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Exodus 7-13
TitleExodus 7-13
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsBreitenstein, Wally
EditorHalverson, Taylor
Book TitleOld Testament Minute: Exodus
Volume2
PublisherBook of Mormon Central
CitySpringville, UT

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Exodus 7:1–2

At the end of Chapter 6, Pharaoh still had not let Moses’s people go. This was frustrating to Moses, who was called by God to lead that task. Even when Moses used the authoritative statement “Thus saith the Lord” in dealing with Pharaoh, Pharaoh replied, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the Lord, neither will I let Israel go” [Exodus 5:2]. In verse 1, the Lord told the prophet Moses that He would make Moses as a god to Pharaoh, and He would make Aaron as if he were Moses’s prophet, which meant that God would instruct Moses, then Moses would direct Aaron, and Aaron, as spokesman, would speak with the Pharaoh. Pharaoh once again heard the commandment to let the children of Israel go.

Source: Book of Exodus Minute by W. Breitenstein

Exodus 7:3–7

Moses was eighty years old when he and Aaron spoke to Pharaoh. In these verses, God reaffirmed that He was in control of delivering the children of Israel out of Egypt (see Chapter 4). Moses and Aaron were God’s messengers to the Pharaoh and the Egyptians, but by God’s hand would the Hebrews be delivered. Concerning the commandment that Pharaoh received from Moses to let his people go, God hardened Pharaoh’s heart and He would continue to show signs and wonders in order to convince Pharaoh to obey. However, Pharaoh did not obey, as part of God’s plan. God could then judge Egypt for disobeying. These judgments would lead to Egypt becoming aware who the true God is.

Source: Book of Exodus Minute by W. Breitenstein

Exodus 7:8–13

In Chapter 4, we saw how God demonstrated a sign to Moses by turning his staff into a serpent. Aaron demonstrated the same sign before Pharaoh: he threw down his staff and it turned into a serpent. Pharaoh was not impressed and had his own magicians duplicate the act. They succeeded, but Aaron’s staff “swallowed up their [staffs].” In ancient Egypt, the serpent represented deity. Pharaoh was shown who the true deity was: the Lord. The sign of the staff would be followed by ten plagues.

Source: Book of Exodus Minute by W. Breitenstein

Exodus 7:14–21

Pharaoh still refused to let the children of Israel go. Therefore, God instructed Moses to tell Pharaoh that God had sent Moses to perform another sign. God told Moses to take a staff, stand at the Nile River’s edge with Pharaoh present, and strike the river so that its waters would turn into blood, making it unfit to drink. Moses and Aaron did as God instructed—Aaron took his staff and turned all the waters of Egypt into blood while Pharaoh and his servants witnessed this act. This was the first of the ten plagues.

 

Source: Book of Exodus Minute by W. Breitenstein

Exodus 7:22–25

Pharaoh’s magicians also duplicated the act of turning river water into blood. However, Pharaoh’s heart was still hardened, just as the Lord had said, so Pharaoh still would not let the children of Israel go.

Source: Book of Exodus Minute by W. Breitenstein

Exodus 8:1–7

The Lord again told Moses to ask Pharaoh to let the people go. If Pharaoh refused, then the Lord would cover the entire land with frogs from the river. The frogs would be everywhere, even on Pharaoh and his people. Moses instructed Aaron to cause frogs to come out of the river and to cover the land of Egypt. Pharaoh’s magicians once again duplicated the act.

Source: Book of Exodus Minute by W. Breitenstein

Exodus 8:8–15

Pharaoh, seeing the infestation of frogs, asked Moses and Aaron to plead with the Lord to remove the frogs from the land. He then let Moses’s people go so that they could serve and worship the Lord. Moses promised that the frogs would be removed the next day. Pharaoh’s magicians, who also brought frogs onto the land, were to not be able to remove them. Moses proved to Pharaoh that there is only one true God: “There is none like unto [Him].” Only He could remove the frogs. Moses and Aaron asked the Lord to remove the frogs and the Lord did so; however, Pharaoh continued to harden his heart, just as the Lord had anticipated, and did not let the Hebrews go.

