A Critique of Fred Coulter’s Passover (e)

A Critique of Fred Coulter’s Passover (e)

Passover on the 14th or 15th?

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

Chapters 8 – 9

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The Critique of Coulter’s The Christian Passover continues:

In Chapter 8, vanity aside, Fred Coulter is quoting his own translation as before. For one who doesn’t have Hebrew as a native tongue it’s an amazing feat!  What reward would he give to himself? Ten crowns?

Coulter accurately translates ba erev as “at sunset,” showing that the Feast of Unleavened Bread begins immediately after the Passover day ends: “And you shall keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread, for in this same day [the 15th, the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread] I have brought your armies out of the land of Egypt. Therefore you shall keep this day in your generations as a law forever. In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at sunset [ending the Passover day and beginning the 15th], you shall eat unleavened bread, until the twenty-first day of the month at sunset [ending the 21st day]” (Ex. 12:17-18). (The Christian Passover, Pg 89)

Fred’s analysis is all over the place. Nobody knows what level of Hebrew he has but he could pull another rabbit out of a hat that his Samaritan comrade couldn’t. Okay, let’s get back to the topic. Can anybody see the self-contraction above? If unleavened were to be eaten AFTER “the Passover day” which he zealously identifies as the fourteenth, then the day after would be the fifteenth, but the Scriptures say to eat unleavened bread on ”the fourteenth day, at even, until the twentieth-first day of the month at even” in Exodus 12:18.

“In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at even (ba-erev), ye shall eat unleavened bread until the one and twentieth day of the month at even (ba-erev)” Exodus 12:18.

What the Scripture says is very often different from what we assume it says. If Fred Coulter is honest and he didn’t come to study the Bible with an already makeup mindset, he would admit that when the moment the Passover lamb was killed it was also the same time that any leavened product had to be removed, and only unleavened bread was to be eaten. In both instances, in  Deuteronomy 16:6 and Exodus 12:18 the same expression ba-erev is used. 

The Scriptures make it explicitly clear that the Passover day and the Feast of Unleavened Bread are two separate feasts with two different meanings. The Passover day, the 14th day of the first month, was established as a memorial feast to commemorate God’s passing over the houses of the children of Israel. The 15th day, the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, was established as a memorial feast in commemoration of the Exodus: “And you shall keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread, for [for the following reason] in this SAME DAY I HAVE BROUGHT YOUR ARMIES OUT OF THE LAND OF EGYPT…” (verse 17). (Pg 89)

GOD DID NOT COMBINE THE PASSOVER AND THE FIRST DAY OF UNLEAVENED BREAD.  It was the leaders of Judaism who changed the commandments of God and combined the two feasts, eliminating the 14th Passover and proclaiming the 15th as the Passover day, and then supporting their erroneous teaching with the empty argument of a “day’s delay.”  (Pg 90)

Day / Night | Learn english, English vocabulary, Telling time in english

Passover and Unleavened Bread were well amalgamated right at the beginning, at the time of the original Exodus.

And this amalgamation is confirmed in another passage in Exodus 34:25

“Thou shalt not offer the blood of My sacrifice with leaven, neither shall the sacrifice of the Feast of the Passover be left until the morning” Exodus 34:25. — Note that Passover is a Feast expressed above and it is to be celebrated as a feast of Unleavened Bread, hence the Passover Feast is a Composite Feast. No need to argue otherwise.

Rashid: You shall not slaughter…: You shall not slaughter the Passover sacrifice as long as leaven still exists. This is a [specific] warning to the slaughterer, to the one who sprinkles the blood, or to one of the members of the group [bringing this sacrifice]. -[from Pes. 63b].

In Deuteronomy 16:6 ba·erev is the time to kill the Passover on the fourteenth; and in Exodus 12:18 ba·erev on the fourteenth is also to commence eating unleavened bread. The Composite Feast started on the fourteenth, at erev, and continued through the fifteenth to the twentieth (Exodus 12:18). Here is a great revelation from Ezra: in Exodus 12, verse 8, the Ezra-inspired Targum had made it clear that the Passover was a late fourteenth and the eating was on the fifteenth: “And you shall eat the flesh on that night, the fifteenth of Nisan . . .” the Targum says.

Both the Passover and Unleavened Bread ordinances were well interlaced right from the beginning: the Exodus. The record from Exodus 12 and the Targum are like twin mirrors: when placed against the CoG Communities, they reflect their nakedness. But these Wretches and Blind could not see their Nakedness because they are blind and they continue speaking with various deceptions.

