Pro and Con 1286

Posted 5-1-06



By Marilyn Agee

(Unless noted otherwise, Scriptures are from the LITV.
Emphasis is mine.)

Biblical Definition of "Evening":
"...the Israelite priesthood of the Old Testament in the Bible, was required to perform certain duties "at even(ing)". However, this definition is controversial. There are two prevailing views:

"1. The LAST QUARTER of the daylight portion of the day, BEFORE SUNSET. This view was held by the Jewish PHARISEES and is supported in historical references such as JOSEPHUS and the BIBLE.

"2. The TWILIGHT BEFORE DARK, AFTER SUNSET. This view was held by the SAMARITANS and the KARAITES.

"The Bible uses a term for the period of time between two distinct evenings: "beyn ha arbayim" translated as "BETWEEN THE TWO EVENINGS". Though both of the above camps define one of the evenings as sunset, the other is controversial. From the passages in Matthew 27:46, 57 and Mark 15:34, 42, THE NEW TESTAMENT CLEARLY SUPPORTS THE FIRST EVENING TO BE THE NINTH 'HOUR' [3 PM] OF THE DAY...and THE SECOND EVENING, THAT ENDS THE DAY, AT SUNSET."


Since Josephus was a Pharisee priest in the first century, I think we should study his writings carefully. Was he consistent about when to keep the Passover?

In the "Commentary on the Life of Christ: Section 7-14". "The Fourfold Gospel," J. W. McGarvey and Philip Y. Pendleton commented on the writings of Josephus:

They said, "The feast of unleavened bread began properly on the fifteenth of Nisan, and lasted seven days, but this was the fourteenth Nisan, the day on which the paschal lamb was slain. However, it was common to blend the slaying of the passover, the passover feast and the feast of the unleavened bread, and to look upon all three as one great festival, and to use the names passover and unleavened bread interchangeably to describe the entire eight days. This appears from the writings of Josephus, who sometimes reckons the feast as beginning on the fifteenth (Ant. iii. 10. 5), and again as beginning on the fourteenth (Wars v. 3. 1). He also sometimes reckons the feast as lasting seven days (Ant. iii. 10. 5), and again he reckons it as lasting eight days (Ant. iii. 15. 1). The Rabbinists say that ALL THE LEAVEN WAS CAREFULLY REMOVED FROM THE HOUSES ON THE EVENING BEFORE THE FOURTEENTH NISAN."

During my earlier intensive research at BIOLA's library, I found out that the Bediqath Hametz, search for leaven, was actually conducted on Nisan 12. That's why Nisan 13 is "the first (prote, before, PRIOR) DAY OF THE UNLEAVENED BREAD, WHEN THEY KILLED THE PASSOVER" (Mark 14:12).

In Ant. III. X. 5, Josephus said, "...the month the beginning of our year, on the FOURTEENTH DAY of the lunar month...the law ordained that we should every year slay that sacrifice which I before told you we slew when we came out of Egypt, and which was called THE PASSOVER; and so do we celebrate this PASSOVER in companies, LEAVING NOTHING OF WHAT WE SACRIFICE TILL THE DAY FOLLOWING. The feast of UNLEAVENED BREAD SUCCEEDS THAT OF THE PASSOVER, AND FALLS ON THE FIFTEENTH DAY OF THE MONTH, AND CONTINUES SEVEN DAYS, wherein they feed on unleavened bread...But on THE SECOND DAY OF UNLEAVENED BREAD, WHICH IS THE SIXTEENTH DAY OF THE MONTH (the Feast of Firstfruits), they first partake of the fruits of the earth, for before that day they do not touch them."

In Wars. V. III. 1, Josephus said, "...on the FEAST OF UNLEAVENED BREAD, which was now come, it being the FOURTEENTH DAY of the month Xanthicus [Nisan] when it is believed the Jews were first freed from the Egyptians".

That proves the point. Sometimes Passover of Nisan 14 was referred to as the Feast of Unleavened Bread. On my modern Jewish Calendar, Passover is listed as Nisan 15, reflecting the position of Jews today.

However, in Ant. XL. IV. 8, Josephus said, "AS THE FEAST OF UNLEAVENED BREAD WAS AT HAND (i.e., near), in the first month...Nisan, all the people ran together out of the villages to the city, and celebrated the festival...and they offered the sacrifice which was called the PASSOVER, ON THE FOURTEENTH DAY of the same month, and feasted seven days".

