Ex. 12:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying,
Ex. 12:2 This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you.
Ex. 12:3 Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house:
Ex. 12:4 And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb.
Ex. 12:5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats:
Ex. 12:6 And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening.
Ex. 12:7 And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it.
Ex. 12:8 And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it.
Ex. 12:9 Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof.
Ex. 12:10 And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire.
Ex. 12:11 And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the LORD’S passover.
Now God gives Moses and Aaron instructions regarding the importance of the coming night’s events in their future. This month would now be considered the first month of the year on the Jewish religious calendar. On the tenth day of this month, every man will take a lamb to sacrifice and provide a feast for his family. They weren’t to be wasteful. If the household wasn’t big enough to utilize a whole lamb, they were to combine with their neighbors according to the number of people it would serve. The lamb was to be a male in its first year “without blemish”; it could come from the sheep or the goats. It was to be separated from the rest of the flock on the tenth day of this month. On the fourteenth day of the month (four days later) all the families will kill the lamb in the evening. They will take some of the lamb’s blood and strike it on both sides and the top of the doorframe of the house where it was to be eaten. Then they are to roast the flesh over the fire and eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. They are not to eat meat that is raw or cooked in water; it is to be roasted with fire. The whole lamb was to be roasted. They were not to save any of the leftovers; the leftovers were to be destroyed by fire. It was to be eaten quickly as in preparation to be ready to travel immediately—loins girded, shoes on and staff in hand. This would be the Lord’s Passover. All power is His and deliverance will be His doing. Then God explains why.
(1/13) We know that Jesus, our Passover Lamb, suffered the fire of God’s judgment that we deserved to suffer in the fires of hell for eternity. He gave His all to provide for our salvation and our eternal sustenance.
Ex. 12:12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD.
On that very night, every firstborn man and animal would be killed in judgment against “all the gods of Egypt.” This is a direct statement by Almighty God of His authority. The gods of Egypt have been declared frauds and will now face judgment through their followers, the people of Egypt. After doing some research on the internet, I found that the results varied, but following is information that will help make application.
Plague 1 – Turning the Nile to blood
Against Khnum, guardian of the Nile and Osiris, the chief god (the Nile was considered his bloodstream). Life in Egypt was dependent on the Nile.
Plague 2 – Frogs
Isis, wife of Osiris, the fertility goddess, was often represented by a frog. The frog was also deified in the goddess Hekt, who assisted women in childbirth. Killing a frog was punishable by death in Egypt.
Plague 3 – Lice
Seth/Geb, the earth god--the dust of the earth became lice.
Plague 4 – Flies
Beelzebub, prince of the air; flies were considered his ears.
Plague 5 – Cattle/livestock
The god Apis, the sacred bull.
Hathor, goddess of love, beauty and joy was represented by a cow.
Plague 6 - Boils
Sekhmet, goddess who created epidemics and ended them.
Serapis, deity of healing.
Imhotep, god of medicine and guardian of healing sciences.
Plague 7 – Hailstones
Shu, the wind god and Nut, the sky goddess.
Plague 8 – Locusts
Nepri, the grain god and Ermutet, the goddess of crops.
Plague 9 – Darkness
Ra, the sun god, one of the greatest gods, considered the father of Pharaoh.
Horus, god of the sunset and Shu, god of light.
Plague 10 – death of the firstborn
Min, god of procreation and reproduction.
Isis, goddess of fertility.
Osiris, giver of life
Pharaoh was considered a god, and the death of his firstborn was the death of the son of a god.
Ex. 12:13 And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.
Ex. 12:14 And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever.
Those who have obeyed the LORD’s directives and have the blood on the door will be spared from the plague of death. The LORD will “pass over” that house, and the firstborns would be protected. This Passover meal was to become a day of celebration for generations to come in the Jewish nation.
Ex. 12:15 Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses: for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel.
Ex. 12:16 And in the first day there shall be an holy convocation, and in the seventh day there shall be an holy convocation to you; no manner of work shall be done in them, save that which every man must eat, that only may be done of you.
