Exodus 12 - Outline of Exodus (Book Notes menu page)
12:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying,
12:2 This month [shall be] unto you the beginning of months:
it [shall be] the first month of the year to you.
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:
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
take... every man a lamb.- Redemption does not automatically cover the whole nation.
Rather, each family and individual must partake of the lamb for themselves.
As a nation, Israel, in Goshen, had been spared from the effects of many of the plagues.
But redemption requires each individual's personal faith in the blood of the Lamb.
"The Passover [is a] type of Christ our Redeemer (Ex 12:1-28; Joh 1:29; 1Cor 5:6,7; 1Pet 1:18,19).-
  1. The lamb must be without blemish, and to test this, it was kept up four days (Ex 12:5,6).
    So our Lord's public life, under hostile scrutiny, was the testing which proved His holiness (Luk 11:53,54; Joh 8:46; 18:38; Mat 16:13-17).
  2. The Lamb thus tested must be slain (Ex 12:6; Mat 16:21; Joh 12:24; Heb 9:22).
  3. The blood must be applied (Ex 12:7).
    This answers to appropriation by personal faith, and refutes universalism (Joh 3:36).
  4. The blood thus applied of itself, without anything in addition, constituted a perfect protection from judgment (Ex 12:13; 1Joh 1:7; Heb 10:10,14).
  5. The feast typified Christ the bread of life, answering to the memorial supper (Mat 26:26-28; 1Cor 11:23-26). To observe the feast was a duty and privilege, but not a condition of safety."
    [adapted from ScofRB]
The Passover Lamb was the center of unity.-
  1. 'The whole... congregration... shall kill it.' (v.6)
    Although there were many families and many lambs,
    the overriding picture is of one assembly and one Lamb.
    The Holy Spirit draws believers to only one object: Christ. cp. Eph 4:13
  2. Their communion was to be around the Lamb (v.8,9).-
    • roasted with fire - Fire speaks of judgment. cp. Isa 53:3-8
    • roasted complete - Everything about Him is perfect, acceptable. Lev 22:21; 1Pet 1:18,19
      The judgment of sin was fully satisfied in Him. Heb 10:14
    • nothing remaining - Nothing about Him is given to corruption. cp. Acts 13:35-37
    • with unleavened bread - Leaven speaks of corruption.
      We cannot partake of the Lamb tried by fire, and also partake of the evil of the world (1Cor 5:7,8).
    • with bitter herbs -
      1. the recognition that it was my sin that caused His sorrow. cp. 1Pet 2:24
      2. the crucifixion of the flesh, which is bitter to my old nature. cp. Gal 2:20; 5:24
      3. the fellowship of His sufferings. cp. Php 3:10
      4. the love for the perishing (ie., all who are not 'under the blood'). cp. 2Cor 5:14
They were to eat prepared to depart (v.11).-
They must be prepared to appropriate the freedom obtained by the blood of the Lamb.
They were not to linger in the land of bondage once they were set free. cp. Rom 6:1-4; 8:2; Gal 5:1
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.
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.
I will pass through {HB= abar}...- (ie., to exercise judgment). cp. v.23a
I will passover {HB= pesach}...- (ie., to guard & protect). cp. v.23b
In scripture, this word is almost always used in the context of the Passover celebration.
'Pesach' refers both to the feast and to the lamb (cp. v.11).
However, the rare occurrences outside of this context provide insight into its meaning, here.
    Cp. word usage in 2Sam 4:4 'became lame'; 1Kings 18:21,26 'halt', 'leaped' (In these two passages, the word conveys the idea of hesitating or lingering above a point.); and Isa 31:5 "as birds flying... will the Lord defend Jerusalem... 'passing over' {ie., hovering over} He will preserve it."
    Thus, at the original Passover, the Lord would 'pesach' (ie., linger over, hover over) His people, to guard and protect them by His Presence.
The Blood of the Passover Lamb was the basis of peace. (v.13; v.22,23)
Likewise, it is through Christ's blood, that the believer enters into peace with God.
(See Rom 3:24-29; 5:1; Eph 2:13-18; Col 1:20-22; Heb 9:14; 10:19; 1Pet 1:19; 2:24; 1Joh 1:7; Rev 7:14-17)
  • 'When I see the blood...'-
    The efficacy of the blood depends upon God's estimate of its value (not mine).
  • 'I will passover you.'-
    My peace depends upon God's promise, not the size of my faith.
    If I am under the blood of Christ, safety is not only available, but I am safe.
  • 'and the plague will not be upon you to destroy you...'
    In other words, apart from the blood, Israel also would have suffered ruin.
    The sentence of death upon the 'first-born' was not based on an individual's merits or nationality, but rather, upon his natural birth.
    All men are born sinners. cp. Rom 3:23; Eph 2:1-3; 1Cor 15:22
    Death or life is determined by the blood of the Lamb (whether rejected or received). cp. Joh 1:3-5,10-13,14,29; 3:16,36
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.
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.
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.
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.
12:18 In the first [month]
{cp. v.2}, 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.
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.
12:20 Ye shall eat nothing leavened; in all your habitations shall ye eat unleavened bread.
this day shall be... a memorial... throughout your generations... -
The Lord Jesus Christ kept this feast, and fulfilled it. cp. Luke 22:7-9,13-20
seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread...-
The Feast of Unleavened Bread speaks of continuation in the redemption, cleansing, and purpose for which He purchased us with His blood. cp. 1Cor 5:6-8; 1Pet 2:24,25
    As the number 'seven' is symbolic of perfection, or completion, the believer, having been made holy by the blood of Christ, is to continue in holiness of life, until the Lord takes him home and his salvation is complete. Rom 6:22
whosoever eats that which is leavened... shall be cut off...-
Leaven represents sin, evil, corruption. (see note at Mat 13:33; cp. Mat 16:6).
