Life Skills from the Word of YHWH

Chag HaMatzot (Feast of Unleavened Bread)
(Sefer Torah) Exodus 12-14; Leviticus 23:6-8; Numbers 28:17-25; Deuteronomy 16:3-8

 

Exodus 12:14- “And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to YHVH throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance forever.
15- Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses: for whosoever eats leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Yisrael.
16- And in the first day there shall be an holy convocation, and in the seventh day there shall be an holy convocation to you; no manner of work shall be done in them, save that which every man must eat, that only may be done of you.
17- And ye shall observe the feast of unleavened bread; for in this selfsame day have I brought your armies out of the land of Egypt: therefore shall ye observe this day in your generations by an ordinance forever.
18- In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at even, ye shall eat unleavened bread, until the one and twentieth day of the month at even.
19- Seven days shall no leaven be found in your houses: for whoever eats what is leavened, even that soul shall be cut off from the congregation of Yisrael, whether stranger native in the land.
20- Ye shall eat nothing leavened; in all your habitations shall ye eat unleavened bread.
Leviticus 23:7- In the first day ye shall have an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.
8- But ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto YHVH seven days: in the seventh day is an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.
Numbers 28:19- But ye shall offer a sacrifice made by fire for a burnt offering unto YHVH; two young bullocks, and one ram, and seven lambs of the first year: they shall be unto you without blemish:
20- And their meat offering shall be of flour mingled with oil: three tenth deals shall ye offer for a bullock, and two tenth deals for a ram;
21- A several tenth deal shall thou offer for every lamb, throughout the seven lambs:
22- And one goat for a sin offering, to make an atonement for you.
23- Ye shall offer these beside the burnt offering in the morning, for a continual burnt offering.
24- After this manner ye shall offer daily, throughout the seven days, the meat of the sacrifice made
by fire, of a sweet savor unto YHVH: it shall be offered beside the continual burnt offering, and
his drink offering.
Deuteronomy 16:3- Thou shall eat no leavened bread with it; seven days shall thou eat unleavened bread therewith, even the bread of affliction; for thou came forth out of the land of Egypt in haste: that thou may remember the day when thou came forth out of the land of Egypt all the days of thy life.
4- And there shall be no leavened bread seen with thee in all thy coast seven days; nor shall there any of the flesh, which thou sacrificed the first day at even, remain all night until the morning.”

 

“And Avraham hastened into the tent unto Sarah, and said, Make ready quickly three
measures of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes.”
(Genesis 18:6)
“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 YHVH's Passover.”
(Exodus 12:11)
“I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies. I made haste, and delayed
not to keep thy commandments.”
(Psalms 119:59-60)
“And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy
two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city.”
(Genesis 19:15)
“For so was it charged me by the word of YHVH, saying, Eat no bread, nor drink water, nor
turn again by the same way that thou came.”
(1 Kings 13:9)
“And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest. Lo,
then would I wander far off, and remain in the wilderness. Selah. I would hasten my escape
from the windy storm and tempest.” (Psalms 55:6-8)


Chag HaMatzot Summary:
1. Minimizing Pleasant Bread to Dine at Heaven’s Feast:

So much of life is spent devoted in preparation for the next meal. With all the sumptuous options before us, our focus in life can be easily diverted to victuals. Along with the call to observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread comes the opportunity to both connect this memorable event with the circumstances that necessitated its inception and apply its didactic value to our present sojourning in exile from Eden. Although this is a week to be celebrated with great festivity, should our energies be consumed, merely digesting the matzah which is soon to leave us? In Isaiah 55:2, a deflating question is now served,
“Why do ye spend money for that which is not bread? And your labor for that which satisfies not?
Hearken diligently unto Me and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.”
Hastening us to consider an often neglected menu, the Bread of Haste was to be as a lasting reminder that freedom and not food was and is the priority. Leaving the leaven of life’s endless delays, the call to develop an angelic appetite continued to ferment in the wilderness, as Deuteronomy 8:3 describes:
“And He humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knew not,
neither did thy fathers know; that He might make thee know that man does not live by bread only,
but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of YHVH does man live.”
With each step on the ascent to everlasting emancipation, the lower levels of license must be left behind. So important to elevate Elohim in his life, the beloved Beltashazzar, while in captivity with the sons of Yehudah, demonstrated a most remarkable conviction in Daniel 10:2-3; foregoing the feasting of the first month, he preferred to dine at the table of The King, supping on the bread of tears, namely:
“In those days I Daniel was mourning three full weeks. I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh
nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.”
It is in this spirit of selfless intercession for the nation, that Jeremiah 9:17-18 cries out to the faithful:
“Thus says YHVH Tzivaot, Consider ye, and call for the mourning women, that they may come;
and send for cunning women, that they may come: And let them make haste, and take up a
wailing for us, that our eyes may run down with tears, and our eyelids gush out with waters.”

 

2. Escaping in Haste, Rising Above the Impending Judgment:
When Divine intervention answers on behalf of our Deliverance, we must lay it to heart, be ready to hastily respond to his prophetic summons to go forth, and then arise in obedient faith, moving toward the good land. Although there will be those who deny the urgency, the times of flight have been set. To them who are moved by Heaven’s command, there is a corresponding comfort as the hope of HaShem’s Salvation is realized. Yet, Psalms 37:27-28 makes no such promise to the negligent, admonishing thus:
“Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell for evermore. For YHVH loves judgment, and forsakes
not His saints; they are preserved forever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.”
Indeed, the way to avert the coming judgment is to respond. Isaiah 52:11 implores us even as in his day:
“Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing; go ye out of the midst of her;
be ye clean, that bear the vessels of YHVH.”
Noting those fleeting desires that only bring us doom, Genesis 19:17 echoes beyond the sulfur and ash:
“And it came to pass, when they had brought them out, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not
behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.”
Judgment is coming. To discover the direction that offers us safe passage, Proverbs 15:24 points out:
“The way of life is above to the wise, that he may depart from hell beneath.”

 

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