Bo Exodus 10: 1- 13:16 Jeremiah 46:13-28; John 19:31-37
Moshe "went" to Pharaoh to deliver a message from God. Pharaoh has changed his mind seven times and refused to let God's people go. The remaining plagues mentioned in chapter ten are locust, darkness and death of the first born.
Moshe goes into Pharaoh and requests once more that the people be able to leave. When they answer his question as to who is to go, he refuses again on learning that it will be the whole nation together with all their flocks and cattle. He is only willing for the men to go even though his servants plead with him to let them go. Because it was customary in the ancient Near East for men to worship, this seemed an unreasonable request, he could also regard keeping the rest of the people as security for the return of the working men. And so the prophesied plague of locusts comes on the land.
Locusts were common in Egypt, they often flew in from Arabia driven by an east wind and devastated the land, but this was worse and even they recognised Yahweh's hand of judgement here. Locusts are emblems of the last judgement coming upon the earth. Revelation 9: 3 -10
It is only with the very last plague that Pharaoh agrees to let them go although with each of these last three Pharaoh is coming under the mercy of Moshe and Aaron and they wield the hand of power until finally with the death of his first-born, Pharaoh lets them go on Yahweh's terms. In the last plagues there are three days of darkness (Exodus 10:22) followed by the death of the firstborn sons of Egypt. This is an antitype of the death of Yeshua, there were three hours of darkness preceding His death. Matthew 27:45 This deep spiritual darkness which could be felt, would have commenced on the 6th day and lasted till the 9th day and on the 10th day they took the lamb and began making preparations for the 14th day. This was a major blow to the deities of Egypt as it was centred around sun worship. The gods were being brought down and exposed in their futility and inability to operate. Yahweh fulfilled His decree of making "a mockery of Egypt" Exodus 10: 2
Keeping the PassoverEdit
Yahweh instructed them to take a lamb on the 10th day and keep it until the 14th day on which it was to be sacrificed. To the Egyptians, lambs and goats were objects of worship and to lay hands on one was regarded as sacrilege. For three days the animals were tied awaiting slaughter in the sight of the Egyptians and then their blood was put on the doorposts. The astrologers also considered Aries which s symbolised by the lamb as one of the most favourable signs of the Zodiac. The cycle of Aries begins on the 10th of this month and the height of its dominion was on the 14th --- and it was then that it was slain by the Israelites! What a step of denouncing the idolatry of Egypt on the part of the Israelis in actually sacrificing their gods.
In verse 21 of this chapter it says "Slaughter the Passover" - the word 'lamb' is not in the original. Yahweh makes it clear in 12:11 that it is His provision for Israel's deliverance - "It is Yahweh's passover". As Abraham said prophetically "Yahweh will Himself provide the lamb for the burnt offering" (Genesis 22: 8)
It is with Yeshua that the final fulfillment of this takes place as John proclaims, "Behold the lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world" John 1 :29
It was Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son that laid the groundwork for what was to come, and in the passover, Israel became Yahweh's firstborn son that would be replaced by Yeshua the substitute lamb for their spiritual deliverance. As Yahweh substituted a lamb for Isaac's deliverance, so He also substituted the Lamb for His firstborn son Israel. (Ex. 4:22-23)
Thereafter Israel was required to redeem the first-born of every animal and male offspring in lieu of the firstborn of Egypt that was slain. It was to be set apart to Yahweh. This was to be another sign to them, that as they performed this it would forever remind them of the power of Yahweh in setting them free, and that it cost the life of the first-born of the Egyptians. (13:11-15) This was the institution of the first-born male being set aside to Yahweh's service as a Priest in the nation -- i.e. the Melchizedek order. Later it was transferred to the Levitical tribe to function as priests.
Israel had become part of the world around them. They had imbibed the Egyptian culture and possibly their gods in a measure. They were in need of redemption. The process of the judgements upon Egypt would have also broken the power of the world upon His people and spiritually prepared them to come out of it and become a separated people unto Himself. Yet even so, they often looked back to Egypt - Egypt was still in them after they had been brought out of it. The reality was that at the time of the judgement of the first-born of Egypt, Israel also was deserving of judgement, but Yahweh extended His mercy to them on the basis of faith in His promise of redemption. That is why they needed to apply the blood.
