New European Commentary

 

About | PDFs | Mobile formats | Word formats | Other languages | Contact Us | What is the Gospel? | Support the work | Carelinks Ministries | | The Real Christ | The Real Devil | "Bible Companion" Daily Bible reading plan


Deeper Commentary

 

Exo 12:1 Yahweh spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying-
The idea is that He had spoken to them in Egypt, before they left. For what we read now is partly retelling what had been told them before.

Exo 12:2 This month shall be to you the beginning of months. It shall be the first month of the year to you-
Seeing they had been 430 years in Egypt, they would previously have followed the Egyptian beginning of the year- which commenced with the overflowing of the Nile at the summer solstice. But Israel were to begin their year by celebrating the overflowing of the Red Sea which destroyed the Egyptians. 


Exo 12:3 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-

"Every man a lamb" is purposefully ambiguous. The idea is that the heads of households should do this, but it is phrased in such a way as to imply that every Israelite was to do this. They were to each see in the lamb the source of their personal redemption. The Passover, like the breaking of bread service which it anticipated, has both a collective and a personal aspect. We note God's method of salvation by households, with those without families apparently taken in to existing household units (Ps. 68:6). And we wonder whether there is not an element of that within His present economy of working, through the lamb which represents the Lord Jesus (1 Cor. 5:7).


Exo 12:4 and if the household is too little for a lamb, then he and his neighbour next to his house shall take one according to the number of the souls; according to what everyone can eat you shall make your count for the lamb-
The implication was that the slain lamb was to be totally consumed, and therefore there needed to be enough people present to ensure this would happen.

The Mosaic command to give, every man according to the blessing with which God had blessed him (Dt. 16:17), is purposely similar in phrasing to the command to eat of the Passover lamb, every man according to his need; and to partake of the manna (cp. the Lord Jesus), every man according to his need (Ex. 12:4; 16:6,16). According to the desperation of our need, so we partake of Christ; and in response, according to our blessing, we give, in response to the grace of His giving.  


Exo 12:5 Your lamb shall be without blemish-
This looked ahead to the unblemished character of the Lord Jesus (1 Cor. 5:7). The offering of sacrifices "without blemish" uses a word which is used about Abraham and Noah being "without blemish" (AV "perfect") before God (Gen. 6:9; 17:1). Although the word is used about the sacrifices, it is really more appropriate to persons- "you shall be perfect with Yahweh your God" (Dt. 18:13), "serve Him in sincerity (s.w. "without blemish")" (Josh. 24:14). The idea, therefore, was that the offerer was invited to see the animal as representative of himself. Our lives too are to be as "living sacrifices" (Rom. 12:1). And yet in practical terms, no animal is without blemish. They were to give the best they could, and God would count it as without blemish; as He does with us. David frequently uses the term in the Psalms about himself and the "upright", even though he was far from unblemished in moral terms.

A male a year old-
Male not only because it looked forward to the Lord Jesus, but also because it represented the firstborn males who were to be saved from death by the death of the lamb. We note therefore that the lamb died as a representative of those redeemed, rather that a substitute for them. 

You shall take it out from the sheep-
"Take it out" implies that it was not to be kept aside specially, but was to be one of the flock. This eloquently points forward to the Lord Jesus as taken out of the flock of humanity. He was of our nature, and not God Himself.

Or from the goats-
We get the impression that God was very strict about the offerings. He was. But He made concession to the man who couldn't bring what he ought to: "If he be poor, and cannot get much... two young pigeons, such as he is able to get" (Lev. 14:22). If they were blemished in some way, and even though they were not the animal God desired, God would accept such as the man was able to get. Likewise the offerings had to involve the shedding of blood; but God was prepared to accept a food offering if a man really couldn't get an animal. The eagerness of God to accept what a man can do rather than the insistence on legal principles really comes over. He recognized the Israelites would be living on different levels. Such an eagerness involved accepting a lower standard of adherence to God's ideal principles. In harmony with this, the Passover ‘lamb’ (:3) could be either a sheep, or if necessary, a goat (Ex. 12:5), even though the use of a goat would somewhat spoil the foreshadowing of the Lord Jesus Christ.


Exo 12:6 and you shall keep it-
LXX "it shall be kept by you". The idea may be that the lamb was to be kept in their homes from the 10th to the 14th day. The family would become fond of the lamb, it was even more one of them that was to be sacrificed for the salvation of the family. And this again speaks of the Lord's absolute sharing of human nature, as our representative, truly 'one of us'.

Until the fourteenth day of the same month; and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at evening-
Why was the lamb or kid kept for four days (Ex. 12:2,6)? If the effects of circumcision take three days to wear off (Gen. 34:25), it could be that the uncircumcised males were intended to circumcise themselves, chose the lamb, and then keep the Passover four days later. Some Jewish commentators claim that God fell in love with Israel whilst she was still in her blood (Ez. 16:6) in that some Jews circumcised themselves at the time of the first Passover- hence one Rabbi speaks of the blood of circumcision and the blood of the first Passover running together. See on Ex. 12:48.

The people of Israel as a body were going through the death and resurrection experience of the Lord Jesus, through the process of the Passover and Exodus through the Red Sea. Israel ate Passover (Ex. 12:6) [14th Abib], as the Lord died on the cross as the Passover lambs were slain; Israel left Egypt the next day (Num. 33:3) [15th Abib] and journeyed three days (Ex. 8:27) [15th-17th Abib], and the Lord Jesus was three days in the tomb. Israel then came through the Red Sea [17th Abib], connecting with the Lord's being resurrected. As we come out of the baptismal water, we really are united with the resurrected Lord- a new creation. His newness of life, His deliverance and successful exodus from the world- all this becomes ours.

 

Exo 12:7 They shall take some of the blood, and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel, on the houses in which they shall eat it-
Time and again we find that the local pagan myths about Satan are alluded to and deconstructed by Moses. It has been observed that the Passover ritual of smearing the blood of the sacrifice on the doorposts was very similar to what Bedouin tribes have been doing in the Middle East for millennia- they smear the blood on their tent poles and tent entrances when they erect a new home or tent, in order to keep 'satan' figures away (Roland De Vaux, Studies In Old Testament Sacrifice (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1961) p. 7). But the Exodus record is at pains to point out that the 'Destroyer' was one of Yahweh's Angels; and thus it was ultimately Yahweh Himself who slew the firstborn in those homes without the daubed blood. Again- yet again- we see a pagan idea concerning 'satan' being taken up and reinterpreted in light of the fact that the 'satan' figures don't really exist, and God is the ultimate and unrivalled source of disaster. See on Ex. 21:6.