Source: Book of Exodus Minute by W. Breitenstein

Exodus 8:16–19

The third of the ten plagues was an infestation of lice throughout Egypt. Lice were everywhere, on humans and animals. Pharaoh’s magicians tried to duplicate the plague but could not, nor could they get rid of the lice. The magicians recognized the hand of God in the infestation and even brought that fact up to their king.

Source: Book of Exodus Minute by W. Breitenstein

Exodus 8:20–24

Once again, the Lord commanded Pharoah to let the people go. If Pharaoh rejected that plea, then the next day, the Lord would send a massive swarm of flies to plague him and his people. To even further prove that God was all powerful, He would exclude the land of Goshen, the place where the people of Israel resided, from the swarm. The flies came into Egypt, even into Pharaoh’s house, and the land was devastated. This was the fourth of ten plagues.

Source: Book of Exodus Minute by W. Breitenstein

Exodus 8:25–28

Pharaoh agreed to let Moses’s people go to serve God and offer sacrifices, but the people had to stay in Egypt. However, the Egyptians detested the sacrifices (particularly of cows) that the people of Israel offered. According to Moses, the people of Egypt would stone those that offered such sacrifices, as cows were sacred to the Egyptians. Moses told Pharaoh that the people would continue to offer sacrifices the way that God instructed them to. Pharaoh gave them permission to go into the wilderness, though not too far out. Pharaoh even requested that, while there, Moses pray for him, as the swarms of flies were still in Egypt.

Source: Book of Exodus Minute by W. Breitenstein

Exodus 8:29–32

Moses acknowledged Pharaoh’s request to pray for him, particularly that the swarms of flies would be gone. However, Pharaoh was told to not continue his deception of saying that he would release the people of Israel and then not do so. Moses prayed to the Lord, and the Lord removed the flies. However, Pharaoh persisted in his deceit and did not let the people of Israel go.

Source: Book of Exodus Minute by W. Breitenstein

Exodus 9:1–5

God instructed Moses to again ask Pharaoh to release the children of Israel from Egypt. If Pharaoh did not, God would send infectious diseases which would affect all the livestock in Egypt. The word “murrain” is an umbrella term covering various infectious diseases that affect livestock and other animals. The livestock belonging to the children of Israel, however, would not be affected. This was the fifth plague brought upon Egypt.

Notice how Moses again used the authoritative statement “Thus saith the Lord God of the Hebrews” as he spoke with Pharaoh. Notice also that it is the Lord who would deliver Moses’s people: “Behold, the hand of the Lord is upon [thine animals].”

Source: Book of Exodus Minute by W. Breitenstein

Exodus 9:6–7

The next day, as promised, all the livestock of Egypt was infected with disease. However, not one animal belonging to the children of Israel died. Despite this event, Pharaoh still did not release the children of Israel from slavery.

Source: Book of Exodus Minute by W. Breitenstein

Exodus 9:8–12

With Pharaoh’s continued refusal to release the Hebrews came the sixth plague. The Lord instructed Moses and Aaron to go to Pharaoh and sprinkle ashes upward toward heaven. Moses did so and the ashes, which turned into dust, landed on both humans and animals throughout Egypt. This caused boils to appear on everyone, including on Pharaoh’s magicians. Again, Pharaoh did not relent because of his hardened heart.

Aaron had directed the previous five plagues, in accordance to the Lord’s instructions. For this sixth plague, the Lord instructed Moses to sprinkle the ashes. Moses was growing into his role as the deliverer of Israel.

Source: Book of Exodus Minute by W. Breitenstein

Exodus 9:13–17

Moses was again instructed by the Lord to say, “Thus saith the Lord God of the Hebrews,” as he stood before Pharaoh and demanded that he let the people go. Pharaoh still refused and appeared to have not understood the deep significance and intent of the plagues. Through Moses, the Lord explained to Pharaoh why these plagues were happening in Egypt. The plagues occurred so that Pharaoh could understand, despite his self-exalted reputation among his people, who the true and powerful God really was.

That message of the true and only God was to spread beyond Egypt, and His name would eventually spread to all the world. Pharaoh’s continued refusal only allowed God to keep proving his power.

