Pesach II – Feast of Unleavened Bread

Leviticus 22:26-23:44

26 Yehovah said to Moshe, 27 “When a bull, sheep or goat is born, it is to stay with its mother for seven days; but from the eighth day on, it may be accepted for an offering made by fire to Yehovah. 28 However, no animal is to be slaughtered together with its young on the same day, neither cow nor ewe.

29 “When you offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving to Yehovah, you must do it in a way such that you will be accepted. 30 It must be eaten on the same day it is offered; leave none of it till morning; I am Yehovah.

31 “You are to keep my mitzvot and obey them; I am Yehovah. 32 You are not to profane my holy name; on the contrary, I am to be regarded as holy among the people of Isra’el; I am Yehovah, who makes you holy, 33 who brought you out of the land of Egypt to be your God; I am Yehovah.”

23:1 Yehovah said to Moshe, “Tell the people of Isra’el: ‘The designated times of Yehovah which you are to proclaim as holy convocations are my designated times.

“‘Work is to be done on six days; but the seventh day is a Shabbat of complete rest, a holy convocation; you are not to do any kind of work; it is a Shabbat for Yehovah, even in your homes.

“‘These are the designated times of Yehovah, the holy convocations you are to proclaim at their designated times.

“‘In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, between sundown and complete darkness, comes Pesach for Yehovah. On the fifteenth day of the same month is the festival of matzah; for seven days you are to eat matzah. On the first day you are to have a holy convocation; don’t do any kind of ordinary work. Bring an offering made by fire to Yehovah for seven days. On the seventh day is a holy convocation; do not do any kind of ordinary work.’”

Yehovah said to Moshe, 10 “Tell the people of Isra’el, ‘After you enter the land I am giving you and harvest its ripe crops, you are to bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the cohen. 11 He is to wave the sheaf before Yehovah, so that you will be accepted; the cohen is to wave it on the day after the Shabbat. 12 On the day that you wave the sheaf, you are to offer a male lamb without defect, in its first year, as a burnt offering for Yehovah. 13 Its grain offering is to be one gallon of fine flour mixed with olive oil, an offering made by fire to Yehovah as a fragrant aroma; its drink offering is to be of wine, one quart. 14 You are not to eat bread, dried grain or fresh grain until the day you bring the offering for your God; this is a permanent regulation through all your generations, no matter where you live.

15 “‘From the day after the day of rest — that is, from the day you bring the sheaf for waving — you are to count seven full weeks, 16 until the day after the seventh week; you are to count fifty days; and then you are to present a new grain offering to Yehovah. 17 You must bring bread from your homes for waving — two loaves made with one gallon of fine flour, baked with leaven — as firstfruits for Yehovah. 18 Along with the bread, present seven lambs without defect one year old, one young bull and two rams; these will be a burnt offering for Yehovah, with their grain and drink offerings, an offering made by fire as a fragrant aroma for Yehovah. 19 Offer one male goat as a sin offering and two male lambs one year old as a sacrifice of peace offerings. 20 The cohen will wave them with the bread of the firstfruits as a wave offering before Yehovah, with the two lambs; these will be holy for Yehovah for the cohen. 21 On the same day, you are to call a holy convocation; do not do any kind of ordinary work; this is a permanent regulation through all your generations, no matter where you live.

22 “‘When you harvest the ripe crops produced in your land, don’t harvest all the way to the corners of your field, and don’t gather the ears of grain left by the harvesters; leave them for the poor and the foreigner; I am Yehovah your God.’”

23 Yehovah said to Moshe, 24 “Tell the people of Isra’el, ‘In the seventh month, the first of the month is to be for you a day of complete rest for remembering, a holy convocation announced with blasts on the shofar. 25 Do not do any kind of ordinary work, and bring an offering made by fire to Yehovah.’”

26 Yehovah said to Moshe, 27 “The tenth day of this seventh month is Yom-Kippur; you are to have a holy convocation, you are to deny yourselves, and you are to bring an offering made by fire to Yehovah. 28 You are not to do any kind of work on that day, because it is Yom-Kippur, to make atonement for you before Yehovah your God. 29 Anyone who does not deny himself on that day is to be cut off from his people; 30 and anyone who does any kind of work on that day, I will destroy from among his people. 31 You are not to do any kind of work; it is a permanent regulation through all your generations, no matter where you live. 32 It will be for you a Shabbat of complete rest, and you are to deny yourselves; you are to rest on your Shabbat from evening the ninth day of the month until the following evening.”

33 Yehovah said to Moshe, 34 “Tell the people of Isra’el, ‘On the fifteenth day of this seventh month is the feast of Sukkot for seven days to Yehovah. 35 On the first day there is to be a holy convocation; do not do any kind of ordinary work. 36 For seven days you are to bring an offering made by fire to Yehovah; on the eighth day you are to have a holy convocation and bring an offering made by fire to Yehovah ; it is a day of public assembly; do not do any kind of ordinary work.