We note that the blood was not to be placed on the threshold, lest it be trodden under foot in disrespect (Heb. 10:29). It clearly looked forward to the blood of the Lord Jesus (1 Pet. 1:2). This seems one of many things in the Passover commandments which was relevant only for that first Passover, and was not an abiding part of the later Passover ritual; for the lambs were slain at the sanctuary and the blood put on the altar, not on the individual homes of the Israelites. Thus the command not to allow Gentiles to participate was only for the first Passover, whereas in the later Passover legislation they were allowed to. See on :9,11.

Grandparents would have nervously eyed their firstborn, who would likewise have watched or cuddled their firstborn, summoning all their faith to believe in the power of that blood which they had publicly associated themselves with. Such should be the pattern of our ecclesial life on the eve of the Lord's coming, which was prefigured by Passover night.


Exo 12:8 They shall eat the flesh in that night, roasted with fire, and unleavened bread. They shall eat it with bitter herbs-
The Passover, as the prototype breaking of bread, featured bitter herbs to remind Israel of their bitter experience in Egypt (Ex. 1:14). The breaking of bread should likewise focus our attention on the fact that return to the world is a return to bondage and bitterness, not freedom. Israel didn't learn this lesson, they forgot the bitterness of Egypt, and longed to return to it. The idea was that the sweetness of the lamb's roasted meat was to assuage the bitterness of the herbs; and we see here prefigured the intended effect of the Lord's sacrifice.


Exo 12:9 Don’t eat it raw, nor boiled at all with water, but roasted with fire; with its head, its legs and its inner parts-
Israel were told specifically that the Passover lamb must be roasted and not boiled (Ex. 12:9 uses two distinct words for 'boiled' and 'roasted'.). But the word used in Ex. 12:9 for "boiled" is that used in Dt. 16:7 of how the Passover could be boiled, although many Bible versions misleadingly translate the word there as "roast". The translators need not have feared such contradiction. For it is the contradiction of grace. Moses in Dt. 16:2,7 was allowing a less strict observation of the Passover than originally intended, typical of the way Deuteronomy, 'the second law', seems to make concessions to Israel's weaknesses. Or it could be that here we have another example of where the Passover regulations given in Exodus were specific only to that time at the exodus. Thus a foreigner was not allowed to eat of that sacrifice, but foreigners were welcome to eat of the Passover later.  See on :7,11.

The prohibition against boiling may have been because of the desire that no bone of the lamb be broken. It was to be roasted on a spit, whereas a lamb would never have fitted into a pot as required for boiling. It would have had to be cut up into parts. 

Exo 12:10 You shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; but that which remains of it until the morning you shall burn with fire-
There is the possibility of living before God on different levels. Hence nothing was to remain, but God foresaw that some would allow part of the sacrifice to remain. This was a concession to human weakness, and reflects God's awareness of human liability to failure.


Exo 12:11 This is how you shall eat it: with your belt on your waist, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it in haste: it is Yahweh’s Passover-
Here we have another example of where the Passover regulations given in Exodus were specific only to that time at the exodus. Thus a foreigner was not allowed to eat of that sacrifice, but foreigners were welcome to eat of the Passover later.  See on :7,9.

This captures the spirit of expectancy and readiness to leave at any moment- which we should have, as we, too, await the coming of the angel.  


Exo 12:12 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-
"The angel of death" is an idea picked up by Moses in his account of the Passover deliverance, to show that the Angel of death is not in fact Mot but an Angel of Yahweh, completely under His control. For it was none less than Yahweh Himself who slew the firstborn of Egypt (Ex. 12:11,12). Likewise it was Yahweh's Angel who played the role of the 'Angel of death' in smiting the Assyrian army dead (Is. 37:36).

Against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments-
The plagues specifically targetted Egyptian gods: Nile water turned to blood = HAPI – the god of the spirit of the Nile; Frogs = HEKOT – the goddess of magic who had a frog’s head; “The dust of the land” turned to lice or gnats (Ex. 8:16) = SEB – god of the dust of the earth; “Swarms of beetles” (Ex. 8:21 Hebrew) = RA and the forerunner of BEELZEBUB were likened to beetles; much pagan Egyptian jewellery features beetles; Murrain of cattle = APIS – the sacred bull god; Boils (Ex. 9:8–9) = NEIT – the queen of the heavens; Thunder and hail = SHU – god of the atmosphere; Darkness = RA – the sun god; Locusts = SERAIJA – protector of Egypt from locusts.

The “gods” are spoken of for a moment as real and existing, in order to show Yahweh’s total superiority over them to the point that they didn’t exist. Note how it was the Egyptian people who were judged (Gen. 15:14); their idols (“gods”) are used by metonymy to stand for those who believed in them. Likewise “demons” is sometimes put by metonymy for those who believed in them (e.g. Mk. 2:32,34). The judgment upon Egypt’s gods is brought out by an otherwise obscure reference in Ex. 7:19 to how “there shall be blood in all the land of Egypt on wood and in stone”. “Wood and stone” is a term usually used in the Bible for idols; and “the Egyptian priests used to wash the images of their gods in water every day early in the morning”. Thus the gods were shown to be effectively dead and bleeding.

I am Yahweh-
Whenever God speaks about His Name, it is in the context of His emphasizing His huge commitment to Israel as His people, often in the face of their weakness (Ex. 12:12; 15:26; 20:2; Ez. 20:5,6). The very meaning of God's Name is of itself encouraging- although it is somewhat masked in English translations. God 'is' not just in the sense that He exists, but in that He 'is' there with and for us. The verb behind 'YHWH' was "originally causative", i.e. God not only 'is' but He causes things to happen. We aren't to understand Him as passive, just a stone cold Name... but rather passionately active and causative in our sometimes apparently static and repetitive lives.