We also were slaves in the kingdom of darkness and needed deliverance by the blood of the Lamb. We also must apply the blood and come out of the world system and be separated unto Yahweh, not looking back lusting after the things of the world. "Be not conformed to this world" is our instruction. (Romans 12:1-2)
The Spoil of the EgyptiansEdit
When Israel was to leave, Yahweh instructed them to go and speak to their Egyptian neighbours and request from the articles of gold and silver to take with them. (11: 2-3) This was in fulfilment of the word which he spoke to Abraham that he would give them great possessions when they came out. (Genesis 15:13-15) When the time came for them to go they had done according to the instructions which they had been given and they had great favour with them. (12:35-36)
They had worked as slaves without any compensation and now they were receiving their remuneration and restitution for all they had given of their labour and time and what had been taken from them as free men. "Thus they plundered the Egyptians" (NKJ & NIV) The word 'plundered' is translated "emptied" by the Artscroll Tanach.
The word 'plundered' is very negative in its implications. Strongs 5337 (NATSAL) gives the meaning as "to snatch away in a good or a bad sense" and the Theological Wordbook says "deliver, rescue, save" with the idea of stripping off.
They asked for the goods from those with whom they had favour among the Egyptians (The word "rei'eihu" means "friend."). It was necessary that the message be "spoken into the ears of the people" and kept from Pharaoh, and so they were given to them. The sense was that they delivered or rescued from them that which the Egyptians had profited from their labour for so many years and had become wealthy. So their 'spoiling' or 'plundering' the Egyptians was legitimate.
The Talmud contains a record of the Egyptians bring their case before Alexander the Great after he came to power, that the spoil which the Israelites had taken from their ancestors, be returned. When the Egyptians were asked for proof of their claim, they used the Torah to substantiate that it had happened. The Jew who responded to the challenge, answered them that the Torah said that over 600,000 Israelis had been slaves for hundreds of years and that if they paid them their wages for that period of time, then they would return the silver and the gold that they had taken. Alexander told them to reply and they requested three days to do so. When they calculated how much they would have to pay them, they dropped the case and fled.
At the time, the Egyptians were more than happy to give what they asked in order for them to leave.
Abraham had been told that his descendants would be 400 years in a land that was not theirs and be afflicted by them. In actual fact, they were only 210 years in the land of Egypt from the time that Jacob had moved down there. But the facts are reconciled by counting from the birth of Isaac, his first descendant who was born 30 years after the word was given and the fact that all the patriarchs were under some form of affliction while foreigners in a land that was not theirs.
The Time Line of The ExodusEdit
The Pharaoh of the exodus can be identified as Thutmose, the 36th ruler of the 13th dynasty, and there is evidence of the period in Goshen of an Asiatic group with Hebrew/Israelite names in documents found there. (David M. Rohl) Evidence has been found at the Tell el - Daba stratum of evidence of the 10th plague slaying of the firstborn.
The historian Manetho records this and dates the exodus at 1447 BC. This night when the Passover/Seder is celebrated, to this day it is called “the night of watching” (LEIL SHIMMURIM). This expression, seems to describe the essence of this night.
The definition of the verb SHIN-MEM-RESH, which is the basis of SHIMMURIM means to "to wait, anticipate, expect," according to Rashi and Ramban. The word is in the plural form and the Midrash Yalkut Shimoni (210) says that SHIMMURIM refers to a double redemption, both for the nation of Israel and for Yahweh! As Yahweh had told Yaakov: "I will descend with you to Egypt and I will also surely bring you up" (Bereishit 46:4), meaning that, as long as they were in Exile, Yahweh, as it were, was with them in the Exile. Yahweh waited until this night to fulfill His promise, which was to take the Children of Israel out from the land of Egypt. And, as soon as this day arrived, Yahweh did not delay, even for an instant. It was exactly 430 years to the day.
