only one name given to this Festival in Scripture which is transliterated
in Hebrew as ‘Hag Hamatzah’ meaning "The Festival of Unleavened
the Festival of Unleavened Bread; for seven days eat bread made without
yeast, as I commanded you. Do this at the appointed time in the month of
Aviv, for in that month you came out of Egypt," (Exodus
While Passover is only one day in length, celebrated on the 14th of Nisan
23:5), Unleavened Bread lasts seven days from the 15th to the
21st of Nisan. This makes the entire festival eight days in duration (Numbers
23:6). The Feast of Unleavened Bread stood or fell with Passover so
that ‘Passover’ became the name for the entire Festival and not just
the name for the day immediately preceding the seven days of Unleavened
Although Passover and Unleavened Bread are two distinct
Festivals in Leviticus 23, they merged into one almost immediately. For
23:15-17 and Deuteronomy
16:16 both list the three Festivals at which Jewish men were to appear
before the Lord; the Scriptures record the first as "Unleavened
Bread", but it goes on to note the seven day period unleavened bread
was to be eaten. This demonstrates how they were both inextricably linked
in the Jewish mind. In fact, they are so connected that it’s difficult
to be absolutely certain whether a seven day Festival or a one day event
is being referred to in some of the texts. However, it is fair to say that
the Festival of Unleavened Bread was compulsory for all male Israelites to
At the Passover and Unleavened Bread, leaven is to be removed from all the
12:15). Leaven was to be excluded throughout the entire territory of
Israel for the full duration of the festival (Deuteronomy
16:4). For seven days no leaven was to be present and only unleavened
bread was to be eaten. It was to be a reminder to the Israelites of the
day when they came out of the land of Egypt (Exodus
Yeshua acted out of the plan of salvation by becoming our sacrificial
Passover lamb. As the apostle Paul wrote in 1
Corinthians 5:7, "For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed
for us" (compare Isaiah
Peter 1:18-19). So, at the very core of the celebration of the Feast
of Unleavened Bread was the all-encompassing truth that Jesus died and was
raised from the dead during the spring festival!
The Symbolism of
Part of God's instruction for the Days of
Unleavened Bread is to put leavened bread products out of our homes (Exodus
12:15-16). The apostle Paul, in 1
Corinthians 5:8, encouraged the mostly gentile church there to
"keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice
and wickedness [lingering sinful attitudes], but with the unleavened bread
of sincerity and truth"—a clear reference to the Feast of
Unleavened Bread (emphasis added).
Paul recognized that the unleavened bread of this Feast is symbolic of
sincerity and truth, which should be hallmarks of the life of every saint.
He also understood that leaven during this time symbolized sin, and this
Feast pictures our need to make every effort to eliminate it completely
from our lives.
The truly great story about the Days of Unleavened Bread is the story of
the resurrected Christ living His life in those of us who have truly
repented of living in sin and have received the Holy Spirit! This empowers
us to overcome sins in a way that previously was simply not possible.
The Feast of Unleavened Bread is a Festival
that helps us to focus on replacing sin with righteousness. But the only
real way to put sin out of our lives is to put Jesus Christ into our
lives! We are promised that we can truly put sin out of our lives
because Yeshua lives within us through His Holy Spirit (compare Galatians
The evening meal of Passover leads into a new
day as the sun sets in the west. Just as the death angel passed over the
people of Israel because they obeyed, using the sacrificial blood of a lamb, so
Almighty will pass over the saints with death's sentence as they have trusted in
the blood of the Lamb.
The Historical Feast of
On this day the people were to "hold
a sacred assembly and do no regular work." The sabbath of unleavened bread
evokes images of that night when the Israelites ate the sacrificial lamb in
fear, yet eager anticipation of the coming days.
Around them rose cries of Egyptians
mourning the loss of their firstborn. Suddenly the word came from
Moses to hurry and gather themselves together for their great journey.
Pharaoh had decided to release the people of Yahweh. The Israelites
had prepared the unleavened bread called matzah for Passover, as
Moses had instructed, so they picked up the matzah as their only provision
Matzah is a symbol of liberation from
bondage of slavery and of sin. Unleavened bread recalls the simple
yet active faith of the Israelites who were willing to leave the home they
knew to travel into the unfamiliar parched desert. Having seen God's
mysterious power in the plagues, they trusted in the promises of His
servant. As a bride they loved Almighty; He said, "and [she]
followed me through the desert, through a land not sown," Jeremiah
Devotees do not eat or use any food with
yeast during the seven days of Passover. Those who celebrate
Pesah with deep commitment search out and dispose of leavened products.
To them, leaven is a symbol of "yetzer ha-ra"--evil
inclinations--in particular, the prompting of pride. No matter how
small the leaven is in a food, the smallest particle is corruptive.
Similarly, no matter how small or deeply hidden is the leaven of evil in
our lives, it will fester and grow to eventually poison every aspect of
In the Bible, leaven is compared to the
erroneous doctrines and vicious practices of the Pharisees and Sadducees
in Christ's day (Matthew
16:6). God's people, in the troublous times that lay ahead, must
also put away the leaven of the religious leaders of our modern day.
Many a minister, rabbi and priest will succumb to the demonic deceptions
seen around the globe, being ignorant of the Scriptures and prophecies
which would save their souls and guide their congregations through the
uncertain days ahead.
More on the Feast of Unleavened Bread from WikiBooks.