Roast the whole lamb—head and legs and edible entrails—with fire (Ex. 12:9). 

5) Do not boil the meat in water or eat it raw (Ex. 12:9). 

6) Eat the flesh in that night with bitter herbs and unleavened bread (Ex. 12:8). 

7) Allow no alien to eat it unless circumcised (Ex. 12:43-44). 

8) Eat it in the same house where it was slain. Do not carry any of it out of the house (Ex. 12:46). 

9) Burn any remains, such as the bones and fat, the skin and guts, with fire by morning (Ex. 12:10). (Pg 19)

Without these additional ordinances, his nine listings seem incomplete, something vitally important is missing in that original Exodus as commanded. The ordinances in 10) and 11) are far more important commandments than say, 5) Do not boil the meat in water or eat it raw. In fact, 5) should be merged with 4) Roast the lamb with fire, which all come from as a single verse Exodus 12:9.

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Simon Magus

“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” (Pg 35).

—  in short, Fred Coulter is saying phrase ba erev, or “at sunset,” designates the end of one day and the beginning of the next day — a period of no more than 3-5 minute.

In 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….” (Pg 31).

The difference in the two definitions creates clarity on some issues but confusion in others since 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 has to be killed within the five minute period then why is it also allowed within the one and a half hour period ben ha arbayim?

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Fred Coulter’s Magic

Also are the two periods ba·erev followed by ben ha arbayim? Fred Coulter answers this question in the affirmative in numerous places:

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).

We have examined the Scriptural evidence, and 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 (Pg 50).

If so, then two lambs for Passover would be needed, MAGIC! one at ben ha arbayim to fulfil Exodus 12:6 and another at ba·erev to fulfil Deuteronomy 16:6. In Joshua 5:10 it confirms Passover was kept ba·erev at Gilgal after crossing the Jordan: 

Joshua 5:10 And the children of Israel encamped in Gilgal, and kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the month at evening (ba·erev) in the plains of Jericho.

One lamb definitely couldn’t fulfil two sacrifices. Fred Coulter’s analysis can only add confusion to more confusion. His definition for ba·erev and ben ha arbayim is a slight of hand! Magic! It is a touch of Simon Magus. His devotees would admire his skill with admiration!

His faithfuls are not thinking. If they had used only some of their brain cells, they would have woken up from a cold shower. Or else they are sleeping, like the Laodicean virgins: blind, naked and wretched!

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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. So just teach me only the Written Torah.”

But Hillel knew that the man 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 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, one at 9 AM in the morning and another at 3 PM in the afternoon.  Ben ha arbayim or “between the two evenings” is also an idiom meaning “between the beginnings of the two evenings,” or “after noon and until nightfall.”

Once this simple concept is understood, all the rest of the Bible jigsaw puzzles will fall nicely into place. Those trying to operate outside this understanding are operating at the edge, displaying their foolishness of self harm or risk participating in the witchcraft of Simon Magus.

~~~~~

~ by Joel Huan on January 7, 2021.

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

  1. […] Critique of Chapter Three and Four (b) HERE ~ —— […]

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