Exo 12:13 The blood shall be to you for a token on the houses where you are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and there shall no plague be on you to destroy you, when I strike the land of Egypt-
"Pass over" is literally 'hover over'. The angel of death, "the destroyer", went out to slay all the firstborn. But the Passover Angel hovered over the doors of the Israelites who had daubed blood on their door posts, and stopped the Destroyer from slaying in that house. We see here an example of Angelic cooperation. The slaying of the Egyptians apparently happened in a moment, so this is representing things from a human point of view. We are invited to imagine the Destroyer going from house to house, and the Passover Angel hovering over Israelite houses. But the whole thing happened in a moment of time as we understand time. The meaning of time was collapsed, just as will happen at the time of the Lord's second coming- which Passover night typified. This collapsing of time would involve the collapsing of space as well, if Einstein indeed got it right about the space-time relationship. This helps us to better cope with the apparent logistic problems which arise when considering the nature of the judgment seat, with millions of people having a personal interview with the Lord Jesus at one place on earth. 

"Token" is the word used for the "mark" set upon Cain which preserved him from being slain (Gen. 4:15). The similarity is intended; Israel were being presented as sinful Cain, but they as sinners were being saved by grace.


Exo 12:14 This day shall be to you for a memorial, and you shall keep it a feast to Yahweh: throughout your generations you shall keep it a feast by an ordinance forever-
The feasts of Yahweh have now been fulfilled in the Lord Jesus. "Olahm", "forever", literally means 'to the vanishing point', the point where time can no longer be perceived. Of itself it doesn't mean 'infinity'. Indeed it could be argued that there is no Biblical Hebrew word for literal eternity. And this is why "forever" doesn't have to mean literal eternity, but a period, the end of which isn't in view at the time.

Exo 12:15 ‘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-
The leaven or yeast in our context is to be understood as the leaven of malice and wickedness (1 Cor. 5:8). The search for leaven at the time of the Passover would therefore look ahead to our self examination at the breaking of bread.  

Being "cut off from Israel" may not mean that the person must be slain. For then the phrase "cut off from the earth" would have been used (as in Prov. 2:22 and often). The idea is that the person who ate leaven (Ex. 12:15) or was not circumcised (Gen. 17:14) was excluded from the community of God's people because they had broken or despised the covenant which made them His people. But there is no record of Israel keeping a list of 'cut off from Israel' Israelites and excluding them from keeping the feasts. So we conclude this means that God would consider such persons as cut off from His people. He would do the cutting off, and not men. In His book, they were "cut off". But there was no legal nor practical mechanism provided to Israel to manage the 'cutting off from Israel' of those who despised the covenant. The cutting off was done in God's eyes, in Heaven's record, and the Israelites were intended to continue to fellowship with such persons at the feasts. This is a strong argument for an open table, and for not seeking to make church excommunication the equivalent of this cutting off of the disobedient from the people of Israel. This explains why being "cut off from Israel" is the punishment stated for doing things which man could not see and judge- secretly breaking the Sabbath (Ex. 31:14), eating peace offerings whilst being unclean (Lev. 7:20- for how were others to know whether someone had touched the unclean, or was experiencing an unclean bodily emission), eating meat with blood still in it (Lev. 17:10,14), not adequately humbling the soul (Lev. 23:29), not keeping Passover (Num. 9:13), being presumptuous (Num. 15:30,31- only God can judge that), not washing after touching a dead body (Num. 19:13,20). This is why Lev. 20:6 makes it explicit that "I [Yahweh personally] will set My face against that person, and will cut him off from among his people". It is Yahweh who does the cutting off and not men (also 1 Sam. 2:33).


Exo 12:16 In the first day there shall be to you a holy convocation, and in the seventh day a holy convocation-
This is the first time we read of "convocations". "Convocation" is LXX ekklesia. This is the word rendered "church" in the New Testament. We could reason from this therefore that "church" specifically refers to a gathering of God's people. At that time and during those moments, they are a church. When the entire community of believers is referred to as "church", this is how God views them- as if they are all gathered together at a gathering or convocation before Him. The word in its Biblical usage therefore doesn't refer to what we might call a denomination or fellowship.

No kind of work shall be done in them, except that which every man must eat, that only may be done by you-
In the lead up to the feast (cp. our Lord's return), "no manner of work shall be done, save that which ever man must (do to) eat", or "that which every man must necessarily do" (LXX; Ex. 12:16). Thus in our lives now, having food and clothing we should be content, not working any more than necessary, so that "the loins of our mind" will be girded, looking forward to the Passover feast.


Exo 12:17 You shall observe the feast of unleavened bread; for in this same day have I brought your armies out of the land of Egypt: therefore you shall observe this day throughout your generations by an ordinance forever-
They were to see their own redemption in the historical redemption of Israel. And indeed, David and later believers continually alluded to the Red Sea deliverance, as if it had happened to them personally. And we can likewise. Our membership of the body of believers gives us connection with all other believers, not just those alive today, but also historically. 


Exo 12:18 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-
These seven days were to recall the seven days of creation; for the exodus was a new creation of Israel, out of the water of the Red Sea.


Exo 12:19 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 be a foreigner, or one who is born in the land-
The run-up to Passover was to feature a business-like searching of the house for leaven, reflecting the close self-examination which we should undertake individually and ecclesially ("your houses") in this prelude to the Passover-coming of our Lord. See on :21,42. The picture of Israel in their family units huddled together around the Lamb, desperately focusing their attention on that saving blood, watching and praying, examining themselves- this is us, right now. For there can be no serious doubt that the second coming is almost upon our generation. The run up to the final tribulation will provoke a "praying always, that ye may be accounted worthy... to stand before the Son of man" (Lk. 21:36).

"Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven...of malice and wickedness" (1 Cor. 5:8). The disciples’ question at the first breaking of bread, “Lord, is it I?” is another prototype of the command to examine ourselves at the feast (Mt. 26:22). Combining Paul's command to examine ourselves that we are really focusing upon our Lord's sacrifice, and the Exodus allusion which implies that we should examine our own lives for wickedness, we conclude that if we properly reflect upon Christ and His victory for us, then we will inevitably be aware of our own specific failures which Christ really has vanquished. But this will come as a by-product of truly grasping the fullness of the Lord's victory.


Exo 12:20 You shall eat nothing leavened. In all your habitations you shall eat unleavened bread’-
The prohibition is repeated so often. "Leaven" literally means that which is sour, and is translated "cruel" (Ps. 51:4) and "grievous" (Ps. 73:21). Paul therefore sees leaven as a symbol of malice and wickedness, which we must purge out (1 Cor. 5:8).

Exo 12:21 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-
The focus of the Passover feast was the lamb, and this should be the centre of our thinking in these last days. Some very intense Hebrew words are used to describe their association of themselves with it: "Draw out (to seize) and take you a lamb... strike ('lay the hand on', a word used about rape) the lintel... with the blood" (Ex. 12:21,22).


