Exodus 12

The Preparation for the Passover



This chapter is the beginning of God giving Israel instructions about their yearly worship services. There was no formal, official, God-given instructions up to this point.  This is the point when Israel really begins to function as a nation.



I.   Genesis 3:21 – We assume God sacrificed an animal in order to make coats of skin to cloth Adam and Eve.

II.   Genesis 4 – Cain and Abel brought offerings to the Lord.

III.   Genesis 8:20 – Noah offered burnt offerings to the Lord when he got out of the ark.

IV.   Genesis 22 – Abraham was commanded by God to offer his only son, Isaac, on Mount Moriah.

V.   Genesis 31:54 – When Jacob was returning from Laban and Laban caught up with him, when Laban was searching for the stolen images, Jacob offered sacrifices and the next morning the two companies parted ways.

VI.   Genesis 35:14 – Jacob offered a drink offering to the Lord at Bethel when God gave him the promises he had given to Abraham and Isaac.

VII.   Genesis 46:1 – When Israel (Jacob) was traveling from Canaan to Egypt, they offered sacrifices when they came to Beersheba.

VIII.   The above verses show that the people of God gave sacrifices, but they were not given regularly, but on special occasions.

IX.   Exodus 3:18 – God told Moses when he was still in Midian that he would deliver the Israelites out of Egypt on a three day journey so they could offer sacrifice to the Lord.

X.   Exodus 5:1-3 – Moses went in before Pharaoh and explained that God had appeared to him and all Israel, instructing them to go three days journey into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to him.  Pharaoh, of course, did not agree, as related in verse 8 and verse 17.

XI.   Exodus 8:8 – After the second plague, the plague of frogs, Pharaoh agrees to let Israel go and sacrifice to the Lord.

XII.   Exodus 8:25-29 – After the fourth plague, the plague of flies, Pharaoh desires to let Israel sacrifice in the land, but this first compromise offer is refused (and second compromise offer, verse 28,29) because Israel will sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians, and the Egyptians will stone them.

XIII.   Exodus 10:25 – At the ninth plague, the plague of darkness, and the fifth compromise offer, Pharaoh desired Israel to leave Egypt, but leave the flocks behind.  Moses replied they must take the flocks, because they must take the flocks and herds to have sacrifices for the Lord, and they don’t know what sacrifices God will require.

XIV.   Points 9-13 reveal that Israel doesn’t know what they are facing, as far as sacrifices are concerned, as far as how God will establish the nation of Israel, as far as all the commandments he will give them.


Lessons to be learned:

I.   Israel had been offering sacrifices for years, but never, it seems, on a regular basis.  God had been accepting their sacrifices, as they gave them, but when God will establish Israel as a nation, he will now establish all the system of sacrifices, the calendar they will follow, the way of dress, the holidays (holy days) they will celebrate, and every other part of their lives. 

II.   For years men had given sacrifices from their heart.  This will continue, only now God will reveal what he expects from men.  These are not new regulations, but a written revelation of what has been going on since the beginning of time.

III.   All peoples, up to the time of Moses, served and worshipped God as led by the Holy Spirit, because they had no written declaration of God’s desires.  God will now give a written declaration of his desires.  (It won’t be long before men twist God’s desires into God’s demands, declaring that salvation comes through the giving of sacrifices, and obedience to a law.  Men always get things backwards.  God didn’t give the law to save anybody, but to show everybody what he desires and expects.)

IV.   We don’t know what God has in mind for us tomorrow.  It is not our place to know.  It is our place to do today what he reveals to us. Nothing more is required.

V.   Leviticus 23 gives the entire order of yearly worship and special days.

The sacred year is covered in verses 1-22.

A.     Verse 1-3 - This affirms worship on the seventh day.

B.     Verse 4,5 – (Feast # 1) – The celebration of the Passover.

C.     Verse 6-8 - (Feast # 2) – The celebration of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

D.     Verse 9-14 - (Feast # 3) – The celebration of the feast of First Fruits.

E.      Verse 15-22 - (Feast # 4) – The celebration of the Feast of Seven Sabbaths (Feast of Pentecost.)

VI.   The civil year is covered in verses 23-44.

A.     Verse 23-25 - (Feast # 5) – The celebration of the Feast of Trumpets.

B.     Verse 26-32 - (Feast # 6) – The celebration of the Atonement.

C.     Verse 33-36, 39-44 - (Feast # 7) – The celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles.


A brief explanation of the holy days of Israel.

1.       These seven feasts mentioned above are divided into two parts.

a.       The sacred year – The Passover, Feast of Unleavened Bread, and Feast of First Fruits are all celebrated at the same time, in the beginning of the sacred year.

b.       The civil year – The Feast of Pentecost, Feast of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, and the Feast of Tabernacles are celebrated at the same time, in the beginning of the civil year.

c.       The sacred year is six months long and the civil year is six months long.

2.       The months of the celebrations corresponds to our March, April, and September.  (In the early spring and after harvest.)  Not in winter because the days are short and the weather is often not fit for traveling.  Not in summer because this is a time of harvest and taking care of crops.  God arranges His worship at a time when it will not put an over much hardship on men. God knows the things of this world that hinder His worship, and will gladly arrange worship around this, but let us beware lest we put things in the way of worship.

3.       Purpose of the feasts shown in the proper order.  A picture of a life from salvation to eternity.

a.       Passover - The declaration of salvation. (Christ has “passed over” us.)

b.       Feast of Unleavened Bread - The pure life of the saved person.

c.       Feast of First Fruits - Barley Harvest - The ingathering of a people of the Jews for Christ (God working through Israel).

d.       Feast of Pentecost - Wheat Harvest - The ingathering of a people of Gentiles. (God working through His church.)

e.       Feast of Trumpets - The beginning of the civil year.  This represents the millennial reign of Christ on this earth.  Living in this world can bring rejoicing if God is in us.  (The millennial reign)

f.        Day of Atonement - Our purchase by blood is complete.  Pictures resurrection.

g.       Feast of Tabernacles - Expecting to dwell in eternity.  [1]


Verse 1-20 - God instruction to Moses.


Verse 1, And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, {2}   This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you.

Passover - the most mentioned, the most memorial of all Jewish holidays.  The first Passover will be celebrated in Egypt – not the promised land.  The first month is the month Abid, our March/April


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:

I.   Abib - our April - Religious year now begins in Spring, not harvest time.  Our lives really begin at salvation.

A.     10th day of first month - So there is ample preparation time for Israel and a warning time for Egypt.  We need preparation time for true worship.

B.     Lamb - type of Christ - no particulars given yet.

C.     Every man a lamb - for every man that has salvation - Christ is his lamb.


II.   It may seem strange that there will be many lambs.

A.     To some folks this verse ruins the typology, but it doesn’t, it confirms it.

1.       Christ is a very personal saviour.

2.       There is only one saviour, but he is personal (and very local) to every person.


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.

I.   Every house a lamb - Christ is the head of each local church.  If a household is too small - may join with those households of their fathers (this rules out interdenominational Lord’s Suppers).

A.     Local families, local households are implied in this verse.

1.       Many local families, many local lambs being slain.

2.       Many local churches today, many people worshipping in various churches belonging to the Lord Jesus Christ.

B.     A lamb would fed between 10 and 20 people, according to their appetite.


II.   Many lambs and many households - then - type completed when all Israel united with Christ as head (1,000 year reign).

A.     Many local churches and many separate Lord’s Suppers - now.

B.     Only true churches (not denominations) are in Bride. (Sovereignty of God and Authority for Baptism.)

C.     No one big saviour (like there isn’t one big lamb), not many small saviours.

1.       There is one big/small/very personal saviour.

2.       Each person has a Saviour, and the Saviour is the same for every person.


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:

I.   I Peter 1:19 - Lamb without blemish.


II.   Male of first year - Christ is not a woman.  In its prime.  Christ wasn’t killed as a baby.  He died in strength.  Didn’t drop the cross - loud voice, bowed head.


III.   From sheep or goats - diligent search like John - Rev. 5:1-7.  Looked in heaven and earth and under the earth.


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.

