Matsot is a reminder of God as El Yeshuati, our God our Deliverer––our Yeshua. It is a reminder of the Deliverance (Coming Out) of God’s people from Egypt (the world), and from sin and death.
Matsot (Unleavened Bread)
Matsot, also known as the bread of humility, is to be celebrated from the 15th of Abib (Nisan) to the 21st, and is an eternal ordinance. Exodus 12:18-20 tells believers to eat unleavened bread from the 14th at evening, until the 21st at evening––this is telling believers to eat the matsah with our evening meals (including at Pesach).
Since after the Babylonian exile, evening has always been the determining factor for the Jews of when the day changes in God’s calendar. Since evening comes at several different times during the year, whenever the Bible speaks of evening it is when evening occurs at that particular time of the year. Abib is at the beginning of Spring time, so evening is earlier than in the Summer during this time. However, the day beginning in the evening was never the case before the exile.
Shemot (Exodus) 12:42 tells us exactly what the first day of Matsot is all about. It is to be a night of vigil (solemn observance) to Yahweh for bringing the Israelites out of the land of Egypt. The dictionary describes a vigil as: a period of keeping awake during the time usually spent asleep––especially to keep watch or pray.
A Coming Out
An eternal time of remembrance of the time Yahweh brought the children of Israel out of Egypt (Exodus 12:14) is what Matsot is all about. The Hebrew word matsah comes from either the root word matsa or yatsa, both meaning to go, be drawn or come out or to come forth––in other words, God drawing the Israelites out of Egypt.
Because of the actual meaning of matsah, this festival takes on a different meaning itself. It is this festival when we are to remember that God “took the Israelites by the hand out of Egypt.” Jewish tradition says these seven days of Matsot enable us to undergo a personal exodus from Egypt (the world and sin)––a personal coming out of Egypt––a coming out of the world. Just as God took the Hebrews out of Egypt, He is taking all believers out of the world and out of sin. Believers are to remember the day we were delivered out of Egypt (the world), which was in the month of Abib (no matter when we were saved). As mentioned in a previous chapter, it is Matsot that we are to remember coming out of Egypt and sin, not Pesach.
The bread that represents this Redemption, is a sweet, unleavened bread and has nothing to do with affliction. It is actually considered to be the bread of the humble simply because it contains no leaven. So eating it should not be a horrible experience. When you buy unleavened bread (matsah) at the store, do not be afraid to get the flavored kind––it is our Redemption that this matsah represents, not our slavery.
All of the Feasts of God began with Adam. There are many passages in Scripture where you can find bits and pieces of these Feasts. Although it isn’t the first time it took place, and it doesn’t mention it by name, the first place we see Matsot mentioned is in Bereshit (Genesis) 19:3 where Lot is preparing a feast for the visiting angels to his hometown of Sodom (they came to destroy the town). For the most part, the only time ancient Hebrews baked and ate matsah was during the Appointed Season of Matsot with God, so this is a clue that Abraham and Lot knew of these Appointed Seasons with God (Shemot 29:2 shows that matsah was also used to consecrate Aaron and his sons for the priesthood).
Abraham and Lot most definitely knew about God’s Feasts, yet God had not delivered His people from Egypt yet. So at that time, the Feasts of God were simple Commandments and Festivals, without any reference to actual Salvation yet (once a year at Yom Kippur was not known as Salvation yet, it was a temporary atonement). But keep in mind that the Hebrews did in fact know the meaning of Matsot, which is a coming out. In Lot’s case, it represented a coming out of Sodom. For the consecration of Aaron and his sons, it represented a coming out and separation from the people of God to be priests before God––eternally.
The next time the Hebrew word matsah is mentioned is in Exodus 12:8 when Mosheh was telling the Hebrews to prepare God’s Pesach Lamb, and they were told to eat matsah with their Lamb meal, along with the bitter herbs. The Hebrews already knew about God’s Pesach, and that is why there isn’t much in the Scriptures telling us about this day.
The very fact the blood in a basin that the Hebrews were told to dip the hyssop into is mentioned, tells us they already knew where and how to slaughter the Lamb. This bears witness to the fact that they had already been celebrating this Appointed Season with God in their very doorways each year.
But they were given a bit more information the day after Pesach that year, such as this particular Feast now pointed directly to the coming Messiah. Whether or not they knew all that it signified at that time is not clear, but they did know that the Feasts were now unfolding God’s Plan of Salvation. Sadly, the significance of all of this was lost during the Babylonian exile.
When is the leaven to be removed?
Exodus 12:15 tells us about the seven days of Matsot, and on the previous day (some translations say first day), we are to remove all the leaven (sinful or worldly things) from our homes. If you look at verse 34:25 it tells us that the leaven must be removed before the blood offering, but another translation states “You shall not offer the blood of My sacrifice with leaven.” So how do we really know when to remove the leaven, (leaven represents sin or worldly influences in our homes, so it is not actual leaven we are to remove)?
