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Wednesday, June 12th, 2024
the Week of Proper 5 / Ordinary 10
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Bible Commentaries
Exodus 12

Trapp's Complete CommentaryTrapp's Commentary

Verse 1

And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying,

And the Lord spake — Befeore the slaughter of the firstborn, yea, before that plague was threatened. See Mr Torshel’s design for harmonising the Bible.

Verse 2

This month [shall be] unto you the beginning of months: it [shall be] the first month of the year to you.

This month. — Called Abib in Exodus 13:4 ; with us called March or April; when the day lengthening, and the sun ascending, each thing begins to revive. To show, saith one, that by the true Passover, Christ Jesus, not only is our time and all other things sanctified, but also that we should in recent remembrance of that benefit of our redemption, all our days and years be thankful to our gracious Redeemer, and that by his death, true life and reviving came unto mankind.

It shall be the first month, — viz., In respect of sacred, not civil affairs, as Junius here proveth out of Josephus. Antiq., lib. i. cap. 4. The jubilees began in September. Leviticus 25:8 Exodus 23:16 The creation of the world began then, as some will have it: but Luther and others think it was in the spring rather.

Verse 3

Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth [day] of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of [their] fathers, a lamb for an house:

In the tenth day. — The paschal lamb was taken up the tenth day, but not sacrificed till the fourteenth, that they might "so kill the passover" as first to "sanctify themselves and prepare their brethren." 2 Chronicles 35:6 For which cause also it was a received tradition among the Jews, that during those four days the lamb was tied to their bedposts. Hospin., De Orig. Fest., cap. 5.

Verse 4

And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take [it] according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb.

Shall make your count,sc., Of communicants; that the whole may be eaten up, and every one have enough. Spiritual blessing may be divided in solidum: one may have as much as another, and all alike. The Gentiles also are called to fruition and feeding on the Lamb.

Verse 5

Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take [it] out from the sheep, or from the goats:

Without blemish. — Christ, that immaculate Lamb of God, was hereby typified, 1 Peter 1:19 See Trapp on " 1 Peter 1:19 "

From the sheep, or from the goats. — A lamb; to show Christ’s innocency, meekness, patience, profitableness. Or a kid; to show that he was a sinner; (1.) By imputation, for "the Lord made our sins to meet upon him"; Isaiah 53:6 (2.) By reputation, for "he made his grave with the wicked." Isaiah 53:9

Verse 6

And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening.

Until the fourteenth day.See Trapp on " Exodus 12:3 "

In the evening. — Christ came in the evening of the world; Hebrews 1:2 in "the last hour" ( εσχατη ωρα , 1 John 2:11 ); when all lay buried in darkness; in the eventide of our sin and death.

Verse 7

And they shall take of the blood, and strike [it] on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it.

And strike it on the two sideposts. — Not on the threshold. We may not "tread under foot the Son of God, or count the blood of the covenant an unholy thing," Hebrews 10:29 but get "our hearts sprinkled" tberewith by the hyssop branch of faith "from an evil conscience, that we may serve the living God." Hebrews 9:14

Verse 8

And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; [and] with bitter [herbs] they shall eat it.

In that night. — By candle light. So must we feed upon Christ, lumine supernaturali. "By his knowledge doth God’s righteous servant justify many." Isaiah 53:11

Roast withfire. — Not raw: we may not grossly conceive of Christ, nor rashly receive him. Not boiled, but roast: to show that Christ was roasted in the fire of his Father’s wrath: et sicut tostis cibariis non adhibentur alia, ut in elixis fieri consuevlt: ira solum Christum debemus apprehendere fide, saith an interpreter. Alsted.

And unleavened bread,See Trapp on " 1 Corinthians 5:7 " See Trapp on " 1 Corinthians 5:8 "

And with bitter herbs. — To teach that, "looking upon Christ whom they have pierced," men must be "in bitterness," Zechariah 12:10 and feel what "an evil and bitter thing sin is," Jeremiah 2:19 being ready to suffer hardship with Christ, though he should feed us to the full with bitter herbs, and "make us drunken with wormwood." Lamentations 3:15

Verse 9

Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast [with] fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof.