I.   Four day separation - Christ is separated because of our sins.  A time for critical examination.

A.     Christ made his triumphant entry into Jerusalem four days before he was crucified.

B.     Christ was crucified on Wednesday so his triumphant entry into Jerusalem was on Saturday or Sunday.


II.   Kill it in the evening - of 14th day.  (Deut. 16:6 - at the going down of the sun).  All of Israel = all of us.  Don’t say the Jews killed Christ.  They did the work, but He died because of all our sins.


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.

I.   Sprinkle the blood - Collect the blood (implied in the language).

A.     Sprinkle on the entrance that the interior be clean. 

1.       Don’t put any blood on the threshold.

2.       Don’t trample (or walk on) the blood of Christ.

B.     Matt 23:25-28 - Clean the inside that the outside may be clean.


II.   When the Egyptians see this, they should know the end is near.

A.     But they continue on their merry way to destruction, just like sinners today.

B.     They will die in their sins.


III.   After Israel is gone from Egypt, the blood will remain on the door posts as a testimony.

A.     After Egypt gets finished burying their dead, they will remember the blood on the door posts, and return to Goshen to see if it is still there.

1.       It will still be there.

2.       The blood will not be a comfort to them, but will stir their anger more and more.

B.     It is very likely that if the Egyptians do not return to Goshen to gaze at the houses, they will go through Goshen on the way to the Red Sea to try to destroy the Israelites.

1.       They will see the blood on the door posts then, but it will not be a conviction to them.

2.       Instead it will stir their anger up more and more, until they are in a frenzy to destroy all Israel.

3.       God will see to it that Israel is not destroyed, because he gets between Israel and Egypt in the form of a burning pillar of fire.

4.       The Egyptians cannot see Israel because of the light from fire, but that same light gives Israel plenty of light.


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. {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.

I.   Note the progression.  1.  Christ must be killed.  2.  Blood applied where we live.  3.  Eat the flesh. (receive energy)  4.  John 6:47-58 - Jesus was teaching the spiritual truth of the Passover which many had missed.  (note the context: Verse 18 – 5,000 men fed.  Verse 26 – Seeking Jesus for food. Verse 31 – Spiritual bread/physical bread.)

A.     In that night - do not hesitate to start serving God.

B.     Roast with fire - a prepared meal.  Rev. 1:14,15 - (1) Christ judges with fire.  He has paid our judgment for us. (2) Don’t seeth (boil) with water - like Egyptian gods.  Our God’s sacrifice is different.

C.     Unleavened bread - leaven is always a type of sin - no sin in Christ.

D.     Bitter herbs:

1.       To remind of the sin in Egypt.  Could compare the bitterness of Egypt to the sweetness of the lamb meat.

2.       When we ask - God forgives and forgets our sins, but we don’t forget. This reminds us daily of what we really are and used to be and what God has done for us.

3.       This fact teaches us daily about grace and mercy.  We won’t need our memories in eternity because we will have no sin.

4.       Even though God forgives us and forgets our sins, we still must pay the consequences of that sin.  This teaches us to daily rely upon God.

a.       Head and legs and prudence (intestines).

5.       Those parts of Christ work we consider unnecessary are necessary.

6.       Those church members we may consider feeble, are necessary I Cor. 12:22.


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.

Burn remainder before morning - So done with the elements of the Lord’s Supper. There is enough of God for everybody, but none of Him will be wasted.


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.

I.   `The way to eat. - Ready to leave Egypt (Israel had never received this command before).

A.     When Israel ate the Passover Supper in this manner it was a symbol of their hastily leaving this world.

1.       There is a symbolic purpose to every part of the Passover.

2.       These symbols were to point Israel to Jesus Christ.


II.   Purpose of this to us.

a.       Jesus died for our sins (he was innocent).

b.       His blood covers the sins of our heart.

c.       We eat all of His doctrines (His book).

d.       That which we don’t devour will be burned as far as we are concerned. Can’t go get it later.

e.       Preparation for life’s journey. (Seven days unleavened bread.)

f.        The saved daily strength is from a different food source than the world.


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.

I.   It is the Lord, not a death angel that will pass over.  (verse 23,29)

A.     Num. 33:4 – For the Egyptians buried all their firstborn, which the LORD had smitten among them: upon their gods also the LORD executed judgments.

1.       The Lord smote all their firstborn.

2.       Note: God knows all the genealogy of the families of the lost - even those He will destroy.


II.   Who God will destroy.

A.     The firstborn of man. (Those with spirit, soul and body)

1.       Only those located in Egypt.

2.       We take it for granted that God knows the genealogy of believers, but God also knows the genealogy of all the lost.

B.     The firstborn of beast. (Those with soul and body)

C.     The gods of Egypt. (These are nothing at all! – They are Satan’s cohorts and all will be destroyed!)


III.   Both man and beast - all should be covered by the blood.

A.     Animals suffer because of our sins.

B.     Animals are not saved or lost.

1.       They have no spirits, and are not eternal beings.

2.       The possessions of the believers are protected by the blood of Christ.


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.   Blood is a “token.”

A.     Belief in the blood on the door posts doesn’t count as true belief.

1.       That blood is a symbol (token) of the belief in the blood Jesus would shed.

2.       God is seeking obedience.

3.       The blood on the door post is a sign of obedience.

B.     Today baptism is a sign of obedience.

1.       I Peter 3:21 – “The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:”

2.       A picture is not a person, and baptism is not salvation.

3.       A picture is a likeness (symbol) of a person and baptism is a likeness (symbol) of salvation.

C.     When I was in college, fellow students would often ask me about the picture of Jessie Ruth, which I kept on my desk.

1.       They would ask me if that was Jessie.

2.       I would tell them that wasn’t her.

3.       They would then want to know why I had a picture of a girl, who was not my girlfriend on my desk.

4.       I would then tell them that was a picture of Jessie, that isn’t her.

5.       I would much rather have had her there instead of that picture.

6.       Baptism is like that – it is a picture of salvation, not salvation. [2]


II.   Numbers 33:3,4 - The Egyptians buried all the firstborn.  “And they departed from Rameses in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the first month; on the morrow after the passover the children of Israel went out with an high hand in the sight of all the Egyptians. 4  For the Egyptians buried all their firstborn, which the LORD had smitten among them: upon their gods also the LORD executed judgments.

A.       While Egypt was busy burying their firstborn, Israel was leaving.

1.       Note the first word “for” in verse 4.

2.       Egypt was busy burying their firstborn, therefore they didn’t have time to deal with the Israelites.

3.       God gave them something to do.

4.       Egypt would have killed all the firstborn of Israel if God would have allowed it.

5.       Instead they will bury their own firstborn.

6.       There was evidently no embalming of these Egyptian bodies because there were so many of them.

7.       Just as soon as the Egyptians got finished burying their dead, they came after Israel, and got themselves buried in the Red Sea.

B.     Israel went out like he expects us to go out.

1.       Isaiah 52:11,12 – “Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the LORD. 12  For ye shall not go out with haste, nor go by flight: for the LORD will go before you; and the God of Israel will be your rereward.”

2.       The above scripture is prophecy concerning the protection God will finally give Israel, and the protection he will finally give us.

3.       We don’t have to be afraid of our enemies, God will give them something else to do, if we will only wait on his timing, and trust him.

C.     Luke 4:30 – “But he passing through the midst of them went his way,” 

1.       Jesus was at Nazareth at the very beginning of his ministry.

2.       He preached to them concerning their hard heartedness, and how he could not do many great works there because of their unbelief.

3.       They got mad at him, and thrust him out of the city, led him to the brow of a hill in order to cast him off the hill to his death.

4.       Jesus simply passed through their midst, and continued to Capernaum, where he did miracles and taught the word of God.


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.

I.   Memorial - The remembrance of.

A.     God is telling Israel this will be a day to remember.

1.       This is one of those days that will always be remembered.

2.       Much will be written about this day, the individual occurrences and how God watched over them all.

B.     Passover shall be kept by ordinance.

1.       An ordinance is like a law, or an appointment.

2.       It means that Israel shall set aside this day, each year, to remember what God did for them, and how he brought them out of Egypt.

a.       I know some folks believe this can get to be a habit, but some habits are very, very good.

b.       It ought to be a habit to go to church services, to tell your spouse you love them, so forth.

c.       Just because some things are appointed, doesn’t mean they aren’t important.