We need to go to the Hebrew language to find out what this verse really means. There are only five actual Hebrew words in this sentence: Lo tashchet al-kametz dom-zabachi. This means do not destroy (burn) leaven with the blood offering (because God uses leaven as a symbol of sin).
This is speaking of the Pesach offering. Apparently any blood offering, including the Pesach offering, should not be offered with leaven on the altar (Exodus 23:18), so this has nothing to do with having leaven in your homes––it is speaking of offering leaven on God’s altar. If they had followed the Jewish traditions, the Israelites would have had to remove the leaven from their homes every single time they were to offer a blood sacrifice.
Traditions of Man
There is not one word in Scripture that states that leaven should be removed from the home the day before the day of Pesach, or before every single blood offering. Exodus 12:15 actually states the leaven should be removed on the first day of Matsot. The Hebrew word used for first is rosh, which definitely means the first day. The English has been changed in the Jewish Tanach to read the previous day, to match the Jewish traditions.
Remove the leaven in the early morning on the 15th, then prepare your Matsot meal, and there won’t be any sinful or worldly things (leaven) in your homes when you prepare your meal and sit down to dinner.
We must consider everything the Bible states, and search out the Hebrew to find the true meaning of a passage. This is what we must do in order to find the true meaning of every single thing that is questionable in the Jewish traditional rituals. Please remember that today’s Jews are yesterday’s Pharisees and Yeshua tried to correct them on many occasions about their traditions of man because they had once again strayed from His Way (these traditions are what the Rabbis call a hedge of protection around the Torah so as not to get any of the Commandments wrong––but it is precisely this hedge that has caused the Jews to stray from God’s Word). Yeshua came to restore His Way back to His people. It is these traditions that Judaism is all about today––Judaism is not from the Torah, it is from the traditions of the Jewish Talmud.
What did Yeshua (Jesus) do?
There is a false teaching out there today stating that anything that Yeshua did not mention in the gospels is no longer necessary. We cannot assume that Yeshua did what the Jews do today. Yeshua was not a Rabbi nor a Sage, nor was He taught by the Rabbis, the Sages or the Pharisees, partially because the words rabbi and sage did not exist yet, but also because He did not study under anyone (John 7:15).
There are several things Yeshua mentions that are clearly a part of the Pharisaic traditions of man. Apparently a few of these played right into Yahweh’s Plan of Salvation so He allowed them to be added to His Festivals––and Yeshua knew they were added traditions. There are also details not mentioned in the gospels, but are clearly in the Hebrew Scriptures as Commandments of God.
Yeshua does not mention the removal of the leaven from our homes, but He does state it in His Commandments, therefore His disciples surely followed this Commandment, and so should we, but in a different manner, as mentioned previously.
It is not recorded that Yeshua ate bitter herbs (hyssop) either, but He states it in His Commandments, and it is in fact a very important purification factor of Yahweh’s Pesach. Eating the bitter herbs was most definitely a part of Yeshua’s last Pesach meal on Earth.
Yeshua doesn’t even mention killing the Pesach Lamb offering (or offering it in the Temple), but that is exactly what His disciples did because it is Commanded in the Torah (this is what prepare the Passover meant to the disciples). Yeshua and all His disciples were very careful to follow the Torah to the letter, especially Yeshua––not according to the traditions of man that the Pharisees taught, but according to the very Words of God in the Torah. A lot of the things that Yeshua does not mention is a given, being that every single disciple at that time was a Hebrew and they knew the Scriptures, and thus the Commandments.
The real symbolism can be found in the Hebrew word Matsah. As mentioned earlier, this word is from the root words matsa or yatsa, both meaning to go or come out or be drawn out or to come forth. The very word matsah means God drew the Israelites out of Egypt. The ancient meaning is what comes from the drawing out (of Egypt). Matsot represents God’s Redemptive Power––He redeemed the Israelites from Egypt, and today it means He redeemed all believers from the world and sin (Egypt).
Even though all the other symbolisms can be placed upon the Matsot, they are really just man’s way of trying to explain something he does not understand. And so lets take a look at what symbolic things man has devised.
The Jews believe “as long as there is leaven in our homes, there is Egypt in our hearts.” Matsot is also considered to symbolize both freedom and slavery. But to God Matsot means Redemption. Never once in Scripture does God tell His people to remember their slavery during this festival.