Ex. 12:17 And ye shall observe the feast of unleavened bread; for in this selfsame day have I brought your armies out of the land of Egypt: therefore shall ye observe this day in your generations by an ordinance for ever.
Ex. 12:18 In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at even, ye shall eat unleavened bread, until the one and twentieth day of the month at even.
Ex. 12:19 Seven days shall there be no leaven found in your houses: for whosoever eateth that which is leavened, even that soul shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he be a stranger, or born in the land.
Ex. 12:20 Ye shall eat nothing leavened; in all your habitations shall ye eat unleavened bread.
It would begin by removing all the yeast/leaven (represents sin) from the house and eating unleavened bread for seven days. This directive is so important that anyone who ate bread with leaven during this seven-day period was to be “cut off” from Israel. On the first and seventh days, they were to assemble for worship and do no work except what was necessary for preparing food. This week is called the Feast of Unleavened Bread; it is to celebrate their deliverance from slavery in Egypt and would occur in the first month of the Jewish year (as previously dictated) from the 14th to the 21st. Again, the warning is given to eat nothing with leaven in it.
Ex. 12:21 Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel, and said unto them, Draw out and take you a lamb according to your families, and kill the passover.
Ex. 12:22 And ye shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the bason, and strike the lintel and the two side posts with the blood that is in the bason; and none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning.
Ex. 12:23 For the LORD will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he seeth the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the LORD will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you.
Ex. 12:24 And ye shall observe this thing for an ordinance to thee and to thy sons for ever.
Ex. 12:25 And it shall come to pass, when ye be come to the land which the LORD will give you, according as he hath promised, that ye shall keep this service.
Ex. 12:26 And it shall come to pass, when your children shall say unto you, What mean ye by this service?
Ex. 12:27 That ye shall say, It is the sacrifice of the LORD’S passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he smote the Egyptians, and delivered our houses. And the people bowed the head and worshipped.
So Moses summoned all the elders of Israel and sent them to select their Passover lambs and follow all the commands given by the LORD in preparation of the meal. Once the blood was on the lintel and side posts of the door, no one was to go out the door until morning. The blood on the door was a sign of their obedience to and faith in God. When the LORD saw the blood on the door, He would pass over that house and none of the firstborn in that house would be harmed. This observance was to serve as an ordinance in Israel forever. An ordinance is something “prescribed or owed, a statute, an enactment, an appointment” based on the Hebrew. Visual aids are very useful in teaching and making a lasting impression on the student/observer. The observance of Passover was to be enacted yearly as a reminder of the debt of gratitude owed to God for His protection and provision for the nation of Israel. It would serve as an opportunity to teach the children of their great heritage and how God spared the Israelites when He struck the firstborn of Egypt.
After hearing all of the instructions, the people bowed in worship. (The posture of bowing is an obvious sign of respect. The people were probably a bit in fear even at the judgment of God. Their worship was a declaration of their recognition and faith of the “I AM,” and in the “I AM.” It is also significant to note the importance of tradition as an effective tool for teaching and maintaining truth. The problems enter when we start making the tradition more important than the truth it represents.)
Ex. 12:28 And the children of Israel went away, and did as the LORD had commanded Moses and Aaron, so did they.
This time the people obeyed and did just as they were commanded. (After seeing God’s power displayed so miraculously during nine previous instances, it is hard to imagine anyone even considering not obeying.)
Ex. 12:29 And it came to pass, that at midnight the LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle.
Ex. 12:30 And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead.
Ex. 12:31 And he called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, Rise up, and get you forth from among my people, both ye and the children of Israel; and go, serve the LORD, as ye have said.
Ex. 12:32 Also take your flocks and your herds, as ye have said, and be gone; and bless me also.
Ex. 12:33 And the Egyptians were urgent upon the people, that they might send them out of the land in haste; for they said, We be all dead men.
The LORD struck at midnight. All the firstborn in Egypt were killed—from Pharaoh’s home to the prisoner in jail to the livestock. There was not a house where there was not one dead. Pharaoh didn’t even wait for morning to call Moses and Aaron. He told them to take the people and go and serve their God. They could take their flocks with them. He also asked them to “bless” him. The Egyptians were eager to get rid of the Israelites because they feared they would all die.
