Exodus chapter 12

The first Passover. The tenth plague: the DEATH of the firstborn. The Exodus begins. Passover regulations.

 


 

THE FIRST PASSOVER

 

VERSE 1. The LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying,

 

VERSE 2. “This month shall be to you the beginning of months. It shall be the first month of the year to you.

This month. It was the month of Abib, which was the month of ripe grain. It was roughly March-April.

Later, Abib will be referred to by the Babylonian name of Nisan.

 

VERSE 3. Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying, ‘On the tenth day of this month, they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to their fathers’ houses, a lamb for a household;

 

VERSE 4. and if the household is too little for a lamb, then he and his neighbor next to his house shall take one according to the number of the souls. You shall make your count for the lamb according to what everyone can eat.

 

VERSE 5. Your lamb shall be without defect, a male a year old. You shall take it from the sheep or from the goats.

Your lamb shall be without defect, a male. The sacrificial lamb needed to be in ideal health and free of defects.

The Lord Jesus Christ was the Lamb of God. He was sacrificed for our sins. We assume he was in ideal health and free of defects.

 

VERSE 6. You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month; and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at evening.

kill it at evening. The Passover begins at twilight.

 

VERSE 7. They shall take some of the blood, and put it on the two door posts and on the lintel, on the houses in which they shall eat it.

 

VERSE 8. They shall eat the meat in that night, roasted with fire, with unleavened bread. They shall eat it with bitter herbs.

They shall eat the meat. In the beginning, when we humans walked in the Garden of Eden, what did the LORD God command us to eat? The Bible’s answer may surprise you. Read more »

 

VERSE 9. Don’t eat it raw, nor boiled at all with water, but roasted with fire; with its head, its legs and its inner parts.

In the beginning, when we humans walked in the Garden of Eden, what did the LORD God command us to eat? The Bible’s answer may surprise you. Read more »

 

VERSE 10. You shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; but that which remains of it until the morning you shall burn with fire.

 

VERSE 11. This is how you shall eat it: with your belt on your waist, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it in haste: it is the LORD’s Passover.

 

VERSE 12. For I will go through the land of Egypt in that night, and will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and animal. I will execute judgments against all the gods of Egypt. I am the LORD.

I will execute judgments against all the gods of Egypt. The gods of Egypt are being judged.

Those gods are powerless to stop the LORD God from striking all the firstborn.

 

VERSE 13. The blood shall be to you for a token on the houses where you are. When I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague will be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.

when I see the blood, I will pass over you. This is like what we Christians believe the blood of Jesus Christ does for us.

 

VERSE 14. This day shall be a memorial for you. You shall keep it as a feast to the LORD. You shall keep it as a feast throughout your generations by an ordinance forever.

 

VERSE 15. “ ‘Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread; even the first day you shall put away yeast out of your houses, for whoever eats leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel.

Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. This can be interpreted in two very different ways:

  1. If you happen to eat bread, it must be unleavened.
  2. You must eat bread, and it must be unleavened.

If (2) is the correct interpretation, then gluten-intolerant people cannot be members of the Jewish community.

In the beginning, when we humans walked in the Garden of Eden, what did the LORD God command us to eat? The Bible’s answer may surprise you. Read more »

 

VERSE 16. In the first day there shall be to you a holy convocation, and in the seventh day a holy convocation; no kind of work shall be done in them, except that which every man must eat, only that may be done by you.

the seventh day a holy convocation. The seventh day is to be a festival!

 

VERSE 17. You shall observe the feast of unleavened bread; for in this same day I have brought your armies out of the land of Egypt. Therefore you shall observe this day throughout your generations by an ordinance forever.

 

VERSE 18. In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at evening, you shall eat unleavened bread, until the twenty first day of the month at evening.

In the beginning, when we humans walked in the Garden of Eden, what did the LORD God command us to eat? The Bible’s answer may surprise you. Read more »

 

VERSE 19. There shall be no yeast found in your houses for seven days, for whoever eats that which is leavened, that soul shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he is a foreigner, or one who is born in the land.

 

VERSE 20. You shall eat nothing leavened. In all your habitations you shall eat unleavened bread.’ ”

 

VERSE 21. Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel, and said to them, “Draw out, and take lambs according to your families, and kill the Passover.

kill the Passover. This is the first time they slaughter animals for religious purposes.

 

VERSE 22. You shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two door posts with the blood that is in the basin. None of you shall go out of the door of his house until the morning.

 

VERSE 23. For the LORD will pass through to strike the Egyptians; and when he sees the blood on the lintel, and on the two door posts, the LORD will pass over the door, and will not allow the destroyer to come in to your houses to strike you.

the destroyer. This is a rare instance where the LORD God acts as a destroyer.

 

VERSE 24. You shall observe this thing for an ordinance to you and to your sons forever.

forever. We wonder if people still observe this in our day?

 

VERSE 25. It shall happen when you have come to the land which the LORD will give you, as he has promised, that you shall keep this service.

 

VERSE 26. It will happen, when your children ask you, ‘What do you mean by this service?’

 

VERSE 27. that you 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 struck the Egyptians, and spared our houses.’ ” The people bowed their heads and worshiped.

worshiped. The Hebrew word is וַיִּֽשְׁתַּחֲוּֽוּ (“way·yiš·ta·ḥăw·wū.”). It means to bow down. Think: lay down prostrate.