C.     God repeats his command to remember the day of Passover in verse 24-27.

1.       Anything God repeats is important.

2.       And the Passover is important.

3.       It is very important to remember the Passover, and all the other good things God does for us.


II.   It is interesting to note that God establishes the Passover, and its future observance before it ever comes to pass.

A.     He does not wait until it happens, then tells the Israelites to remember it for all their generations.

1.       God knows before hand what he will do, and he knows this event is very worthy for all generations to remember.

2.       Men might figure out after an event occurs that it should be remembered.

3.       God has foreknowledge, man has post-knowledge. (And not very good post-knowledge at that!)


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.

I.   Unleavened bread.

A.     Unleavened bread is bread without any leaven in it.

1.       Leaven in the Bible is always a symbol of sin.

2.       See below.

B.     Leaven (sin) is very pleasurable to the body.

1.       Cakes are good because they are light and fluffy, full of leaven.

2.       Bread is considered good when it is light, fluffy, full of leaven.

3.       Personally, I like cornbread that doesn’t rise very much.  I like the crust better than the inside.

4.       It would be difficult on the body to go seven days eating bread that is flat and hard, but there ought to be a time when we don’t pleasure our bodies, and concentrate on the well being of our souls through obedience.

C.     Cut off - Because it is a sign they haven’t believed the promises of God.

1.       Their unbelief is revealed by their inaction of obeying the Lord in removing leaven.

2.       Their unbelief is revealed by their action of eating that which God forbids.

3.       They haven’t obeyed the commands of God in preparing to leave Egypt.

4.       If they had obeyed God’s commands, their kneadingtroughs would have been packed away for the trip to the promised land.

D.     How is the soul to be cut off? 

1.       It seems the use of the word “soul” would indicate that eternal part of man, not just the physical part.

2.       It could be they would no longer be counted an Israelite, as they are not obeying the commands given to all Israel by God.

3.       It could be they would still be counted an Israelite, but treated like a stranger who was dwelling in the land, being stricken from participation in any of the ordinances or religious worship of Israel.

4.       It could be they would be put to death by the Israelite government, or a priest, or by the immediate hand of God upon them.

5.       It could be referring to the eternal destruction of that soul in eternity, as the person, in eating leaven when God forbid it, is in rebellion against God.

6.       It would make no difference if leaven was eaten in secret, God would still know, and God would cut that soul off.


II.   Leaven is always a type of sin.

A.     Scriptures showing leaven is always a type of sin.

1.       Matt. 13:33 - The woman hiding leaven in three measures of meal.

a.       The leaven is not the gospel that is hid in the three measures of meal.

b.       The woman compares to the harlot of Rev. 17:1.

c.       II Cor. 4:3, the gospel is not hid except it is “hid” to those that are lost.

d.       The kingdom of God will not completely fill the earth in purity, even though modernists may teach so.

e.       This parable is an explanation of the way Satan’s false gospel will fill the earth and seem to take over the Kingdom of God.  This is very obvious in today’s world.

f.        The devil hides his leaven (sin).  God proclaims his gospel to all the world.  Compare with Luke 12:1,2 (next part of outline).

2.       Luke 12:1,2 - Leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.  (It’s hidden.)

3.       I Cor. 5:6-8 - A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.  Speaking about how a little sin not taken care of grows because someone else decides they can also sin, and then somebody else decides they also can sin and then somebody else...;

4.       Gal. 5:9 - A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.

5.       Crackers or light bread should not be used to take the Lord’s Supper because they contain leaven which is a type of sin.

B.     Unleavened bread emphasizes the need of purging each local church.

1.       There is a need for each individual church member to examine their own lives for sin they have hidden from themselves.

a.       This sin must be recognized, asked forgiveness of, and forsaken.

b.       If the individual takes the Supper without cleansing itself of these sins, God will judge that church member.

c.       God could make them sick, or take their life.

2.       There is also a necessity of each local church to examine the individual church members for evidence of public sins.

a.       If these sins are found, the church ought to discipline those members before the Lord’s Supper is taken.

b.       If the church takes the Supper without cleansing itself of public sins, God will judge the individual church members, making some of them sick, and taking the lives of others.  [3]


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.

I.   A holy convocation.

A.     A convocation means a called out public meeting.

1.       This day will later be called a “sabbath.”

2.       Therefore a week could have more than one “sabbath.”

3.       There will be the normal seventh day sabbath in every week.

4.       When a holy day appears in a week, that day is also called a “sabbath.”

B.     Probably like our Sundays ought to be today.

1.       A holy convocation - a calling together.

2.       Work to be done on the Passover, but should stop for the next 7 days (feast of Unleavened Bread).


II.   The feast of Unleavened Bread represents life after salvation.

A.     God’s people are commanded to live a holy life unto God after we are saved.

1.       We have the ability through the shed blood of Christ to life such a holy life.

2.       There is no excuse for sin – ever.

3.       And especially after we have been saved.

4.       The day of judgment will be a time when all our sinfulness will come out.

5.       What a terrible day that will be for all the saved will be without excuse.

B.     Rules for the feast.

1.       Lev. 23:7,8 – “In the first day ye shall have an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein. 8  But ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD seven days: in the seventh day is an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.”

a.       No servile work done on the first and last day of the feast.

2.       Servile work.

a.       Work necessary to earn a living.

b.       Can cook, feed animals, do chores, etc.

3.       Lev. 23:8 – “But ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD seven days…

a.       Make a special offering to the Lord each of the 8 days of the Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread.

4.       There is no mention made of a daily sacrifice during this first Feast of Unleavened Bread as Israel will be traveling from Egypt, and it would be next to impossible to do that.  It will be possible when Israel is settled in the promised land.

C.     Note the phrase, “…that only may be done of you.”

1.       God makes allowances for this human body and its necessities.

a.       God does not say “must,” but “may.”

b.       If you don’t have to do those daily things, you don’t have to.

2.       Heb. 4:15, “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”

3.       What a blessing it is to know God knows us and makes allowances for our weakness, yet he never makes an allowance for sin.


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. {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.

I.   The Feast of Unleavened Bread is to be observed as yearly observance.

A.     The word “selfsame” indicates this point.

1.       Once a year the Israelites should officially remember how God brought them out of Egypt.

2.       I know faithful Israelites would remember more than once a year how God brought them out of Egypt.

B.     The word “memorial” means a memento, or that which is to be remembered.

1.       It is very good to remember the good things God has done for us.

2.       It is very bad to remember the bad things we have done, except to rejoice that God has brought us out of them.

C.     They are to remember how their armies came out of Egypt.

1.       Israel wasn’t an army as we consider an army.

a.       They weren’t armed with weapons.

b.       They weren’t to fight anybody.

2.       Rev. 19:14 states, “And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.”

a.       The above passage is speaking of the time when Christ shall return to the earth to fight with Satan and his armies.

b.       I will be in that army, but I won’t have any weapons because Christ fights all my battles for me.

1)      While I am in this life, I must remember that Christ always goes before me, behind me, and beside me, fighting my battles for me.

2)      When I try to fight my own battles, I always lose, but when Christ fights my battles for me, he always gives me the victory.

3)      When I am in heaven with a glorified body, and a pure mind, I will be willing and satisfied to let Christ fight my battles for me.

c.       Isaiah 63:3 states, “I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment.”

1)      Christ will tread the winepress of the wrath of God alone.

2)      His garments will be stained with their blood.

3)      Rev. 19:13 makes it clear that Christ will be “…clothed with a vesture dipped in blood…”

4)      Rev. 19:14 declares that the armies that follow Christ will be “…clothed in fine linen, white and clean.”

5)      Christ does our fighting and will continue to do our fighting.

6)      Satan doesn’t fight for his people.

3.       Rev. 19:19 reveals that Satan will arm his armies with earthly weapons.  “And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.”

D.     An “ordinance” is like a law, or an appointment.

1.       This means that Israel shall set aside this day, each year, to remember what God did for them, and how he brought them out of Egypt.

