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16 be cut off from Israel. 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 17 be done of you. 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 twen19 tieth day of the month at even. 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 20 the land. Ye shall eat nothing leavened; in all your habita
tions shall ye eat unleavened bread. cerity ") and loving (“and truth”): it thus resembles God who is holy (1 Pe. i. 13-21), and whose name is Light ard Love. The excommunication (see under xxx. 32, 33) here is notable in rigour. The severe temporal punishment of disloyalty to Jehovah as Israel's Theocratic King belongs to a (logically and chronologically) later stage of legislation for this people. At the present stage, what is so sternly branded is the carnality, in overt action, which (Nu. xi. 20 and 34) is open rejection of Jehovah as God and Redeemer. The same carnality (Ro. viii. 5-8) may be in intense reality under the disguise of a ghostliness which passes for spirituality (Mat. xxiii. 27). 16. First : here apparently (not as in ver. 15, but) the 15th Abib, opening the Octave round. Convocation : lit. “calling, - making assemble by proclamation (cp. the muezzin or the church bell). The word for congregation in ver. 2 (note there) is different. Work. The word here, as in Fourth Commandment (xx. 10), has the appropriate specific meaning of toil of common life. The exception specified here was not permitted for the Sabbath by the strict letter of the Jewish law; though, as was pointed out by the Lawgiver (Mat. ix. 13 and Mat. xii. 7, read vers. 1-8), the exception is consistent with the real intention of the law. 17. Feast of: added by our Translators, needlessly (under ver. 11). In your – for ever. There is here no warrant for the Church festival of Easter. Here the reference is to Israel's permanent condition (of separation, Eph. ii. 14) before Christ came (cp. Ex. xxvii. 20, 21). The prescription is for the Old Testament “ordinance” of the Passover. Your armies : on the triumphant manner of the departure, see under iii. 22. Have I brought : did I bring. The historical past here (under vers. I and 14) seems to place the speaker after the exodus; as if God were speaking through Moses in the wilderness.
N.B. the Note introducing vers. 14-17.
18-20. Fourteenth-even (on the first day, under ver. 16). The even here, of the 14th passing into the 15th, shades into the first day of the Octave of the unleavened bread (ver. 17). Leaven (under ver. 15 and xiii. 7). Rigour of
Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel, and said
unto them, Draw out and take you a lamb according to your exclusion is here marked variously :-(1) The thing must not be found in their houses ; (2) the prohibition of it extends to “the stranger” (Israelitish by adoption) as well as to the man “ born in the land” (Israelitish by birth); (3) they were not to eat any leaven, in bread or otherwise ; (4) not even in other lands (habitations — abodes, in ver. 20, is more comprehensive than houses in ver. 19). Stranger-land. The land here is Canaan; regarded as the ideal birthplace of true Israelites (cp. we, who are Jews by nature,” Ga. ii. 15; and the expression, “that region of thought and imagination which is the ideal country of poets and philosophers”). For detailed ordinances regarding the stranger, see under vers. 43-49.
Exercise 26. 1. The Passover. Show from Scripture (1) that the Passover is fulfilled in Christ;
(2) that in Him the meaning is essentially in His shed blood ; (3) that the
meaning in this blood is essentially, “sacrifice to satisfy divine justice.”
(2) What things in a man are represented by unleavened bread? (3) Show
humanity, and between ghostliness and spirituality.
ought to have ordinances which He has not cared to give? Explain.
of respect for the general, because he at one time prescribed this dress? Note on subsequent modifications of the fundamental ordinance of the Passover. In the supposition of a primary divine origination of the ordinance, there is nothing to exclude the possibility of subsequent modifications of it. The Passover came to be in a completely different form upon the death of Christ; and before His coming may, with the sanction of God, have undergone various modifications, correspondingly to varying conditions of capacity and want in Israel. The circumstance that in some respects the conception of a sacrifice to God is not completely represented in the Passover as it was in later ages, does not show that the Passover is not a true sacrifice : it shows rather, that it is of older date than the completed ceremonial system ;-a fact which may be of value as a clue toward ascertainment of the essential nature of sacrifice. On the meaning of sacrifice, see some notes in the following section under vers. 11-28.
First observance of the Passover (xii. 21-36). The details of the account of this first observance are necessarily to some extent coincident with details in the account of the original founding of the ordinance. To us it is deeply interesting to compare the humility of the Upper Chamber at a later day with the grandeurs now beginning to be assumed by the aspect of movement in Egypt. The representation here of Pharaoh and his people, appearing in a light so lurid in its brightness toward them, is singularly powerful. And the horror of that fateful night for Egypt is vividly illustrated by the contrast of its connection with Israel's peace of God.
