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Bible Commentaries

Bridgeway Bible Commentary

Exodus 12

 

 

Verses 1-36

The Passover (12:1-36)

Until now the Israelites had escaped the judgment of the plagues without having to do anything, but now their safety depended on their carrying out God's commands. Redemption involves faith and obedience.

Each family would be delivered from judgment only by killing a sacrificial animal as substitute for it, and sprinkling the animal's blood on the door of the house where the family lived. The sprinkled blood indicated to those outside that a substitutionary sacrifice had been made; the life of an animal had been taken instead of the life of the firstborn. The Lord's executioner would then 'pass over' that house and no one inside would be killed.

The Passover feast that followed was to be prepared with a minimum of delay. For this reason, the animal was not to be cut up or boiled, but roasted whole over an open fire, and the bread was to be baked without yeast (leaven) to save time waiting for it to rise. The meal was to be simple and the people were to eat it in haste, fully dressed ready for their departure in the morning. They were not to save any of the uneaten meat for the next day, possibly to avoid spoiling, and possibly to prevent people from keeping it as a sort of magic charm. The simplicity and solemnity of the meal no doubt kept them from any feelings of self-glory (12:1-14).

For the next week the people would have no time to bake their bread leavened. They therefore had to carry their dough and baking pans with them, baking as they went. Throughout its future history, Israel was never to forget its hasty departure from Egypt. A symbolic re-enactment of the Passover along with a Feast of Unleavened Bread was to be held as an annual festival, to remind the people of Israel of their deliverance from bondage (15-36; cf. Mark 14:1).


Verses 37-51

The Israelites leave Egypt (12:37-51)

Approximately 430 years after Jacob entered Egypt with his family, his nation of descendants departed (cf. Genesis 15:13; Genesis 46:6-7). A sizable group of non-Israelite people, including Egyptians and others who had intermarried or mingled with the Israelites, went with them (37-42). The Israelites were not to send these people back, but neither were they to lessen God's requirements for joining in religious festivals simply to suit these foreigners. Rather they were to encourage the foreigners to carry out the covenant requirements and join with them as worshippers of Yahweh, the only true God (43-51).

 


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Bibliography Information
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Exodus 12:4". "Brideway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bbc/exodus-12.html. 2005.


Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, September 20th, 2017
the Week of Proper 19 / Ordinary 24
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