Source: Book of Exodus Minute by W. Breitenstein

Exodus 9:18–21

The next day, the Lord brought powerful rain and hail such as Egypt had never seen as the seventh plague. In order to test who was listening to the Lord, who was taking His words to heart (verse 14), and who feared Him, the Lord gave the Egyptian people a chance to protect themselves and their livestock from harm or death. Some of the people feared the Lord and protected themselves and animals accordingly; others did not.

Source: Book of Exodus Minute by W. Breitenstein

Exodus 9:22–26

The Lord instructed Moses to reach toward heaven to call the severe storm of rain, hail, and thunder. The thunder caused fire. The hail damaged or destroyed everything. This occurred throughout Egypt, except in Goshen, where the people of Israel resided. The Lord kept his promise to preserve His people.

Source: Book of Exodus Minute by W. Breitenstein

Exodus 9:27–30

Pharaoh finally admitted that he was in the wrong and had sinned—at least “this time.” He admitted that he and his people were wicked. He even admitted that the “Lord is righteous.” Pharaoh claimed that he had had enough with all the plagues and the resulting destruction. He asked Moses to end the storm and as a result he would let Moses’s people go. Moses said he would end the storm after he had left the area.

Source: Book of Exodus Minute by W. Breitenstein

Exodus 9:31–35

The rain and the hail continued; the Egyptian’s fields were severely damaged. As promised, Moses left the area and prayed to God to stop the rains, hail, and thunder. After the storm stopped, Pharaoh once again hardened his heart and did not release the children of Israel. His sin resulted in God’s judgment, and the plagues continued.

Source: Book of Exodus Minute by W. Breitenstein

Exodus 10:1–2

The Lord instructed Moses to go to the Pharaoh again and remind him of the purpose of the signs and plagues. This purpose, that “ye may know how that I am the Lord,” was also passed on to the children of Israel.

Source: Book of Exodus Minute by W. Breitenstein

Exodus 10:3–6

Despite going through seven plagues, Pharaoh still refused to let the people of Israel go. How long would he continue to refuse? The Lord wondered that same question and asked Moses and Aaron once again to go to Pharaoh to request that he release His people so that they could worship Him. If Pharaoh still refused the request, the Lord would bring about the eighth plague the next day—locusts. The locusts would cover all of Egypt so that no one could even see the ground, even entering into their homes. The plants that hadn’t been destroyed by the seventh plague such as wheat, rye, trees, etc. would be consumed by the locusts. Even though locusts had likely been a problem in Egypt before, a plague of locusts that unexpected and intense had never happened in Egypt’s history. After presenting their message to Pharaoh, Moses and Aaron left.

Source: Book of Exodus Minute by W. Breitenstein

Exodus 10:7–11

Pharaoh’s servants saw that Egypt was being destroyed because of the plagues. They advised Pharaoh to let Moses’s people go. The Pharaoh acknowledged the advice of his servants and brought Moses and Aaron before him again, even before the plague of locusts occurred. Pharaoh asked who would be going with Moses, if he was allowed to leave. Moses stated that everyone would go so they could participate in a feast and offer sacrifices, taking their livestock with them. Pharaoh, perhaps seeing some kind of ill design (“evil”) against him, tried to compromise with Moses by saying only the men go. They could then go and fulfill their desire to worship the Lord as they wished. Pharaoh, as if he had his pride offended by making that compromise, then drove Moses and Aaron away.

Source: Book of Exodus Minute by W. Breitenstein

Exodus 10:12–15

Pharaoh’s decision to let only the men go was not enough. The Lord had Moses summon the locusts as promised. They came with the east wind, which usually portends destruction in the scriptures. The locusts devoured everything in their path, even the herbs and trees that had survived the previous plague.

Source: Book of Exodus Minute by W. Breitenstein

Exodus 10:16–20

Upon witnessing the quick destruction of his land from the locusts, Pharaoh hastily called for Moses and Aaron to ask God to take away the deadly plague. Moses did just that, and with the help of a west wind (notice the contrast to the east wind that brought on the locusts), the locust plague was abated. However, again Pharaoh hardened his heart and did not let the children of Israel go.

