A Critique of Fred Coulter’s Passover (Ii)

•February 22, 2020 • Leave a Comment

A Critique of Fred Coulter’s Passover (Ii)
Passover on the 14th or 15th?

See the source imageFred R. Coulter

Christian Biblical Church of God
Post Office Box 1442
Hollister California 95024-1442

Draft Ii

This is a Critique of Fred Coulter’s The Christian Passover. The main issue is whether the Passover is on the early or late fourteenth of Nisan. Quoted are Fred Coulter’s book, from an internet online version, which I presume, is his latest. Most of his quotes are in block form, in PINK and indented. The Scriptures, in RED, must be our primary focus and guide.

Chapters 16 – 17

Chapter 16 from Fred Coulter’s The Christian Passover starts with the issue of how Deuteronomy 16 was different from other text, that Passover and Unleavened Bread should be distinct and separate, and not a composite festival. And that Deuteronomy 16 was edited by Ezra to make it as if it were a composite festival, confusing students and scholars by calling the festival by using either name.

The followings are from Chapter 14 of The Christian Passover, so its a bit of flashback:

The advocates of a 15th Passover claim that the commands of God in Deuteronomy 16 support the temple sacrifice of the Passover lambs. On the surface, it appears that these commands required the sacrificing of the Passover at the temple, and that the Passover and the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread were combined into one feast. (The Christian Passover, pg 159)

Why do the commands in Deuteronomy 16 appear to be in conflict with all other commands of God for keeping the Passover? (Pg 159)

Why does Deuteronomy 16:1 use the term “Passover” in the context of commemorating the Exodus? What is the reason for this apparent discrepancy between Deuteronomy 16:1 and other Scriptural references to leaving Egypt in the month Abib? (Pg 164)

Remember, the books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers were mainly the words of God to His subjects — to Adam, Abraham, Jacob, on to Moses — but in Deuteronomy it was Moses speaking to the Israelites. Moses uses words and terms different from God’s so that the people could understand in a language the Israelites could understand. Deuteronomy 1:1 says “These are the words which Moses spoke unto all Israel on this side of the Jordan in the wilderness . . . Yes, Moses combined Passover and Unleavened Bread into one festival as the two festivals were used interchangeably in this chapter. Moses wasn’t writing anything in conflict with the Words of God — surely he won’t dare to — he was making sure in clearer language so that the Israelites didn’t miss this amalgamated feast. This composite character was already inherent in the original Exodus but Moses combined these two feasts explicitly here to ensure that those with a thicker head can also catch up.

Image result for passover at mt sinai picsOne heading and its explanation in chapter 16 of The Christian Passover:

The Exiles Could Not Keep the Passover

Moreover, during the entire seventy-year captivity, the Passover could not be kept. The word of God makes it absolutely clear that when the people were not in the land of Israel, they could not keep the Passover on the 14th day of the first month. Notice the instructions that God gave to Moses when the children of Israel were in the wilderness: “And they kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the first month between the two evenings [ben ha arbayim] in the wilderness of Sinai. According to all that the LORD commanded Moses, the children of Israel did. (Pg 202)

If the Passover was home-centered, and not Temple- centered, the Jews shouldn’t have any inhibition about keeping the Passover at wherever they lived, as were the case with the original Exodus, where they kept it in their homes, wherever its location was. Yet, Fred Coulter says, “The word of God makes it absolutely clear that when the people were not in the land of Israel, they could not keep the Passover.”

See the source imageWhy didn’t he provide any Scriptures to back up his claim? Actually the Scriptures say the opposite — Goshen wasn’t in Israel, neither the Sinai Desert in Israel while wandering in the wilderness for the next forty years, yet they kept the Passover. Are his devotees still sleeping? Why such wretched writing and none of his devotees are thinking?

In fact the Scripture in Leviticus 17 commands that in any sacrifice to the Lord the blood must be brought to the tabernacle or later, the temple. In verse 8, it says, “And thou shalt say unto them: ‘Whatsoever man there be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers who sojourn among you, who offereth a burnt offering or sacrifice (h2077 zebach), 9 and bringeth it not unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation to offer it unto the Lord, even that man shall be cut off from among his people. A Passover is a sacrifice. Its blood must be brought to the tabernacle before the Lord. And the priest shall sprinkle the blood upon the altar, at the door of the tabernacle. It was this inability to bring the blood to the tabernacle or the temple that during the seventy years of captivity that the Exiles couldn’t keep the Passover.

Below are further quotes from Fred Coulter:

That the Jews in exile could not observe the Passover is acknowledged by the Karaite Jews and recorded by Samuel Al-Magribi in 1484: “Today, however, by reason of our many sins, we are scattered over the four corners of the earth, we are dispersed in the lands of the Gentiles, we are soiled with their ritual uncleanness and unable to reach the House of the Lord, and our status is equivalent to that of persons ritually unclean or traveling far away. That is why this ordinance of the Passover sacrifice no longer applies to us, and the reason for this is our fathers’ exceeding disobedience to God and our own following in their sinful footsteps” (Nemoy, Karaite Anthology, p. 206) (Pg 203)

The reason above was correctly given that the Jews were “unable to reach the House of the Lord.” And that “House of the Lord” was either the Sanctuary or later the Temple, neither of which were in Babylon where the captives lived. This quote above confirms that the Karaites understand that Passover couldn’t be kept other than at the Temple.

But who are the Karaites?

See the source imageAnan ben David (715 – 795 or 811) is widely considered to be the founder of the Karaite movement, hence his followers were initially called Ananites; but now they are largely known as the Karaites. These Karaites challenge the Rabbanite establishment as they do not believe the rabbinical oral law is divinely inspired. Thus when interpreting the Torah, Karaites strive to adhere to the plain or literal meaning of the text; much like the Sadducees. Hence Abraham Geiger, a 19th-century German scholar who founded Reform Judaism, posited a connection between the Karaites and a remnant of the Sadducees, simply because many of their beliefs are similar.

When the Jews were in exile during the Babylonian captivity, they could not keep the Passover. This prohibition led to the replacement of the Passover with the Seder meal on the 15th day of the first month, the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. To make their false substitute appear Scriptural, the Jews changed the name of the seven-day Feast of Unleavened Bread to “Passover.” By changing the name of this feast, the Seder meal on the night of the 15th became the “Passover” for those who were living in exile. (Pg 203)

Typical of Fred’s writing, he doesn’t provide any evidence why this “prohibition led to the replacement of the Passover with the Seder meal” during the Babylonian captivity. He could just whip up something from nothing. Magic. A touch of Simon Magus again. Second, the terms “Passover” and the “Days of Unleavened Bread” had been established as a composite Festival right during the Exodus.

“And this house was finished on the third day of the month Adar, in the sixth year of the reign of Darius the king. And the children of Israel, the priests, and the Levites, and the rest of the children of the captivity kept the dedication of this house of God with joy….And the children of the captivity kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the first month. The priests and the Levites were purified together, all of them pure. And they killed the Passover lamb for all the children of the captivity, and for their brethren the priests, and for themselves. And the children of Israel ate the Passover lamb, all who had come again out of exile, and all such as had separated themselves to them from the uncleanness of the nations of the land in order to seek the LORD God of Israel. And they kept the Feast of Unleavened Bread seven days with joy, for the LORD had made them joyful…” (Ezra 6:15-16, 19-22). (Pg 204)

Image result for jews in exile picsDuring the original Exodus, the Passover was killed in the evening by “the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel” but another observance is that once the Levitical priesthood was established, much of the ordinances were carried out by the Levites and priests. And given that Ezra was a righteous scribe, what he did was right in the sight of God: “For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments” Ezra 7:10:

Ezra 6:19 And the children of the captivity kept the Passover upon the fourteenth day of the first month. 20 For the priests and the Levites were purified together; all of them were pure, and killed the Passover lamb for all the children of the captivity, and for their brethren the priests, and for themselves.

The Talmud has listed 613 mitzvot from the Torah but there is no command that the Passover should ONLY be killed by members of the congregation of Israel or by the Levites and priests. That isn’t an issue. The important criteria is that the Passover lamb must be killed on the fourteenth of the first month at even (Exodus 12:6). This the priests and Levites did as they “were purified together; all of them were pure,” on behalf of the children of Israel who had returned to Jerusalem. Remember, Ezra was a righteous scribe, one who “seek the law of the Lord and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments.” What Ezra, the priest and Levites did was a righteous act.

The Scriptures above reaffirm the followings about keeping the Passover:

(1) the duties of the priests and Levites were reestablished at the Temple, “as it is written in the Book of Moses” (Ezra 6:18). After the Sanctuary was instituted, there is no such a thing about a “domestic” passover.

Ezra 6:15 And this house was finished on the third day of the month of Adar, which was in the sixth year of the reign of Darius the king. 16 And the children of Israel, the priests and the Levites, and the rest of the children of the captivity, kept the dedication of this house of God with joy, 17 and offered at the dedication of this house of God a hundred bullocks, two hundred rams, four hundred lambs, and for a sin offering for all Israel, twelve he goats, according to the number of the tribes of Israel. 18 And they set the priests in their divisions, and the Levites in their courses for the service of God, which is at Jerusalem, as it is written in the Book of Moses.

(2) the priests and Levites “killed the Passover lamb for all the children of the captivity, and for their brethren the priests, and for themselves.” — contrary to what Fred thought about this, the common people didn’t do the killing, the Priests and Levites did in this instance.

Ezra 6:19 And the children of the captivity kept the Passover upon the fourteenth day of the first month. 20 For the priests and the Levites were purified together; all of them were pure, and killed the Passover lamb for all the children of the captivity, and for their brethren the priests, and for themselves. 21 And the children of Israel, who had come again out of captivity, and all such as had separated themselves unto them from the filthiness of the heathen of the land to seek the Lord God of Israel, ate, 22 and kept the Feast of Unleavened Bread seven days with joy; for the Lord had made them joyful, and turned the heart of the king of Assyria unto them to strengthen their hands in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel.

Image result for priests kill the lamb picsWhen God gave unto Moses the law in Mount Sinai, known as the Torah, He gave unto him also the interpretation of it, commanding Moses to put the former into writing, but to deliver the later only by word of mouth, to be preserved only in memories and to be transmitted down from generation to generation orally; and from hence the former is called the Written Law and the other the Oral Law. Sometimes later the Prophets came along and added more light on certain Laws. Ezekiel 45:21 and here in Ezra 6 are examples of further enlightenments, in this case regarding the Passover sacrifice:

As the account in the book of Ezra shows, the Levites themselves killed the Passover lambs at this observance. This was not a purely domestic observance, as was the Passover that the children of Israel observed in Egypt, and in the wilderness, and in their early years in the Promised Land. This Passover—the first recorded observance by the returned exiles—was centered at the newly dedicated temple and was kept according to the new Passover law that Ezra had instituted. Ezra’s new law was enacted primarily because of the apostate Jewish temples in Samaria and Elephantine, where unauthorized sacrifices were being made. The new Passover law enforced the Scriptural teaching that Jerusalem was the only city where God had placed His name and that the altar at the temple in Jerusalem was the only authorized place to offer sacrifices to God. Since the Jews of Ezra’s day were accustomed to observing a temple-centered Passover, those who lived near the apostate temples in Samaria and Elephantine would naturally have been tempted to observe the Passover at these sites. The majority of the Jews still lived in exile, and less than 60,000 lived in Judea. By restricting all Passover observance to the area of Jerusalem, Ezra hoped to prevent the exiles from falling prey to the counterfeit religions that were competing with the true worship of God at the temple in Jerusalem. (Pg 204-205)

God’s law was instituted that the Passover sacrifice was to be done at Jerusalem regardless of whether other temples had been established in Samaria or Elephantine. Once King Solomon had finished building the Temple in Jerusalem, the Lord appeared to Solomon by night and said unto him: “I have heard thy prayer, and have chosen this place for Myself for a house of sacrifice” (II Chronicles 7:11-12). What happened in Mount Gerizim or Elephantine had no consequence with what God had intended for those who would come to Jerusalem to offer sacrifices. Fred Coulter is continuing with his distorted “truths.”

And “this place” that God had intended is in Jerusalem:

“I (God) have chosen Jerusalem, that My name might be there” (II Chronicles 6:6).

See the source image

And continue in II Chronicles

II Chronicles 7:1 Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the Lord filled the house. 2 And the priests could not enter into the house of the Lord, because the glory of the Lord had filled the Lord’S house.
3 And when all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down and the glory of the Lord upon the house, they bowed themselves with their faces to the ground upon the pavement, and worshiped and praised the Lord, saying, “For He is good, for His mercy endureth for ever.”
4 Then the king and all the people offered sacrifices before the Lord.
5 And King Solomon offered a sacrifice of twenty and two thousand oxen, and a hundred and twenty thousand sheep; so the king and all the people dedicated the house of God.

That place chosen by God is Jerusalem as affirmed in II Chronicles 6:6, “I have chosen Jerusalem, that My name might be there.”

I King 9:3 And the Lord said unto him, “I have heard thy prayer and thy supplication that thou hast made before Me. I have hallowed this house which thou hast built, to put My name there forever; and Mine eyes and Mine heart shall be there perpetually.

II Chronicles 7:12 And the Lord appeared to Solomon by night and said unto him: “I have heard thy prayer, and have chosen this place [Jerusalem] for Myself for a house of sacrifice.
I King 9:25 And three times in a year Solomon offered burnt offerings and peace offerings upon the altar which he built unto the Lord, and he burned incense upon the altar that was before the Lord. So he finished the house.

God had His plan all worked out early. What happened later at Mount Gerizim and in Elephantine had no consequence with what He had already established earlier with King Solomon. And those Scriptures quotes above are testimonies to the truth that Jerusalem is the only place to offer sacrifices. Again we should refer to what Fred Coulter wrote back in Chapter One: “Anyone who twists and distorts the Scriptures is “using the law unlawfully,” and will end up believing false, satanic doctrines,” (pg 13). Only the blind couldn’t see this. And not only blind, but they are also described in the Scriptures as wretched and naked.

{}17{}

 

Image result for blood pics passoverIt takes blood to cover sin. Blood represents life. “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul” (Leviticus 17:11). Only the blood of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, can pay for the sins of all mankind. Then why wasn’t His blood acknowledged to be sprinkled at the alter? Why were all the other sacrificial blood offered at the alter, but not that of the Son of God. All the blood of all the other sacrifices could never pay for the sins of anyone, yet they were offered and sprinkled at the alter. But not that of the Son of God?

The book of Ezra records the first Passover to be observed after the dedication of the second temple. Although the Passover was centered at the temple, the lambs were slain at the beginning of the 14th and were eaten on the night of the 14th (Ezra 6:19-21). (Pg 206)

Not so, the verses in Ezra 6:19-21 quoted above only say the Passover was kept at the Temple, by the purified priests and Levites, but nothing was written about the timing of the Passover as quoted above, “at the beginning of the 14th and were eaten on the night of the 14th.” This is a presumptuous way of ascertaining “truth” — a deceitful way. If Fred wants to say that the lambs were slain at the beginning of the fourteenth, that’s okay, at least we know he says it, but do not imply that Ezra said that, quoting his writing. That’s deceitful.

In later temple-centered observances, the lambs were slain late on the 14th and were not eaten until the night of the 15th. Although the temple sacrifice in the afternoon of the 14th became a widespread tradition, it did not wholly replace the domestic sacrifice of the lambs at the beginning of the 14th.

It is important to understand that Ezra’s decree did not change the time for killing the Passover lambs. His Passover law did not in any way alter or contradict the Passover ordinances of God, as recorded in Scripture. The measures that Ezra enforced were aimed at protecting the true worship of God and upholding His laws—not changing or replacing them. His restriction of the Passover to the area of Jerusalem promoted a temple centered observance, but it did not replace or prohibit the domestic killing of the Passover within that area. (Pg 206)

There is so much double-talk above. And just in case: “double-talk” is “a language that appears to be earnest and meaningful but in fact is a mixture of sense and nonsense.” If the law and ordinances for a “domestic Passover” were still in force, then changing it to a temple-centered observance would be a violation, a sin, nor matter what the intention was. Second, if the law and ordinances were for the lamb to be slain at the beginning of the fourteenth, then moving it to the late fourteenth would also be another violation and a sin. The presentation is “a mixture of sense and nonsense.”

See the source imageEzra was accredited with the beginning of the synagogues, where after the Babylonian captivity, the men of the Great Assembly formalized and standardized the language of the Jewish prayers and worship. For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments. He was a righteous scribe and high priest, one who “tenaciously studied, practiced, and taught the Eternal’s law to Israel” that he was regarded as the second Moses.

After the return of the Exile, the Jews were back in Jerusalem that the law was explained in the Aramaic language where they could understand that were originally written in Hebrew, since most of the people, after 70 years of Exile, had lost the knowledge of the ancient language to such a degree that they need the Word of God, not only translated, but explained in the vernacular.

In Nehemiah 8:6 And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God. . . . 7 . . . .and the Levites, caused the people to understand the law; and the people stood in their place. 8 So they read in the book, in the law of God, distinctly, and gave the sense and caused them to understand the reading.

In order to give “the sense and caused them to understand the reading,” they need to understand the Scriptures in Aramaic, hence this gave rise to the origin of the Targum version of our modern Bible.

And the Targum says of the original Passover in Exodus 12:6-8 “And it (the lamb) shall be bound and reserved for you until the fourteenth day of this month, that you may not know the fear of the Mizraee (Egyptians) when they see it; and ye shall kill him according to the rite of all to congregation of the assembly of Israel, between the suns. And you shall take of the blood and set it upon the two posts and upon the upper board outside of the houses in which you eat and sleep. And you shall eat the flesh on that night, the fifteenth of Nisan.”

See the source imageThe Targum says the instruction was to eat the flesh of the lamb on the fifteenth of Nisan. It is clear and simple.

Josephus states that 256,500 lambs were killed for the Passover that year. To kill 256,500 Passover lambs at the temple, 85,500 lambs would have to be slain in each of the three courses. But the size of the sacrificial area limited the number of lambs in each course to less than 6,500. The number of lambs that Josephus records is thirteen times the maximum number that could have been killed in the three courses.

WE CAN CONCLUDE THE FOLLOWING: Far more lambs were sacrificed for the Passover than could possibly have been slain at the temple during the allotted courses. The only logical explanation is that most of the lambs were not slain at the temple! (Pg 219)

The Scriptures have provided such a scenario of people making sacrifices in Jerusalem, “inside or outside the camp,” at or beyond the Temple courtyard, so long as the blood from the sacrificial animals were collected and splinked by a priest on the altar, on pain of death. In Leviticus 17 it says if one were to make a sacrifice, “in the camp or out of the camp,” the blood must be brought to the tabernacle, and the priest shall sprinkle the blood upon the altar. The critical performance of a sacrifice, including the Passover sacrifice, is that “the priest shall sprinkle the blood upon the altar of the Lord at the door of the tabernacle” (verse 6).

So the 256,500 lambs mentioned by Josephus need not be sacrificed within the Temple courtyard. In fact, most of them could be sacrificed outside, but not too far, least during the trip to the altar in front of the Temple the blood collected in their bowls could set down, and they might coagulate before a priest could sprinkle the blood upon the altar before the Lord. So there is absolutely no doubt about the accuracy of Josephus’ testimony.

Second, the slaughtering of the Passover lamb needed not be done by a Levite or a priest. Any layman, usually head of household, were allowed to kill the Passover lamb, provided they were ceremonially clean, otherwise the Levites or priests might have to do it for them (II Chronicles 30:1).

The whole assembly could kill their lamb, and most would have done so beyond the Temple courtyard. The requirements were that the ones who did the killing must have to be circumcised and be ceremonially clean to do so. Then the blood had to be carried to the Temple courtyard for a priest to sprinkle upon the altar as commanded in Leviticus 17. Any person offering a sacrifice inside or outside the camp but its blood not carried to the Temple be offered at the altar before the Lord risked being “cut off from among his people” (Leviticus 17:3-4); that man “is liable to the death penalty” (Rashi). “Blood shall be reckoned to that man; he hath shed blood, and that man shall be destroyed from his people” (Targum).

If the symbolism is to be carried over to the New Testament period, Jesus Christ didn’t die in the Temple Courtyard, but outside, even outside the city walls — “outside the camp” — outside the Walls of Jerusalem. What an amazing parallel!