His head with his legs. — To let us see our need of whole Christ, and our most perfect communion with him.

Verse 10

And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire.

And ye shall let nothing of it remain. — We may not presume to sin in hope of pardon. Christ will not stand us for a sinning stock.

Verse 11

And thus shall ye eat it; [with] your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it [is] the LORD’S passover.

With your loins girded. — As pressed and intent to the service. So we should be at all times, but especially when to depart out of the Egypt of this life, and to take heaven by force. Then, if ever, we should hoc agere, "gird up the loins of our minds," … 1 Peter 1:13

And ye shall eat it in haste. — As not doubting of deliverance, and waiting a call out of life.

It is the Lord’s Passover. — A sacramental expression, like that of our Saviour, "This is my body" . Matthew 26:26 See Trapp on " Matthew 26:26 " The sacraments of the Old Testament were both sacraments and types: but those of the New, are sacraments only.

Verse 12

For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I [am] the LORD.

And I will smite all the firstborn. — This crosseth not that in Ezekiel 18:20 , "The son shall not bear the iniquity of his father"; for God never punisheth the innocent, because all are guilty before him. These Egyptians had slain Israel, God’s firstborn. And it is the observation of Theodoret, that when God smote Pharaoh’s firstborn, he drew blood of the arm for the cure of the head: which, because it mended not thereupon, came also to confusion.

And against all the gods of Egypt. — As he did here upon the Popish idols in the beginning of the Reformation, by detecting their vanity, and laying their honour in the dust.

Verse 13

And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye [are]: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy [you], when I smite the land of Egypt.

I will pass over you. — Or, overlook you. So he dealeth oft by his, who should therefore keep a passover for our safety.

Verse 14

And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever.

Ver 14. By an ordinance for ever. — Till "Christ our passover" should be "sacrificed for us"; 1 Corinthians 5:7 and then the Christian passover was to succeed.

Verse 15

Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses: for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel.

Ye shall put away leaven. — All unsoundness in point of faith, and insincerity in point of practice. See Trapp on " 1 Corinthians 5:7 " The Jews, at this day, on the night before their passover, search and sweep every mouse hole for crumbs of leaven with wax candles. If they find none, they purposely fling down some, that they might not seem to have prayed and laboured in vain.

Verse 16

And in the first day [there shall be] an holy convocation, and in the seventh day there shall be an holy convocation to you; no manner of work shall be done in them, save [that] which every man must eat, that only may be done of you.

A holy convocation. — This same word, in the Hebrew, signifieth the Holy Scripture; to teach us, saith one, that the Scriptures ought to be read in the congregation and holy assemblies. Nehemiah 8:9

Verse 17

And ye shall observe [the feast of] unleavened bread; for in this selfsame day have I brought your armies out of the land of Egypt: therefore shall ye observe this day in your generations by an ordinance for ever.

In this selfsame day. — Heb., In the body, or strength, of this day: so the midday is called. Art thou delivered, helped? write up the time and place.

Verse 18

In the first [month], on the fourteenth day of the month at even, ye shall eat unleavened bread, until the one and twentieth day of the month at even.

Until the one and twentieth day. — As Augustine said of the feast of pentecost, might these of the passover, may we of the Gun Powder Plot; Gaudet produci haec solemnitas. It were well if this holiday were a double day.

Verse 19

Seven days shall there be no leaven found in your houses: for whosoever eateth that which is leavened, even that soul shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he be a stranger, or born in the land.

No leaven found.See Trapp on " Exodus 12:15 "

Shall be cut off. — For a small fault, as it may seem to some: but the less the matter the greater is the contempt in denying to do it. Keep therefore God’s commandment as the sight of thine eye. Look to those minutula legis, that ye may live.

Verse 20

Ye shall eat nothing leavened; in all your habitations shall ye eat unleavened bread.

Ye shall eat nothing leavened. — Watch carefully against corruption in life and doctrine: be punctual in your preparation to and participation of the Christian passover.

Verse 21

Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel, and said unto them, Draw out and take you a lamb according to your families, and kill the passover.

All the elders of Israel. — The masters of families, who in this family service were to kill and eat, and set before the rest of the household, as priests at home; and to show them the meaning of that mystery.

Verse 22

And ye shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip [it] in the blood that [is] in the bason, and strike the lintel and the two side posts with the blood that [is] in the bason; and none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning.

A bunch of hyssop. — A herb of a purging property. See 1 Corinthians 6:11 .

The blood that is in the bason. — The remembrance of Christ’s bloody passion must be kept fresh in our hearts. Tam recens mihi nunc Christus, ac si hac hora fudisset sanguinem. - Luth.

Strike the lintel. — Profess Christ crucified; honour him by a holy conversation; mind trim in your outgoings and incomings.

None of you shall go out. — Be not "of those that withdraw to perdition, but of them that believe to the salvation of the soul." Hebrews 10:39 Mingle no more with the Egyptians.

Verse 23

For the LORD will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he seeth the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the LORD will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite [you].

Will not suffer the destroyer. — Angels delight to be executioners of God’s judgments, and saviours of his people.

Verse 24

And ye shall observe this thing for an ordinance to thee and to thy sons for ever.

For ever.See Trapp on " Exodus 12:15 "

Verse 25

And it shall come to pass, when ye be come to the land which the LORD will give you, according as he hath promised, that ye shall keep this service.

Ye shall keep this service. — Yet with some variation of circumstance.

Verse 26

And it shall come to pass, when your children shall say unto you, What mean ye by this service?

When your children. — Children are to be carefully catechised and informed. Ephesians 6:4 See Trapp on " Ephesians 6:4 " Luther scorned not to profess himself discipulura catechism, a catechism scholar.

Verse 27

That ye shall say, It [is] the sacrifice of the LORD’S passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he smote the Egyptians, and delivered our houses. And the people bowed the head and worshipped.

Bowed the head. — In token of submission to the command, and thankfulness for such a salvation.

Verse 28

And the children of Israel went away, and did as the LORD had commanded Moses and Aaron, so did they.

Went away, and did, … — They that will not timeously obey God’s sweet precepts, shall one day have no other command to obey but that bitter, Ite maledicti, "Go, ye cursed," …

Verse 29

And it came to pass, that at midnight the LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that [was] in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle.

From the firstborn of Pharaoh. — See Exodus 12:12 .

Verse 30

And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt; for [there was] not a house where [there was] not one dead.

For there was not a house. — Neither is there a house amongst us, hardly, where not one but many are "dead in trespasses and sins." Our land even stinks again with such, as Egypt did with the frogs.

Verse 31

And he called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, Rise up, [and] get you forth from among my people, both ye and the children of Israel; and go, serve the LORD, as ye have said.

And he called for Moses. — That is, He sent them to be packing. See Exodus 10:29 .

Verse 32

Also take your flocks and your herds, as ye have said, and be gone; and bless me also.

Bless me also. — So Maximinus, the persecutor, being sorely diseased, sent to beg the prayers of the Church. "In their month you shall find" these wild asses. Jeremiah 2:24

Verse 33

And the Egyptians were urgent upon the people, that they might send them out of the land in haste; for they said, We [be] all dead [men].

We be all dead men.Quis autem vult mori? prorsus nemo. Everything makes much of life, from the highest angel to the lowest worm. Zωον φιλοζωον ο ανθρωπος . - Aristot.

Verse 34

And the people took their dough before it was leavened, their kneadingtroughs being bound up in their clothes upon their shoulders.

Took their dough, …, upon their shoulders. — Not upon their camels, which, saith Aben Erza, were laden with the precious things borrowed of the Egyptians. Rab. Solomon saith, it was to show their cheerfulness in obeying the command of God. See a better reason afterwards, in Exodus 12:39 .

Verse 35

And the children of Israel did according to the word of Moses; and they borrowed of the Egyptians jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment:

And they borrowed. — For their use at that solemn feast they were to keep in the wilderness. The Egyptians denied them nothing; as willing to be rid of them upon any terms. Pons aureus fugienti hosti extruendus

Verse 36

And the LORD gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they lent unto them [such things as they required]. And they spoiled the Egyptians.