Source: Book of Exodus Minute by W. Breitenstein

Exodus 10:21–23

The ninth plague was darkness. This would be a darkness “which may be felt,” meaning it would negatively affect life for three days. Darkness in the scriptures often presages death. This plague was a warning of the final plague in Chapter 11—death of the firstborn. The Lord instructed Moses to stretch out his hand to cause the darkness. It was a “thick” darkness, so dark that the people could not see each other and forced them to stay in place. This was a plague only for the Egyptian population; the people of Israel had light in their homes.

Source: Book of Exodus Minute by W. Breitenstein

Exodus 10:24–29

Pharaoh had previously agreed to let Moses’s people go, although without the “little ones,” but now he said he would allow the people go with their babies but not with their cattle. Moses, however, demanded that they be allowed to leave with their cattle because they were necessary in their sacrificial ceremonies. Pharaoh continued to be obstinate and would not let any of the people go. Pharaoh demanded Moses leave his presence and threatened him with death if Moses came again, “for in that day [on which] thou seest my face thou shalt die.” In verse 29, Moses responded with what seemed to be an advance warning of the tenth and final deadly plague that was to come upon Pharaoh and his people.

Source: Book of Exodus Minute by W. Breitenstein

Exodus 11:1–3

After being thrown out of Pharaoh’s presence, the Lord told Moses that there was one more plague. After that, Pharaoh would certainly release Moses and all of the children of Israel. Not only would Pharaoh let them go, he would also forcefully drive them out of the land. In these three verses, we see Moses preparing his people for departure from Egypt. As promised at the burning bush (see 3:21–22), Moses’s people would not leave empty-handed. They asked their Egyptian neighbors for silver and gold jewels. This would help fund their way out of Egypt. Moses and his people were liked by many Egyptians, even by Pharaoh’s servants, so they willingly provided support.

Source: Book of Exodus Minute by W. Breitenstein

Exodus 11:4–8

The tenth and final plague was about to begin. In these verses, Moses warned Pharaoh of what would come, starting around midnight. All the firstborn children and animals of the Egyptians would die. There would be great mourning. And since the children of Israel were His people, none of His people, nor their animals, would die because of this tenth plague. As mentioned, Moses was well-liked by the Egyptians. Many of them had come to Moses, bowed before him, and urged him to leave for his and his people’s protection. It appeared that many Egyptians would be willing to follow him. The last phrase in verse 8 says, “And he [Moses] went out from Pharaoh in a great anger.” Perhaps that anger was triggered because Moses knew what was to happen to the Egyptian people with this tenth plague, all because of Pharaoh’s stubborn pride and obstinance in not letting the children of Israel leave.

Source: Book of Exodus Minute by W. Breitenstein

Exodus 11:9–10

As predicted, Pharaoh would not listen to Moses, even after nine devastating plagues. A tenth and final plague was about to begin. It would bring great sorrow and mourning in Egypt, greater than had ever been seen before.

Source: Book of Exodus Minute by W. Breitenstein

Exodus 12:1–2

After many unkept promises by Pharaoh that the people of Israel would be allowed to leave Egypt, the exodus was about to begin, but  one more plague would occur before the people of Israel were allowed to leave. This time of the exodus became so important that the Lord told Moses and Aaron that “this month . . . shall be the first month of the year” to them. In 13:4 we read: This day came ye out in the month Abib.” The Israelites would afterward adopt a new calendar.

Abib (often seen as aviv) was the pre-exilic name of the first month of the Hebrew calendar. The post-exilic name is called nisan. The Hebrew calendar is used today for observance of Jewish religious events. It is also an official calendar of the state of Israel. Its first month equates to the Gregorian calendar’s March/April timeframe.

Source: Book of Exodus Minute by W. Breitenstein

Exodus 12:3–6

On the tenth day of the first month (abib), each household of the children of Israel was to select a newborn, unblemished male lamb. The lamb would stay with the family for four days in order to care for it and to keep it unblemished in preparation for the Passover. Each household among the Israelites would then sacrifice their selected lamb on the evening of the fourteenth day. The Passover would occur the next day.

