- Seventeen distinctions
- Accounts of the Feast of Pesach in the Tanakh
Distinction #1. In Egypt the lamb was selected on Nisan 10 and the blood of the Korban Pesach was to be sprinkled with hyssop.
Distinction #2. In Egypt the blood was to be sprinkled on the lintel and the two door-posts and it was to be eaten in haste in the first night.
Distinction #3. Later the blood was sprinkled by hand in front of the veil of the Holy Place and it was also poured at the bottom of the altar.
Distinction#4. In Egypt the restriction to eat unleavened bread applied only to one night.
Distinction #5. In the Permanent Passover unleavened bread was eaten for seven days.
Distinction#6. In Egypt the journey of the children of Israel began on Nisan 15.
Distinction #7. In the Permanent Passover Nisan 15 is observed as a festival like a Sabbath (1, 2, 3).
Distinction #8. In Egypt if your household was small then you could observe Pesach with your next-door neighbor.
Distinction #9. In the Permanent Passover companies might be indiscriminately chosen.
Distinction #10. In Egypt it was not ordered to sprinkle the blood and burn the fat on the altar, as afterwards.
Distinction #11. In Egypt it was said, “None of you shall go out of the door of his house until the morning.”
Distinction #12. This command did not apply in later times.
Distinction #13. In Egypt the Korban Pesach was slain by everyone in his own house.
Distinction #14. In the Permanent Passover it was slain by all Israel in one place.
Distinction #15. In Egypt the people ate the Pesach where they lodged.
Distinction #16. In the Permanent Pesach the people might eat the Pesach Supper in one place and lodge in another place.
Distinction #17. In Egypt the lamb was selected on Nisan 10 and killed on Nisan 14, and the people did not on account of violating the Passover observance incur the penalty of being “cut off,” as in later generations.
Accounts of the Feast of Pesach in the Tanakh:
וַיְדַבֵּר ה’ אֶל־מֹשֶׁה בְמִדְבַּר־סִינַי בַּשָּׁנָה הַשֵּׁנִית לְצֵאתָם מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם בַּחֹדֶשׁ הָרִאשֹׁון לֵאמֹֽר׃ וְיַעֲשׂוּ בְנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת־הַפָּסַח בְּמֹועֲדֹֽו׃ בְּאַרְבָּעָה עָשָֽׂר־יֹום בַּחֹדֶשׁ הַזֶּה בֵּין הָֽעֲרְבַּיִם תַּעֲשׂוּ אֹתֹו בְּמֹועֲדֹו כְּכָל־חֻקֹּתָיו וּכְכָל־מִשְׁפָּטָיו תַּעֲשׂוּ אֹתֹֽו׃ וַיְדַבֵּר מֹשֶׁה אֶל־בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לַעֲשֹׂת הַפָּֽסַח׃ וַיַּעֲשׂוּ אֶת־הַפֶּסַח בָּרִאשֹׁון בְּאַרְבָּעָה עָשָׂר יֹום לַחֹדֶשׁ בֵּין הָעַרְבַּיִם בְּמִדְבַּר סִינָי כְּכֹל אֲשֶׁר צִוָּה ה’ אֶת־מֹשֶׁה כֵּן עָשׂוּ בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃
Thus Adonai spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the first month of the second year after they had come out of the land of Egypt, saying, “Now, let the sons of Israel observe the Passover at its appointed time. On the fourteenth day of this month, at twilight, you shall observe it at its appointed time; you shall observe it according to all its statutes and according to all its ordinances.” So Moses told the sons of Israel to observe the Passover. They observed the Passover in the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, at twilight, in the wilderness of Sinai; according to all that Adonai had commanded Moses, so the sons of Israel did.
וַיַּחֲנוּ בְנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵל בַּגִּלְגָּל וַיַּעֲשׂוּ אֶת־הַפֶּסַח בְּאַרְבָּעָה עָשָׂר יֹום לַחֹדֶשׁ בָּעֶרֶב בְּעַֽרְבֹות יְרִיחֹֽו׃
“While the sons of Israel camped at Gilgal they observed the Passover on the evening of the fourteenth day of the month on the desert plains of Jericho.” The Scriptures reveal that the Passover was kept the second year after the Exodus (Numbers) and then not again until the Israelites actually reached the Promised Land (Joshua).
וְהָיָה כִּֽי־תָבֹאוּ אֶל־הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר יִתֵּן ה’ לָכֶם כַּאֲשֶׁר דִּבֵּר וּשְׁמַרְתֶּם אֶת־הָעֲבֹדָה הַזֹּֽאת׃
“When you enter the land which Adonai will give you, as He has promised, you shall observe this rite.”
וְהָיָה כִֽי־יְבִֽיאֲךָ ה’ אֶל־אֶרֶץ הַֽכְּנַעֲנִי וְהַחִתִּי וְהָאֱמֹרִי וְהַחִוִּי וְהַיְבוּסִי אֲשֶׁר נִשְׁבַּע לַאֲבֹתֶיךָ לָתֶת לָךְ אֶרֶץ זָבַת חָלָב וּדְבָשׁ וְעָבַדְתָּ אֶת־הָעֲבֹדָה הַזֹּאת בַּחֹדֶשׁ הַזֶּֽה׃
“It shall be when Adonai brings you to the land of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Hivite and the Jebusite, which He swore to your fathers to give you, a land flowing with milk and honey, that you shall observe this rite in this month.” The rabbinical commentators, however, rightly observe this intermission was directed by Adonai Elohim Himself (1, 2). After the Second Passover, the public celebrations of the Passover are only mentioned “four times” (1, 2, 3, 4).
Public Celebration #1. During the reign of King Solomon.
Public Celebration #2. Under the reign of King Hezekiah.
Public Celebration #3. At the time of King Josiah.
Public Celebration #4. A fourth and final time after the return from Babylon under the Priest-Scribe Ezra.