EXODUS STUDY WITH A CONCENTRATION ON CHAPTER 12
Article by Ted McDivett
In our last study we focused on Israel’s exodus from Egypt and the events that led up to it. The following is a brief review:
We looked at the ten plagues and the fact that they were a show of power of God over the Egyptians and their gods, and also the similar language of such plagues upon the gods of the nations in Revelation that will take place in the latter days. All such miracles manifest the greatness of the God of Israel over all the gods of the other nations.
Then we looked at Exodus 12 in some detail. I mentioned that this chapter might be one of the most important chapters in the Old Testament. The following explains why this is so.
14 MAIN POINTS
1) For one thing, it is a pivotal point in Old Testament history. This is where Israel’s birth as a nation occurs ( Ex. 6:7). Their new life began when the blood of the Passover sacrifice was applied to their doorways.
2) By God making a show of the Egyptian gods and triumphing over them, at the same time He was freeing Israel from Egyptian bondage. (There is a parallel thought in Col. 2:10-15 as to Christ’s triumphing over all that had us enslaved). Israel was to always celebrate Passover to remember the fact that their deliverance from Egyptian bondage (by type – sin) was through the blood of the Passover lamb. We too are to see our deliverance through Christ’s death, entombment and resurrection. In this respect, He is our Passover and by His blood He has delivered us.
3) So Israel as a nation had a birth in Exodus. In the future, Israel will have a new birth (John 3:3, 7). As for the Body of Christ, Paul uses the figure, “new creation” (2Cor. 5:17). This is the more fitting term for us. To create is to bring something into being that wasn’t there before. The Body of Christ is something brand new. We are not as some say, “an extension of Israel.”
4) The Israelites applying the blood to the doorposts was a sign (12:13). It separated them from all others that didn’t have the blood on the doorposts. The blood united them as a people. For us today, upon believing that Christ’s blood was shed for our sakes – the blood is applied to us and we are sealed through the Spirit. This sealing is the work of the Spirit, and in spirit we are united to Christ and to each other.
5) So Israel’s beginning/redemption is based on the death of the lamb. The death of the lamb was crucial! (See 1Pet. 1:19-20; 1Cor. 2:1; John 1:29). Jesus Christ is the Lamb of God. He was the price of redemption. He buys back all that was lost in bondage to Sin. This is why Paul calls Christ our Passover.
6) All the plagues and miracles in relation to the Egyptians and their gods were signs. You could say that signs are their birthright. Israel is to look for signs (see Jn. 2:11; 4:48; 2:23; Acts 15:12). In contrast, we walk by faith, not by perception (2Cor. 5:8).
7) In Exodus 12:3-6 Moses gets specific as to days of the Passover. On the 10th day of the month they were to get a lamb. On the 14th day they were to kill the lamb. In between they were to look for any defects/imperfections of the lamb. It had to be without blemish.
Now think about Jesus before His death. In John 11:55 we read, “Now near was the Passover of the Jews, and many went up into Jerusalem, before the Passover, that they should be purifying themselves. They, then, sought Jesus…
Why were they seeking Jesus? Because they were to look after the Lamb before it was sacrificed. True believers were coming into Jerusalem to seek the Lamb selected. In John 12:12-13 some understood that Christ was coming to be their Messiah. They understood Exodus 12, Psalm 118 and other Psalms. The purpose of Him coming is revealed in John 12:32 and 47. John 13:1 – “Now before the festival of the Passover, Jesus, being aware that His hour came…”
All of these passages are dealing with the time of the Passover. After Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem there was a time of questionings to Him. They were trying to entrap Him
QUESTION – How does this relate back to Exodus 12? Between the 10th and 14th day of the month – between the selecting of the lamb and the killing of the lamb – the people were to keep an eye on the lamb, to observe it to see if it had any imperfections.
With these things in mind, let’s look at Luke 19:47, 48; 20:1-8. In this passage, the chief priests are the Sadducees, the scribes are lawyers, and the elders are the Pharisees. The religious leaders were questioning Jesus not knowing that in doing so, they were proving Him in the 3-day period to be without blemish. So by the leaders questioning Jesus, trying to bring out imperfections in Him, they prove or show Him to be THE LAMB that is taking away the sin of the world.
Bullinger’s notes beginning with John 12:12 are very good. Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem is “the fourth day before the Passover, the 11th of Nisan.” (See also Bullinger’s Appendix 156 – begin with the fourth day).
Therefore much of the opposition and questionings of the Chief Priests, scribes and elders would have been between the 10th and 14th day of the month—thus fulfilling the typology of Exodus 12 when the people were to be checking the Passover lamb for any defects.
8) In Exodus 12:46 we read that no bone of the Passover lamb was to be broken. In John 19:36 we have the fulfillment of this in Christ’s death – “A bone of Him shall not be broken.”
9) Israel was redeemed by the blood of the Passover lamb. They became a set apart people for service to God. In Exodus 12:15 we read that they were told to take the leaven out of the house. They were to physically do that.
“Leaven” quite often symbolizes evil or sin (see Matt. 16:6; Mk. 8:15). Paul says in 1Cor. 5:6-8 that we are to clean out the old leaven, that we may be a fresh kneading, according as we are unleavened. Upon believing, we now have our identity in Christ. We are a new creation, and as such we are to be putting away all that is not pleasing to God (see Col. 3:5-17). As we read in Eph. 4:22, we are to be putting off from us, our former behavior, the old humanity which is corrupted…yet to be rejuvenated in the spirit of our mind, and to put on the new humanity which, in accord with God, is being created in righteousness and benignity of the truth (Eph. 4:22-24).