In Ant. IX. XIII. 3, Josephus said, " the feast of unleavened bread was now come (Nisan 15), when they had offered (past tense) that sacrifice which is called the PASSOVER (i.e., on Nisan 14), they AFTER THAT (i.e., on Nisan 15-21) OFFERED OTHER SACRIFICES FOR SEVEN DAYS."

When the Passover of Nisan 14, an Annual Sabbath upon which no work could be done, was approaching, they had to slay their sacrifices, FROM THE NINTH HOUR (3 PM) TO THE ELEVENTH (5 PM) ON THE PREPARATION OF THE PASSOVER (Nisan 13). This allowed them to roast the lambs in stone ovens or over open fires. Cooking time for a tender roast could take three hours, so the lamb could be eaten by 8 PM. That fits, for it all had to be eaten or burned by midnight.

If I understand it correctly, Josephus gave us another interlocking piece of the puzzle. In Wars. VI. IX, 3, he said, "So these high priests, upon the COMING (approaching, when at hand, i.e., on Nisan 13) of their feast which is called the PASSOVER, WHEN THEY SLAY THEIR SACRIFICES, FROM THE NINTH HOUR TO THE ELEVENTH (i.e., from 3 to 5 PM on Nisan 13, the Preparation of the Passover), but so that a company not less than ten belong to every sacrifice, (for it is not lawful for them to feast singly by themselves,) and many of us are twenty in a company, found THE NUMBER OF SACRIFICES WAS TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY-SIX THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED; which, upon the allowance of no more than ten that feast together, amounts to two millions seven hundred thousand and two hundred persons".

The "COMING," or approach of Passover, could refer to between 3 and 5 or 6 PM on Nisan 13, the preparation of the Passover. It took a long time to slay 256,500 lambs at the Temple. I wonder if it took so long that the two evenings ran from 3 PM to 6 PM on Nisan 13, and from 6 PM to 9 PM on Nisan 14. That whole time could be referred to as "the going down of the sun." De. 16:6 (KJV) says, "But at the place which the LORD thy God shall choose to place his name in, there thou shalt SACRIFICE THE PASSOVER AT EVEN, AT THE GOING DOWN OF THE SUN".


Jamieson, Fausset, Brown Commentary on Exodus 12:6: "Kill it in the evening--that is, the interval between the sun's BEGINNING to decline, and sunset, corresponding to our THREE O'CLOCK IN THE AFTERNOON."

The Mishnah implies that the Passover lambs can be killed ANY TIME AFTER NOON (Pesahim 5:3).

Establishing the Time for Passover:
"The Pharisees believed that the Passover lambs should be killed at the Temple between afternoon and sunset, (i.e., from 3 PM to sunset). That would have to be on Nisan 13, Preparation Day. However, it looks like the Pharisees kept the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread as one single Feast, just as modern Judaism does today, while the Sadducess kept two separate observances: the Passover on the fourteenth and the Feast of Unleavened on the fifteenth day of Abib".

Lexical and Historical Contributions on the Biblical and Rabbinical Passover, p.24-25: George Wolf wrote: "Deut 16:6 You shall sacrifice the passover at even, AT THE GOING DOWN OF THE SUN.

"Thus the original Passover was to be sacrificed at sunset AT THE END OF NISAN 14, JUST AS THE EVENING BEGAN OF NISAN 15, the first Day of Unleavened Bread."

That's the way one can lose one whole day in their thinking. Wolf said, "AT THE END OF NISAN 14." The night comes before the daylight portion of Nisan 14, so 6 PM, "AT THE END OF NISAN 14" seems impossible. The Passover sacrifice was originally near THE BEGINNING OF NISAN 14, NOT THE END. The blood had to be on the door frame at midnight, six hours after Nisan 14 began, or the death angel would have killed the firstborn of the Israelites.

Having eliminated all of Nisan 15, we can also eliminate anything after midnight on the 14th, so we only need to consider the last three hours of Nisan 13, Preparation Day, and the first six hours, to midnight, of the 14th, Passover. That makes it easier.

