Exodus 9–12: Death & The Passover Lamb

Read the Bible in 2023 ◊ Week 16: Monday

Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Bring out and take for yourselves lambs according to your families and slaughter the Passover lamb. And you shall take a bunch of hyssop and dip it in the blood which is in the basin, and touch some of the blood that is in the basin to the lintel and the two doorposts; and none of you shall go outside the doorway of his house until morning. And Yahweh will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and He will see the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, and Yahweh will pass over the doorway and will not allow the destroyer to come into your houses to smite you. And you shall keep this event as a statute for you and your children forever.”
Exodus 12:21–24 LSB

Monday’s Bible reading is Exodus 9–12. Today’s chapters contain the last six of the ten plagues that God brings on Egypt. The final plague is also the  best known of the ten—the death of the firstborn.

The Egyptians endure the plagues of the death of their livestock in the fields, the boils and the hail and fire, and when Pharaoh’s servants hear that the next plague will be locusts, they implore him to let the Hebrews go: “Do you not yet know that Egypt is destroyed?” But Pharaoh refuses. So the locusts come and eat the rest of the plants and fruit that were left from hail. Then the ninth plague comes—a thick darkness that could be felt was over all Egypt for three days.

The tenth and final plague is the death of the firstborn of both people and cattle.

“And I will go through the land of Egypt on that night and will strike down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments⁠—I am Yahweh.”
Exodus 12:12 LSB

In Exodus 11 and 12, God gives explicit instructions for the first Passover: the Hebrews are to put the blood of a slain, unblemished male lamb on the two doorposts and lintel of their homes.

“And the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are; and I will see the blood, and I will pass over you, and there shall be no plague among you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.”
Exodus 12:13 LSB
Now 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 cattle. Then Pharaoh arose in the night, he and all his servants and all the Egyptians, and there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was no home where there was not someone dead.
Exodus 12:29–30 LSB

And Pharaoh tells Moses and Aaron to, “Rise up, get out from among my people” and go.

In his commentary on 1 Peter, when Edmund Clowney explains Peter’s words on Noah, he compares the saving of Noah’s family with the exodus of the Hebrews from Egypt because both are “a symbol of God’s final salvation from all sin and death.”

“Like the exodus liberation, it was a symbol of God’s final salvation from all sin and death. Peter uses the term ‘antitype’ to describe the relation of the new to the old. (3:21; NIV’s verb symbolizes translates the Greek noun antitypos). This use of ‘type’ and ‘antitype’ is itself figurative, drawn from the striking of coins or the impression of seals. ‘Type’ describes either a matrix from which an impression is made or an image created. In the letter to the Hebrews, the typology is vertical. That is, the heavenly realities are called the ‘type’ and the earthly symbolizes the ‘antitype’. The tabernacle in the wilderness was therefore the antitype of the heavenly sanctuary. In Paul’s letters and here in 1 Peter, the typology is horizontal in history: the Old Testament is the type, and therefore Christ’s fulfillment is the antitype.”1

The Passover lamb was slain so that God would pass over the people of a house marked with blood and not visit them with a judgment of death. Jesus Christ, our Passover Lamb, was slain for us so that God does not visit us with the judgment of eternal fire we deserve for our sins.

The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”
John 1:29 LSB

Silvesterzug Laterne: Bk muc. (CC BY-SA 4.0).
The Signs on the Door: James Tissot. Public Domain.
First Born Plague: J. M. W. Turner. Public Domain.
Death of the Pharaoh’s firstborn son (Ex. 12:29): Lawrence Alma-Tadema. Public Domain.
Agnus Dei: Francisco de Zurbarán. Public Domain.
1Edmund Clowney, The Message of 1 Peter (InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove IL: 1988) 164–165.

I’m using Michael Coley’s Bible reading plan (one page PDF to print) to read through the Bible in 2023. Each day my posts are on different books because he divides Bible readings into seven categories, one for each day of the week: Epistles, The Law, History, Psalms, Poetry, Prophecy and Gospels. There’s more information on his plan and other ones at Read the Bible in 2023.

Copyright ©2021–2023 Iwana Carpenter

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