Some particular rules about Passover (Num 9:6-9:14)

“Now there were certain people who were unclean through touching a corpse, so that they could not keep the Passover on that day.  They came before Moses and Aaron on that day and said to him, ‘Although we are unclean through touching a corpse, why must we be kept from presenting Yahweh’s offering at its appointed time among the Israelites?’  Moses said to them, ‘Wait, so that I may hear what Yahweh will command concerning you.’

What happens if someone died and you touched the dead body, which made you unclean? They were unclean and therefore could not partake in the Passover.  I am not sure if this is a real problem since if they waited until evening and washed they would be clean.  Anyway, they went to Moses, and he said, wait, I will check with Yahweh.

“Yahweh spoke to Moses.  ‘Speak to the Israelites, anyone of you or of your descendants who is unclean through touching a corpse, or is away on a journey, shall keep the Passover to Yahweh.   In the second month on the fourteenth day, at twilight, they shall keep it.  They shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.  They shall leave none of it until morning, nor break a bone of it.  According to all the statute for the Passover they shall keep it.  But anyone who is clean, and is not on a journey, and yet refrains from keeping the Passover, shall be cut off from the people for not presenting Yahweh’s offering at its appointed time.  Such a one shall bear the consequences for the sin. Any resident alien residing among you who wishes to keep the Passover to Yahweh shall do so according to the statute of the Passover and according to its regulation.  You shall have one statute for both the resident alien and the native.”

Here we have the first exceptions in this priestly tradition.  The response of Yahweh is that anyone who is unclean through touching a corpse or away on a journey shall keep the Passover in the second month on the fourteenth day, at twilight.  In other words, they move the Passover to the next month.  However anyone who is clean and not on a journey, and refrains from keeping the Passover, shall be cut off from the people as one who commits a sin.  The penalty of ostracizing someone is severe, but not the death penalty.  If a stranger is with you, keep the Passover with him, because there is one law for both the resident alien and the native. Obviously both of these cases refer to the time when they are settled in Canaan.

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