Saturday, January 22, 2011

Exodus 12-14 Passover and the Escape

Exodus 12-14

God commands the Israelites to slaughter and eat a lamb, using it's blood to mark their doors so he will know to "pass over" their homes.

Question, God has spared the Israelites from the rest of the plagues without special preparation.  Why do it now?
To me this seems like an insertion into the story to explain dogma.
I believe it is also the first of God's VERY specific instructions to his people (not counting Noah, an individual).

"for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel." Again God's rules seem AWFULLY harsh.

We also see a repeating of the same rule.  Exodus 12:15 and 12:19.  And Exodus 13 REALLY drives it home.  OK, we get it! ;-)

Mosses finally looks like a worthy prophet as he commands the Israelites out of Egypt and across the Red Sea.  And Moses and the Israelites lived happily ever after.  Right?


  1. Frankly I don't know where to begin with chapter 12, so I'll go chronologically.

    #1. Sacrifice a lamb and smear some blood on the doors of your houses to be spared the plague. Why? He seems to have avoided blighting the Israelites in Goshen up to this point. (as Bruce points out). Can't an omnipotent god keep track of who is on the naughty list and who is on the nice list?

    #2. Be sure to eat the lamb (roasted ONLY) while girding your loins and wearing your shoes. And eat it hastily. Huh?

    #3. Absolutely, positively NO leavened bread! A mass murder is about to go down so obviously any sort of carb loading would be frowned upon. What?!

    #4. Every firstborn in Egypt is then killed. "...unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon. ". I could almost (not quite, but almost) see doing this to the pharaoh and maybe even his priests. They had a chance to change course and didn't take it. But everyone?

    This is a slaughter of infants and children. I simply can't justify this as good in any way or deem it worthy of worship.

  2. @Bruce
    "I believe it is also the first of God's VERY specific instructions to his people (not counting Noah, an individual)."
    No Abraham (Genesis 17:10)

  3. So the Almighty can infallibly detect who was born first, but he can't tell a hebrew from an Egyptian.
    The cooking instructions are explicit, but "firstborn" is not well defined. Is it the sire's firstborn or the dam's? And if your firstborn was the child of your dead husband fathered by his brother and your second child was your second husband's first child, do they both die? And what about Conjoined twins?
    Yeah, if we had been there as negotiators, we would still be ironing out the details, the ten commandments would not be written, and Alabama courthouses would have bare walls.

  4. @Barbara
    "So the Almighty can infallibly detect who was born first, but he can't tell a hebrew from an Egyptian."

    There are two things to look at here
    1. Many of the Egyptians seeing that the land of Goshen was not being plagued the people started to relocate to it. So now you have Egyptians living side-by-side with Hebrews. Now some of the Egyptians took the God of the Hebrews. So we get into point 2
    2. Follow simple orders. (MHC) "For the protection of Israel from this plague they were ordered to sprinkle the blood of the lamb upon the door-posts, their doing which would be accepted as an instance of their faith in the divine warnings and their obedience to the divine precepts." This is the only time i remember they were requested to do anything during this campaign for freedom.

  5. Bruce i thought i would point this out. Matthew Henry is more learned then me so i am just going to give you what he says. There are 4 points, i have only placed two here. If anyone is interested i will add the other two.
    1. The paschal lamb was typical. Christ is our Passover, I Corinthians 5:7 (1.) It was to be a lamb; and Christ is the Lamb of God (John 1:29), often in the Revelation called the Lamb, meek and innocent as a lamb, dumb before the shearers, before the butchers. (2.) It was to be a male of the first year ( 5), in its prime; Christ offered up himself in the midst of his days, not in infancy with the babes of Bethlehem. It denotes the strength and sufficiency of the Lord Jesus, on whom our help was laid. (3.) It was to be without blemish ( 5), denoting the purity of the Lord Jesus, a Lamb without spot, 1 Peter. 1:19. The judge that condemned him (as if his trial were only like the scrutiny that was made concerning the sacrifices, whether they were without blemish or no) pronounced him innocent. (4.) It was to be set apart four days before ( 3, 6), denoting the designation of the Lord Jesus to be a Saviour, both in the purpose and in the promise. It is very observable that as Christ was crucified at the passover, so he solemnly entered into Jerusalem four days before, the very day that the paschal lamb was set apart. (5.) It was to be slain, and roasted with fire ( 6-9), denoting the exquisite sufferings of the Lord Jesus, even unto death, the death of the cross. The wrath of God is as fire, and Christ was made a curse for us. (6.) It was to be killed by the whole congregation between the two evenings, that is, between three o'clock and six. Christ suffered in the end of the world (Hebrews 9:26), by the hand of the Jews, the whole multitude of them (Luke 23:18), and for the good of all his spiritual Israel. (7.) Not a bone of it must be broken ( 46), which is expressly said to be fulfilled in Christ (John 19:33,36), denoting the unbroken strength of the Lord Jesus.