37 “‘These are the designated times of Yehovah that you are to proclaim as holy convocations and bring an offering made by fire to Yehovah — a burnt offering, a grain offering, a sacrifice and drink offerings, each on its own day — 38 besides the Shabbats of Yehovah, your gifts, all your vows and all your voluntary offerings that you give to Yehovah.

39 “‘But on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered the produce of the land, you are to observe the festival of Yehovah seven days; the first day is to be a complete rest and the eighth day is to be a complete rest. 40 On the first day you are to take choice fruit, palm fronds, thick branches and river-willows, and celebrate in the presence of Yehovah your God for seven days. 41 You are to observe it as a feast to Yehovah seven days in the year; it is a permanent regulation, generation after generation; keep it in the seventh month. 42 You are to live in sukkot for seven days; every citizen of Isra’el is to live in a sukkah, 43 so that generation after generation of you will know that I made the people of Isra’el live in sukkot when I brought them out of the land of Egypt; I am Yehovah your God.’”

44 Thus Moshe announced to the people of Isra’el the designated times of Yehovah.

Numbers 28:16-25

16 “‘In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, is Yehovah’s Pesach. 17 On the fifteenth day of the month is to be a feast. Matzah is to be eaten for seven days. 18 The first day is to be a holy convocation: do not do any kind of ordinary work; 19 but present an offering made by fire, a burnt offering, to Yehovah, consisting of two young bulls, one ram, and seven male lambs in their first year (they are to be without defect for you) 20 with their grain offering, fine flour mixed with olive oil. Offer six quarts for a bull, four quarts for the ram, 21 and two quarts for each of the seven lambs; 22 also a male goat as a sin offering, to make atonement for you. 23 You are to offer these in addition to the morning burnt offering, which is the regular burnt offering. 24 In this fashion you are to offer daily, for seven days, the food of the offering made by fire, making a fragrant aroma for Yehovah ; it is to be offered in addition to the regular burnt offering and its drink offering. 25 On the seventh day you are to have a holy convocation; do not do any kind of ordinary work.

2 Kings 23:1-9

23:1 Then the king summoned all the leaders of Y’hudah and Yerushalayim, and they assembled with him. The king went up to the house of Yehovah with all the men of Y’hudah, all those living in Yerushalayim, the cohanim, the prophets and all the people, both small and great; and he read in their hearing everything written in the scroll of the covenant that had been found in the house of Yehovah. The king stood on the platform and made a covenant in the presence of Yehovah to live following Yehovah, observing his mitzvot, instructions and regulations wholeheartedly and with all his being, so as to confirm the words of the covenant written in this scroll. All the people stood, pledging themselves to keep the covenant.

Then the king ordered Hilkiyahu the cohen hagadol, the cohanim of the second rank and the doorkeepers to remove from the sanctuary of Yehovah all the articles that had been made for Ba‘al, for the asherah and for the entire army of heaven; and he burned them up outside Yerushalayim in the fields of Kidron and carried their ashes to Beit-El.

He deposed the idolatrous priests the kings of Y’hudah had ordained to offer on the high places by the cities of Y’hudah and in the places surrounding Yerushalayim; he also deposed those who offered to Ba‘al, the sun, the moon, the constellations and the whole army of heaven.

He took the asherah from the house of Yehovah to Vadi Kidron outside Yerushalayim and burned it in Vadi Kidron, stamped the ashes to powder and threw the powder onto the burial-ground for the common people.

He smashed the houses of the cult prostitutes that were in the house of Yehovah, where the women also wove garments for the asherah.

He removed the cohanim from the cities of Y’hudah; then, from Geva to Be’er-Sheva, he desecrated the high places where the cohanim had been making offerings. He also smashed the High Places of the Gates that were at the entrance of the Gate of Y’hoshua the governor of the city, on the left as one enters the city. But although the cohanim who had been at the high places did not come up to the altar of Yehovah in Yerushalayim, nevertheless they did share matzah with their kinsmen.

2 Kings 23:21-25

21 The king issued this order to all the people: “Observe Pesach to Yehovah your God, as written in this scroll of the covenant.” 22 For Pesach had not been so observed since the days when the judges ruled Isra’el — not during the times of any of the kings of Isra’el or of the kings of Y’hudah. 23 But in the eighteenth year of King Yoshiyahu this Pesach was observed to Yehovah in Yerushalayim.

24 Yoshiyahu got rid of the mediums and the people using spirit guides, as well as the household gods, the idols and all the disgusting things spotted anywhere in Y’hudah and Yerushalayim. He did this in order to establish the words of the Torah written in the scroll Hilkiyahu the cohen had found in the house of Yehovah.

25 No previous king was like him; because he turned to Yehovah with all his heart, with all his being and with all his power, in accordance with all the Torah of Moshe; nor did any king like him arise afterwards.

1 Corinthians 5:6-8

Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know the saying, “It takes only a little hametz to leaven a whole batch of dough?” Get rid of the old hametz, so that you can be a new batch of dough, because in reality you are unleavened. For our Pesach lamb, the Messiah, has been sacrificed. So let us celebrate the Seder not with leftover hametz, the hametz of wickedness and evil, but with the matzah of purity and truth.

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