Shabbat Chol HaMoed Pesach
Torah Reading: Exodus 33:12-34:26
This Shabbat is the Shabbat which occurs during the festival of Unleavened Bread. Since this Shabbat is part of the festival period, special readings are read and we will return to the normal Parashah next week.
In this article, I would like to share a verse from the book of Second Chronicles which relates to Passover and the feast of Unleavened Bread. Actually, the passage relates to what is known as Pesach Sheni which is observed exactly one month after the normal Passover time by those who were either spiritually unclean and therefore could not offer the Passover sacrifice or away from Israel and could not make it to Jerusalem to keep the festival. Although it is one month later, according to the Scripture it is observed in the exact manner that the normal Passover was kept.
It is very interesting that after the congregation which assembled in Jerusalem had observed the Passover, including the seven days of Unleavened Bread, they decided to continue to observe it seven “different” days.
“And all the congregation took counsel (decided) to do seven different days and they did seven days of gladness.” 2 Chronicles 30:23
I realize that most English translations render the underlined phrase above, “seven more days” or “another seven days“; however, this rendering fails to capture the intent of the verse. The Hebrew word in question here is אחרים. If the meaning of the verse was “seven more days” or “another seven days“, then the Hebrew word נוספים would be used. The proper implication for the use of the word אחרים is that an extension of time is not what the Holy Spirit wants to emphasize or relate to the reader. Rather, these days were different! The people were not observing these seven additional days out of any obligation or religious objective, but because they were glad to be worshiping HaShem in Jerusalem. If one pays attention to what had occurred throughout the 30th chapter, then he will see what a transformation had truly occurred with the people.
The message for the followers of Yeshua is this— worship is not the same day in and day out. When one truly worships Yeshua and experiences Him, then the worship experience will also change. The people ascended in their spiritual condition. If each time you worship you have the same experience more or less, then you must ask yourself whether or not you are approaching the L-rd in the same manner as those who went up to Jerusalem to observe Passover. An important aspect of this change is seen in the preceding verse (22). This verse informs the reader that the people were moved to confess their sins. The traditional view is that each day of the first seven days the people were ascending in their spiritual condition. This spiritual maturity revealed each day more and more sin in their lives. Being convicted of their sin, they were faithful to confess it. In doing so, they experienced greater intimacy with HaShem and this is why they decided to extend the time in Jerusalem an additional seven days in which each one of them was most different.
Shabbat Shalom and Chag Semeach!