"Therefore, until the destruction of the Second Temple, the vast majority of observant Jews killed the Passover on the afternoon of the 14 Abib (i.e., Nisan), and ate the Passover meal later in the night, at the start of 15 Abib.

"There is really no need to debate this issue, for the Bible clearly tells us when "between the evenings" is. In Exodus 29:38-41, God gives Israel instructions regarding the daily sacrifice:

"EXODUS 29:38: "And this is what you shall offer on the altar: two lambs daily, sons of a year; 39 the one lamb you shall offer in the morning, and the second [hasheni] lamb you shall offer BETWEEN THE EVENINGS [beyn ha'arbayim]. 40 And a tenth of fine flour anointed with beaten oil, a fourth of a hin, and a drink offering, a fourth of a hin of wine, for the one lamb. 41 And you shall offer the second [hasheni] lamb BETWEEN THE EVENINGS [beyn ha'arbayim]; you shall do it like the morning food offering and its drink offering, for a soothing fragrance, a fire offering to Jehovah. (LTB)

"Although many English translations render hasheni as "the other" in verses 39 and 41, any good Hebrew concordance will show you that it literally means "the" (ha) "second" (sheni)...the priests were to offer two lambs every day. God told Moses that the first lamb was to be sacrificed in the morning, and the second lamb was to be sacrificed "between the evenings." To be the second offering of the day, the lamb sacrificed "between the evenings" HAD TO BE SLAIN BEFORE SUNSET!...under the Samaritan definition of "between the evenings," the evening sacrifice would be first and the morning sacrifice second!

"The Jews, however, correctly understood what God meant by beyn ha'arbayim. According to noted Jewish historian Alfred Edersheim, "ORDINARILY IT [THE EVENING SACRIFICE] WAS SLAIN AT 2.30 P.M., AND OFFERED AT ABOUT 3.30 (p. 174, updated ed., The Temple: Its Ministry and Services)."

"Regarding Exodus 12:6, KJV: "twilight", Hebrew: "between the two evenings": The Reina Valera version of the Bible (In Spanish) under Exodus 12, mentions the time that the Passover lamb should be killed. It says that it should be done BETWEEN THE TWO AFTERNOONS, "entre las dos tardes." The King James Version says that it should be killed at twilight. I do have a problem. I believe that the Spanish version is telling us that the lamb should be killed between the first afternoon, "la primera tarde", that period of time between 12 noon and mid-afternoon or 3:00 p.m. Then the second afternoon is that period of time between mid-afternoon or 3:00 p.m. and sunset or about 6:00 p.m. depending the season of the year. So the Spanish translation is telling us that God's instructions to the nation of Israel was to kill the lamb at a specific time, not a period of time but an exact time. That time between the two afternoons is EXACTLY 3:00 P.M."

The lamb was to be killed "BETWEEN THE EVENINGS," yet it had to be eaten "IN THIS NIGHT (the 14th), ROASTED WITH FIRE." The Feast of Passover is a high day, an Annual Sabbath, a day of rest. No one was to even light a fire. Therefore, the preparations had to be made before Nisan (14) began at 6 PM. This put killing the lamb on the afternoon of Nisan 13, the Day of Preparation. The fires would have been lit before 6 PM.


The Talmud teaches that the Passover lambs were to be killed between afternoon and sunset. That could encompass the time from 3 PM on Nisan 13 to 9 PM on Nisan 14.

Jesus died about 3 PM on the PREPARATION DAY (Nisan 13) preceding the Passover of Nisan 14. Passover was an "high day," an annual Sabbath upon which no work could be done. Therefore, preparation of the passover lamb and gathering wood for the fire could have been completed BEFORE Passover began at 6 PM.

John 19:14,15 (LITV) says, "IT WAS THE PREPARATION OF THE PASSOVER (Nisan 13), and about the sixth hour (Roman time, 9 AM). And he said to the Jews, Behold, your King! But they cried out, Away, Away! Crucify Him!"

John 19:40-42 (LITV) says, "Then they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linens, with the spices, as is usual with the Jews in burying. And there was a garden in the place where He was crucified, and a new tomb in the garden, in which no one yet ever had been placed. There, then, because of THE PREPARATION (paraskeue, readiness, preparation, Nisan 13) of the Jews, because the tomb was near, they put Jesus" (before Nisan 14 began).

