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CHAP. XII. 1–28...
God had promised to Abraham, in Gen. xv. 13, 14, Know of a
surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them ; and they shall afflict them four hundred years ; and also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge ; and afterward shall they come out with great substance ;' in this chapter we have the fulfilment of that prophecy. 1 AND the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land 2 11 of Egypt, saying, This month Abib [shall be] unto you the beginning of months : it [shall be] the first month of the year to you.*
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 4 an house : And if the household be too little for the lamb,
too few to eat it at one meal, 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 ; every master of a family shall compute how much his family useth to eat, and shall take such a share of the lamb
as may suffice them, 5 Your lamb shall be without blemish ; intimating that God
must be served with the best ; a male of the first year, or,
about a year old : ye shall take [it] out from the sheep, or 6 from the goats : 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 ; the Hebrew signifies, between the two evenings, between three o'clock and sunset.t
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 ; not on the threshold, lest it should be pro
faned, as trampling upon any thing was reckoned to do. 8 And they shall eat the flesh in that night following the four
teenth, and beginning the fifteenth day, roast with fire, and un
leavened bread; [and] with bitter (herbs) they shall eat it. 9 This was to remind them of their bitter bondage in Egypt. 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,
• Thus the beginning of their year was changed; it was before this command in the niddle of September, but now in the middle of March. Hence in all reckonings of the months in scripture, where they are numerically named, this is counted the first, and the others as they lie in order from this.
+ Every master of an house was to kill it in the presence of his whole family, which made him a priest in his house ; but afterward it was restrained to the priests only. :,] The lamb was killed on the fourteenth day in the evening, that is, after three o'dock, ... but was eaten that night, which was the beginning of the fifteeath day.
10 all the entrails that are proper for food. And ye shall let noth- ·
ing of it remain until the morning, for any superstitious use ; like some of the ancient idolaters, who preserved some part of the sacrifices for superstitious purposes ; but ye shall entirely
consume yours : and that which remaineth of it until the 11 morning ye shall burn with fire. And thus shall yė eat it at
this time ; (with) your loins girded, your long garments tied up, your shoes on your feet, as a sign and token of your liberty, (for slaves always went barefoot,) and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste ; like persons on the point of departing : it [is] the LORD's passover ; that is, a sign of his passing over you and your houses, when he comes to destroy the Egyp
tians. 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 judg13 ment :* I (am) the Lord. And the blood which shall be
sprinkled on the door posts shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye Care ;] not to direct the destroying angel, but to confirm your faith and hope : and when I see the blood, I
will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to 14 destroy (you,) when I smite the land of Egypt.t And this
day shall be unto you for a memorial of this deliverance from Egypt, and a type of your redemption by Christ ; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations, as a time of rejoicing for your deliverance : ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever, every year, all the days of your life, or rather, till the coming of Christ who is our passover, 1 Cor.
v, 7, 8, 15 Seven days after the fiassover shall ye eat unleavened bread;
even the first day after the passover ye shall put away leaven out of your houses :t for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel, be excommunicated, or cut off by the hand of
God, as a rebel against him ; as one who hath renounced his 16 religion and his covenant. And in the first day (there shall
be] an holy convocation, a solemn day of public worship, 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 17 every man must cat, that only may be done of you.ll And ye
* This was designed to show them the vanity of idols and to confirm their faith in the God of Israel. An heathen writer says, that an earthquake threw down their temples also.
+ E.piphanius tells as, that the Egyptians used at this time of the year to mark their cattle, trces, and one another, with red ochre, which they fancied to be a preservative from death ; it probably took its rise from hence.
This was to be a memorial of their speedy departure out of Egypt, when they had pot time to leaven their bread.
On the first of these holy days their deliverance was begun, by the death of the first, born of Egypt ; and on the last of them their deliverance was completed, by the drowning of Pharaoh and his host in the sea.
shall observe (the feast of] unleavened bread : for in this selfsame day have I by my angel brought your armies, all your tribes, like a triumphant army, out of the land of Egypt: there. fore shall ye observe this day in your generations by an ordinance for ever. In the first [month,) on the fourteenth day
of the month at even, ye shall eat unleavened bread, until the 19 one and twentieth day of the month at even. 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, 20 that is, a proselyte, or one born in the land. Ye shall eat noth
ing leavened ; in all your habitations shall ye eat unleavened
bread. 21 Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel, to give them
the directions he had received from God, and said unto them, Draw out and take you a lamb according to your families,
and kill the passover, that is, the lamb appointed for a memorial. 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 morn23 ing. For the LORD will pass through to smite the Egyp• tians ; 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 24 (you.*] And ye shall observe this thing, this commandment
of the passover, but not all these rites and ceremonies of it, 25 for an ordinance to thee and to thy sons for ever. 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, and instruct your children and house26 holds in the nature and design of it. And it shall come to pass,
when your children shall say unto you, What mean ye by 27 this service? 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 delive ered our houses. And the people bowed the head and worshipped God, in token of their thankful acknowledgment of his
favour, and cheerful submission to his command and ordinance, 28 And the children of Israel went away, and did as the LORD
had commanded Moses and Aaron, so did they.