{}{}{}

For the rest of chapter 17, Fred Coulter went to quote or but more often misquote from many non-biblical sources. From experiences cited in previous critiques, his misquoting is obvious, blatant and a constant irritant that it’s not worth following him to — Simon the Just, Dr. Lauterbach, John G. Wilkinson, Solomon Zeitlin, Philo, Josephus, Joachim Jeremias, Alfred Edersheim, etc. Besides, he is so spiteful of the Rabbinic interpretation that everything he quoted had to be twisted to suit his preconceived notion of an early fourteenth passover.

We will, instead, go back to a critical point about Deuteronomy being edited. Fred Coulter, Frank Nelte and John Ritenbaugh have all agreed to the text, especially chapter 16:1-8 have been edited. They all meant it in the negative sense, of course, otherwise we should all accept it as the Sacred Text.

See the source image

So back to chapter 15. There were lots of more to say in this chapter:

Under Sanballat’s jurisdiction, a temple was built on Mount Gerizim, which was originally the Mount of Blessing for the children of Israel (Deut. 27:12). Now Samaria had a temple similar to the one in Jerusalem. Manasseh, a descendant of Aaron, was a high priest, and he had a whole corps of Levites as assistant priests. They were setting up a “Moses-like religion” that would compete with the true worship of God. For their Scriptural authority, they claimed and used the books of Moses, the first five books of the Bible, called the Torah. (See Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Book 11, Chapters 7 and 8.) They offered the commanded sacrifices, observed the Sabbath, festivals and holy days, and fulfilled all the requirements of the Torah—with the exception of the law against intermarriage. Because they had their own temple and their own priesthood, they did not have to comply with the law against intermarriage. They were now under Sanballat’s jurisdiction, where they were safe from any interference by Ezra and Nehemiah. Through their counterfeit religion, they could begin to influence Jews everywhere in the empire.

What an alarming turn of events! What an absolute disaster this could bring! Only sixty miles north of Jerusalem was a competing religion, a new Jewish/Samaritan religion, with authentic copies of the books of Moses, the first five books of the Bible. Because the founders of this religion had rebelled against the law of God, it was obvious that they did not respect His Word. They would not hesitate to alter the text to suit their own purposes. The Scriptures were in great danger of being corrupted. (Pg 181)

If Ezra had edited the Scriptures, a comparison would show the difference with the Samaritans’ version: “with authentic copies of the books of Moses, the first five books of the Bible.” The Samaritan religion was established earlier, but close to Jerusalem, just some sixty miles to the north, around 720 BC. Since they have their original Samaritan version, “authentic copies” as Fred Coulter put it, any editing by Ezra, will show the difference.

Shortly after the Exile, in II Kings 17:

24 And the king of Assyria brought men from Babylon, and from Cuthah, and from Ava, and from Hamath, and from Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the children of Israel; and they possessed Samaria and dwelt in the cities thereof.
25 And so it was at the beginning of their dwelling there that they feared not the Lord; therefore the Lord sent lions among them, which slew some of them.
26 Therefore they spoke to the king of Assyria, saying, “The nations which thou hast removed and placed in the cities of Samaria know not the manner of the God of the land; therefore He hath sent lions among them, and behold, they slay them because they know not the manner of the God of the land.”
27 Then the king of Assyria commanded, saying, “Carry thither one of the priests whom ye brought from thence; and let them go and dwell there, and let him teach them the manner of the God of the land.”
28 Then one of the priests whom they had carried away from Samaria came and dwelt in Bethel, and taught them how they should fear the Lord.
29 However every nation made gods of their own and put them in the houses of the high places which the Samaritans had made, every nation in their cities wherein they dwelt.
32 So they feared the Lord, and made unto themselves from the lowest of them priests of the high places, who sacrificed for them in the houses of the high places.

So “one of the priests whom ye brought from thence,” (verse 27) had been brought from among the northern Exile to teach the new settlers. It is likely he had some scrolls of the Torah with him, otherwise how could he teach the new settlers? By the time Ezra arrived, (around 440-480 BC), the Samaritan religion would have been around for some 250 years.

But evidence shows otherwise—Deuteronomy 16:1-8—for both versions, especially in verse 2: “of the flock and the herd,” are exactly the same. And second, that the usage of Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread are used interchangeably. Hence the composite characteristic of the festivals were established by Moses himself.

See the source imageDeuteronomy 16 (KJ21)

1“Observe the month of Abib, and keep the Passover unto the Lord thy God; for in the month of Abib the Lord thy God brought thee forth out of Egypt by night.
2 Thou shalt therefore sacrifice the Passover unto the Lord thy God, of the flock and the herd, in the place which the Lord shall choose to place His name there.
3 Thou shalt eat no leavened bread with it. Seven days shalt thou eat unleavened bread therewith, even the bread of affliction; for thou camest forth out of the land of Egypt in haste, that thou mayest remember the day when thou camest forth out of the land of Egypt all the days of thy life.
4 And there shall be no leavened bread seen with thee in all thy borders seven days, neither shall there anything of the flesh, which thou sacrificed the first day at evening, remain all night until the morning.
5 Thou mayest not sacrifice the Passover within any of thy gates which the Lord thy God giveth thee;
6 but at the place which the Lord thy God shall choose to place His name in, there thou shalt sacrifice the Passover at evening, at the going down of the sun, at the season that thou camest forth out of Egypt.
7 And thou shalt roast and eat it in the place which the Lord thy God shall choose, and thou shalt turn in the morning and go unto thy tents.
8 Six days thou shalt eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day shall be a solemn assembly to the Lord thy God. Thou shalt do no work therein.

The Samaritan Pentateuch (translated by Aleksandr Sigalov)
Deuteronomy 16

1 Observe the month of Abib, and keep the passover unto the LORD thy God: for in the month of Abib the LORD thy God brought thee forth out of Egypt by night. 2 Thou shalt therefore sacrifice the passover unto the LORD thy God, of the flock and the herd, in the place which the LORD God of you shall choose to place his name there. 3 Thou shalt eat no leavened bread with it; seven days shalt thou eat unleavened bread therewith, even the bread of affliction; for thou camest forth out of the land of Egypt in haste: that thou mayest remember the day when thou camest forth out of the land of Egypt all the days of thy life. 4 And there shall be no leavened bread seen with thee in all thy coast seven days; neither shall there any thing of the flesh, which thou sacrificedst the first day between the even, remain all night until the morning. 5 And thou mayest not sacrifice the passover within any of thy gates, which the LORD thy God giveth thee: 6 But in the place which the LORD thy God shall choose to place his name there, there thou shalt sacrifice the passover at even, at the going down of the sun, at the season that thou camest forth out of Egypt. 7 And thou shalt roast and eat it in the place which the LORD thy God shall choose: and thou shalt turn in the morning, and go unto thy tents. 8 Six days thou shalt eat unleavened bread: and on the seventh day shall be a celebration to the LORD thy God: thou shalt not do any work of service therein.

Even though the Samaritans consider the Feast of Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread as two distinct festivals, their Pentateuch remains much the same as the Masoretic Text in Deuteronomy 16:1-8. The difference, if any, is no more than the difference between the KJ21 and the NKJV, or between the KJV and the RSV.

Image result for Three wolves picsFred Coulter, Frank Nelte and John Ritenbaugh—these are Liars and Blind Guides! They subject themselves to lyings and deceits and come to believe in their own mischieves. They came to study the Bible with a preconceived notion that the Passover is at the start of the fourteenth. So when other Scriptures don’t fit into their preconceived notion, they attacked the Scriptures; attack King Hezekiah and King Josiah where both conducted a centralised Feast of Tabernacle and Passover in Jerusalem; attack the people behind the Scriptures, singling out Ezra who is a righteous scribe as the main culprit in vandalising Deuteronomy 16:1-8. Is there any wonder if the Sovereign God deems these Samaritan-influenced apostates as the three shepherds whom He hates?

{}{}{}

A Critique of Fred Coulter’s Passover (Ih)

•February 16, 2020 • Leave a Comment

A Critique of Fred Coulter’s Passover (Ih)
Passover on the 14th or 15th?

Fred R. Coulter

Christian Biblical Church of God
Post Office Box 1442
Hollister California 95024-1442

Image result for moses picsDraft Ih

This is a Critique of Fred Coulter’s The Christian Passover. The main issue is whether the Passover is on the early or late fourteenth of Nisan. Quoted are Fred Coulter’s book, from an internet online version, which I presume, is his latest. Most of his quotes are in block form, in PINK and indented. The Scriptures, in RED, must be our primary guide.

Chapters 14 – 15

Ezra was a righteous scribe. He was also a righteous high priest. His priestly lineage could be traced all the way back to Aaron (Ezra 7:1-5). Ezra returned to Jerusalem from Babylonian exile and faithfully reintroduced the Torah to all those who followed him (Ezra 7:10 and Nehemiah 8). For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments. He was so righteous that he was regarded as the second Moses in the Voice Translation of Ezra 7:10 He was like Moses who tenaciously studied, practiced, and taught the Eternal’s law to Israel.

With the above in mind, we’ll continue with our critique:

WHAT IS THE TRUE MEANING OF DEUTERONOMY 16?

The advocates of a 15th Passover claim that the commands of God in Deuteronomy 16 support the temple sacrifice of the Passover lambs. On the surface, it appears that these commands required the sacrificing of the Passover at the temple, and that the Passover and the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread were combined into one feast.

Is this interpretation of Deuteronomy 16 correct? Did God abolish the domestic Passover by commanding that the Passover sacrifice be offered at the temple? If that is the meaning of God’s commands in Deuteronomy 16, then these commands are clearly contradicting His commands in Exodus 12, Numbers 9 and Leviticus 23 concerning the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. (The Christian Passover, pg 159)

During the forty years of wandering in the desert, the children of Israel performed their sacrifices at the Sanctuary, but when the Temple was established God told King Solomon that He had chosen for Himself to move the place of sacrifice to Jerusalem. Hence a Temple-centered sacrifice in Jerusalem is a God-ordained command:

Thus Solomon finished the house of the Lord and the king’s house; and all that came into Solomon’s heart to do in the house of the Lord and in his own house, he prosperously effected. And the Lord appeared to Solomon by night and said unto him: “I have heard thy prayer, and have chosen this place for Myself for a house of sacrifice” (II Chronicles 7:11-12).

And “this place” is in Jerusalem:

See the source image“I (God) have chosen Jerusalem, that My name might be there” (II Chronicles 6:6).
And continue in II Chronicles 7:1 Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the Lord filled the house. 2 And the priests could not enter into the house of the Lord, because the glory of the Lord had filled the Lord’S house.
3 And when all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down and the glory of the Lord upon the house, they bowed themselves with their faces to the ground upon the pavement, and worshiped and praised the Lord, saying, “For He is good, for His mercy endureth for ever.”
4 Then the king and all the people offered sacrifices before the Lord.
5 And King Solomon offered a sacrifice of twenty and two thousand oxen, and a hundred and twenty thousand sheep; so the king and all the people dedicated the house of God.

That place chosen by God is Jerusalem as affirmed in II Chronicles 6:6, “I have chosen Jerusalem, that My name might be there.” Only the stiff-necked think otherwise.

I King 9:3 And the Lord said unto him, “I have heard thy prayer and thy supplication that thou hast made before Me. I have hallowed this house which thou hast built, to put My name there forever; and Mine eyes and Mine heart shall be there perpetually.

II Chronicles 7:12 And the Lord appeared to Solomon by night and said unto him: “I have heard thy prayer, and have chosen this place [Jerusalem] for Myself for a house of sacrifice.

I King 9:25 And three times in a year Solomon offered burnt offerings and peace offerings upon the altar which he built unto the Lord, and he burned incense upon the altar that was before the Lord. So he finished the house.

Adam Clarke: Three times in a year did Solomon offer – These three times were: 1. The passover 2. The feast of pentecost 3. The feast of tabernacles.

Whedon’s Commentary on the Bible – Three times in a year — At the three great feasts required by the law of Moses. Exodus 23:14-16. The feast of unleavened bread, or the passover; the feast of harvest, or of weeks, (Exodus 34:22;) and the feast of ingathering, or of tabernacles.

Undoubtedly this means at the three solemn great feasts {Deuteronomy 16:16} — the Passover (which is used interchangeably with the Days of Unleavened Bread), Pentecost and Tabernacles. And Jerusalem is not only a house of sacrifices. It is also a house of prayers:

II Chronicles 7:13 If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land or if I send pestilence among My people,14 if My people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
15 Now Mine eyes shall be open and Mine ears attentive unto the prayer that is made in this place.
16 For now have I chosen and sanctified this house, that My name may be there for ever; and Mine eyes and Mine heart shall be there perpetually.

And many people, seeking the Lord God of Israel, setting their hearts right, went to Jerusalem to offer sacrifices, any sacrifice, including the most important of all sacrifices, the Passover:

“And after them, out of all the tribes of Israel, such as set their hearts to seek the Lord God of Israel came to Jerusalem to sacrifice unto the Lord God of their fathers” (II Chronicles 11:16).

Before Moses sacrifices could be made anywhere. But once the tabernacle was built, Moses received the command from the Lord God of Israel that sacrifices could only be brought to the “entrance of the tent of meeting” as instructed in Leviticus 17. And when the Temple was built in Jerusalem, God placed His name, eyes and heart there “forever” and “perpetually” (I King 9:3).

Although Deuteronomy 16 contains instructions for the Feast of Unleavened Bread and the two other holy days seasons, the fact that the word “Passover” appears in Verse 1 has caused great confusion in the minds of many Bible students and scholars. They are not aware that these verses were edited by Ezra long after the book of Deuteronomy was originally written, and that in Ezra’s time the entire eight-day observance of the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread was called “Passover.” When we understand that the term “Passover” was used for the Feast of Unleavened bread, the seeming discrepancy between Deuteronomy 16 and other Scriptural passages is eliminated. (Pg 165)

When we place all the jigsaw pieces together and they fix nicely, there isn’t any confusion. If the puzzle doesn’t fit, Fred Coulter’s understanding is obviously wrong, and so there is “great confusion.” The plain meaning of Deuteronomy 16 supports the theme that the amalgamation of the Passover with the Days of Unleavened Bread started way back during the Exodus.

The books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers were mainly the words of God to His subjects—to Adam, to Abraham, to Jacob, to Moses—but in the book of Deuteronomy it was Moses speaking to the Israelites. Deuteronomy 1:1 says “These are the words which Moses spoke unto all Israel on this side of the Jordan in the wilderness . . . 3 And it came to pass in the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first day of the month, that Moses spoke unto the children of Israel according unto all that the Lord had given him in commandment unto them.”

So when Moses spoke, he spoke “according unto all that the Lord had given him.” He uses terms that were slightly different from what God spoke as expressed in Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers. In Deuteronomy Moses couldn’t be just repeating the same line, word for word, that God used before. Moses would sometimes clarify seemingly confusing issues, or to elucidate complex subjects as the wordings in Deuteronomy 16 show.

Beside the fact that the Passover is a composite feast composed of an eight days festival, Scriptures show that it could be known by either of its names. Hence sometimes it is referred to as the Passover while other times as the Days of Unleavened Bread, as the following shows.

Deuteronomy 16:1 “Observe the month of Abib, and keep the Passover unto the Lord thy God; for in the month of Abib the Lord thy God brought thee forth out of Egypt by night.

Exodus 34:18 “The Feast of Unleavened Bread shalt thou keep. Seven days thou shalt eat unleavened bread, as I commanded thee, in the time of the month of Abib; for in the month of Abib thou camest out from Egypt.

There is no confusion. The children of Israel knew this composite characteristic from the beginning all along. If Moses had any doubt, he had full access to God at the Holy of Holies at the Sanctuary to ask and seek clarification. One example is found in Numbers 9 when some Israelites had came in contact with the dead, and thought they couldn’t keep the Passover. Moses said to them, “Stand still, and I will hear what the Lord will command concerning you” (verse 8). Moses had never been denied access to God to seek clarification on any issue or for any reason.

The book of Deuteronomy is composed entirely of the words of Moses, spoken from his heart to his people Israel. And since Moses was a righteous man, he spoke in a language that we can understand, yet it’s the Word of God. Years later Ezra used the same methodology for those who returned from the Exile and who had lost the Hebrew language, and who knew only the Aramaic language, and this same process gave birth to the Targum, another source of the Scriptures that we should refer from time to time. And the Targum says in Exodus 12: that the Passover was a late fourteenth and the eating was on the fifteenth: “And you shall eat the flesh on that night, the fifteenth of Nisan . . .”

The Targum is a Ezra-inspired Scripture.

Nehemiah 8:8 So they read in the book, in the law of God, distinctly, and gave the sense and caused them to understand the reading.

Nehemiah 8:8 implied not only the reading of the Law, but also made interpretation of its Hebraic meaning—its translation and interpretation—were simplifies from Hebrew to Aramaic, so that the common people in the streets could understand, and this practice was broadened and spread to all the synagogues in Judea. Before long the Targum was written in Aramaic, and today, translated—including some explanations—in the English language.

See the source imageLet’s have another look at the original Passover, during the Exodus:

Exodus 12:6 And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month, and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening (ben ha arbayim).
7 And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses wherein they shall eat it.
8 And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roasted with fire; and with unleavened bread and with bitter herbs they shall eat it (The Targum identified this night of eating in Exodus 12:8 as the fifteenth of Nisan).

Note in verse 8 that the Targum identified that night as “the night of the fifteenth.” Along with the Masoretic Text and the Septuagint, the Targum is also an important source of our Bible and ignoring it could only lead to our own paucity.

It was Ezra whose work gave rise to the Targum, translating the Hebrew Text to Aramaic so that the rank and file could understand. Ezra was a priest and “a scribe skilled in the law.” Ezra 7:10 For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments. The Voice translated this same verse as “He (Ezra) was a second Moses, and tenaciously studied, practiced, and taught the Eternal’s law to Israel.”

Let’s have another look; let’s accept that the Pharisees sat on Moses’ seat as Christ said, instead of stigmatizing them:

Verse 6 says to keep the Passover, where the lamb was sacrificed at even—”after noon and until nightfall.” From verse 7 to 11, it is describing the night as the Passover, ending by saying “it is the Lord’S Passover.” So the Passover stretched into the Days of Unleavened Bread. The eating of unleavened bread also starts from the fourteenth of Nisan, at even (ba-erev).

Further, commenting on the beginning verse 8, “And they shall eat the flesh in that night,” the Targum translates this as the night of the fifteenth (of Nisan).

That same night was what the Lord (often deemed as the Death Angel) would do, to “execute judgment.” That night, when the Lord execute His judgment, was meant to be a memorial, and it was “a feast to the Lord.” The Targum says further, “And it was in the dividing of the night [idiom for midnight] of the fifteenth, that the Word of the Lord slew all the firstborn in the land of Mizraim (Egypt), from the firstborn son of Pharoh, who would have sat upon the throne of his kingdom, unto the firstborn sons of the kings who were captives in the dungeon as hostages under Pharoh’s hand.”

The subject was still the Passover—about how Passover was to be kept. What happened on the Passover night. And how we should be keeping Passover by having seven days of eating unleavened bread—observed Passover by eating unleavened bread for seven days. And this amalgamation is confirmed in the Mishnah:

What is the difference between the pesah [which was offered] in Egypt and the pesah of [subsequent] generations? The pesah in Egypt was taken on the tenth [of Nisan], And it required sprinkling with a bunch of hyssop on the lintel and on the two door-posts, And it was eaten in haste on one night, whereas the pesah of [subsequent] generations is kept the whole seven [days]. (Mishnah Pesachim 9)

Only in verse 17 is the phrase “the Feast of Unleavened Bread” appears. And how should we keep it? The answer is found in verse 18, we are to keep it by eating unleavened bread from the fourteenth, at even. So the Days of Unleavened Bread starts a few hours before the fifteenth, overlapping with Passover which is also to start the fourteenth, at even. The Scriptures were a bit vague on casual reading, but on closer scrutiny, it is extremely clear. The two feasts, known by either name, are a composite, and this Exodus 12 account shows that the original distinction between the two feasts were well interweaved right from the start. Moses knew he would not be crossing the Jordan with the Israelites. So, he took the opportunity to point the Israelites toward the LORD and impressed on this new generation the importance of heeding His Commandments. For God it is His glory to conceal a mystery, sometimes to hide a truth and to hook out those having a contemptuous attitude. And Moses warned those found to be guilty of persisting with this contemptuous spirit, a serious charge, would be put to death:

Deuteronomy 16:18 “You shall appoint judges and officers in all your towns that the Lord your God is giving you, according to your tribes, and they shall judge the people with righteous judgment.