Mark 15:42,43 says, "it becoming evening already, since IT WAS THE PREPARATION (Nisan 13), that is, THE DAY BEFORE SABBATH (the High Day, the annual Sabbath, Passover, Nisan 14), Joseph of Arimathea came...he went in to Pilate and begged the body of Jesus."

Luke 23:52-54 says, "this one asked for the body of Jesus. And taking it down, he wrapped it in linen, and placed it in a quarried tomb, where no one was ever yet laid. And IT WAS PREPARATION DAY, and a sabbath (the High Day, the Feast of Passover) was coming on."

John 19:30-31 says, "Then when Jesus took the vinegar, He said, It has been finished. And bowing His head, He delivered up the spirit. Then, SINCE IT WAS PREPARATION, that the bodies not remain on the cross on the sabbath (Passover), for great was the day of that sabbath (a High Day, an annual Sabbath), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken and they be taken away."

To me, these verses prove that the Crucifixion was on Nisan 13, the PREPARATION OF THE PASSOVER. However, Mt. 27:62-64 tops the list. It shows how a person can stumble upon a prize passage when looking up something else.

Mt. 27:62-64 (LITV) says, "ON THE MORROW (Nisan 14, Friday, the day after the Crucifixion), WHICH IS AFTER THE PREPARATION (i.e., after Thursday, Nisan 13, the day of the Crucifixion), the chief priests and the Pharisees were assembled to Pilate, saying, Sir, we have recalled that that deceiver while living said, After three days I will rise. Therefore, command that the grave be secured UNTIL THE THIRD DAY ([1] Friday, [2] Saturday, and [3] Sunday), that His disciples may not come by night and steal Him away, and may say to the people, He is raised from the dead."


Luke 24:21 (LITV) says, "But we were hoping that He is the One going to redeem Israel. But then with all these things, this THIRD DAY COMES TODAY (Sunday) SINCE these things happened (on Thursday).

Ex. 12:6 (LITV): "it shall be for you to keep until the FOURTEENTH day of this month. And all the assembly of the congregation of Israel shall KILL IT BETWEEN THE EVENINGS [beyn ha'arbayim].

Since this verse mentions Nisan 14, the phrase "BETWEEN THE EVENINGS" must include the evening of the 14th.

Ex. 29:39,41 (LITV): "The one lamb you shall offer in the morning, and the second lamb you shall offer BETWEEN THE EVENINGS (beyn ha'arbayim)....And you shall offer the second lamb BETWEEN THE EVENINGS (beyn ha'arbayim)".

Here "BETWEEN THE EVENINGS" applies to Nisan 13. From 3 PM on Nisan 13 to 9 PM on Nisan 14 fits.

Ex. 16:12 (LITV): "I have heard the murmurings of the sons of Israel. Speak to them, saying, BETWEEN THE EVENINGS (beyn ha'arbayim) you shall eat flesh; and in the morning you shall be satisfied with bread; and you shall know that I am Jehovah your God."

If "BETWEEN THE EVENINGS" represented from 3 PM on Nisan 13 to 9 PM on Nisan 14, the Israelites would have had plenty of time to catch, kill, dress and cook the quail in another time that "BETWEEN THE EVENINGS" was used.

Ex. 30:8 (LITV): "And when Aaron sets up the lamps BETWEEN THE EVENINGS (beyn ha'arbayim) he shall burn it, a perpetual incense before the face of Jehovah for your generations."

This probably refers to 3 PM every day. Aaron would probably light the lamps from the western lamp that was always kept burning, then sacrifice the second lamb to be offered every day.

Nu. 9:3-5 (LITV): "In the FOURTEENTH day of this month, BETWEEN THE EVENINGS (beyn ha'arbayim), you shall prepare it according to all its statutes, and according to all its ordinances. And Moses spoke to the sons of Israel to prepare the Passover. And they prepared the Passover in the first month on the FOURTEENTH day of the month, BETWEEN THE EVENINGS (beyn ha'arbayim), in the wilderness of Sinai."

Lev 23:5 (LITV): "In the first month, on the FOURTEENTH of the month, BETWEEN THE EVENINGS (beyn ha'arbayim) is the Passover to Jehovah."

