The annual Jewish festival, held on the 14th of the month Nisan, which commemorated the saving events of the Exodus [[➝ Exodus, the]] from Egypt; as an institution it may have already existed in pre-Israelite Canaan as an agricultural festival in the first month of the year, and this was absorbed into the life and ritual of the incoming Hebrews. There seems to be a record of this combination when the Israelites, after entering Canaan, are said to have kept the Passover (Josh. 5:10) and on the following day to have eaten the produce of the land (5:11).
The late Pentateuchal source P puts the Passover rites back into the wilderness of Sinai (Num. 9:3, 5) but this assertion is too late to be regarded as historically reliable. From the time of Solomon (1 Kgs. 9:25; 2 Chron. 8:13) the Passover ritual was established, and in the reforms of Josiah (2 Kgs. 23:21–3) there were to be regular Passover festivals in Jerusalem. Passover lambs were either roasted (Exod. 12:8–9) or boiled (Deut. 16:7) and were eaten at a solemn meal in the evening at which the departure from Egypt after the Lord ‘passed over’ the Israelite males but destroyed their Egyptian contemporaries was remembered. The feast of Unleavened Bread [[➝ unleavened bread]] (as in Josh. 5:11) was maintained for a full week from the Passover. The feast was of immense significance for the Jewish sense of identity as a people; it united successive generations in a family. In the NT it has significance because of the Lord's Supper as a Passover Meal, according to the synoptists, held by Jesus with his disciples in Jerusalem. They followed the traditional ritual with the first and second cups of wine and unleavened bread, but a new significance was given to the meal by Jesus by associating it with his coming death. NT writers refer to Christ as a ‘passover lamb’ (1 Cor. 5:7) and the acclamation by John the Baptist to Jesus as ‘Lamb of God’ (John 1:29) is held by some commentators to indicate that this gospel, which connects the death of Jesus with the timing of the slaughter of the passover lambs in the Temple (John 19:14), had a theology of Jesus as the True Paschal Lamb who brings about the final release of his people from the slavery of sin.

Dictionary of the Bible.

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  • PASSOVER — (Heb. פֶּסַח, Pesah), a spring festival, beginning on the 15th day of Nisan, lasting seven days in Israel and eight in the Diaspora. It commemorates the Exodus from Egypt. The first and seventh days (the first two and last two in the Diaspora)… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Passover — • Great Jewish holiday Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Passover     Pasch or Passover     † …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Passover — Pass o ver, n. [Pass + over. See Pasch.] (Jewish Antiq.) (a) A feast of the Jews, instituted to commemorate the sparing of the Hebrews in Egypt, when God, smiting the firstborn of the Egyptians, passed over the houses of the Israelites which were …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Passover — 1530, coined by Tyndale from pass over, to translate Heb. pesah (see PASCHAL (Cf. paschal)), in reference to the Lord passing over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt when he killed the first born of the Egyptians (Ex. xii) …   Etymology dictionary

  • Passover — ► NOUN ▪ the major Jewish spring festival, commemorating the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. ORIGIN from pass over, with reference to the exemption of the Israelites from the death of their firstborn (Book of Exodus, chapter… …   English terms dictionary

  • Passover — [pas′ō΄vər] n. [ PASS2 + OVER, used to transl. Heb pesach: see PASCH] 1. a Jewish holiday (Pesach) celebrated for eight (or seven) days beginning on the 15th of Nisan and commemorating the deliverance of the ancient Hebrews from slavery in Egypt …   English World dictionary

  • Passover — This article is about the Jewish holiday. For other uses, see Passover (disambiguation). Passover Seder plate with symbolic foods Official name Hebrew: פסח (Pesach) Obs …   Wikipedia

  • Passover — /pas oh veuhr, pahs /, n. 1. Also called Pesach, Pesah. a Jewish festival that commemorates the exodus of the Jews from Egypt and is marked chiefly by the Seder ritual and the eating of matzoth. It begins on the 14th day of Nisan and is… …   Universalium

  • Passover — [[t]pɑ͟ːsoʊvə(r), pæ̱s [/t]] N UNCOUNT: also the N Passover is a Jewish festival that begins in March or April and lasts for seven or eight days. Passover begins with a special meal that reminds Jewish people of how God helped their ancestors… …   English dictionary

  • Passover — UK [ˈpɑːsˌəʊvə(r)] / US [ˈpæsˌoʊvər] noun [countable/uncountable] Word forms Passover : singular Passover plural Passovers a religious festival lasting seven or eight days in March or April during which Jews remember the time when the ancient… …   English dictionary

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