What month is Passover in the Bible
Keyword: Passover, Passover meal
The Passover is one of the most important festivals of Judaism (Hebrew: Pesach), which is celebrated annually in spring. Originally, Passover was a shepherd's festival and it is still associated with the time of the first full moon in spring. For Israel, however, it has become a festival of greater importance. It recalls the exodus from Egypt and thus the liberation of the people of Israel from slavery (Exodus 12).
The name “Passover” is related to the Hebrew word for “to pass by”. For on the night of the first Passover the angel of the Lord killed all the firstborn in Egypt, he only passed the houses of the Israelites, which were marked by the blood of the slaughtered Passover lamb, so that they were spared (Exodus / Exodus 12, 27). The "passing" stands for God's saving and gracious action.
On the eve of the Passover (Jewish festivals always begin on the evening before the actual festival day), a lamb was slaughtered as on the first Passover night, i.e. a young ram or billy goat. Initially, the lamb was an integral part of the Passover meal, which was celebrated in families. Since the time of King Joschiah, however, sacrifices were only allowed at the temple in Jerusalem. Since the lamb was considered such a sacrifice, the families came to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover, sacrificed the lamb at the temple and also spent the festival week in the city. The Passover became a pilgrimage festival. The homeowners in Jerusalem were required to provide rooms for the families to celebrate. Since the temple was destroyed in AD 70, the Passover has been celebrated without the sacrificial lamb. Only a small bone, which is placed on the festive table, still reminds of this part of the Passover meal, which was so important in the past.
Otherwise, the Passover festival in Judaism is still celebrated in the same way as it was in biblical times. At the beginning of the celebration, the story of the exodus from Egypt is told in each family. A goblet with wine is handed out (cf. Luke 22:17). Then the head of the house opens the feast by saying a short prayer of praise over a piece of bread, breaking the bread and distributing it to everyone. The bread must be unleavened, i.e. baked without leaven. This is a reminder that the Israelites left Egypt in such a hurry that there was no time to make leaven for bread. All other components of the meal, e.g. a kind of bitter salad and fruit pulp, have a special meaning and are reminiscent of details of what happened when we left Egypt (Exodus 12). Like every Jewish meal, the Passover meal is concluded with the householder saying the thanksgiving prayer over a cup of wine and this cup then making the rounds. Finally, Psalms 114–118 are sung.
The "Feast of Unleavened Bread" immediately follows the Passover (Exodus / Exodus 13: 3-10). It takes one week. During this time, only bread that has been baked without sourdough may be eaten.
The Christian celebration of the Lord's Supper ties in with the Passover meal. Because the Lord's Supper that Jesus celebrated with his disciples was at first such a Passover. In doing so, Jesus gave a new meaning to important components such as breaking bread and drinking from a cup of wine.
At the time of Jesus, the Passover was the main festival of Judaism. As a celebration of liberation, it gained an additional aspect: Not only was the liberation of the people of Israel celebrated a long time ago, but the hope for the future, final liberation was also associated with the festival: the hope for the coming of the Messiah.
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