1. The Covenanters (vers. 21-28). 21. Draw out : from the fold or flock : take to your houses respectively a lamb for every household (vers. I, 2).
22 families, and kill the passover. And ye shall take a bunch
of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the bason, and strike the lintel and the two side posts with the blood that is
in the bason; and none of you shall go out at the door of his 23 house until the morning. 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 24 houses to smite you. And ye shall observe this thing for an 25 ordinance to thee and to thy sons for ever. 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 26 keep this service. And it shall come to pass, when your The Passover: here, means the lamb (cp. I Co. v. 7; Jn. i. 29). The instruction to the elders is (vers. 26, 27) for the people. Hyssop : outside of the Pentateuch it is mentioned only in i Ki. iv. 23, where it is a typically humble plant in natural history, and in Ps. li. 7, where it is associated with a sacred use of cleansing. The cleansing for which it was used was not only through blood-sprinkling (He. ix. 9), but also (in the case of leprosy, Lev. xiv. 4, 6) through sprinkling with water into which hyssop and some other elements had been cast. Though the plant must have been familiar to Israel in Canaan and at the exodus time, we do not know what was the species of it. From Jn. xix. 19, it may perhaps be inferred that it had a long stalk. The sacred use of it required that it should be fit to be formed into a bunch like a sponge. Now-go out : all keep behind the shield of safety divine-on peril of your lives “and in Manasseh's sight”-i.e. in the Pillar.
The Destroyer (cp. Re. vii. 3). Was this a personal destroying angel? It may have been; even though, as some have thought, Jehovah should have employed the impersonal agency of a pestilence (2 Sa. xxiv. 15-17, cp. 13,"25) in passing through (see under ver. 12). Having thrown away the scabbard, Jehovah may have now come from behind the veil of secondary causation. The miraculousness of the action is shown by circumstances as in the previous plagues, and here additionally, by the selection of the first-born of Egypt (as previously intimated) for the objects of the judgment. 23. The Lord will pass over.
Here (1) we see the Passover as ultimately a thing in the mind of Jehovah : His sovereignty, at once of mercy and of judgment. (2) What determines His action is the view of the blood on Israel's door. The source of the Redemption is sovereign love : the course of it is, through bleeding sacrifice. This is the quintessence of Jehovahism, which is here being expounded (cp. Jn. i. 18, where “declared Him” is lit.“ expounded "interpreted ” Him): as it is in Jesus “the Lamb of God.” 24. For perpetuation of that religion, there is to be perpetual observance of this ordinance through the ages, bringing that meaning of the religion perpetually into men's view (cp. I Co. xi. 26). 25, 26. The picture-gospel of the ordinance is intended especially to awaken and satisfy curiosity, in particular, in the susceptible mind of youth, from generation to generation. When ye be come --this service. The repetition of the word service (ver. 25) is important, as impressive iteration of the principle, that religious observance is not only a
children shall say unto you, What mean ye by this service ? 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. 28 And the children of Israel went away, and did as the Lord
had commanded Moses and Aaron, so did they. privilege of men, but a duty to God (2 Thes. i. 8). The Passover service, perhaps (Amos v. 25) not kept up in the wilderness, was especially intended for perpetuity in the settled condition of Canaan. The word for keep here is the same as that for observe in ver. 24, and has the force of guardian care (Ps. cxxi.—all about “keeping ”). The natural curiosity of youth (under xiii. 8) is especially in the Redeemer's view in His institution of ordinances (cp. Josh. iv. 6, etc.). 27. That ye
Here (1) is the fundamental instruction, that is to be given through all generations, from year to year ; (2) it is to children that it is to be given ; (3) it is to be by their parents ; (4) it is to be in the words of God; (5) in the only sacramental address ever delivered in the words of God to man. Passover here means, the ordinance. The heart of the Passover as here set forth is sacrifice. The thing which the Passover means is,-SUPERNATURAL REDEMPTION, FROM A COMMON DOOM OF DEATH ON ACCOUNT OF SIN, THROUGH BLEEDING SACRIFICE OF A LAMB AS PRESCRIBED BY GOD.
Bowed—worshipped ; solemn acquiescence and acceptance (cp. iv. 31, xix. 8, and xxiv. 1-8). This includes an engagement to discharge the service of this religion, and to teach its history of redemption, as explained by God, to the children. 28. The people received the injunction through their elders (He. xiii. 7). In this fundamental typical action of the supernatural religion, they simply did what the Redeemer had prescribed (Jn. xiv. 15, 21-24).
