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PASSOVER LAMB OR PASSOVER GOAT?
The Lamb Who Sold The World!
JOHN - PAVING THE WAY FOR GOD.
"[I am] the voice, one calling in the wilderness. Materialise, you are to straighten; the Way of Jahovah, in the words of Isaiah," John The Baptist answered the mystified Pharissem delegation.
The next day his cousin Jesus appeared again and John confessed how God had hidden his identity even from his own eyes after his most cryptic pronouncement.
"Perceive the Lamb Of God, the one lifting away the sin of this world."
It was a very strange thing to say because Jesus certainly didn't look or sound like a sheep. Nor was he planning to have the High Priest shed his blood upon the east side of the altar which had replaced the mercy seat of the Ark hidden by Jeremiah.
The Classic Symbolism Of Jesus As The Lamb Of God.
WHERE DOES THE PASSOVER REALLY BEGIN?
In the story of Exodus, God's final sign in Egypt against Pharoh was the (creeping) death of the firstborn men and beasts (Exodus 11). Protection was given to the houses of Israel if they followed a particular set of regulations (Ex. 12:1-10).
- On the tenth day of the first month of the year began the ritual that would become the annual Passover.
- Each household would, on this day (1), obtain a lamb without blemish for sacrifice. Should the household have insufficient funds they must share with their neighbours the cost and beast.
- The "lamb" must be a male yearling, either a goat or sheep.
- He was to be confined until the fourteenth day, then at the twilight of dusk be slaughtered by the "entire congregation" of Israel.
- The blood was to be applied to the doorframe.
- The whole useful portions of the roasted sacrifice with "bitter herbs" were to be consumed that night. Any remnant had to be burned at morning.
- Israel were to eat it as if they were about to march (as indeed they were!) with sandals on their feet.
Yet what if there was a precedent to this peculiar ordinance of sacrifice? One that involved a man, lamb's blood, obvious sin, and a patient ruler who did not hasten judgment?
There were some modifications to this ordinance when Moses was provided with further details at the mountain of God. It is important to note that although this was not a sin offering, it relates to the sin of the patriarchs whose actions brought them from Canaan to Egypt. That is to say the ordinance pertains to the sins of the fathers. It is a rather difficult act to fathom. It seems somewhat pagan. There is no obvious inherent symbolism.
The true origins of Passover were masked over by unknown Israelite scribes millennia ago. By the time of Jesus Christ there were three known Torahs. There was the Greek Septuagint, the Samaritan Torah and a Jewish Torah whose closest known living relative is the Leningrad Codex. Although some related source documents like 1Q Genesis (1QapGen) and various forms of the highly influential Enoch exist today, the only perfect text of Genesis matter exists in the Qur'an. Curiously the instructions in the Qur'an are to ask about the story (S.12:7). If the Qur'an is complete, as is clearly the case, then other documents existed at the time, even if they were not readily available. Certainly the Jewish community knew the Torah. Of course other Torahs existed by this period such as the Roman-Catholic Latin and various Orthodox editions. Only by close examination of the Masoretic text and Qur'an may the relevant history be understood. There are some differences between the accounts but it must be understood that the Torah is deeply prophetic and even more so in the pre-Exodus period we are concerned with here.
The Genesis portion of Torah becomes a story concerning the progeny of Abraham. The story of Abraham's grandson Jacob and his chosen son cover 25 of the 50 chapter divisions. Jacob is the priestly Patriarch and father of a nation (S.2:133-4) for his sons and two grandchildren become the clan heads of the Israelites, although they will always be called Hebrews until they depart Egypt for good.
The story of Joseph is the most deeply symbolic portion of Genesis and becomes directly relevant to the Hebrews 400 years later in their fight for survival. Within the story are key components of Passover.
Joseph Being Flung Into The Pit By His Elder Brothers.
THE STORY OF JOSEPH'S EXILE.
- Qur'an and biblical scripture agree that Joseph's dreams of dominance exacerbated the sibling rivalry that marred his relationship with Jacob.
- Summarising surah 12:8-9, the brothers note how Jacob favours Joseph [and Benjamin] but perceive their strength as a clan to be superior. They declare Jacob to be in error and are in rebellion to their father. They plan to remove Joseph one way or another and aspire to be loved by Jacob as he loves Joseph. They think that from that point on they will act only in righteousness and their sin will be forgotten.
- Qur'an and biblical scripture agree that the brothers threw Joseph down a pit. Then they presented Jacob with Joseph's fine coat, covered in blood that evening, claiming Joseph had been eaten by a wild animal.
- The Qur'an declares that it is fake blood (S.12:18), for they slaughtered a lamb (male goat according to bibles, the Qur'an does not actually specify the source of blood). Jacob actually accuses his sons but declares he will show patience in this matter.
- Joseph is sold in Egypt as a youth and taken into the household of the King's top official (possibly a eunuch), Potiphar (Gen.39:1), the Al-Azeez (S.12:30,51,78). Joseph, who is still clearly male, and not a eunuch, is tested because Potiphar's wife starts to lust over him. It is apparent that Joseph is well formed and attractive (Gen.39:6, S.12:31).
The stories in the different scriptures are parallel and at other times identical. If we refer back to the New Testament we can consider the mindset that led to Jesus' punishment, but this is not what we are considering directly here. We are looking for more direct parallels to Passover itself.
- In terms of lamb versus man, Joseph was 'without blemish'. He spoke the truth about his dreams not out of arrogance but to share the knowledge. His strength of character is later revealed in his resolve to resist the advances of his master's wife. He was chosen by God through the sign of dreams and their interpretation. He was a 'young lamb' at the time of his exile.
- Joseph was confined in a pit. His brothers presented the blood-stained robe to Jacob around dusk.
- The brothers knew their plans involved great sin.
- They hatch a plan to use the blood of an animal 'painted' upon Joseph's garment to absolve themselves of sin.
- Although their father, whose authority is akin to God in regard to their existence, knows [something] of their sin he prefers to postpone judgment.
- The brothers were dressed to march for they had returned from a great march with their animals in grazing.
These are the key factors linking the story of Joseph to the Passover. Although two earlier passages in Genesis point to different aspects of the sacrificial system that became the Way Of Moses, that is Cain & Abel, Abraham & Isaac, it is Jacob & Joseph that point directly to the Passover.