2.       To some people, this can get to be a habit, but there are some good habits.

3.       Just because some things are appointed, doesn’t mean they are bad.


II.   From the 14th to the 21st day is 8 days (count them).

A.     One day at Passover and seven days feast of Unleavened Bread.

B.     There is a difference between the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

1.       There is a difference between salvation and holy living after salvation.

2.       I believe that the Jews during the time of Christ had lost the symbolism of these two celebrations, just as many today have lost the symbolism of baptism and holy living.

a.       Many believe baptism saves, but it doesn’t.

b.       Many believe holy living saves, but it doesn’t.

c.       The Bible makes these things very clear, but only through the Holy Spirit will we be able to understand and correctly observe.


Verse 18, 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.

I.   A repeat of the command given in verse 15.

A.     God often repeats important things.

1.       He knows our frame, and how we often don’t hear what he is saying.

2.       Repeating instructions results in a clearer understanding.

B.     That soul shall be cut off from Israel.

1.       See my comments on verse 15.

2.       The next verse (verse 19) adds some information to what the “cutting off” is.


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.

I.   Seven days there will be no leaven in the houses of the Israelites.

A.     On the first day, a diligent search should be made for any leaven.

1.       All that leaven should be removed.

2.       It would be a battle to keep leaven out of a house for seven days, just like it is a battle to keep sin out of our lives for any length of time.

3.       Even if it is difficult to do, we should still strive to keep sin  out of our lives.

B.     What is “cut off.”

1.       Remove from the fellowship.

2.       This is something like church discipline, but, of course, Israel is not a church.

C.     Who would be cut off.

1.       Any person who is eateth leaven.

a.       If it is known by the congregation, the congregation shall cut off that soul.

b.       If leaven is eaten secretly and it is unknown to the congregation, God still knows, and he will “arrange” for that soul to be cut off.

2.       The stranger that eateth shall be cut off.

a.       A stranger could be a heathen who happens to be in Israel at the time of the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

b.       A stranger could be a servant, gained by war or other conquest, who lives permanently in Israel.

c.       A stranger could also be a proselyte, who has “converted” to Judaism, thus binding himself to all Jewish teachings.

3.       The phrase “born in the land” refers to two groups.

a.       The first group refers naturally to those Jews born in the land of Israel.

b.       The second group refers to those strangers (proselytes) who remain in Israel, and their children are born there.


II.   How they would get leaven back.

A.     This point is undiscovered, and not revealed in scripture.

B.     Leaven doesn’t have to be brought back in.

1.       It will “naturally” come back.

2.       Weeds, without being planted, naturally come back into a garden.

3.       Sin, without being planted or cultivated, naturally comes back into every life.


Verse 20 - Ye shall eat nothing leavened; in all your habitations shall ye eat unleavened bread.

I.   This command is repeated over and over.

A.     It might seem strange to us that God continually repeats himself.

1.       If we would think about it a little while, we would understand that God repeats himself, not for his benefit, but for ours.

2.       God tells us over and over again, so there is no excuse for us not “getting it.” [4]


Verse 21-28 - Moses instructing Israel.


I.   Introduction.

A.     Some of the instructions Moses gives Israel doesn’t seem to be exactly that God told him.

1.       For example:

a.       Verse 21 – Moses doesn’t mention to separate the lamb on the 10th day to the 14th day, or anything about the qualifications of the lamb.

b.       Hyssop is mentioned for the first time in Exodus 12:22.

c.       The basin is mentioned for the first time in Exodus 12:22.

d.       Staying in the house the Passover lamb is killed and eaten in is found first in Exodus 12:22.

B.     Why is this so?

1.       A whole picture is given only when we rightly divide all the scriptures.

2.       If we take only a couple of scriptures, we might miss a very important part of a doctrine.

3.       We are encouraged to read all the Bible, not just the parts we understand.

4.       Israel read and understood only a part of the Bible, therefore they missed Christ, and his kingdom.

5.       People in the church today read and understand only a part of the Bible, therefore miss some important parts of Christianity.

C.     The instructions are the same, they only appear to us to be different. For example:

1.       There is no mention of Israel using hyssop until verse 22.

2.       Even though there is no reference of God telling Moses to instruct Israel to use hyssop, future references to hyssop reveal that God told Moses to tell Israel to use hyssop.


II.   Notice the four things that are different.

A.     The qualifications of the lamb.

1.       Even though these qualifications weren’t given in Exodus 12:21-28, it is evident all Israel knew and understood.

2.       All Israel, plus the mixed multitude, gave the proper sacrifice.

B.     What is hyssop?

1.       It is a plant springing forth out of a wall as in I Kings 4:33, “And he spake of trees, from the cedar tree that is in Lebanon even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall: he spake also of beasts, and of fowl, and of creeping things, and of fishes.”

2.       Christ also sprang out of a dry place, an unexpected place, a place seemingly incapable of producing any good thing.

3.       The hyssop has bushy stalks, growing a foot and a half high; small spear-shaped, close-sitting, and opposite leaves, with several smaller ones rising from the same joint; and all the stalks and branches terminated by erect whorled spikes of flowers, of different colours in the varieties of the plant.  The leaves have an aromatic smell, and a warm, pungent taste.  Its detersive, cleansing, and medicinal qualities were probably the reason why it was so particularly recommended in Scripture. [5]

4.       Use of hyssop in the Bible.

a.       The first mention is in Exodus 12:22 when Israel is to use hyssop to transfer the blood from the vessel to the door posts.

b.       Leviticus 14:1-6 – The priest is commanded to use hyssop to sprinkle the blood of the sacrifice for the purifying of a person contaminated with leprosy

c.       Leviticus 14:49-52 – The priest is commanded to use hyssop to sprinkle the blood of the sacrifice for the purifying of a house contaminated with leprosy.

d.       Numbers 19:6, 18 – The priest is commanded to use hyssop to sprinkle the blood of the red heifer offering.

e.       Psalms 51:7 – When David prayed for forgiveness for his sin with Bethsheba, he cried, Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.”

f.        John 19:29 – When Jesus was dying on the cross, “…they filled a sponge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth.”

g.       Hebrews 9:19,20 – God confirmed the use of hyssop by stating, “For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people, 20  Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you.”

C.     The basin.

1.       The basin may be a small thing to us, but it pictures the container that captures the shed blood.

2.       The blood is not spilt on the ground, and the hyssop held under the animal as the blood is shed.

3.       There is no wasting of the animal’s blood and there is no wasting of the blood of Christ.

4.       The basin also pictures the future procedures Israel will practice as they give sacrifices.

D.     Staying in the house.

1.       Protection is afforded only to those that are inside the house.

2.       There is a place of protection then, as well as today.

3.       It is not just by being in the house, but being in the house reflects the faith of the person who remains in the house.

4.       There is no safety in just being an Israelite, but being a true Israelite reflects the faith of that person.

5.       There is no safety in just being a church member, but the true church member is also a part of the church.


III.   In verse 1-20, God has been instructing Moses and Aaron, telling them what to tell all Israel.

A.     Moses and Aaron listen to God’s instruction, and dutifully repeated those instructions to all Israel.

B.     There are some who would think God should have spoken directly to Israel, that Moses and Aaron aren’t needed.

1.       Many people don’t think they need a human leader, that they can follow God on their own.

2.       Many people act like that.

3.       The truth is: God set it up so we all have leaders to bring us to Christ.

C.     Israel obeyed God’s instructions.

1.       This is seen in verse 27 when the people worshipped God.

2.       It is also seen in verse 28 where the people “…did as the LORD had commanded…”

3.       It is also seen in verse 34 where the people had their kneadingtroughs packed.

4.       It is also seen in verse 35 where the people did according to the word of Moses, borrowing “…of the Egyptians jewels of silver and jewels of gold, and raiment…”


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.

I.   The chain of command.

A.     God tells Moses, Moses tells the elders, and the elders tell the various heads of families.

B.     The chain of command is established for the welfare of each individual, not so any person can be over any other person.

C.     Why did God give Moses instructions to give to the Israelites that isn’t revealed in verses 1-21?

1.       God has established a chain of command that he expects his people to follow and obey.

2.       God expects his leaders to understand they are responsible for the spiritual (and sometimes the physical) well being of their followers.

3.       God gave some instructions to Moses, and let the people know those instructions.

4.       When Moses told them other things to do (stay in the house where the Passover is killed and use hyssop to put the blood on the door post) the people are to believe what Moses said and obey those commands.


Verse 22 - And ye shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two side posts with the blood that is in the basin; and none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning.

