« AnteriorContinuar »
CHAP. XII. 1. And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron in the 2 land of Egypt, saying, This month shall be unto you the
beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year 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 as well as legally, this is the fundamental constitution of Israel as a nation. The Sinaitic legislation, later in time, is more recent in nature, as being manifestly a superstructure on that Passover foundation. How the same institution has come to underlie the constitution of Christendom for all time, is noted in the Introduction.
Institution of the Passover (xii. 1-20) – erection of the trophy. Here, distinctly visible, is the type of the institution of the Lord's Supper: as if Moses and Elias had " appeared in glory," on the Mount of Transfiguration, to see that the silent prophecy was fulfilled in that exodus (“decease,” Lu. ix. 31) of Jesus, which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. The occasion in both cases being the near approach of an exodus through Redemption (1 Co. x. 1-5), in both cases the feast was constituted by a sacrificial lamb (Jn. i. 29; 1 Co. v. 7), through whose blood, by a covenant, there was saved the lives of the covenant people. And in both cases, while those who trust in that blood are individually made partakers of the redemption liberty, they are united in a corporate life, as of one body of the Lord, one kingdom of God.
1, 2. In the land of Egypt. This is hardly in the manner of one who is in Egypt with the people at the time of writing. He is looking back—sayfrom Sinai, perhaps a generation after “ that night,”—or when the Taber. nacle is completed. This month (under xiii. 3-10). A "month here is only a moon,” a common name. This month is now christened, receiving (xiii. 4, xxiii. 15, xxxiv. 18) the proper name of Abib—“opening the ear of corn : (after the Babylonish Captivity it will be known as Nisan). It coincides with our late March and early April. And it not only fixes the date of the exodus within the year, but is a monumental evidence (Introd.) of its reality: There is no other way of accounting for the origin of the Ecclesiastical year of Israel, "opening "contemporaneously with the ears of
Israel had a civil year, beginning after the close of harvest. In Egypt they may have known another year, which began with the Nile flood, in June. But the Passover year must mean the Passover Event of the exodus, when Israel came to be “a nation, born at once. 3. To-Israel: no doubt through the elders. The congregation (adah, see under ver. 16) is the Israelitish people as a collective unity (cp. “the congregation," name assumed by the Scottish Reformation Protestants). This left four days (ver. 6) between the choosing of the victim and the slaying of it. For there being this delay, reasons have been sought with a needless ingenuity; a sufficient reason is, that the Israelite might have time to make sure work of going rightly about this matter. A lamb (cp. Re. xv. 3): the word (sěh) may include the young of goats as well as of sheep; but by use and wont only the latter was taken for this purpose. According—-fathers. House of fathers here means a single household, though it could also mean that wider family, which in Scotch Gaelic is a clan (“ children ”). When there came to be a common altar for the nation, and a representative priestly tribe, the blood of the Passover lamb was sprinkled on that altar by the priest.
4 house : 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 5 eating, shall make your count for the lamb. Your lamb shall
be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it 6 out from the sheep, or from the goats: 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 7 the evening. And they shall take of the blood, and strike it
on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the Otherwise, the Passover was within the household (Mat. xxvi. 27, etc.) selection of the lamb, keeping and slaying it, eating it festively : all was en famille. The “integer" of Israel's nationality was thus a godly household : family religion was the foundation of the nation's life. 'Happy is the people that is in such a case. 4. Shall make your count: ought to run, “Shall ye make your count” (so in Rev. Vers.). That is, reckoning how much would suffice for an individual, they could count how many individuals one lamb would suffice for. That would depend upon their making a meal of it, or simply tasting it (cp: 1 Co. x. 17). Josephus intimates that the conventional number for which one lamb would suffice was as high as twenty. Without blemish (1 Pe. i. 19). To offer to God what is not the best of its kind, is an outrage on even natural religion (Mal. i. 7, 8): witness Ananias and Sapphira. But the positive prescription here no doubt has a reference to the special sacred purpose of this offering (vers. 12, 13).
Of the first year: marg. of a year: lit. son of year. Does that mean, of an age within the year? Or, a yearling, a full year old ? We do not know. Scripture does not say, and other witnesses do not agree. Keep it up: have it in keeping. They could thus make sure of its being without blemish ; and (ver. 26) its being in the house that week might lead the children to ask questions. The whole-kill: which means, every family of all Israel. In the evenings : lit. between the evenings (under xxix. 39, xxx. 8). Variously explained :-(1) that the two evenings are, the sun's beginning to go down, and sunset, --say from 3 P. M. to 6 P.M. (cp. Mat. xxvii. 45). This would give time, if a multitude of lambs had to be brought to the altar. (2) That the first evening was sunset, and the second, transition from twilight into night. Which view is correct, we do not know. The essential point seems to be, that the sacrifice was to be slain at a suitable time before the (midnight) feasting: 7. Here still the family is the integer.
