A Critique of Fred Coulter’s Passover (c)

A Critique of Fred Coulter’s Passover (c)

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

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

Image result for quail in exodus pics

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 on the manna 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.

To repeat this focus, this chapter (Exodus 15) isn’t about how to define what erev or ben ha arbayim mean, but about preparing for a double portion for the Sabbath; and those that went out on the Sabbath couldn’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.’”

What is the true meaning of the Hebrew phrase ben ha arbayim? The traditional Jewish interpretation defines it as the time from shortly after noon until sunset. Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan has accordingly translated ben ha arbayim as “afternoon” in the Passover command in Exodus 12:6. He has done the same thing in Exodus 16:12: “I have heard the complaints of the Israelites. Speak to them and say, In the afternoon [Hebrew ben ha arbayim], you will eat meat and in the morning, you will have your fill of bread….That evening [Hebrew ba erev], a flock of quail came and covered the camp” (Ex. 16:12-13, The Living Torah). (Pg 40)

Image result for manna pics

Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan, an American Orthodox Rabbi, was correct in the above definition. “Ben ha arbayim” is defined as the time “after noon until sunset.”

These Orthodox Jews had survived the Jerusalem AD 70 inferno simply because they rightly bore the Oracles of God that God had committed unto them (Roman 3-14). But the Sadducees, along with their perverted teachings would be deemed unworthy of any value, perished in that judgement!

The evening in Exodus 16:12 is ben ha arbayim but to Fred Coulter, he redefines it as a very short period of time, “between sundown and dark, a period of about an hour or so.” Words in the Scriptures shouldn’t be redefined, but Fred Coulter, revived by a Sadduciac conviction, 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) (Pg 46)

See the source image

The Scripture isn’t a dictionary, but 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).

The 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, from Noon to sunset. The bread arrived during the next morning where there is also light.

The Hebrew phrase 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 erev) 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 second evening begins at nightfall till midnight. This second erev is one that begins a day, a Sabbath.

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 . . .” [וְהָיָה֙] 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 a gap of 430 years apart as expressed in 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. 

Elsewhere “And it came to pass . . .” occurs 396 times in the KJV.  But when the “and” is excluded [i.e. “it came to pass . . .”] this phrase exploded to 2,204 times.

In short, in most contexts, this phrase “and it came to pass” means “and when the appropriate time came,” or “and when the time came,” or “and it shall be.”

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 a verse 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. Pure foolishness!

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. These misguided concepts originated first from the Samaritans, who then infiltrated the Jewish community and these were known as the Sadducees.

The Scriptures cannot be broken, and often in the Scriptures, it was written to conceal a mystery, but the honor of serious Biblical students is to search out a mystery (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. As stated above, it simply means “and when the time came.” 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 the story of 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).

Just a paragraph earlier, Fred Coulter noted: 

When God promised to provide meat for the children of Israel, He said that they would be able to eat the meat “at dusk,” or ben ha arbayim.

That’s right: the Hebrew used is ben ha arbayim (Ex 16:12) which for this case is also the same time as erev (Ex 16:13). The only time the two phrases coincided is when erev is the first erev (see illustration above). That’s right, ben ha arbayim, normally a six-hour period, is also the first erev. Both terms mean, “after noon and until nightfall” not dusk. 

Second the Scriptures give a different picture after the quails arrived. In verse 13, the Scriptures were silent when the next wave came. Again, it “and it came to pass” could be a day later, or it could be after several days. No details were given but other Scriptures commented that the gathering of the quails was so great that the catch could last not just a week or two, but a whole month’s supply, as testified in Number 11:18-20:

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?”’” “a whole month” is repeated in verse 21.

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. 

Were the Israelites Craving for Meat or Starving for Food? - TheTorah.com

The context of this quail, is that the Israelites already had been given manna and were therefore well supplied with food.

But they demanded meat in addition to the manna, and their insistence on having more than they needed displeased God. He was angry over their rebellion and grumbling and sent a severe plague among the people: 

Numbers 11:33 And while the flesh was yet between their teeth, ere it was chewed, the wrath of the Lord was kindled against the people, and the Lord smote the people with a very great plague.

The plague was a disease carried by the quail as a lesson to His people. When God rises up His anger against grumbling and rebellion, it is so that the Israelits could learn to be content. Many Israelites died from the plague and they named the place Kibroth Hattaavah (“The Grave of Lust”). This was to remind them of what happened when in their greed they had grumbled against the Lord:

Numbers 11:34 And he called the name of that place Kibrothhattaavah [that is, The graves of lust], because there they buried the people who lusted.

The catch was an enormous catch and it lasted a month. The Scriptures are silent about any other catch of quails, unlike the manner which came every six days for forty years in the desert (Exodus 12:35). In fact, the story of the quail in Numbers 11 hints strongly that it is a 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). As no mention of the quail’s appearance were ever mentioned hereafter, it seems proper this is a one-off event. 

This was God’s response to their grumblings:

See the source image

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; 6 but our soul is dried away. There is nothing at all besides this manna before our eyes.” 7 And the manna was as coriander seed, and the color thereof as the color of bdellium.