 

VERSE 28. The children of Israel went and did so; as the LORD had commanded Moses and Aaron, so they did.

 

PLAGUE #10. THE DEATH OF THE FIRSTBORN

 

VERSE 29. At midnight, the LORD struck all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of livestock.

 

VERSE 30. 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.

 

VERSE 31. He called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, “Rise up, get out from among my people, both you and the children of Israel; and go, serve the LORD, as you have said!

Rise up, get out. Only when the plagues affected Pharaoh personally was he willing to relent.

He was quite content to let his people and his nation suffer. But once the suffering touched him personally, his narcissism was finally outmatched.

In our day, we see a similar phenomenon. A politician will be vehemently against thus-and-such a bill. But then if someone in their family needs the bill to be passed, the politician will suddenly change their mind.

 

VERSE 32. Take both your flocks and your herds, as you have said, and be gone; and bless me also!”

bless me also. Pharaoh’s obstinacy has caused incalculable suffering for millions of people. He has devastated his nation.

Now he wants the benefit of a blessing from his enemies. This is a terribly self-centered thing for Pharaoh to say.

The LORD God said he would harden Pharaoh’s heart. What does this mean? Read more »

 

THE EXODUS BEGINS

 

VERSE 33. The Egyptians were urgent with the people, to send them out of the land in haste, for they said, “We are all dead men.”

send them out of the land in haste. Finally the Egyptians make the right decision. But they make it for the wrong motives.

They don’t make their decision based on religious freedom or human rights. They don’t make their decision based on the demands of the LORD God of Israel.

Rather, they make a decision that they think will minimize their own losses. It’s a 100% selfish decision.

We are all dead men. Egypt was a very powerful nation. Yet compared with the LORD God, they were powerless.

At this moment, the Egyptian people clearly understand how powerless they truly are.

 

VERSE 34. The people took their dough before it was leavened, their kneading troughs being bound up in their clothes on their shoulders.

 

VERSE 35. The children of Israel did according to the word of Moses; and they asked of the Egyptians jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and clothing.

did according to the word of Moses. They were instructed to do this in the previous chapter:

Exodus 11:2. Tell the people that men and women alike are to ask their neighbors for articles of silver and gold. (NIV translation)

 

VERSE 36. The LORD gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they let them have what they asked. They plundered the Egyptians.

they let them have what they asked. This was predicted in the previous chapter:

Exodus 11:3. The LORD made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people, and Moses himself was highly regarded in Egypt by Pharaoh’s officials and by the people. (NIV translation)

They plundered the Egyptians. There is so much poetic justice in those four words.

 

VERSE 37. The children of Israel traveled from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand on foot who were men, in addition to children.

six hundred thousand. The number of men was about 600,000.

 

VERSE 38. A mixed multitude went up also with them, with flocks, herds, and even very much livestock.

 

VERSE 39. They baked unleavened cakes of the dough which they brought out of Egypt; for it wasn’t leavened, because they were thrust out of Egypt, and couldn’t wait, and they had not prepared any food for themselves.

 

VERSE 40. Now the time that the children of Israel lived in Egypt was four hundred thirty years.

 

VERSE 41. At the end of four hundred thirty years, to the day, all of the LORD’s armies went out from the land of Egypt.

 

VERSE 42. It is a night to be much observed to the LORD for bringing them out from the land of Egypt. This is that night of the LORD, to be much observed by all the children of Israel throughout their generations.

 

PASSOVER REGULATIONS

 

VERSE 43. The LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “This is the ordinance of the Passover. No foreigner shall eat of it,

 

VERSE 44. but every man’s servant who is bought for money, when you have circumcised him, then shall he eat of it.

when you have circumcised him. It was possible for a non-Hebrew man to join the Hebrew people. The only requirement is that he be circumcised.

The Old Testament foresee Gentiles coming to faith in the One God of Israel and bringing gifts to Jerusalem. Here are the key Bible verses about this »

 

VERSE 45. A foreigner and a hired servant shall not eat of it.

 

VERSE 46. It must be eaten in one house. You shall not carry any of the meat outside of the house. Do not break any of its bones.

 

VERSE 47. All the congregation of Israel shall keep it.

 

VERSE 48. When a stranger lives as a foreigner with you, and would like to keep the Passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it. He shall be as one who is born in the land; but no uncircumcised person shall eat of it.

The Old Testament foresee Gentiles coming to faith in the One God of Israel and bringing gifts to Jerusalem. Here are the key Bible verses about this »

a stranger lives as a foreigner with you. It was possible for a non-Hebrew man to join the Hebrew people. The only requirement is that he be circumcised.

The requirement for circumcision began in Genesis chapter 17:

Genesis 17:10. This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your offspring after you. Every male among you shall be circumcised.

 

VERSE 49. One law shall be to him who is born at home, and to the stranger who lives as a foreigner among you.”

 

VERSE 50. All the children of Israel did so. As the LORD commanded Moses and Aaron, so they did.

 

VERSE 51. That same day, the LORD brought the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt by their armies.

 


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EXODUS

CHAPTERS: 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40

RESOURCES: Summary, Outline, Memorize, Pharaoh’s Heart

Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.