Exo 12:22 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 doorposts with the blood that is in the basin; and none of you shall go out of the door of his house until the morning-
Heb. 10:25 may refer to this; we are not to forsake assembling ourselves together in Christ, on pain of spiritual and eternal death. We note the association of hyssop with the Lord's death on the cross (Jn. 19:29). That hyssop had been dipped in red wine, representing blood, and the Lord surely saw the relevance to Himself. "I am that hyssop", He would have thought. On the cross, He was the door (Jn. 10:9), and He experienced hyssop with red wine (representing blood) brushed against Him. Just as the doors at Passover had blood brushed onto them using a hyssop plant, and this was the basis of Israel's salvation.    


Exo 12:23 For Yahweh will pass through to strike the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood on the lintel, and on the two doorposts, Yahweh will pass over the door, and will not allow the Destroyer to come in to your houses to strike you-
The Passover Angel would "pass (hover) over the door and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you". 'The destroyer' refers to an Angel- Ps. 78 speaks of the "Angels of evil" who brought the plagues, and as the plague of the firstborn was one of them, it follows that this too must have been brought about by an Angel. The same Angel i referred to in Jer. 51:1- the “destroying spirit” [“wind”, AV] who was sent forth by God to smite Babylon; note how Revelation also describes Babylon as being destroyed by a singular Angel. In another Angelic context we read: “O Lord my Lord; will you be the destroyer of the remnant of Israel?” (Ez. 9:8 Heb.). “Let the Angel of the Lord persecute them” (Ps. 35:5,6) has the same Angel in mind. The destroyer Angel is perhaps alluded to in Job 18:13: “The firstborn of death”. Job 33:23 LXX certainly is relevant: “Though there should be one thousand Angels of death…”. This same 'destroyer' Angel is referred to again in the context of being present with Israel to punish them if they disobeyed in 1 Cor. 10:10 -"they were destroyed of the destroyer". So we have here on this first Passover night the situation where one Angel is commissioned to do a certain task- in this case kill all firstborn in Egypt- and goes ahead with this task blind to any other consideration, e. g. whether the people concerned were obedient Israelites or not. Therefore another Angel was needed, presumably more powerful or senior to the 'destroyer', to stop the faithful Israelites being killed. Of course God could have given the 'destroyer' additional instructions about not killing the Jews; but it seems to be God's way of working both amongst us and among the Angels to assign each a specific role in the execution of His purpose, and to take pleasure in seeing each Angel or saint working in loving co-operation with another, after the pattern of the Angelic co-operation. Ez. 20:8-14 talks more about this destroyer Angel: "Neither did they forsake the idols of Egypt: then I said, I will pour out My fury upon them, to accomplish My anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt. But I wrought for My name's sake, that it should not be polluted among the heathen, among whom they were, in whose sight I made myself known unto them, in bringing them forth out of the land of Egypt. Wherefore  I  caused them to go forth out of the land of Egypt, and brought them into the wilderness. And I gave them My statutes. . My Sabbaths. . the house of Israel rebelled against Me in the wilderness. . but I wrought for My name's sake, that it should not be polluted" . The destroyer Angel went out through the midst of the land of Egypt to kill the firstborn. He wanted to kill the Jews too because they were not forsaking the idols of Egypt- i. e. they were preparing to take them out of Egypt with them (Ex. 13:17 and Acts 7:43 lend support here). "I"- God manifest now in the Passover Angel- "wrought for My name's sake" (v. 9) against the Destroyer that this should not be done. He remembered how He had "made myself known unto them" in the burning bush, by saying there "I am the Lord your God "(v. 5). "Mine eye (the Passover Angel) spared them from destroying them ",v. 17; i. e. from the work of the Destroyer Angel, both in Egypt at the night of Passover and also in the wilderness. Notice  how God is spoken of as both wanting to destroy them and also striving for His Name's sake (born by the Angels) so this should not happen. It seems sensible to interpret this by reference to the two powerful Angels  active at this time, perhaps representing the groups of Angels of good and Angels of evil (i. e. disaster bringing) which appear to be in Heaven.

Exo 12:24 You shall observe this thing for an ordinance to you and to your sons forever-
There is such repeated emphasis upon the need to celebrate this redemption. Salvation was achieved for us in the death of the Lord Jesus on both a collective and personal level. Our personal salvation is on account of our participation in the collective redemption of God's children which He achieved on the cross.


Exo 12:25 It shall happen when you have come to the land which Yahweh will give you, according as he has promised, that you shall keep this service-
It could be that the "you" refers to the people of God in a collective sense. But the more comfortable application is to that generation to whom Moses was then speaking. This promise of entering the land was solemnly made, with uplifted hand as it were, to that generation who left Egypt (Ex. 6:8; Num. 14:30). But they did not enter the land, as Num. 14:30 makes clear. This was because Israel broke their side of the covenant, and did not in fact want to enter the land; and continued serving the idols of Egypt, which they took with them through the Red Sea (Ez. 20:8; Acts 7:43). But that promise was guaranteed by the fact that "I will bring you into the land... I am Yahweh" (Ex. 6:8). The very essence of Yahweh, that 'I will' save, as surely as 'I will be who I will be', a saviour God, was fought against by Israel's idolatry and unfaithfulness to the covenant. And because 'Yahweh' involves His character, which includes His judgment of sin and not turning a blind eye to it (Ex. 34:4-6), human intransigence and faithlessness was allowed to as it were even counteract His most essential 'being' a saviour God for His beloved people. But that salvation was recalculated and reinterpreted with reference to another generation, and to the people of God generally rather than to the initially intended audience.    


Exo 12:26 It will happen, when your children ask you, ‘What do you mean by this service?’-
A striking difference between the Pentateuch and other contemporary legal codes is that those codes are straight codices of statutes; whereas God's law isn't like that. It is commandment interspersed between historical documents and incidents. We read of some incident in the wilderness journey, then we have some commandments recounted, then another incident, some more commandments, etc. This surely reflects how God intended obedience to His law to not be a legalistic exercise- it was a code for real human life, which should affect the very spirit of human existence in a way which no dry legal code really could. It was to set a rhythm of life, revealing how that law was "for our good always, that God might preserve us" (Dt. 6:24)- the person who obeyed the law was to live in it (Hab. 2:4 etc.). The motive for obedience to the law was not so that God might give them salvation or status as His people- it was precisely because He had done that, by grace, that they were to respond in obedience (Ex. 12:26; 13:8,14; Dt. 6:20).