NOTE on the Severity of God as appearing in Exodus.—See on the humanely generous character of the Mosaic Code, under xxii. 16-31 ; and as guarding against exaggerations of real severity, see notes on the midnight cry at close of xi., and cut off in xxiii, 23. Paul (Ro. xi. 22), recognising the fact of a divine “severity” manifested in the falling of the unbelieving Jews, speaks of it as having in it a salutary warning to beware of the same offence, lest we too be "cut off”—as unfruitful branches may be cut off from the vine. The view of that "severity he regards as fitted to co-operate with the view of God's “ goodness,” to the beneficent effect of keeping men from presumption of unbelief, which may be presumptuous though despairing (1 Sa. iv.). That shows us a purpose, which is served by the terrific severities of divine judgment upon the Egyptian oppressors, the “abominable” Canaanites, and the “* ungodly” antediluvians. We see the same purpose in the terrific severity toward Israelites, of the penal sanctions attached to the law about dishonouring parents (xxi.), and the law about profaning the altar incense (xxxi.). But the purpose in such cases is not merely, or only, disciplinary, through amendment or determent of those remaining alive. Even the disciplinary purpose would not be served if there were not seen and felt to be a moral element in the case, calling for the judicial process of punishing sin as involving guilt, - which would have place though there had not been any thought of influencing the feeling and the conduct of other men. The salutary effect is essentially dependent upon bringing that conscience into operation (Ro. ii. 14, 15, cp. i. 32), which, whether “excusing” or “accusing,” is simply a judge pronouncing upon merit or demerit, innocence or guilt, according to the
29 And it came to pass, that, at midnight, the Lord smote all
the first-born in the land of Egypt, from the first-born of Pharaoh that sat on his throne, unto the first-born of the captive that was in the dungeon, and all the first-born of
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. 31 And he called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said,
Rise up, and get you forth from among my people, both ye, intrinsic moral character of the action or agent, the disposition or the person, irrespectively of any supposed consequences of execution of the sentences of that “judge within the breast” (Adam Smith, Theory of Moral Sentiments),-whose
“theory” is destroyed by this description of the conscience. Heathenism tends to make sin a mere unfortunate eccentricity (Hamartia, the Gr. word, "missing the-arrow's—mark,” has the double meaning). Prometheus, chained to the rock and torn by vultures, - what does he feel? the criminality of his disobeying the gods? or, simply, the terrible mistake of defying them? Æschylus does not show; and probably does not see. The Bible places morality on a true solid foundation by clearly distinguishing sin from mistake ; and this it does especially, through visible punishment of sin, as distinguished from simply misfortune to weakness or “error” (Lu. xiii. 1-5). Why the severity does not reach alike to all, seeing that all alike “have sinned, and come short of the glory of God," Paul does not know. But he warns us (Ro. ii. 3-11) in view of the severity, which we see to be in God, not to continue in alienation from Him, but to flee into His offered refuge of mercy, as knowing that His goodness, in forbearance and long-suffering, is now leading us to repentance.
2. The foes (vers. 29-36). Their experience of the first Passover night was,—THE LAST PLAGUE. On the supernatural in it, see under ver. 23.
The stroke upon Egypt broke the chain of Israel. 29, 30. At midnight : in deepest night-when terror is most terrific, and most full fraught with the terrific element of confused surprise. That sat : who? Pharaoh? Or his first-born? In all probability the Pharaoh was himself a first-born; but we know he was not likely to be killed by this stroke. And who pursued Israel to the Red Sea ? Only the first-born of a parent then alive was stricken. The plagues went no farther than was strictly necessary for the principle of executing judgment on the community through its representatives (under ver. 12). The deadly agony of terror, finding utterance in that awful cry, begins in the hard heart of Pharaoh, the king who was honoured as a god; and thence it extends throughout all Egypt, among all (the servants) the grandees, and among all (the Egyptians) the common people. Pallida mors æquo pede pulsavit tabernas pauperum arcesque regum ("* Pale death with equal foot struck wide the door of palaces and hovels of the poor"). Not one escaped the plague. All at once, Jehovah struck midnight-of death-in all Egypt. His policy was “thorough.” He adhered to it unshrinking. The lonely captive, even, was not pitied (cp. xi. 5, the same general fact, differently stated). In the dungeon : lit. (as in marg.) house of bondage-probably implying penal servitude, or, at best, the condition of a foreign slave of burden. Not a house ;-i.e. of those containing first-borns. called for Moses. What an awakening his! Let us think of that messenger,
31, 32. He