    2. The sprinkling of the blood was typical. (1.) It was not enough that the blood of the lamb was shed, but it must be sprinkled, denoting the application of the merits of Christ's death to our souls; we must receive the atonement, Romans 5:11. (2.) It was to be sprinkled with a bunch of hyssop ( 22) dipped in the basin. The everlasting covenant, like the basin, in the conservatory of this blood, the benefits and privileges purchased by it are laid up for us there; faith is the bunch of hyssop by which we apply the promises to ourselves and the benefits of the blood of Christ laid up in them. (3.) It was to be sprinkled upon the door-posts, denoting the open profession we are to make of faith in Christ, and obedience to him, as those that are not ashamed to own our dependence upon him. The mark of the beast may be received on the forehead or in the right hand, but the seal of the Lamb is always in the forehead, Revelation. 7:3. There is a back-way to hell, but no back-way to heaven; no, the only way to this is a high-way, Isaiah 35:8. (4.) It was to be sprinkled upon the lintel and the sideposts, but not upon the threshold ( 7), which cautions us to take heed of trampling under foot the blood of the covenant, Hebrews 10:29. It is precious blood, and must be precious to us. (5.) The blood, thus sprinkled, was a means of the preservation of the Israelites from the destroying angel, who had nothing to do where the blood was. If the blood of Christ be sprinkled upon our consciences, it will be our protection from the wrath of God, the curse of the law, and the damnation of hell, Romans 8:1.

  6. Question, God has spared the Israelites from the rest of the plagues without special preparation. Why do it now?

    I assume that there was a traditional "Passover" celebration, and a pre-existing set of instructions for holding it was placed in the context of the plague narrative.

    E-L-N reads to me like the editors had stacks of old law and placed them in Moses's mouth at the most appropriate places in the narrative. (Mostly this was when Moses went to Mt. Sinai/Horeb, which is why we spend *so much time* on that one event.)

    My annotated Bible asserts that 12:1-20 (P law) is from the post-exilic period because it refers to Nisan (the month passover falls into, our March or April) as the "first month" of the year. (Whereas pre-exile, the new year began in the fall.) I know *nothing* about the Israelite calendar system so I am going to research this later. But if true, it points to a late date for P.

    In 13:3, Moses states that it is the month of Abib, which is another name for Nisan. This appears to be E's version of Passover.

    "That is why I sacrifice to the LORD the first birth of every womb if it is male and redeem every first-born of my sons." Uh, so the Israelites sacrificed their first-born? Like Abraham almost did? (Also an E text.)

    13:17: The Philistines were on the southwest corner of Canaan. It would have been a lot quicker to head that way. Fun fact about the Philistines: they were Mycenaean Greeks!

    13:20-21: I love the storm-god imagery. Very "Lost".

    14, the famous red-sea episode, is a dense mix of JE and P that can be divided into two coherent narratives. JE involves the storm-god pushing back the water with an east wind (an all-night process). Then, in the morning, he charges through the Egyptian's camp doing his best "smoke monster from Lost" act. The Egyptians freak out and run into the dry seabed, which is when the waters receded and drowned them all, leaving them dead on the riverbanks.

    In P, YHWH has to glorify himself to Pharaoh, so he has Charlton Heston use his magic staff to part the Red Sea in the famous manner- walls of water to left and right, bare ground below. The Israelites pass through the dead sea (which they didn't do in JE) and as the Egyptians follow, Moses releases the water and they are all washed away.

    The next chapter is the old poem the JE story was based on.

  7. @ betterthanesdras

    Thanks for yet another excellent exposition. But part of me wants you to stop with the excellent commentary - you are making me feel lazy soaking up the information you post rather than going and finding it for myself! :)

  8. I want to respond to some of David's comments.

The part about girding up their loins and eating unleavened bread, etc., has to do with the fact that they would need to leave in a hurry. Pharaoh had changed his mind before. Why wouldn't he again? (and he did). Most of the commands were for the people of Israel to leave quickly. Leaven takes time. This is a simplistic explanation; there is more to it. But this is sufficient.

