Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH):
The Great "Quail" Question:
Does Exodus 16 Prove the Passover Was Slain Before Night at the Beginning of Nisan 14?
Fred Coulter in his book The Christian Passover and in a letter to me argues that Exodus 16 is the FINAL clinching "PROOF" that the Jews are wrong in keeping Passover on Nisan 15. What does this chapter, and the flight of the QUAILS, really prove? Let's take a good look at the Question of the Quail!
by HOIM Staff
In a personal letter to me, Fred Coulter took exception to criticism I have made of his stand in favor of a Nisan 14 Passover, and his so-called "proofs" that the Jews are in error when celebrating it on Nisan 15. Coulter claims:
"As you knows, the crux of the whole Passover controversy in the Old Testament lies in the proper definition of ben ha arbayim, or 'between the two evenings.' The problem was simply this: If the Scriptures of the Old Testament, as preserved in the Hebrew, did not give a clear definition of ben ha arbayim, or 'between the two evenings,' and its relationship to ba erev, or 'even, evening,' then the traditional Jewish definition would be the only one which could be used...
"However, God did preserve the correct Scriptural definition as found by His own person usage of the terms as recorded in Exodus 16. There can be no doubt whatsoever that ben ha arbayim comes after ba erev, or sunset!....In fact, it is impossible that ben ha arbayim can come before ba erev, unless you have God Himself violating His Own Sabbath, which you and Rabbi Kaplan and other rabbis must do in order to force ben ha arbayim to come before ba erev. "
What about Coulter's claim? Is he right?
The claim that ba erev refers to precise sunset and the assertion that any or all Jews will verify that fact is disengenuous to say the least. It is simply not true. In my opinion, it is equivalent to a bold faced "lie." All Jewish authorities show otherwise. The assertion that this proves ben ha arbayim therefore had to be AFTER sunset therefore falls flat on its face. The first premise not being true, the second claim which rests on the first must be false as well.
In Exodus 16, God tells Israel, "At even [Heb., "between the two evenings"] ye shall eat flesh" (verse 12). The narrative continues, "And it came to pass, that AT EVEN [Heb, ba erev ] the quails came up, and covered the camp" (verse 13).
What do these two verses prove? According to Fred Coulter, it proves that "even" [ba erev ] occurs BEFORE ben ha arbayim. And, according to Coulter, ba erev should be defined as "sunset." Therefore, if he is right, this would put ben ha arbayim after sunset, or on the NEXT DAY. The day in question was a Sabbath day. So the next day, after sunset, would have been the first day of the week.
But does this prove ben ha arbayim refers to the time after sunset and before nightfall?
The truth is, Coulter has misdefined ba erev. As Strong's Concordance shows, the expression ba erev simply means, "even, evening, eventide, dusk" (number 6153). Gesenius Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon defines the word as "evening." Neither authority defines it as "sunset," as Fred Coulter attempts to do. His definition is not scholarly, not true, and leads to confusion and error!
The real question is, however, when did the quail come into the camp of the Israelites? Was it on the afternoon of the Sabbath day, or after sunset, during twilight on the first day of the week? This is the CRUX of the whole question. Coulter argues that it could not have been the Sabbath day -- for that would have the Israelites gathering quail and picking them up ON THE SABBATH. According to him, that is impossible, for it would constitute "work"! And the Sabbath is a day of commanded rest during which no work may be done (Exodus 20:9-11).
What is the truth?
The assumption is that it would have been sin for the Israelites to gather or pick up quail on the Sabbath, during the late afternoon. But is this assumption true? According to Jewish reckoning, the quail came on the scene BEFORE SUNSET, in the late afternoon, ON THE SABBATH DAY. Why does Fred Coulter have a problem with that? Nowhere do the Scriptures say that if YEHOVAH God delivers quail into your camp, and they fall right at your feet, dead tired from their long flight, that you cannot pick them up on the Sabbath, and then roast and eat them later that evening!
