Passover … HIS Festival!!!
“Now this day will be a memorial to you, and you shall celebrate it as a feast to the LORD; throughout your generations you are to celebrate it as a permanent ordinance,” Ex 12:14
וְהָיָה֩ הַיֹּ֨ום הַזֶּ֤ה לָכֶם֙ לְזִכָּרֹ֔ון וְחַגֹּתֶ֥ם אֹתֹ֖ו חַ֣ג לַֽיהוָ֑ה לְדֹרֹ֣תֵיכֶ֔ם חֻקַּ֥ת עֹולָ֖ם תְּחָגֻּֽהוּ׃
What is God saying to us?
- First He is telling us that “this day” (Passover) is to be a “memorial” (something that we are to remember).
- The next phrase is more specific: “we are to celebrate it as a feast to the LORD.”
- And the final phrase is even more specific: we are to do this for all “generations; it as a permanent ordinance.” (Merriam-Webster defines ordinance as “an authoritative decree or direction; order.”)
In summation, what is God saying to us? He has decreed that Passover is to be remembered and celebrated as a feast to the LORD for all generations.
As we study Ex 12:14 in Hebrew, the insights He shows us are thrilling. First, God chose to use one word three times in one verse. We know that when God says something one time, we need to listen. But when He repeats something three times in one verse, He is telling us that this concept is very important to Him.
Literally hag חַ֣ג is a festival or feast. However, when hag is used in Scripture, it is in conjunction to a feast of the Lord.
Additionally, 2 different forms of the word hag is used twice in Ex 12:14.
- The first is וְחַגֹּתֶ֥ם (v’hag-gotem, literally: ‘and you will feast’. In English when feast is used as a verb, it connotes more the amount of food rather than the manner of celebration. V’hag-gotem might be better translated as ‘you will celebrate or keep’).
- The second time, a form of hag is usedתְּחָגֻּֽהוּ , ‘you will feast it’; it is in the imperative, or command, form of the verb.
It is interesting that God chose to use a form of hag, rather than another word. By using v’hag-gotem, I believe He is reminding us that these are His festivals and that we are to celebrate them His way.
This verse also has another couple of significant aspects. 1). That we are to observe this for all generations. 2). That the observance of this Feast is an eternal decree.
The feasts are not merely something else to add to our calendars. They are His festivals on His appointed times.
Let’s put all these concepts together.. God has issued an eternal decree that Passover is to be remembered and is to be celebrated or observed His way for all generations. Let us harken to the voice of the LORD: “…you shall celebrate it as a feast to the LORD; throughout your generations you are to celebrate it as a permanent ordinance,” Ex 12:14.
“O, mighty God, our redeemer, our Passover Lamb. Thank You!!! We love You! We bless You! We pray for Seders all over the world – that the focus will be on You. That we will each come away knowing more about You. Bring Your peace to Jerusalem – help Israel to stand firm. Protect her citizens and her borders. Protect our nation. Turn the hearts of Americans to You. In Your holy Name, we pray.”