I.   These are additional instructions God revealed to Moses that weren’t revealed in the previous scriptures.

A.     Take a bunch of hyssop…

B.     Put the shed blood in a bason…

C.     Use the blood in the basin and the hyssop to apply the blood to the door posts and the lintel…

D.     Stay in the house until the morning…

1.       It seems if any of the Jews went out of the house, the judgment of God would come upon them.

2.       Their protection is when they stay where God intended them to be.


II.   The application today.

A.     When God saves you out of the world, stay out of the world.

B.     When God places you in one of his local churches, stay in that local church.

C.     Don’t go playing around in the world because the judgment of God is coming on them.

D.     If you are in the world, the judgment of God will also come upon you.


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.

I.   Israel must be prepared for the judgment of God upon Egypt.

A.     Israel won’t face the judgment because of the blood upon the door posts.

1.       None of the Israelites would face the judgment of God because the blood would take care of them.

2.       We won’t face the judgment of God because the blood of Jesus is upon us.

B.     God is really coming to bring judgment upon Egypt.

1.       God is a God of GREAT love, but only to his people.

2.       God is a God of judgment upon all those that are “Egyptians.”


Verse 24 – And ye shall observe this thing for an ordinance to thee and to thy sons for ever.

Christ passed over one time, but the thing should be remembered from now on. We have been saved one time, but we should always remember that time, and rejoice in it.  Israel is supposed to have a public gathering each year to remember how God “passed” over them and judged Egypt.


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.

When ye come into the land. When Israel receives all the promises of God, they should never forget that God passed over them when he judged Egypt.  When we are saved a long time, and God blesses us with a good church to worship him in, and things go well with us, we should never forget that God passed over us in judgment, giving us his mercy, grace and eternal salvation.


Verse 26 – And it shall come to pass, when your children shall say unto you, What mean ye by this service?

Israel should instruct their children in righteousness.  Children are naturally curious and want to know why we do the things we do.  Their questions give us an invaluable opportunity to instruct them in the goodness and severity of God.


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.

I.   Proper instruction.

A.     When the children asked questions, it would be time to give detailed instructions in the form of a story, which the children could easily remember.

B.     The three necessary parts of faithfulness.

1.       Hearing the proper instruction, from the proper person.

2.       Worshipping after hearing (no actions).

3.       Doing - Putting into action what we’ve heard.  (Actions may or may not be worship.)


II.   The people worshipped.

A.     They bowed their heads.

1.       They looked down as a physical form of humility at the blessings of God.

2.       They would not let the things happening around them break their concentration as they consider the blessings of God.

B.     It is not necessary to bow the head when worshipping, but there are times when bowing the head is a “natural” spiritual response to news about what God is doing or has done.


Verse 28 –  And the children of Israel went away, and did as the LORD had commanded Moses and Aaron, so did they.

Israel went away from Moses.  They obeyed that which Moses commanded, they didn’t rebel against God’s teachings.  [6]


The Fulfillment of God’s Judgment Upon Egypt


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.

I.   See my comments on verse 12 for who killed the firstborn of the unbelievers.


II.   No firstborn was spared.

A.     It made no difference what kind of influence the parents had in Egypt, they didn’t have any influence with God.

1.       Pharaoh had a lot of power in Egypt, but those that trusted in his power found themselves trusting in a dead, rotten stick.

2.       The power of a king will never overcome the power of the King of kings and the Lord of lords.

B.     The captive that was in the dungeon.

1.       We might think this was unfair of God if the captive wasn’t able to make the appropriate sacrifice for his redemption.

a.       We might also think it is unfair of God to cast lost people into hell who have never heard the gospel, but it isn’t.

b.       It is our responsibility to take the gospel to unbelievers so their blood won’t be on our hands.

2.       We must also realize there are some folks we simply can’t reach.

a.       There are some folks that have put themselves into such a position as to be “unreachable”.

b.       There are some folks who commit sin, and in their facing the judgment of that sin, refuse to listen to the still small voice of God.  These folks in the dungeon are examples.

c.       There are other people who hear the gospel, yet will not submit themselves to the gospel message, therefore they have made themselves “unreachable”.

3.       Personally, I believe God is well able to reach anybody, and work in any situation, so that person who earnestly seeks Christ will be able to find him.

a.       If there was a person in the dungeon that believed and wanted to travel with the Israelites, I am sure God would be able to work in that situation to deliver him from the dungeon and to allow him to leave Egypt with Israel.

b.       God works in many, many things, and will always do good.

C.     The firstborn of cattle.

1.       The plague of sin is also upon animals.

2.       They have done nothing wrong at all, but because they live on the earth which is polluted by man’s sin, they are polluted.

3.       The “stain of sin” is upon them.

4.       This is why God will make a new heaven and new earth.

5.       Thinking about how our sins and our sinfulness affect “innocent” animals ought to make us want to stop sinning.


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.

I.   Rose up - Unbelief had caused them to go to bed and sleep soundly.

A.     It is an assumption on my part that Pharaoh went to sleep that night.

1.       “Rose up,” could mean they finally got up in the night because they couldn’t go to sleep.

2.       It would seem to me that anybody under this kind of threat would find it very difficult to sleep.

3.       They might go to bed like nothing was wrong, but they couldn’t go to sleep because they would be waiting for the LORD to kill their firstborn.

B.     It could be the reason the Egyptians rose up (woke up) was because when the firstborn died, they cried out.

1.       I really don’t know if they cried out or not, the scripture doesn’t say.

2.       I do know that the Egyptians all woke up at the same time.

C.     I wonder what the firstborn was thinking?

1.       If the firstborn is like me when I was lost, I was thinking the judgment of God would come on others, but not on me.

2.       I would be the one to escape.

3.       I believed a lie.

4.       Judgment comes upon all unbelievers.


II.   They cared for their family, but not enough to obey God.

A.     Always before, when a plague was fulfilled, Egypt was looking for it to come.

1.       This plague is no exception.

2.       They would watch for the plague of God to come, but would do nothing to repent.


III.   Can you imagine what would go through these Egyptians’ minds as they were waiting for their firstborn to die?

A.     Probably nothing, for their hearts were hardened toward the word of God.

1.       They came so close to believing, but their unbelief prevailed.

2.       There is no doubt in my mind that the Egyptians had a “head” belief, but they didn’t have a “heart” belief.

B.     A lot of lost people come very close to believing, but their unbelief will bring them under the eternal condemnation of God.


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.

I.   Called at night - likely soon after midnight.

A.     Moses didn’t have to go to Pharaoh and tell him why the firstborn had died.

1.       Pharaoh remembered what Moses said, but he still didn’t trust God, or believe on God.

2.       A lost person can know a lot of truth, but knowledge isn’t salvation.  Belief in the Lord Jesus Christ is salvation.

B.     Deut. 16:1 – “Observe the month of Abib, and keep the Passover unto the LORD thy God: for in the month of Abib the LORD thy God brought thee forth out of Egypt by night.”  Went out by night.

C.     Verse 10 - last thing Israel did was burn the remainder of the lamb.  Picture what Egypt looked like when Israel left: thousands of fires remaining - a testimony against them.  But they still didn’t see for they chased Israel to the Red Sea.


II.   The servants came, not Pharaoh.

A.     Exodus 10:28,29 - Pharaoh and Moses confess they will meet no more.

B.     Exodus 11:8 - Moses says the servants shall come to him and tell them to leave.

1.       I have a notion Pharaoh remembered what Moses told him.

2.       I also believe the servants remembered what Moses told Pharaoh before them all.


III.   Pharaoh submitting to God - “As ye have said”.

A.     The phrase “as ye have said” appears in both verse 31 and 32.

B.     Some might believe Pharaoh himself came to Moses and Aaron, commanding them to leave.

1.       I don’t believe Pharaoh came, but sent his servants as stated in Exodus 11:8.

2.       There is no record that Pharaoh came, but there is a record that the servants of Pharaoh came.

C.     Pharaoh always used messengers for this type of communication.


Verse 32, Also take your flocks and your herds, as ye have said, and be gone; and bless me also.

I.   Bless me also - The sinners cry.

A.     There is no doubt that Pharaoh was in dire need of a blessing from God.

1.       He had done nothing at all to receive such a blessing.

2.       He had rebelled at every turn, to all of god’s commands.

3.       There is such a thing as grace and mercy from God on those that ask for grace and mercy on their terms.

B.     Grace and mercy come upon guilty sinners because they realize their exceeding wickedness and turn to a loving God.