The breaking of the bread is done during Pesach only, representing the coming of the Messiah, but because Matsot represents the coming out of Egypt, the matsah can also represent a breaking with the past––a breaking with the past of a sinful life. Coming out of Egypt is synonymous with coming out of a past sinful life. A break from our ties to the world, and of course a break with our slavery both to the Egypt and to sin. For those who believe in Yeshua, Egypt represents the world, and all that it represents. It is worldly ways and things that we are breaking from and should remove from our homes - that is our leaven today (Matthew 16:6 & 1Corinthians 5:7-8).
We are to do without these worldly things for (almost) eight days - from Pesach to the last day of Matsot. You will have to trust your spirit to determine what is meant by worldly things for we are to live these eight days without anything of the world - or what the rest of the world cannot live without. But, consider this: if we only remove the leaven from our hearts and homes for only these eight days, then are our hearts truly circumcised (a spiritual sign of our Covenant with God)?
The matsah, which can also represent immediate obedience to God, is also thought to be a symbol of our sinless Savior, Yeshua. This is very true, but some of these symbolic things that have evolved among the Messianic believers are debatable: although homemade matsah, and the matsah made by the Israelites in the first century, does not have these features, most Messianic believers claim the bread is striped and pierced, as Yeshua was beaten and pierced - again a bad thing remembered, rather than the results.
Exodus 23:15 is the next time we see the word for matsah. Israel is wandering in the desert and Mosheh is telling them all that is written on the Tablets, which are not only the Ten Commandments. The Tablets include everything that God has instructed His people to do. He is explaining the three pilgrimage festivals that they are to celebrate for God during the year. The first pilgrimage Feast is Matsot (not Pesach).
We should read everything in the Scriptures to find what we are to teach, and stay away from those things that are never mentioned in Scripture about a particular festival. And so, we must be led by our spirits (which are guided by the Holy Spirit of God) as we study these Feasts, in order to know precisely what God wants us to do.
Besides the obvious symbolism of removing the world from our lives one week a year, the first day of Matsot was the very day Yeshua was buried in Josef’s tomb. And then was raised from the dead on Firstfruits, the third day that year - which fell on the second day of Matsot.
This Festival is one of the required Appointed Times for all men to come before Yahweh, so this day, and the next six days, are special to Yahweh. The first and the seventh days are Holy Convocations (miqra, which means an assembly to meet with God for rehearsal).
Seven Days Long?
The seven days of Matsot are the perfect picture of Yeshua haMoshiach. The bread is without leaven (sin), as He is without sin. In addition, Matsot symbolizes Yeshua’s burial. His body was placed in the grave but did not see corruption because He rose on the third day (Psalm 16:10 & Matthew 28:5-6) and carried our sins away (Isaiah 53:12 & Hebrews 9:26-28).
The seventh day is holy because it completes the Feasting and the season, and Yeshua perfected it. On the seventh day there is to be a Feast (Exodus 13:6), and since it is the last day of the festival, it is highly likely this is the day (as well as the first day) that all Hebrews are to remember they were redeemed by God from bondage. And so the seventh day is holy and on this day we are to have an actual, possibly extra special Feast with Yahweh God, our Yeshua, our Salvation.
The only thing that God revealed when He brought the Israelites out of Egypt, and then when the Tabernacle was built, was that His Feasts and offerings would now be done on the threshold of the Tabernacle instead of the threshold of the Hebrews’ homes (or tents).
It is even possible that the Israelites knew about the Feasts all pointing to the Messiah at this point. God has given us many hints of those things that have always been mysteries throughout His Word. It is most definitely also possible that God gave the Torah at Mt. Sinai because His people had always found it hard to follow His Way (it is not mentioned in Scripture that Torah was given on this day), straying all the time. And when they finally came out of Egypt four hundred years later, God wanted them to know His Word again, and so they wouldn’t forget this time, He wrote it down and also had Mosheh write it down (Exodus 24:12, 34:1; Deuteronomy 10:4, 31:24). None of the Feasts were new to the Hebrews, even if they hadn’t celebrated them in awhile, they had most likely heard about them.
Thus, this first day of Matsot and the next six days afterward, are an eternal time of remembrance of the time Yahweh brought the children of Israel out of Egypt. It is also an eternal time of remembrance of the day Yeshua was buried and descended to hell (Ephesians 4:9-10). Even though we do not have any full detail about what Yeshua actually did while down in Sheol (Psalm 16:10 & Acts 2:27), what we know for sure is that this was a most important day to God. To find out what else Yeshua did on this day, we need to ask what else happened, besides the fact that He was buried on this day.
In Revelation 1:18 we find a little more information: Yeshua states He has the keys of Hades and of Death. The only way He could have gotten those keys was when He was down in Sheol.
These are the keys to Hades and Death, which means Yeshua redeemed us from hell and death on this very important day! Although Pesach represents God’s Covenant, Matsot is the very day mankind was redeemed! This day represents Redemption to God - the day when He reclaimed possession of those keys - He took all mankind by the hand out of sin on the very day He took the Israelites by the hand out of Egypt!
