Deuteronomy 16
The 16th chapter of Deuteronomy is an embarrassment to the early 14th Passover
advocates.  Some have brought every argument they can dream up against this chapter.  
Their objective is to throw it out of the bible, at least as far as it refutes their early 14th
Passover doctrine.  Anyone who would seek to discredit the bible – without clear Hebrew
text corroboration or abundant proof – should be suspect of aligning with the evil one.

Luke 11:52 Woe unto you, lawyers!  For ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in
yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered.

We have proven that the children of Israel left Egypt on the daylight portion of the 15th
of Nisan.  We have proven that "between the evenings" is from noon until sunset, and
that the Old Testament Passover was slain in the afternoon of the 14th of Nisan.  We
have proven that the Israelites ate the Passover Feast in the beginning of the 15th of
Nisan in that night which followed the slaying of the lambs.  We have done this without
using the 16th chapter of Deuteronomy, which proves by itself that the early 14th
Passover is false.

The 16th chapter of Deuteronomy is no problem for those who understand that the
Passover Feast is the beginning of the Festival of Unleavened Bread.  This requires us to
ponder the question, "Just what is the Passover?"  The answer to that question should be
obvious to a Christian.  The live lamb and its blood were the Passover for the Israelites.  
The living Christ is our Passover because He shed His blood for us.  Without the live lamb
from which the blood came upon its death, there would have been no Passover.  The blood
on the doorposts and the lintel was the Passover, because without that blood, the
destroyer would have struck.  If the Israelites were eating the lamb inside their houses,
without blood on the doors there would be no Passover, for the firstborn.  If the blood was
on the door, but someone inside did not eat of the lamb – even a firstborn – the angel
would still have passed over him.  The angel was not the Passover.  The angel was the
slayer.  God had to guard each house to keep the destroyer out (Exodus 12.23); and He
did that only if the blood was on the door.  

We are discussing this subject more than the reader may feel is necessary.  However,
some early 14th Passover advocates use the argument that the angel was the Passover.  If
the angel was the Passover, and Passover was on the 14th, then when the angel passed
over would have had to be on the 14th.  As we have seen earlier, the Israelites kept
Passover “between the evenings”.  The angel did not pass over the Israelites “between
the evenings”.  The bible is clear that the blood of the lamb caused the angel to pass over
the Israelites.  That is the point we are establishing in this section.  2Chronicles 30:17 says
that the Levites had the charge of
killing the Passovers.  In other words, the Passover is
the lamb!

2 Chronicles 30:17 For [there were] many in the congregation that were not sanctified: therefore the
Levites had the charge of the killing of the Passovers for every one [that was] not clean, to sanctify
[them] unto the LORD.

The destroyer also passed over the houses of the Egyptians, but with a different result!  
The word Passover, as it refers to the Israelites, has taken on a special meaning because
of the blood that the literal act of passing over does not at all convey.  The blood on the
doorposts and lintel is the Passover in the sense that we use it to refer to the Israelites.  
God spared the firstborn, not because the angel passed over, but because the blood was
on the doorpost, which made them acceptable to God and caused Him to respond and save
the lives of the firstborn.  In other words, God caused the angel to pass over the children
of Israel, but the blood was the true Passover, not the angel.  Christ is our Passover.  His
blood rescues us from the world just as the blood of the lambs symbolically rescued the
Israelites from Egypt.  The Old Testament Passover typed Christ – the New Testament

1 Corinthians 5:7  Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are
unleavened.  For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us:

