Feast of Unleavened Bread: Joy or Mourning?

Shalom all,

It has been asked of me recently about what I thought in regard to a teaching that has been surfacing; some have said that we are to eat unleavened bread only during the week-long festival of Unleavened bread, due to it being a week of ‘mourning’ and not joy.  It has also been said that the Hebrew word Maror that we get ‘bitter herbs’ from, is not about eating bitter herbs, but that the festival is a week of bitterness and that we eat the unleavened bread in affliction/bitterness. This study is not to demean or be contentious with anyone who holds this understanding, in fact, the brother who brought it to my attention, I think highly of. This study was simply done to test this proposition, and this is what was shown to me through the scriptures.

Seven days shall ye eat matstsah; even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses: for whosoever eats chamets (leavened bread) from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Yashar’el.
Shemot 12:15

– Putting bitter herbs aside for a moment, on the first night of the festival, we are instructed to eat the lamb, which does not coincide with eating unleavened bread only for 7 days; it would be 6 days of unleavened bread only with this in mind. Below is a perfect example from Jubilees as to exactly how the dates work out:

REMEMBER the commandment which YAHUAH commanded you concerning the Pecach, that you should celebrate it in its season on the fourteenth of the first month, that you should kill it before it is evening, and that they should eat it by night on the evening of the fifteenth from the time of the setting of the sun.  YOVHELIYM (JUBILEES) 49:1 את CEPHER


The Pesach meal commences the 7 days of unleavened bread. So if we were to eat unleavened bread for 7 whole days, the first day it is already broken.


Here are several witnesses that this is to be a festival in joy, not in bitterness, which would lead me to believe it was in fact bitter herbs that was eaten alongside lamb and unleavened bread:

And it came to pass in the middle of the night, that YAHUAH went forth in the midst of Mitsrayim, and smote all the firstborn of the Mitsriym, from the firstborn of man to the firstborn of beast. And Phar`oh rose up in the night, he and all his servants and all the Mitsriym, and there was a great cry throughout Mitsrayim in that night, for there was not a house in which there was not a corpse.  YASHAR (JASHER) 80:43-44 את CEPHER

And all the families of Mitsrayim wept upon that night, each man for his son and each man for his daughter, being the firstborn, and the tumult of Mitsrayim was heard at a distance on that night. And Bathia the daughter of Phar`oh went forth with the king on that night to seek Mosheh and Aharon in their houses, and they found them in their houses, eating and drinking and rejoicing with all Yashar’el.  YASHAR (JASHER) 80:48-49 את CEPHER


– While Mitsrayim were in sorrow, all Yashar’El were rejoicing, not eating in bitterness (maror), but in joy.


REMEMBER the commandment which YAHUAH commanded you concerning the Pecach, that you should celebrate it in its season on the fourteenth of the first month, that you should kill it before it is evening, and that they should eat it by night on the evening of the fifteenth from the time of the setting of the sun.  YOVHELIYM (JUBILEES) 49:1 את CEPHER


For on this night the beginning of the feast and the beginning of the joy ye were eating the Pecach in Mitsrayim, when all the powers of Mastema had been let loose to slay all the firstborn in the land of Mitsrayim, from the firstborn of Phar`oh to the firstborn of the captive maidservant in the mill, and to the cattle.  YOVHELIYM (JUBILEES) 49:2 את CEPHER


  • Remember, the Pesach meal is on the first day of unleavened bread.


And all Yashar’el was eating the flesh of the Pecach Lamb, and drinking the wine, and was lauding, and blessing, and giving thanks to YAHUAH ELOHIYM of their fathers, and was ready to go forth from under the yoke of Mitsrayim, and from the evil bondage.  YOVHELIYM (JUBILEES) 49:6 את CEPHER


– Let’s not forget what happened during unleavened bread, they were freed from Mitsrayim!  What a joy to be loosed from the bondage, just as one day he will gather us again at Pesach/Unleavened bread:

“For thus saith Yahuah to Ya’acov; Rejoice ye, and exult over the head of the nations: make proclamation, and praise ye: say, Yahuah has delivered his people, the remnant of Yashar’El. Behold, I bring them from the north, and will gather them from the end of the earth to the feast of the passover: and the people shall beget a great multitude, and they shall return hither.” YeremYahu 38:7-8

– I think it best to prepare for our escape in the days to come, by celebrating the day/week to with joy.