The Targum of Johnathan give these details, "And the days of the dwelling of the sons of Israel in Mizraim were thirty weeks of years, (thirty times seven years,) which is the sum of two hundred and ten years. But the number of four hundred and thirty years (had passed away since) the Lord spake to Abraham, in the hour that He spake with him on the fifteenth of Nisan, between the divided parts, until the day that they went out of Mizraim. And it was at the end of thirty years from the making of this covenant, that Izhak was born; and thence until they went out of Mizraim four hundred (years), on the selfsame day it was that all the hosts of the Lord went forth made free from the land of Mizraim." (Rashi quotes from the Mechilta: “On the of 15th Nisan the ministering angels came to Avraham to inform him, and on the 15th of Nisan Yitzchak was born, and on the 15th of Nisan the decree was made [at the Covenant] between the Parts.”)
Yahweh said "I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and I will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt ... ... ... and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgement: I am Yahweh" Exodus 12:12
Yahweh is executing His final judgement on the gods of Egypt. The meaning of the word 'pesach' i.e. 'pass over' is explained in the next verse as "I will pass or leap over" the houses upon which the blood of the lamb was placed. The Septuagint translated 'pass over' as "protect" you
Strongs 6452 gives it as " a primitive root 'to hop' i.e. (fig) skip over (or spare); by impl. to hesitate;"
The long-anticipated day of the Exodus has arrived. After what would have spanned a year approximately, finally they are to go. They make all the necessary preparations according to Yahweh's instructions to them and get ready to go. They go to their Egyptian neighbours and borrow from them vessels of silver and vessels of gold and Yahweh gives them favour and they come out with much substance. Moshe is held in high esteem in the land of Egypt because of the authority which he has demonstrated and the people of Israel are blessed with goods to take with them. (11: 1-3)
At night, Yahweh strikes down the Egyptian firstborn and spares the Israelites, while the latter partake of the Passover. "I will go out into the midst of Egypt" (11: 4 NKJ translates it as does the Targum Onkelos)
And it was, at the end of thirty years and four hundred years, on that very day, that all the hosts of Yahweh went out from the land of Egypt. It was a night of watching, of being alert, prepared and ready to go (Shemot 12:41-42). The Pesach seder is kept, looking forward to Yeshua as THE Passover lamb.
Pictures and types are in the symbols of the seder. The Matzot (unleavened bread crackers) are striped and pierced reflecting on the stripes and wounds of our Messiah. The Matzot are unleavened reminding us that He was without sin (spot or blemish). The Paschal lamb was kept for four days and examined to see if it was free of spot or blemish. This reminds us of the four days that he was in Jerusalem beforehand during which He was closely examined to see if any fault could be found in Him. Pilot declared, "I find no fault in him at all." (John 18:38-19:6). The lamb's blood was spilled and the hyssop was used to dip into the blood and mark the door posts and mantle, of the entrances of homes. (the word 'dip' here is the word used for immerse' or 'baptise'. The hyssop was immersed in the blood i.e. baptised' into the blood) This was so that the death angel would pass over each home. In the same way as as the token lamb's blood was placed upon their doors so Yeshua's blood placed over our lives marks us against the coming judgement of His wrath upon this world.
The picture God is drawing from the beginning is that when the end comes and judgment falls, those who are already judged (dead in Messiah) will be passed over. You cannot kill that which is already dead. The death pictured here is the old man of sin. This is pictured by the blood on the doorposts. We are immersed in His blood, which represents His death for us. This is why our Redeemer shed His blood for us.
The Blood as a SignEdit
"Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are, and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague will not be upon you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt." Exodus 12:13
Most Jewish commentators agree that by putting the blood on their doorposts they were indicating their desire to forsake Egypt, thereby meriting life. It was a declaration that they were willing to be obedient and because of that He would protect them. (Rashi p.56; Hertz p.256 and The Rambam) It was also a declaration of having forsaken the gods of Egypt, it signified a commitment to a separation from all that Egypt was and stood for, and a willingness to follow Yahweh.