Deuteronomy 16 is a problem only for the early 14th Passover Sacrifice, Passover Feast
observer – otherwise, there is no problem.  When verse 3 says, "you shall eat no leavened
bread with it..." we understand that this refers to the Passover lamb.  When verse 3 says,
" days you shall eat unleavened bread with it..."  The word
“it” is best understood
as a reference to the seven days.  The Emphasized Bible shows the emphasis being on
seven days in this statement.
 The KJV uses the word therewith instead of with it,
indicating an attachment to the seven days rather than to the eating of the lamb.  The
New English Bible says, "...For seven days
you shall eat unleavened cakes, the bread of
affliction."  It would seem that they have left the word <therewith> out altogether, as
happens with other translations.  However, the Hebrew word used here for "therewith"
or "with it" (#5921) is according to Gesenius, "A preposition of
wide extent in meaning."  
This word can denote
duty or obligations, which rests upon anyone, like a burden.  So we
could translate this statement as,
“...It is your duty and obligation to eat unleavened bread, the
bread of affliction, for seven days...”
 The NEB uses this sense when it says, "you shall eat,"
translating the word <
with it, or therewith> as a duty or obligation resting upon one as a

Just a note concerning the word, <herd>.  Goats were acceptable as Passover Sacrifices
as well as lambs – one keeps goats in herds.  However, the word <herd> can even include
sheep!  The American Heritage Dictionary says for the word herd: A group of cattle or
other domestic animals of a single kind kept together for a specific purpose.  Sheep are
domestic animals and one can correctly refer to groups of them as herds.  Nevertheless,
everyone knows that goats are from the herd.  So, do not let someone confuse you
because of the word, “herd.”  The early 14th Passover advocates must try to influence
the translation of these verses to agree with their theory.  Therefore, some of them say
that the Israelites did not use herd animals for Passover and this verse must refer to
sacrifices other than the Passover.  However, goats and sheep run in herds – both of
which were acceptable for Passover sacrifices.

Exodus 12:5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the
sheep, or from the goats:
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.

According to some early 14th Passover advocates, there is a contradiction between verse
3 and verse 8.  In other words, they are trying to make a case that someone has tampered
with the scriptures of Deuteronomy 16 because verse 8 says the Israelites were to eat
unleavened bread six days rather than seven.  However, verse 8 is merely an expansion
on the subject introduced in verse 3 – it is just another way of saying the same thing with
added information.  Verse 3 establishes the eating of unleavened bread for seven days.  
One must take the entire context to establish doctrine.  

A good literary style example is Proverbs 6.16, "These six things the Lord hates, yes,
seven are an abomination to Him."  In other words, it is just another literary style used as
the writer sees fit.  Neither six nor seven are wrong – rather, they are both right.  Moses
had already established – many times – the number of days that the Israelites were to eat
unleavened bread.  Here he said that after you have eaten unleavened bread for six days
(of the seven days required, implied) then you must assemble for worship on the seventh
day (the seventh and last day of unleavened bread, implied).  The emphasis is on the day
of worship rather than on the already established number of days to eat unleavened
bread.  The argument stems from a point the Jews erroneously assumed based on these
scriptures – that is the idea that they did not have to eat unleavened bread on the seventh
day.  However, if the Jews came along later and used these scriptures for licenses to do
wrong, that is their problem.  The rest of the Bible is their Judge.  The bible rests on its
own merit, not on the merit of conclusions someone else has drawn.  This illustrates that
our understanding of the bible is to be line upon line, here a little and there a little.  These
early 14th Passover advocates use this principle correctly for other doctrines.  However,
their desire to retain the traditions of man forces them to use this principle to turn on the
bible and try to destroy a complete chapter rather than believe the truth before their eyes.

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

Deuteronomy 16:8 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].

We answered the question about the word roast, in verse 7, earlier in this writing;
absolutely no problem when properly understood.  It is not at all obvious that someone has
tampered with the Scriptures or that God did not inspire the word Passover in
Deuteronomy 16 – as some early 14th Passover advocates would have us believe.  This is
just an attempt to justify the early 14th Passover position.  Deuteronomy 16 dovetails
with the other scriptures of the bible beautifully.  Verse 7 is a reference to the “night to
be much observed” because the “night to be much observed” is the same night as the
night of the Passover Feast!  These are not two separate nights.  Moreover, what night
should one observe more than the Passover Feast night!  