Because of this, God made Matsot one of the mandatory festivals when all men were to come before Him.
Unleavened Bread represents God’s Redemptive Power - He redeemed the Israelites from Egypt, and today it means He redeemed all believers from the world and sin (Egypt). To God, Matsot means Redemption.
• This Festival is one of the required Appointed Times for all men to come before Yahweh, so this day, and the next six days, are special to Yahweh. The first and the seventh days are Holy Convocations (miqra, which means an assembly to meet with God for rehearsal).
• Therefore, these two days (the first and the last) are days off from work (Leviticus 23:7-8 & Numbers 28:18 & 25).
• One of the commandments is to remove all the leaven on the first day (Exodus 12:15), which in Biblical days (& before Yeshua came), was done literally. BUT today we must understand what the word matsah means: the word matsah means a coming out or a sending forth. The breaking of the bread is done during Passover only, representing the coming forth of the Messiah, but because unleavened bread represents the coming out of Egypt, eating the matsah can also represent a breaking with the past - a breaking with the past of a sinful life and the world. It is not necessary to break the bread on this day though.
••• Today, it is the worldly ways and things that we should remove from our homes and lives - this is a believer’s leaven today (Matthew 16:6 & 1Corinthians 5:7-8). We are to do without these worldly things for eight days (from Passover to the last day of Unleavened Bread).
You will have to trust your spirit to determine what is meant by worldly things for believers are to live these eight days without anything of the world - or what the rest of the world cannot live without.
• Throughout the seven days of Matsot we are to eat bread without leaven, which is matsah. Scripture states that believers are not to eat anything leavened because the leaven is supposed to have been removed from their homes. But since today the leaven is actually sin and worldly ways and things in your heart and home, you will have to trust your spirit on this. But still eat the matsah bread, and include this bread with each meal for all seven days.
• Before your meal, light a seven branch menorah (say a prayer for what this day represents, while you are lighting it).
• In Joshua 5:11, produce and parched grain is also mentioned that it was eaten on this first day of Unleavened Bread, when the children of Israel entered the Promised Land.
• The next five days a simple meal each night with unleavened bread would be appropriate, although you can choose to make this whole week a very festive celebration. Eating the matsah each of these days reminds us that we are to do without the things of the world - removing them from our homes and our lives.
• Since there are so many people just learning about God’s Way (Hebrew roots) and celebrating the Feasts for the first time, a teaching would definitely be appropriate. The children are to ask the questions in Deuteronomy 6:20-25 (or they could just read them).
Since this is a teaching about the day of Matsot (Unleavened Bread), and has nothing to do with Passover, a review of this teaching on the last day of Matsot as well, might be appropriate.
• On the seventh day there is to be a Feast (Exodus 13:6) (as well as a day off from work). This day should be a day given totally to Yahweh, in an atmosphere of reverence and praise to Yeshua (Jesus), our Salvation.
A Menu For Matsot
There are no meals mentioned in Scripture for most of these festivals, but I believe we can take our meat suggestions from the offerings mentioned since the offerings were eaten by the priests. Just a suggestion (based on Scripture): stick to lamb for all the main meals, such as the Holy Convocations.
First day & Seventh day
Leg of Lamb, Lamb Steaks or Lamb Sirloin Chops
Roasted Grains (Joshua 5:11)
Green Vegetable or Salad (Joshua 5:11)
Grape Juice or Wine
Second day through Sixth day
Lamb, Beef or Chicken
Green Vegetable or Salad
Grape Juice or Wine
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup honey
2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups water
6 to 6 1/2 cups flour
yield: 6 cookie sheets full
(A bread machine can be used for mixing dough - use dough setting. This recipe freezes, but of course, tastes much better fresh.)
Combine oil, honey, salt, eggs and water. Stir until well mixed. Stir in about 4 cups flour, then add more flour as needed. Knead into a fairly stiff dough. Divide dough into 3 pieces. On lightly floured surface, roll each piece into a large rectangle. Make your unleavened bread as thin or as thick as you want.
Cut rolled dough into squares. Place squares onto lightly greased cookie sheets. Prick with fork, and sprinkle with salt if desired. Bake at 375 ̊. For thin bread 10-11 minutes; medium 13-14 minutes; thick 15-20 minutes, or until lightly browned on top. Over-baked unleavened bread will be hard and won’t taste very good, so be sure not to bake too long. Remove the unleavened bread from cookie sheet and place on wire rack to cool, covered with a clean towel. Store in an airtight bag.
Updated February 28, 2021
(See complete Detail below Chart)
Abib 15-21, 5993
(March 28-April 3, 2021)