Therefore, Fred Coulter's "one and only" proof that ben ha arbayim has to refer to AFTER sunset doesn't hold any water; it is a bucket full of holes; it is simply a false assumption. Yet he bases his whole, entire theology on the Passover on this one proof. He says, in fact, that I have YEHOVAH God Himself violating His own Sabbath!
But this is nonsense! Yeshua himself said:
"The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: Therefore, the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath" (Mark 2:27-28).
Coulter would make the Sabbath an onerous bondage; the Messiah did not do so. He says it would have been "work" for the Israelites to pick up quail on the Sabbath. But who is he to legislate what one can and cannot do on the Sabbath? It was not wrong to have a meal of quail at the end of the Sabbath!
By the way, proof that ba erev can refer to afternoon, prior to sunset, is shown clearly from Exodus 12:18, where "even" refers to the ending of or afternoon of Nisan 21, the last day of unleavened bread. See also as proof of this Leviticus 23:32, where the Day of Atonement is clearly described as "in the ninth day of the month at even, from even to even" -- yet it is the 10th day of the month (verse 27).
In his letter, Coulter declares:
"So, if you are truly honest with the Scriptures, you can no longer hide under the traditions of Judaism. It is my hope and prayer that you can come to the knowledge of the Truth of the Scriptures of God the Father and Jesus Christ. Remember, everyone will have to stand before the judgment seat of God, not men, and 'give an account of himself to God.'"
Is it right for Coulter to claim that I have been "hiding under the traditions of Judaism"? Contrary to his assumption, I am not hiding anywhere. Yeshua himself said the Scribes and Pharisees sit "in Moses' seat," and added,
"All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do" (Matt. 23:2-3).
I obey my Messiah. Fred Coulter disobeys him, and dishonors him, by his false accusations and insinuations. I look forward to meeting Yeshua someday, and appearing before his judgment seat on this issue, because I am OBEDIENT to the words of my Lord Yeshua and YEHOVAH God his Father! I rejoice in obeying his Truth! But Coulter and those who think like he does are disobedient to the words and commandments of the Messiah and YEHOVAH God, the Law Giver.
Coulter asks, in his letter to me:
"Why should we put the people of God in bondage to Judaism and make Christ of none effect?"
But it is not "Judaism" which is at issue here -- it is simply which is the true interpretation of Scripture itself! At no time do I profess or claim that all Christians are to keep ALL the commandments of Judaism, including traditions which Yeshua the Messiah himself rejected, such as the washing of pots and pans, and very onerous laws about Sabbath observance (see Matt.15, Mark 2, 7). That is not the issue at all! The issue is simply WHAT IS THE TRUTH? And Yeshua himself said that insofar as the LAW of YEHOVAH God is concerned, the 'Scribes and Pharisees SIT IN MOSES' SEAT" (Matt. 23:2). That fact seems to mean nothing to Fred Coulter. He dismisses it as of no consequence. But if it is meaningless, then WHY DID YESHUA THE MESSIAH STRESS IT TO HIS OWN DISCIPLES?
It is really Fred Coulter who makes the Messiah of none effect by rejecting his very own words, as well as the words of the apostle Paul who said he observed the law of YEHOVAH God "blamelessly" as a Pharisee (Phi. 3:4-6).
It was Paul who said, "Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of CHRIST" (I Cor. 11:1).
It becomes onerous arguing with someone who wants to argue over the Word of YEHOVAH God. The apostle Paul said of such, that they are "proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, perverse disputings [Greek, gallings one of another] of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth" (I Tim. 6:4-5). I wish in truth I didn't have to say these things, but indeed I must. Fred Coulter has challenged me. Now I challenge him -- to open his mind, to "think it possible, in the bowels of Christ, that ye may be mistaken," as Oliver Cromwell pleaded in his day. There is an old saying: "You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink!" I can only pray that YEHOVAH God will have mercy on Fred Coulter, and open up his mind, before it is too late. He are treading on very dangerous ground. He is rushing in where angels fear to tread. He is walking straight into the quicksand of error and falsehood. I urge him to repent, now, before an evil spirit takes control of his mind and life, and he becomes a vessel of destruction and perdition!