At twilight, an incorrect translation, in verse six of the NKJV refers to "between the two
evenings" because the bible has already established which evening the Israelites were to
kill the Passover.  br,['B'', the general term for “in the evening” and used here in
Deuteronomy 16:6 only refers to whichever evening the bible has previously established
for a given event, as we have shown elsewhere in this writing.  At twilight is an incorrect
translation for that would be after sunset.  Therefore, “at twilight” would be in direct
contradiction to “at (toward) the going down of the sun”.  A better translation for “at
even” would be “in the evening”.  The Hebrew term br,['B' can refer to night, but the
context must agree, which it does not in Deuteronomy 16:6.

Deuteronomy 16:6  "but at the place where the LORD your God chooses to make His name abide,
there you shall sacrifice the Passover at twilight, at the going down of the sun, at the time you came
out of Egypt.

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 even (in the evening), at the going down of the sun, at the season
that thou camest forth out of Egypt.

Verse 7 of Deuteronomy 16 has a most astounding point of understanding.  It says, "...and
in the morning you shall turn and go to your
tents."  Moses is the author of Deuteronomy
16, and the Israelites were living in tents at this time.  There was only one recorded
Passover that Israel observed living in tents while Moses was alive, and that was the
second Passover (this is not a reference to the second month Passover), which they kept
just after the tabernacle was erected.  When properly understood, Deuteronomy 16.1-8 is
Moses' recorded instructions on how to properly keep the Passover for that second
Passover (not a reference to the second month Passover) with the tabernacle and later
the temple!  

No wonder in II Chronicles 30.15-17 (NKJV) it says,

"Then they slaughtered the Passover lambs on the fourteenth day of the second month....  They stood
in their place according to their custom,
therefore the Levites had charge of
the slaughter of the Passover lambs for everyone...."  

They undoubtedly had many oral laws, as well as this passage in Deuteronomy to go by --
which Moses himself gave to them.  However, as time passed, God saw to it that all of
these laws became a part of His word through the Israelites’ examples of practice.  
Therefore, the "difficulties" of Deuteronomy 16.1-8 are only in the mind of the person
who does not understand or does not want to accept these scriptures.

Let us elaborate further on 2Chronicles.  In 2Chronicles 30:15, the part of the verse
concerning the burnt offerings is obviously an insert showing that the Priests and Levites
had to first reconnect with God before they could conduct the sacrifice of the Passover,
with a clear conscience.  The main subject of these verses is the Passover.  If one
continues through the next several verses, he cannot escape the conclusion that the
Levites slaughtered the Passovers at the temple and the priests dashed the blood against
the altar.  Verse 16 says, "The priests sprinkled the blood received from the hand of the
Levites."  Verse 17 says, "<For> (showing a continuation of verse 16) there were many in
the assembly who had not sanctified themselves; <therefore> (showing a continuation of
the previous statement) the Levites had charge of the <slaughter> of the <Passover
lambs> for everyone who was not clean, to sanctify them to the Lord."

2 Chronicles 30:15 Then they killed the Passover on the fourteenth [day] of the second month: and the
priests and the Levites were ashamed, and sanctified themselves, and brought in the burnt offerings
into the house of the LORD.
 (Note: The underscore is an inset explaining that the priests and Levites
had neglected their cleansing and were now continuously accomplishing this through the ritualistic
washings and drawing closer to God through the burnt offerings, to ready themselves to slay the
16 And they stood in their place after their manner, according to the law of Moses the man of God:
the priests sprinkled the blood, which they received of the hand of the Levites.
For there were many in the congregation that were not sanctified: therefore the Levites had the
charge of the killing of the Passovers for every one that was not clean, to sanctify them unto the

The sentence pertaining to the burnt offering is an inset showing that the priests and
Levites sacrificed these particular offerings to reestablish communion with God so that
they could slaughter the Passover lambs for those who were unclean.  If a man was
ritually clean, he could cut the throat of his own lamb for the Passover.  In this case, the
Levites had to do this job because many of the people were unclean.  The Israelites had
long neglected keeping the Passover and the nation at large was unclean.  They had
determined to keep Passover that year on the second month to give them time to ready
the temple and cleanse the Priests and Levites.  2Chronicles 30:15 indicates that some
were cleansing themselves with washings and rededicating themselves to God with burnt
offerings even on the 14th right up to the time the Passovers were slain.