Exo 12:27 that you shall say, ‘It is the sacrifice of Yahweh’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-
The land was 'smitten' in Ex. 8:2 as a foretaste of the 'striking / smiting' of the Egyptian firstborn (Ex. 12:23,27 s.w.). It was an appeal for Pharaoh's repentance, in the hope that the final smiting of the firstborn would not be necessary. It was God's intention and hope to save Pharaoh, but he would not. God "delivered" or "spared" (s.w.) His people from Egypt and Pharaoh, just as He delivered Moses personally from the sword of Pharaoh (Ex. 18:4,8 s.w.). Moses was the representative of his people, they were saved "in" him, and baptized into him (1 Cor. 10:1,2). They were apostate idolaters (Ez. 20:8), and were in a way only saved "in" Moses, just as we are saved "in Christ". They were "spared" or delivered not only from Egypt, but also from the wrath of God which was upon them (Ez. 20:8).


Exo 12:28 The children of Israel went and did so; as Yahweh had commanded Moses and Aaron, so they did-
Their obedience is presented as total, but I will suggest on :37 that they were not all obedient, and many Israelite firstborn died that night. The prophets will later lament that Israel were disobedient to Yahweh from Egypt onwards. But He had decided to save them by grace, and so their limited obedience is counted as total. 


Exo 12:29 It happened at midnight, that Yahweh 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-
We note that Egypt had a system of prisons and dungeons, as we know from the story of Joseph. This begs the question as to why Moses was not slain or imprisoned by Pharaoh- for that would have been the logical way to stop this troublesome man from bringing plagues upon Egypt. The answer seems to be that Pharaoh had a conscience, and he feared to lay hands on Moses. His failure to follow that strong conscience was therefore the more culpable and tragic.

Moses was the foremost intercessor for Israel, and is actually called ‘the Paraclete’ in the Midrash here on Ex. 12:29.


Exo 12:30 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-
This "great cry" is described with the same phrase used in Gen. 27:34, when Esau cries with a great cry- realizing that he had been rejected from God's purpose and that could not now be put right. Whilst the great cry was indeed because of their loss, the connection with Esau is to make the point that despite all God's efforts, they had turned down His invitation to have a part in His purpose- and realized that all too late. 

There may have been some literal houses where there were no firstborns present. So I suggest that "house" here refers to a family unity rather than houses as in buildings.


Exo 12:31 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 Yahweh, as you have said!-
At the point of Ex. 10:29 Moses had told Pharaoh that "I will see your face again no more". So perhaps they didn't attend this meeting. Or perhaps we are to read Ex. 10:29 as meaning that Moses would not again appear before God's face again in intercession for Pharaoh and the Egyptians. Pharaoh and Egypt were now beyond Moses' intercession and prayer.


Exo 12:32 Take both your flocks and your herds, as you have said, and be gone; and bless me also!-
Earlier, Pharaoh had failed to totally capitulate to Yahweh. He had tried to reach a negotiated settlement, whereby their animals would remain behind. This was especially significant because the Egyptian livestock had been destroyed by the plagues. Now he appears to totally capitulate, and asks for Moses to also "bless" him, a term which can imply forgiveness. Again we note that he doesn't pray himself to Yahweh, but asks Moses to do so for him. And again we see that his repentance may have been absolutely sincere at that point in time; but true repentance is not the emotion or passion of a moment, but an abiding way of thought and action. And he failed to retain that, thus becoming a warning to all who experience 'repentance' as a passing experience.

Exo 12:33 The Egyptians were urgent with the people, to send them out of the land in haste, for they said, We are all dead men-
They feared that the death of the firstborn was but a prelude to mass slaughter, just as they now perceived that the plagues had been progressively demanding upon them. They feared the next step. We know that there were only ten plagues, but they didn't have our perspective. For all they knew, there could be more coming. Eventually, man is brought to conformity with God's demands- they urged the people to leave immediately, having tried to stop them doing so before. But the lesson is to willingly submit to God's ways, rather than having to be forced to through the process of judgment and condemnation. 


Exo 12:34 The people took their dough before it was leavened, their kneading troughs being bound up in their clothes on their shoulders-
We wonder as to the extent to which the Israelites knew the game plan. Because although they were expecting to leave Egypt, we have the impression of a haste which reflects surprise at the speed of the whole turn of events. This exactly prefigures our position at the Lord's coming, which Passover night typified. They had been commanded to keep seven days of unleavened bread after the night of the 14th Abib. But we get the impression that they were not intending to be obedient to that. They were forced to be obedient to it by circumstance- they grabbed the dough before they had a chance to leaven it, because the Egyptians were almost literally pushing them out of the country. It could be argued that "troughs" were only required if they had the intention of making leavened bread. Unleavened flat bread would not have required them. Thus :39 emphasizes that they only ate unleavened bread because they didn't have time to bake leavened bread. The salvation of this disobedient people was indeed by grace alone, as is ours. 


Exo 12:35 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-
The same phrase "of silver, and vessels of gold, and vessels of brass" is used of the vessels taken from the Gentile world and dedicated to the tabernacle (Ex. 11:2; 12:35; Josh. 6:19; 2 Sam. 8:10; 1 Kings 7:51). The generosity of others in Biblical history, their right perspective on the wealth taken from this world, was to inspire other believers in later history. And this is how the body of Christ should function today, with members inspiring others to spirituality.

Ezra 6:4 records how God moved the local authorities to pronounce that the residents around the returning exiles should give them silver, gold and goods. This was an exact re-living of how Israel left Egypt with Egypt's gold and silver (Ex. 12:35). Yet most of the Jews didn't want to return, they didn't want to live out the type.


Exo 12:36 Yahweh gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they let them have what they asked-
There are examples galore of God acting on the minds of men to give them a certain attitude which they would not otherwise have had (consider how He gave Saul another heart, or gave Israel favour in the eyes of the Egyptians so that they lent to them, Ex. 12:36). This is the work of the Holy Spirit directly upon human hearts, to this day.

They despoiled the Egyptians-
"Despoiled" is the same word commonly used for God's sparing or delivering His people from the Egyptians (s.w. :27). It is an unusual word choice if the idea was solely "despoiled". The hint may be that Israel delivered the Egyptians, in that we are now going to read that some Egyptians left Egypt along with them (:38).   

