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Book of Numbers Chapter 9

NUMBERS 9:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the first month of the second year after they were come out of the land of Egypt, saying,

NUMBERS 9:2 Let the children of Israel also keep the passover at his appointed season.

NUMBERS 9:3 In the fourteenth day of this month, at even, ye shall keep it in his appointed season: according to all the rites of it, and according to all the ceremonies thereof, shall ye keep it.

NUMBERS 9:4 And Moses spake unto the children of Israel, that they should keep the passover.

NUMBERS 9:5 And they kept the passover on the fourteenth day of the first month at even in the wilderness of Sinai: according to all that the LORD commanded Moses, so did the children of Israel.

NUMBERS 9:6 And there were certain men, who were defiled by the dead body of a man, that they could not keep the passover on that day: and they came before Moses and before Aaron on that day:

NUMBERS 9:7 And those men said unto him, We are defiled by the dead body of a man: wherefore are we kept back, that we may not offer an offering of the LORD in his appointed season among the children of Israel?

NUMBERS 9:8 And Moses said unto them, Stand still, and I will hear what the LORD will command concerning you.

NUMBERS 9:9 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

NUMBERS 9:10 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If any man of you or of your posterity shall be unclean by reason of a dead body, or be in a journey afar off, yet he shall keep the passover unto the LORD.

NUMBERS 9:11 The fourteenth day of the second month* at even they shall keep it, and eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.

NUMBERS 9:12 They shall leave none of it unto the morning, nor break any bone of it: according to all the ordinances of the passover they shall keep it.

NUMBERS 9:13 But the man that is clean, and is not in a journey, and forbeareth to keep the passover, even the same soul shall be cut off from among his people: because he brought not the offering of the LORD in his appointed season, that man shall bear his sin.

NUMBERS 9:14 And if a stranger shall sojourn among you, and will keep the passover unto the LORD; according to the ordinance of the passover, and according to the manner thereof, so shall he do: ye shall have one ordinance, both for the stranger, and for him that was born in the land.

NUMBERS 9:15 And on the day that the tabernacle was reared up the cloud covered the tabernacle, namely, the tent of the testimony: and at even there was upon the tabernacle as it were the appearance of fire, until the morning.

NUMBERS 9:16 So it was alway: the cloud covered it by day, and the appearance of fire by night.

NUMBERS 9:17 And when the cloud was taken up from the tabernacle, then after that the children of Israel journeyed: and in the place where the cloud abode, there the children of Israel pitched their tents.

NUMBERS 9:18 At the commandment of the LORD the children of Israel journeyed, and at the commandment of the LORD they pitched: as long as the cloud abode upon the tabernacle they rested in their tents.

NUMBERS 9:19 And when the cloud tarried long upon the tabernacle many days, then the children of Israel kept the charge of the LORD, and journeyed not.

NUMBERS 9:20 And so it was, when the cloud was a few days upon the tabernacle; according to the commandment of the LORD they abode in their tents, and according to the commandment of the LORD they journeyed.

NUMBERS 9:21 And so it was, when the cloud abode from even unto the morning, and that the cloud was taken up in the morning, then they journeyed: whether it was by day or by night that the cloud was taken up, they journeyed.

NUMBERS 9:22 Or whether it were two days, or a month, or a year, that the cloud tarried upon the tabernacle, remaining thereon, the children of Israel abode in their tents, and journeyed not: but when it was taken up, they journeyed.

NUMBERS 9:23 At the commandment of the LORD they rested in the tents, and at the commandment of the LORD they journeyed: they kept the charge of the LORD, at the commandment of the LORD by the hand of Moses.


* The date of Passover is in fact uncertain. It is kept in Nissan, which is declared to be the first month in the Passover Haggadah, and not the second, which is in accord with Exodus 12:

EXODUS 12:2 This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you.

EXODUS 12:3 Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel. saying. In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb. according to the house of their fathers. a lamb for an house:

EXODUS 12:4 And if the household be too little for the lamb. let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb.

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:

EXODUS 12:6 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.

EXODUS 12:7 And they shall take of the blood. and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses. wherein they shall eat it.

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.

EXODUS 12:9 Eat not of it raw. nor sodden at all with water. but roast with fire; his head with his legs. and with the purtenance thereof.

EXODUS 12:10 And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire.

EXODUS 12:11 And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded. your shoes on your feet. and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the LORD's passover.

EXODUS 12:12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night. and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt. both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD.

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.

EXODUS 12:14 And this day 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 for ever.

According to this account, Passover would in fact begin on the evening of 13 Iyar, which would be the second month.  At a later date, the calendar was changed so that New Year fell in autumn (Tishrei), and not in spring. Different factions of the early Catholic Church also held various beliefs about the dating of Easter, some of which are recounted by the venerable Bede regarding the British church.


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