Source: Book of Exodus Minute by W. Breitenstein

Exodus 12:7–10

Immediately after the lamb’s sacrifice on the evening of the fourteenth day of abib, its blood was to be used to mark the two side posts and the upper door. Each household would then eat the roasted meat of the lamb together with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. Note that the lamb was to be roasted by fire, not boiled or stewed (“soddened with water”). The entire lamb was eaten, including the entrails. Nothing was to remain by morning; if anything did remain, it was thrown into the fire.

Note: As we read the narrative about the Passover and the upcoming Feast of Unleavened Bread, look for symbolism that points to Christ. We have already seen references to unblemished (sinless), sacrifice (the atoning sacrifice of our Lord), unleavened (clean, uncorrupted), blood (the spilled blood of Christ), bitter herbs (the bitter cup), firstborn (Christ, the Firstborn), and of course, lamb (the Lamb of God). You may have noticed other such symbols. As you read further, you will undoubtably encounter other symbolism that relates to our Savior.

Source: Book of Exodus Minute by W. Breitenstein

Exodus 12:11–13

After smearing blood at the entryway of each home, each Israelite household of that home was to eat the roasted lamb “in haste.” In this verse, “haste” could represent several things: the Passover was about to begin; the Exodus would soon begin, and everyone needed to be ready to go; the people needed to be swift in living God’s commands.

The Passover would begin on the fifteenth of the month. God would pass through the land of Egypt and would “smite . . . and execute judgment” against all the firstborn men and animals of Egypt. The smeared blood at doorways was to be a token that God would pass over those homes and not destroy anyone inside. This token indicated the commitment to follow God, obey Him, and have faith and trust in Him. The Passover showed that “[God is] the Lord.”

Source: Book of Exodus Minute by W. Breitenstein

Exodus 12:14–17

These verses are about the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which the Lord established in conjunction with the day of Passover. Both events are observed each year. Regarding the Feast, the children of Israel were commanded to eat unleavened bread for seven days. No work, other than preparing food, was to be done on those days. A religious meeting would be held on the first and seventh day. The consequence of eating anything “leavened” within the seven days could result in being cut off from God’s promise. The feast was observed to remember the exodus out of Egypt.

Note: Unleavened bread contains no yeast or other leaven, which can cause the bread to mold or spoil. The symbol of unleavened bread, therefore, is a symbol of purity or of being uncorrupted. Seven days in the scriptures often represents completeness or perfection; for example, the seven-day creation of the world.

Source: Book of Exodus Minute by W. Breitenstein

Exodus 12:18–20

The Lord reiterated that the Feast of Unleavened Bread should take place every year in the evening of the fourteenth day of the first month of the Hebrew calendar. No leavened bread was to be eaten for seven straight days, otherwise the offender could be cut off from God’s promise. This command does not only apply to this first Passover in Egypt, but would apply when the children of Israel celebrated this feast upon arriving in the promised land. The rule would also apply to non-Israelites living in the boundaries of the promised land.

Source: Book of Exodus Minute by W. Breitenstein

Exodus 12:21–24

In the previous verses, Moses and Aaron received instructions on what to tell the children of Israel regarding the imminent Passover and the associated Feast. Starting with verse 21, Moses instructed the elders of Israel regarding the sacrifice of the unblemished lamb. They were to take some hyssop, a type of bushy shrub used in some cleansing ceremonies, and dip it in the lamb’s blood and smear their home’s entryway with it. Hyssop can be seen as a symbol representing the Atonement. None were to leave through the door until morning because the Lord would pass through the area and kill all the firstborn. The Passover ceremony would be observed each following year to remember what the Lord had done.

Source: Book of Exodus Minute by W. Breitenstein

Exodus 12:25–28

Moses instructed the children of Israel about the meaning of the Passover and told them that theywere to observe it even in the promised land. When they arrived in the promised land and were asked by their young children about the meaning of the first Passover, they were to be told that it was when the Egyptians were killed, and because of the blood of the sacrificial lamb the people in their homes were saved. The people did what the Lord, through Moses and Aaron, commanded.

Source: Book of Exodus Minute by W. Breitenstein

Exodus 12:29–30

At midnight, the Lord killed all the firstborn in Egypt, including Pharaoh’s own firstborn son. No one was exempted, even those imprisoned. All over Egypt, the people cried out in sorrow.

