And the People Took Their Dough

For the past four months, we have been covering Passover. There is so much further study that can be done about Passover. We encourage you to study the subject further. Check out our Resources page for starters. After wrapping up a few details, we will now move on the Feasts of Unleavened Bread.

More on the Tabernacle

The Veil

Before we start the next part, there are a couple of interesting details. According to Jewish tradition the veil that hung in Herod’s Temple was 60 feet long and 30 feet wide, about the thickness of a man’s palm, (about four inches), and made of 72 squares that were sewn together. The veil was so heavy that it took 300 priests to hang it.

The Lampstand

The lampstand has a single shaft with three branches protruding from each side. Each branch curved upwards. The center shaft and the six branches was each topped with a lamp for a total of seven lamps. Oil was used in the lampstand. Draw a lamp stand with one middle shaft, three branches to its right, and three branches to its left.

Isaiah 11:1–2 (NLT)
1Out of the stump of David’s family* will grow a shoot—
yes, a new Branch bearing fruit from the old root.
2And the Spirit of the LORD will rest on him—
the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and might,
the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.

God used the prophet Isaiah to define the sevenfold attributes of the Spirit of God. Of those seven, one stands by itself: the Spirit of the LORD. On the diagram of the lamp stand you drew, label the middle shaft with the title “The Spirit of the LORD” because it proceeds directly from the “root” of the lamp stand. Now fill in the other six attributes (knowledge, counsel, wisdom, understanding, might, fear of the LORD) in proper Hebrew form: from right to left. A picture to person of Jesus the Messiah (Isaiah 11:1–2 -> Revelation 1:13).

Notes on the pairs of words:

  1. Wisdom and understanding:
    These two build upon each other. Proverbs 4:5 commands, “Get Wisdom, get understanding…” Understanding resides in the mind (Job 38:36). Wisdom resides in the heart (1 Kings 10:24; Psalms 51:8; Proverbs 2:10).
  2. Counsel and might:
    Wise counsel builds might (Proverbs 8:10; 15:22; 20:18).
  3. knowledge and the fear of the LORD:
    The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge (Proverbs 1:7). Destruction comes upon those who hate knowledge and don’t fear the LORD (Proverbs 1:29–31). Also, if you know something or someone has power, you will have a proper fear and respect for that thing or person. By “fear“, we don’t mean like cowering in fear. We mean fear with reverence, respect, and awe. If one has a trusted mentor, that person fears to disappoint that mentor.

The Exodus

Exodus 12:34 (KJV)
And the people took their dough before it was leavened, their kneading troughs being bound up in their clothes upon their shoulders.

First, who were “the people“? We know about the Hebrews. Anyone else?

Gentiles In the Exodus

Isaiah 42:6 says the LORD would be a light for the Gentiles. The Messiah’s mission would include bringing the covenant of salvation to the Gentiles as well as to the Jews. In Romans 11:17, the Gentiles are the wild olive shoot that have been grafted into the olive tree.

The branches from an olive tree come directly from the root. Our lives should be likewise, directly connected to Jesus.

When the Old Testament mentions alien, strangers, other people, and foreign-born, it generally refers to Gentiles.

In Exodus 12:38, many other people exited out of Egypt with the Israelites. In order to have exited with the Hebrews, they had to be behind the blood stained door protected by the Almighty. Amazing grace!

Passover restrictions

After the exodus, the LORD placed some restrictions over who can eat (partake) of it:

  1. No foreigners.
  2. Only circumcised slaves.
  3. No temporary resident.
  4. No hired worker.
  5. Must be eaten inside one house.
  6. No meat taken outside.
  7. Do no break any bones.
  8. The whole community of Israel must celebrate it.
  9. Any alien among you must have all males in his household circumcised.
  10. No uncircumcised male.
  11. Same law applies to the native-born and alien living among you.

Circumcise the Heart

The Hebrew for Circumcise is mul (מוּלmûl) [h4135]. The Hebrew word for the noun form, circumcision is milah (מוּלָהmûlāh) [h4139] . This is the act of cutting off the foreskin of a certain part of the male’s anatomy. In Genesis 17:10–14, God commanded Abraham to circumcise himself, his slaves, and his sons. This was first done to Ismael and then later to Isaac. By Jewish tradition, this is done 8 days after birth.

Deuteronomy 10:16 (NIV)
Circumcise your hearts, therefore, and do not be stiff-necked any longer.

God knew that the religious leaders would become “experts” at following the letter of the Law while disobeying or ignoring the spirit of the Law. This is why in Deuteronomy 10:16 and later in Jeremiah 4:4 God told the Hebrews to remove their hardness and be circumcised of the heart. They were to no longer be hardened and stubborn but instead love God.