Door was equivalent to house : as gate” to city (Ge. xxii. 17). The threshold was not sprinkled, as it had to be trodden under foot of men. The literal “ door” of an Oriental “house ” is insignificant (of a tent "house,” the “ door” may be an old blanket). The important thing is the frameworkposts and lintel. When that was sprinkled, the house could be entered only through the blood (cp. He. X. 19-22). Upper door-post: lintel (Rev. Vers.)
—the word is made lintel in vers. 22, 23. The Heb. word (mashquốph) appears only in this section.
It is supposed to mean a lattice, such as appears on some Egyptian monuments, through which it was possible to look (out or in. Moral : Do not try to look that way except through the blood). The “
shield” (Eph. vi. 16), which is constituted by the faithful
8 houses, wherein they shall eat it. And they shall eat the
flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; 9 and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. Eat not of it raw,
nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head 10 with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof. And
shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire.
And thus shall ye eat it: with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your
staff in your
: and ye shall ness of God, is placed there by the householder (Act. xvi. 31). 8-10. The lamb is to be devoted wholly to the one purpose of the feast, sacred unity of redemption life, or, life of redemption, indivisibly one and sacred, in a chosen people. Hence it is not to be in any way broken up into parts (Jn. xix. 36, cp. 1 Co. x. 14-18). Purtenance : inwards (intestines). These, taken out and washed, were replaced in the body before it was roasted. With—with : lit. on, on : thus preserving the body completely entire, without any dismemberment. Raw : it does not appear from facts that the purpose here was prevention of omophagy, i.e. heathenish festival eating of fesh that is raw or half-raw. The word here for raw generally means under-done. There might be danger of this in the confused excitement of that first occasion ; especially as the people were not likely to have ovens in which the lamb could easily be roasted entire, but probably had to make use of spits. Boiling : permitted in some sacrifices, is prohibited in this. For the withdrawing of the vital sap through boiling would here mar the representation of completeness of consecration to that one purpose of the chosen people's redemption life. The Heb. here for boil has the general meaning, to mature, as, through ripening of fruit : hence the specification here, with water. Here as elsewhere the fire is a symbol of consecration; but here the fire is made also to show the completeness of the consecration peculiar to this case of the Passover lamb. The same effect is served by the limitation of the time to that night-better, this night (see under ver. 12): -the one immediately following the evening (ver. 6) of 14th Abib (ver. 10): the body was to be all consumed (“ on the spot”) at the actual feast. Unleavened bread (under ver. 15). Bitter herbs : lit. bitternesses (cp. Scottish “sourocks”), bitter things (edible). The essential idea is, the bitterness, reminding the redeemed of their past life in Egypt. The Heb. expression is lit, on bitters : the bitter herbs in this case being, not a mere accessory condiment, but, so to speak, the very basis of the feast (of a certain settlement on land it was said, that “the foundation was laid in broken hearts” (Mat. v. 2)—which in a sense is true of the Great Settlement (Re. vii. 14)). The species of herbs employed are not known (it is only the specific quality of bitterness that was prescribed). They presumably were such as could be easily procured there and then (and always)—lettuce, e.g., and endive. 11. The details here arising out of the conditions at the first observance, were not held as an abiding part of the ordinance. Haste : of that night (under vers. 8 and 12), when they were on wing for the great departure. Girded: the (bournous) blanket or shawl, over-clothing, was thus to be not loose, preventing free, swift motion. Shoes (sandals) :--they were not to be bare-footed, as in easy repose of home, or in walking on the
12 eat it in haste; it is the Lord's passover.
For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the first-born in the land of Egypt, both man and beast : and
against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am 13 the Lord. 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 14 destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt. And this day smooth soft sward of Goshen. Staff : in the very act of moving away, as an alarmed bird with wings expanding for flight. This completes the picture of “in haste,” inchoate swift departure in an awful crisis. It is the LORD's Passover : lit. Passover to Jehovah. The word for Passover (Pěsěch) has no etymological connection with that for “pass through” (“travel through ") in ver. 12. It natively means transition, like that of a bird flying across a river ("on eagle's wings "); as if a thunder-cloud had passed over the house without bursting upon it (cp. Is. xxxi. 5, where the Heb. for "passing over is the pěsěch of our text). The Passover here (ver. 11, as in i Co. v. 7) means especially, the sacrificial victim. But the word can easily come to mean the ordinance (ver. 43) as a whole, or under other aspects of detail (cp. Jn. ii. 13). 12. The first-born: the whole Egyptian population, by presentation (under xi. 8). The stroke went no farther than was necessary for this. It thus could not reach a man who was himself a father, though he should be the first-born of his own father's household. The destruction of beast life is supposed to have stood in close relation to execution of judgment upon all the gods of Egypt. This does not mean merely, demolition of idolatrous images. The Egyptian idolatry was replete with deification of animal life. And the destruction of the first-born of all beasts must have involved the sudden death of many sacred animals, -so that Egypt would feel as if suddenly her gods had been slain that awful night. So, I am the LORD (under vi. 6–8), attaching His royal signature to this proclamation of judgment : the real God, against the“ vanities” (Act. xiv. 15). This night : of deep memorable terror for Egypt.--contrast to the this night in ver. 8 (where our Ver., “that night”—for the same Heb.-obscures the vividness of representation, blurring out the circumstance that the words are spoken at the time of that first Passover observance). 13. To you: or, for you.