Deuteronomy 17:11 According to the sentence of the law which they shall teach thee, and according to the judgment which they shall tell thee, thou shalt do: thou shalt not decline from the sentence which they shall shew thee, to the right hand, nor to the left. 12 And the man who will do presumptuously, and will not hearken unto the priest who standeth to minister there before the Lord thy God, or unto the judge, even that man shall die.

Moses knew he would die soon and his understanding had been conveyed to judges, Levites and priests where the true interpretation of the law were taught. So in the book of Deuteronomy Moses spoke and explained unto all Israel “according unto all that the Lord had given him” as to how to keep them, the blessing they would have if they obey, or cursing if they disobey, in a language they could understand. Men may have good intentions, but may do things seen as presumptuously? What is presumptuous or presumptuously?

Synonyms: arrogant, bumptious, cavalier, chesty, haughty, high-and-mighty, high-handed, high-hat, huffish, huffy, imperious, important, lofty, lordly, masterful, overweening, peremptory, pompous, presuming, pretentious, self-asserting, self-assertive, sniffy, supercilious, superior, uppish, uppity

And those judgement has the force of law, and of God. In Deuteronomy 19:17 Then both the men, between whom the controversy is, shall stand before the Lord, before the priests and the judges. When we stand before a judge, we stand before God. “Then his master shall bring him unto the judges [H430 elohim]” (Exodus 21:6). In the Septuagint, it is translated as the judgment-seat of God. Elsewhere God says He is coming as a consuming fire. “For the Lord thy God is a consuming fire” (Deuteronomy 4:24, 9:3, Hebrew 12:29).

On another note, the word “pesach” has a few timeframes. Just like the word “yowm” could be a 24-hour day or a 12-hour day, both concepts are contained within such a verse like Genesis 1:5. But pesach could be any one of four timeframes:

(a) An approximately 6-hour period—”after noon and until nightfall” erev or ben ha arbayim, when the lamb was killed.
(b) A one day concept, as in Numbers 28:16 “‘And on the fourteenth day of the first month is the Passover of the Lord.
(c) A seven-day festival as in Exodus 12:4-15, Deuteronomy 16:1-8, and as in Ezekiel 45:21 where it is explicitly described, “In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, ye shall have the Passover, a feast of seven days. Unleavened bread shall be eaten.
(d) An 8-day period when the 7-days Days of Unleavened Bread is added to the 14th day Passover. The whole period is also known as the Passover. Another reason is given below: Back when the months of the Jewish calendar were determined by observations of the new moon, eyewitnesses would bring their testimony to the rabbinical court in Jerusalem, and the court would sanctify the new month based on this testimony. But faraway communities such as Babylonia couldn’t get the message in time, and didn’t know when the new month had begun, though they could narrow the possibilities to two days. So to play it safe, they observed another day, so Pesach became an eight-day festival.

Deuteronomy 16 clarifies some earlier Scriptures as to how to keep the Passover:

(i) Passover was to be offered in the place which the Lord shall choose, not within any of their gates (Deuteronomy 16:2,5). It was no longer in their houses as was during the Exodus, hence a “domestic passover” for later observances is a misplacement.
(ii) For purposes of the timing of the sacrifice of pesach, the time is erev (Deuteronomy 16:6), the same time as ben ha arbayim (Exodus 12:6). Thus erev, for this purpose, is also “after noon and until nightfall” (Exodus 12:6).
(iii) Erev (Deuteronomy 16:6) is being defined as “at the going down of the sun.” It’s the first moment when the sun starts to go down when it passes its zenith. It is also the same time to start eating unleavened bread (Exodus 12:18). So the eating of unleavened bread started earlier than eating of the pesach by some 6 or more hours.
(iv) God specifies that three times a year all males should appear before Him in the place which He shall choose, which were later identified by God to be in Jerusalem (II Chronicles 6:6): in the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks, and in the Feast of Tabernacles (Deuteronomy 16:16). It clarifies Exodus 23:14,17; 34:23.

We should study the Scriptures in great detail and scrutinise what it actually says. Sometimes, it’s pretty different from what we thought it says. Start eating unleavened bread from the fourteenth onward, at even, ba-erev, don’t wait until the fifteenth: “Thou shalt not offer the blood of My sacrifice with leavened bread” says Exodus 23:18.

The originator of the idea that these feasts as distinct originated from the Samaritans and then penetrated the Sadducees, who died out during the AD 70 inferno, but resurfaced during the ninth and tenth century by the Karaites. And since the last two centuries, this Samaritan idea was promoted by the Jewish Reform Movement, and since then by the Worldwide Church of God and its splinters: the CoG Communities. “You shall know them by their fruits” Matthew 7:16. And they all bear the same Samaritan fruits.

And just as a reminder of what Fred Coulter wrote so truthfully of himself and his comrade in the CoG Communities back to Chapter One: “False doctrines and misinterpretations are continually being spread because ministers and teachers use the Word of God deceitfully. How diabolical it is to take the Word of God, which is the truth, and misapply it to create a lie!” (Pg 13)

So true, for it was well prophesied way ahead in Hosea 11:12: “Ephraim compasseth me about with lies, and the house of Israel with deceit.”

{}15{}

See the source imageEzra was a righteous scribe and a high priest and he could trace his priestly lineage all the way back to Aaron (Ezra 7:1-5). After returning to Jerusalem from Babylonian exile, he reintroduced the Torah to all those who followed him (Ezra 7:10 and Nehemiah 8). For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments. He was so righteous that he was regarded as the second Moses in the Voice Translation of Ezra 7:10, but Fred Coulter finds it appropriate to demonise Ezra, sugarcoating his statements but actually accusing him of vandalising the Scriptures.

To preserve the true worship of God, Ezra used his authority as priest and religious leader of the Jews to edit and canonize the Old Testament Scriptures. As part of his work in preserving the Book of the Law, known today as the Pentateuch, Ezra edited Deuteronomy 16 in order to make the text more understandable to the Jews of his day. Since they referred to the Feast of Unleavened Bread as “Passover,” Ezra edited the commands in Deuteronomy 16 to fit this later terminology. The offerings for the seven days of unleavened bread are referred to as “passover-offerings” because the Feast of Unleavened Bread was called “Passover.” (Pg 174)

While Ezra was responsible for centralizing the Passover, it is important to remember that his action was intended to protect the true worship of God. He was not acting in opposition to God’s ordinances and therefore was NOT ACTING AGAINST THE AUTHORITY OF GOD. (Pg 177)

Why such doublespeak above? A doublespeak is a language that deliberately obscures, disguises, distorts, or reverses the meaning of words. If centralizing the Passover in Jerusalem is not against God, then it is for God. Why so much ambiguity in his language to distort his true message? If vandalising the Scriptures is “NOT ACTING AGAINST THE AUTHORITY OF GOD” then what is it? Another prime example of Ephraim’s lies and deceits. Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the Lord and to teach in Israel His laws, statutes and judgments. He was so highly regarded that he was appraised as the second Moses.

To this day, the members of this Samaritan religion keep their Passover at the beginning of the 14th, in the same manner as their ancestors. The fact that this Jewish/Samaritan sect has always observed a domestic Passover indicates that the temple sacrifice of the Passover lambs was not the practice in Jerusalem when their religion was founded. The following description of their Passover confirms that it has not changed from the original domestic observance: (Pg 182)

th

No, they don’t. The Samaritans kept their passover outdoors at Mount Gerizim, just as the bog Sun had set and all the night under the light of the full moon, near today’s city of Nablus in the West Bank. This mountain isn’t at their homes, so it isn’t a “domestic” passover. But yes, the Samaritans kept their passover at the beginning of the fourteenth, and through Tobiah, the Ammonite, this belief penetrated the Jewish community through a sect known as the Sadducees, accompanied by their close comrade, the Boethusians, who both died out during the AD 70 inferno, but this belief resurfaced in the ninth and tenth century with the birth of a new sect known as the Karaites. And since the last two centuries, by the Jewish Reform Movement and modern Protestants (A.T. Olmstead, including Ernst Würthwein whose works Fred Coulter relied heavily from) springing forth as experts many from Jewish background. And then at the tail end by the Worldwide Church of God (including Ernest Martin) and today its Laodicean splinters: the Church of God Communities who are being described as blind, wretched and naked. “You shall know them by their fruits.” And they all bear the same fruits of whom the CoG Communities today follows exactly in the same manner like their forebears.

“They, therefore, observe Pesach exactly as it was observed two or three thousand years ago [emphasis added]….Modern historical research has proved that the Samaritans are not descendants of the heathen colonists settled in the northern kingdom by the conquerors of Samaria, as was once assumed….Actually the Samaritans of today are a small and poor remnant of an old and great Jewish sect….The only religious books that they possess, however, are the Pentateuch and Joshua….these two hundred [remnant] Samaritans observe Pesach to this day on Mount Gerizim, in a manner that other Jews ceased practising thousands of years ago. The custom of offering sacrifices has died out with the Samaritans, except on the fourteenth day of Nisan, when they offer the ceremonial Pesach sacrifice” (Schluss, The Jewish Festivals, pp. 60-61). (Pg 182)

The Scriptures give a different view, that the new settlers weren’t a Jewish sect but pagans from various regions of Babylonia when the Assyrians captured their land and redistributed its captives throughout the Assyrian empire. The background of the arrival of the Samaritans to live in Samaria is recorded in the Scriptures for our enlightenment, hence there is no need to seek guidance from Schluss’ heresy.

And the Lord rejected all the seed of Israel and afflicted them, and delivered them into the hands of despoilers until He had cast them out of His sight. 21 For He rent Israel from the house of David, and they made Jeroboam the son of Nebat king. And Jeroboam drove Israel from following the Lord, and made them sin a great sin. 22 For the children of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did; they departed not from them, 23 until the Lord removed Israel out of His sight, as He had said by all His servants the prophets. So was Israel carried away out of their own land to Assyria unto this day. 24 And the king of Assyria brought men from Babylon, and from Cuthah, and from Ava, and from Hamath, and from Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the children of Israel; and they possessed Samaria and dwelt in the cities thereof (II Kings 17:20-24).

The newly arrived Samaritans occupied the country formerly belonging to the tribe of Ephraim, Manasseh and the other Lost Tribes where most of today’s Church of God communities comes from. The capital of the country was Samaria, then a large and splendid city. When the ten tribes were carried away into captivity to Assyria, the king of Assyria sent people from Cutha, Ava, Hamath, and Sepharvaim to inhabit Samaria (II Kings 17:24). So for simplicity sake, Jews assert that the Samaritans are “Cutheans.”

In order to preserve the true worship of God, it was essential to differentiate the Scriptures of the Jerusalem Jews from the Scriptures of the Jewish/Samaritan religion. The first step was to set the Scriptures in order and canonize each book as the authentic Word of God. When this work was completed, accurate copies of the entire text had to be made and distributed to Jewish synagogues throughout the empire. Once canonized, the Word of God could be preserved for all time. (Pg 183)

As part of the canonization of the Scriptures, Ezra also edited the books which became the Old Testament. This editing included the substitution of current terminology for ancient names that were no longer in use. (Pg 184)

Ezra edited Deuteronomy 16 from the then old Samaritan version, so Fred Coulter alleged, as the Samaritan version must be the authentic version. Quoting his own work, “The Original Bible Restored,” he says, “Although a few alterations were made in the text of the Old Testament after its canonization, there is no question that Ezra was the one who compiled the books, edited them and canonized them.” But of course, he was mainly referring to the vandalisation of Deuteronomy 16 (mainly verses 1-8).

“Whatever I command you, observe to do it. Thou shalt not add thereto nor diminish from it (Deuteronomy 12:32). Vandalising the Bible is a serious charge, risking eternal life (Revelation 22:18-19). But on the other hand, if Ezra isn’t guilty of vandalising, then his accusers would be in danger of death.

Fred Coulter’s charge isn’t alone. He has a few comrades who share his view.

From Frank W. Nelte, referring to Deuteronomy 16:1, 2, 4, 5, 6

These verses give the impression that the Passover is being spoken about. But the word “Passover” was deviously inserted into these verses by some dishonest scribe. The motivation for these devious changes was to justify the Jewish custom of referring to the Seven Days of Unleavened Bread as “Passover”.

The evidence for the fraudulent changes in this section of Scripture is not found in preserved manuscripts but in the pages of the Bible itself. We are dealing with a passage that is absolutely vital to upholding a Jewish belief, which belief is clearly unbiblical according to all the other Scriptures in the entire Old Testament. And these fraudulent changes have been accepted in every preserved manuscript, because they endorse a specific Jewish custom.

In addition, there is also a mistranslation in verse 6.
The only evidence for these alterations consists of exposing incompatible, contradictory and illogical statements in the changed text, when compared to other biblical passages. The person who altered this text overlooked some things which expose his fraudulent tampering.

Here are the changes that were made:
In these verses some scribe REMOVED the expression “the Feast of Unleavened Bread” from verse 1, and then REPLACED IT with the word “Passover”. In addition, this scribe also simply INSERTED the word “Passover” into the text of verses 2, 5 and 6.

From John W. Ritenbaugh:

In the context of Deuteronomy 16, the word “Passover” is beginning to look clearly out of place. As we continue to look further, we are going to see that verses 1-8 have nothing to do at all with instructions for the Passover lamb, but rather for Unleavened Bread, and specifically the Night To Be Much Observed, which is of course the first night after the Passover, not the same night as the Passover.

How did the name “Passover” get in there? God certainly did not inspire it to be in there. It had to have been edited into Deuteronomy 16 at a much later time (when the entire eight days of the spring festival were commonly called Passover) than from when it was originally written. You will see this very clearly in the New Testament that the entire spring feast was commonly called Passover by the Jews. Somebody, in copying, must have deliberately removed the name “Unleavened Bread” and placed the name “Passover” into Deuteronomy 16 in order to give support to a 15th Passover—to a Temple-centered 15th Passover (Passover transcript, Part 9).

“Who would have the authority to make such a change from Unleavened Bread to Passover in Deuteronomy 16? The finger of history points to someone during or after the time of Ezra. Ezra came along in the period roughly between 530 BC and about 515 BC. When Ezra came on the scene, the Jews, who had just come out of captivity, were again starting down the same path that originally took them into captivity” (Passover transcript, Part 10).

Tampering and vandalising God’s Word are serious charges, whose penalty is death (Revelation 22:18-19). Zechariah 11:8 is one of the most intriguing verse in the Scriptures. It says, “Three shepherds also I cut off in one month; and my soul loathed them and their soul also abhorred me.” Who are these three shepherds? Could they be Fred Coulter, Frank Nelte and John Ritenbaugh?

My nerves stand on end when I think about this. I hope it isn’t, of course.

{}{}{}

A Critique of Fred Coulter’s Passover (Ig)

•February 10, 2020 • Leave a Comment

A Critique of Fred Coulter’s Passover (Ig)
Passover on the 14th or 15th?

Fred R. Coulter

Christian Biblical Church of God
Post Office Box 1442
Hollister California 95024-1442

Draft Ig

See the source imageThis is a Critique of Fred Coulter’s The Christian Passover. The main issue is whether the Passover is on the early or late fourteenth of Nisan. Quoted are Fred Coulter’s book, from an internet online version, which I presume, is his latest. Most of his quotes are in block form, in PINK and indented so as to differentiate his from other comments. The Scriptures, in RED, must, foremost, be our primary focus and guide.

Chapters 12 – 13

II Chronicles 29:2 says “And he (Hezekiah) did that which was right in the sight of the Lord” and this, of course, includes sanctifying the house of the Lord cleaning the altar, all the vessels, and the table for the shewbread (verses 17-18). It was reemphasized in verse 12 that the commandment of the king, as well as “by the word of the Lord.” Verse 12 says: “Also the hand of God was in Judah, to give them one heart to do the commandment of the king and of the princes by the word of the Lord.” The burnt offerings and peace offerings were accompanied by much rejoicing, enhanced by having music, songs, accompanied by various instruments—cymbals, psalteries, harps and trumpets—which were commandments of King David and other prophets, and they performed with praises and gladness.

In his account of Hezekiah’s Passover, Ezra records that “the runners went with the letters from the king and his princes throughout all Israel and Judah…according to the commandment of the king…” (II Chron. 30:6). (The Christian Passover, pg 142)

See the source imageAfter taking counsel, the decree was to invite the other tribes, Ephraim and Manasseh—to make proclamation throughout all Israel, from Beersheba even to Dan—and the running and sending out letters to inform the other tribes, were the king’s command to keep the Passover in the second month. “So the posts passed from city to city through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh even unto Zebulun: but they laughed them to scorn, and mocked them” (II Chronicles 30:10).

In response to Hezekiah’s command to come to Jerusalem for the Passover, Ezra records that “…many people gathered at Jerusalem to keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread in the second month…” (verse 13). This is the first Scriptural record in which the Feast of Unleavened Bread and the Passover are used interchangeably in referring to the spring festival season (verses 1-2, 13). (Pg 143)

No, not the first record. Earlier in the original Exodus 12 the two feasts have been all along a composite, and in Deuteronomy 16:1-8 when Moses wrote it in his last days (39 years after the original Exodus), the names Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread were used interchangeably. In Hezekiah’s instance, the name Passover” is used in II Chronicles 30:2 “to keep the Passover in the second month,” and then in verse 13 “And there assembled at Jerusalem many people to keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread in the second month.” They were indeed a composite feast, right at the start in Exodus, and reaffirmed during Hezekiah’s time.

Second, Hezekiah was a good king, who was righteous before God. The Scriptures speak well of him, who “kept His commandments which the Lord commanded Moses. And the Lord was with him”:

II Kings 18:3 And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that David his father did. 4 He removed the high places, and broke the images, and cut down the Asherah poles, and broke in pieces the brazen serpent that Moses had made; for until those days the children of Israel burned incense to it; and he called it Nehushtan. 5 He trusted in the Lord God of Israel, so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any who were before him. 6 For he cleaved to the Lord and departed not from following Him, but kept His commandments which the Lord commanded Moses. 7 And the Lord was with him, and he prospered whithersoever he went forth; and he rebelled against the king of Assyria and served him not.

Surely anyone who postulates about Hezekiah not keeping the law of Moses is a liar, and Fred Coulter continues:

As we continue to study the account in II Chronicles, we will see that Hezekiah’s Passover is the first record in Scripture of killing the Passover lambs at the temple. Although Ezra’s account does not state the time that the lambs were slain, it appears that they were slain during the day portion of the 14th. . . . This is also the first Scriptural record of killing the Passover at the temple and dashing the blood of the lamb against the altar instead of applying the blood to the door posts at home, as was done with the domestic sacrifice of the lamb. Why did Hezekiah institute these changes in the observance of the Passover? (Pg 143)

See the source imageIn summary, Leviticus 17 says if one were to make a sacrifice, any sacrifice including the Passover “in the camp” or “out of the camp,” the blood must be brought to the tabernacle, and the priest shall sprinkle the blood upon the altar of the Lord at the door of the tabernacle (verse 6).

In verse 8, it says, “And thou shalt say unto them: ‘Whatsoever man there be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers who sojourn among you, who offereth a burnt offering or sacrifice. In the Good News Translation, it says “who offer a burnt offering or any other sacrifice.”

Referring to the phrase “that offereth a burnt offering or sacrifice,” John Gill says “any other sacrifice besides a burnt offering.” All indications are that the sacrifice mentioned would inevitably include the Passover sacrifice, only that the GNT made it clearer.

Leviticus 17 in the Targum gave a clearer warning:

“And the Lord spake with Mosheh, saying: Speak with Aharon and with his sons, and with the sons of Israel, and tell them: This is the word which the Lord hath commanded, saying: A man of the house of Israel, young or old, who shall kill as a sacrifice a bullock, or lamb, or goat in the camp, or who killeth it without the camp, and bringeth it not to the door of the tabernacle of ordinance to offer it an oblation before the Lord, before the tabernacle of the Lord, the blood of slaughter shall be reckoned to that man, and it shall be to him as if he had shed innocent blood, and that man shall be destroyed from his people.”