This is plainly what the Scriptures say, but “Ephraim compasseth me with lies, and the house of Israel with deceit” (Hosea 11:12). Only the stiff-necked and blind couldn’t see this. Plain and simple. The modern day descendants of Ephraim operate with lies and deceit! 

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And they are throwing diatribes and lying against the one with the Oracles of God, the Jews (Romans 3:1-4). Below is another verse great for reflection:

“Manasseh, Ephraim; and Ephraim, Manasseh; and they together shall be against Judah. For all this His anger is not turned away, but His hand is stretched out still” (Isaiah 9:21).

John Gill: for all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still; that is, the anger of God, that was not turned away; he had not yet stirred up all his wrath, he had not done with them, he had still other judgments to bring upon them; and his hand continued to be stretched out to inflict them, seeing they were not brought to repentance by what was already done unto them; so the Targum, “for all this they do not return from their sins, that he may turn away his anger from them, but still retain their sins; and yet his stroke will be to take vengeance on them.’

The anger of God will begin at His Sanctuary:

“Go ye after him through the city and smite. Let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity.6 Slay utterly old and young, both maids and little children and women; but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at My sanctuary,” Ezekiel 9:5-6.

Again, Fred Coulter spent a lot of time whinging about travelling in the darkness of the night.

He wrote:

When the sun began to set, ending the 14th, and beginning the 15th, the children of Israel were all ready to begin the Exodus. . . . The first column would have begun to march out at about 6 PM, as the sun was setting, and the end of the last column would have left the city at about eleven o’clock on the night of the 15th. (Pg 94)

Eleven o‘clock at night is deep into the night!  And then further down:

“The Scriptures clearly record that the Exodus began at the going down of the sun, and continued on into the night: “…the LORD your God brought you forth out of Egypt BY NIGHT…. at sunset [ba erev, the beginning of the 15th], at the going down of the sun, at the time that you came out of Egypt” (Deut. 16:1, 6).” (Pg 97)

Deuteronomy 16:6 (thou shalt sacrifice the Passover at evening [ba-erev], at the going down of the sun) is a passage identifying the time when the Passover was to be killed, not when the Israelits were to go out of Egypt. But a few pages earlier, he wrote, contradicting himself again and again, adding errors to errors:

Imagine the difficulties the children of Israel would have encountered if they had attempted to travel to Rameses by night with no light to guide them. Some families might have ended up in the wrong city and missed the Exodus! And how could they have kept their sheep and goats from being scattered along the way? It is no easy task to keep stragglers from wandering off during the daylight hours; it would have been an impossible task in the dark hours after midnight. (Pg 91)

So it was possible before midnight, but impossible after midnight! In these few pages, Fred Coulter whines back and forth about travelling in the dark contradicting himself what he wrote earlier in the same paragraph: with no light to guide them some “families might have ended up in the wrong city and missed the Exodus!” And where are all the members of his team — Carl and Jean Franklin, Philip Neal, Albert and Mela Cataga John, Hiedi and Sasha Vogele — where are they? Or is this a case where they saw the Emperor has no clothes?

Deuteronomy 16:6, “at the going down of the sun,” is the time to kill the Passover, at even, but is misquoted above to indicate when God brought the children of Israel out of Egypt. Fred Coulter has a habitual style of misquoting the Scriptures, on becoming a chronic liar. That night, of course, was on the fifteenth, under a full moon, and there shouldn’t be any difficulties seeing the Egyptians burying their dead, either later that night, or early morning. Neither would the Egyptians have any difficulties seeing the children of Israel going out with a high hand.

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Traditions or precedents could be bad, but it could also be good. To say all traditions are bad are just too foolish. 

Paul wrote in Galatians 1:14 “I profited in the Jews’ religion beyond many of my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers.”

And in 2 Thessalonians 2:15 “Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold to the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word or our epistle.”

We should learn how to distinguish good traditions from bad ones. We should be learning how to judge, how to be good judges. A good judge has to filter through all sorts of “evidence” and “testimonies” to arrive at a correct final decision. This means our rationale, logic, and emotions must be shielded from the illogically absurd, ridiculous, unfounded, and unbalanced thoughts that tried to muddle our filtering process. Which tradition is Biblical, which tradition is shaky and without foundation. Without a sound filtering process we would fail to be good judges.