Leibowitz says that the lamb was sacred and an object of worship to the Egyptians and it was a sign that they had "cleansed themselves of these ideas and demonstrate publicly their rejection of them" Leibowitz op. cit. p. 219 Therefore to make the sacrifice of the lamb was a definite stand against the gods of Egypt and many Egyptians made this commitment. They were actually placing their lives in danger doing this, so it required their total commitment. It was their faith in His promise that secured their redemption and what the blood symbolised to Yahweh, which then in an act of His mercy and grace, He passed over them.
In the new covenant we know it is by the blood of the passover lamb, Yeshua, that we have life, based upon our faith in Him. We place the blood upon our lives when we act in faith, believe His promise and separate ourselves from the world and all that it worships. Based upon our confession, He imparts life to us. Romans 10: 8-10
He passes over the judgement that is our due and takes us out from under the dominion of the powers of this world.He passed over judgement upon them and upon us, on the basis of faith. Our obedience is a result of our faith but does not in itself merit our salvation.
The blood placed on the two door posts and the lintel forms the letter 'chet' H; This letter by itself is used to signify 'life'. Therefore by putting the blood upon the door posts, the Israeli is seeing the picture of LIFE under the token of the BLOOD. That is, the entrance to his house (his life), is under the life blood of the covenant lamb through which he has been merited life.
It was not sufficient to take and sacrifice the lamb, the blood as a sign of that had to be placed out for all to see as a confession of the faith that had motivated the sacrifice of the lamb for the person concerned. Also, not only must that confession be displayed for all to see, but the lamb had to be eaten. It is not enough to take Yeshua as the representation of our deliverance from judgement to come upon the basis of Yahweh's Word. We must also apply it outwardly as a sign for all to see as a declaration of separation from the gods of this world and our intent to follow Yahweh. Then the lamb must be eaten. We must eat His flesh so that His life becomes our life to strengthen us for the journey ahead through the wilderness of life into the promised land.
The Destroying AngelEdit
There is an interesting statement Yahweh has made, "I am Yahweh, and there is no other, I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I, Yahweh, do all these things." Isaiah 45: 6b-7
In executing judgement He uses the powers of darkness who have a legitimate right of access due to man's sin. In the Aramaic targum of Johnathan it says, "And the blood of the paschal oblation, (like) the matter of circumcision, shall be a bail for you, to become a sign upon the houses where you dwell; and I will look upon the worth of the blood, and will spare you; and the angel of death, to whom is given the power to destroy, shall have no dominion over you in the slaughter of the Mizraee. (12:23)
The New King James says, "When He sees the blood on the lintel of the two doorposts, Yahweh will pass over the door and not allow the destroyer to come into your houses." (12:23)
The Israelites also were only redeemed from the curse by their faith in the promised redemption. All judgement can only operate within the limits fixed by Yahweh Himself. The evil one has to have permission based upon legal grounds that have been given to him, to be able to operate.
In this judgement there was not a house that was unaffected in Egypt - Exodus 12:30 Pharaoh's servants had said to him after the plague of locusts that "Egypt is destroyed", but it is not until the judgement of the first-born that Pharaoh's will is broken.
The custom of the firstborn having the inheritance was still held in Egypt and by this act of judgement the future Pharaoh was destroyed. The Pharaoh was the embodiment of Horus on earth ruling the kingdom and so with this judgement of the next in line, the embodiment of the god Horus was brought to account as a deception.
With each of the deities that were judged, it was the demonic powers behind them that Yahweh was addressing. This total destruction of Egypt's power is a picture of what He will do to the powers of darkness that rule this world in His judgement to come. All the demonic strongholds behind the system of this world's governments will be exposed and unable to withstand Him, powerless against that which He will bring against it.
We are living in the endtimes and His judgments are coming upon the powers of this world. We need to be spiritually prepared for what might occur in our lifetime and have the blood of the Lamb in place over our lives for all to see. We need also to have forsaken the gods of Egypt and have consumed the life of the Lamb of God.
Yeshua said, "Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is food indeed and My blood is drink indeed. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood, abides in Me and I in Him .. .. .. so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me" John 6:54-57b
Paul referred to himself as a "bond slave" to Yeshua. All his personal rights, freedoms, expectations, desires, etc. were laid on the sacrificial altar before Yeshua, completely surrendered to the Master' will and bonded in union with Him.