One must realize how important this story is to understanding the rest of the BIble, the Old and the New Testament. Without understanding this story, the rest of the Bible is an enigma.

    This story is about the power of God. And God is teaching both Egypt and Israel about His power. Israel was captive in Egypt, therefore Israel's God must be weak, and Egypt's gods must be strong. So God used every plague to attack a god of Egypt. The last plague was against Pharaoh himself. A Pharaoh earlier had tried to do kill all the male babies (not just the firstborn) of Israel. Now God would kill all of Egypt's firstborn. I doubt if anyone at the time missed this connection. Moses was one of the boys that Pharaoh had missed.

    But God provided a way out. All anyone had to do was believe God's words. After nine plagues that put down Egypt gods, one would think most people would believe God's words. All God required of anyone was for them put the blood of a lamb on the lintel and the two doorposts of their house, and and they and their household would be saved by the blood of the lamb. Sound familiar? It should if one has been to church on Easter, which is on Passover.

    God judged all of Egypt because a nation is responsible for their leader's actions. You will see this later with the kings of Israel. But the people of Egypt had also heard the same commands that the people of Israel had heard and did not obey them.

    Can't justify the celebration of the slaughter of infants? What happened today in 1973? Many people celebrated that act of slaughter today. And they also called it good. So I guess to determine which slaughter was good (if one must word it that way) depends on which god one serves.

  9. God has special instructions for the people concerning the last plague because he has something to teach them. The deliverance at the Passover will become a metaphor through Israel's history of God's deliverance of his own people, and a type that points forward to ultimate deliverance for all through Christ.

    Perhaps his commands seem harsh but a. you have to remember the culture and context; and b. Presumably someone who hears God's instruction and feels free to disregard them is a person who is in purposeful rebellion. In other words, they are blatantly siding against God, not merely forgetting what he said.

  10. @Phil Smith

    The "girding your loins" explanation does make some sense in that a hasty departure was expected. Thanks.

    As far as slaughter goes, I don't know anyone who "celebrates" it. Neither do I believe in holding every citizen of a nation responsible for the actions of a ruler. Phaaohs weren't democratically elected. The killing of the firstborns applied even to "captives" - people who would have had no opportunity to choose a different fate. These passages remain morally bamkrupt to me.

  11. I've always found comfort in dealing with these stories of yahweh's brutal and uncompromising violence by remembering that it is highly unlikely that any of these events actually happened. It's like getting upset about something Odin is reputed to have done.

  12. "But God provided a way out. All anyone had to do was believe God's words."

    Why, then, does God not inform the Egyptians they can save themselves by the same method ("believ[ing] God's words")? According to 12:1, God only tells Moses and Aaron how to get out of this predicament. There's no evidence they ever passed the news on to the Egyptians. It's disingenuous to argue the Egyptians could have saved themselves by following instructions if the instructions were deliberately withheld from them.

    "Can't justify the celebration of the slaughter of infants? What happened today in 1973? Many people celebrated that act of slaughter today. And they also called it good."

    I would not be here today if my mother had not had access to a safe, legal abortion in 1974. I am grateful for the sacrifice that person-in-progress made so that I could live. That is NOT the same thing as celebrating the mass slaughter of already-born children on the grounds that the community's adults failed to follow instructions they were never given in the first place. Please, compare apples to apples here.

  13. What of Exodus 13:19 and the carrying away of Jacobs bones? It seems more like a pagan practice than one of the Israelites. Digging up someones remains would make it seem like there is a connection between the bones, and the deceased. Perhaps he was just fulfilling a promise.

  14. Let's look at the Passover Lamb...why so specific?

    Perhaps this in itself is a prophecy of things to come. Again, the main problem here is that the nation of God is separated from him due to sin (spiritually speaking, and in the big picture physically). God provides a way to save His people from certain death.

    He provides a blameless lamb and this is a very VERY important part to remember when we get to the gospels. It was an important instruction to make sure that no bones of this lamb were to be broken. Once the lamb was killed it's blood was put over the door posts and inside that door hid God's nation being spared due to the death (justice) of a blameless animal.

    This is one of the first (the first was in Genisus 3:15 2nd part) pictures of Gospel, and it will repeat itself over and over again. God loves his people and provides a way to save them.

    i'd really love to hear your thoughts on this one Bruce.

  15. What of Exodus 13:19 and the carrying away of Jacobs bones? It seems more like a pagan practice than one of the Israelites.

    I don't think the term "pagan" is a useful one, but there are a bajillion weird things the Israelites did that have a deep connection to their Canaanite past, and nothing to do with any modern theism.