~~9~~

Critique of Chapter 9 continues:

In our study of the Passover account in the book of Exodus, we found no evidence to support the Jewish tradition of a late afternoon temple sacrifice of the Passover lambs.  On the contrary, we found that all the Scriptural evidence points to a Passover at the beginning of the 14th.  By letting the Scriptures define “morning” and “night,” we have determined that the children of Israel killed the Passover lambs on the 14th as the day began, right after sunset of the 13th day. (The Christian Passover, pg 101)

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Do not be mistaken, the Bible isn’t a dictionary. At best, a verse here or there could hint what a word means, but normally it doesn’t. Most of the meaning of these words are known orally to people who have Hebrew as their native language. In fact the Hebrew Text that Moses wrote doesn’t have any vowels, thus the Text couldn’t give any clue how the words are to be pronounced, least of all the meanings of each of those words. To say that “the Scriptures define “morning” and “night”” is not just being misguided, it’s a fool by itself. The Samaritans were the first pretenders who foolishly thought of themselves as capable of interpreting the Scriptures, and so they led a string of heresies along the way down to our modern era.

In Chapter 9, Fred Coulter asked in a paragraph a series of questions:

Is there any Biblical evidence that God altered the Passover ordinances that He had given to Moses? (The Christian Passover, pg 102)

Of course, He did. The original Passover had to be observed in a certain manner because of what God was going to achieve through it in Egypt. However, in later years it was a commemoration of the event, not the event itself. If not, during each Passover thereafter, every Israelites would still be: (a) Eating with their loins girded, sandals on their feet, staff in their hands; and they were to eat in haste; (b) Go and spoil the Egyptians: jewellery of gold and silver; raiment and any other things in the morning; (c) Pretend fleeing from Pharaoh and his armies in an re-enactment of the Exodus.

Did God Himself end the domestic sacrifice of the Passover lambs? (Pg 102)

Of course, He did. Otherwise we wouldn’t read of a 12-year old Messiah going to Jerusalem to keep the Passover with His parents. They should have kept it back in Galilee, but they didn’t.

Also, the Mishnah sheds more light on this:

What are the differences between the Paschal lamb that was offered in Egypt and the Paschal lamb offered in all later generations? The Paschal lamb offered in Egypt had its blood sprinkled upon the lintel and the two doorposts with a bundle of hyssop, unlike the Paschal lamb in later years. In addition, the Paschal lamb in Egypt was eaten in haste on only one night, whereas the Paschal lamb of subsequent generations is observed for the whole seven days (Perushim 9).

The Mishnah supports the Scriptures intimately.

After Israel’s first Passover, did He institute a mandatory tabernacle sacrifice of the Passover lambs? (Pg 102)

Of course, He did. Otherwise what’s the point of God setting aside a whole tribe of Levi and establishing the Priesthood for a special purpose and then having the ordinances of the sanctuary and Temple instituted. The Scriptures warn in Leviticus 17 to bring the blood of any sacrifices to the sanctuary:

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Leviticus 17 says if one were to make a sacrifice, any sacrifice including the Passover “in the camp” or “out of the camp,” the blood must be brought to the tabernacle, and the priest shall sprinkle the blood upon the altar of the Lord at the door of the tabernacle (Leviticus 17:1-6).

The penalty for disobedience is death as any man who refuses to do so would be “cut off” from the children of Israel (Leviticus 17:8-9).

Thou mayest not sacrifice the Passover within any of thy gates which the Lord thy God giveth thee; but at the place which the Lord thy God shall choose to place His name in (Deuteronomy 16:5-6). 

During the time of Moses, Joshua and the Judges the sacrifices were performed where the Sanctuary was situated, but when the Temple was established permanently in one place it was God who told King Solomon that He had chosen for Himself to move the place of sacrifice to Jerusalem. Hence a Temple-centered sacrifice in Jerusalem is a God-ordained command:

Thus Solomon finished the house of the Lord and the king’s house; and all that came into Solomon’s heart to do in the house of the Lord and in his own house, he prosperously effected. And the Lord appeared to Solomon by night and said unto him: “I have heard thy prayer, and have chosen this place for Myself for a house of sacrifice” (II Chronicles 7:11-12).

And “this place” is in Jerusalem: 

“(God) have chosen Jerusalem, that My name might be there” (II Chronicles 6:6).

And many people, seeking the Lord God of Israel, went to Jerusalem to offer sacrifices:

“And after them, out of all the tribes of Israel, such as set their hearts to seek the Lord God of Israel came to Jerusalem to sacrifice unto the Lord God of their fathers” (II Chronicles 11:16).