Romans 3:29 mentions circumcision of the heart by the Spirit. This is God’s work of grace in the heart of believers. We are under the divine nature and become capable of living a pure life separated from sin for God’s glory. Thus, holy living becomes the outward sign that we are under a new covenant.

A Warning:

Jeremiah 9:25–26 (NLT)
25“A time is coming,” says the LORD, “when I will punish all those who are circumcised in body but not in spirit—26the Egyptians, Edomites, Ammonites, Moabites, the people who live in the desert in remote places, and yes, even the people of Judah. And like all these pagan nations, the people of Israel also have uncircumcised hearts.”

A Promise:

Jeremiah 23:5 (NIV)
“The days are coming,” declares the LORD,
“when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch,
a King who will reign wisely
and do what is just and right in the land.

Leaving With the Unleavened Bread

Exodus 12:34 is an interesting verse stating the Israelites carried their unleavened dough on their shoulders in kneading troughs wrapped in clothing.

A kneading trough is a shallow vessel usually made of wood in which dough was worked into a well-mixed mass in preparation for baking. The kneading trough was among the objects of the LORD’s blessing (Deuteronomy 28:5).

There are several pictures to person:

  1. The unleavened bread is a sinless Jesus.
  2. A picture of Jesus on the cross.
  3. They carried their covenant on their shoulder.

Kneading Troughs Wrapped In Clothing

Clothing has significant meaning:

  1. Clothing is a symbol of God’s protection and provision.
  2. Clothing represented a covering for sin.
  3. Clothing is salvation and righteousness.

Examples of being clothed in the Bible:

  1. God covered Adam’s and Eve’s nakedness (Genesis 3:21):
    This was the first symbol of salvation. God physically covered their sin.
  2. Moses clothed Aaron in a robe, the priestly garments (Leviticus 8:7):
    Moses is a symbol of salvation. He lead the Hebrews out of Egypt. Jesus leads us out of a sinful world.
  3. In Heaven, we will be wearing white robes of redemption (Revelation 7:9):
    The Redeemed of the LORD will stand before the Lamb of God.
Isaiah 61:10 (NIV)
I delight greatly in the LORD;
my soul rejoices in my God.
For he has clothed me with garments of salvation
and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness,
as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest,
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

The Shewbread

The Hebrew word used for bread in the Bread of Presence in the tabernacle is lechem (לֶחֶםleḥem) which means bread or grain. The Hebrew word for shew is peneh (פָּנֶהpāneh) which means countenance, presence, or face.

Shewbread was prepared by crushing whole kernels of wheat into fine powder. Some amount of moisture was added to it, then it was baked. The ancient ovens were heated by fire. So this holy bread clearly qualified as an offering made by fire. This bread was offered on behalf of the children of Israel as an everlasting covenant.

All twelve tribes of Israel were represented on the table of shewbread. All twelve loaves came from the same original piece of dough.

Jesus is the Unleavened Bread

Carrying the unleavened bread on their shoulders with clothing could be a symbol of how Israel’s constant return to sinning against the true Bread of Life. But, nothing surprises Him and He always had/has a redemption plan for His wayward children. Deuteronomy 28 has blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience. It was their choice which one to choose.

There is no difference today. The whole Bible has blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience. It is our choice to which one we want to receive.

In 2 Corinthians 5:21, Jesus didn’t just take our sins upon Himself, He became those sins for us! Imagine how dirty and vile and evil and guilty and ashamed He must have felt. Especially so as He hung there before a holy God with our sins exposed as if they were His own sins.

Will you accept Him for bearing your sin so that you can wear His Righteousness?

On Golgotha, the Unleavened Bread died on the cross for you.

The same God sees and hears the cries of His beloved children today. Soon He will send His Only Begotten Son, Jesus the Messiah to come and claim us. Jesus has gone to prepare a place for us and is soon coming.

As the Redeemed of the LORD, let’s gather as many unsaved souls as we can for the glory of God. The harvest fields are ripe but the workers are few. Unfortunately, most of us are busy with our everyday living and ignoring the signs of the time. We need to tell our families, friends, and neighbors, “Jesus is coming! Let’s go with Him!”

Refrain from “Are You Washed in the Blood?” by Elisha A. Hoffman, 1878:

Are you washed in the blood,
In the soul-cleansing blood of the Lamb?
Are your garments spotless? Are they white as snow?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?

We (Hebrews and Gentiles) have exited the door towards the Promise Land, Zion.

“We’re Marching to Zion” by Isaac Watts, 1707

Come, we that love the Lord,
And let our joys be known;
Join in a song with sweet accord,
And thus surround the throne.
Refrain:
We’re marching to Zion,
Beautiful, beautiful Zion;
We’re marching upward to Zion,
The beautiful city of God.

Passover was so significant that God changed the calendar for the Hebrews. Next time, we will describe the calendar and a little more about the exodus.

Until then,
שָׁלוֹם (Shalom!)