JN Darby on the Passover – The Historical Keeping of the Passover

The Passover by Subject

– The Historical Keeping of the Passover


The Passover is the first in our series of JND on Selected Subjects

Notes from Darby’s Writings


The Passover, the memorial of redemption of the people of God, as an assembly redeemed by Him, was obligatory during the journey through the wilderness.   But according the record, it was celebrated only once.  Those born in the wilderness were not circumcised till they came to Gilgal across the Jordan, so not in a condition to keep it.  None born there were circumcised.   God makes a provision, in grace and forbearance, for those who were not able to keep it. JND Synopsis Numbers 9

However faithful Josiah had been, this had not changed the heart of the people – ‘The LORD said also unto me in the days of Josiah the king, Hast thou seen that which backsliding Israel hath done? …, yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah hath not turned unto me with her whole heart, but feignedly, saith the Lord’ (Jeremiah 3: 6, 10). Josiah’s faith was in action, and blessing depended on the conduct of the king.  Despite this, the undercurrent was always tending to the ruin and rejection of the people.

For this special Passover, everything is set in order according to the ordinances of Moses and David, in a remarkable manner. It appears that even the ark had been removed from its place (2 Chronicles 35:3); but now, the ark being restored to its rest, the Levites occupy themselves diligently with their service, and even make ready for the priests, that they might keep the feast. They were all in their places according to the blessing of Israel in the rest they enjoyed under Solomon. Those who taught all Israel no longer bore the ark, but they ministered to God and to His people. The singers were there also, according to their order, so that there had not been such a Passover since the days of Samuel. It was like the last glimmering of the lamp which God had lighted among His people in the house of David. It was soon extinguished in the darkness of the nation which did not know God, and those who had been His people came under the judgment expressed by the word Lo-ammi (Not-my-people).   God was yet to show His infinite grace.


JND Synopsis 2 Chronicles 35


The Passover has an unquestionably historical character.  It was ‘a night much to be observed,’ (Ex 12:42) when, protected by the blood from judgment, they ate their unleavened bread in haste, preparing to depart out of Egypt.  There is no evidence that they kept it after Sinai (Numbers 9) till they were in Canaan. Those born in the wilderness were not fitted to do so, being uncircumcised until across Jordan; when, under Joshua they were, they did so  in Gilgal .  Hezekiah kept it, and Josiah kept it, as it had not been kept for long years.  What neglect!


JND Collected Writings Volume 29 (Doctrinal 8) p106 on ‘Have we a Revelation from God?’


Author: Sosthenes

Once the ruler of the synagogue at Corinth Then a co-writer of a letter by Paul - just a brother - no longer an official Now a blogger seeking to serve the Lord by posting some words that the Lord has given His Church.