The critical performance of a sacrifice or any sacrifice “in the camp” or “out of the camp” is that “the priest shall sprinkle the blood upon the altar of the Lord at the door of the tabernacle.” Since memorial time, the priests had sprinkled the blood upon the alter evidently from the time of Moses and evidentently down to King Hezekiah and Ezra. The penalty for infringement is DEATH: it is “as if he had shed innocent blood, and that man shall be destroyed from his people.” If Moses had any doubt about such ruling, he had all the opportunity and time to ask God who dwelt between the cherubim in the Sanctuary for any clarification.

There is not one detail in the account which resembles the domestic observance that is recorded in Exodus 12. To the contrary, the account in II Chronicles 30 points out the changes that were instituted for the temple sacrifice of the Passover. The lambs that were killed at the temple were slain by the Levites, not by “the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel,” as in Exodus 12. (Pg 144)

See the source imageOf course the domestic Passover in Egypt was a one-off occurrence. Never were the children of Israel required to experience a night of trepidation again, nor to experience a night of the Death Angels’ bloodbath to all the firstborn. The Levitical duties of the tribe of Levites and the Sanctuary were not instituted at the time of the Exodus. But once instituted, it was centralized: “Thou mayest not sacrifice the Passover within any of thy gates which the Lord thy God giveth thee” (Deuteronomy 16:5) and in Jerusalem this Holy City was chosen. Hence most of the Exodus 12 requirements were a one-off situation, otherwise every Israelites would still be eating with their loins girded, sandals on their feet, staff in their hands; and they were to eat in haste, pretending to flee from a non-existing Pharaoh and his non-existing armies in an re-enactment of the Exodus.

Ezra’s account in II Chronicles 30 shows that God accepted this temple-centered Passover, although it was contrary to the ordinances that He had established, because of the prayers of Hezekiah and the repentance of the people. But God’s acceptance of this Passover does not mean that He intended this type of Passover to replace the domestic Passover. The commands for the domestic observance of the Passover, as recorded in Exodus 12, were still in effect. Consider this: If the ordinances of the Passover were not in effect at that time, there would have been no need for Hezekiah to pray for forgiveness for those who ate the Passover contrary to God’s requirements. (Pg 147)

If “it was contrary to the ordinances,” then Hezekiah wouldn’t be a righteous King. But the Scripture in II Kings 18:3 says: “And he (Hezekiah) did that which was right in the sight of the Lord.” So this is a clear case whether Fred Coulter is telling lies or the testimony from the Scriptures is false. During the Exodus the command to kill the lamb in their houses (a domestic passover) were obviously a one-off situation. Later, other laws and ordinances were established, like the command to commence a holy assembly on the first and last days of Unleavened Bread, which wasn’t in the original Exodus.

See the source imageHezekiah’s prayers were for the fact that they were late for the Passover, which should be on the first month, but they celebrated it on the second month, which is contrary to the law. But the main reason was stated in II Chronicles 30:18 For a multitude of the people, even many from Ephraim, and Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun had not cleansed themselves, yet they ate the Passover otherwise than it was written. But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, “The good Lord pardon every one 19 who prepareth his heart to seek God, the Lord God of his fathers, though he be not cleansed according to the purification of the sanctuary.” 20 And the Lord hearkened to Hezekiah, and healed the people.

We should refer back to Chapter One, this is what Fred Coulter wrote: “Anyone who twists and distorts the Scriptures is “using the law unlawfully,” as Paul said, and will end up believing false, satanic doctrines, which subvert the souls of men,” (pg 13). Yes, Fred Coulter is describing his own satanic doctrines. Has any of his sleepy sheep awaken by now? Can this be brought to Fred’s attention?

{}13{}

II Chronicles 34:1 Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem one and thirty years. 2 And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, and walked in the ways of David his father, and declined neither to the right nor to the left. Adam Clarke comments further, “He never swerved from God and truth; he never omitted what he knew to be his duty to God.”

See the source imageAnd the testimony from II Chronicles 34:31

And the king (King Josiah) stood in his place, and made a covenant before the Lord to walk after the Lord, and to keep His commandments and His testimonies and His statutes, with all his heart and with all his soul, to perform the words of the covenant which are written in this book. 32 And he caused all who were present in Jerusalem and Benjamin to stand to it. And the inhabitants of Jerusalem did according to the covenant of God, the God of their fathers. 33 And Josiah took away all the abominations out of all the countries that pertained to the children of Israel, and made all who were present in Israel to serve, even to serve the Lord their God. And all his days they departed not from following the Lord, the God of their fathers.

Note that King Josiah “made a covenant before the Lord to walk after the Lord and to keep His commandments and His testimonies and His statutes, with all his heart and with all his soul.” King Josiah was a good king: “And all his days they (the children of Israel) departed not from following the Lord, the God of their fathers.”

But as usual, Fred Coulter always has something bad to lie about King Josiah:

The description of the sacrificing does not fit the ordinances that God established for the domestic observance of the Passover. There is no mention of the lambs being killed by “the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel,” as in Exodus 12. Rather, the account gives a detailed description of the slaying of the lambs at the temple by the Levites, and the sprinkling of the lamb’s blood against the altar by the priests. (Pg 153)

The sacrificing that was performed by the priests and Levites in this account was not conducted according to the ordinances that God gave to Moses for the observance of the Passover. (Pg 154)

And there were no mention of the lambs being killed by “the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel,” was because the Exodus 12 experience was a one-time incident. The Levites and priesthood were instituted in Leviticus 17 which commands that if one were to make a sacrifice, “in the camp” or “out of the camp,” the blood must be brought to the tabernacle, and the priest shall sprinkle the blood upon the altar of the Lord at the door of the tabernacle (verse 6). So there was also a change in the practice of killing the lamb from their Exodus experience as the Scriptures say: “And they (the Levites) killed the Passover lamb, and the priests sprinkled the blood from their hands (at the alter), and the Levites flayed them, (II Chronicles 35:11). Josiah was a good king, but Fred Coulter is lying with deceit that he was a bad one, one whose (Josiah’s) Passover “was not conducted according to the ordinances that God gave to Moses for the observance of the Passover.” But this is what the Scripture says: “And like unto him was there no king (referring to Josiah) before him, who turned to the Lord with ALL his heart and with ALL his soul and with ALL his might, according to ALL the Law of Moses; neither after him arose there any like him” II Kings 23:25.

See the source image

Notice the four “ALL”

(1) with ALL his heart;
(2) with ALL his soul;
(3) with ALL his might,
(4) according to ALL the Law of Moses.

Can we say any one of our religious leaders today has all these qualities today? Is the Scriptures lying, or is it Fred Coulter who is lying?

Notice Josiah’s exhortation to the Levites: “ ‘And kill the Passover, and sanctify yourselves, and prepare your brethren so that they may do according to the word of the LORD by the hand of Moses.’ And Josiah gave to the people from the flock, lambs and kids, all for the Passover offerings, for all who were present, to the number of thirty thousand, and three thousand oxen. These were from what the king owned” (verses 6-7).

This verse is significant because bullocks and oxen were never to be used for the Passover sacrifice. God had commanded that the animals for the Passover sacrifice be selected from the sheep or the goats (Ex. 12:5). The bullocks that Josiah gave to the people were not for the Passover sacrifice itself. These “Passover offerings,” were to be sacrificed by the priests and Levites as burnt offerings, peace offerings and thank offerings. The priests received “…for the Passover offerings two thousand six hundred sheep, and three hundred oxen.” And the Levites received “…for Passover offerings five thousand sheep, and five hundred oxen” (II Chron. 35:8-9). (Pg 154)

The reason that “three hundred oxen” and “five hundred oxen” were for the “Passover offerings” is because the Passover and Unleavened Bread were well amalgamated right at the beginning at the time of the original Exodus was instituted. The composite feast composed of sacrificing one lamb on the fourteenth for the Passover proper and “two young bullocks, and one ram, and seven lambs of the first year” for each of the seven Days of Unleavened Bread:

Sacrifices from the flock and the herd are needed for the Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread, all seven days (Numbers 28:19)

Numbers 28:16 And in the fourteenth day of the first month is the passover of the LORD. 17 And in the fifteenth day of this month is the feast: seven days shall unleavened bread be eaten. 18 In the first day shall be an holy convocation; ye shall do no manner of servile work therein:
19 But ye shall offer a sacrifice made by fire for a burnt offering unto the Lord; two young bullocks, and one ram, and seven lambs of the first year: they shall be unto you without blemish: 24 After this manner ye shall offer daily, throughout the seven days, the meat of the sacrifice made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the Lord: it shall be offered beside the continual (daily) burnt offering, and his drink offering.

The Passover is a composite feast composed of the Passover proper and the seven Days of Unleavened Bread. Once this concept is mastered, all the rest just fall into place. The Jewish Encyclopedia digged deeper into this phenomenon by stating the concept that the two festivals as distinct was promoted by the Samaritans: “The Samaritans consider the Feast of Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread as two distinct festivals.”

These animals from both the flock and the herd were offered as burnt offerings, peace offerings and thank offerings. They were offered on the night of the 15th and each day during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. The fact that they are called “Passover offerings” indicates that during this time in history, the entire Feast of Unleavened Bread began to be called “Passover.”

As the account shows, the lambs were brought to the temple to be sacrificed by the priests and the Levites, and the blood of the lambs was sprinkled against the altar in the manner that was practiced for peace offerings and thank offerings. This was done by Josiah’s command: “So the service was prepared, and the priests stood in their place, and the Levites in their courses, according to the king’s commandment. And they killed the Passover offerings, and the priests sprinkled the blood from their hands, and the Levites flayed them [cut them open and removed the guts]. And they removed the burnt offerings [the interior fat and genital organs] so that they might give, according to the divisions of the families of the people, to offer to the LORD as it is written in the book of Moses; and so they did to the oxen” (verses 10-12). (Pg 154)

See the source imageAgain once the composite feast is understood there is no problem understanding that the sacrifice and other offerings were composed of animals from the flock and from the herd, composed of thirty thousand lambs and kids as well as three thousand oxen owned by King Josiah. In fact, since King Josiah was a righteous king, his action validates the concept that Passover and Days of unleavened Bread were and have always been a composite Festival. In fact Fred Coulter admitted: “The fact that they are called “Passover offerings” indicates that during this time in history, the entire Feast of Unleavened Bread began to be called “Passover” (pg 154). To be more correct, the entire Feast of Unleavened Bread and “Passover” began as a composite Festival during the Exodus.

The sacrificing that was performed by the priests and Levites in this account was not conducted according to the ordinances that God gave to Moses for the observance of the Passover. The Passover ordinances that God delivered to Moses are recorded in the book of Exodus, which is the second book in the Pentateuch, or the “Book of the Law.” These ordinances of God do not instruct the priests and Levites to sacrifice the Passover lambs and sprinkle the blood on the altar, nor to burn the fat and other parts. The phrase “as it is written in the book of Moses” is not referring to the ordinances for the Passover, but to the ordinances that God established for peace offerings, which required that the blood of the sacrificial animal be sprinkled against the altar, and the fat and certain organs be burnt on the altar (Lev. 3). (Pg 154-155)

Not so, II Chronicles 35:6 says “So kill the Passover lamb (not the peace offering) . . . that they may do according to the word of the Lord by the hand of Moses.” The central theme about King Josiah was about keeping the Passover, not about offering a peace offering. So much twistings and lyings of God’s word! The verse actually reaffirms that the blood of the sacrificial animal should be sprinkled against the altar. Josiah was a righteous king: “And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, and walked in all the way of David his father, and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left” II Kings 22:2. Fred Coulter has so much lying problems reading the Scriptures or is he suffering from memory lapses? Instead of sending tithes to Fred, his sleepy sheep should send him to the nearest hospital for a thorough clinical checkout.

After relating the sacrifice of the lambs and the oxen, the account describes the manner in which they were cooked: “And they roasted [Hebrew bashal] the passover with fire according to the ordinance; and the holy offerings they sod [boiled] in pots [Hebrew bashal], and in caldrons, and in pans, and carried them quickly to all the children of the people” (II Chron. 35:13, JPSA)

Bashal is never used to signify the act of roasting. The use of the word “roasted” in II Chronicles 35:13 is a blatant mistranslation of the Hebrew text. Bashal is first used in this verse to indicate that the sacrifices were cooked over fire, and then to specify that the cooking was done by boiling the flesh of the animals in pots and pans. None of these sacrifices were roasted, as God had commanded for the sacrifice of the Passover lambs (Ex. 12:9). (Pg 155)

See the source image

The KJV translates Strong’s H1310 (bashal) in the following manner (and times): seethe (10x), boil (6x), sod (6x), bake (2x), ripe (2x), roast (2x). The KJV and most translations translate bashal as “roasted”: “And they roasted the Passover lamb with fire according to the ordinance.” The Bible says they did the roasting “according to the ordinance.” The same word bashal is used in Deuteronomy 16:7 “And thou shalt roast (H1310 bashal) and eat it in the place which the Lord thy God shall choose.” Only “A Faithful Version” by a “not-sure-what-his-level-of-Hebrew-is” author translates it as “boil.”

Bear with me that I should dive deeper into this leather bound Faithful Version. II Chronicles 35:13 is translated as “And they boiled the Passover offerings over fire according to the law.”

If it is “according to law” it is correct to translate it as “roast.” But what this translator means is that what they did is contrary to the law. In which case it should be translated, “And they boiled the Passover offerings over fire contrary to the law” if he insists bashal should be translated as “boil.” Hope one of his sleepy devotees will finally wake up, do humanity a favor, and inform the author of this paradox, or at least ask for clarity how boiling is “according to law?

{}{}{}

 

A Critique of Fred Coulter’s Passover (If)

•February 5, 2020 • Leave a Comment

A Critique of Fred Coulter’s Passover (If)
Passover on the 14th or 15th?

Fred R. Coulter

Christian Biblical Church of God
Post Office Box 1442
Hollister California 95024-1442

Image result for the samaritans picsDraft If

This is a Critique of Fred Coulter’s The Christian Passover. The main issue is whether the Passover is on the early or late fourteenth of Nisan. Quoted are Fred Coulter’s book, from an internet online version, which I presume, is his latest. Most of his quotes are in block form, in PINK and indented so as to differentiate his from other comments. The Scriptures, in RED, must, foremost, be our primary focus and guide.

Chapters 10 – 11

Chapter 10 started with the issue of how to interprete the time for slaying the lambs—Hebrew ben ha arbayim, “between the two evenings.”

There is no question that the Passover commands in Exodus 12 have been misinterpreted and given different meanings than the true scriptural meaning of God’s ordinances and statutes delivered to Moses. False interpretations of key Hebrew terms that are used in the Scriptural commands have caused great confusion as to which day God designated for the Passover observance, the 14th or the 15th. (The Christian Passover, Pg 115)

This is a very true, even an understatement, especially to people who thought they are better than those having Hebrew as their first language. If ba·erev is followed by ben ha arbayim then two lambs would be needed, one at ba·erev to fulfil Deuteronomy 16:6 and another at ben ha arbayim to fulfil Exodus 12:6. It is not just “great confusion,” it is magic—the type of Magic that Simon Magus had mastered that mesmerised many of his followers.

And then the issue is whether the Passover ordinances were seven or eight days, and whether the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread were originally observed as two separate and distinct feasts. Fred Coulter wrote:

Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread Originally Were Two Separate Feasts—Not One Combined Feast

The commands of God in Exodus 12 and Leviticus 23 make it undeniably clear that the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread were to be observed as two separate feasts, one following the other. (Pg 116)

The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia reveals that many of the Sadducees—which included the high priests’ families—retained the practice of the domestic Passover at the beginning of the 14th. This fact is quite surprising. We would expect the high priests to observe the temple sacrifice of the Passover on the afternoon of the 14th, since they were in charge of the temple. But such was not the case. (Pg 118)

And Fred Coulter isn’t alone; there are many modern Jewish authorities to support him:

(1) The Jewish Encyclopedia states, “Comparison of the successive strata of the Pentateuchal laws bearing on the festival makes it plain that the institution, as developed, is really of composite character. TWO FESTIVALS ORIGINALLY DISTINCT HAVE BECOME MERGED…” (Vol. IX, “Passover,” emphasis added).

(2) The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible: “the feast contains two originally separate components.” (Vol. III, s. v. “Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread.”

 

And this is picked up by Fred Coulter, admitting that the Samaritans were the first to start this observation:

The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible points out this marked change in the observance of the Passover: “In many respects the observance [of the Passover at the beginning of the 14th by the Jewish Samaritans corresponds more closely to the scriptural prescriptions, notably those of Exod. 12, than the true observance in Jerusalem in the days of Jesus—a reminder, among other things, that in its three thousand years or more of history as an Israelite observance, Passover has never ceased to change, however imperceptibly. (Pg 118)

(3) The Encyclopedia Judaica: “The Feast of Passover consists of two parts: The Passover ceremony and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Originally both parts existed separately, but at the beginning of the Exile [in Babylon 603-585 BC] they were combined.

These publications are mainly by either (a) Protestants with a Jewish background or (b) Jewish Reformists having strong criticisms against the Rabbinic Orthodoxy — both are critics of the “Bondage of Judaism” claiming that their predecessors had somehow amalgamated the Passover with the Days of Unleavened Bread and call that the Passover or the Jewish Passover. Being dissatisfied with the strict Orthodoxy, they left their original faith and craved an alternate explanation rather than remained with a “static religion.” The Jewish Encyclopedia digged deeper into this phenomenon by stating the concept that the two festivals as distinct was promoted by the Samaritans: “The Samaritans consider the Feast of Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread as two distinct festivals.” Of course the Samaritans were the first to promote this distinct concept.

“You shall know them by their fruits.” The originator of these feasts as distinct originated from the Samaritans and then penetrated the Sadducees, who died out during the AD 70 inferno, but resurfaced in the ninth and tenth century with the Karaites. And since the last two centuries, by the Jewish Reform Movement and modern experts who were mainly Protestants from a Jewish background. And at the tail end by the Worldwide Church of God and today its splinters: the CoG Communities. “You shall know them by their fruits” Matthew 7:16. And they all bear the same fruits.

In more details, the followings are largely the works of (a) the Reform Movement, and (b) Protestants with a Jewish background:

The Jewish Encyclopedia — Its managing editor was Isidore Singer (1859–1939) and the editorial board was chaired by Isaac Funk and Frank Vizetelly. Singer was born Austria and studied at the University of Vienna and the Humboldt University of Berlin, receiving his PhD in 1884. One who held “extremely liberal views” and one who had described the Sabbath as “heavy burdens,” Singer moved to New York in 1895 where he started work which resulted in the Jewish Encyclopedia.

See the source imageThe Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible — Its chief editor was Katharine Sakenfeld (b 1940). She is Professor of Old Testament Literature and Exegesis Emerita at Princeton Theological Seminary, having previously been William Albright Eisenberger Professor of Old Testament Literature and Exegesis. Sakenfeld studied at the University of Rhode Island and Harvard Divinity School before obtaining her PhD at Harvard University. She was ordained as a Presbyterian teaching elder in 1970, and has served as the moderator of the Presbytery of New Brunswick in the PCUSA.

The Encyclopedia Judaica — Its first chief editor was Cecil Roth (1899–1970). He was educated at Merton College, Oxford (PhD, 1924) and later returned to Oxford as Reader in Post-Biblical Jewish Studies from 1939 to 1964. Thereafter he was visiting professor at Bar-Ilan University, Israel (1964–1965), and at the City University of New York (1966–1969).

Anti-Jewish sentiments and rhetoric have contributed significantly to the development of antisemitism in Germany, and in the 1930s and 1940s provided an “ideal underpinning” for the Nazis’ attacks on Jews. In Martin Luther’s work, “The Jews & Their Lies,” he advocates (1) the burning of Jewish synagogues; (2) that their houses also be razed and destroyed; (3) that all their prayer books and Talmudic writings be destroyed; (4) that their rabbis be forbidden to teach henceforth on pain of loss of life and limb . . .

Jews have persistently been painted in a negative light, always been stigmatized upon, both spoken and in writing: antisemitism had been around since the ancient time of old, resurfaces time and time again in various forms . . . and today very prominent among the CoG Communities.

No, no, no, it wasn’t the Jews who amalgamated the Passover with the Days of Unleavened Bread. It was Moses who did that. For in Deuteronomy 1:1 These are the words which Moses spoke unto all Israel . . .

And jumping to:

Deuteronomy 16:1 “Observe the month of Abib, and keep the Passover unto the Lord thy God; for in the month of Abib the Lord thy God brought thee forth out of Egypt by night.
2 Thou shalt therefore sacrifice the Passover unto the Lord thy God, “of the flock” (of sheep and goats) “and the herd” (bulls or bullocks), in the place which the Lord shall choose to place His name there.

