A major part of these reforms was the reform of Passover: “And the king commanded all the people, saying, Keep the passover unto the Lord your God, as it is written in the book of this covenant.” () It was no longer supposed to be a family affair but a centralized national observance: the Book of Deuteronomy clearly stipulates that the Pesach sacrifice may not be made “within any of thy gates” but rather at the Temple.
(16:5-6) Pilgrimage to Jerusalem Following Josiah’s reforms, the holiday took the form of a mass pilgrimage to Jerusalem.
Pesach was a pastoral apotropaic ritual, that is: its purpose is to ward off evil.The people would bring their paschal lamb (or kid) to be sacrificed at the Temple. All were commanded to avoid eating leavened bread for a week, though it seems that this wasn’t accompanied by any special practices in the Temple; the Israelites would probably have followed this precept on their way home and at their homes themselves.Not much more is known about the celebration at this time.Although this made for inferior bread, it was highly prized: not rarely, by the spring harvest, the last year’s stores had been already depleted and hunger took grip of the land.This new bread would have been unleavened, as the leavening used at the time was a portion of dough set aside from the last batch of bread.
It was carried out by the semi-nomadic segment of Israelite society that subsisted on livestock.