The Scriptures are extremely clear but the Blind couldn’t see this because they are blind.

Did God require that the blood of the Passover lambs be sprinkled on the altar? (Pg 102)

Of course, He did. Otherwise during Passover celebrations righteous King Hezekiah and King Josiah would have commanded the people should instead be taking the blood and striking it at the lintels and both sides of the doorposts of their houses.

6. Hezekiah's Petitions for Deliverance and Healing (2 Kings 19:14-19;  20:1-7) -- Great Prayers of the Bible

Fred Coulter further alleges:

In accordance with God’s command, the morning offering was originally offered at sunrise, when the morning begins, and the evening offering was originally offered between sunset and dark. Every day of the year, there was an offering at the beginning of daylight and at the beginning of darkness. Later records of the temple service show that a change was instituted in the time of the evening offering. Instead of an offering immediately after sunset, as God had commanded, the offering was moved to the late afternoon. (Pg 103)

Conveniently, Fred Coulter alleges that the original morning and evening sacrifices were offered “at the beginning of daylight” and “at the beginning of darkness” but offers any record (unless that record came from the Samaritans) or evidence of when the change took place. If he could, he would be a Biblical genius, worthy of a Nobel Prize, if not he must be displaying a figment of his own imagination or he is just a serial liar.

Throughout Fred’s writings, he harped continuously about observing a “domestic Passover” but he never defined it. Okay maybe the case in Egypt should serve as the best example, since he advocates the nine Passover ordinances were never changed. Should this be the case Israelites would be observing Passover in their houses, just as they did in the land of Goshen. Should that be the case, Galileans need not come to Jerusalem and yet Jesus and his disciples went to Jerusalem in numerous times to observe Passover. Were they gallivanting in Jerusalem? Were they disobedient? They were supposed to keep their Passover in their houses, back in Galilee, shouldn’t they? This is a serious charge, a travesty and bothering blasphemy!

God’s commandment is clear in Deuteronomy 16:16 Three times a year shall all thy males appear before the Lord thy God in the place which He shall choose: in the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and in the Feast of Weeks, and in the Feast of Tabernacles. And “Thou mayest not sacrifice the Passover within any of thy gates which the Lord thy God giveth thee” (Deuteronomy 16:5). A “domestic Passover” wasn’t sanctified by God in subsequent years. It wasn’t allowed. It would be outright rebellion!

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That place chosen by God is Jerusalem as affirmed in II Chronicles 6:6, “I have chosen Jerusalem, that My name might be there.”

THE SCRIPTURES DO NOT COMMAND A PASSOVER SACRIFICE AT THE TABERNACLE.

There is not a single word in Numbers 28 concerning a Passover sacrifice at the tabernacle. The Hebrew word for “sacrifice” is not used in Numbers 28:16, which is the only verse that speaks of the Passover. (Pg 109)

And a few pages later, Fred Coulter wrote a headline:

All Sacrifices except the Passover

Were to be Brought to the Tabernacle (Pg 113)

Number 28-29 may not specify that the sacrifice be conducted near a Sanctuary, but Leviticus 17 did. Anyone who read Fred Coulter’s argument in the whole chapter and wouldn’t find further in Leviticus 17 would be persuaded to his allegation. In fact Leviticus 17 refers to any sacrifice offered and commanded that the blood needs to be brought to the tabernacle. And Passover is inherently a sacrifice! Christ, our saviour, is a sacrifice! (Ephesians 5:2; 1 Corinthians 5:7; 

Hebrew 10:12)

In verse 8-9, it says, “And thou shalt say unto them: ‘Whatsoever man there be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers who sojourn among you, who offereth a burnt offering or sacrifice (h2077 zebach) and bringeth it not unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation to offer it unto the Lord, even that man shall be cut off from among his people.

Also, the Targum Leviticus 17 comments (first part) below makes this very clear:

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XVII. And the Lord spake with Mosheh, saying: Speak with Aharon and with his sons, and with the sons of Israel, and tell them: This is the word which the Lord hath commanded, saying: A man of the house of Israel, young or old, who shall kill as a sacrifice a bullock, or lamb, or goat in the camp, or who killeth it without (outside) the camp, and bringeth it not to the door of the tabernacle of ordinance to offer it an oblation before the Lord, before the tabernacle of the Lord, the blood of slaughter shall be reckoned to that man, and it shall be to him as if he had shed innocent blood, and that man shall be destroyed from his people. In order that the sons of Israel may bring their sacrifices which they have [heretofore] killed on the face of the field, they may [henceforth] bring them before the Lord, at the door of the tabernacle of ordinance, unto the priest, and sacrifice their consecrated victims before the Lord. And the priest shall sprinkle the blood upon the altar of the Lord, at the door of the tabernacle of ordinance, and burn the fat, to be received with acceptance before the Lord. Neither shall they offer any more their sacrifices unto idols which are like unto demons, after which they have wandered. This shall be an everlasting statute to them, unto their generations.

