Deuteronomy 16:6

“But at the place which Yahweh thy Elohim shall choose to place His name in, there you shall sacrifice the passover at even [ba-ereb], at the going down of the sun , at the season that you came forth out of Egypt.”

It is important to understand what this phrase means. Notice the phrase does not say “sunset” or “sundown,” but “at the going down.” That means the sun was on its way down, but had not reached that point yet. It was “going” down, but not gone. The verse says to sacrifice the Passover as the sun is going down. It does not say to sacrifice the Passover after the sun has set. The sun is only “going down” at the end of a day, not the beginning.

Proof that this phrase can mean “prior to sunset” is found by studying two verses in the book of Joshua wherein the same Hebrew phrase occurs.

Joshua 8:29 , “And the king of Ai he hanged on a tree until eventide [ereb]: and as soon as the sun was down , Joshua commanded that they should take his carcass down from the tree, and cast it at the entering of the gate of the city, and raise thereon a great heap of stones, that remains unto this day.”

Joshua 10:26,27 , “… and they were hanging upon the trees until the evening [ereb]. And it came to pass at the time of the going down of the sun, that Joshua commanded, and they took them down off the trees, and cast them into the cave wherein they had been hid, and laid great stones in the cave’s mouth, which remain until this very day.”

The underlined words in both verses are the equivalent Hebrew of “at the going down” in Deuteronomy 16:6. Notice one verse says the sun was already down and the other verse says it was going down. To understand what the status of the sun really was, we must look at the commandment that led Joshua to order the king’s body taken down. It is found in Deuteronomy 21:22,23;

“And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be to be put to death, and you hang him on a tree: His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but you shall in any wise bury him that day ; (for he that is hanged is accursed of Elohim;) that thy land be not defiled, which Yahweh thy Elohim gives thee for an inheritance.”

Yahweh commanded the body to be removed and buried the same day . To accomplish that, the body had to be removed before sunset. After sunset would have been a new day. Joshua 8:29 should have been translated “at the going down of the sun” just as Deuteronomy 16:6 and Joshua 10:27 were. This also shows that the word “ereb” in Joshua 8:29 and 10:27 has the meaning of “before sunset” in these cases.

As this Passover season approaches, let us prepare our hearts to celebrate the remembrance not only of Israel’s deliverance from Egyptian slavery through the sacrifice of the passover lamb, but the sacrifice of Messiah Yeshua, the true Passover Lamb, who gave his life to save the world and deliver us from slavery to sin and death. Just as the passover lamb of Deuteronomy 16:6 was sacrificed before sundown ending the 14th day of the first month so, too, was Yeshua, the true Passover Lamb, sacrificed before sundown ending the 14th day of the first month. HalleluYah!

Leave a Reply