I am well aware, that each one of us will "all stand before the judgement seat of Christ" (Rom. 14:10). I fully realize, "every man shall bear his own burden" (Gal. 6:5). I urge Fred Coulter, Rod Meredith, Gerald Flurry, and the whole kit and kaboodle of those ministers who came out of Worldwide, to remember the admonition of the apostle Paul who said:
"Be not deceived; God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap" (Gal. 6:7).
If Fred Coulter and the others mentioned above are wrong, and teaching error on this vital subject, because of their own bull-headed vanity, then they must consider:
"Every man's work shall be made manifest [revealed]: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work ABIDE which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall [possibly] be saved [if his error was in true sincerity and not malicious or deliberate obfuscation and denial of the truth]; yet so as by fire " (I Cor. 3:13-15).
Does Fred Coulter think he is a "scholar"? Does he accuse me of ignorance? YEHOVAH God Almighty says in His Word:
"Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a FOOL, that he may be wise " (I Cor. 3:18).
It is truly sad that so many former ministers who have left the Worldwide Church of God now seem to evidence such an unwavering bias and bigotry in their total rejection of all that is Jewish and related to Judaism. For Yeshua himself said,
"Salvation is OF THE JEWS " (John 4:22).
In the book of Zechariah we read:
"Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you" (Zech. 8:23).
In his letter, Fred Coulter said that he felt compelled to answer me,
"Because such ignorant, brazen, hateful behavior as you have demonstrated must be answered! It must be answered publically [sic]."
However, he said he was were "torn" as to whether he should "answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceits," or "not to answer a fool according to his folly lest you become like him."
Of course, that quotation is a reference to the book of Proverbs, chapter 26:4-5. I have had to face the same decision, in deciding whether or not to even bother answering his letter, since my articles I believe are very clear and speak plainly and openly -- and if some people disagree with the conclusions I have reached in them, then they disagree, and only YEHOVAH God peradventure can "pry open their minds." That is His decision, of course. But for the sake of the "public" Coulter refers to, I have decided to give him this answer in print, hoping that it may help others to understand the questions and facts about the true Passover.
I hope this short article will answer the major allegations and 'proofs" Coulter presents in his letter, and give everybody enough nuggets of truth to ponder and meditate upon, with a clear, open, sincere, honest and humble mind.
Don't let Satan the devil deceive you any further. Don't let him snare you in his devices, and trap you in his conundrums, and enthrall you with his deceptions. You are a free moral agent. You can choose LIFE.
Ask YEHOVAH God to search your heart and reins, praying, "O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps. O LORD, correct me, but with judgment; not in thine anger, lest thou bring me to nothing" (Jer. 10:23). Remember, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" (Jer. 17:9).
Pray with David, "Search ME, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way [Heb., way of pain] in me, and lead me in the way everlasting" (Psalm 139:23-24).
David also prayed, setting us an example -- and I urge all of us -- and EVERY MINISTER WHO PROFESSES TO SERVE YEHOVAH GOD -- to pray this prayer, as well:
"Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults. Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer" (Psalm 19:12-14).
Think about it, my friends. If you truly fear YEHOVAH God, then remember, "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction" (Proverbs 1:7).
Are you "teachable"? David writes, "The MEEK will he guide in judgment: and the MEEK will he TEACH HIS WAY " (Psalm 25:9).
David asks, "LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart " (Psalm 15:1-2).
Remember the Psalm that many of us sing on the Sabbath day?
"Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the LAW of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night" (Psalm 1:1-2).
YEHOVAH God says to each one of His true servants, every true believer in the Messiah:
"I will INSTRUCT thee and TEACH thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will GUIDE thee with mine eye [Heb., I will counsel thee, mine eye shall be upon thee]. Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee. Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the LORD, mercy shall compass him about" (Psalm 32:8-10).
What about you? Are you teachable?
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