Exodus Chapter Twelve

The Final Choice

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In our study of Exodus chapter twelve, we see that, in the end, everyone will be humbled and that it will either by choice or by judgement.

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Exodus 12:1 & 2

ADONAI spoke to Moshe and Aharon in the land of Egypt; he said, "You are to begin your calendar with this month; it will be the first month of the year for you.

God sets the month of Aviv which means "spring" as the first month of the year.

Exodus 12:3-5

Speak to all the assembly of Isra'el and say, 'On the tenth day of this month, each man is to take a lamb or kid for his family, one per household - except that if the household is too small for a whole lamb or kid, then he and his next-door neighbor should share one, dividing it in proportion to the number of people eating it. Your animal must be without defect, a male in its first year, and you may choose it from either the sheep or the goats.

Here we see the Hebrew word "qahal" which is translates as "assembly" but its root speaks of witnesses or those who bear a testimony. On the tenth day of this first month, the people were to choose a one year old male lamb but, if their house was too small to eat a whole lamb, they were to join with their nearest neighbor. The Hebrew word "shanah" means year but it also means change and this reminds us that redemption, as symbolized by the lamb, is to bring about change into our lives.

Exodus 12:6-10

"'You are to keep it until the fourteenth day of the month, and then the entire assembly of the community of Isra'el will slaughter it at dusk. They are to take some of the blood and smear it on the two sides and top of the door-frame at the entrance of the house in which they eat it. That night, they are to eat the meat, roasted in the fire; they are to eat it with matzah and maror. Don't eat it raw or boiled, but roasted in the fire, with its head, the lower parts of its legs and its inner organs. Let nothing of it remain till morning; if any of it does remain, burn it up completely.

The lamb was to be guarded until twilight on the fourteenth day of the month when all of the witnesses was slaughter them as a sacrifice. The blood was then used to put on the door posts and above the door and the entire lamb was to be roasted on the fire. When it was dark outside, it was permissible to eat but none could be left in the morning as it had to be eaten or completely burned up.

Exodus 12:11-13

"'Here is how you are to eat it: with your belt fastened, your shoes on your feet and your staff in your hand; and you are to eat it hurriedly. It is ADONAI's Pesach. For that night, I will pass through the land of Egypt and kill all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both men and animals; and I will execute judgment against all the gods of Egypt; I am ADONAI. The blood will serve you as a sign marking the houses where you are; when I see the blood, I will pass over you - when I strike the land of Egypt, the death blow will not strike you.

The belt fastened speaks of how a servant would be dressed ready for work while the shoes show a readiness to go and the staff shows authority. This was all to be done with a sense of urgency and the blood on the house would save those in it from death. We see that living in redemption is victory and God sealed the judgement with an oath.

Exodus 12:14-20

"'This will be a day for you to remember and celebrate as a festival to ADONAI; from generation to generation you are to celebrate it by a perpetual regulation. "'For seven days you are to eat matzah - on the first day remove the leaven from your houses. For whoever eats hametz [leavened bread] from the first to the seventh day is to be cut off from Isra'el. On the first and seventh days, you are to have an assembly set aside for God. On these days no work is to be done, except what each must do to prepare his food; you may do only that. You are to observe the festival of matzah, for on this very day I brought your divisions out of the land of Egypt. Therefore, you are to observe this day from generation to generation by a perpetual regulation. From the evening of the fourteenth day of the first month until the evening of the twenty-first day, you are to eat matzah. During those seven days, no leaven is to be found in your houses. Whoever eats food with hametz in it is to be cut off from the community of Isra'el - it doesn't matter whether he is a foreigner or a citizen of the land. Eat nothing with hametz in it. Wherever you live, eat matzah.'"

Now, we see that this festival is to be celebrated and the festival is called Unleavened Bread with Pesach (passover) being at the start of the festival. Pesach (passover) is also called the day of preparation as all yeast must be taken out of the home and the home must remain without yeast for the seven day festival. We see that the matzah had to be guarded because of the fact that it is made from wheat which has the ability to ferment and become leaven. Finally, we see that this celebration was to be observed by all whose home is in the land whether they are in Israel or not.