Exo 12:37 The children of Israel travelled from Raamses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand on foot who were men, besides children-
The number of firstborn males after Israel left Egypt was remarkably small (around 20,000, Num. 3:43). Women in most primitive societies have an average of 7 births. this would mean that given a total population of around 2,800,000 on leaving Egypt (Ex. 12:37), there should have been around 400,000 firstborn males. But instead, there is only a fraction of this number. Why? Did all Israel eat the Passover? Were many in fact slain. My suggestion- and this is well in the category of things you will never know for sure and can only ponder- is that many Hebrew firstborns died on Passover night. Israel were warned that if they did not properly keep the Passover, “the Destroyer” Angel would kill their firstborn (Ex. 12:23). “The Destroyer” is mentioned in 1 Cor. 10:10: “Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the Destroyer” (olothreutes; this is a proper noun in the Greek). Who was the Destroyer? If Scripture interprets Scripture, it was the ‘Destroyer’ Angel of Passover night. In similar vein Heb. 11:28 speaks of “He (the Angel) that destroyed (Gk. olothreuo) the firstborn”. 

The Hebrew word translated as "thousand" can mean a family, or some other administrative division. Many of the 'number problems' in the Hebrew Bible are only really resoluble using this approach. And that may be in view in the census of Israel taken in Num. 1, and in the statement that six hundred 'thousands' of footmen left Egypt (Ex. 12:37). The census of Num. 1 gives figures such as those in Num. 1:21 for Reuben, which could be rendered: "forty six families ['thousands'] and five hundred (men)". Although a "hundred" might also refer to an administrative division. The total in Num. 1 would then be 598 families with a total of 5550 men. The sum given in the second census in Num. 26 comes out as roughly the same, with 596 families amounting to 5730 men. On this basis, the total population (including women and children) would be anything between 20,000 to 40,000. This would enable us to make better sense of the statements that Israel were the smallest numerically of all the surrounding peoples (Dt. 7:1,7; 11:23; 20:1). If we insist upon taking "thousand" literally in Ex. 12:37, then 600,000 male foot soldiers would imply a total population of between two and six million. The population density would have been intense, and far greater than that of many modern nations. Estimates of global population at the time suggest it was only about 40 million, and the population of Egypt was a maximum of three million (probably far less). If the Israelites were smaller than the other nations, and they numbered say 5 million, then the total population of the seven peoples of Canaan would have been at least 40 million. The territory of Canaan could not have supported such numbers. Only 70 Israelites came into Egypt with Jacob. Expansion over 430 years to several million is not realistic. This approach helps us better understand how all the men of war marched around Jericho (Josh. 6:3). If there were literally 600,000 men then the city would have had to be many kilometers in circumference for them all to march around it seven times in one day. Archaeological evidence from Jericho simply doesn't support the idea of such a vast city. If Israel numbered say 5 million people, and recall there was also a "mixed multitude" with them, then if they marched 10 abreast this would require a column stretching around 1000 kilometers. Ex. 13:18 seems to say they marched five abreast. Their promises to Edom and the Amorites to march only along a highway and not spill over it (Num. 20:17; 21:22) is unrealistic if they had such huge numbers. A figure of 600 family units leaving Egypt is more realistic; otherwise we start to wonder how ever all the Israelites, millions of them, came to be in one place at one time on Passover night.  This would then make better sense of Ex. 23:30 GNB: "I will drive them out little by little, until there are enough of you to take possession of the land". This indeed sounds as if Israel were the smallest of the nations, and not a huge nation comprising several million people.


Exo 12:38 A mixed multitude went up also with them, with flocks, herds, and even very much livestock-
The Hebrew text says that "a great mixture" of people "went up also" with Israel out of Egypt. There can be no doubt that this refers to the many references in the promises that the seed would come to include such a "mixed multitude" (Gen. 17:6; 22:17;  26:4; 28:3,14;  35:11), thereby showing that by reason of leaving Egypt and passing through the Red Sea these Gentiles became part of the seed (cp. 1 Cor. 10:1;  Gal. 3:27-29). But the supreme fulfilment of these promises will be after the 'Red Sea' of the last days. We note that this "mixed multitude" had many animals. This means they had been obedient to the call to bring their animals into shelter during the plague of hail.


Exo 12:39 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, neither had they prepared for themselves any food-
As explained on :34, this emphasizes that they only ate unleavened bread because they didn't have time to bake leavened bread- not because they were obedient to the command just given to eat unleavened bread for seven days after Passover night. The salvation of this disobedient people was indeed by grace alone, as is ours. 

Apart from the jewellery taken from the Egyptians for the construction of the tabernacle, the total unmaterialism of Israel on Passover night is something to be marvelled at.   They only had the clothes they wore, and just the one pair of shoes. This is confirmed by the reminder that these things were miraculously preserved throughout the wilderness journey (Dt. 8:4). It is also highlighted that they had no food when they left - they just grabbed some dough which later they baked into "unleavened cakes" (Ex. 12:34,39). Our Lord's perceptive mind picked out the picture of Israel as they were then, as an illustration of how his disciples should be on their preaching mission. "He called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth... and commanded them that they should take nothing for their journey, save a staff only; no scrip, no bread, no money in their purse: but be shod with sandals; and not put on two coats". All this is couched in the language of Israel on Passover night. His next words for them appear to be stating the obvious, unless they allude to Israel remaining at whatever place they reached until the fire and cloud moved them on: "In what place soever ye enter... there abide till ye depart from that place" (Mk. 6:8-10). It must be remembered that God intended Israel to be a missionary nation, teaching the surrounding world of His ways by their example of obedience to His law. As Israel left Egypt with the gold and jewels of Egypt, so, Jesus implied, the disciples were to carry the precious things of the Gospel. 

The meaning of this in the typology of the Passover is twofold:  firstly, it teaches that one way of being properly prepared for the second coming after the pattern of Israel that night, is to live a life committed to preaching;  this will keep the loins of our minds girded, ever looking for the Lord's return which we preach, and often depriving us of the temptations of materialism.  And, secondly, those of the new Israel who are found ready at the angel's coming will be prepared and eager to start on the greatest missionary campaign of all, in the establishment of the Kingdom.