See the source imageThe Passover and the days of unleavened bread are well interlaced during the Exodus that it is a composite festival. This is what Moses explained to the children of Israelites in more details.

In Exodus 12:5, it says, “You may take it either from the sheep or from the goats” but in Deuteronomy 16:2 above it includes from “the herd,” which is from cattles or oxens. To include cattles or oxens can only mean to include the Festival of the Days of Unleavened Bread where among other animals, two young bulls were sacrificed. Therefore the idea that the Passover was restricted solely to the fourteenth day is unattainable.
Also the composite festival was hinted at earlier in Numbers 28:16 “‘And on the fourteenth day of the first month is the Passover of the Lord. 17 And on the fifteenth day of this month is the feast: seven days shall unleavened bread be eaten. 18 On the first day shall be a holy convocation. Ye shall do no manner of servile work therein, 19 but ye shall offer a sacrifice made by fire for a burnt offering unto the Lord: two young bulls, and one ram, and seven lambs of the first year. They shall be unto you without blemish.

The verses above should be read to describe the seven-day feast of the Passover, including eating of unleavened bread. Also, below it continues to describe how eating unleavened bread is part of observing the Passover:

Deuteronomy 16:3 Thou shalt eat no leavened bread with it. Seven days shalt thou eat unleavened bread therewith, even the bread of affliction; for thou camest forth out of the land of Egypt in haste, that thou mayest remember the day when thou camest forth out of the land of Egypt all the days of thy life.
4 And there shall be no leavened bread seen with thee in all thy borders seven days, neither shall there anything of the flesh, which thou sacrificed the first day at evening, remain all night until the morning.
5 Thou mayest not sacrifice the Passover within any of thy gates which the Lord thy God giveth thee;

This is a departure from the original Passover in Egypt where they were to stay in their houses. In fact the command is exactly the opposite! That they should “not sacrifice the Passover within any of they gate.”

Deuteronomy 16:6 but at the place which the Lord thy God shall choose to place His name in, there thou shalt sacrifice the Passover at evening (erev), at the going down of the sun, at the season that thou camest forth out of Egypt.

This evening (erev), is the same time where they kill the daily sacrifice. Exodus 29:38 Now this is that which thou shalt offer upon the altar; two lambs of the first year day by day continually.
39 The one lamb thou shalt offer in the morning; and the other lamb thou shalt offer at even (erev). It is also the time when they were to start eating unleavened bread Exodus 12:18.

This amalgamation was reaffirmed in Ezekiel 45:21 where it describes the Passover as a seven-day festival! “‘In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, ye shall have the Passover, a feast of seven days. Unleavened bread shall be eaten.

Septuagint: And in the first [month], on the fourteenth [day] of the month, ye shall have the feast of the passover; seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread.

See the source imageAnd again in Luke 2:41 Now His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. 42 And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the Feast. 43 And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and His mother knew not of it. (Feast of the Passover – same expression as used in Exodus 34:25)

Deuteronomy 16:7 And thou shalt roast and eat it in the place which the Lord thy God shall choose, and thou shalt turn in the morning and go unto thy tents.
8 Six days thou shalt eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day shall be a solemn assembly to the Lord thy God. Thou shalt do no work therein.

So the amalgamation of the Passover with the Days of Unleavened Bread started way back to Moses, and this interlacing characteristic was reaffirmed by Ezekiel, a prophet sent to the northern stiffnecked Israelites; the Jews, also stiffnecked, knew this all along.

“Ephraim compasseth me about with lies, and the house of Israel with deceit” (Hosea 11:12). Only the stiff-necked and blind couldn’t see this. The house of Judah operates with hypocrisy but the house of Ephraim operates with lies and deceit!

Below are some classic examples of lying and deceit in the house of Ephraim for reflection:

“But I want to say one thing to the American people. I want you to listen to me. I’m going to say this again: I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky. I never told anybody to lie. Not a single time. Never,” Bill Clinton testified before the nation, Jan. 26, 1998. For his deceit, Clinton became the second president in American history impeached by the House of Representatives.

In an August 2002 speech that kicked off the Bush White House administration’s campaign for war against Iraq, Cheney asserted, “Simply stated, there’s no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. There is no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us.”

In October 2002, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld claimed he had “bullet-proof” evidence that Saddam was tied to Osama bin Laden. And a National Intelligence Estimate said Iraq had “continued its weapons of mass destruction program.”

“However, there is no doubt at all that the development of weapons of mass destruction by Saddam Hussein poses a severe threat not just to the region, but to the wider world.” – Tony Blair, House of Commons, 10 April 2002

Prime Minister Tony Blair defended himself in 2005: “I have never told a lie. No. I don’t intend to go telling lies to people. I did not lie over Iraq.”

“The Bible nowhere sanctions the use of intoxicating wine. The wine that Christ made from water at the marriage feast of Cana was the pure juice of the grape” (Ellen G. White, Ministry of Healing p.333).

Image result for ellen g white pics

Ellen G White

“I do not write one article in the paper expressing merely my own ideas. They are what God has opened before me in vision–the precious rays of light shining from the throne” (Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p.67).

“The chronological events that are recorded in Exodus 16 clearly define ben ha arbayim— “between the two evenings,” or “between the setting times”— as the time period that immediately FOLLOWS sunset, or ba erev” (Frederick R. Coulter, The Christian Passover, p 48).

“There is no question that the Passover commands in Exodus 12 have been misinterpreted and given different meanings than the true scriptural meaning of God’s ordinances and statutes delivered to Moses” (ibid, p 115).

“It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem. Behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt!” 29 And he set the one in Bethel, and the other put he in Dan . . . 31 And he made a house of high places . . . 32 And Jeroboam ordained a feast in the eighth month, on the fifteenth day of the month, like unto the feast that is in Judah. (King Jeroboam: I King 12)

A day will come when all the people of the earth will wake up and say: “Surely our fathers have inherited lies,” and we, too, have been deceived.

Erev” is the evening time, at around 3 PM, where the Jews killed the evening lamb since the time of Moses. If Moses had any doubt about its timing, he had full access to ask God who speaks to Him from between the cherubim!

No, it was Moses who intertwined the Passover with the Days of Unleavened Bread! For it is said that the glory of God is to conceal a thing, (Proverbs 25:2), and Moses was revealing its composite character when he described the law in his own words in the Book of Deuteronomy. “These are the words which Moses spoke unto all Israel on this side of the Jordan in the wilderness,” Deuteronomy 1:1.

To make this clear enough: the Passover amalgamation occurred much earlier, right at Exodus 12, the original Passover in Egypt: Moses only made it clearer in the Book of Deuteronomy.

The first time “Passover” was mentioned is in Exodus 12:11, not at verse 6, even though verse six was describing the process of the Passover, the killing of the lamb. Verse 11 described the same continuing process of the Passover; i.e. the process of Passover runs into the Days of Unleavened Bread! The two feasts overlap right at the beginning.

Exodus 12:6 And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month, and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. . .
11 And thus shall ye eat it: with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste; it is the Lord’S Passover.

The Targum translates and explains the eating of the Passover from the Hebrew in Exodus 12 into the vernacular, in a very simple language, and is extremely clear: “And you shall eat the flesh on that night, the fifteenth of Nisan . . .”

And here is a description of the CoG Communities: It says in Revelation 3:13 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches!’ 14 “And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write . . .15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot; I would thou wert cold or hot. 16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of My mouth. 17 Because thou sayest, “I am rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing,” and knowest not that thou art wretched and miserable, and poor and blind and naked . . . ”

And Fred Coulter quoted another authority:

In his book The Jewish Festivals—From Their Beginnings to Our Own Day, Hayyim Schauss explains the changes in the observance of the Passover that were instituted at the time of Josiah’s reform: “It was in this way that Pesach [Passover] and the Feast of Unleavened Bread were joined, and the two distinct spring festivals became one historical holiday. (Pg 121)

No, Fred is now getting desperate: Schauss didn’t say the amalgamation of Passover with Days of Unleavened Bread took place during Josiah’s time. With deception in mind, Fred Coulter lies that the changes started at Josiah’s initiative “at the time of Josiah’s reform.” Schauss says the reform took place after the Exodus but he wasn’t sure when:

“We cannot be certain how long a time passed before the Jews accepted these reforms in practice and eased to offer the Pesach sacrifice in their own homes. Nor can we be certain how long it took for Pesach and the Feast of Unleavened Bread to become as one festival” (The Jewish Festivals, pg 46).

See the source imageAnd just in case we didn’t dive deeper for more details: “The Jewish Festivals” is written by Hayyim Schauss, most probably a Conservative Jew, part of the Reform Movement where modern Jews found “the old ceremonies lack meaning,” and new interpretations are needed to be relevant to our modern era. Hence the terms that Schauss changed in his book are not surprising: the annual solemn convocations or “holy days” as were perceived in Biblical times become a vacation or “holidays” in a character change. The most solemn Passover and Unleavened Bread festival became “the greatest Jewish national holidays.” In modernity, Jesus and His disciples must be seen as taking their annual vacation in Jerusalem. This is a character change. This is real heresy! Second, the book is published by Schocken Books, it is the same publisher Everett Fox and the Schocken Bible that Fred Coulter quotes for his authority throughout. So the saying goes: foxes and wolves, wolves and foxes of the same colours.

To be sure, where the two feasts of Passover and Unleavened Bread were intertwined, they were intertwined right in the original Exodus:

Exodus 12:6 And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month, and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening (ben ha arbayim). This ben ha arbayim is the time to start the Passover.

In Deuteronomy 16:6 ba·erev is also the time to start the Passover

The above time is also the time to start eating unleavened bread: Exodus 12:18 In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at evening (ba-erev), ye shall eat unleavened bread until the one and twentieth day of the month at evening (ba-erev).

Compare this to Leviticus 23:5 On the fourteenth day of the first month at evening (ben ha arbayim) is the Lord’S Passover.

In Leviticus 23:5 and Exodus 12:6 where the same expression ben ha arbayim is used it is when the Passover was killed on the fourteenth. In Deuteronomy 16:6 ba·erev is to commence the Passover; and in Exodus 12:18 ba·erev is also to commence eating unleavened bread. Passover and Unleavened Bread have already taken a composite character and well entwined right at the beginning, at the time of the original Exodus. This is plainly what the Scriptures say. “Ephraim compasseth me about with lies, and the house of Israel with deceit” (Hosea 11:12). Only the stiff-necked couldn’t see this. Plain and simple. Simple and plain.

{}11{}

While reiterating the story of Israel in Chapter 11 of his book from the time of Joshua, the judges and then Samuel, King David and Solomon, and so on, Fred Coulter seems to avoid one critical sin of King Jeroboam. Jeroboam not only moved the Feast of Tabernacles to the eight month, he also set up Bethel and Dan as houses of worship.

“Then the king [Jeroboam, now king of the northern ten tribes of Israel] took counsel, and made two calves of gold and said to them, ‘It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem. Behold your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!’ And he set the one in Bethel, and he put the other in Dan. And this thing became a sin, for the people went to worship before the one, even to Dan. And he made houses of worship on the high places [pagan temples to Baal], and made priests of the lowest of the people, who were not the sons of Levi. And Jeroboam ordered a feast in the eighth month, on the fifteenth day of the month, like the feast that is in Judah. And he offered upon the altar. So he did in Bethel [meaning “house of God”], sacrificing to the calves that he had made. And he placed in Bethel the priests of the high places which he had made.

“And he offered unto the altar which he had made in Bethel on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, in the month which he had devised out of his own heart. And he ordained a feast for the children of Israel. And he offered upon the altar and burned incense” (I Kings 12:28-33). (Pg 127)

See the source imageBut why didn’t Fred Coulter bold the emphasis of Jerusalem as God’s designated holy place to keep the Feast? Or has he deemed it wasn’t a sin? That Jeroboam’s sin were only moving the Feast from the seventh to the eight month and worshipping the two golden calves?

Notice Fred Coulter also didn’t emphasize the other cities—Bethel and Dan—neither cities authorised by God as a place of worship. This runs parallel with his thought that the Israelites were wrong to keep the Passover in Jerusalem, that they, like King Jeroboam, should keep a “domestic” Passover—for it is too hard to keep the Feast in Jerusalem!

Later the Samaritans came along, following suit, and said Mount Gerizim is the holy place to worship. But the truth is that Jerusalem is a very important city to God, one close to His heart.

“(God) have chosen Jerusalem, that My name might be there.” II Chronicles 6:6

And many nations shall come and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob. And He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths.” For the law shall go forth from Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. Micah 4:2

“Thus saith the Lord: ‘I am returned unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem; and Jerusalem shall be called a city of truth, and the mountain of the Lord of hosts, the Holy Mountain.’ Zechariah 8:3

Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more; and I will write upon him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, which is New Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from My God, and I will write upon him My new name. Revelation 3:12

And I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of Heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. Revelation 21:2

{}11-a{}

While going into details reiterating the fall of Israel’s apostasy in Chapter 11 of Fred Coulter’s The Christian Passover, I’ll take this opportunity for better use studying into the original Exodus. Exodus 12 is a chapter where the principal subject is the Passover and its ordinances, with all other secondary issues incorporated to support the main structure.

Evidently, the Samaritans were the first to propagate that the festivals of Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread were distinct and separate originally, but were combined by the wicked Jews. Today there are many modern authorities where Fred Coulter could draw support from. But let’s study the source:

When we study Exodus 12, we’ll see that the primary focus is the Passover and its ordinances. Those secondary subjects are the death angel passing over, a memorial experience, the days to take unleavened bread, etc. The first 7 verses apply principally to the Passover sacrifice. Verses 8 to 11 say about how to eat the Passover meal. Verses 12-13 say about God’s judgement and the protection for those who obeyed. Verse 14 describes the day as a memorial and how to keep “it” i.e. the “it” is the Passover — by keeping IT as a feast, and that feast is the Feast of Unleavened Bread, verse 15. Verses 16 to 17 go into details about keeping IT with unleavened bread. Verses 18 to 20 is a reinstatement of keeping the Passover with unleavened bread.

Then Moses reiterates the Passover in verses 21-33, reemphasizing it by adding details as to how to keep it. In verses 34 and 39, it explains why the dough couldn’t leaven. Then in verses 35-38, it says about spoiling the Egyptians, then back to Passover in verses 43-50. Verses 40-42 and 51 emphasize the Exodus from Egypt since the prophecy God had given to Abraham 430 years before. The primary focus of Exodus 12 is the Passover; the eating of the meal with bitter herbs and unleavened bread and keeping it as a memorial are also important but secondary.Image result for moses before pharol pics

 

Exodus 12
1 And the Lord spoke unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying,
2 “This month shall be unto you the beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you. — setting the background to the Passover
3 Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, ‘On the tenth day of this month they shall take for themselves every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for a house. — preparing for the Passover
4 And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbor next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb. — preparing for the Passover
5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year; ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats. — identifying the Passover
6 And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month, and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. — the killing of the Passover
7 And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses wherein they shall eat it. — the blood of the Passover
8 And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roasted with fire; and with unleavened bread and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. — the Passover meal (the Targum says this is the night of the fifteenth of Nisan)
9 Eat not of it raw, nor boiled at all with water, but roasted with fire — his head with his legs and with the viscera thereof. — the Passover meal
10 And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning, and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire. — Passover meal (the Targum says the night of the fifteenth)
11 And thus shall ye eat it: with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste; it is the Lord’S Passover. — Passover meal on the fifteenth
12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the Lord. — Passover and the judgement
13 And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you when I smite the land of Egypt. — Passover judgement on the fifteenth of Nisan
14 “‘And this day shall be unto you for a memorial, and ye shall keep it a feast to the Lord throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever. — the Passover meal was also an ordinance on the night of the fifteenth
15 Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread. Even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses; for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel. — seven days of Unleavened Bread, i.e., a group of seven days
16 And in the first day there shall be a holy convocation, and in the seventh day there shall be a holy convocation to you. No manner of work shall be done in them, save that which every man must eat, that only may be done by you. — more details of the seven days of Unleavened Bread
17 And ye shall observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread, for in this selfsame day have I brought your armies out of the land of Egypt. Therefore shall ye observe this day in your generations by an ordinance for ever. — seven days of Unleavened Bread as an ordinance of Passover
18 In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at even, ye shall eat unleavened bread until the one and twentieth day of the month at even. — the eating of unleavened bread starts at the same time as the killing of the Passover lamb, “on the fourteenth day of the month at even”
19 Seven days shall there be no leaven found in your houses; for whosoever eateth that which is leavened, even that soul shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he be a stranger or born in the land. — the Passover sacrifice and its unleavening for seven days
20 Ye shall eat nothing leavened; in all your habitations shall ye eat unleavened bread.’” — the feast of Unleavened Bread
21 Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel and said unto them, “Draw out and take you a lamb according to your families, and kill the Passover. — back to the Passover sacrifice
22 And ye shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two side posts with the blood that is in the basin; and none of you shall go out from the door of his house until the morning. — the blood of the Passover sacrifice

See the source image

23 For the Lord will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when He seeth the blood upon the lintel and on the two side posts, the Lord will pass over the door and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you. — the Passover sacrifice
24 And ye shall observe this thing as an ordinance to thee and to thy sons for ever. — an ordinance for the Passover sacrifice
25 And it shall come to pass, when ye come to the land which the Lord will give you, according as He hath promised, that ye shall keep this service. — the Passover ordinance to be a memorial
26 And it shall come to pass, when your children shall say unto you, ‘What mean ye by this service?’
27 that ye shall say, ‘It is the sacrifice of the Lord’S Passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt when He smote the Egyptians and delivered our houses.’” And the people bowed their heads and worshiped. — the Passover sacrifice to be a memorial
28 And the children of Israel went away, and did as the Lord had commanded Moses and Aaron; so did they.
29 And it came to pass, that at midnight the Lord smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne, unto the firstborn of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of cattle. — the judgement from the Passover to be a memorial
30 And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he and all his servants and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was not a house where there was not one dead. — the judgement
31 And he called for Moses and Aaron by night and said, “Rise up, and get you forth from among my people, both ye and the children of Israel! And go, serve the Lord, as ye have said. — the judgement
32 Also take your flocks and your herds, as ye have said; and be gone, and bless me also.”
33 And the Egyptians were urgent upon the people, that they might send them out of the land in haste; for they said, “We are all dead men.” — the judgement
34 And the people took their dough before it was leavened, their kneading troughs being bound up in their clothes upon their shoulders. — the feast of unleavened bread
35 And the children of Israel did according to the word of Moses, and they borrowed from the Egyptians jewels of silver and jewels of gold and raiment. — a process of being thrust out of Egypt
36 And the Lord gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they lent unto them such things as they required. And they despoiled the Egyptians. — a process of being thrust out
37 And the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand on foot who were men, besides children. — a memorial for being thrust out of Egypt
38 And a mixed multitude went up also with them, and flocks and herds, even very much cattle.
39 And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough which they brought forth out of Egypt; for it was not leavened because they were thrust out of Egypt and could not tarry, neither had they prepared for themselves any victual. — the feast of unleavened bread
40 Now the sojourning of the children of Israel who dwelt in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years.
41 And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even on the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt. — a memorial
42 It is a night to be much observed unto the Lord for bringing them out from the land of Egypt. This is that night of the Lord to be observed by all the children of Israel in their generations. — a memorial for being thrust out of Egypt for later generations
43 And the Lord said unto Moses and Aaron, “This is the ordinance of the Passover: There shall no stranger eat thereof; — the night for being thrust out of Egypt was to be a Passover ordinance
44 but every man’s servant who is bought for money, when thou hast circumcised him, then shall he eat thereof. — the Passover ordinance
45 A foreigner and a hired servant shall not eat thereof. — the Passover ordinance
46 In one house shall it be eaten; thou shalt not carry forth any of the flesh abroad out of the house, neither shall ye break a bone thereof. — the Passover ordinance
47 All the congregation of Israel shall keep it. — the Passover sacrifice to be a memorial
48 And when a stranger shall sojourn with thee and will keep the Passover to the Lord, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as one that is born in the land, for no uncircumcised person shall eat thereof. — the Passover sacrifice to be kept
49 One law shall be for him that is homeborn and for the stranger who sojourneth among you.” — the Passover ordinance to be a memorial
50 Thus did all the children of Israel; as the Lord commanded Moses and Aaron, so did they. — the Passover ordinance to be a memorial

See the source image

51 And it came to pass the selfsame day that the Lord brought the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt by their armies. — a memorial for being thrust out of Egypt

Of the 51 verses in Exodus 12 (not counting verse 1):

— 30 are clearly pertaining to the Passover or its ordinances (2-14, 21-29, 43-50);
— 12 are coming out of Egypt (30-33, 35-38, 40-42, 51); and only
— 8 are about unleavened bread (15-20, 34, 39). In fact, eating unleavened bread wasn’t planned; it was thrust upon them, v 34.