Source: Book of Exodus Minute by W. Breitenstein

Exodus 12:31–34

Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron. Finally, Pharaoh gave in and allowed the children of Israel to leave Egypt. He not only allowed them to leave, but he commanded them to leave: “Get you forth from among my people!” Everyone could go, including children and livestock. The Egyptian population was so anxious from the final plague that they urged the Israelites to leave. Those Israelites that were kneading bread at the moment of departure did not even have time to let their bread rise. They carried their kneading troughs on their shoulders as they left.

Source: Book of Exodus Minute by W. Breitenstein

Exodus 12:35–36

The children of Israel followed Moses’s instructions. They asked the Egyptians for silver, gold, jewels, and clothing. Many Egyptians favored and respected the children of Israel and gave them what they desired, to a point that the Egyptians were plundered. This was foreseen in Genesis 15:14, when it was said that the children of Israel would come out of Egypt “with great substance.” The Egyptians were also worried and wanted the Israelites to leave, so acted as if they were paying the Israelites to go.

The Hebrew word rendered here as “borrowed” can also be rendered as “asked.” It is the same Hebrew verb root in both cases.

Source: Book of Exodus Minute by W. Breitenstein

Exodus 12:37–39

According to the text, the exodus from Rameses to Succoth included about 600,000 men, in addition to women and children. Some scholars estimate the number of total people to be about two million. There were many livestock that left with them as well. Verse 38 implies that non-Israelites also left. Because the people left Egypt so quickly, they had not prepared themselves with much food; however, they did have the unleavened bread dough that they carried out of Egypt in troughs on their shoulders (see 12:34).

Note: Many scholars say that the distance between Rameses to Succoth is about twenty-five miles. Rameses, located at the border inside the northeast end of Egypt, was one of the “treasure cities” that Pharaoh had the people of Israel build for him. It is considered the starting point of the exodus. There are different opinions concerning the location of Succoth. Some say it was outside of Egypt, others say it was in Egypt. Many scholars also say that Succoth was not a city, but a district. In either case, it was not very far from Rameses—about a day’s journey.

Source: Book of Exodus Minute by W. Breitenstein

Exodus 12:40–42

The text indicates that the children of Israel were in Egypt for 430 years, to the day. On that anniversary, the exodus began. The children of Israel would celebrate that event from year to year and from generation to generation.

Source: Book of Exodus Minute by W. Breitenstein

 

Exodus 12:43–47

Given that there was a “mixed multitude” (verse 38) leaving Egypt, it was necessary to properly identify those who declared themselves to be a part of the Lord’s people and who wanted to take part in the Passover feast (“there shall no stranger eat thereof”). Circumcision was required for any male who wanted to join in on the feast. Circumcision can be compared to baptism in Christian faiths. Baptism is usually necessary before one can participate in the sacrament of the Lord’s supper—a ceremony to remember Christ’s sacrifice and atonement. Verse 46 states another requirement that must be kept in the Passover feast. No bones of the lamb could be broken when performing the sacrifice. This is another symbol pointing to Christ. During Christ’s crucifixion, none of His bones would be broken.

Source: Book of Exodus Minute by W. Breitenstein

Exodus 12:48–49

These two verses reiterate that all males that wanted to participate in the Passover feast must identify as belonging to God’s covenant people. The law applied to every male, whether that person was born as a descendent of Jacob or wanted to identify as part of the group by being circumcised.

Source: Book of Exodus Minute by W. Breitenstein

Exodus 12:50–51

All the children of Israel listened to Moses and Aaron and obeyed the Lord. We can imagine they rejoiced as they saw that the Lord kept his promise to bring them out of slavery and out of Egypt. The Passover would become the central celebration of the Hebrew people, up to the present day.

Source: Book of Exodus Minute by W. Breitenstein

Exodus 13:1–2

The Lord declared to Moses that the children of Israel were required to dedicate their firstborn children and animals to the Lord. This was in memory of the firstborns of Israel that the Lord had spared from Egypt’s final plague. This dedication was also to remind the people of Israel of their deliverance from slavery.

