In which month is the Passover? Is it in Shebat or Abib?
The Passover was established by God just before the “destroyer” passed by to kill the first-born in each family (Exodus 12:23). The Hebrew word for “Passover” means “to pass over.” Moses had warned Pharaoh one last time to let Israel leave or the Lord would kill the first-born (Exodus 11:1-10) in the land of Egypt. Pharaoh refused. Those who believed God and obeyed God’s command were passed over; their lives were saved. The command the Lord gave to Moses is as follows.
Now the LORD said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, “This month shall be the beginning of months for you; it is to be the first month of the year to you. Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying, ‘ . . . take a lamb for themselves, according to their fathers’ households, a lamb for each household. . . . Your lamb shall be an unblemished male a year old; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats. And you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month, then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel is to kill it at twilight.'” Exodus 12:1-6 (NASB)
This was the first Passover.
Exodus 12:1-6 is a great passage because here we discover the first month of the Jewish year is the month in which the Exodus occurred. We also discover that the Passover must occur on the fourteenth day of this first month. In Deuteronomy 16 we discover the name of the month.
Observe the month of Abib and celebrate the Passover to the LORD your God, for in the month of Abib the LORD your God brought you out of Egypt by night. Deuteronomy 16:1 (NASB)
The month of Abib is now the month Nisan in the current Jewish calendar.
The answer to your question is that Passover occurs in the month Abib, or Nisan, which is in the March-April time frame.
To celebrate the new beginning of a year in Abib or Nisan has tremendous symbolic meaning. Jesus died on Nisan 14, the first month of a new year – a new beginning. This was the same month in which God saved those who believed Him and obeyed Him. This was the same month a lamb was killed to save the lives of men and women. Passover is a new beginning of a new life because of Jesus’ death and return to life for all who believe on/trust in God for the forgiveness of their sins.
1. Jack Finegan. Handbook of Biblical Chronology. Hendrickson Publishing. 1998. p. 30-31.
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