1.       Pharaoh is not asking for grace or mercy.

2.       He is not recognizing his guilt, or rebellion.

C.     God has forced him to come to this point.

1.       Too late - Judgment has already come (12:12).

2.       Luke 16:24 - Rich man wanting help but too late.

D.     Pharaoh, like many sinners today, has put himself into a position as to be unable to receive the blessings of God.

1.       It is one thing to want the blessings of God.

2.       I is quite another thing to do what you should do, so God can bless you.

3.       God will never bless sin, wickedness, or rebellion.

a.       James 4:1-2 – People didn’t receive the blessings of God because they didn’t ask.

b.       James 4:3 – People didn’t receive the blessings of God because they asked amiss.


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.

I.   Egyptians were urgent upon the people - in a hurry for them to leave.

A.     Ps. 105:38 – Egypt was glad when they departed: for the fear of them fell upon them.”

1.       Were glad for them to leave.

2.       Unbelievers are made willing by God.

3.       He can put pressure on them (and us) to believe (or at least to do His will.)

B.     Egyptians continued disbelief in God’s Word.

1.       11:1 - One more plague.

a.       The Egyptians were expecting more plagues in spite of what God’s man said.

b.       They looked at the plagues getting progressively worse and expecting God to strike them dead next.

2.       NOTE: They considered it very bad when they lost their firstborn to death, but a worse plague would be when they died for they would then go down into hell.

a.       When our loved ones die, it is very dramatic to us, but it isn’t as personal as when we die.

b.       Exodus 11:5 - The last plague is the death of the first born - but they didn’t believe.


II.   Before we condemn the Egyptians, we ought also to see that later, Israel didn’t believe God, and sometimes we don’t believe God.

A.     Numbers 13 is the story of the unbelief of the Jews when the 12 spies brought back their report.

1.       Verse 1-16 - God chose 12 men to spy out the land of Canaan so Israel could prepare themselves for victory.

2.       Verse 31-33 - Israel didn’t believe the promises of God, therefore didn’t even try to take the land.

3.       14:40-45 - When they were under condemnation of God, then they decided to take the land, but it was too late.

B.     Num. 16 is the story of the rebellion concerning Korah.

1.       Verse 26 - In the rebellion concerning Korah, Moses warned Israel to separate themselves from them so they wouldn’t face God’s judgment.

2.       Verse 34 - When God opened the earth and Korah and followers went alive into the pit, Israel ran away because they were afraid the earth would also open up and swallow them. up.

3.       Comparing verse 30 and 41 we understand that Israel didn’t believe Korah was in rebellion against God.


Verse 35,36 – 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: {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.

I.   According to prophecy of Exodus 3:21,22.

A.     The fulfillment of the prophecy didn’t come when the Israelites expected it to come, but it came in God’s own time.

1.       The fulfillment of the destruction of this world doesn’t come when we expect it to come, but it will come in God’s own good time.

2.       The fulfillment of blessings for us doesn’t come when we expect it to come, but it will and does come in God’s own good time.


II.   Obeyed Moses (Therefore obeyed God.)

A.     God always gives his people a leader, which he expects them to follow.

B.     When God’s leader follows God, God’s people are following God when they follow that man.


Verse 37, And the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand on foot that were men, beside children. {38} And a mixed multitude went up also with them; and flocks, and herds, even very much cattle.  {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.

I.   The people that left Egypt.

A.     600,000 men - estimated from 2,000,000 to 4,000,000 total people.

B.     Notice the word “about”.

1.       Numbers 1:1 explains that in the first day of the second month, in the second year after they were come out of the land of Egypt.

2.       Numbers 1:2-3 gives instructions that Moses is to number all the males from 20 years old and upward that are able to go to war.

3.       Numbers 1:5-43 gives the details of the numbering and how many were numbered from each tribe.

4.       Numbers 1:44-54 gives the total of all the numbering, explaining that the Levites were not counted because they are in charge of the tabernacle and will not go to war.

5.       Numbers 1:46 gives the total number counted to go to war as 603,550 males 20 years old and upward (able to go to war) and not counting the Levites.

C.     Mixed multitude - maybe saved, but not completely tired of Egyptian way of life.

1.       They are a constant hindrance to Israel.

D.     Are you a part of the mixed multitude?

1.       Matt. 7:15-20 - Wolves in sheep clothing.

2.       Acts 20:28-30 - Grievous wolves in sheep clothing will destroy the local churches. [7]


Verse 40-42 Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years. {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. {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.

I.   The sojourning in Egypt is either 430 years or the sojourning of Israel is 430 years.

A.     The following tells why the sojourning of Israel is 430 years.

B.     Israel wasn’t in Egypt for 430 years, but their sojourning was 430 years.















The main scripture used to teach that Israel was in Egypt 430 years is Exodus 12:40,  “Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years.”  The passage can be interpreted two ways.

1.      The children of Israel were in the land of Egypt 430 years.

2.      The children of Israel were sojourning 430 years.


Most people take for granted that Israel was in Egypt for 430 years without examining other scriptures for further proof.

1.      If we examine any verse without using proper interpretation methods, we will not understand what those verses really say.

2.      The proper method of scripture interpretation is to let scripture interpret scripture, not injecting our thoughts into the interpretation at all.


Other scriptures that talk about Israel’s captivity.


I.   Galatians 3:17,  “And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.”  It is said that there are 430 years from the promise given to Abraham (covenant) until the law given to Moses and all Israel.

A.     The promise was given to Abraham in Genesis 12:1-4 when he left everything and traveled to the place God instructed him.

1.      There are further instructions and more complete instructions given as time goes by, but the very beginning of these instructions was given to Abraham in Genesis 12.

2.      Genesis 15 records additional instructions, promises and benefits of the promise that weren’t previously given to Abraham.

B.     The law was given to Moses on Mt. Sinai.

1.      Exodus 20 is the giving of this law.

2.      Exodus 19:1 declares that the law was given in the third month after Israel came out of Egypt.

3.      There are other instructions that go with the ten commandments, and these instructions continue until Exodus 31:18.


II.   Genesis 15:13, “And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is  not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years;  The length of the affliction will be 400 years.

A.     This verse does not say that Israel will be in Egypt 400 years, but that they will be:

1.      A stranger in a land that is not theirs.

2.      They shall be servants in that land.

3.      Their affliction as servants shall be 400 years.

B.     Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were strangers in the land of Canaan, not Egypt.

1.      Genesis 23:4, “I am a stranger and a sojourner with you: give me a possession of a buryingplace with you, that I may bury my dead out of my sight.  Abraham said he was a stranger and proved it by buying a burying place for himself and his wife and all of his seed.  Genesis 49:31, 50:13 tells who is buried in this cave:

a.       Abraham and Sarah.

b.      Isaac and Rebekah.

c.       Jacob and Leah.

2.      Genesis 28:4,  And give thee the blessing of Abraham, to thee, and to thy seed with thee; that thou mayest inherit the land wherein thou art a stranger, which God gave unto Abraham.  Isaac confessed that he and his son, Jacob, are strangers in what will be the land of Israel.

3.      Genesis 37:1,  “And Jacob dwelt in the land wherein his father was a stranger, in the land of Canaan.” Jacob confessed that he too was a stranger in a strange land.

4.      Genesis 37-50, Joseph was never accepted as part of the family while he lived with them.  He was accepted in Egypt.  When he died, he was buried in Shechem, Genesis 49:31, 50:13, Joshua 24:32.

5.      Exodus 6:4,  “And I have also established my covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage, wherein they were strangers.  God said that the land of their pilgrimage, wherein they were strangers, was the land of Canaan, not the land of Egypt.

6.      Ps. 105:11,12,  “Saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance: {12} When they were but a few men in number; yea, very few, and strangers in it.” - The writer says Israel was a stranger in the land of Canaan, not Egypt.