Exodus 12:21-27

Then Moshe called for all the leaders of Isra'el and said, "Select and take lambs for your families, and slaughter the Pesach lamb. Take a bunch of hyssop leaves and dip it in the blood which is in the basin, and smear it on the two sides and top of the door-frame. Then, none of you is to go out the door of his house until morning. For ADONAI will pass through to kill the Egyptians; but when he sees the blood on the top and on the two sides, ADONAI will pass over the door and will not allow the Slaughterer to enter your houses and kill you. You are to observe this as a law, you and your descendants forever. "When you come to the land which ADONAI will give you, as he has promised, you are to observe this ceremony. When your children ask you, 'What do you mean by this ceremony?' say, 'It is the sacrifice of ADONAI's Pesach, because passed over the houses of the people of Isra'el in Egypt, when he killed the Egyptians but spared our houses.'" The people of Isra'el bowed their heads and worshipped.

Moshe gave God's instructions to the elders of Israel and we see that these instructions were to prevent The destroyer from bringing death. The Destroyer is an angel with a specific purpose that is an instrument of God's judgement.

Exodus 12:28-30

Then the people of Isra'el went and did as ADONAI had ordered Moshe and Aharon - that is what they did. At midnight ADONAI killed all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh sitting on his throne to the firstborn of the prisoner in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of livestock. Pharaoh got up in the night, he, all his servants and all the Egyptians; and there was horrendous wailing in Egypt; for there wasn't a single house without someone dead in it.

We see that The Destroyer went into action in the middle of the night and, when the Egyptians noticed what was happening, they was wailing throughout the land. We see that even the firstborn of the "prisoner in the dungeon" were affected and this shows us that there was no excuse that could stop the judgement.

Exodus 12:31-36

He summoned Moshe and Aharon by night and said, "Up and leave my people, both you and the people of Isra'el; and go, serve ADONAI as you said. Take both your flocks and your herds, as you said; and get out of here! But bless me, too." The Egyptians pressed to send the people out of the land quickly, because they said, "Otherwise we'll all be dead!" The people took their dough before it had become leavened and wrapped their kneading bowls in their clothes on their shoulders. The people of Isra'el had done what Moshe had said - they had asked the Egyptians to give them silver and gold jewelry and clothing; and ADONAI had made the Egyptians so favorably disposed toward the people that they had let them have whatever they requested. Thus they plundered the Egyptians.

We see that, in the middle of the night, Pharaoh sent the people out of the land and we see that they took their bread dough that had not risen as well as the plunder from the Egyptians.

Exodus 12:37-42

The people of Isra'el traveled from Ra'amses to Sukkot, some six hundred thousand men on foot, not counting children. A mixed crowd also went up with them, as well as livestock in large numbers, both flocks and herds. They baked matzah loaves from the dough they had brought out of Egypt, since it was unleavened; because they had been driven out of Egypt without time to prepare supplies for themselves. The time the people of Isra'el lived in Egypt was 430 years. At the end of 430 years to the day, all the divisions of ADONAI left the land of Egypt. This was a night when ADONAI kept vigil to bring them out of the land of Egypt, and this same night continues to be a night when ADONAI keeps vigil for all the people of Isra'el through all their generations.

We see that 600,000 men on foot left Egypt and the Hebrew phrase means "armies of God" with each of the twelve tribes having an army. The Hebrew word "rav" which is the same as rabbi is translated here as crowd but it refers to the non-Hebrews that had seen the plagues and obeyed God in the Passover preparations. We see that the dough that they carried out was baked into cakes of matzah as it did not have time to rise because they were driven out of Egypt in the middle of the night. We see that they had been in Egypt for exactly 430 years and the number 30 refers to death while the number 4 refers to the world. Finally, we see that this night is to be remembered by all generations.

Exodus 12:43-49

ADONAI said to Moshe and Aharon, "This is the regulation for the Pesach lamb: no foreigner is to eat it. But if anyone has a slave he bought for money, when you have circumcised him, he may eat it. Neither a traveler nor a hired servant may eat it. It is to be eaten in one house. You are not to take any of the meat outside the house, and you are not to break any of its bones. The whole community of Isra'el is to keep it. If a foreigner staying with you wants to observe ADONAI's Pesach, all his males must be circumcised. Then he may take part and observe it; he will be like a citizen of the land. But no uncircumcised person is to eat it. The same teaching is to apply equally to the citizen and to the foreigner living among you."

Then, God gave Moshe the laws concerning people that did not have a covenant relationship observing Pesach. Basically, anyone that was not circumcised was forbidden but anyone that was a permanent resident in the land was required to observe Passover. The methods for observing were to be the same for everyone and the meat was not to leave the house and no bones were to be broken.

Exodus 12:50 & 51

All the people of Isra'el did just as ADONAI had ordered Moshe and Aharon. On that very day, ADONAI brought the people of Isra'el out of the land of Egypt by their divisions.

We see that all of the people followed the instructions and God brought His armies out on that very day.

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