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Unleavened Bread
Questions and Answers
My Bible clearly says that on the “first day” of Unleavened Bread (Ex 12:15) we are to remove leaven from our dwelling, but you take it out before then. Why do you go against what the Bible clearly teaches?
There is misunderstanding of Scripture when it is taken out of context. Though this is not readily evident in this particular verse, i.e., in most all translations, it is when we look at the original Hebrew wording.
    The one word we must take a close look at is the word “first.” It is Strong’s Hebrew word #7223 “rishon” which has two very different meanings depending on the context in which it is used:
    “The suffix ôn makes this term an adjective or adverb as determined by context…First, the word can refer to the first of two or more items. In this capacity, it also occurs in a series as an ordinal number. Second, it functions as an adverb, ‘before,’ ‘formerly,’ and is often used with words pertaining to time,” The Complete Biblical Library, by World Library Press Inc.
    In the case of Ex 12:15 the word rishon is found two times and going through verse 18 the word appears for a total of 4 times. Three times meaning one thing and one time meaning another. The first time the word rishon is used in Ex 12:15 we find it can only mean “previous” or “prior.” The reason for this is the context in which it is used. It is actually sandwiched in between two confirming statements highlighted as follows:
    Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the [prior] (#7223) day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses: for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first (#7223) day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel, Ex 12:15.
    The last highlighted statement is also reiterated, because of importance, in verse 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, Ex 12:19.
    It is basically saying that if you eat leavened bread on any of these days you’re a dead man! It had that kind of impact on the people. They would have been very alert to what exactly was required. This is why there is no question as to what rishon meant the first time it was used in Ex 12:15. It meant that leaven was to be removed “prior” to the Days of Unleavened Bread, because if you ate it during those days you were to be removed and cut off from Israel!
    It is clear, in context, what rishon was saying. It was even in between two confirming statements, to make absolutely sure it was understood clearly.
    There are other words in Scripture (both in the Hebrew and Greek) that have double meanings such as Strong’s Greek word # 4151 “pneuma” which can mean “wind” (breath/blow) or “spirit,” again, depending on context. Notice John 3:5-8 in which the word pneuma is used 5 times. Four times meaning one thing, and one time meaning another:
    Yahshua answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit (#4151), he cannot enter into the kingdom of Elohim. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit (#4151) is spirit (#4151). Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind (#4151) bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit (#4151), John 3:5-8.
    One of the few translations that has Ex 12:15 correct, i.e., having translated rishon correctly within context by using the word “Previous” instead of “first,” is the Stone Edition of the Tanach, 1996, by Mesorah Publications:
    For a seven-day period shall you eat matzos, but on the previous (#7223) day you shall nullify the leaven from your homes; for anyone who eats leavened food - that soul shall be cut off from Israel, from the first (#7223) day to the seventh day, Ex 12:15
This is pretty simple; there is one word for “unleavened bread” (azumos) and one for “leavened bread” (artos) in the Greek, right?
A counterpart to the Greek word artos (Strong’s Greek #744) in the Hebrew can be the word lechem (Strong’s Hebrew #3899). Lechem is probably the word that artos was translated from since we realize that we have a Greek translated New Testament most likely from
Hebrew originals that have since been lost. Today there are no original New Testament documents left.
    The word lechem can be used for leavened or unleavened bread in context. For example, lechem is used to refer to the showbread (Ex 25:30; 39:36; 40:23; 1 Kings 7:48). Showbread is unleavened:
    And thou shalt take fine flour, and bake twelve cakes thereof: two tenth deals shall be in one cake. And thou shalt set them in two rows, six on a row, upon the pure table before Yahweh. And thou shalt put pure frankincense upon each row, that it may be on the bread for a memorial, even an offering made by fire unto Yahweh, Lev 24:5-7.
    No meat offering, which ye shall bring unto Yahweh, shall be made with leaven: for ye shall burn no leaven, nor any honey, in any offering of Yahweh made by fire, Lev 2:11. (See also, Lev 6:14-17)
    The Hebrew word for unleavened bread is matsah (Strong’s Hebrew #4682) and like the Greek word azumos (Strongs Greek # 106) means unleavened or unleavened bread (more specifically, Feast of Unleavened Bread), in context.
    It should be pointed out to those who say artos only means “leavened bread,” that artos is a word that describes manna, which is unleavened, John 6:49-50. Artos can also mean “food” in general, just as the word lechem can, Gen 3:9; Matt 6:11. Remember, context, context, context.
    Luke chapter 24 has basically been discredited by those who are for leavened bread for Passover since it is yet more proof against their theory, but anyone doing some investigative work in Textual Criticism will find there is not enough evidence against the Greek word artos in reference to the unleavened bread t hat Yahshua partook of 3 days after Passover. That means He ate artos (unleavened bread, in context) during Days Unleavened Bread.
    The Quest for the Original Text of the New Testament, by Philip Wesley Comfort, states:
    “The testimony of P75 supporting the various additions in Luke 24:36, 40, 51, 52 added enough extra weight to override Wescott and Hort’s ‘Western noninterpolations’ in the last chapter of Luke.”