Ex. 12:34 And the people took their dough before it was leavened, their kneadingtroughs being bound up in their clothes upon their shoulders.
Ex. 12:35 And the children of Israel did according to the word of Moses; and they borrowed of the Egyptians jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment:
Ex. 12:36 And the LORD gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they lent unto them such things as they required. And they spoiled the Egyptians.
So the Israelites wrapped up their unleavened dough in cloth and asked the Egyptians for gold, silver, and clothing as they had been told to. The LORD had already prepared the hearts of the Egyptians so that they gave the Jews what they requested and basically they left with “a lot of loot.”
Ex. 12:37 And the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand on foot that were men, beside children.
Ex. 12:38 And a mixed multitude went up also with them; and flocks, and herds, even very much cattle.
Ex. 12:39 And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough which they brought forth out of Egypt, for it was not leavened; because they were thrust out of Egypt, and could not tarry, neither had they prepared for themselves any victual.
Israel journeyed to Succoth; the total included 600,000 men plus women and children. Many other people went with the Jews (a mixed multitude) plus a lot of livestock. They baked cakes of unleavened bread since they had not had time to prepare anything else.
Ex. 12:40 Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years.
Ex. 12:41 And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt.
Ex. 12:42 It is a night to be much observed unto the LORD for bringing them out from the land of Egypt: this is that night of the LORD to be observed of all the children of Israel in their generations.
The children of Israel had been in Egypt for 430 years, to the day. (God had already told Abraham that the people would be in slavery in a foreign land for 400 years—Gen 15:13. I’m not sure how the extra 30 years fit in. I just know that what God says, happens. Frankly, it is quite comforting to have so many examples in the scripture of God fulfilling His plan, accomplishing His purpose and using people in a way that they can’t even fathom at the time. We get so caught up in trying to understand from the short term, that we get tripped up in trusting Him for the long term. There is not a single example of God not fulfilling His Word.)
Again, it is emphasized that the Israelites were to honor the Lord on this day for years to come in remembrance of how the Lord delivered them from bondage in Egypt.
Observations regarding the plagues:
- When the rod was turned into a serpent, the magicians duplicated it. (7:10)
- When the water was turned to blood for 7 days, the magicians duplicated it. (7:20)
- When Aaron produced frogs, the magicians duplicated it. (8:5)
- The magicians were only able to duplicate the first 3 plagues.
- Verse 8:4 seems to indicate that the frogs affected only the Pharaoh and those who belonged to him.
- When asked when he wanted the frogs to disappear, the Pharaoh said, “Tomorrow.”
- The plague of lice/gnats was done without warning Pharaoh.
- The magicians were not able to duplicate the plague of lice/gnats.
- Pharaoh was approached before the plague of flies.
- Pharaoh was told specifically that the Israelites in the land of Goshen would not be affected by the flies. (8:22-23)
- Because of the flies Pharaoh agreed to let the people go—but not far.
- Moses tells Pharaoh that the flies will be gone “tomorrow.”
- Pharaoh is warned not to be deceitful.
- Pharaoh reneged.
- Pharaoh is told before the plague on the cattle was sent.
- Pharaoh verified that the cattle of the Hebrews were not affected.
- Pharaoh still refuses. (9:7)
- Plague of boils performed by tossing ashes into the air in front of Pharaoh. (9:10)
- Pharaoh still stubborn.
- Pharaoh warned before plague of hail and fire.
- Goshen still protected.
- Pharaoh finally admits he is sinful and wicked and God is righteous. (9:27)
- The hail stopped when Moses left the city.
- Not all of the crops were destroyed.
- Again, Pharaoh reneges.
- Moses goes back to Pharaoh; if you continue to refuse, God will send locusts. (10:3)
- Servants beg Pharaoh to let the people go.
- Pharaoh calls Moses & Aaron back.
- Only the men can go.