• God could have distinguished them without this blood, and preserved them if they had gone out ; but it was his own appointed method for their safety, and had they neglected it, they would have been justly destroyed. Thus it is said, Heb. xi. 28. Through faith he, that js, Moses, kept the passover and sprinkling of blood, that is, through faith in God's declara aion, and in this condition of their preservation.
1. T ET us be thankful that Christ our passover was sacrific.
u ed for us. He is the Lamb of God, without blemish and without spot. Let us rejoice in his sacrifice. The sprink. ling of the blood of Jesus was designed to purge our consciences, and so save us from the wrath to come.
2. Let us keep the christian feast in a gospel manner ; not with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity ; mingling sincere repentance with our joy ; and whatever we do, do it heartily as unto the Lord.
3. Let us do what we can to transmit the memory of this transaction from generation to generation. If it was reasonable for the Israelites to teach their children the meaning of the passover, much more should we teach ours the nature and design of gospel ordinances. Children should ask parents the meaning of Baptism and the Lord's Supper ; and parents should labour to understand them, and be careful to explain them, and do it frequently, that they may know the obligations they are under, and be brought to join themselves to the Lord in the bonds of an ever. lasting covenant, never to be forgotten,
CHAP. XII. 29, to the end.
We have here the last and most dreadful plague of Egypt; Israel's
departure ; and some further directions about the passover. 29 AND it came to pass, that at midnight the LORD smote
A all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne, his son and heir, unto the firstborn of the captive that . [was] in the dungeon, the
house of the pit, that is, the drawers of water ; and all the 30 firstborn of cattle. 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, where there was any firstborn son.* 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 32 have said. Also take your flocks and your herds, as ye have
said, and be gone ; and bless me also, pray for me that I may 33 not perish. And the Egyptians were urgent upon the people,
that they might send them out of the land in haste ; for
• This was at midnight, when asleep, and they thought themselves secure. They expected some comfort after the three days of darkness, when this great calamity caine upon them Thus God fulfilled his threatening, chap. xi. 5. and awfully punished them for the death of those children of the Israelites, whom they bad destroyed
· they said, We [be] all dead [men,) we shall all be destroyed. 34 And the people took their dough before it was leavened, their
kneading troughs being bound up in their clothes upon their 35 shoulders. And the children of Israel did according to the
word of Moses; and they borrowed, or requested, of the
Egyptians jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment : 86 And the Lord gave the people favour in the sight of the
Egyptians, so that they lent, or gave freely, unto them (such
things as they required.] And they spoiled the Egyptians. 37 And the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses, their
place of general rendezvous, to Succoth, 80 called, because they
there dwelt in tents or booths ; about six hundred thousand on 38 foot (that were) men, beside women and children. And a'
mixed multitude went up also with them, strangers of several
nations ;* and flocks, and herds, [even] very much cattle. 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 40 had they prepared for themselves any victual. Now the so! journing from place to place of the children of Israel, and their
fathers who dwelt in Egypt, (was] four hundred and thirty 41 years. 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. 42 It [is] a night to be much observed, or, as in the Hebrew, a
night of observations, 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, in
which his power, mercy, and faithfulness appeared. 43 And the LORD said unto Moses and Aaron, This [is] the
ordinance of the passover : There shall no stranger, that is, 44 no uncircumcised gentile, eat thereof: But every man's ser
vant that is bought for money, when thou hast circumcised 45 him, then shall he eat thereof. A foreigner, and an hired 46 servant shall not eat thereof. In one house shall it be eaten,
to promote family piety, and 'brotherly love ; thou shalt not car
ry forth aught of the flesh abroad out of the house : neither 47 shall ye break a bone thereof. All the congregation of Israel 48 shall keep it. 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 uncircum49 cised person shall eat thereof. One law shall be to him that
• At least fifteen hundred thousand in all; some writers say, more than two millions. A vast increase from seventy souls !
† That is, from the time of Abraham's departure from Haran, Gen. xii. 1-5, to the giving of the law, as the apostle shows, Gal. iii. 16, 17. Abraham and his posterity were two hundred and fifteen years in Canaan, and two hundred and fifteen years in Egypt.