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D9. Observing a Late Passover with Matzah & Bitter Herbs.    [Make a Comment]

Anyone who cannot observe Passover on the 14 day of Nisan must make every attempt to do so by eating matzah and maror the following month on the 14th day of Iyar.

This precept is derived from His Word (blessed be He):

Key Scriptures

Exodus 12:42-49 (Maimonides RN126-128; Chinuch C13-14, C17)
This was a night when ADONAI kept vigil to bring them out of the land of Egypt, and this same night continues to be a night when ADONAI keeps vigil for all the people of Isra'el through all their generations. ADONAI said to Moshe and Aharon, "This is the regulation for the Pesach lamb: no foreigner is to eat it. But if anyone has a slave he bought for money, when you have circumcised him, he may eat it. Neither a traveler nor a hired servant may eat it. It is to be eaten in one house. You are not to take any of the meat outside the house, and you are not to break any of its bones. The whole community of Isra'el is to keep it. If a foreigner staying with you wants to observe ADONAI's Pesach, all his males must be circumcised. Then he may take part and observe it; he will be like a citizen of the land. But no uncircumcised person is to eat it. The same teaching is to apply equally to the citizen and to the foreigner living among you.

Numbers 9:10-11
Tell the people of Isra'el, 'If any of you now or in future generations is unclean because of a corpse, or if he is on a trip abroad, nevertheless he is to observe Pesach. But he will observe it in the second month on the fourteenth day at dusk. They are to eat it with matzah and maror

Numbers 28:31 (Maimonides RP61; Chinuch C286)
You are to offer these in addition to the regular burnt offering and its grain offering (they are to be without defect for you), with their drink offerings.

Matthew 26:17-19
On the first day for matzah, the talmidim came to Yeshua and asked, "Where do you want us to prepare your Seder?" "Go into the city, to so-and-so," he replied, "and tell him that the Rabbi says, 'My time is near, my talmidim and I are celebrating Pesach at your house.'" The talmidim did as Yeshua directed and prepared the Seder.

Mark 14:12-16
On the first day for matzah, when they slaughtered the lamb for Pesach, Yeshua's talmidim asked him, "Where do you want us to go and prepare your Seder?" He sent two of his talmidim with these instructions: "Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him; and whichever house he enters, tell him that the Rabbi says, 'Where is the guest room for me, where I am to eat the Pesach meal with my talmidim?' He will show you a large room upstairs, furnished and ready. Make the preparations there." The talmidim went off, came to the city and found things just as he had told them they would be; and they prepared the Seder.

Luke 22:7-13
Then came the day of matzah, on which the Passover lamb had to be killed. Yeshua sent Kefa and Yochanan, instructing them, "Go and prepare our Seder, so we can eat." They asked him, "Where do you want us to prepare it?" He told them, "As you're going into the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him into the house he enters, and say to its owner, 'The Rabbi says to you, "Where is the guest room, where I am to eat the Pesach meal with my talmidim?"' He will show you a large room upstairs already furnished; make the preparations there." They went and found things just as Yeshua had told them they would be, and they prepared for the Seder.

John 2:23
Now while Yeshua was in Yerushalayim at the Pesach festival, there were many people who "believed in his name" when they saw the miracles he performed.

John 6:4
Now the Judean festival of Pesach was coming up

John 11:55
The Judean festival of Pesach was near, and many people went up from the country to Yerushalayim to perform the purification ceremony prior to Pesach.

1 Corinthians 5:6-8
Your boasting is not good. Dont you know the saying ("It takes only a little hametz to leaven a whole batch of dough?" Get rid of the old hametz)

Galatians 5:7-9
You were running the race well; who has stopped you from following the truth? Whatever means of persuasion he used was not from the One who calls you. "It takes only a little hametz to leaven the whole batch of dough."

Hebrews 9:13-14
For if sprinkling ceremonially unclean persons with the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer restores their outward purity; then how much more the blood of the Messiah, who, through the eternal Spirit, offered himself to God as a sacrifice without blemish, will purify our conscience from works that lead to death, so that we can serve the living God!

Supportive Scriptures

Exodus 12:33-34
The Egyptians pressed to send the people out of the land quickly, because they said, "Otherwise we'll all be dead!" The people took their dough before it had become leavened and wrapped their kneading bowls in their clothes on their shoulders.

Leviticus 23:5-8
In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, between sundown and complete darkness, comes Pesach for ADONAI. On the fifteenth day of the same month is the festival of matzah; for seven days you are to eat matzah. On the first day you are to have a holy convocation; don't do any kind of ordinary work. Bring an offering made by fire to ADONAI for seven days. On the seventh day is a holy convocation; do not do any kind of ordinary work.


I believe the two reasons given in Numbers 9:10 for delaying Passover observance are not the only two intended, but are rather meant to suggest others as well that are equally valid. For example, if a Jewish man or woman cannot observe Passover on the 14th of Nisan due to illness, he or she must earnestly seek to do so a month later on the 14th of Iyar.

I consider this mitzvah mandatory for individual Jews and for K'rov Yisrael Gentiles who find themselves in the position of not being able to fulfill their Passover observance obligation on the 14th of Nisan. Other Gentiles, however, should they undertake this Mitzvah would, in my opinion be wrongly stating that meticulous Passover observance is an obligation as to them. For that reason, I consider literal compliance of this Mitzvah to be unauthorized and not recommended for Gentiles who are not K'rovei Yisrael.

Classical Commentators

Maimonides, Meir, and HaChinuch do not include a delayed Passover observance among their listed mitzvot.


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