Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread
From the evening of the fourteenth day to the evening of the twenty first; and this was a distinct festival from what was properly called the feast of the passover, and does not respect the first passover in Egypt; for though the passover lamb was eaten with unleavened bread, and the Israelites ate no other, not only for seven days, but for thirty days following; yet this was not only by the divine command, but through necessity, they having no other bread to eat; but in later times they were commanded to keep a feast for seven days, in which they were not to eat leavened bread, in commemoration of their hasty departure out of Egypt, not having time to leaven the dough in their troughs, and of their distress and want of savoury bread:
even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses;
out of their dwelling houses, which were to be diligently searched for that purpose, and every hole and crevice in them; and not only their lower rooms, their dining rooms and parlours, but their upper rooms and bedchambers; because it was possible a man might sometimes go into them with a piece of bread in his hand, and drop or leave some of it behind him: yea, synagogues and schools were to be searched, since children might carry thither leavened breads F9: and this search was to be made by the light of a lamp or candle, not by the light of the moon, if in the night; nor by the light of the sun, if in the day, but by the light of a lamp or candle, and not by the light of a torch, or of a lump of fat, or grease, or oil, but by a lamp or candle of wax F11: and this search was to be made at the beginning of the night of the fourteenth of Nisan; yea, it is said that leavened bread was forbidden from the seventh hour of the day, that is, one o'clock in the afternoon and upwards, which is the middle of the day F12: the account of the Misnic doctors is F13,
``R. Meir says, that they may eat leaven the whole fifth hour, i.e. eleven o'clock in the morning, and burn it the beginning of the sixth, or twelve o'clock; R. Judah says, they may eat it all the fourth hour, or tenth o'clock, and suspend it the whole fifth hour, and burn it the beginning of the sixth:''for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the
from the first of the seven days to the last of them, beginning at the night at the fourteenth, and ending at the night of the twenty first:
that soul shall be cut off from Israel;
either from the commonwealth of Israel, and be disfranchised, and not accounted as an Israelite; or from the Israelitish church state, and have no communion in it, or partake of the ordinances at it; or if it is to be understood of cutting off by death, it is either by the hand of the civil magistrate, or by the immediate hand of God; and is sometimes by the Jews interpreted of a man dying either without children, or before he is fifty years of age, and some even understand it of destruction of soul and body, or of eternal damnation.
F9 Lebush, par. 1. No. 433. sect. 1. 3. 10. Schulcan Aruch, par. 1. No. 433. sect. 3. 10.
F11 Lebush & Schulcan ib. sect. 1.
F12 Lebush & Schulcan No. 431. sect. 1.
F13 Misn. Pesach c. 1. sect. 4.