    Just wait until the book of Judges.

  16. @Paul "What of Exodus 13:19 and the carrying away of Jacobs bones?"

    This is just a guess, but I'm wondering if Joseph's request back in Gen. 50 about his bones being buried in the Promised Land may be a precursor of sorts looking toward the doctrine of the resurrection from the dead. While it hasn't yet been explicitly stated in the text at this point, as everyone has already seen, the Bible is full of types and hints and foreshadowing of all kinds that serve to support essential doctrines. Some argue that the people of the OT had no belief in the final resurrection of the dead, but Isaiah 26:19, Job 19:25-26, and Daniel 12:2 are examples that show that to be false. Perhaps it was important to Joseph (if he in fact did know about the future resurrection), to have his resurrection take place in the Promised Land.

    As an interesting aside, I've heard that historically, Christians and Jews generally didn't practice cremation of the dead, and rather used burial to illustrate their faith in the ultimate resurrection. I don't know if that's true, though.

  17. @Phil Smith: Ever since I started voting in the late 90s, I've voted Democratic. I refuse to be held responsible for my nation's leaders' actions during the past decade. ;)

    I do agree that these plagues are deity warfare. God is trying to make a name for himself. Is He justified in his violence against Egypt when establishing this? My gut reaction is a visceral no. If you are the one true god, why are you punishing the majority of your creation just because you haven't revealed yourself to them before? In just a few more chapters, he strives to establish himself as a god of justice, and yet here he demonstrates no justice when announcing himself to one of the largest civilizations in the ancient world.

    But what if we just view his actions in terms of what needs to be done to free Israel and punish Egypt? Nevermind for now the fact that God is directly responsible for this situation, is God's violence against Egypt justified? Is the slaughter of infants good in this case? Can violence and bloodshed ever be justifiable? If it can be, what are the circumstances? Bringing in a seemingly unrelated subject, I suggest watching/listening/reading session 10 of the brilliant civil war lecture by Yale's David Blight. He's dealing with the actions of John Brown, an old testament revolutionary if there ever was one in our modern times. The goosebumps start about a third of the way in.

    "When is a cause so just that the means justify the end? When is violence in a moral cause justified? Is it ever justified? Go answer those questions in an ethics course, go answer those questions in a politics course, go answer those questions in a history course, and you have one of the hardest questions of all. Was John Brown a midnight terrorist or a revolutionary hero?"

  18. @Matt33: I've seen nothing in these chapters that suggest the problem is that the nation of God is separated from him due to sin. Where, within the context of the chapters we've read so far and *not* a retro-fitted reference from the NT, are you seeing this? And I don't understand how Genesis 3:15 has anything to do with this. My version (ESV) reads:

    "I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel."

    What's this got to do with using lambs and lambs blood?

  19. @Diomedes: I'll try to keep this short but to the point, cuz there are books upon books that expound upon this. Lets tackle the first question.

    How does sin separate Israel from God? Sin separated Israel from God with Adam. This sin led to man being separated from God, b/c God is holy and cannot let sin remain in his presence (which is glorious and holy). This sin nature is passed down from generation to generation, someone previously in the blog asked the question "do you have you to teach your children how to lie or disobey?" Of course not, it just happened b/c it's their nature. I know this is heavily debated, but I don't want to get into that debate. All men (including Israel) are separated from God due to their nature of sin. This sin is the catalyst through history that drives man away from God and causes God to pursue man. He does this in the old testament by creating a covenant with Abraham (his new nation) that will show the world how God wants man to live (don't think in a rules and regulations way, but think of it as this is how God the creator of life wants to point man back to Him, who gives life). I know this is very brief, forgive me if it's not clear. If it's not please tell me!

    I'll answer your other question in a different post right below this one.

  20. @Dani
    "Why, then, does God not inform the Egyptians they can save themselves by the same method ("believ[ing] God's words")? According to 12:1, God only tells Moses and Aaron how to get out of this predicament."

    Can you point out where He does not warn them? Yes God is telling Moses and Aaron, yet in version 3 God tells them to speak unto "the congregation of Israel". And in 12:38 "And a mixed multitude went up also with them" This can lead one to believe that some Egyptians associated themselves with the congregation of Israel.

  21. @Diomedes: Ok, I'll do my best not to reference the NT, but I'll have to since I mentioned Genisus 3:15 is prophecy. Also, this is really hard to summarize in this format.