Source: Book of Exodus Minute by W. Breitenstein

Exodus 13:3–4

Moses encouraged the people of Israel to remember their deliverance from slavery, and to remember that it was by the “strength of hand” of the Lord that brought them out of Egypt. The Feast of Unleavened Bread was instituted to help them remember this event. He reminded them again that during that celebration week they could not eat any leavened bread. In the Old Testament, “leaven” often represents sin or corruption, but it also represents, as in this case, how fast the children of Israel had to leave Egypt. The people did not have the time to wait around for their leavened bread to rise. It is once again stated in the text that the celebration of the Passover and associated Feast of Unleavened Bread began in the first month (abib) of their new Hebrew calendar.

Source: Book of Exodus Minute by W. Breitenstein

 

Exodus 13:5–10

The Lord had vowed to give the Israelites a promised land, “a land flowing with milk and honey.” However, inheriting the promised land would not be easy. There were several other groups of people who lived there. To help the people remember their blessings even during hard times, Moses instituted the time and manner to celebrate the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. The people of Israel were not only commanded to keep this “memorial” from year to year, but also to teach it to the generations that would follow. It was important that the children of Israel and their descendants remember what the Lord had done for them in bringing them out of slavery and out of Egypt. To this day, Jews follow this commandment and celebrate the Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread. They attach phylacteries (Hebrew teffilin) to their forehead and arm, which are small boxes containing scriptural scrolls. Exodus 13:1–10 is one of the scriptures contained in the box.

Source: Book of Exodus Minute by W. Breitenstein

 

Exodus 13:11–16

The Lord promised the children of Israel that he would deliver them from Egypt and bring them eventually to the promised land. In Exodus 3:8 we read, “And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; unto the place of the Canaanites.” Reaching Canaan would not happen in Moses’s lifetime. However, Moses instructed them to remember what the Lord had done for them when they eventually reached Canaan (see Numbers 13:11–12). Because the Lord spared all the firstborn of Israel during the tenth plague in Egypt, the Lord determined that all firstborn children and animals belonged to Him. All firstborn were to be dedicated to the Lord (verse 15). The children of Israel were commanded to teach this to their posterity. As mentioned in the commentary for Exodus 13:5–10, many Jews to this day wear a reminder (a phylactery) on their forehead and on their arm.

Note: Verses 12 and 15 refer to the Latin word “matrix,” used here in a medical sense. It means something within or from which something else originates, develops, or takes form. The womb is the place in a woman’s body where a child develops prior to birth. The original Hebrew word rekhem also means “womb.”

Source: Book of Exodus Minute by W. Breitenstein

 

Exodus 13:17–19

When the Pharaoh of Egypt finally let the people of Israel go, God did not lead them directly to the promised land of Canaan. This was because there were military outposts on the “way of the land of the Philistines.” If the Israelites got caught in any skirmishes with the military along the way even though they were equipped or “harnessed” for battle, they may have become discouraged and returned to Egypt. Therefore, God led them by “way of the wilderness of the Red [S]ea,” which was a longer, but safer, route. However, the route also hemmed in the Israelites between the Red Sea and Pharaoh’s armies. The text mentions in verse 19 that, along the journey out of Egypt, Moses took the bones of Joseph (who was sold into Egypt) with him, eventually to be buried in the promised land, as was promised earlier to Joseph (see Genesis 50:24–25).

Source: Book of Exodus Minute by W. Breitenstein

Exodus 13:20–22

The journey out of Egypt (starting in Ramses) took them to a location called Succoth (see the commentary for Exodus 12:37–39). From Succoth they went to Etham. Scholars are not certain where Etham was located, but we do know that it was at “the edge of the wilderness [the desert],” probably very close to the Red Sea.

In the scriptures, God is sometimes represented as being present in “a cloud.” In verse 21, the Lord accompanied the children of Israel in the wilderness “in a pillar of a cloud.” It was hot in the desert, so the cloud also probably shaded them from the blazing sun. However, at night it was cold. So, the “pillar of fire,” where God was present not only helped keep the people warm but also provided them with light on their journey.

Source: Book of Exodus Minute by W. Breitenstein

Scripture Reference

Exodus 7:1
Exodus 8:1
Exodus 9:1
Exodus 10:1
Exodus 11:1
Exodus 12:1
Exodus 13:1