A token (cp. Ge. ix. 12, 13), the same Heb. as for “sign” (óth) : assurance on God's part, as well as vivid representation. When I see the blood: when it is visible, placed in view, by man (cp. Ro. x. 9, 10). So (ii. 23, 24) it was when He heard, when Israel cried, that He took overt action. What He sees is, not the feast, nor the worshippers, nor the slain lamb, but, precisely, the blood. (This alone is on the mercy-seat, seen by the Cherubim, where God is throned in grace.) Passover (under ver. 11).
NOTE.—Vers. 14-17 are apparently given by the historian in supplement to the original words of institution. Compare in i Cor. xi. vers. 31–34, coming after 23–26.
14. This day. The 14th Abib, on which the Passover lamb was slain, is still kept as a memorial by the Jews; though (Da. ix. 27) they no longer have the sacrifice even in form. A certain confusion (see under ver. 15) between
shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a
feast to the Lord throughout your generations; ye shall keep 15 it a feast by an ordinance for ever. 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 the 14th and 15th is occasioned by there being two ways of dating the beginning of a day; and this confusion seems to have made it impossible to determine with warrantable absolute confidence what was the day of the Passover week, or, which day of the week it was on which the Great Passover
" sacrificed for us." A feast (here again it is God who so describes it; cp. v. 1 and Re. ii
. 20). The Heb. word (and thing almost always) had in it the idea of joyful celebration (the great song on the first occasion is really Ex. xv.). By an ordinance: “Laws of nature” are statutes of Jehovah, in the sense of being prescribed by Him in Creation, and by Him enforced in Providence. But the “ordinances” now coming into view are not simply natural statutes of God, but “positive,” like the statute law of Britain, in the sense of being publicly enacted by Him otherwise than through the essential constitution of things. Even the moral law (Ex. xx. etc.), though natural in the matter of it, is positive in respect of this new enactment of it (cp. Ex. xx. 2). This day: not only Abib is to be the spring of Israel's year ;
this 14th day is to be the spring of Abib month. 15. Seven days. They were counted from 15th Abib inclusive :though the first day here, of putting away the leaven, is the 14th,-late in the last part of it, where it ran into the 15th (reckoned as beginning at sunset). The week was rounded into a sacred“ octave” by special solemnities on the first (15th) and the eighth (22nd) days. The seven, perhaps from the “ seven branches” of the Nile, may have been a sacred number with the Egyptians; but it is not known to have entered into their lives to form the periodic week of seven days. Elsewhere there are traces of the week-period among the peoples. Thus Hesiod incidentally says that the eighth day is holy. (The Rev. James Johnstone, who has investigated these traces in a separate publication, found a curious recurring note, making the first day of every week to be “ holy,” in a Chinese Calendar, referring to a period so remote that the original reason of the note has been unknown for ages immemorial.) The present narrative in no way warrants the suggestion that the weekly period was previously unknown, any more than it would warrant the suggestion that the monthly period was previously unknown (see under xvi. 5, 22, 23, and xx. II). In the previous condition, without the “ ordinances” of public worship now beginning, the period would not be so visibly marked as it now cannot fail to be. Leaven : the original occasion of their using food thus insipid, namely, the haste of that departure, was no doubt to be remembered in after ages (it has a spiritual significance as figurative of the normal abiding condition of true redemption life). But the essential meaning is represented by that decomposition, corruption, which is the result of leaven in fermentation (Mat. xvi. 6). "Unleavened bread” thus means (1 Co. v. 7) “ sincerity and truth.” What the use of such bread, in the symbolical feast, meant, was not, that religion is insipid : that was the view (Nu. xi. 5) of the carnalminded in Israel, derived from the “mixed multitude” out of idolatrous Egypt. The meaning was, that the life of Jehovah's religion is pure (“sin