Exo 12:40 Now the time that the children of Israel lived in Egypt was four hundred thirty years-
Paul, under Divine inspiration, measures this period from the time of the promises given to Abraham in Canaan (Gal. 3:17). The LXX and the Samaritan Pentateuch here read "in Egypt and in the land of Canaan". And this reading of the text is clearly confirmed by the New Testament quotation and interpretation. Again we have an example of where the LXX is quoted in the New Testament in preference to the Masoretic Text. It is noteworthy however that the 430 years appears split into two groups of 215 years. From Abraham’s entry into Canaan to the birth of Isaac was 25 years (Gen. 12:4; 17:1-21; Jacob was born when Isaac was 60 (Gen. 25:26); and Jacob was 130 when he entered Egypt (Gen. 47:9), totalling 215 years. This would then require that the Israelites were in Egypt for 215 years. This would be corroborated by Ex. 13:18 LXX "and in the fifth generation the children of Israel went up out of the land of Egypt".


Exo 12:41 It happened at the end of four hundred thirty years, even the same day it happened, that all the armies of Yahweh went out from the land of Egypt-
 
"All the hosts (Angels) of the Lord went out (with Israel) from the land of Egypt". See on Lk. 15:6; Ex. 7:4. The 400 years of Gen. 15:13 speak of Israel being foreigners in a land not theirs; and this would refer to their time in both Canaan and Egypt, seeing that Canaan was not fully given to them until the conquest. See on :40. 


Exo 12:42 It is a night to be much observed to Yahweh for bringing them out from the land of Egypt. This is that night of Yahweh, to be much observed of all the children of Israel throughout their generations-
Because God preserved [s.w. "observed"] His people, they were to observe the Passover feast. We see here the mutuality encouraged between God and His children.

Not surprisingly, in the light of what was noted on :19,21, Passover night was to be "a night of watching" (Ex. 12:42 RV mg.), strongly suggesting "watching in prayer" (Eph. 6:18;  1 Pet. 4:7;  2 Cor. 11:27?). Similarly those who are found "watching" at the Lord's midnight coming (cp. that of the Passover angel) will be found acceptable (Lk. 12:37).

Israel both kept Passover and went through the Red Sea at night. Indeed, it is stressed six times in Ex. 12 that it was  “night", and hence Dt. 16:1 reminds them to carefully keep the Passover (i.e. at night), “for... thy God brought thee forth  out of Egypt by night". Other latter day prophecies speak of the events of the second coming being at "night" :  Lot left Sodom in the very early hours of the morning;  and it was "at midnight (that) there was a cry made" informing the virgins of their Lord's return (Mt. 25:6).

Lk. 12:35-39 speaks of the Master coming at night and then sharing the Passover meal with those who are "watching". Israel were told to 'watch' throughout that first Passover night (Ex. 12:42 RV mg.), eating the meal with loins girded. Our Lord matches this with "let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning", referring to the virgins parable. Israel eating that meal together, huddled around the slain lamb, the oil burning lamps revealing their tense faces, is therefore a picture of what the new Israel should be like just prior to their deliverance.


Exo 12:43 Yahweh said to Moses and Aaron, This is the ordinance of the Passover. No foreigner shall eat of it-
I explain on :48 that these commands were specifically for the first Passover; and I have noted earlier in this chapter various other features of the commands which were only relevant to the first Passover. Eating in haste with belts on, ready to leave Egypt, was clearly only relevant to them then. Likewise the daubing of blood on lintels was replaced by offering the Passover lambs at the sanctuary and daubing the blood on the altar there.


Exo 12:44 but every man’s servant who is bought for money, when you have circumcised him, then shall he eat of it-
I have argued on :43,48 that these commands were specifically for the first Passover. The idea may be that those Egyptian members of Israelite households were to be circumcised on the 10th of Abib, and then they could eat the Passover, and would have recovered after three days in time to leave Egypt. 


Exo 12:45 A foreigner and a hired servant shall not eat of it-
Num. 9:14 is clear that later, these people could do so if they wished. But they were not allowed to at the time of the first Passover, because God was making a very clear distinction between Israel and Egypt; and He wanted the Egyptians to accept covenant relationship with Him and be circumcised.


Exo 12:46 In one house shall it be eaten; you shall not carry out anything of the flesh abroad out of the house; neither shall you break a bone of it-
As noted on :43,48, this was specific to the first Passover. For in future, the Passover was to be sacrificed at the sanctuary, and not kept in individual houses. The Israelites were "delivered", but the same word is translated "spared" in :27, when we read of how practically this was articulated- the houses of Israel were spared / delivered. Salvation depended upon being in "the house" of Israel. The efficacy of the sacrificed lamb was predicated upon being located within the house of Israel. Eating it outside of those houses was not going to be effective. The Egyptians had to humble themselves and come within the houses of Israel. Likewise there must be some level of identity with the people of God, otherwise the slain lamb, the Lord Jesus, will not save isolated individuals who refuse to take that step of identity.


Exo 12:47 All the congregation of Israel shall keep it-
Personal engagement with the slain lamb was absolutely required. It was no good thinking that 'I am an Israelite, so I shall be saved', or 'My family are keeping it in the house next door, I shall therefore be saved'. And here we see a challenge to all who [however subconsciously] consider that a vague association with Christian culture will save them.