    Beyond Luke 24, the other evidence stands on its own proving unleavened bread as the proper emblem for the Messiah’s body for the other would not have been available.
In your literature you teach that during the “Days of Unleavened Bread” we are symbolically to remove false doctrines or teachings from our lives and to strive for a sin free life, but the Bible teaches we are to remember these days for the purpose of
remembering that Yahweh brought us out of Egypt with a powerful hand, Ex 13:8-9. What do you say about this?
Let’s look at another example to clarify our position. We teach that the Feast of Tabernacles (FOT) is symbolic of the 1000-year reign of Yahweh’s coming Kingdom on earth. However, we also see that in Lev 23:43 the FOT is specifically to remind us of the exodus
and having been in temporary dwellings:
    And ye shall keep it a feast unto Yahweh seven days in the year. It shall be a statute for ever in your generations: ye shall celebrate it in the seventh month.Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths: That your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am Yahweh your Elohim, Lev 23:41-43.
    Just as the example above on the FOT shows, we don’t negate the one understanding because the other exists. We understand both to be true, just as you have pointed to Ex 13:8-9 as being true, we also find that the following is a lesson during the Days of Unleavened Bread:
    And Yahshua said to them, “Watch out and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” And they began to discuss among themselves, saying, “It is because we took no bread.” But Yahshua, aware of this, said, “You men of little faith, why do you discuss among yourselves that you have no bread? Do you not yet understand or remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets you took up? Or the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many large baskets you took up? How is it that you do not understand that I did not speak to you concerning bread? But beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees,”Then they understood that He did not say to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees, Matt 16:6-12 (NASB).
    Clean out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Messiah our Passover also has been sacrificed. Let us therefore celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth, 1 Cor 5:7-8 (NASB).
    We strive to live sin free and we check our doctrines to make sure we’re teaching correctly…especially during Days of Unleavened Bread.
Isn’t there proof that during the first century leavened bread was used in the Eastern as it was in the Western Assemblies of Yahweh’s people. Aren’t there Bible Scholars who believe that this was the case up until the 10th century?
There is no absolute confirmed historical records reliable beyond the clear writings of Scripture concerning what bread had to be used at the Passover Service.
    Many try to use the Roman Catholic, and Greek Orthodox “church” writings to
substantiate this doctrine. These “churches” were never Yahweh’s Assembly, Hosea 2:2.
    The Catholic Church has stated quite openly that Unleavened Bread was used by our Savior the night of the “Last Supper” (Passover supper), with reference to Exodus 12:8. They even endorsed that NO LEAVENED BREAD was to be present the night of the Passover. (Douay version.) References along side 1st Corinthians 5 in the Douay Version goes as far as saying:
    “Messiah excommunicates the incestuous adulterer, and admonishes them (the church) to purge out sinners which are likened to that of old leaven.”
    In Catholic teachings under the word “Eucharist” they write, “The real presence of the Body, and blood of Messiah, and Transubstantiation.” They say this is proved from the following texts:
    And as they were eating, Yahshua took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body, Matt 26:26.
    And as they did eat, Yahshua took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body. And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it. And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many, Mark 14:22-24.
    And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you, Luke 22:19-20.
    I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat? (John 6:51-52)
    Peter understood what Yahshua was saying, verse 68, but many still did not understand, and walked away.
    When we ask Yahweh’s blessing upon our drinking from the cup of the fruit of the vine at Yahweh’s table, it means that all who drink it are sharing together the blessing of Messiah’s blood. The bread which we break, shows that we are sharing together in the benefits of His body which was broken for us, 1 Cor 10:16. (Passover)
    And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is (a token of) my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Master’s death till he come. (See Hebrews 9:25.10:1,3, 11-12; Exodus 13:10; Luke 22:13.) Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Master, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Master. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Master’s body. 1 Cor 11:24-29.
    After reading these texts and having knowledge of Yahweh’s law, Yahshua would never insist on anyone eating the body of another human. He was speaking to His people in the Spirit. Those emblems of the bread and the fruit of the vine were symbolic reminders for His people to partake of each Passover. Understand that our Savior spoke in parables, so that those who were not chosen would not understand, Luke 8:10.
    The Catholic Church admits that only unleavened bread (no yeast) may be used for the symbol of Messiah’s body. In their manufacture of the wafer they use for their service, it is basically a rice paper mixed with a bi-carb ingredient. Although no yeast is added, the bicarbonate of soda becomes a leavening agent. That is the reason why the wafer melts so easily on the tongue.
    With this knowledge and the terrible sins that were done, especially during the bloody medieval times, maybe it is fitting, in part, that the negative aspects of the following Proverb be attributed to them:
    For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence. But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble, Prov 4:17-19.
    Leaven was held to be a symbol of corruption in the religious rites of the Canaanites, Babylonians and Egyptians. To the Hebrews and the Romans, leaven was a metaphor for evil (Peak’s Commentary on the Bible, 204e); leaven is usually a figure for an evil influence (Peak’s, 729h); leaven signifies corruption, a reason why its presence is prohibited at any sacrificial service (Peak’s, 185a).

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