– Let us also not forget that during the week of unleavened bread, Yahuah opened up the Sea of Reeds and all Yashar’El rejoiced and sang unto his glory:

Exo 15:1  THEN sang Mosheh and the children of Yashar’el this song unto YAHUAH, and spoke, saying, I will sing unto YAHUAH, for he has triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider has he thrown into the sea.

Exo 15:2  YAH is my strength and song, and he is become my yeshu`ah: he is my EL, and I will prepare him a habitation; my father’s ELOHAI, and I will exalt him.


– To me, this is not evidence of bitterness, but a festival of joy.  Next, is the Pesach that King Hezekiah kept, inviting the escapees of Assyria to come and join in:

AND Yechizqiyahu sent to all Yashar’el and Yahudah, and wrote letters also to Ephrayim and Menashsheh, that they should come to the house of YAHUAH at Yerushalayim, to keep the Pecach unto YAHUAH ELOHAI of Yashar’el.  DIVREI HAYAMIYM SHENIY (2 CHRONICLES) 30:1 את CEPHER

And there assembled at Yerushalayim much people to keep the Feast of Matstsah in the second month, a very great assembly.  DIVREI HAYAMIYM SHENIY (2 CHRONICLES) 30:13 את CEPHER

And the children of Yashar’el that were present at Yerushalayim kept the Feast of Matstsah seven days with great gladness: and the Leviyiym and the priests praised YAHUAH day by day, singing with loud instruments unto YAHUAH.  DIVREI HAYAMIYM SHENIY (2 CHRONICLES) 30:21 את CEPHER

  • Hezekiah was a great man, upright before Yahuah, walking in all his statutes. I trust he led the festival according to Yahuah’s commands; in joy, not heaviness/bitterness.

And Yechizqiyahu spoke comfortably unto all the Leviyiym that taught the good knowledge of YAHUAH: and they did eat throughout the feast seven days, offering peace offerings, and making confession to YAHUAH ELOHIYM of their fathers.  DIVREI HAYAMIYM SHENIY (2 CHRONICLES) 30:22 את CEPHER

– We know that these are to be eaten (Vayiqra/Leviticus 7:11-15).  Therefore, they ate food aside from just unleavened bread.

And all the assembly of Yahudah, with the priests and the Leviyiym, and all the assembly that came out of Yashar’el, and the strangers that came out of the land of Yashar’el, and that dwelt in Yahudah, rejoiced. So there was great joy in Yerushalayim: for since the time of Shalomah the son of Daviyd king of Yashar’el there was not the like in Yerushalayim.  DIVREI HAYAMIYM SHENIY (2 CHRONICLES) 30:25-26 את CEPHER


– Next, we will see how the Pesach and week of unleavened bread was kept by Ezra and the returnees from Babylon:

And the children of the captivity kept the Pecach upon the fourteenth day of the first month. For the priests and the Leviyiym were purified together, all of them were pure, and killed the Pecach for all the children of the captivity, and for their brethren the priests, and for themselves. And the children of Yashar’el, which were come again out of captivity, and all such as had separated themselves unto them from the filthiness of the heathen of the land, to seek YAHUAH ELOHAI of Yashar’el, did eat, And kept the Feast of Matstsah seven days with joy: for YAHUAH had made them joyful, and turned the heart of the king of Ashshur unto them, to strengthen their hands in the work of the house of ELOHIYM, the ELOHAI of Yashar’el.  EZRA V’NECHEMYAHU (EZRA) 6:19-22 את CEPHER

– They escaped captivity/bondage, just as our ancestors did coming out of Mitsrayim; likewise, we will one day as well.


At this time, I am not led to make a change during Unleavened bread for the references made above, as I do believe historically and prophetically, this is a week of celebration in joy, just as those many years ago who were much wiser than us did.  I hope this makes sense.



Adam Fink

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