Nu. 28:4,8 (LITV): "You shall offer the one lamb in the morning, and you shall offer the other lamb BETWEEN THE TWO EVENINGS". The lamb would be killed and put on the fire between 3 to 6 PM.

De. 16:6 (LITV): "you shall sacrifice the Passover offering AT EVENING, AT THE GOING OF THE SUN, at the time when you came out of Egypt."
"To be the second offering of the day, the lamb sacrificed "between the evenings" had to be slain BEFORE SUNSET"....

"The Jews, however, correctly understood what God meant by beyn ha'arbayim. According to noted Jewish historian Alfred Edersheim, "ORDINARILY IT [THE EVENING SACRIFICE] WAS SLAIN AT 2.30 P.M., AND OFFERED AT ABOUT 3.30" (p. 174, updated ed., The Temple: Its Ministry and Services)."


It looks like the Passover lambs were killed between 3 to 6 PM on Nisan 13, and roasted from 6 to 9 PM on Nisan 14. That 6-hour span was what was probably known as BETWEEN THE EVENINGS. Certain things had to be done on Preparation Day (Nisan 13), because Passover (Nisan 14) was the High Day, an Annual Sabbath, upon which no work could be done. Mark 15:34-37,43 says, "AT THE NINTH HOUR (3 PM) Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? (Which being translated is, "My God, My God, why did You forsake Me?") (Psa. 22:1). And hearing, some of those standing by said, Behold, He calls Elijah. And one running up, and filling a sponge with "vinegar," and putting it on a reed, "gave Him to drink." But they said, Leave alone, let us see if Elijah comes to take Him down. (Psa. 69:21) And letting out a great cry, Jesus expired. AND IT BECOMING EVENING ALREADY, SINCE IT WAS THE PREPARATION, THAT IS, THE DAY BEFORE SABBATH". Mark told us plainly that Jesus died on THE EVENING OF THE PREPARATION DAY, NISAN 13. He died about 3 PM., so the evening of Nisan 13 had started by 3 PM.

My review of Andre Lemaire's latest article on ossuaries, including the James Ossuary

"Engraved in Memory"
Biblical Archaeology Review, May/June 2006

You know it's going to be an interesting article when you first begin to read. "When Oded Golan first invited me to his home in April 2002, it was to examine an inscription on a bone box--but not the one bearing the now-famous inscription, "James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus."

"In the rush to declare the James ossuary inscription a forgery, which to my mind is not convincing," he said, "little attention has been paid to other ossuary inscriptions in Golan's antiquities collection." As it turns out, Golan also had a Child's ossuary.

On the Child's, there were rosettes and an inscription, but the letters of the inscription were gouged out in spaces inside the rosette. Lemaire wrote, "But the most important point is that within the right-hand rosette of the Child's ossuary is the short inscription, which (apparently purposefully) avoids covering any of the petals of the rosette."

He thinks that the rosettes and inscription were cut with different tools, and probably by two different people, which explains the difference. "The rosettes are lightly engraved", he said.

The rosettes appear to have been scribed with a stylus. See the picture in the article. The inscription was probably cut with an iron tool. Both the rosettes and the inscription weathered together.

"If this explains the different appearance of the inscription," he wrote, "and the rosettes on the Child's ossuary, it also explains the differences on the James ossuary."

He ends with this punch line: "The inscriptions on both ossuaries, in my opinion, are authentic."

Hurrah for his courage to stick to his belief that the James Ossuary is authentic in the face of those that would like it to be declared a fake. They have thrown up a barrage of seemingly trumped up reasons why it should be declared a fake, but Andre Lemaire is a man that thinks for himself.

My comment, Re: "Forty years and 2006", an article on Five Doves site

> > Daniel Matson (29 Apr 2006)
> >
> > ...Forty years of 360 days (14,400 days) from and including June 7, 1967 comes exactly to November 8, 2006. This day is the 17th of Heshvan--the anniversary day the 40 days and nights of rain began in the Flood (17th day of second month). So like the days of Noah, judgment seems to begin on this day (note the parallels of 40 ending, but also beginning)(also note this is not the beginning of the Tribulation as developed further in Signs of the End).
> > I believe the Rapture would have to occur before this date, so the window of time is collapsing.

If that is the right way to figure 40 years, we might get a sign on Nov. 1. Gen 7:4 says, "For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights". Agape

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