Isaiah 53 and the Passover.

In Chapter 30 of 2 Chronicles there is the account of a great public celebration of the Passover. Isaiah is not mentioned in person but as a member of the priesthood his involvement in the events of this chapter is there by implication. As one of the few people who seems to have kept himself ceremonially pure then he would have been heavily involved in the purification of other members of the priesthood and temple servants. There being so few that the celebration was delayed by a month. King Hezekiah crossed over into what had previously been the northern kingdom of Israel and invited the remnant that had been left behind by the Assyrians to join in the celebration of the Passover at Jerusalem. Indeed, many did even though as a nation they had fallen away from God’s laws so prayers were given to the effect that despite that they should be allowed to take part and be accepted. These people together with the people whom the Assyrians had settled in the land in time became known as the Samaritans. Their descendants today still celebrate a version of the Passover though different from how their Jewish brothers do it today. Today the Jewish people do not eat lamb in their Seder meal. But the Samaritans cook a whole lamb in an oven which consists of a hole in the ground with a fire in the bottom. In order to do this they insert a thin piece of wood under the flesh of the lamb along one foreleg to the shoulder and through and along to the other foreleg. Another stick was pierced under the skin down the back of the lamb with the hind-legs tied to the end of the stick. Thus the lamb is spreadeagled over the fire with the ends of the stick through the forelegs resting on each side of the oven. There being room for several lambs to be cooked at the same time and therefore a suitable method of preparing the vast number of lambs needed for a mass celebration of the Passover such as that recorded during the reign of Hezekiah. Of course, before this happened the lamb had to be slaughtered and in Isaiah 53 verse 7 it states “he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a shearers is silent he did not open his mouth.” So Isaiah would have had plenty of witnessing lambs being slaughtered. Whether Chapter 53 is a result of Isaiah’s reflections on the preparations of the Passover or as a reflection after the event I cannot say. The Passover is also referred to the Feast of Unleavened Bread. The bread used in the Seder today and is called matzo which is in the form of a crispbread with rough corrugations or stripes and also pierced with small holes. Hence, it states “He was pierced for our transgressions,” and “by his stripes(or wounds) we are healed.” But equally there much in this passage that cannot come about by anything but divine revelation. but how often does not that revelation come to us but by starting by either reading the Word or observing something physical that God uses to trigger a train of thought.
David Rose, 2015.

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About davidgrose

I am a Bible believing Christian, brought up in the Brethren Movement, and now find myself associating with charismatics even though I do not always agree with them. I am in full-time employment. I have interests in history and photography amongst others.
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