III.   Genesis 15:16,  “But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is  not yet full.  The fourth generation will represent either:

A.     The fourth generation from Abraham, which is Judah or Joseph.

1.      Abraham.

2.      Isaac.

3.      Jacob.

4.      Judah or Joseph.

B.     Or the fourth generation afflicted by that nation whom they shall serve, verse 14, compare to Ex. 6:16-20.  “And these are the names of the sons of Levi according to their generations; Gershon, and Kohath, and Merari: and the years of the life of Levi were an hundred thirty and seven years. {17} The sons of Gershon; Libni, and Shimi, according to their families. {18} And the sons of Kohath; Amram, and Izhar, and Hebron, and Uzziel: and the years of the life of Kohath were an hundred thirty and three years. {19} And the sons of Merari; Mahali and Mushi: these are the families of Levi according to their generations. {20} And Amram took him Jochebed his father’s sister to wife; and she bare him Aaron and Moses: and the years of the life of Amram were an hundred and thirty and seven years.”

1.      Ex. 6:16 - Levi, who was born in Haran, lived in Canaan, and moved to Egypt.  He died in Egypt.

2.      Ex. 6:16 - Kohath, the son of Levi, was born in Canaan, moved to Egypt with Jacob and died in Egypt.

3.      Ex. 6:18 - Amram, the son of Kohath, was born in Egypt, and died there.

4.      Ex. 6:20 - Moses, the son of Amram and Jochebed, was born in Egypt, raised in Egypt, came to maturity in Midian, returned to Egypt to deliver Israel, and died in Moab and was buried near Bethpeor.

C.     A comparison between “A” and “B”.

1.      The first thought (“A”) must necessarily be incorrect as it was in the time of Judah and Joseph that Israel entered into “that nation,” Egypt.  Joseph died in Egypt and certainly did not deliver the people from Egypt.

2.      The second thought (“B”) must be true, especially as this agrees with Exodus 6:16-20.  See schedule # 1 ..\OTSURVEY\Book\Sch 1 - Estimate generations in Egypt.sdr for further treatment of this thought.

D.     The four generations can also be proved by comparing Ruth 4:18-20 (generations of Christ) with the generations of Levi (Ex. 6:16-20).

1.      Ruth 4:20 - Nahshon, the fourth generation from Pharez (son of Judah by Tamar, reference Matt. 1:3 and Genesis 38) is a contemporary with Moses.

a.       Num. 1:7 – “Of Judah; Nahshon the son of Amminadab.”

b.      Num. 2:3 – “And on the east side toward the rising of the sun shall they of the standard of the camp of Judah pitch throughout their armies: and Nahshon the son of Amminadab shall be captain of the children of Judah.”

c.       Numbers 7:12-17 – “And he that offered his offering the first day was Nahshon the son of Amminadab, of the tribe of Judah: 13 And his offering was one silver charger, the weight thereof was an hundred and thirty shekels, one silver bowl of seventy shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary; both of them were full of fine flour mingled with oil for a meat offering: 14 One spoon of ten shekels of gold, full of incense: 15 One young bullock, one ram, one lamb of the first year, for a burnt offering: 16 One kid of the goats for a sin offering: 17 And for a sacrifice of peace offerings, two oxen, five rams, five he goats, five lambs of the first year: this was the offering of Nahshon the son of Amminadab.”

2.      Nahshon was living when Moses lead Israel from Egypt.  He died in the wilderness because of unbelief.

IV.   Conclusion:  According to the scriptures, and the principle of letting scripture interpret scripture, we believe we must interpret Exodus 12:40 as the Israel sojourning 430 years, not being in Egyptian bondage for 430 years.


The fact that God makes a covenant with Israel of 430 years duration and this covenant is divided into two equal parts can be compared with the covenant Satan will make with Israel at the beginning of the tribulation period.  Daniel 11:27 tells about this covenant of seven years being broken in the middle of the week.  The last half of the tribulation period will be much worse for Israel than the first half.  During the first half, Israel will remain in Canaan, (they did this during God’s covenant).  In the middle of the tribulation period, Israel will be forced to leave their land because of the Anti-Christ breaking this covenant.  They shall go into another nation, (to Petra in the land of the Edomites) for help.  See Revelation 12, and Daniel 11:41.  This is the same thing that happened to Israel under God’s covenant.  Israel will not lose anything during the great tribulation because God will return to the earth, stopping the advancing armies against Israel.  God did the same thing to Israel during his covenant with them, for there was a purchased possession of a burying place in the promised land.  One difference will be that God’s final covenant with Israel has no place for burying - for none will die.  [8]


Final Instructions Concerning the Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread


Beginning from this point and continuing to Exodus 13:16, God is instructing Israel on future things.  The important thing to notice is that God is preparing Israel for future blessings.

God is doing the same thing for us.  God gives us instructions that are not clear at the time.  But God gives us those instructions because he sees into the future and knows what we will need.  God gives us instructions so we will be fit for his service in the future.  God gives us instructions so we will stay out of trouble.  We may not understand God’s instructions, but that is no reason for us to disobey his instructions.  Everything God tells us is important and we need to pay attention so we will be ready for whatever he has for us.

Israel didn’t listen to God’s instructions very well.  When they got to the Red Sea, looked back and saw the armies of Egypt approaching, they were greatly afraid, and cried unto Moses, stating they were going to die in the wilderness.  They reminded Moses they didn’t want to come on this journey, that they had told him to leave them alone, that they should be serving Egypt.  Then everything would be fine, and they wouldn’t be in this mess, about to die. 

Why did Israel not believe God?  Why did they believe the armies of Egypt would overrun them and kill them all?  Because they hadn’t listened very closely to the commands God gave them in Exodus 12:43-13:16.  Those commands didn’t mean anything to them because they weren’t something they were going to do then and there.  They were future commands, therefore unimportant to them.  But Israel missed this point – God had a plan for them.  God saw into the future, and God saw that they were going to be okay.  God saw the destruction of the armies of Egypt, therefore God saw that Israel wasn’t going to die by the Red Sea.  Israel forgot all the promises of God to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  They didn’t understand what God was saying to them.

How like the nation of Israel we are today.  How we don’t understand that God’s commands for us, that everything that happens to us today, is God preparing us for tomorrow’s victories.  How discouraged we get, how despondent we get, when we look around us at the raging seas of this wicked world.  We begin to think that God doesn’t see what we see.  And we are right.  But the problem is not with God.  The problem is that we should be seeing what God sees instead of what we see.

Verse 43, And the LORD said unto Moses and Aaron, This [is] the ordinance of the passover: There shall no stranger eat thereof:

I.   God speaks to Moses and Aaron.

A.     Moses and Aaron will speak to the people, instructing them in what God expects.

B.     No stranger shall eat the Passover.

1.       A stranger is a person who is not a Jew.

2.       That person does not know or understand what is meant by the Passover.

3.       Concerning baptism and the Lord’s Supper, it is very good if people know what these ordinances mean when they partake of them.

C.     The various types of strangers who cannot eat the Passover.

1.       Verse 44 – A brought servant.

2.       Verse 45 – A foreigner.

3.       Verse 45 – A hired servant.

D.     Verse 44-49 gives a more complete thought concerning what the stranger shall do if he wants to eat the Passover.


II.   The purpose of strangers not eating the Passover has nothing to do with Israel trying to be “exclusive.”

A.     It has to do with obedience.

1.       All the instructions for taking the Passover came from God.

2.       No instructions came from man.

B.     It has to do with the purpose of Passover.

1.       Passover represents at least two things:

a.       Remembering Israel’s delivery from Egypt.

b.       Looking forward to the coming redeemer.

2.       A stranger couldn’t really understand nor remember how God brought Israel out of bondage.

3.       A stranger is not really looking forward to the coming redeemer if they don’t join with Israel.

C.     These same truths also apply to the Lord’s Supper.

1.       God gave all the instructions for the Lord’s Supper.

2.       A person who is really saved will join himself to a local Baptist church.

D.     Is it possible for a person to be truly saved, yet refuse to join Israel (or a local Baptist church)?

1.       Yes.  Acts 5:11-14 records that after the death of Ananias and Sapphira, many believers were added to the Lord, but of the rest, no man joined with them because of fear.

2.       It is very apparent that people were saved in the Old Testament times who never joined with Israel, just as there are people saved today who never join a New Testament Baptist church.


Verse 44, But every man’s servant that is bought for money, when thou hast circumcised him, then shall he eat thereof.

