Passover Basics

The Lord's instructions for the Feasts are found in Leviticus 23. In vs. 4-14 are the spring feasts: Passover, Unleavened Bread and First Fruits. In vs. 15-21 are the ordinances for Pentecost, also called Feast of Weeks, and Shavuot in Hebrew.

It all boils down to this. Aviv also known as Nisan became the first month of the religious calendar. [Tishri, usually overlapping September is the first month of the civil calendar. The first day of Tishri is Rosh Hoshanna, also known as Jewish New Years Day.]

On the 10th of Nisan they take a lamb from the flock. It's inspected for 4 days. The Lamb had to be perfect, without flaw or blemish.

On the 14th the lamb is killed and roasted, from 3 - 6pm. At 6pm the day changes to the 15th. [The day begins at 6pm in the Jewish calendar.]

Then the lamb is eaten. Also on the 15th begins the first day of The Feast Of Unleavened Bread. It runs for 7 days with a feast on the last day, the 21st. On the 16th is the feast of First Fruits. It includes waving a sheaf of the first fruits of the Harvest before the Lord and animal sacrifices. The 16 is also the first day of the Counting of the Omer. This is where 50 days are counted off till Pentecost.

So the 14th is called 'The preparation of the Passover'.

The 15th is called Passover and the beginning of Unleavened Bread.

The 16th is called First Fruits or day 1 of the Omer.

Pentecost and First fruits are linked in two ways. First being that on first fruits the 50 day count down begins. The second is more symbolic. In Leviticus 23 we see the phrase 'first fruits' again in connection with the offerings for the day of Pentecost.

Le 23:17 Ye shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals: they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baken with leaven; they are the firstfruits unto the LORD.

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