Excerpts from the Targum is more explicit in their grumblings and punishment:

And the strangers who had gathered together among them demanded with demand, and they turned and wept; and the sons of Israel said, Who will give us flesh to eat? We remember the fish which we had to eat in Mizraim freely, without (being restricted by prohibitory) precept, the cucumbers and melons, the leeks, onions, and potherbs. But now our life is dried up; there is not anything; we see only the manna, as the pauper who looks upon a morsel (bestowed) by the hands. Alas for the people whose food is bread from the heavens! And so murmured they, because the manna was like coriander‑seed, round, when it came down from the heavens, and when it had been sanctified its appearance was as the likeness of Bedilcha. And the wicked people looked about, and collected, and ground it in the mill. But he who would, bruised it in the mortar, or dressed it in the pot, or made cakes of it; and the taste of it was like the taste of cream covered with oil.

And Mosheh heard the people lamenting with their neighbours, who had gathered every man at the gate of his tent and the displeasure of the Lord was strongly moved, and in the eyes of Mosheh it was evil; and Mosheh said before the Lord, Why hast Thou done ill with Thy servant, or I have not found mercy before Thee, that Thou shouldst have laid the toil of this people upon me? Have I made or borne all these people as from the womb? are they my children, that Thou saidst to me in Mizraim, Bear the toil of them with thy strength, as the instructor of youth beareth, until they be carried into the land which Thou hast sworn unto their fathers?

Whence am I to find meat to give to all these people? for they are cry crying to me, saying Give us flesh that we may eat. I am not able to bear all these people, for it is too weighty for me. But if Thou do this with me, to leave all the labour of them upon me, let me now die with the death in which the just have repose, if I have found mercy before Thee, that I may not see mine evil. [JERUSALEM. That I may not see the evil of them who are Thy people.] Then spake the Lord unto Mosheh, Gather together in My name seventy righteous men of the elders of Israel, whom thou knowest to be elders of the people, and who were set over them in Mizraim, and bring them to the tabernacle to stand there with thee. And I will be revealed in the glory of My Shekinah, and will speak with thee there, and will amplify the spirit of prophecy that is upon thee, and bestow it upon them; and they shall sustain with thee the burden of the people, that thou mayest not bear it alone. And say thou to the people, Make ready against the morrow that you may eat flesh; because you have lamented before the Lord, saying, Who will give us flesh to eat? for it was better with us in Mizraim. The Lord therefore will give yon flesh that you may eat. You shall not eat it one day, nor two days, nor five, nor ten, nor twenty days; for a month of days, until the smell of it cometh forth from your nostrils, and it become a loathing to you; because you have been contemptuous against the Word of the Lord, whose glorious Shekinah dwelleth among you, and because you have wept before Him, saying, Why should we have come out from Mizraim?

Were the Israelites Craving for Meat or Starving for Food? - TheTorah.com

And Mosheh proceeded to the camp, he and all the elders of Israel. And the wind of a tempest went forth, and came violently from before the Lord, so as to have swept the world away, but for the righteousness of Mosheh and Aharon: and it blew over the Great Sea, and made the quails fly from the Great Sea, and settle wherever there was place in the camp, as a day’s journey northward and southward, and at the height as of two cubits; they flew upon the face of the ground, and went upon their bellies, so that (the people) were not wearied while they collected them. 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, and they spread them abroad round about the camps.

The wicked ate of the flesh, yet offered no thanksgiving to Him who had given it to them: but while the flesh was between their teeth, and not consumed, the anger of the Lord waxed strong against the evil people, and the Lord slew the people with a very great mortality. And he called the name of that place, The Graves of the Desirers of Flesh; for there they buried the people who had desired flesh. And from the Graves of the Desirers the people journeyed to Hatseroth, and they were in Hatseroth.

Exodus 16 is a chapter where the usage of erev and ben ha arbayim is used interchangeably with various events in between. But everything makes sense when erev is deemed as the daylight portion (or the first erev in the illustration) 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 of the time would be in the dark, more so when they were travelling in the Sinai Desert, and an impossible task when it is winter, on an even shorter interval — “In the winter, ben ha arbayim is approximately 30-40 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 or light 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.  

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 Orthodox Jewish definition of these technical words. These words in Hebrew are in the Jews’ native language, it’s their Sacred Text, it’s written within the Jewish culture.

The Orthodox Jews are the custodians of God’s oracles. Many critics have made a habit of stigmatizing them. The infidelity and obstinacy of the Jews could not invalidate the Oracles committed to these Jews. In fact, they were given the Oracles DESPITE their hypocrisies and frailties (Roman 3:1-4). 

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 Orthodox 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. This was God’s promise! Ben ha arbayim is the timeafter 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 example 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).

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

Deceit of False Pastors | The Glory of His Grace

Nar, all Bull Shits! Let’s be reminded of Fred’s own diatribe when 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).

And further down on the same page:

False doctrines and misinterpretations are continually being spread because ministers and teachers use the Word of God deceitfully. How diabolical it is to take the Word of God, which is the truth, and misapply it to create a lie! (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.” 

“taken the Word of God, which is the truth, and misapply it to create a lie!”


~ by Joel Huan on January 17, 2021.

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