[Exodus 12:18-19 NLT] (18) The bread you eat must be made without yeast from the evening of the fourteenth day of the first month until the evening of the twenty-first day of that month. (19) During those seven days, there must be no trace of yeast in your homes. Anyone who eats anything made with yeast during this week will be cut off from the community of Israel. These regulations apply both to the foreigners living among you and to the native-born Israelites.

[Leviticus 23:5-8 NLT] (5) "The LORD's Passover begins at sundown on the fourteenth day of the first month. (6) On the next day, the fifteenth day of the month, you must begin celebrating the Festival of Unleavened Bread. This festival to the LORD continues for seven days, and during that time the bread you eat must be made without yeast. (7) On the first day of the festival, all the people must stop their ordinary work and observe an official day for holy assembly. (8) For seven days you must present special gifts to the LORD. On the seventh day the people must again stop all their ordinary work to observe an official day for holy assembly."

Is this a contradiction? A change? Did the feast of unleavened bread begin on the 14th or 15th?

  • Are you asking why מַצֹּ֑ת Matzot is also required for the Pesach meal? Apr 8, 2021 at 17:39
  • I clarified the question in the last paragraph.
    – Ruminator
    Apr 8, 2021 at 17:41
  • The Festival of Unleavened Bread begins on the "15th Day" (Chamishah Asar Yom, חֲמִשָּׁ֨ה עָשָׂ֥ר יוֹם֙ ) Apr 8, 2021 at 17:50
  • Leviticus 23 is clear about that. But Exodus 12:18-19 is not so clear, at least to me. Can you explain? Thanks.
    – Ruminator
    Apr 8, 2021 at 17:56
  • Pesach is the 14th day of Aviv (before the Full Moon). The Festival of Unleavened Bread is a 7-day remembrance of the Exodus out from Egypt which starts on the 15th of Aviv (full moon). -- This year 2021, the Pesach was at sunset on March 27 & the Festival of HaMatzot started on the Full moon (March 28) then lasted 7-days until the 21st of Aviv (April 3). Apr 8, 2021 at 18:11

1 Answer 1


Understanding the Hebrew calendar in 2021 CE. - The 2nd Hebrew Month of "Ziv" will begin April 11, 2021 CE when the new moon appears. The 14th day of Ziv is the Eve of a Full Moon. The 15th Day of Ziv is a Full Moon - which will be April 26, 2021 CE.

Regarding the 1st Hebrew Month of "Aviv", the Full Moon is also on the 15th day. The Full Moon during "Aviv" marks the Chag HaMatzot (Festival of Unleavened Bread), when Israelites left Mitzrayim (Egypt). Prior to the 7-day remembrance of Chag HaMatsot, is Pesach or "Pass [over]" which celebrates the Mashchit "Destroyer" plague "skipping" over the Mezuzot of Israelite homes on the 14th of Aviv.

Although the "Pass [over]" plague only occurred at the start of the 14th Day of Aviv, the Israelites fled Mitzrayim at night לַ֗יְלָה early on the 14th Day of Aviv [Exodus 12:31].

The Festival of Unleavened Bread then began in the evening of the 14th of Aviv / beginning of the 15th of Aviv.

Exodus 12:18 states

"In the first [month], on the fourteenth day of the month in the evening, you shall eat unleavened cakes, until the twenty first day of the month in the evening." ( בָּֽרִאשֹׁ֡ן בְּאַרְבָּעָה֩ עָשָׂ֨ר י֤וֹם לַחֹ֨דֶשׁ֙ בָּעֶ֔רֶב תֹּֽאכְל֖וּ מַצֹּ֑ת עַ֠ד י֣וֹם הָֽאֶחָ֧ד וְעֶשְׂרִ֛ים לַחֹ֖דֶשׁ בָּעָֽרֶב )

Full Moon appeared "in the evening" of 14th / Start of 15th Day of Aviv - starting the celebration of Chag HaMatzot.

Exodus 12:34

"The people picked up their dough when it was not yet leavened, their leftovers bound in their garments on their shoulders." ( וַיִּשָּׂ֥א הָעָ֛ם אֶת־בְּצֵק֖וֹ טֶ֣רֶם יֶחְמָ֑ץ מִשְׁאֲרֹתָ֛ם צְרֻרֹ֥ת בְּשִׂמְלֹתָ֖ם עַל־שִׁכְמָֽם )

Exodus 12:39

"They baked the dough that they had taken out of Egypt as unleavened cakes, for it had not leavened, for they were driven out of Egypt, and they could not tarry, and also, they had not made provisions for themselves." ( וַיֹּאפ֨וּ אֶת־הַבָּצֵ֜ק אֲשֶׁ֨ר הוֹצִ֧יאוּ מִמִּצְרַ֛יִם עֻגֹ֥ת מַצּ֖וֹת כִּ֣י לֹ֣א חָמֵ֑ץ כִּי־גֹֽרְשׁ֣וּ מִמִּצְרַ֗יִם וְלֹ֤א יָֽכְלוּ֙ לְהִתְמַהְמֵ֔הַּ וְגַם־צֵדָ֖ה לֹֽא־עָשׂ֥וּ לָהֶֽם )

  • Evening of 14th / Start of 15th | day #1.
  • Evening of 15th / Start of 16th | day #2.
  • Evening of 16th / Start of 17th | day #3.
  • Evening of 17th / Start of 18th | day #4.
  • Evening of 18th / Start of 19th | day #5.
  • Evening of 19th / Start of 20th | day #6.
  • Evening of 20th / Start of 21st | day #7.

Evening of 21st of Aviv ended the 7-day festival of Chag HaMatzot.

  • 1
    Okay, I was reading it, "from the start of... to the end of" but it is properly read as "from the end of to the end of." Interesting. I'll need to start looking at biblical dates differently. Thanks.
    – Ruminator
    Apr 8, 2021 at 19:54
  • This confuses the hell out of lots of folks but it really shouldn't. Some create false timing ideas as a result.
    – moron
    Mar 25 at 3:22

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