Exo 12:48 When a stranger shall live as a foreigner with you, and will keep the Passover to Yahweh, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as one who is born in the land: but no uncircumcised person shall eat of it-
See on :43. It has been argued that the breaking of bread is the equivalent of the Jewish Passover, and Ex. 12:48 says that only the circumcised could eat of it. Here are a few comments:
- Whatever interpretation we wish to place upon Ex. 12:48, we have to reconcile it with the above evidence for the openness of the Lord Jesus with regard to His table fellowship, using it to bring people to Him, rather than as a test of fellowship or intellectual / moral purity of understanding or living.
- Peter ate with the uncircumcised- and got into trouble with the Judaist brethren exactly because the Law had forbidden the uncircumcised from eating the first Passover (Acts 11:3). The Jews had put a [very large!] hedge around this law by forbidding Jews from eating with Gentiles period. Yet Peter was taught that this was wrong- and he ate with Gentiles, it seems even before they were baptized. But the point is, he had been taught by the vision that all the old Mosaic category distinctions of clean / unclean, circumcised / uncircumcised, had now been ended. It seems this was as large a challenge to the church in the 1st century as it is today.
- Although the Passover and memorial meeting are related, the relation is at times by way of contrast rather than only similarity; e.g. in the first Passover, the families were to provide a lamb; whereas in the antitype, the Lord Jesus is the lamb of Divine and not human provision. The Paschal lamb of God takes away the whole world's sin, rather than just providing blood for the temporal redemption of Israel's firstborn, etc.
- Circumcision under the new covenant doesn't refer to anything outward, visibly verifiable. For now "he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart in the spirit, and not in the letter" (Rom. 2:29)- seeing we can't judge the secret things of others' hearts, how can we tell who is circumcised in heart or not? The 'sealing' of God's people today, the proof that they are the Lord's (2 Tim. 2:19), is not anything external, but the internal matter of being sealed with the Holy Spirit (Eph. 1:13; 4:30), or being sealed with a mark in the mind / forehead, as Revelation puts it (Rev. 7:3; 9:4).
- The Gentiles in Israel, circumcised or not, could keep the feast of unleavened bread (Ex. 12:17-20) which was related to the Passover.
- If Ex. 12:48 is read on a literalistic level, i.e. that only the circumcised could eat the Passover, this would surely mean that no female could eat it? Yet this was not the case.
- It's Num. 9:14 which speaks in more general terms of whether or not a Gentile could partake of the Passover- and here it's made clear that yes he/she could, and no mention is made of being circumcised: "And if a stranger shall sojourn among you, and will keep the Passover unto the Lord; according to the statute of the Passover, and according to the ordinance thereof, so shall he do: ye shall have one statute, both for the stranger, and for him that is born in the land".
- Commands that were intended for subsequent generations often include the kind of rubric we meet in Ex. 12:14,17: "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... therefore shall ye observe this day throughout your generations by an ordinance for ever". But we don't meet that 'throughout your generations' with regard to the uncircumcised men not being allowed to eat it.
- Israel were told specifically that the Passover lamb must be roasted and not boiled (Ex. 12:9 uses two distinct words for 'boiled' and 'roasted'.). But the word used in Ex. 12:9 for "boiled" is that used in Dt. 16:7 of how the Passover could be boiled, although many Bible versions misleadingly translate the word there as "roast". The translators need not have feared such contradiction. For it is the contradiction of grace. Here we have another example of where the Passover regulations given in Exodus were specific only to that time at the exodus. Thus a foreigner was not allowed to eat of that sacrifice, but foreigners were welcome to eat of the Passover later.
- So my suggestion is that the command of Ex. 12:48 that no uncircumcised could eat of the Passover, and that the Gentiles amongst the people should be circumcised if they wanted to eat it, was specific to that first Passover. As Israel and the mixed multitude that went with them sat in Egypt under threat of losing their firstborn sons, they could find salvation by keeping the Passover and entering into covenant with God through circumcision. Both Jewish tradition and the implication of Moses not circumcising his sons is that the Jews in Egypt weren't circumcised; yet "all the people that came out were circumcised: but all the people that were born in the wilderness by the way as they came forth out of Egypt, them they had not circumcised" (Josh. 5:5). Implication would be that many were circumcised in order to keep the first Passover according to the command given them in Ex. 12. We could therefore take Ex. 12:48 as a specific command for those who kept the first Passover to be circumcised, rather than an ongoing principle. The Jewish sage Maimonides (A Guide For The Perplexed Vol. 3 ch. 46) explains: "The reason of the prohibition that the uncircumcised should not eat of it (Exod. xii. 48) is explained by our Sages as follows: The Israelites neglected circumcision during their long stay in Egypt".
- This approach would explain why Num. 9:14 doesn't demand that Gentiles be circumcised to keep future Passovers; why there's no comment that the exclusion of the uncircumcised should be kept "throughout your generations"; and why Ex. 12:50 speaks as if Israel fully obeyed the command about circumcision and Passover eating in a once-off sense when they kept that first Passover. And of course this is the reason for many branches of Judaism welcoming uncircumcised Gentiles to the Passover celebration- for they don't understand Ex. 12:48 to preclude it, but rather Num. 9:14 encourages it.
- This approach also helps answer a difficult question: Why was the lamb or kid kept for four days (Ex. 12:2,6)? If the effects of circumcision take three days to wear off (Gen. 34:25), it could be that the uncircumcised males were intended to circumcise themselves, chose the lamb, and then keep the Passover four days later. Some Jewish commentators claim that God fell in love with Israel whilst she was still in her blood (Ez. 16:6) in that some Jews circumcised themselves at the time of the first Passover- hence one Rabbi speaks of the blood of circumcision and the blood of the first Passover running together.


Exo 12:49 One law shall be to him who is born at home, and to the stranger who lives as a foreigner among you-
There were Egyptians who lived amongst the Israelites, for they borrowed jewels from their Egyptian neighbours. But such material generosity was not going to save them. They too must follow the "law" of the lamb, Yahweh's law, and identify with the lamb. 


Exo 12:50 All the children of Israel did so. As Yahweh commanded Moses and Aaron, so they did-
Their obedience is presented as total, but I suggested on :37 that they were not all obedient, and many Israelite firstborn died that night. The prophets will later lament that Israel were disobedient to Yahweh from Egypt onwards. But He had decided to save them by grace, and so their limited obedience is counted as total. 


Exo 12:51 It happened the same day, that Yahweh brought the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt by their armies-
God did this. But Ez. 20:8 and Acts 7:43 imply that they carried the Egyptian idols with them through the Red Sea. Indeed, Ez. 20:16,18 state that God gave Israel in the wilderness His statutes and judgments, but they actually lived according to their own statutes and judgments; and therefore He appealed to the younger generation not to walk in the statutes and judgments of their parents, but in those which He had given them. But “the children rebelled against me; they walked not in my statutes, neither kept mine ordinances to do them, which if a man do, he shall live in them; they profaned my Sabbaths. Then I said I would pour out my wrath upon them, to accomplish my anger against them in the wilderness” (Ez. 20:21). Even in the wilderness, Israel didn’t keep the Sabbaths, and the younger generation refused God’s laws. Although unrecorded in the Pentateuch, Ez. 20:8,23,24 describes a threat from God to Israel, whilst they were still in the wilderness, that He would scatter them among the nations. Yet this drastic appeal went unheeded, because “their eyes were after their father’s idols”. They were so obsessed with the idols worshipped by their parents’ generation- the generation who left Egypt. Yet for all this, God did " not behold iniquity in Jacob" (Num. 23:21,22), such was the righteousness imputed to them. And yet that generation were indeed types of us.