And thou shalt tell them: A man, whether young or old, of the house of Israel, or of the strangers who sojourn among you, who shall sacrifice a burnt offering, or consecrated oblation, and bring it not to the door of the tabernacle of ordinance, to be made an oblation before the Lord, that man shall be destroyed from his people.

A Passover is inherently a sacrifice. Its blood is to be brought to the tabernacle before the Lord. And the priest shall sprinkle the blood upon the altar, at the door of the tabernacle. Note on Rashi’s comment on Leviticus 17:4, Rashi: “Who slaughters an ox, a lamb, [or a goat]: Scripture is speaking of [slaughtering] holy sacrifices [not of slaughtering ordinary animals], for Scripture continues, “to offer up as a sacrifice” (next verse). – [Torath Kohanim 17:91]” 

Note also that the Targum says about those not obeying, “that man shall be destroyed from his people.”

It is the same word zebach in Hebrew as in the original Exodus 12:27 That ye shall say, It is the sacrifice (h2077) of the LORD’S passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he smote the Egyptians, and delivered our houses.

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In the Hebrew the word Pesach is implicitly and inherently a sacrifice. These implicit and inherent characteristics aren’t clear in English, but in Hebrew they are obvious. Hence the phase to “kill the Pesach” or “eat the Peach” makes sense in our language English. Passover isn’t a day! We couldn’t kill a day, neither can we eat a day. 

For completeness, references of Passover as the sacrificial lamb being made are as follows:

(a) “to eat the Passover”— Exodus 12:43;

(b) “to kill the Passover” — Exodus 12:21, II Chronicles 35:6;

(c) “to sacrifice the Passover” — Deuteronomy 16:2;

(d) “to roast the Passover” — II Chronicles 35:13.

The two characteristics (implicit and inherent) in Hebrew, compelled some translators to insert the word “sacrifice” in Numbers 28:16 so as to make its meaning clearer in English: “In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, there shall be a Passover sacrifice to the Lord,” Numbers 28:16. It is a Sacrifice to the Lord. Clear and simple.

In the Good News Translation of Leviticus 17:8, it says “who offer a burnt offering or any other sacrifice.” Other translations may not insert the phrase “any other,” but by inserting it, the GNT has made it clearer — that any sacrifice includes the Pesach, the LORD’S passover. The critical performance of any sacrifice is that “the priest shall sprinkle the blood upon the altar of the Lord at the door of the tabernacle.” The priests had sprinkled the blood upon the alter since he time of Moses, down to Ezra, and then during the time of Christ. If Moses had any doubt, he had all the time to ask God who dwelt between the cherubim in the Temple for any further details.

And if Ron Wyatt’s testimony is true, that at the moment when Jesus Christ died at 3 PM that fourteenth afternoon, an earthquake occurred, cracking the rocks underneath. His blood then dripped through the rocks onto the Mercy Seat on top of the Ark of the Covenant under Golgotha, otherwise also referred to in Scripture as the “place of the skull.” Christ’s testimony is another witness that the Passover Lamb was to be sacrificed at 3 PM in the afternoon, “at even” on the fourteenth, otherwise Christ’s death couldn’t have fulfilled the Passover ordinance.

At the same movement, while the Jews were killing their lambs for the Passover, and the priests splinking the blood on the altar, Christ’s blood dripped into the Mercy Seat for the sin of the whole world! The biblical narratives indicate that the crucifixion took place outside the city walls — “outside the camp,” and His blood was miraculously brought “into the camp,” revealing why the blood could be killed outside the camp but only its blood brought into the camp for the priest to sprinkle on the altar. If Ron’s attestation is true, the story of Christ’s death and sacrifice would reveal how the Lamb was ordained with so much forethought right from the foundation of the world. Well planned and well thought-out by the Great God of this Universe. Are we amazed? I’m stunned. It is the mystery of mysteries!

~~~~~

~ by Joel Huan on February 4, 2021.

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