In summary, the primary focus of Exodus 12 is the Passover, which was brought about with God’s judgement, allowing the children of Israel to free from captivity. The process involves selecting and killing the Passover lamb, spreading its blood on the lintel and doorposts, the eating of the meal with bitter herbs and unleavened bread and later, keeping it as a memorial which are all considered as ordinances to the Passover.

In fact, the eating of unleavened bread is just a sideshow of the Passover; at best it’s as integrated as a flower girl in a wedding, which is extremely important to the celebration but definitely secondary to the main rite. The SACRIFICE of the LAMB is of primary importance. The LAMB is the FOCUS, all others are secondary.

{}11-b{}

In a previous post, we went through Conservative Judaism, a spinoff of Reform Judaism. Here, we’ll dive deeper into how the Movement started, a serious subject that most seekers of the truth ignore.

Image result for rabbi abraham geiger

Rabbi Abraham Geiger

The origins of Reform Judaism lay in 19th-century Germany, where its early principles were formulated by Rabbi Abraham Geiger (1810-1874) and his associates (Samuel Holdheim, Israel Jacobson and Leopold Zunz). Since the 1970s, the Movement adopted a policy of inclusiveness and acceptance, inviting as many as possible to partake in its communities, rather than “strict theoretical clarity.”

The Movement is in “a process of constant evolution” and it “rejects any fixed, permanent set of beliefs, laws or practices.” They stated that the old mechanisms of religious interpretation were obsolete. Geiger sought a more coherent ideological framework to justify innovations in the liturgy and religious practice. While Reform Judaism initially developed as lay Jews simply lost interest in the strict observances required of Orthodoxy, with many seeking shorter services, more frequent sermons, and organ music, modeled after Protestant churches. In Germany, one characteristic of their progressive revelation was the institution of a “Second Sabbath” on Sunday, modeled on the Second Passover, as most people desecrated the day of rest. “If you cannot keep the Sabbath on its appointed time, you keep it on the next available day,” and so the Sabbath was shifted from Saturday to Sunday. “God would accept it,” they encouraged each other.

Discrimination and persecution against Jews in Germany were rampant for the next hundred years. Work were hard to come by and such new interpretation made sense in a community struggling to survive. America was opening up to immigrants and in a new Land of the Free, the five-day workweek soon made the Sunday Sabbath redundant. But nevertheless, the Movement had already has its momentum and today the Reform Movement’s largest center is in North America.

Reform Judaism encourage adherents to seek their own means of engaging a new Judaism, enhancing “individualism.” Tolerance for LGBT and ordination of LGBT rabbis were also pioneered by the Movement. It started slowly then gathered speed. Intercourse between consenting adults was declared as legitimate by the Central Conference of American Rabbis in 1977, and openly gay clergy were admitted by the end of the 1980s. Same-sex marriage were sanctioned by the end of the following decade. In 2015 the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) adopted a Resolution on the Rights of Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming People, urging clergy and synagogue attendants to actively promote tolerance and inclusion of such individuals.

Today, Reform Judaism has two main objectives:

(1) Reform Jews are committed to the absolute equality of women in all areas of Jewish life. “We were the first movement to ordain women rabbis, invest women cantors, and elect women presidents of our synagogues,” they claim.

(2) Reform Jews are also committed to the full participation of gays and lesbians in synagogue life as well as society at large.

As of 2013, the Pew Research Center survey calculated Reform Judaism represented about 35% of all 5.3 million Jews in the US, making it the single most numerous Jewish religious group in the country. Based on these, the URJ claims to represent 2.2 million people. It has 846 congregations in the US and 27 in Canada, the vast majority of the 1,170 affiliated with the World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ) that are not Reconstructionist. Its rabbinical arm is the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR), with some 2,300 rabbis as members, mainly trained in Hebrew Union College. As of 2015, the URJ was led by President Rabbi Richard Jacobs, and the CCAR headed by Rabbi Denise Eger.

The Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR), founded in 1889 by Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise, is the principal organization of Reform rabbis in the United States and Canada. Today, the CCAR is the largest and oldest rabbinical organization in the world. Its current president, and its first openly gay president, is Rabbi Denise Eger.

Denise Eger became the first openly gay president in 2015. The Reform Movement acknowledged that Jews and their rabbis “have long been part of the struggle for gay rights, and that includes advocacy for marriage equality.”

Image result for Denise Eger

Rabbi Denise Eger

Rabbi Denise Eger was also the founding President of the Lesbian, Gay, & Bisexual Interfaith Clergy Association. In the summer of 2010 she was named one of the fifty most influential women rabbis.

Some Reform rabbis have other objectives in the Land of the Free. In 1888, the Jewish Publication Society (JPS), originally known as the Jewish Publication Society of America (JPSA), was founded by reform Rabbi Joseph Krauskopf among others in Philadelphia. It claimed to be the oldest nonprofit, nondenominational publisher of Jewish works in English. As the years rolled on, JPS became well known for its English translation of the Hebrew Bible, the JPS Tanakh. As JPS moved into the 20th, its popularity grew rapidly. After years of meetings, deliberations and revisions, the entire translation of the Bible was finally completed in 1917.

In 1985, the newly translated three parts of the Bible (the Torah, Prophets, and Writings) were compiled into what is now known as the JPS Tanakh (or NJPS, New JPS translation, to distinguish it from the OJPS, or Old JPS translation of 1917). Hence the Jewish Publication Society (JPS) is credited as both Publisher of the TANAKH 1917 and 1985 editions.

The JPS followed a central tenet, to adopt “a policy of inclusiveness and acceptance, inviting as many as possible to partake in its communities, rather than strict theoretical clarity.” It is strongly identified with progressive political and social agendas, mainly under the traditional Jewish rubric Tikkun Olam, or “Repairing of the World”. In their endeavour to avoid the “bondage of Judaism,” a new policy of inclusiveness and acceptance was established. And a new Tikkun Olam became a central motto of Reform Judaism—to “express wholeheartedly the idea of universal equality, freedom, and peace for all,” and to “forge a common bond in true harmony to banish all hatred and bigotry.”

The results:

Exodus 12:6 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year; ye shall take it from the sheep, or from the goats; 6 and ye shall keep it unto the fourteenth day of the same month; and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at dusk.

Image result for Rabbi Joseph Krauskopf

Rabbi Joseph Krauskopf

The 1988 edition (hard copy) says “at twilight,” published by the New JPS Translation. And as a result it has overwhelming influence in every major English translation:

NKJV: Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month. Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight. The NAS, NIV, NKJV and NRSV all render this similarly as “twilight.” “The Message Bible” produced by Eugene Peterson, and CJB by David Stern translates this as “dusk” like the JPS. *

And besides Fred Coulter there are others yielding great influence among the CoG Communities:

After discussing the meaning of Exodus 12:6, Frank W. Nelte of South Africa, an ex-WCG minister, states: “The JPS translation of “between the two evenings” is AN ACKNOWLEDGMENT that dusk is bounded by “the two evening.” Frank emphasized further, “Now “dusk” is NEVER before sunset. Dusk is ALWAYS AFTER SUNSET!”

And John W. Ritenbaugh wrote: “Ba erev means sunset. It is very specific. It includes no time before sunset. It is a period that begins whenever the edge of the sun hits the edge of the horizon. If you stood and watched how long ba erev takes, it takes about three to five minutes of time. It is very specific” (Passover, Part 3).

As of this writing, a new “gender-sensitive version of the Jewish Publication Society (JPS) translation” is on promotion in their endeavour to adapt to the needs of the day. It’s a “largely gender-neutral God language” and a completely fresh translation of the Torah. This new translation will prove exceedingly useful not only for clergy and synagogue professionals, but also for anyone interested in Biblical learning, so they claimed.

The next challenge for Fred R. Coulter, Frank W. Nelte and John W. Ritenbaugh is to continue cutting off from the “bondage of Judaism” to attain their next level of spirituality.

{}{}{}

A Critique of Fred Coulter’s Passover (Ie)

•January 29, 2020 • Leave a Comment

A Critique of Fred Coulter’s Passover (Ie)
Passover on the 14th or 15th?

Fred R. Coulter

Christian Biblical Church of God
Post Office Box 1442
Hollister California 95024-1442

Image result for exodus picsDraft Ie

Chapters 8 – 9

The Critique continues:

In Chapter 8, vanity aside, Fred Coulter is quoting his own translation as before. Amazing man! What reward would he gives to himself? Ten crowns?

Coulter accurately translates ba erev as “at sunset,” showing that the Feast of Unleavened Bread begins immediately after the Passover day ends: “And you shall keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread, for in this same day [the 15th, the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread] I have brought your armies out of the land of Egypt. Therefore you shall keep this day in your generations as a law forever. In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at sunset [ending the Passover day and beginning the 15th], you shall eat unleavened bread, until the twenty-first day of the month at sunset [ending the 21st day]” (Ex. 12:17-18). (The Christian Passover, Pg 89)

Fred’s analysis is all over the place. Nobody knows what level of Hebrew he has, but he claims to be better than those who have Hebrew as their native tongue. Amazing fabulous man, he could pull another rabbit out of a hat that his Samaritan comrade couldn’t. Okay, let’s get back to the topic. Can anybody sees the self-contraction above? If unleavened were to be eaten AFTER “the Passover day” which he zealously identifies as the fourteenth, then the day after would be the fifteenth, but the Scriptures say to eat unleavened bread on ”the fourteenth day, at even, until the twentieth-first day of the month at even” in Exodus 12:18.

“In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at even (ba-erev), ye shall eat unleavened bread until the one and twentieth day of the month at even (ba-erev)” (Exodus 12:18).

If Fred Coulter is honest and he didn’t come to study the Bible with an already makeup mindset, he would admit that when the moment the Passover lamb was killed it is also the same time unleavened bread is to be eaten. In both instances, in Deuteronomy 16:6 and Exodus 12:18 the same expression ba-erev is used.

The Scriptures make it explicitly clear that the Passover day and the Feast of Unleavened Bread are two separate feasts with two different meanings. The Passover day, the 14th day of the first month, was established as a memorial feast to commemorate God’s passing over the houses of the children of Israel. The 15th day, the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, was established as a memorial feast in commemoration of the Exodus: “And you shall keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread, for [for the following reason] in this SAME DAY I HAVE BROUGHT YOUR ARMIES OUT OF THE LAND OF EGYPT…” (verse 17). (Pg 89)

GOD DID NOT COMBINE THE PASSOVER AND THE FIRST DAY OF UNLEAVENED BREAD. It was the leaders of Judaism who changed the commandments of God and combined the two feasts, eliminating the 14th Passover and proclaiming the 15th as the Passover day, and then supporting their erroneous teaching with the empty argument of a “day’s delay.” (Pg 90)

See the source image

Passover and Unleavened Bread were well amalgamated right at the beginning, at the time of the original Exodus. In Deuteronomy 16:6 ba·erev is the time to kill the Passover on the fourteenth; and in Exodus 12:18 ba·erev is also to commence eating unleavened bread on the fourteenth; only the Feast is to start on the fifteenth. Here is a great revelation: in Exodus 12, verse 8, the Ezra-inspired Targum had made it clear that the Passover was a late fourteenth and the eating was on the fifteenth: “And you shall eat the flesh on that night, the fifteenth of Nisan . . .” the Targum says.

Both the Passover and Unleavened Bread ordinances were well interlaced right from the beginning: the Exodus. The record from Exodus 12 and the Targum are like twin mirrors: when placed against the CoG Communities, they reflect their nakedness. But these Blind could not see their nakedness because they are blind and they continue speaking with various deceptions.

This is plainly what the Scriptures say, but “Ephraim compasseth me about with lies, and the house of Israel with deceit” (Hosea 11:12). Only the stiff-necked and blind couldn’t see this. Plain and simple. The house of Judah operates with hypocrisy but the house of Ephraim operates with lies and deceit!

See the source image

And they are throwing diatribes and lying against the one with the Oracles of God, the Jews (Romans 3:1-4). Below is another verse great for reflection:

“Manasseh, Ephraim; and Ephraim, Manasseh; and they together shall be against Judah. For all this His anger is not turned away, but His hand is stretched out still” (Isaiah 9:21).

John Gill: for all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still; that is, the anger of God, that was not turned away; he had not yet stirred up all his wrath, he had not done with them, he had still other judgments to bring upon them; and his hand continued to be stretched out to inflict them, seeing they were not brought to repentance by what was already done unto them; so the Targum, “for all this they do not return from their sins, that he may turn away his anger from them, but still retain their sins; and yet his stroke will be to take vengeance on them.’

Again, Fred Coulter spent a lot of time whinging about travelling in the darkness of the night, contradicting himself again and again.

He wrote:

When the 14th day ended at sunset, or ba erev, the entire nation was ready to march, and the Exodus began. . . The first column would have begun to march out at about 6 PM, as the sun was setting, and the end of the last column would have left the city at about eleven o’clock on the night of the 15th. (Pg 94)

Eleven o ‘clock at night is deep into the night! And then further down:

“The Scriptures clearly record that the Exodus began at the going down of the sun, and continued on into the night: “…the LORD your God brought you forth out of Egypt BY NIGHT…. at sunset [ba erev, the beginning of the 15th], at the going down of the sun, at the time that you came out of Egypt” (Deut. 16:1, 6).” (Pg 97)

But a few pages earlier, he wrote:

Imagine the difficulties the children of Israel would have encountered if they had attempted to travel to Rameses by night with no light to guide them. Some families might have ended up in the wrong city and missed the Exodus! And how could they have kept their sheep and goats from being scattered along the way? It is no easy task to keep stragglers from wandering off during the daylight hours; it would have been an impossible task in the dark hours after midnight. (Pg 91)

In these few pages, Fred Coulter whines back and forth about travelling in the dark contradicting himself what he wrote here:  with no light to guide them “families might have ended up in the wrong city and missed the Exodus!” And where are all the members of his team—Carl and Jean Franklin, Philip Neal, Albert and Mela Cataga John, Hiedi and Sasha Vogele—where are they? Or is this a case where they saw the Emperor has no clothes?

See the source imageDeuteronomy 16:6, “at the going down of the sun,” is the time to kill the Passover, at even, but is misquoted above to indicate when God brought the children of Israel out of Egypt. Fred Coulter has a habitual style of misquoting the Scriptures, on becoming a serial liar. That night, of course, was on the fifteenth, under a full moon, and there shouldn’t be any difficulties seeing the Egyptians burying their dead, either later that night, or early morning. Neither would the Egyptians have any difficulties seeing the children of Israel going out with a high hand.

Traditions or precedents could be bad, but it could also be good. To say all are bad are just too foolish.

Paul wrote in Galatians 1:14 “I profited in the Jews’ religion beyond many of my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers.”

And in 2 Thessalonians 2:15 “Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold to the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word or our epistle.”

We should learn how to distinguish good traditions from bad ones. We should be learning how to judge, how to be good judges. A good judge has to filter through all sort of “evidence” and “testimonies” to arrive at a correct final decision. This means our rationale, logic, and emotions must be shielded from the illogically absurd, ridiculous, unfounded, and unbalanced thoughts that tried to muddle our filtering process. Which tradition is Biblical, which tradition is shaky and without foundation. Without a sound filtering process we would fail to be good judges.

{}9{}

Critique of Chapter 9 continues:

In our study of the Passover account in the book of Exodus, we found no evidence to support the Jewish tradition of a late afternoon temple sacrifice of the Passover lambs. To the contrary, we found that all the Scriptural evidence points to a Passover at the beginning of the 14th. By letting the Scriptures define “morning” and “night,” we have determined that the children of Israel killed the Passover lambs on the 14th as the day began, right after sunset of the 13th day. (Pg 101)

Do not be mistaken, the Bible isn’t a dictionary. Sometimes a verse here or there could hint what a word means, but normally it doesn’t. Most of the meaning of these words are known orally, to people who have Hebrew as their original language, and later they were committed down in writing, known today as the Talmud. In fact the Hebrew Text that Moses wrote doesn’t have any vowels, thus the Text couldn’t give any clue how the words are to be pronounced, least the meanings of each of those words. The Samaritans were the first pretenders who foolishly thought of themselves as capable of interpreting the Scriptures, and so they led a strings of heresies along the way down to our modern era.

Image result for bible is not a dictionary picsIn Chapter 9, Fred Coulter asked in a paragraph a series of questions:

Is there any Biblical evidence that God altered the Passover ordinances that He had given to Moses? (Pg 102)

Of course, He did. The original Passover had to be observed in a certain manner because of what God was going to achieve through it in Egypt. However, in later years it was a commemoration of the event, not the event itself. If not, during each Passover thereafter, every Israelites would still be: (a) Eating with their loins girded, sandals on their feet, staff in their hands; and they were to eat in haste; (b) Go and spoil the Egyptians: jewellery of gold and silver; raiment and any other things in the morning; (c) Pretend fleeing from Pharaoh and his armies in an re-enactment of the Exodus.

Did God Himself end the domestic sacrifice of the Passover lambs? (Pg 102)

Of course, He did. Otherwise we wouldn’t read of a 12-year old Messiah going to Jerusalem to keep the Passover with His parents.

Also, the Mishnah sheds more light on this:

What is the difference between the pesah [which was offered] in Egypt and the pesah of [subsequent] generations?The pesah in Egypt was taken on the tenth [of Nisan], And it required sprinkling with a bunch of hyssop on the lintel and on the two door-posts, And it was eaten in haste on one night, whereas the pesah of [subsequent] generations is kept the whole seven [days]. (Perushim 9)

The Mishnah supports the Scriptures intimately.

After Israel’s first Passover, did He institute a mandatory tabernacle sacrifice of the Passover lambs? (Pg 102)

Of course, He did. Otherwise what’s the point of God setting aside a whole tribe of Levi and establishing the Priesthood for a special purpose and then having the ordinances of the sanctuary and Temple instituted. Moses warned:

Deuteronomy 16:13 Take heed to thyself that thou offer not thy burnt offerings in every place that thou seest; 14 but in the place which the Lord shall choose in one of thy tribes, there thou shalt offer thy burnt offerings, and there thou shalt do all that I command thee.

Image result for solomon temple worship in jerusalem pics

During the time of Joshua and the Judges the sacrifices were performed where the Sanctuary was situated, but when the Temple was established permanently in one place it was God who told King Solomon that He had chosen for Himself to move the place of sacrifice to Jerusalem. Hence a Temple-centered sacrifice in Jerusalem is a God-ordained command:

Thus Solomon finished the house of the Lord and the king’s house; and all that came into Solomon’s heart to do in the house of the Lord and in his own house, he prosperously effected. And the Lord appeared to Solomon by night and said unto him: “I have heard thy prayer, and have chosen this place for Myself for a house of sacrifice” (II Chronicles 7:11-12).

And “this place” is in Jerusalem:

“(God) have chosen Jerusalem, that My name might be there” (II Chronicles 6:6).

And many people, seeking the Lord God of Israel, went to Jerusalem to offer sacrifices:

“And after them, out of all the tribes of Israel, such as set their hearts to seek the Lord God of Israel came to Jerusalem to sacrifice unto the Lord God of their fathers” (II Chronicles 11:16).

The Scriptures are extremely clear but the Blind couldn’t see this because they are blind.

Did God require that the blood of the Passover lambs be sprinkled on the altar? (Pg 102)

See the source imageOf course, He did. Otherwise during Passover celebrations righteous King Hezekiah and King Josiah would have commanded the people should instead be taking the blood and striking it at both sides of the doorposts and lintels of their houses.

