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Bible verses about Unleavened Bread
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Exodus 13:3

This is the first mention of eating unleavened bread in context with the events of the day. It is not the first time that unleavened bread is mentioned in terms of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, as that appears in Exodus 12. Here, Moses is inspired to write down that we are to eat unleavened bread because of what the Lord did.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Unleavened Bread and Pentecost


 

Leviticus 23:5

While the Passover is one of God's appointed times, it is not listed in Scripture as one of the annual Sabbaths. It is a regular day of work—in fact, it is the preparation day for the first day of Unleavened Bread—but the first few hours, the evening portion of the day, is a significant memorial of two great events in God's plan for mankind: the death of the firstborn in Egypt and the sacrifice of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

The bulk of the instruction about the Passover is written in Exodus 12, and a great deal of it concerns the Old Testament ritual meal that was eaten on that evening. These details are types that were fulfilled in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, so the New Testament church is no longer required to slay a lamb, since, as the apostle Paul writes, "For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us" (I Corinthians 5:7).

The New Testament Passover is modeled after the events that occurred during what is commonly known as the Last Supper, the Passover meal that Jesus ate with His disciples just before His arrest, trial, and crucifixion. Jesus began His instruction that evening with a command to wash one another's feet: "For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you" (see John 13:1-17), and so we do.

The apostle Paul summarizes what happens next:

For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, "Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me." In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me." (I Corinthians 11:23-25)

So, to commemorate His sacrifice—His broken body and His shed blood—by which He paid the penalty for human sin and consecrated the New Covenant (see Hebrews 9:11-28), Christians eat a little unleavened bread and drink a small amount of wine. In doing so, they acknowledge His sacrifice and rededicate themselves to their covenant with Him. It is clear from both the Old Testament and New Testament examples that only those who have made the covenant—Christ's disciples—are allowed to partake of the bread and wine, thus only baptized members should participate in this part of the service (see the principle in Exodus 12:43-49; also I Corinthians 11:27-29).

As Christ did after changing the Passover symbols, members of the church then listen to the words of Jesus' discourse to His disciples, which is found in John 13-17. Then, to close the service, they sing a hymn before concluding the solemn service (see Matthew 26:30; Mark 14:26).

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
How Do We Keep God's Festivals?


 

Joshua 1:11

Where did the food they were to prepare and set aside come from? It could not have been manna because manna spoiled within one day (Exodus 16:20). Besides, fresh manna continued to fall each day, except for Sabbaths, until the day following the First Day of Unleavened Bread in that year. God stopped providing manna because the Israelites now had complete access to the produce of the Promised Land, as well as because they were no longer wandering but were camped at a place from which they would launch their conquest of the land.

Considering the time of year (spring), the provision could not have come from fall harvests of fruits and vegetables. The fleeing Canaanites would have either consumed them themselves by this time or taken as much with them as they could. The provision came from a new spring harvest of grains either of winter wheat or barley or both. There was nothing to stop the Israelites from partaking of what was available because no law of God prohibited it; the offering laws applied only to what Israel had planted.

The command to set aside food was made because God knew He would stop sending the manna on Nisan 16. The stockpiled food would keep Israel fed until a much larger harvest could be made after the Passover events were completed, the holy day observed, and Israel was more settled in the land, preparing for the conquest of Jericho.

Israel crossed the Jordan into the Promised Land on Nisan 10 and immediately moved to set up camp that day in Gilgal. The mass circumcisions mentioned must have taken place on Nisan 11. As Nisan 13 ended and Nisan 14 began, they kept the Passover as commanded by God. The daylight portion of Passover day was spent preparing for the holy day on Nisan 15. They kept the Night to be Much Observed as the holy day began, eating unleavened cakes and parched corn from the already harvested Canaanite crops. During the daylight portion of the holy day, they ate of the same provisions that supplied their meal the previous evening because no manna fell on that Sabbath day. No manna fell the next day, Nisan 16, either.

The notation regarding "old corn" ("produce" in modern versions) is simply given to show where Israel's sustenance came from, since the manna stopped appearing. It is not given to prove that a wavesheaf offering was made because none was required'none could be made in the first place.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Pentecost, Consistency, and Honesty


 

Joshua 1:11

In Joshua 1:11, just before crossing the Jordan into Canaan, Joshua commands the Israelites, "Prepare provisions for yourselves, for within three days you will cross over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land which the Lord your God is giving you to possess." Where did the Israelites obtain these provisions? It could not have been manna because manna could not be stored. There is only one possibility: The Israelites were already gathering food, including grains (remember, it was the spring harvest season), in the area in which they were camped. This leads to the inescapable conclusion that the Israelites were no longer completely dependent on manna.