- Moses & Aaron were thrown out of the palace when they insisted that all the people and their belongings would go.
- Locusts were sent to destroy what the hail left.
- Pharaoh calls again for Moses & Aaron and confesses his sin. (10:16)
- Locusts are removed with a strong west wind and sent to the Red Sea.
- Again, Pharaoh refuses to let the people go.
- Darkness sent for 3 days—with no warning to Pharaoh.
- Israel had light in their dwellings.
- Pharaoh calls for Moses and tells him to go, but they must leave the flocks and herds. (10:24)
- Moses insists that they take all.
- Pharaoh dismisses Moses once and for all; if he sees Moses again, he will kill him.
- Moses agrees. (10:29)
- Lord tells Moses to tell people to ask neighbors for jewels of silver and gold.
- Moses was feared/respected by the Egyptians, and they complied.
- Moses announces that the firstborn of men and cattle will die at midnight (11:4-5)
- Israelites will not be affected by following the instructions for the Passover.
Ex. 12:43 And the LORD said unto Moses and Aaron, This is the ordinance of the passover: There shall no stranger eat thereof:
Ex. 12:44 But every man’s servant that is bought for money, when thou hast circumcised him, then shall he eat thereof.
Ex. 12:45 A foreigner and an hired servant shall not eat thereof.
Ex. 12:46 In one house shall it be eaten; thou shalt not carry forth ought of the flesh abroad out of the house; neither shall ye break a bone thereof.
Ex. 12:47 All the congregation of Israel shall keep it.
Ex. 12:48 And when a stranger shall sojourn with thee, and will keep the passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as one that is born in the land: for no uncircumcised person shall eat thereof.
Ex. 12:49 One law shall be to him that is homeborn, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you.
Ex. 12:50 Thus did all the children of Israel; as the LORD commanded Moses and Aaron, so did they.
Ex. 12:51 And it came to pass the selfsame day, that the LORD did bring the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt by their armies.
In verses 43 through 49 there are some more guidelines given regarding the Passover Feast. First, we are told that no foreigner may eat of it, but in verse 48 it is qualified that as long as he is circumcised, he may be included. (I would assume that would include his family—but no mention is made of visiting/alien females?) Temporary residents and hired hands were also excluded (unless they were circumcised I guess). Slaves were included, but must be circumcised. None of the meat was to go outside the house. None of the bones of the lamb were to be broken. The whole community of Israel was to participate (although there are no consequences given for not participating in future years?).
The key seems to be a heart of obedience to God—for which circumcision is a sign. (I guess only a woman in the 20th century would question where the females of the time stood and how they could publicly identify with the Jews and their God and become legal participants.) Again, we are told that the people of Israel did all that the LORD commanded as they were preparing to leave and leaving Egypt.
Observations regarding the requirements for Passover:
- The sacrifice of an innocent lamb was necessary to provide deliverance. (Obvious application to Jesus, our Passover lamb.)
- The lamb was to be a male without blemish. (Obvious application to Jesus, our Passover lamb.)
- The blood had to be applied to the door in an act of faith to receive deliverance. (We must accept God’s provision of salvation through faith in the sacrifice of His Son and obedience to His Word.)
- Unleavened bread was required along with bitter herbs. (Leaven represents sin; we have to recognize and repent of our sinful condition. The bitter herbs are another reminder of our condition as well as of the “distasteful” process necessary to provide salvation.)
- The lamb was to be roasted with fire. (Jesus would taste of our death and save us from the fire of Hell.)
- The firstborn was the one to suffer the penalty of the disobedience/sin of the household. (God had to give His only Son to suffer the penalty of sin and provide deliverance for the family of faith.)
- Strangers could not participate without submitting to circumcision—the sign of the covenant. (God did not exclude anyone from deliverance who would obediently follow Him in faith.)
- Not one bone of the lamb was to be broken. (Also true of Jesus, our Passover lamb.)
- The requirements were the same for those “homeborn” and those who were strangers. (God has made provision for all. He is not willing that any should perish.)
- Salvation is only possible when accepting the LORD’s provision in faith proved by obedience.