10) Exodus 12:29 – notice how widespread the killing of the firstborn was. This caused a rapid change in Pharaoh’s demeanor. There is a real urgency in his words – “get out – go.” But notice what he says in verse 32 – “And bless me also.” This phrase implies that he still views himself as a god. The word “also” implies as Israel is blessed by serving their God – bless me – honor me – praise me also.
The other interesting thing is their plundering of Egypt. It is sort of like their wages for all their forced labor (see 12:36 and 21:22). God is giving them a paid wage for all their work.
Notice too in 12:37, in describing the exodus, there was also a mixed multitude. This would include Egyptians but also other people enslaved that attached themselves to Israel. Some would have believed in Yahweh while others would have been taking advantage of the situation. Egypt was a world power at that time, so there could have been representatives of many nations. This mixed multitude became a problem in Numbers 11:4.
11) Exodus 12:40, 41 – Why 430 years? Compare Gen. 15:13 (400 years). Also Acts 7:6. How do we explain this difference in years? The sojourning of Gen. 12 goes from the promise given to Abraham in Gen. 12:1-3. Notice in the “KJV” for Ex. 12:40 the words, “who dwelt in Egypt” are in parenthesis. This is used to further define the People and connect the 2 parts of their history. The “sojourning” is a different subject from the “dwelling” in Egypt.
There are 2 reckonings of the sojourning:
1) One starting from the promise to Abraham (Gen. 12:1-3; Gal. 3:17) to the exodus = 430 years.
2) The other starting from the recognition of his “seed” (Israel) (Gen. 21:12; Gen 15:13; Acts 7:6 = 400 years.
12)In Ex. 12:37, we read, “And the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth…” Interesting, “Rameses” = Egypt and “Succoth” = booths/tabernacles. God is taking them from bondage/slavery to the kingdom and it all began with the Passover lamb.
Ezek. 20 describes another exodus still in the future that is much greater than the exodus out of Egypt. It will be a fulfillment of the feast days given to Israel. There will be a Passover that is connected with the exodus described in Ezek. 20 and it will lead to the feast of Tabernacles.
Thus, the future greater exodus of Israel from all the nations will lead to the feast of Tabernacles (Lev. 23:33-44; Zech. 14:16).
The meanings of the 2 cities mentioned in Ex. 12:37 point to these things.
13) Moses in Exodus 12 is similar to John the Baptist in that he is leading the nation toward God. But Moses is also a picture of Jesus. Near the end of the future latter days when God’s covenant People will be afflicted and persecuted by the lawless one/the antichrist/beast and false prophet (of whom Pharaoh was a picture), Christ will deliver them and will bring them into the kingdom of His Father.
This is the big picture of Exodus 12. Israel will be delivered and given the land God has always promised them, and the other nations will have access to God.
14) Exodus 12 and the Body of Christ.
The name of the book is taken from Ex. 12:51 where we read, “Israel out of the land of Egypt.” Chapter 12 speaks of a new life (12:1-2). Ex. 13:3 speaks of a new liberation -- out of the house of slavery/bondage. They are freed from the bondage of Egypt. It cannot be stressed enough that this new life began with the Passover lamb.
So first and foremost, the exodus is a new life. It also brings new liberty and new fellowship/communion (12:14). This fellowship is symbolized in celebration of a festival. It’s a time of rejoicing; a rejoicing of a new life and new freedom. And the exodus is also a beginning of a new assurance (Ex. 6:7-8). God is going to be doing things for them. They had the following assurances: 1) God was taking them for a People. 2) He will be their God. 3) They will know Him as Yahweh—their God Who delivered them from the burdens of the Egyptians. 4) He will bring them unto the land that He promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. 5) He will give the land to them for a heritage.
So 4 blessings are associated with the exodus:
2) new liberty
4) assurance from God
1) Do we have new life? Israel was in a house of slavery and they could not get out without God’s help. We too were in servitude to Sin, without hope, strangers of the covenant, and without God in the world (Rom. 6; Eph. 2:12), but in Romans 6 we see that we have been given a new life (v.4-14). In 2Cor. 5:17 we are referred to as a “new creation.” (See also 1Cor. 6:19, 20 – We have been bought with a price.)
2) How about liberty? Just as Israel was not to go back to Egypt, so we are not to go back into slavery (law/legalism). Read Gal. 5:1-4. In verse 8 Paul writes, “This persuasion is not out of Him Who is calling you.” In other words, God has called us into freedom, not slavery/legalism.
3) How about fellowship? See 1Cor. 1:9 – “Faithful is God, through Whom you were called into fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord.” This fellowship is a collective thing. See also 2Cor. 8:4-5. We first have fellowship with our Savior and this flows over into every other area of our life. This goes into our service. In our service to the saints, we are giving to Yahweh. So our service to our Lord creates a second fellowship of service to the saints.
4) How about new assurances? The Body of Christ has assurance that God will take us from the earth to our home in the heavens (Phil. 3:20; Eph. 2:6; Heb. 3:1; 10:34; 1Thess. 4:17-18; Gal. 1:4). Until then we have the assurance that He seals us (2Cor. 1:22; 2Cor. 5:5; Eph. 1:13-14).
In closing, I hope those reading this article will see as I am just beginning to see, how much typology there is in Exodus 12. I’m sure we haven’t even scratched the surface of what should be grasped.