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Bible Encyclopedias

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature

Passover

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Pass´over. The Passover, like the sabbath and other institutions, had a twofold reference—historical and typical. As a commemorative institution it was designed to preserve among the Hebrews a grateful sense of their redemption from Egyptian bondage, and of the protection granted to their first-born on the night when all the first-born of the Egyptians were destroyed (); as a typical institute its object was to shadow forth the great facts and consequences of the Christian Sacrifice ().

The word Passover has three general acceptations in Scripture. First, it denotes the yearly solemnity celebrated on the 14th day of Nisan or Abib, which was strictly the Passover of the Lamb, for on that day the Israelites were commanded to roast the lamb and eat it in their own houses; Second, It signifies that yearly festivity, celebrated on the 15th of Nisan, which may be called the Feast of the Passover (; ); Third, it denotes the whole solemnity, commencing on the 14th, and ending on the 21st day of Nisan (). The paschal lamb, in the age following the first institution of the Passover in Egypt, and after the settlement of the Hebrews in Palestine, could only be killed by the priests in the court of the temple (;; ), whence the owner of the lamb received it from the priests, and 'brought it to his house in Jerusalem, and roasted it, and ate it in the evening;' and it was thus that Christ kept the Passover, eating it in a chamber within Jerusalem (); but the feast of unfermented things () the Jews thought themselves bound to keep in every place in which they might dwell, if they could not visit Jerusalem. As, however, from the evening of the 14th to the 21st day of Abib or Nisan (April), all ferment was banished from the habitations of the Hebrews, both institutions thus received a common name (;; ).

On the 10th of the month Abib, the master of a family separated a ram or a goat of a year old, without blemish (; ), which was slain on the 14th day, between the two evenings, before the altar (; ). Originally the blood was sprinkled on the posts of the door (), but afterwards the priests sprinkled the blood upon the bottom of the altar (comp.;;; ). The ram or kid was roasted in an oven whole, with two spits made of pomegranate wood thrust through it, the one lengthwise, the other transversely (crossing the longitudinal one near the fore-legs), thus forming a cross. Thus roasted with fire, as an emblem of purification, it was served up with a bitter salad unpickled, indicative of the bitterness of their bondage in Egypt, and with the flesh of the other sacrifices (). What of the flesh remained uneaten was to b e consumed with fire, lest it should see corruption (comp.;; ). Not fewer than ten, nor more than twenty persons, were admitted to this sacred solemnity. At its first observance the Hebrews ate the Passover with loins girt about, sandals on their feet, staves in their hands, and in haste, like travelers equipped and prepared for immediate departure (); but subsequently the usual mode of reclining was adopted in token of rest and security ().

 

 

 

 

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Bibliography Information
Kitto, John, ed. Entry for 'Passover'. "Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature". https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/kbe/p/passover.html.

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