This is pertinent because Joshua 5:11 says, "And they ate of the produce of the land on the day after the Passover, unleavened bread, and parched grain on the very same day." If this took place on the fifteenth day of the first month, as is most likely, it was a high-holy-day Sabbath, so no manna would have fallen that day.

They did not go hungry because they had the produce of the land (at the very least the provisions of Joshua 1:11) to eat. They could eat it without restriction because it was produce that Gentiles had sown. If they had had to wait until the wavesheaf ceremony had occurred before they could harvest (Leviticus 23:14), thresh, winnow, and grind the grain into flour, then bake unleavened bread or parch the grain "the very same day," they really would have been pushing any Sabbath liberty (Exodus 16:23-24; 12:16)! Instead, their food preparation had been completed before the holy day arrived because they were not required to wait for a wavesheaf ceremony!

John W. Ritenbaugh
Pentecost Revisited (Part Two): Joshua 5


 

Matthew 6:11

This is apparently the only material request in the entire model prayer; all the other requests are for spiritual aid such as forgiveness, protection, and guidance. With this in mind, is Jesus telling us to ask for physical food every day? A literal meaning is often the most likely understanding, yet the continuing context of the chapter suggests He had more spiritual matters on His mind. Just a few verses later, in Matthew 6:25-26, 31, He teaches:

Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? . . . Therefore do not worry, saying, "What shall we eat?" or "What shall we drink?" or, "What shall we wear?"

The close proximity of these instructions makes it clear that, in telling us to ask God for our daily bread, Jesus does not have physical food foremost in His mind. What, then, is this "bread" that we are to ask for? John 6:35 provides an answer: "Jesus said to them, 'I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.'"

The Bible uses the word bread to mean "that which is taken into the body and provides nourishment." Scripture presents two basic types of bread, leavened and unleavened. Leavening consistently symbolizes the corruption of sin (for instance, I Corinthians 5:8, "the leaven of malice and wickedness"). Thus, a Christian has a choice of spiritual nourishment that he can take into himself: He can choose sinless, healthful bread or sinful, corrupting bread. This latter bread comes in a range of varieties from sinful and unhealthy to evil and downright poisonous bread.

The manna with which God fed the Israelites while they journeyed through the wilderness was symbolic of Christ, the Bread of Life (John 6:49-51). The account of the giving of the manna in Exodus 16:4, 14-21, 26 shows that the Israelites had a part to play in receiving nourishment from it. They were required to rise early and gather their daily amount before the sun "became hot" and melted it away, or they would go hungry for that day—and perhaps for the next day, if it were a Preparation Day for the Sabbath.

In "the Lord's Prayer," Jesus is instructing His followers to rise early every day and ask God to send the unleavened, sinless Bread of Life to dwell in them. Without the indwelling of Christ through God's Spirit, there is no spiritual life in us (John 6:53, 55-58).

Why is it important that we ask each and every day for this? It is important because God, in His concern to preserve our free-moral agency, will not enter in and live in us uninvited. God is not like an evil demon that will possess us and take control of our lives against our will. He wants us to choose willingly to believe and obey Him and to seek a relationship with Him.

Like a boat trying to dock against the tide, if we do not actively pursue God, then we will slowly drift away from Him (Hebrews 2:1). The cares and pulls of the world seem to distract us easily, and we lose our focus on God. If we are ignoring Him, God may soon become unsure whether we are still choosing to walk with Him. He will try to get our attention back where it should be—on Him and His righteousness—through trials or other circumstances.

Yet ultimately, in order not to override our choice in the matter, God will allow us to slip away unless we repent and actively seek Him and ask for His Spirit. Without God's Spirit in us, we are trying to live and overcome on our own. If Jesus Himself says, "I can of Myself do nothing" (John 5:30), what chance does an individual have to overcome without Christ in him?

Staff
Ask and It Will Be Given


 

Revelation 10:9

"Take and eat it" sounds very much like what Jesus said to His disciples when He told them to eat the unleavened bread during the Passover service. Eating the bread symbolizes partaking of His flesh, that is, devoting ourselves to the life He lives, becoming one with Him as part of His Body, living as He lives. Eating the little book has a similar meaning.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
The Two Witnesses (Part 1)


 

Find more Bible verses about Unleavened bread:
Unleavened bread {Nave's}
 




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