The bible expresses clearly, where the Israelites were to slaughter the Passover lambs.  
Anyone who comprehends Exodus – Deuteronomy understands that God placed His name
at the tabernacle and later at the temple.

Deuteronomy 16:5 Thou mayest not sacrifice (kill-02076) 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 (kill-02076) the Passover at even (between the evenings implied – as given elsewhere in the
bible), at (toward) the going down of the sun, at the season that thou camest forth out of Egypt.

The word for sacrifice, in both of the above verses, is 02076.  We give the definition
below, which shows that to slay, kill or slaughter is well within its meaning.  Some early
14th Passover advocates claim that because the KJV translation has the word sacrifice
for the Hebrew word 02076 in this verse that this could not be a Passover lamb.  The KJV
translators choose the word sacrifice, a better translation for this word would be slay, kill,
or slaughter.  The above verses from Deuteronomy show that a domestic sacrifice was
illegal.  Also refer to Leviticus 17:1-9.

02076 zabach {zaw-bakh'}

a primitive root; TWOT - 525; v

AV - sacrifice 85, offer 39, kill 5, slay 5; 134

1) to slaughter, kill, sacrifice, slaughter for sacrifice
1a) (Qal)
1a1) to slaughter for sacrifice
1a2) to slaughter for eating
1a3) to slaughter in divine judgment
1b) (Piel) to sacrifice, offer sacrifice

From the above information of 2Chronicles 30:15, it is clear that the Israelites did slay the
Passover lambs at the temple.  The Israelites normally presented the blood of the
Passover lamb directly to the priests.  However, because the people were unclean at that
Passover, the Levites came between the people and the priests, to do this service.

Let us think further about the phrase, Deuteronomy 16:7 "...and in the morning you shall
turn and go to your tents."  Remember that this is at the Passover in the wilderness – the
second Passover the Israelites had ever kept – just after Moses had erected the
tabernacle.  The phrase “you shall turn” could be referring to the males only, based on
Deuteronomy 16.16, but as no specifics are given, we should consider that this is referring
to the whole nation, especially as they did not have to travel any distance to be where
God had placed His name.  They seem to have been celebrating the Passover in an open-
air festivity where they roasted and ate the lambs out in the open.  The general custom,
and the most logical one when camping, is to cook and eat in the "great out of doors".  
One has to do things differently when living in a tent.  It would have been almost
impossible to roast a lamb, eat the lamb, and burn the remains of the lamb in a tent.  
Therefore, it seems that they stayed out all night under the stars and in the open air
around the tabernacle, roasting, eating, and burning the remains of the lambs until the
light of dawn and then they returned to their tents.  

Of course, the Israelites did the first Passover in Egypt differently.  But the Bible says
verse 7,
“And you shall roast and eat it in the place which the Lord your God
chooses, and in the morning you shall turn and go to your tents.”
 Notice that they
must go somewhere to sacrifice and roast and eat the Passover lamb – then they must
return home!

Deuteronomy 16:5 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 even (in the evening), at (toward) the going down of the sun, at the season
that thou camest forth out of Egypt.

This does away with any idea of a legal "domestic" slaying of the lamb for Passover.  It
also ties the Passover to the days of Unleavened Bread as a pilgrimage Feast.  Everything
is not spelled out enough to know exactly what went on and how it was done in every
detail; but we can see dimly what happened, and of course it poses no dilemma for us
today as the rituals have changed again; for we no longer slay a lamb or live in tents!