    In Genisus, God is speaking to the serpent (some people don't believe this is Satan, but as we read through the bible I believe we'll see while using context that it actually is, let's assume this is true for this point please). Pay attention to the 2nd part of vrs 15. "He shall bruise your head and you shall bruise his heal" This is a prophecy that an offspring of Eve will overcome satan.

    This offspring is Jesus, who in many analogies/prophecies is known as the perfect lamb.

    The lamb in the Passover is a way of showing that God's nation's issue with slavery from egypt and slavery from sin is being taken care of by the blood of a blameless animal (the animal is taking on the sin of the person(s)). Yes it is the instruction that God gave Israel to save their 1st born from dying, but it is a parallel of what God is and will provide for them spiritually as well.

    This is a super summary, so again if it's not clear please let me know! Thanks!

  22. However that is very much a Christian notion not a modern Jewish notion and even less so I suspect an ancient Jewish notion.

    A few thoughts

    1. We have two reasons why the dough it unleavened. One the law ordering it not to be leavened and two leaving so fast it didn't have time to rise.

    2. The Exodus story should probably also be considered in light of the more historical Babylonian exile and return especially since the version we have was written about that time (though earlier versions certainly existed).

    3. The story has often appealed to people who are being oppressed (think slaves in the United States). I wonder how often the slave owners had these bits of Exodus read aloud in churches.

  23. Some observations:

    Chapter 12:
    It's notable that god needs a sign of who's Hebrew and not.
    The children of Israel "borrowed of the Egyptians jewels" - did I miss something? Did they steal the jewels, or will they return them later?

    Chapter 13:
    Verse 12: "That thou shalt set apart unto the LORD all that openeth the matrix..." The matrix? Seriously? Cooool!

    Chapter 14
    Verse 4 "And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, that he shall follow after them; and I will be honoured upon Pharaoh ...". What does this mean? It sounds like God is consorting with the Egyptians now.

    I'm still excited about the matrix reference though. Are there Star Trek references later? ;p

  24. @Kim and @Paul
    Kim you are kinda correct, it's in Genesis chapter 49 verse 30-32. I really don't think people read the verse or they don't have the KJV. It says right in there in Exodus 13:19 And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him: for he had straitly sworn the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you; and ye shall carry up my bones away hence with you.

  25. @ Dani

    I rejoice with you that you are here. And I realize that this is a tender issue for you. Unfortunately, abortion is argued from an "either/or" position, completely one way or completely the other way. Therefore we have 50 million who have died so that a few might live. It has become another form of safe, legal contraception.

    There are no oranges here, Dani. Egypt was warned and instructed. The Bible is clear about this. Even if they didn't have clear details about the last plague (and they did), they were warned again and again. They had rejected God. Permit me to digress for a moment. Moses did not introduce God to the Egyptians--Joseph did. Genesis states that Joseph was a Father to Pharaoh, meaning that he taught Pharaoh and Egypt about God. Then in Exodus a new Pharaoh arose who forgot Joseph. It doesn't mean he forgot who he was, but he forgot (purposely) Joseph's God. So Egypt along with Pharaoh rejected God. Most of Israel had too, which was part of the reason Moses fled Egypt.

    So Moses was reintroducing God to Egypt and the Israelites. Prior to the tenth plague, Egypt had experienced nine debilitating and deadly plagues. Did Egypt repent? No. So no one can say that the Egyptians weren't warned.

    Moses did tell Pharaoh of the tenth plague. In Exodus 11:4-8, he proclaims the plague. And then it says that "he went out from Pharaoh in great anger." So Pharaoh and Egypt knew what was coming.

    The Egyptians knew the instructions, too. In Exodus 12:37, we are told how many how many Israelites left Egypt. V. 38 says that "a mixed multitude went up with them," meaning people other than Israelites. So people other than the Israelites did hear the instructions.

    So why does the Bible otherwise indicate that only the Israelites were told the instructions? Because they were the only ones who were listening. The Egyptians had rejected nine warnings. Yet as Exodus 12:38 indicate, some did heed the instructions.

  26. On another note is really good to hear all the Pro-Life people that are in this community. I am really encouraged to see them be so bold and vocal about their beliefs.

    For the others that think the actions taken in this campaign are bad, says who? And please don't use lumber from my world-view to build yours.

  27. @Skepticali
    I Kings 14:25,26 records the Egyptians being paid back. :-D
    Yes there are. We have the transporter. I referenced these in an earlier post. But here they are again, with a few more that i did not use before. Luke 24:31; John 6:19-21; 20:26 Acts 8:39. I am trying to remember if there are any more.

