And the first day of unleavened bread, when they killed the passover, his disciples said to him…
The Passover, commemorating the exodus of the children of Israel from Egypt, was the annual birthday of the Hebrew nation. Its celebration was marked with a popular joy and impressiveness suited to its character. The time of its observance was the fourteenth of the month Abib, called Nisan after the Babylonish captivity. It corresponded to that part of our year included between the middle of March and the middle of April. It is the fairest part of the year in Palestine. Fresh verdure covers the fields, and innumerable flowers of brightest tint and sweet perfume bedeck the ground. The fields of barley are beginning to ripen, and are almost ready for the sickle. To crown all, the moon, the Paschal moon, is then at the full, and nightly floods with splendour the landscape. As early as the first of the month, Jerusalem showed signs of the approaching feast. Worshippers from all parts of Palestine and other countries began to arrive, in increasing numbers, down to the very day of the Passover. They came in companies of various sizes, in family groups, in neighbourhood groups, in bands of tens, twenties, and hundreds. The city was filled to overflowing, and thousands encamped in tents in the environs. Josephus says that more than two-and-a-half millions of people gathered at Jerusalem in the time of Nero to attend the Passover. Universal hospitality was shown. Wherever a guest chamber could be found, it was thrown open. The only recompense allowed or taken was that the occupant of the apartment might leave behind for their host the skin of the Paschal lamb and the earthen vessel used at the meal.
(A. H. Currier.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And the first day of unleavened bread, when they killed the passover, his disciples said unto him, Where wilt thou that we go and prepare that thou mayest eat the passover?