Fred Coulter further alleges:

In accordance with God’s command, the morning offering was originally offered at sunrise, when the morning begins, and the evening offering was originally offered between sunset and dark. Every day of the year, there was an offering at the beginning of daylight and at the beginning of darkness. Later records of the temple service show that a change was instituted in the time of the evening offering. Instead of an offering immediately after sunset, as God had commanded, the offering was moved to the late afternoon. (Pg 103)

Conveniently, Fred Coulter alleges that the original morning and evening sacrifices were offered “at the beginning of daylight” and “at the beginning of darkness” but offered no record (unless that record came from the Samaritans) or evidence of when the change took place. If he could, he would be a Biblical genius, worthy of a Nobel Prize, if not he must be displaying a figment of his own imagination is just a serial liar.

Throughout Fred’s writings, he harped continuously about observing a “domestic Passover” but he never define it. Okay maybe the case in Egypt should serve as the best example, since he advocates the nine Passover ordinances were never changed. Should this be the case Israelites would be observing Passover in their houses, just as they did in the land of Goshen. Should that be the case, Galileans needed not come to Jerusalem and yet Jesus and his disciples went to Jerusalem in numerous times to observe Passover. Were they gallivanting in Jerusalem? Were they disobedient? They were supposed to keep their Passover in their houses, back in Galilee, shouldn’t they? This is a serious charge, a travesty and bothering blasphemy!

God’s commandment is clear in Deuteronomy 16:16 Three times a year shall all thy males appear before the Lord thy God in the place which He shall choose: in the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and in the Feast of Weeks, and in the Feast of Tabernacles. And “Thou mayest not sacrifice the Passover within any of thy gates which the Lord thy God giveth thee” (Deuteronomy 16:5). A “domestic Passover” wasn’t sanctified by God. It wasn’t allowed. It would be outright rebellion!

See the source imageThat place chosen by God is Jerusalem as affirmed in II Chronicles 6:6, “I have chosen Jerusalem, that My name might be there.”

There is not a single word in Numbers 28 concerning a Passover sacrifice at the tabernacle. The Hebrew word for “sacrifice” is not used in Numbers 28:16, which is the only verse that speaks of the Passover. (Pg 109)

And a few pages later, Fred Coulter wrote a headline:

All Sacrifices except the Passover
Were to be Brought to the Tabernacle (Pg 113)

Anyone could read Fred Coulter’s argument in the whole chapter but couldn’t find any statement in Leviticus 17 that alluded to his allegation. In fact Leviticus 17 is more inclined to refer to any and all sacrifice and especially the blood that needed to be brought to the tabernacle. In verse 8, it says, “And thou shalt say unto them: ‘Whatsoever man there be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers who sojourn among you, who offereth a burnt offering or sacrifice (h2077 zebach).

Image result for Jerusalem TargumAlso, the Targum Leviticus 17 comments (first part) below makes this very clear:

XVII. And the Lord spake with Mosheh, saying: Speak with Aharon and with his sons, and with the sons of Israel, and tell them: This is the word which the Lord hath commanded, saying: A man of the house of Israel, young or old, who shall kill as a sacrifice a bullock, or lamb, or goat in the camp, or who killeth it without the camp, and bringeth it not to the door of the tabernacle of ordinance to offer it an oblation before the Lord, before the tabernacle of the Lord, the blood of slaughter shall be reckoned to that man, and it shall be to him as if he had shed innocent blood, and that man shall be destroyed from his people. In order that the sons of Israel may bring their sacrifices which they have [heretofore] killed on the face of the field, they may [henceforth] bring them before the Lord, at the door of the tabernacle of ordinance, unto the priest, and sacrifice their consecrated victims before the Lord. And the priest shall sprinkle the blood upon the altar of the Lord, at the door of the tabernacle of ordinance, and burn the fat, to be received with acceptance before the Lord. Neither shall they offer any more their sacrifices unto idols which are like unto demons, after which they have wandered. This shall be an everlasting statute to them, unto their generations.

And thou shalt tell them: A man, whether young or old, of the house of Israel, or of the strangers who sojourn among you, who shall sacrifice a burnt offering, or consecrated oblation, and bring it not to the door of the tabernacle of ordinance, to be made an oblation before the Lord, that man shall be destroyed from his people.

A Passover is a sacrifice. Its blood is to be brought to the tabernacle before the Lord. And the priest shall sprinkle the blood upon the altar, at the door of the tabernacle. Note on Rashi’s comment on Leviticus 17:4, Rashi: “Who slaughters an ox, a lamb, [or a goat]: Scripture is speaking of [slaughtering] holy sacrifices [not of slaughtering ordinary animals], for Scripture continues, “to offer up as a sacrifice” (next verse). – [Torath Kohanim 17:91]”

Note also that the Targum says about those not obeying, “that man shall be destroyed from his people.”

It is the same word zebach in Hebrew as in the original Exodus 12:27 That ye shall say, It is the sacrifice (h2077) of the LORD’S passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he smote the Egyptians, and delivered our houses.

See the source imageIn the Hebrew the word Pesach is implicitly and inherently a sacrifice. These implicit and inherent characteristics aren’t clear in English, but in Hebrew they are obvious. Hence the phase to “kill the Pesach” or “eat the Peach” make sense in our language English. We couldn’t kill a day, the fourteenth, neither can we eat a day, if Pesach doesn’t have these implicit and inherent characteristics of a sacrifice.

For completeness, references of Passover as the sacrificial lamb being made are listed here:

(a) “to eat the Passover”— Exodus 12:43;
(b) “to kill the Passover” — Exodus 12:21, II Chronicles 35:6;
(c) “to sacrifice the Passover” — Deuteronomy 16:2;
(d) “to roast the Passover” — II Chronicles 35:13.

The two characteristics (implicit and inherent) in Hebrew but not in English, compelled some translators to insert the word “sacrifice” in Numbers 28:16 so as to make its meaning clearer in English: “In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, there shall be a Passover sacrifice to the Lord,” Numbers 28:16. It is a Sacrifice to the Lord. Clear and simple.

In the Good News Translation of Leviticus 17:8, it says “who offer a burnt offering or any other sacrifice.” Other translations may not insert the phrase “any other,” but by inserting it, the GNT has made it clearer—that any sacrifice includes the Pesach, the LORD’S passover. The critical performance of any sacrifice is that “the priest shall sprinkle the blood upon the altar of the Lord at the door of the tabernacle.” The priests had sprinkled the blood upon the alter since memorial time, evidently from the time of Moses, down to Ezra, and then during the time of Christ. If Moses had any doubt, he had all the time to ask God who dwelt between the cherubim in the Temple for any further details.

And if Ron Wyatt’s testimony is true, that at the moment when Jesus Christ died at 3 PM that fourteenth afternoon, an earthquake occurred, cracking the rocks underneath. His blood then dripped through the rocks onto the Mercy Seat on top of the Ark of the Covenant under Golgotha, otherwise also referred to in Scripture as the “place of the skull.” Christ’s testimony is another witness that the Passover was to be sacrificed at 3 PM in the afternoon, “at even” on the fourteenth, otherwise Christ’s death couldn’t have fulfilled the Passover ordinance.

At the same movement, while the Jews were killing their lambs for the Passover, and the priests splinking the blood on the altar, Christ’s blood dripped into the Mercy Seat for the sin of the whole world! The biblical narratives indicate that the crucifixion took place outside the city walls—“outside the camp,” and His blood was miraculously brought “into the camp,” revealing why the blood could be killed outside the camp but only its blood brought into the camp for the priest to sprinkle on the altar. If Ron’s attestation is true, the story of Christ’s death and sacrifice would reveal how the Lamb was ordained with so much forethoughts right from the foundation of the world. Well planned and well thought-out by the Great God of this Universe. Are we amazed? I’m stunned. It is the mystery of mysteries!

{}{}{}

A Critique of Fred Coulter’s Passover (Id)

•January 22, 2020 • Leave a Comment

A Critique of Fred Coulter’s Passover (Id)
Passover on the 14th or 15th?

Fred R. Coulter

Christian Biblical Church of God
Post Office Box 1442
Hollister California 95024-1442

Image result for the samaritans pics

Draft Id

This is a continuation of a Critique of Fred Coulter’s Passover. The Passover is an extremely interesting Bible Study and we’ll follow it in details. The main issue is whether the Passover is on the early or late fourteenth of Nisan. Quoted are Fred Coulter’s work, from an internet PDF version, which I presume, is his latest. These excerpts are in block form, in PINK, and indented so as to differentiate it from other quotes or comments. The Scriptures, in RED, must be our primary focus and guide, and sometimes the Scriptures, which include the Septuagint and the Targum, say things very different from what we think!

And so with that in mind, we’ll begin:

Chapter 6 – 7

The killing of the Passover lambs took place AT THE BEGINNING of the fourteenth day. As the thirteenth day of the month drew to a close, all the children of Israel assembled their families and gathered around the lambs, watching the sun set and waiting for the sun to disappear below the horizon. The instant it dropped below the horizon, ending the thirteenth and beginning ben ha arbayim of the fourteenth, all the children of Israel killed the Passover lambs at precisely the same time! What a fantastic occurrence!

As God had commanded, “And the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it BETWEEN THE TWO EVENINGS [Hebrew ben ha arbayim]” (Pg 57).

th

What is being described above resembles the Samaritan Passover! What Hayyim Schauss wrote below about facing WESTWARD toward the setting SUN and about the REJOICING KISSES could complement Fred Coulter’s book:

“Exactly at sunset the High Priest faces westward and reads that portion of the Pentateuch which orders the slaughtering of the Pesach sacrifice. About twelve or fourteen of the younger Samaritans busy themselves, meanwhile, with preparing the sacrificial animals. They form a circle about the pit of fire, holding the lambs between their legs, and as the High Priest utters the words, ‘And the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at dusk,’ they utter a benediction and throw the lambs, throats to the pit, where they are slaughtered by two ritual slaughterers. Six or seven sheep are slaughtered.

“The slaughtering is a signal for general rejoicing. Greetings are exchanged in the oriental manner; the participants kiss one another, first on the right shower and then on the left” (The Jewish Festivals, Pg 63).

In reality, the Samaritans, “AT SUNSET” and facing “WESTWARD” are SUN WORSHIPPERS, a syncretic blend of paganism and heresy, and this ancient apostasy is continuing in the CoG (CoGs) Communities today, unabashed.

“At sunset, or ba erev,” according to Fred Coulter, “is a very short period of time. It begins when the sun appears to touch the horizon,” and that’s when the lamb was killed, all simultaneously, during that no more than 3-5 minutes. “What a fantastic occurrence!” Fred Coulter added his expression as the Samaritans began kissing each other on the shoulders, first on the right , then on the left.

See the source imageBut note one significant difference. The Samaritans doesn’t have another sacrifice to satisfy ben ha arbayim in Exodus 12:6. Even the Samaritans are not that foolish, but Fred Coulter would whip out another rabbit from his hat and make another sacrifice. He wrote of others but in reality some of his observations are for himself. Here is one:

“WHAT FOLLY! What foolishness to accept a traditional belief that directly conflicts with the truth of God’s Word, and to use interpretations of Scripture that promote the false ideas of men! No wonder God says that He entraps the intelligent in the foolishness of their own human wisdom” (Pg 61).

According to Fred, “there can be no doubt whatsoever that ben ha arbayim comes after ba erev, or sunset.” And he kept on harping his stupidity, “we have found irrefutable proof that ben ha arbayim — “between the two evenings,” or “between the setting-times”—begins immediately after the day has ended at sunset, or ba erev.”

His analysis requires two rabbits for his passover, calls Fred Coulter’s passover, one for his analysis of Exodus 12:6 ben ha arbayim and the other to satisfy his definition of Deuteronomy 16:6 ba erev. Like a magical touch of Simon Magus, it’s another slight of hand. And together with most of today’s Churches of God Communities today, they also believe the same magic. It’s no surprise they came from the same homeland — from Samaria. They may fervently consider themselves as virgins, waiting, waiting, but they haven’t realize they are being described elsewhere as “wretched” and “blind” and “naked.”

The Rabbinic interpretation as to when to correctly kill the lamb is confirmed by the work of Ezra: The lamb were indeed killed on the afternoon of the fourteenth and eaten on the night of the fifteenth. The Targum (530 BC to 500 AD), whose origin was during the intertestamental period, translates and explains the eating of the Passover from the Hebrew in Exodus 12 into the vernacular, in a very simple language, and verse 8 is extremely clear: “And you shall eat the flesh on that night, the fifteenth of Nisan . . .”

When the Exile returned from Babylon, Ezra, a Levite and high priest, read and translated the Torah in Hebrew into the common Aramaic language, and he, or other Levites, explained the Torah so the people could understand.

“The Levites … instructed the people in the Law while the people were standing there. They read from the Book of the Law of God, making it clear and giving the meaning so that the people understood what was being read” (Nehemiah 8:7–8).

See the source imageAnother way of saying: The Law was read by Ezra, verse by verse, and each verse was followed by a recitation by the Levites into the Aramaic version. Hence in Nehemiah 8:8 Ezra narrated not only the reading of the Law, but the Levites interprete and explain the Torah from Hebrew into the vernacular in Aramaic.

Now on the subject of the true timing of when the quail arrived in the evening, the Rabbinic understanding is that the quail arrived in the afternoon, anytime when the sun moved passed its zenith, until sunset, which is the first phase of erev—this same period could be described as ben ha arbayim — “between the two evenings,” or “after noon and until nightfall.” During this time, it is daytime and the Israelites wouldn’t have any problem catching the quail, killing them, skinning and cleaning them, cooking and have them for food. There wouldn’t be any problem at all about keeping the Sabbath when it arrived a few hours later.

Also, the Scriptures is silent about the quails appearing six times a week, every week in a similar manner like manna did for forty years as expressed in Exodus 12:35. In fact, the story of the quail in Numbers 11 hints that it is an one-off event. This chapter has a chronological order. It began with “And when the people complained, it displeased the Lord; and the Lord heard it, and His anger was kindled. And the fire of the Lord burned among them, and consumed those who were in the uttermost parts of the camp.”

Despite fire consumed some of them, others still complained:

Numbers 11:4 And the mixed multitude that was among them fell to lusting. And the children of Israel also wept again and said, “Who shall give us flesh to eat? 5 We remember the fish which we ate in Egypt freely, the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlic;

Notice the next verse, this took place when the children of Israel already had manna to eat:

Numbers 11:6 but our soul is dried away. There is nothing at all besides this manna before our eyes.”

See the source imageWhile the story of the quails was taking place, the children of Israelites were already having “this manna before our eyes,” speaking with “disdain and contempt of the manna.” So pretending that their bodies lack of flesh food, and having no moisture in them (John Gill comments on what “our soul is dried away” means), they murmured and complained. This complaining continued until they weep pitifully in their eyes, so the wrath of God was rekindled again:

Numbers 11:10 Then Moses heard the people weep throughout their families, every man in the door of his tent. And the anger of the Lord was kindled greatly;

So in short, God in anger, sent them a month’s supply of quails, so much for them to eat until it comes out at their nostrils . . . “And while the flesh was yet between their teeth, before it was chewed, the wrath of the Lord was kindled against the people, and the Lord smote the people with a very great plague” (Numbers 11:33).

Sometimes the Masoretic Text are vague on certain issues, but the Targum could shed further light on these uncertainties. Numbers 11 ended with a plague where “the wrath of the Lord was kindled against the people, and the Lord smote the wicked (Targum) people with a very great plague,” (v 33) killing by “a flaming fire from the Lord” (Targum) all those who murmured against Him, being “contemptuous” (Targum) and lusted for flesh to eat, and after eating, and “offered no thanksgiving to Him” (Targum).

Also, the Targum confirms the time “all that day and all that night and all the next day” (v 32) was actually the time spent on gathering the quails. It has nothing to say about the time preceded by the Sabbath, disproving Fred Coulter’s sole hypothesis “that ben ha arbayim comes after ba erev”:

“And they who had been wanting in faith arose: and all that day, and all the night, and all the day that followed, they gathered the quails; even he who was lame and infirm gathered ten korin (ten donkeys’ loads), and they spread them abroad round about the camps” (Targum: Numbers 11:32).

See the source image

And after this incident, no repeat of the quail’s appearance were ever mentioned again hereafter. The story of the quails isn’t about what or when ba erev or ben ha arbayim appears. The story of the quails is about a contemptuous, a wicked and a ungrateful people deserving a death penalty by a flaming fire from the Lord, hinting strongly that it was an one-off event. All these bad attributes brought about their downfall, a lesson they needed to learn to be contented with just having manna for the rest of their forty years wandering in the desert.

Besides flouting and stigmatizing the Rabbinic understanding of evening (erev), Fred Coulter analysis also redefines morning (bôqer) in Genesis 1:5 And the evening (erev) and the morning (bôqer) were the first day. Such a day is a full 24-hours day. And this 24-hour day are divided into evening (erev) and morning(bôqer), each could only be a 12-hour period. The full extend of time for evening (erev) is from noon to midnight; and the full extend of time for morning (bôqer) is another 12-hour period, from midnight to noon.

{}7}{}

Up to Chapter 7 of Fred Coulter’s the Christian Passover, we can see Fred had quoted a lot from Everett Fox’s translation and from the Schocken Bible. And they translate boqer as sunrise or daybreak, defines as “the sun was beginning to rise,” (pg 71) or “beginning at the crack of dawn,” (pg 77). Flashback to Chapter 6, he wrote:

These two key verses must be kept in mind: “…And none of you shall go out of the door of his house UNTIL SUNRISE….And the children of Israel went away and did as the LORD had commanded Moses and Aaron; so they did” (Ex. 12:22, 28). (Pg 64).

The Schocken Bible conveys the directness of the command even more emphatically and pinpoints the exact time that they were permitted to leave their houses: “…Now you—you are NOT to go out, any man from the entrance to his house, UNTIL DAYBREAK” (Ex. 12:22, SB). (Pg 65).

 

Image result for Everett FoxAnd this is repeated in Chapter 7:

God strictly forbade any Israelite to leave his house until sunrise. The Schocken Bible conveys the precise meaning of the Hebrew word boqer, showing the exact time at which the children of Israel were permitted to leave: “Now you—you are not to go out, any man from the entrance to his house, UNTIL DAYBREAK” (Ex. 12:22, SB). ( Pg 71)

Morning, or boqer, does not include any part of the night, or lailah. Boqer begins with the first light of dawn, just before the sun rises above the horizon. Nowhere in Scripture is there any indication that boqer is “long before sunrise” or “the latter portion of the night.” The Scriptures never refer to the dark hours after midnight as boqer, or “morning.” (Pg 78)

So who is Everett Fox? And who are behind the Schocken Bible? Since Fred had quoted principally from Fox’s translation and the Schocken Bible we’ll take a deeper dive to find out more. Aren’t you curious? I am sure we all do.

Everett Fox spent years at Brandeis University as a college student, majoring in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies. A husband of Jewish educator, Rabbi Cherie Koller-Fox (a Jewish feminist), he was described, at best, as a conservative Jewish scholar. Although he studied at the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) of America in New York for only one and a half years at the Seminary, the influence from the reform-minded Seminary had a deep impact on him, as evidence showed in his translation of the Bible, published by Schocken Books. And they all teamed up to publish the Schocken Bible (described as an offshoot of the Buber-Rosenzweig translation), from which Fred Coulter quoted extensively.

The JTS seminary was started by Rabbi Zecharias Frankel (1801—1875) who was a leading figure in mid-19th Century German Jew. Known both for his traditionalist views and the esteem he held for scientific study of Judaism. Frankel was, ironically, at first considered a conservative within the nascent Reform Movement.

The Reform Movement advocates that Jewish law is not static, but rather has always developed in response to changing conditions. In his endeavour, Frankel amassed scholarly support which showed one must be open to a changing environment and developing Judaism in the same evolving fashion that the law should be reinterpreted, and as a way of restoring meaning to modern life.

Although the Jewish Theological Seminary of America was alleged to be a product of the Reform Movement, it claimed to be “a new rabbinical school” in New York City. There were power struggles between the two, but eventually the Reform Movement gained ground as the Seminary developed a new movement known as Conservative Judaism. This conservatism may not sound conservative—traditionalist, orthodox, conventional—but their Reform Movement were just only taking at a slower pace. Nevertheless the Jewish Theological Seminary became the primary educational and religious center of Conservative Judaism.

The central theme for the Conservative Movement is that Jewish Law shouldn’t be regarded as static, but “to reignite a fresh religious insight,” that Rabbinic Judaism be regarded as non-binding and that individual Jew should be regarded as autonomous, and that our perception of Judaism “should incorporate openness to external influences and progressive values” as the years unfold. Concurrently, examining Jewish history and rabbinic literature through the lens of academic criticism, it maintained that these laws were “always subject to considerable evolution, and must continue to do so.”