The Blood of the Lamb purges us from sin, and brings us into right relationship with God.
Sin in my life breaks my fellowship with Him, and with other believers. cp. 1Joh 1:5-10
in the first month... - (cp. v.2, 'this month shall be the beginning of months...')
Life begins with the blood of the Lamb. cp. 1Joh 5:12
"To seek life and happiness apart from the blood of the Lamb
is vainer work by far than seeking to make bricks without straw." [CHM]
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.
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.
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].
12:24 And ye shall observe this thing for an ordinance to thee and to thy sons for ever.
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.
12:26 And it shall come to pass,
when your children shall say unto you, What mean ye by this service?
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.
12:28 And the children of Israel went away,
and did as the LORD had commanded Moses and Aaron, so did they.
hyssop (v.22)- a bushy plant, used here as a brush to apply the blood of redemption.
cp. Psa 51:7
strike the lintel {ie., top of door frame} and the two sideposts with the blood...-
Some have observed that this act effectively traced the outline of a cross with blood.
Of course, Moses and the children of Israel, acting in faith, were unaware of the full significance of their actions. cp. Heb 11:28; 12:24
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.
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.
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.
12:32 Also take your flocks and your herds, as ye have said, and be gone;
and bless me also.
12:33 And the Egyptians were urgent upon the people,
that they might send them out of the land in haste;
{cp. Ex 11:1,8}
for they said, We [be] all dead [men].
Plague #10 - the Death of the First-born was fulfilled (as fore-warned, note at Ex 11:4).
12:34 And the people took their dough before it was leavened,
their kneadingtroughs being bound up in their clothes upon their shoulders.
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:
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.
12:37 And the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses
{cp. Gen 47:11; Ex 1:11} to Succoth,
about six hundred thousand on foot [that were] men, beside children.
12:38 And a mixed multitude went up also with them;
and flocks, and herds, [even] very much cattle.
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
{ie., food, provision}.
about 600,000 men... beside [women and] children (cp. Ex 38:26)-
The full congregation would have included approximately two million persons.
a mixed multitude - This group would have included...
- - families of mixed marriages (between Israelites & Egyptians),
- - and individuals and families of 'strangers' {ie., foreigners, gentiles, cp. v.43}.
Later, these would be 'a source of weakness and division...' (cp. Num 11:4-6).
'There had been a manifestation of divine power, and men were drawn to it without a change of heart.' (cp. Luk 14:25-27) [ScofRB]
These unconverted people, in the midst of God's people, correspond to the mingling of tares among the wheat of the Church. (Mat 13:24-30,36-43)
12:40 Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt,
[was] four hundred and thirty years.
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.
{cp. Hab 2:3}
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.
...four hundred and thirty years...-
Critics imagine a discrepancy, since some passages refer to 400 years. see Gen 15:13,16; Acts 7:6; Gal 3:16,17
This may be explained by the fact that Joseph entered Egypt about 30 years before his father and brothers. In Joseph, the seed of Abraham was in Egypt 430 years, but the remainder of the family was there for 400 years.
a night to be 'much observed' {HB= shimmur, to keep watch, to keep vigil}-
The Lord kept watch upon His promises, and brought Israel out of Egypt at the appointed time.
Israel was to remember God's faithfulness to His promises, and to watch for promises yet future. eg., Jer 23:5-8
    But as years passed, Israel would focus on ritual (observing the feast) and lose sight of God's ultimate Passover. They would miss the prophetic message of the Seder, the Passover table. Someday, their eyes will be opened to Him. cp. Rom 11:8-11 (quoting Psa 69:22)
12:43 And the LORD said unto Moses and Aaron,
This [is] the ordinance of the passover: There shall no stranger eat thereof:
12:44 But every man's servant that is bought for money,
when thou hast circumcised him, then shall he eat thereof.
12:45 A foreigner and an hired servant shall not eat thereof.
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.
{cp. Num 9:12; Joh 19:36; Psa 34:20}
12:47 All the congregation of Israel shall keep it.
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.
12:49 One law shall be to him that is homeborn,
and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you.
12:50 Thus did all the children of Israel;
as the LORD commanded Moses and Aaron, so did they.
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.
circumcision - See the terms and the token of God's Covenant with Israel in Gen 17:1-8, 9-14.
- - Prior to partaking of the Passover Lamb, a man must come under the Covenant, by faith, as indicated by submission to the outward sign of the LORD's Covenant with Abraham.
- - Circumcision involves the cutting off of the flesh.
  • There was no power in Abraham's flesh to fulfill God's promises. God Himself would do what Abraham could not do.
  • The flesh cannot please God (Rom 8:8). Therefore, Abraham's faith, in the God who promised, was counted to him for righteousness (Rom 4:3). Likewise, today, believers are redeemed by Christ. Justification is by faith, apart from works (Rom 3:20-22; 4:23-25; Gal 3:16,17).
  • The flesh must be reckoned dead before we are free to feed on Christ.
    Note that, in Israel, the male alone was circumcised and the female was represented in the male. So, Christ represented His bride (the Church) on the cross, doing for us what we could not do for ourselves. cp. Rom 6:1-11; Col 2:11
'the home-born and the stranger'- have equal provision through the Passover Lamb.
cp. Eph 2:11-18

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