Should foreigners eat the Passover meal?

When God tells Moses the rules for the Passover holiday, he says no foreigner is allowed to eat the Passover meal. Then he repeatedly contradicts himself and says foreigners are allowed to eat it. Sometimes he even says they’re required to eat it.

The very next thing he says about the Passover meal is that any circumcised slaves an Israelite owns can eat it. And who does God allow his people to enslave? Foreigners.

A few verses later, he says any foreigner can participate in the Passover celebration just like the Israelites do, as long as all the males in the foreigner’s household are circumcised.

He also says the whole community of Israel must celebrate the Passover… and that the same law applies whether you’re a native-born Israelite or a foreigner living among them. Therefore, foreigners not only can but must eat the Passover meal.

Then a couple of books later, he says Israelites are obligated to always celebrate the Passover and eat the Passover meal, even if they miss the actual day and have to do it late. Anyone who misses the Passover celebration and doesn’t have an acceptable excuse is to be punished. And God concludes his Passover instructions by stating more clearly than ever: Foreigners living in Israel are required to celebrate the Passover, following all the same rules the Israelites have to follow. He’s not even leaving out the uncircumcised foreigners this time. All foreigners living in Israel must always eat the Passover meal.

Share this post: