Exodus Chapter 12 Second Continued
Exodus 12:25 “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.”
The promise of entering the land again received emphasis. Israel was not to think of the Exodus as merely a departure from Egypt, but rather as a departure from one land in order to enter another land, which would be their own, in strict accordance with the specifics of the Abrahamic Covenant for his descendants through Isaac and Jacob (Gen. 17:7-8).
God was reminding these Hebrews, that He had not forgotten His promise to give them the land of promise, but He expected them to celebrate this Passover when they arrived in this land.
Exodus 12:26-27 “And it shall come to pass, when your children shall say unto you, What mean ye by this service?” “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.”
In the annual commemoration of the Passover, parents were obligated to teach their children its meaning. It became customary for the youngest child of a Jewish family to elicit the father’s formal explanation of what happened in connection with the original observance of the meal in Egypt.
God was reminding these Israelites that it was by His mighty hand that they were spared their firstborn. God expected His people to tell their children and their children’s children, on down through the ages every year that God had the destroyer to pass over their house and spare their families. He did not want them to forget. At each Passover Feast, the story was told again how God saved Israel. These people were so thankful to God for not only the destroyer passing over their house, but they knew that their deliverance from this terrible bondage was here as well. They bowed their heads and thanked God.
Exodus 12:28 “And the children of Israel went away, and did as the LORD had commanded Moses and Aaron, so did they.”
All the preceding directions were communicated through the elders, and the Israelites, being deeply solemnized by the influence of past and prospective events, gave prompt and faithful obedience. The elders of the people: (Exodus 12:21). They departed to their several tribes and families at Goshen and elsewhere.
“And did as the Lord commanded Moses and Aaron, so did they”: They took a lamb on the tenth day, and kept it till the fourteenth, on which day they slew it, and roasted it with fire, and ate it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.
We need to stop and look at this whole incident. We see (in verse 28), that these children of Israel had finally accepted that this was God who had intervened on their behalf. They were no longer complaining about the heavy load put on them, when Moses first spoke to Pharaoh for them. These Israelites were saved by the shed blood of this lamb. If we really look at the above Scriptures, we see that they also killed the lamb.
We Christians fall into this same category as well. The Lamb of God was slain to deliver us, so we also were the ones who killed the Lamb. It was all of our sins that nailed Him to the cross. It troubles me greatly that so many ministers have stopped preaching about the blood. The blood is what saved us. Without the shedding of the blood, there is no remission of sin (Hebrews 9:22). If we take the blood out of our belief, we have lost our salvation.
Verses 29-32: Just as God had promised, a night of judgment “came to pass” on “Egypt” and Pharaoh (Psalm 105:26-45), with not one household spared. At this, Pharaoh relented, allowing all the people to “go” with their flocks and herds.
Exodus 12:29 “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.”
If Amenhotep II (1450-1423 B.C.), was the Pharaoh of the Exodus, the son who died would have been his eldest son. While no Egyptian records refer to this incident, the dream stela (a stone monument recording Pharaoh’s dream), of his successor; Thutmose IV (1423-1410 B.C.), clearly states that he was not his father’s eldest son. Thus, the chronological sequence of these earlier kings fits best with the biblical account.
We discussed before, that God struck these cattle, because they were objects of worship in Egypt. God defamed this false god when He killed their firstborn. With God, there is no difference in the Pharaoh or the prisoner. God is no respecter of persons. The Pharaoh was Pharaoh because God made him ruler. Had God spared Pharaoh’s family, he would probably not have been moved to let the children of Israel go. You remember, in an earlier lesson that Pharaoh had no compassion when his people alone were plagued. Pharaoh only took notice when it affected him. This happening at midnight just made the deaths more terrifying.
Exodus 12:30 “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.”
Being awakened by the uncommon noise he heard.
“He and all his servants”: And all the Egyptians; he and his nobles, and ministers of state, courtiers, and counsellors, and his subjects in common. Perhaps everywhere in his kingdom, but particularly in the metropolis.
“And there was a great cry in Egypt; throughout the whole land, the firstborn being everywhere was slain, which caused a most dreadful lamentation of parents for their eldest son. And of the younger brothers and sisters who were grieving the death of the elder brother, or servants and maidens for their principal heir of the family. A cry that was so loud and general as perhaps was never heard before or since. And under which distress they could have no relief, or any to be their comforter, since all were in the same circumstances.
For “there was not a house where there was not one dead”. For if there was no firstborn in it, as it can hardly be thought there should be in every house. Though some have been of opinion that it was so ordered in Providence that there should. Yet the principal or most considerable person in the family, that is next to the master, might be called the firstborn (as Jarchi notes from Psalm 89:27).
This had to be one of the worst crises Egypt had ever faced. When God struck a blow of Judgment such as this, there was nowhere to go for comfort. There was no question where this punishment came from; Moses had warned Pharaoh ahead of time. This “hurt” had been felt by every family in Egypt. We must relate all Scripture to our standing with God. God has warned over and over in the Scriptures of a great day of God’s wrath that will come upon those who do not accept His Son as Savior. There will be no excuse acceptable for those who do not repent, and turn from the world (Egypt).
The wrath of God will fall on the worldly people, just as it fell this night on the firstborn of Egypt. God is patient, not willing that one be lost.
2 Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
God has a day set that will be like this tenth plague. On that day He will say: IT IS ENOUGH, and then His wrath will fall. Don’t wait; repent and receive Jesus as your Savior today.
Exodus 12:31 “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.”
“Rise up and get you forth … serve the Lord”: Finally, Pharaoh’s response to the repeated “Let My people go!” became “Leave my people!” with no attempt at further negotiation, but total acquiescence.
This death of the firstborn was so terrible that Pharaoh couldn’t wait until morning. He wanted to be rid of Moses, Aaron and the children of Israel, who had brought so much sorrow into his home and in Egypt. At this point, I believe Pharaoh was frightened of Moses’ God. Pharaoh was no longer concerned about the money it would cost him, to lose this approximately 2-1/2 million people. When you fear for your life, money becomes very unimportant. It appears at any rate that Pharaoh had completely given up. The Israelites could even take their livestock with them, because Pharaoh said “as ye have said”. This was not saying you can go if you want to, but get out. Pharaoh had had enough plagues.
Exodus 12:32 “Also take your flocks and your herds, as ye have said, and be gone; and bless me also.”
“Bless me also”: Undoubtedly, this final request from Pharaoh, whose heart was certainly not repentant (14:8), temporarily conceded defeat and acknowledged Moses and his God as the victors and as those who had the power and resources to bless him.
Only the one with true authority may “bless” another. Moses represented the supreme authority: the Lord.
Here we see a plea of Pharaoh. He asked Moses to not only leave, but to stop the plagues. In his last statement (bless me also), Pharaoh was finally recognizing Moses’ God. He admitted He (God), had the ability to bless or curse.
Exodus 12:33 “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].”
Not only Pharaoh, but the Egyptian nation generally were anxious for the immediate departure of the Israelites, and expedited it in every way. This must greatly have facilitated their all setting forth at once. It also accounts for the readiness of the Egyptians to part with their “jewels” and “raiment” (Exodus 12:35).
We see the fear that gripped these Egyptians’ hearts. They did not believe any would be alive after one more plague from God. Each plague got worse and they knew this tenth plague had affected every family in Egypt. Here we see them saying hurry up and get out of here, we can’t stand anymore.
Exodus 12:34 “And the people took their dough before it was leavened, their kneading troughs being bound up in their clothes upon their shoulders.”
Perhaps the Hebrew word here used had better be rendered flour (as it is 2 Samuel 13:8); for if they had time to make it into paste, it seems they would also have had time to leaven it.
“Their kneading-troughs” The word thus rendered is translated store (Deut. 28:5; 28:17). And as kneading-troughs are not things which travelers have a habit to carry with them, it seems more natural to understand it of their flour, grain, or dough.
I believe this Scripture was just explaining how hastily the children of Israel left Egypt and also, to show that they left nothing behind. They took all their possessions. Notice, this week of unleavened bread would be completed as they went. (They took their dough before it was leavened).
Verses 35-36: The phrase “they borrowed of the Egyptians jewels … so that they lent unto them” does not imply any deception on the part of the Israelites. Both borrowed and lent come from the same Hebrew word, with the first commonly translated “asked” and the second being rendered “handed over,” as it is in a different stem. This was not merely conscience money for the Jews’ generations of slave labor. It had been promised to Abraham long before (in Genesis 15:14).
Exodus 12:35 “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:”
In gaining “jewels of silver … gold and raiment” from the Egyptians, the Hebrew people, who had worked 400 years as slaves, were finally rewarded for their work. God’s people left Egypt with the wealth of the Egyptian people (3:21-22; 11:2-3; Psalm 105:37).
Exodus 12:36 “And the LORD gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they lent unto them [such things as they required]. And they spoiled the Egyptians.”
“And they spoiled the Egyptians”: Compare (Genesis 15:14; Exodus 3:20-21). This was not done with deceit, but rather a straightforward request (11:2-3).
This word translated “borrowed” here, has a number of meanings. One meaning is request, another is demand. Some milder words it could be translated are ask, require, obtain and wish. You can see from all these possibilities of translations that these Egyptians probably knew that these were not going to be returned. This was probably like back pay these people had not received during their years of servant toil. The Egyptians were happy to give them these things, to be rid of them.
I really believe a certain amount of guilt (for the way they had treated the Israelites), was present here and they (Egyptians), wanted to send them off with no hard feelings. At any rate, the Israelites got the goods, and spoiled the Egyptians. These jewels of gold and silver would be required of God for the tabernacle in the wilderness later. Note that God sees nothing wrong in silver and gold, only the misuse of silver and gold is wrong. Verse 36 allows us to see that the Israelites left Egypt not as slaves, but as conquerors. Remember, they had not won the battle, but God won the battle for them.
Verses 12:37-18:27: This section recounts the march of the Israelites from Egypt to Mt. Sinai.
Exodus 12:37 “And the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand on foot [that were] men, beside children.”
“From Rameses to Succoth”: One of the cities Israel built (1:11), headed up the itinerary for the journey through the wilderness to Canaan. Succoth is first mentioned (in Gen. 33:17), as an encampment designated by the word Succoth, which means “booth.” Although there is later a town by that name east of the Jordan (Judges 8:5-16), this is rather a place near Egypt (13:20; Num. 33:5-6).
Israel’s population had exploded from the 70 who entered with Jacob (in 1875 B.C.), to the 2-1/2 million who left with Moses in 1445 B.C. (see note on 1:7).
Numbers 1:45-46 reports that the nation had more than 603,000 men 20 years and older mustered into the citizen army (see note on 1:7).
These 603,000 men cause us to estimate, that when you add the women and children to this number, it could be approximately (2-1/2 million people or more). Rameses was a main city of Goshen, where the Israelites had lived, while they stayed in Egypt. Succoth was a place near Egypt. Here we see the beginning and the end of this journey, which should take just a few days, but lasts forty years.
Exodus 12:38 “And a mixed multitude went up also with them; and flocks, and herds, [even] very much cattle.”
“A mixed multitude” went up with the Hebrew people, including some Egyptians and people from Kush. Those who journeyed with Israel must have had different motives, but some would come to faith in Yahweh and become part of the people of God (Num. 12:1).
“Mixed multitude” may have included other Semites who had settled in the delta region, plus many native Egyptians who “feared the word of the Lord” (9:20), and accepted the covenant faith of Israel. No doubt malcontents also seized the opportunity to flee, and they later became a source of trouble (Num. 11:4).
We are not told exactly who this mixed multitude was; all we can do is guess. Perhaps it was people who had been in servitude to the Pharaoh. The Pharaoh had opened his gates to let the Hebrews leave and in so doing, probably released other nationalities with them in fear that he might not let all the Israelites go. At any rate, they were people who were not the children of Israel (strangers). This was undoubtedly a vast amount of humanity and animals leaving Egypt.
Exodus 12:39 “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.”
Such are commonly eaten by the Arabs, who make them by mixing flour with water, and attaching round pieces of the dough to the insides of their ovens after they have heated them.
“Of the dough which they brought forth out of Egypt; for it was not leavened”: of the manner of their bringing it (see Exodus 12:34), and the reason why it was not leavened is as follows:
“Because they were thrust out of Egypt, and could not tarry”: To leaven their dough, in such haste did they go out from thence. When they are said to be “thrust out”, it is not to be understood of force and compulsion used, or of any indecent and ill behavior towards them; but of earnest entreaties and urgent persuasions to depart.
“Neither had they prepared for themselves any victual”: They had their flocks and their herds, out of which they could take for their use, and they had dough, though unleavened and unbaked. But they had nothing ready dressed; what remained of the passover lamb they were obliged to burn. They had nothing which was got by hunting or fishing, as the word used signifies. Neither venison nor fish, of the latter of which there was great plenty in Egypt.
This is a strange statement (because they were thrust out of Egypt). It appears that the reason the bread was unleavened was because God told them to eat unleavened bread. This could be their first act of rebellion toward God on their way to the Promised Land. They hurriedly baked unleavened bread to eat along the way.
Exodus Chapter 12 Second Continued Questions
1. God was giving them the Promised Land, but what must they do?
2. What question would their children ask in years to come?
3. What should be their answer?
4. What did the people do, when Moses told them what they should do?
5. What was told at every Passover Feast?
6. What two things were these Israelites thankful for?
7. When they went away from Moses, what did they do?
8. Why had these Israelites stopped complaining?
9. What saved the Israelites?
10. What protects us, Christians, from Satan?
11. Besides being saved by the lamb, what had they done to the lamb?
12. Relate this to the Christians.
13. What did Hebrews 9:22 tell us about blood?
14. Was Pharaoh’s family spared in this death of the firstborn?
15. Why did God kill the cattle?
16. Who all in Egypt was affected by the tenth plague?
17. When we do not heed God’s warning, what happens?
18. When did he call Moses and Aaron?
19. What restrictions did Pharaoh put on the Israelites?
20. What emotion was Pharaoh feeling when he called Moses and Aaron?
21. Approximately, how many Israelites would leave Egypt?
22. What did Pharaoh ask Moses to do for him?
23. What was he admitting in this request?
24. What did they fear, if the Israelites didn’t leave?
25. What tells you of the haste the Israelites left in?
26. How were they to obtain silver and gold?
27. What are some of the meanings for the word that was translated “borrowed”?
28. What made this correct to do?
29. What one word shows the Israelites won over the Egyptians?
30. Who had actually won the battle?
31. From where did the Israelites leave?
32. Where was their destination?
33. Who went with them?
34. What might be the first indication of rebellion on the part of the Israelites?
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