  28. @Erp
    Ya you are right about slaves in the USA. That's why they called Harriet Ross Tubman "Moses". She is also know as Moses of her people. She passed on March 1913, at the age of 93. Not that long ago i would say.

  29. @Matt33: Where in Exodus up to this point does it explicitly say Israel is separated from God because of sin? If anything, God is moving away from man on his own. Look at his involvement with Abe, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph. With Abe, He's a major character in the story. By the time we get to Joseph, God has receded from the story and is only spoken of as a way to explain Joseph's management talent. And this is never explained, let alone contributed to Adam & Eve's original disobeying of God.

  30. @Diomedes: It doesn't explicitly say, "Israel is separated from God because of sin". But I think it does make it very clear that all of man is separated from God b/c of sin.

    Just because God is not mentioned in a story doesn't mean he's moving away from man. That's like saying, "If you stop thinking of the oxygen in the air, the oxygen must not be there anymore" However, you're still alive so the oxygen must still be there. Don't try to define God by how many times he's mentioned in the story. God defines the story, not the other way around.

    I think as we read through the entire story of God, the overarching theme will be even though man moves away from God, ULTIMATELY God pursues man.

  31. @Erp

    2. The Exodus story should probably also be considered in light of the more historical Babylonian exile and return especially since the version we have was written about that time (though earlier versions certainly existed).

    This is interesting, but the original exodus narrative (J and E) is considered to date to centuries before the Babylonian/Egyptian exodus following the fall of Jerusalem. P, by some accounts, is post-exilic, but it clearly follows JE. I'm just wondering what you're basing this on. I'm not disputing you! I would be very interested to hear other source models.

  32. The combination of JE and P is certainly post-exilic so the combo story (JE, P, and redactor) as we have it should be read with that in mind. We might want to look back when we get to Ezra and Nehemiah.

    Another point is the 'Red Sea' is a mistranslation of 'Reed Sea'.

  33. We must not forget that we come to the text with our own lens; we are shaped by our particular contexts. For, perhaps, most of us reading this blog that means we have post-Englightenment, 21st Century, Western, Amercian glasses.

    What seems odd to us in our context is not so odd to so many people in the world. We bring our assumptions, our presuppositions of morality to the text.

    The other thing I want to mention is that the Exodus and Mt. Sinai sequences are identity forming for the Israelites. Please remember that post-Exodus is the context for hearing their history pre-Exodus.

    They are experiencing deliverance, and they follow Moses who speaks/leads on behalf this deity who has revealed his name YHWH (in the Ancient Near East, if a person/people possessed the name of a deity, they controlled the deity). Yet, this deity YHWH has revealed his name and the Israelites are witnessing his actions. They do not control him; He is their Elohim (pretty generic word for deity) and they are his people (covenantal language commonly expressing a relationship).

    Pre-exodus gives the Israelites the theological foundation that YHWH is the Elohim, who enters into history and redeems. They are learning who this God is, especially in relationship to the other cultures around them.

  34. @ Bruce and Edward...
    I believe it is also the first of God's VERY specific instructions to his people (not counting Noah, an individual).

    My answer: Adam and Eve (Genesis 2: 16-18)...God told Adam flat out not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.

    FYI: Catholics are now taught that Adam and Eve is officially a parable. The church has been teaching that for some time now.

    This AWESOME LINK!!! You can find the whole parable thing under the section called "What's Original Sin About?" Paragraphs 3-5.

  35. @ Bruce...

    Question, God has spared the Israelites from the rest of the plagues without special preparation. Why do it now?

    My Answer...According to 6:12 Moses is not being listened to by the Israelites.

    Re-Read 6:9...They were broken in spirit because of slavery.

    Perhaps God was giving the whole Congregation Of Israel the chance to be saved... the ones who turned bitter and lost faith, the chance to believe in Him again. So He got everyone involved in a Hands-on group activity.

    12:47 somewhat supports this.

    just good ol' Faith that God has a plan for all of us and that our earthly death is only the beginning of Everlasting Life.

  36. Q: Moses finally looks like a worthy prophet as he commands the Israelites out of Egypt and across the Red Sea. And Moses and the Israelites lived happily ever after. Right?

    A: Sure...remember the final destination.

  37. @Tom
    I stand corrected. Awesome catch. Thanks for that.

  38. @Erp
    "Another point is the 'Red Sea' is a mistranslation of 'Reed Sea'."

    That has been argued allot, but Red Sea is correct. It is most likely the Gulf of Aqaba.