Spoiled the Egyptians.See Trapp on " Exodus 8:2 "

Verse 37

And the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand on foot [that were] men, beside children.

About six hundred thousand. — So that promise to Abraham was fulfilled, in Genesis 15:14 ; and that to Jacob, in Genesis 46:3 .

Verse 38

And a mixed multitude went up also with them; and flocks, and herds, [even] very much cattle.

And a mixed multitude. — Of strangers, that "took hold of the skirts of these Jews, and said, We will go with you," Zechariah 8:23 but afterwards turned tippet, Numbers 11:4 lusted greatly and greedily, and made Israel to sin. Coals touched will either burn or sully us.

Verse 39

And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough which they brought forth out of Egypt, for it was not leavened; because they were thrust out of Egypt, and could not tarry, neither had they prepared for themselves any victual.

And they baked unleavened cakes. — A memorial of which sweet mercy they kept on foot by that yearly feast of unleavened cakes. Deuteronomy 16:3

Verse 40

Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, [was] four hundred and thirty years.

Was four hundred and thirty years, — sc., From the time that Abraham began to sojourn in the land of Canaan, and to pass into Egypt. Genesis 12:10 See Galatians 3:17 , See Trapp on " Galatians 3:17 "

Verse 41

And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt.

Even the selfsame day. — God, saith one, had well nigh forfeited his bond; but ere the sun went down he payed the debt. His premises are good surehold. At midnight the firstborn were slain, because then exactly the four hundred and thirty years were expired.

Verse 42

It [is] a night to be much observed unto the LORD for bringing them out from the land of Egypt: this [is] that night of the LORD to be observed of all the children of Israel in their generations.

This is that night. — That, with an accent. God expects our returns should be answerable to our receipts. God’s blessings are binders; and of all things he can least abide to be forgotten.

Verse 43

And the LORD said unto Moses and Aaron, This [is] the ordinance of the passover: There shall no stranger eat thereof:

There shall no stranger, … — Strangers are excluded; to show that the faithful only have fellowship with Christ; contra quam Lutherani ineptiunt, saith one.

Verse 44

But every man’s servant that is bought for money, when thou hast circumcised him, then shall he eat thereof.

When thou hast circumcised him. — And so adinitted him into the fellowship of the faithful. A man must live before he can be nourished; bred before be can be fed.

Verse 45

foreigner and an hired servant shall not eat thereof.

A foreigner. — Unless a proselyte.

Verse 46

In one house shall it be eaten; thou shalt not carry forth ought of the flesh abroad out of the house; neither shall ye break a bone thereof.

In one house. — To teach them unity; which, indeed, is not anywhere found but in the Church. "My dove is but ore." Song of Solomon 6:9

Verse 47

All the congregation of Israel shall keep it.

Shall keep it. — Or perish for their neglect. Aut faciendum, aut patiendum; either men must do it, or die for it.

Verse 48

And when a stranger shall sojourn with thee, and will keep the passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as one that is born in the land: for no uncircumcised person shall eat thereof.

No uncircumcised person shall eat thereof. — The Chaldee hath it, No profane person. So God saith, "No stranger uncircumcised in heart, nor uncircumcised in flesh, shall enter into my sanctuary." Ezekiel 44:9

Verse 49

One law shall be to him that is homeborn, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you.

And unto the stranger. — The proselyte, who is Peregrinus iustitiae, non solum peregrinus portae, as the Rabbins distinguish,

Verse 50

Thus did all the children of Israel; as the LORD commanded Moses and Aaron, so did they.

So did they. — Very submissive they were at first; but it lasted not long, as the story showeth and the psalmist oft complaineth.

Verse 51

And it came to pass the selfsame day, [that] the LORD did bring the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt by their armies.

The selfsame day. — See on Exodus 12:41 God is very precise and punctual. We have a saying much like ourselves, A day breaks no square. But it is not so with God.

Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Exodus 12". Trapp's Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jtc/exodus-12.html. 1865-1868.
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