Amy EilbergSo from the beginning in the 1970s, the topic of women’s ordination was regularly discussed at JTS. A special commission (which consisted of 11 men and three women) was established by the chancellor of the Seminary to study the issue of ordaining women as rabbis. After years of discussion, the JTS faculty voted to ordain women as rabbis and as cantors in 1983. The first female rabbi to graduate from the school (and the first female Conservative Jewish rabbi in the world) was Amy Eilberg, who graduated and was ordained as a rabbi in 1985. The first class of female rabbis that was admitted to JTS in 1984 included Rabbi Naomi Levy, who later became a best-selling author and Nina Beth Cardin, who became an author and environmental activist. Erica Lippitz and Marla Rosenfeld Barugel were the first women ordained as cantors by JTS (and the first female Conservative Jewish cantors in the world). They were both ordained in 1987.

Image result for Rabbi Naomi LevySince March 2007, JTS has accepted openly gay, lesbian, and bisexual students into their rabbinical and cantorial programs. This is to uphold the Seminary’s non-discrimination policies for their new founded admission policy, without taking a stance on same-sex unions. JTS marked the first anniversary of the change with a special program. Since then, special programs were established to recognize the pluralism in the student body. In April 2011, JTS held a Yom Iyyun, or day of learning, about LGBTQ issues, and their intersection with Judaism. Joy Ladin, a transgender woman who teaches English at Yeshiva University, gave a talk about her life. Other programs included creating welcoming communities, and inclusive prayer, among others. It was sponsored by other Jewish social action groups to ensure that all other queer individuals are included in all sectors of Jewish life.

Image result for Joy LadinLadin has described her girlhood intuiting at a young age, viewing her assigned male identity as “false” as a child. At age eight, she began calling herself a “pacifist” in order to avoid combative play and athletics.

She received her PhD from Princeton University in 2000, her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1995 and her BA from Sarah Lawrence College in 1982. In 2007, Ladin received tenure at Yeshiva University, and thereafter announced her gender transition. In consternation, the Yeshiva could only place her on 18 month paid leave, but with the aid of lawyers from Lambda Legal, Ladin returned to work at Yeshiva University in 2008.

Since its birth, Reform Judaism had given themselves a new challenge. In an effort to avoid what they perceived as “bondage to Judaism” the Bible has to be reinterpreted in a different way from what the Rabbinic believe. Thus the Hebrew term ben ha arbayim is reinterpreted as between the setting-times and erev as dusk. And bôqer, which Rabbinic Jews defined as the time after midnight to noon, is redefined and restricted to daybreak or sunrise. So Passover and the Exodus were redefined to recapture the spirit of the ancient Samaritans, a spirit that of persistently looking at Jewish laws and issues not from a static viewpoint, but from an evolving angle.

Biblical and non-Biblical history has recorded a couple of evolving reinterpretations at various times to suit a new social and political environment, each has its own axe to grind:

See the source image(1) King Jeroboam — Being anointed King of the Northern Kingdom he quickly felt he needed a new place of worship, least his subjects could be influenced to pledge their allegiance back to the Kingdom of Judah based Jerusalem. For the convenience of his subjects, he chose two places: Bethel and Dan. And to differentiate from Jerusalem’s feasts, he moved the Feast of Tabernacles to the eighth month. Also, he made himself the high priest, whose action drove most of the Levites and others in the priesthood south to the Kingdom of Judah.

(2) The Samaritans — After Shalmaneser king of Assyria had taken the Ten Tribes into Exile, he took the surrounding heathens to resettle the land. But lions plagued the new settlers, so they needed a priest from the previous populace to come and teach them how to worship the God of the land. Having secured a returning priest, the new settlers “feared the Lord, but served their own gods, after the manner of the nations who carried them away from thence” (II Kings 17:33).

(3) Sanballat the Horonite — He was a Samaritan governor and was a chief opponent of Nehemiah and Ezra, and who, with some Jewish allies, constantly fought against Jerusalem and the teaching of Ezra. Failing to infiltrate Jerusalem in the rebuilding Temple activities, he sought consent from the Persian Court to build a similar temple on Mount Gerizim as Nehemiah had done in Jerusalem. And he had one of the grandsons of Eliashib, the high priest in Jerusalem, made an high priest in Mount Gerizim. He was Manasseh, who married a daughter of Sanballat, and was dispelled from Jerusalem for not keeping his lineage pure (Nehemiah 13:28). The Mountain Gerizim was inserted into the Pentateuch to make the new mountain under their control as God’s sacred mountain.

Image result for sadducees pics(4) The Sadducees — the Sadducaic sect claimed they drew their name from Zadok, the first high priest of Israel to serve in the First Temple, with further claims they were the “sons of Zadok,” descendants of Eleazar, son of Aaron. Many of the Pharisees were also priests and both participated in the Temple and in the Sanhedrin, so there were intense rivalries battling each other for centuries. The Boethusians and the Herodias had strong blood ties and were close compatriots of the Sadducees.

(5) The Karaites — Anan ben David (715 – 795 or 811?), a nasi, a prince, from a family of exilarchs, the leaders of Babylonian Jewry, was the founder of the Karaite movement. His followers were, at first, called Ananites, but adopted Karaism as their movement. They rejected the Oral law as divinely inspired and because many of their other beliefs were similar to the Sadducees, some claimed they were descendents from them. Nehemia Gordon is a prominent Karaite today among English-speaking audience.

Image result for abraham geiger pic(6) Reform Judaism — Abraham Geiger (1810 – 1874), a rabbi in Germany, was considered the founding father of the Reform Movement. Emphasizing Judaism’s constant development along history and universalist traits, Geiger sought to reformulate a new form of Judaism in what he regarded as a religion compliant with modern times. And so he did, splitting Judaism further in varied forms: Reform, Conservatiive, Progressive, Liberal, Humanistic and Reconstructionist.

(7) Church of God Communities — together with the Church of God, Seventh Day, the Seventh-Day Adventists came from the teachings of William Miller (1782 – 1849), especially the need to keep the seventh-day Sabbath. Next came Herbert W Armstrong who started the Radio Church of God in 1933 and renamed Worldwide Church of God in1968, and Ambassador College in 1947. Following his death in 1986, the church and the college collapsed, and now a couple of its splinters remains, known collectively as the Church of God Communities.

But our concentration is on the (6) Reform Judaism for the moment:

The Orthodox or Rabbinic life faced many challenges since the Industrial Revolution and were subjected to numerous scrutiny among the majority of Jews living in the diaspora at large. And soon their claim as sole traditional theological authority to Torah Law and practice were not sustainable over time. This gave rise to demand for changes and reforms in various guises — a stiffnecked people adding sin to sin, a rebellious and lying children — all ending with a consuming fire. Thus says in the Sacred Text:

“Woe to the rebellious children,” saith the Lord, “that take counsel, but not of Me, and that cover with a covering, but not of My Spirit, that they may add sin to sin . . . 9 that this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the Lord” (Isaiah 30:1,9).

And the Lord said unto Moses, “I have seen this people, and behold, it is a stiffnecked people.10 Now therefore let Me alone, that My wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them” (Exodus 32:9).

“Understand therefore this day that the Lord thy God is He who goeth over before thee as a consuming fire” (Deuteronomy 9:3).

Could this wrath of “a consuming fire” that were destined for other people in ancient times turned around in our modern era toward the CoG Communities by the same Lord? And could it “begin at My sanctuary?” (Ezekiel 9:6). We’ll see as we investigate this question further in future critiques.

{}{}{}

A Critique of Fred Coulter’s Passover (Ic)

•January 16, 2020 • Leave a Comment

A Critique of Fred Coulter’s Passover (Ic)
Passover on the 14th or 15th?

Fred R. CoulterImage result for quail in exodus pics

Christian Biblical Church of God
Post Office Box 1442
Hollister California 95024-1442

Draft Ic

The Critique continues:

Chapter 5

Exodus 16 begins with an account of the journeying of the children of Israel from Elim to the Wilderness of Sin, where they murmured for want of bread, Exodus 16:1, when the Lord told Moses that he would rain bread from heaven for them.

The issue in this chapter is mainly about God providing food for the children of Israel while they were travelling to the Promised Land. The test was the sixth day, where they were to gather twice the amount of manna needed for that day and the following Sabbath where no food would be provided.

The topic and problems raised in Exodus 16 are never about how to define what evening (erev or ben ha arbayim) is, as Fred Coulter alleges, but about those Israelites who gathered too much food, except on the preparation day, who found their collection bred with worms or rotted. And those that went out on the Sabbath didn’t find any. The subject matter was about preparation and keeping the Sabbath, a concept that God had to teach them by way of practical example.

God promised in Exodus 16:11 And the Lord spoke unto Moses, saying, 12 “I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel. Speak unto them, saying, ‘At evening (ben ha arbayim) ye shall eat flesh, and in the morning ye shall be filled with bread; and ye shall know that I am the Lord your God.’”

The evening in verse 12 is ben ha arbayim and according to Fred Coulter, is a very short period of time, “between sundown and dark, a period of about an hour or so.” The Scripture wasn’t a dictionary, but Fred Coulter seems able to pull a rabbit out of his hat.

And Fred wrote in Chapter 5, pages 40 and 46:

We do not need to rely on the traditions of rabbis and on scholars who follow them. There is a valid, Biblically based, chronologically sound, conclusive way to determine the true meaning of ben ha arbayim. God has preserved this knowledge for us in Exodus 16. By examining the context and chronological order of the events that are recorded in Exodus 16, we will be able to determine the exact point in time at which ben ha arbayim begins. (Pg 40)

Now it was AT SUNSET [Hebrew ba erev] a horde-of-quail came up and covered the camp…” (Ex. 16:13)

Fred advocates erev is a transition of 3 to 5 minutes of one day to the next, perhaps half in the new day and the other half in the previous day (Pg 36-39).

See the source imageThe truth is, at “evening” (ben ha arbayim) ye shall eat flesh. At ben ha arbayim, the flesh arrived during the first evening, or during the time “after noon” but before nightfall. This is done during the day where there is light. The bread arrived in the morning where there is also light.

The Hebrew phase ben ha arbayim has been used 11 times in the Bible but it has never been used for the beginning of a Sabbath, weekly or annual, or a beginning of a day in which case erev (which would be the second evening) is used. “Between the two evenings” is an idiom meaning “between the beginnings of the two evenings,” or the “between the eves of two evenings.” The first evening is right “after noon . . .til nightfall.”

The problem is how could the Israelites eat the quails within the hour and a half after it had just arrived after dark? And here is Fred’s definition: “Between the time that the sun is below the horizon, no longer visible, and total darkness.” Yes, all the gathering, killing, cleaning and cooking within such a time constraint after dark?

The answer lies in the first part of Exodus 16:5 “And it came to pass . . .” which indicates a lapse of time had passed. How long the time had passed, it wasn’t given. It could be a day, it could be a few days, or it could even be after 430 years (Exodus 12:41). And this phase had been used numerous times in chapter 16 alone (verses 5, 10, 13, 22, 27), which means, there are numerous lapses of time for this chapter. In short, it means “when the appropriate time comes.” Do not be mistaken, the Bible isn’t a dictionary, neither does it have an appendix, which might elaborate on what a word means. Sometimes it could hint what a word means, but more often than not, it assumes the readers already know its meaning. Most of these Hebrew words and meanings were already known orally when Moses wrote them down, and later some of these knowledge and commentaries were written down into what is known as the Talmud. To say that erev is a transition of 3 to 5 minutes from one day to the next is not only misguided, but foolish. It was a concept that originated and pioneered from those who didn’t have any oral traditions — they were cut off from the mainstream although these misguided were also serious about studying the Scriptures. They were the Samaritans.

The Scriptures cannot be broken, and It is the glory of God to conceal a thing, but the honor of kings is to search out a matter (Proverbs 25:2). And that searching out could only come from their Oral traditions, which says “between the two evenings” is a period of time between the first phase of erev when the sun had passed noon at its zenith to the next phase of erev following sunset.

Chapter 16 of Exodus has a timeline of what happened during the seventh day, the Sabbath, and Fred Coulter alleged the time was the evening after sunset. He wrote:

The account in Exodus 16 explicitly tells us that God promised to provide meat for the people at sunset. In Verse 13, we read that God fulfilled His promise at that exact time: “And it came to pass AT SUNSET [Hebrew ba erev, the sunset ending that Sabbath], that the quails came up and covered the camp…” (Pg 46).

Note the start of verse 13 “And it came to pass . . .” as how long has passed wasn’t given — it could be a day, it could be several days. Second, how often these waves of quails came wasn’t given, but one thing is certain — the story of the quails wasn’t used to teach the Israelites about keeping the Sabbath, only manna did.

The Scriptural account makes it absolutely clear that the quail arrived at ba erev, or sunset. Then the quail covered the camp; that is, they were sent by God into the camp of Israel, not outside the camp. This event was another miracle of God. To fulfill His promise, God instantly created the quail and caused them to fall into the camp. Apparently, when the quail came, they literally fell out of the sky onto the camp grounds, and on the tents, which made gathering them a very easy task. (Pg 47).

But the Scriptures give a different picture. After the quails arrived in verse 13, the Scriptures were silent when the next wave came. Again, it could be a day, or it could be after several days. No details were given and Adam Clarke commented that one gathering requiring two days of catching “two cubits high” could last a month’s supply, if he interpreted Number 11:18-20 correctly:

Numbers 11:18 ‘Sanctify yourselves against tomorrow, and ye shall eat flesh. For ye have wept in the ears of the Lord, saying, “Who shall give us flesh to eat? For it was well with us in Egypt.” Therefore the Lord will give you flesh, and ye shall eat. 19 Ye shall not eat one day, nor two days, nor five days, neither ten days, nor twenty days, 20 but even a whole month, until it comes out at your nostrils and it be loathsome unto you, because ye have despised the Lord who is among you, and have wept before Him, saying, “Why came we forth out of Egypt?”’”

30 And Moses got him into the camp, he and the elders of Israel. 31 And there went forth a wind from the Lord, and brought quails from the sea, and let them fall by the camp, as it were a day’s journey on this side, and as it were a day’s journey on the other side round about the camp, and as it were two cubits high upon the face of the earth. 32 And the people stood up all that day and all that night and all the next day, and they gathered the quails. He that gathered least gathered ten homers, and they spread them all abroad for themselves round about the camp.

Adam Clarke: The people stood up, etc. – While these immense flocks were flying at this short distance from the ground, fatigued with the strong wind and the distance they had come, they were easily taken by the people; and as various flocks continued to succeed each other for two days and a night, enough for a month’s provision might be collected in that time. If the quails had fallen about the tents, there was no need to have stood up two days and a night in gathering them; but if they were on the wing, as the text seems to suppose, it was necessary for them to use dispatch, and avail themselves of the passing of these birds whilst it continued.

See the source imageEven if this catch didn’t last a month, it hints an enormous catch nevertheless. Much time, maybe after several days, maybe more could have passed before another catch appeared, but one thing is sure — the Scriptures is silent about the quails appearing six times a week, every week in a similar manner like manna did for forty years in Exodus 12:35. In fact, the story of the quail in Numbers 11 hints strongly that it is an one-off event. The chapter ended with a plague where “the wrath of the Lord was kindled against the people, and the Lord smote the people with a very great plague,” (v 33) killing all those who murmured against Him and lusted for flesh to eat. And no mention of the quail’s appearance were ever mentioned again hereafter.

Exodus 16 is a chapter using erev and ben ha arbayim interchangeability with various events in between. But everything makes sense when erev is deemed as the daylight portion (the first erev in the diagram below) for the Israelites to capture, clean, roast and eat the quails. It would be extremely difficult to do all these four things (gathering, killing, cleaning and cooking) within the one-and-a-half hour period, especially most are in the dark, and an impossible task when it is winter, on an even shorter period — perhaps just thirty to forty minutes! (Pg 50).

Exodus 16:8 And Moses said, “This shall be when the Lord shall give you in the evening (erev) flesh to eat and in the morning bread to the full, — the erev in this verse could either be a day or night portion of erev when the Lord gave them flesh to eat, but the next few verses indicate it is the first erev (afternoon till nightfall) when the quails’ arrival and eating occurred during the day portion of the evening.
11 And the Lord spoke unto Moses, saying, 12 “I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel. Speak unto them, saying, ‘At evening (ben ha arbayim) ye shall eat flesh, and in the morning ye shall be filled with bread; and ye shall know that I am the Lord your God.’” 13 And it came to pass that at evening (ba-erev, the first evening, the daylight portion) the quails came up and covered the camp, and in the morning the dew lay round about the host.

The gathering of manna were to be done on the preparation day, Exodus 16:5 And it shall come to pass that on the sixth day they shall prepare that which they bring in, and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily.” This same phase was used during the creation of man in Genesis 1:31 And God saw every thing that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And the evening (erev) and the morning were the sixth day.

See the source image

A full day is a 24-hour period. In Genesis 1:5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. So the full evening (which makes up of two phases of erevs) is a 12-hour period. On the sixth day, the preparation, the second phase of erev starts at around 6 pm Thursday for a 6-hour period until midnight. Then from midnight until noon is another 12-hour period which we call morning (boqer). The sixth day continues with another phase of erev, from noon to sunset, which is another 6-hour of daylight evening. Altogether they totaled a 24-hour day.

The truth is so easy to understand if we use the Jewish definition of technical words. It’s their language, it’s their Sacred Text, it’s written within the Jewish culture. They are the custodians of God’s oracles, we shouldn’t make a habit of stigmatizing them. The infidelity and obstinacy of the Jews could not invalidate the oracles committed to them. In fact, they were given the Oracles DESPITE their hypocrisies and frailties.

What if they don’t believe? Nar, let every man (including Fred Coulter, a misguided Pastor of over fifty years) be a liar and God be true, the Jews would still be the custodians. Their claim to the Oracles rests not upon the precarious fidelity of men, but upon the infallible promise of God (Roman 3:1-4). This was God’s promise! Ben ha arbayim is the time “after noon and until nightfall.”

Fred wrote further, “The account of these events shows that the 15th day of the second month was, in fact, a weekly Sabbath” (Pg 41). This is another sweeping statement; where could he prove that? Chapter 5 proves nothing about the above quote. His 15-paged “analysis” goes round and round addressing issues that are imaginary, displaying more of his loose and wishful thinking than any solid exegesis. This reminds me again of what Norman Edwards wrote, as quoted earlier: “. . . and every time he ran into a scriptural obstacle, he wove an elaborate web to get around it—hence the large size of his book, The Christian Passover. Readers frequently accept his arguments, not because they are simply and clearly true, but because proving or disproving his vast amount of writing is an exhausting task that few have the time to complete” (Edwards, Norman: Servants’ News. May/June 2002).

Below is another exemplar of his floating analysis throughout which could only bring his own demise. Fred wrote:

And since God Himself said that they would eat flesh during the time known as ben ha arbayim— ”between the two evenings,” or “between the setting-times”—we know without a doubt that ben ha arbayim IS THE TIME PERIOD THAT IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWS SUNSET. (Pg 47).

The chronological events that are recorded in Exodus 16 clearly define ben ha arbayim— “between the two evenings,” or “between the setting times”— as the time period that immediately FOLLOWS sunset, or ba erev. (Pg 48).

Wow! A touch from Simon Magus. For his magic to work two lamb would be needed to be killed for the Passover during the Exodus; one, within the first 3-5 minutes at sunset for Deuteronomy 16:6 (ba erev) and the other within the next hour or so to satisfy Exodus 12:6 (ben ha arbayim).

See the source imageBut only one lamb were selected on the tenth of the first month (Exodus 12:3-5) for Passover. For these Israelites to sudden sacrifice two lambs, one during ba erev and the other during ben ha arbayim they would need to perform miracles.

Nar, all his Bull Shits! Let me remind Fred of his own diatribe he wrote of himself earlier in Chapter One:

“In order to justify doctrinal beliefs that are not taught in the Bible, many writers and preachers have twisted and distorted the Scriptures to fit their own private interpretations. Whole churches have been subverted by arguments and disputes over words which have not been profitable but have been damaging to faith!” (Pg 13).

Such are false prophets, deceptive workers. It’s Fred Coulter who has “twisted and distorted the Scriptures to fit their own private interpretations.”

{}{}{}