“Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread (matstsah). On the first day you shall remove leaven (se’or) from your houses. For whoever eats leavened bread (chametz) from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel. ” Exo 12:15
Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. 1 Cor 5:6-8
In the evening of the 14th day of Aviv, the 1st biblical month, at sundown, which is also the beginning of the 15th day of Aviv, we have our Passover supper, which we keep in remembrance of our deliverance from Egypt, and the kingdom of darkness by the blood of Yeshua, our Passover Lamb. The 15th of Aviv is the 1st day of Unleavened Bread, a seven day festival which continues through the 21st day of Aviv. The 1st day (the 15th) and 7th days (the 21st) are high holy Sabbaths – the first two of the special seven annual Sabbaths Israel celebrates as holy convocations to the LORD.
As to how Israel celebrates Unleavened Bread, besides the command to rest, do no customary work, observe a holy convocation to the LORD on the 1st and 7th days, and to offer an offering made by fire for seven days (Lev 23:4-8) this command in Exo 12:15 is the guiding principle. There are two distinct commands within this instruction.
The first is that, for seven days, Israel is to eat unleavened bread, which is matstsah in Hebrew. It means, a dough which is unleavened, which has no carbon dioxide molecules in between the gluten protein molecules causing the dough to rise. Regular air beaten into the dough is fine – that is still unleavened. Carbon dioxide is created when a leavening agent added to the dough reacts with the elements within the dough to form carbon dioxide gas.
So Israel is not to eat anything baked from dough to which carbon dioxide creating agents have been added. Three leavening agents create carbon dioxide when added to dough: yeast, baking soda, and baking powder. What Israel is not to eat, then, for seven days, is yeast breads of all types, most crackers, cookies, pastries and flour desserts, biscuits, and nut or fruit breads.
The second command is that, on the first day of the holiday, on the first day of Unleavened Bread, Israel is to remove leaven (se’or) from their houses. Se’or is sugar- eating fungi (yeast) which can be introduced into the dough slowly, or quickly. The slow way is to leave your dough out on the counter for a few days until it sours. That is how traditional sourdough is made. The quick way is to add wet or dry live yeast to a mixture of water, flour, and sugar. Either way, that yeast, and anything made with yeast, is to be completely removed from the house on the 1st day. This includes bread, pastries, or crackers made with yeast; beer; and anything fermented whose source is grain, i.e. white vinegar, and foods containing white vinegar.
For anyone who eats chametz, baked dough made with carbon dioxide creating leaveners, whether from yeast or chemical agents, from the first day through the seventh day, will be cut off from Israel. I do not want my wild olive branch, which has been grafted in to the cultivated olive tree of Israel, to be cut off!
And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you. You will say then, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.” Wellsaid. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. Rom 11:17-22
Paul’s instruction in 1 Cor teaches us that as we are careful to cleanse our homes from leaven when we keep this feast, let us be just as careful to cleanse our hearts from malice and wickedness so that we may be truly unleavened in our hearts, with sincerity and truth! This is the New Testament, so let us not be unwise, but wise in the Scripture, and truly take our faith and practice from the Word of God and only the Word of God, and not the word of man, as we claim we do!
For further reading:
Yoel ben Shlomo on Truth2U Radio: Exo 12:15 and Se’or, Chametz, and Matstsah