Reading through the Bible: day 67

Deuteronomy 15 – 18

I’m doing 4 chapters a night to try to catch up.

Today’s texts are interesting, there’s a nice bit about caring for the poor, and some not so nice bits about capital punishment and how it should be administered. But there does seem to be an issue.

How many days

Deuteronomy 16:3 has what seems to be the only reference in the Bible to eating unleavened bread for 6 days. The seven days following passover was the feast of unleavened bread, all references to this feast, including Deuteronomy 16:8 refer to seven days.

While some versions (eg the ESV) refer to eating in verse 3 and having leaven in verse 8, some simply refer to eating both times. If the ESV is correct, there seems to be no contradiction within the chapter, but that still leaves texts like Exodus 12:15 which definitely refers to eating unleavened bread for seven days. I’m not the only person who’s had a problem finding an explanation, since I can’t find one on the web.

Obviously if you’re eating unleavened bread for seven days, you are eating it for six days too, but this is a linguistic loophole, not an explanation.

A copyist error could be an explanation, but wouldn’t work for churches that teach inerrancy. There seemed to be no issue with this text among the Israelites, since they kept seven days without any question.

I find it reasonable to assume that such a contradiction could occur over multiple texts, but when it seems to appear with such close proximity, I can only assume that there was an explanation for it. That being said, I’m still interested I what that explanation could be, your thoughts?


Please give the reading through the Bible page a look if you haven’t already, there are some background posts and the index to this reading plan. Share it with others who you think can benefit from Reading the Bible.

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One thought on “Reading through the Bible: day 67”

  1. Passover plus 6 more days gives seven. The diaspora has Passover plus 7 days to give 8, but in Israel it is only 6 more days, the extra day is to add uncertainty to those persecuting the Jews and certainty as to covering the days according to they are in Jerusalem.

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