Passover is a Jewish holiday celebrated in remembrance of the flight of Jews from Egypt. From our Bible studies, we know that the Pharaoh had initially refused to let the Jews go as he ahd first promised to Moises. When he reneged on this promise, God sent ten plagues to devastate only the Egyptians’ health and way of life. They were attacked by pests, suffered from boils, and in the last plague, experienced deep grief from the deaths of their firstborn sons. The last plague was what made the Pharao change his mind, and he let the Jews go to return to the Holy Land which is now known as Israel.

Why Passover?

The Feast of the Unleavened Bread has been called Passover because the Lord had instructed the Jews to mark their doorways with blood so that the Angel of Death shall “pass over” these homes and not take the lives of the firstborn males in the household. Thus begun the seven-day feast called Passover.

It is also called the Feast of the Unleavened Bread because the Jews fled their homes so quickly that they didn’t have time to let their bread rise. They just threw their unleavened into food baskets and used the heat of the sun in the desert to bake the bread.

Passover Why Does Passover Last Eight Days?

When does Passover begin?

According to Biblical law, Passover is determined by the Jewish lunar calendar, and begins on the eve of the fifteenth day of the month of Nisan. The English date varies from year to year, falling in March or in April, because of the Gregorian calendar.

In Passover, the first and last days are considered public holidays and no work is performed. The first two days of Passover is celebrated with a feast called Seder. The first seder begins at sundown on the 15th of Nisan, and the second seder is held on the night of the 16th of Nisan. Food and drinks are prepared and eaten according to dietary laws.

The day before Passover begins is often called the Fast of the Firstborn. Firstborn males in the family may fast in remembrance of the fact that firstborn Jewish males were spared during the slaughter of the firstborns in Egypt. On this day, leavened bread must be discarded by sundown.

Christians have also been known to celebrate Seder in Passover. Seder in Christendom is thought to be Jesus Christ’s Last Supper with the disciples. This is usually celebrated on Thursday, the night before Jesus’ crucifixion, and is celebrated before the observance of Easter Sunday.

The last two days of Passover, or Pesach in Hebrew, is a celebration of the Passage of the Red Sea, where Moises, through the Lord’s Grace, was believed to have parted the waters to let the Jew pass safely to the other side.

But the Passover has only 7 days!

The feast of the Passover is biblically mandated to last only seven days beginning with the 15th day of Nisan:

In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month between the two evenings is the Lord’s Passover. And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the Lord; seven days ye shall eat unleavened bread. In the first day ye shall have a holy convocation; ye shall do no manner of servile work. And ye shall bring an offering made by fire unto the Lord seven days; in the seventh day is a holy convocation; ye shall do no manner of servile work. (Leviticus 23:5)

The reason why there is an extra day is because of Jewish tradition. The Yom Tov (“good day”) is the last day of Passover when the Jews were finally safe from the Egyptians. In ancient Israel, the exact date of the Yom Tov was determined by the Sanhedrin. Unfortunately, it took days before the message of the correct date would reach the Diaspora communities. By tradition, the Jews would celebrate two days of Yom Tov out of doubt.

The eight-day celebration of the Passover remained until modern times as a reminder to all Jews that they are always living in the Diaspora and do not claim permanent residence in the Holy Land.

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Categories: History

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