On the Fourteenth <or> On the Fifteenth
The whole thrust of this book is to establish whether the Passover Feast was on the 14th
or the 15th day of Nisan, according to the bible.
Leviticus 23:5 In the fourteenth [day] of the first month at even (between the evenings) [is] the LORD’
6 And on the fifteenth day of the same month [is] the feast of unleavened bread unto the LORD: seven
days ye must eat unleavened bread.
The Passover is "between the two evenings" of the 14th day of the first month.
“Between the two evenings” is the total time given for “keeping the Passover”. In
addition, the bible never informs us to keep the Feast of Passover “between the
evenings”. To properly time the Passover, we must understand that “keeping the Passover”
and “keeping the Feast of the Passover” are distinctly different. Regardless of whether we
accept “between the two evenings” as being from noon to sunset or from sunset to dark,
neither theory includes enough time for keeping the Feast of the Passover. Furthermore,
regardless of which theory we accept for “between the evenings,” Exodus 12:8 explains
that the Passover Feast occurred “in that night” – after “between the evenings” had
Exodus 12:8 And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; [and]
with bitter [herbs] they shall eat it.
Leviticus 23:5-6 (above) informs us that the Israelites were to “keep the Passover”
“between the evenings” on the 14th and then “keep the feast of Unleavened Bread” on
the 15th. We know that the Israelites were to roast a lamb and eat it that night and they
were to eat it with unleavened bread. Furthermore, we know that unleavened bread
begins with the 15th day of Nisan. Whether Leviticus 23:6 is referring to the night feast
of Passover or the daytime feast on the morrow is difficult to tell, from this Scripture
alone. However, Numbers 28:16-17 ties what takes place “between the evenings” on the
14th with the night feast of the 15th, unless we want to believe that the Passover Feast
was left unmentioned in this passage. The feast would include the entire 7 days of
unleavened bread, kicked off by the Passover Feast after sunset of the 15th.
Numbers 28.16-17, "On the fourteenth day of the first month (Author's note: "between the two
evenings" as established in Leviticus 23:5) is the Passover of the Lord. And on the fifteenth day of
this month is the feast; unleavened bread shall be eaten for seven days."
The following passage presents another perspective. Although this passage does not
mention days of the month, it does tie the “keeping of the Passover” – as we have already
learned to be “between the evenings” – with the day of memorial. The bible is clear that
the 15th is the memorial (Leviticus 23:5-7). The bible nowhere calls the 14th a memorial
or holy day. This scripture leaves no doubt that God passed over the Israelites on the
memorial of the 15th.
Exodus 12:13 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.
14 And this day (reference to the preceding verse) 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 forever.
“Keep the Passover” is an obvious reference to the killing of the lamb according to its
ordinances and its manner, as Numbers 9:2 makes clear. The word <keep> is the Hebrew
word for <do, make, wrought, deal, commit, offer, execute, keep, show, prepare, work, etc.>. The
bible uses this word 2633 times. The KJV translates the word 1333 times as <do> and
only 48 times as <keep>. The word is never translated as <observe> in the KJV.
However, it is translated as <offer> 49 times and as <prepare> 37 times. Prepare is one
of the definitions of #06213. It is true that <observe and celebrate> are listed in its
definitions as well – though the KJV never uses either word in its translation. However,
while “between the evenings” gives enough time to <prepare> the Passover, there is not
enough time to <celebrate> the Passover. Therefore, <prepare> would have been a more
accurate translation. Had the KJV translated this word as <prepare> rather than <keep>
the Passover, much confusion would have been eliminated. There are no references to
“observe the Passover” or “celebrate the Passover” in the KJV.
Numbers 9:2-3 "Let the children of Israel keep (prepare) <06213> (8799) the Passover at its
appointed time. On the fourteenth day of this month, between the two evenings, you shall keep it at its
appointed time. According to all its rites <02708> (ordinances) and ceremonies <04941>
(according to the manner of it) you shall keep it."
Numbers 9:14 And if a stranger shall sojourn among you, and will keep the Passover unto the LORD;
according to the ordinance <02708> of the Passover, and according to the manner <04941> thereof,
so shall he do: ye shall have one ordinance, both for the stranger, and for him that was born in the
When the bible speaks of <keeping> a feast, it uses another word, as in the following
Exodus 12:14 And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep <02287> (8804) it a
feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep <02287> (8799) it a feast by an
There would not have been enough time to keep the Passover Feast “between the two
evenings”. The words, "rites" and "ceremonies" appear only in Numbers 9:3 of the KJV
as interpretive translations of words used many times in the Bible but translated
differently everywhere else. A more correct translation for "Rites" would be
"ordinances" and for "ceremonies" would be “manner” as they are translated in
Do not overlook the importance of what we are saying here. The Bible says that we are
to keep the Passover “between the two evenings.” The early 14th advocates believe this
to prove we are to keep the whole Passover at the beginning of the 14th. They further
say that “between the two evenings” is from sunset to dark. If this is true, the entire
Passover must be over by dark – a contradiction of the Bible! When the Bible informs us
that the Israelites were to “keep the Passover “between the two evenings,” the only thing
that will fit without contradiction is the slaying of the lamb and the instructions that had to
do with that slaying. The early 14th advocates argue that to “keep the Passover”
includes the eating of the Passover. However, as the Israelites were to “keep the
Passover” “between the two evenings,” this rules out the theory that the Passover Feast
must also be eaten on the 14th. We must remember that the bible establishes that
“keeping the Passover” was to take place “between the evenings”.
Numbers 9:5 “And they kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the first month, between the two
Numbers 9:11 “On the 14th day of the second month, between the two evenings, they may keep it.
They shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.”
The slaying and preparation of the Passover was "between the two evenings" and then
they were to eat it; but they had to roast it, so "between the two evenings" would be long
gone, before it was ready to eat. We all know that the Israelites were to eat the Passover
after dark. However, the bible never records that the Israelites were to eat the Passover
Feast on the 14th or "between the two evenings". The point here is to clear up any
requirement for eating the Passover on the 14th of Nisan. The Israelites only killed the
lambs and prepared for the Passover Feast on the 14th of Nisan.
Sometimes the bible uses only the term Passover in reference to the 14th of Nisan, such
as in Numbers 28:16 – instead of the full expression, “kill the Passover” or “keep the
Passover”. Furthermore, the <at evening> or “between the evenings” is not supplied.
The same rule applies here that we discussed earlier where the specific always takes
precedence over the general. The bible is specific that the Passover was "between the
two evenings" of the 14th, and that the Passover Feast was on the fifteenth of the first
Numbers 28:16 And in the fourteenth day of the first month [is] the Passover (keeping of the
Passover implied) of the LORD.
Another point we need to consider is that when the bible uses the term, "the fourteenth
day, at even" it is referring to the end of the fourteenth day, not the beginning of the
14th. This has confused some. The day is from sunset to sunset, but "the fourteenth day,
at even" is an amount of time before the sunset of the 14th. In other words, this phrase
expresses an interval of time at the end of the old day – before the new day begins. We
cannot know exactly how much time <at even> covers – the context must tell. Toward
sunset would be from noon until sunset in its extremities. At even could be one moment
before sunset, if the context will allow. The term “at even” can never express any
interval of time <after> sunset. The Passover was to be slain before sunset, “between the
two evenings”. As the nation grew larger and the Passovers were slain at the temple, <at
even> was earlier in the afternoon. An example would be a nation that had a missile
aimed <at> another enemy nation. The missile could be close by – just over the border –
or it could be on the other side of the earth - in other words, <at> means <toward> and it
is relative to the context, which can also be nearby or far away in a different part of the