I.   A servant that is bought may eat if…

A.     First of all, the servant must be bought with money, therefore the possession of a Jew.

1.       Some people rebel at the idea of slavery or servant hood, but when it is carried out the way God commands, it is a good thing.

a.       It is always better to work than not work, and the person that can’t make it on their own needs to be under the supervision of another.

b.       In this U. S. of A. we have many personal freedoms, so many freedoms that some people can’t control.

c.       You see this in people that are continually poor because they spend all their money foolishly.

d.       That type of person would soon be hungry, but in Israel, that person would be bought by another person, and taken care of.

2.       God’s “welfare program” is much better than the “give-a-way – you don’t have to work – take from the wealthy – give to the poor” welfare programs of this country.

B.     The bought servant would see the operation of Israel, that he was treated fairly and taken care of, and that would make him want to join Israel and be a part of their worship and country.

1.       That bought servant would make his desires know to his owner, who would willingly and gladly teach him what he needed to know to really worship God in spirit and in truth.

2.       That bought servant would soon understand that circumcision of the flesh is an external sign of inward belief.  He would understand that his belief is very private, yet that private and secret belief, hidden in his body, as well as in his heart, will be revealed to all that comes into contact with him.

3.       The New Testament scripture is Philippians 2:12, “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”

C.     After the bought servant was circumcised, he would be permitted to eat the Passover.

1.       The Passover is a symbol that the blood of Christ has caused destruction to “pass over”.

2.       There would be no need to eat the Passover, if there was no inward belief, no external circumcision (forcing the body to go through pain it could avoid), nor any desire to be a Jew.


Verse 45,  A foreigner and an hired servant shall not eat thereof.

I.   These two categories of people shall never eat the Passover. These are people that are hired to work for a while, and might be in Israel at the time of Passover.  Israel is not restricted from these people being in the country, they are free to come and go, to observe some of the religious observances of Israel, but they cannot partake if they are going to return to their former country.

A.     A foreigner.

1.       He is temporarily in the land.

2.       He is not circumcised – dedicated to the things of God.

3.       He is not a Jew, but remains out from under the umbrella of God’s protection and blessing.

4.       The foreigner will return to his former land just as soon as he can.

5.       The foreigner’s heart is in his former country, not in the land of Israel, nor with God Almighty.

6.       The foreigner could be capable of causing the destruction of faithful Jews.

B.     A hired servant.

1.       All the things that are said concerning the foreigner can be said about the hired servant.


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.

I.   The lamb shall be eaten in one house.

A.     If the lamb is too large for a single household, other households can merge for the eating, but the lamb shall not be parted and given to another house.

1.       Matthew 26:18 – “And he said, Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at thy house with my disciples.”

2.       Christ would keep the Passover with his disciples, not with the owner of the house. 

3.       That owner would eat the Passover with his own family.

B.     Local churches today believe in “closed” communion in taking the Lord’s Supper, not that other people are lost, but, like the Passover, the Lord’s Supper is a particular recognition of what Christ is to that local body.

C.     I remember reading years ago in the book Fifty Years in the Church of Rome” that Charles Chiniquy, the author of the book, was troubled when he would take the communion elements to the homes of people who were not able to come to church services.  The scripture before us is the scripture that troubled him.


II.   A bone shall not be broken.

A.     The Jews gives the explanation for not breaking a bone of the lamb, as not getting at the tender marrow, where the blood was produced.

B.     John 19:32-36 states, “Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him. 33 But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs: 34 But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water. 35 And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe. 36 For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken.”

C.     Not breaking the bones of Christ fulfills the following prophetic scriptures concerning the death of Christ.

1.       Exodus 12:46 – “…neither shall ye break a bone thereof.”

2.       Numbers 9:12 – “They shall leave none of it unto the morning, nor break any bone of it: according to all the ordinances of the passover they shall keep it.”

3.       Psalms 22:14 – “I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.”

4.       Psalms 34:20 – “He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken.”

5.       Psalms 35:10 – “All my bones shall say, LORD, who is like unto thee, which deliverest the poor from him that is too strong for him, yea, the poor and the needy from him that spoileth him?”


Verse 47, All the congregation of Israel shall keep it.

I.   All means everyone.

A.     All Jewish believers should be very happy to partake in this blessed ordinance.

1.       The date of the Passover is known to everybody, so everybody should have ample opportunity to “get ready”.

2.       Every believer should have time to look into their deliverance from the mire of sin and rejoice in taking the Passover.

B.     Jewish “believers” who refuse to partake in this event makes us doubt their salvation, or at the very least, their commitment to God.


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.

I.   A stranger is a person not born a Jew.

A.     This law is given for the Jews when they leave Egypt, and for successive generations.

1.       Exodus 12:38 – “And a mixed multitude went up also with them; and flocks, and herds, even very much cattle.”

2.       This mixed multitude is likely the result of mixed marriages, although it is difficult to know for certain.

a.       It would seem the mixed multitude was saved from the 10th plague as a result of observing the first Passover in Egypt.

b.       This is uncertain of course, but if they didn’t observe the first Passover, those that remain (their firstborn were killed), traveled from Egypt with Israel.

B.     No person would be prohibited from joining Israel.

1.       All they had to do was meet God’s requirements.

2.       Let no person be prohibited from joining the Lord’s church – only let him meet the Lord’s requirements.


II.   Requirements for taking the Passover.

A.     Let all the males be circumcised.

1.       Circumcision applied to the males only, never to the women, as some pagan religions require.

2.       Circumcision had nothing to do with sex, the hatred, or enjoyment of it.

3.       Circumcision had to do with a private sign (to oneself) of outward dedication to God.

B.     Then they may come near.

1.       Until they were circumcised, they were to remain afar off.

2.       They would observe the worship of Israel from a distance, but not be a part of it.

3.       I am sure they would have all their questions answered before and after the Passover and other ordinances of Israel.

C.     They shall be as “born in the land Jews.”

1.       They shall have all the rights and privileges of “homeborn” Jews.

2.       They shall never be thought of as “the one that came to sojourn here.”


III.   No uncircumcised person shall eat the Passover.

A.     This statement is constantly repeated because it is necessary.

B.     If it isn’t repeated, the people will soon let down on God’s standards, substituting their own standards.


Verse 49, One law shall be to him that is homeborn, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you.

I.   One law to the homeborn and to the stranger that sojourneth with you.

A.     The one that sojourns with Israel is living permanently with them.

1.       They are not going back to their former country.

2.       They have forsaken all to follow Israel, God’s chosen people.

3.       This is the only way they can show they are following the Almighty God.

B.     This reflects the grace of God to come in grafting the Gentiles into the vine.

1.       Ephesians 3:5,6 – “Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; 6 That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel.”

2.       God is the same in every age and will always accept those not born to privilege, but by grace will receive them into his everlasting kingdom.


Verse 50, Thus did all the children of Israel; as the LORD commanded Moses and Aaron, so did they.

I.   Israel did all God told Moses and Aaron.

A.     They separated the lamb, killed it the 14th day at even, put the blood on the door posts and ate the lamb as a Passover, and left Egypt that night.

B.     It is interesting to note that Israel followed the commands given to Moses and Aaron.

1.       God almost always gives his people a leader.

2.       If they follow the leader God gives them, they will be blessed of God.

3.       If they refuse to follow their leader, God will condemn and judge them.


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.

I.   God did as he said he would do.

A.     Exodus 7:4 – “But Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you, that I may lay my hand upon Egypt, and bring forth mine armies, and my people the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great judgments.”

B.     Prophecies were fulfilled, God is honored, and God’s people are freed!  [9]

[1] Preached to here 12/26/01 IBC Wednesday Evening

[2] Preached to here 1/2/02 IBC Wednesday Evening

[3] Preached to here 1/9/02 IBC Wednesday

[4] Preached to here 1/16/02 IBC Wednesday Evening

[5] copied from Quick Verse for Windows Version 4.0e.  Found in Exodus 12:22, highlight the word “hyssop”, and use the definitions in tsk-kjv.not

[6] Preached to here 1/23/02 IBC Wednesday Evening

[7] Preached to here 1/30/02 IBC Wednesday Evening

[8] Preached to here 2/6/2002 IBC Wednesday Evening

[9] Preached to here 2/13/02 IBC Wednesday Evening