Passover(23): Passover Exodus 4 -John Gill

Passover(23): Passover Exodus 4 -John Gill

John Gill's

Exodus 12:17

Ver. 17. And ye shall observe the feast of unleavened bread,.... Which was a distinct feast from the passover feast; for though at that unleavened bread was eaten, it was kept but one night, this seven days; and it is repeated that it might be taken notice of, and the rather, as it was to be observed in all ages as long as the Jewish economy lasted; the reason of which follows:

for in this selfsame day have I brought your armies out of the land of Egypt; which, though not already done, was just on doing, and was certain; and besides, it respects the day when it should come about another year: by their "armies" are meant the tribes of Israel, not so much for their military force, for as yet they were an unarmed people, but for their numbers, which were sufficient to make several considerable armies, and for their order and ease, and their being without any fear of the enemy, in which they marched out of Egypt:

therefore shall ye observe this day in your generations by an ordinance for ever; according to the rules given, with the same exactness, strictness, and constancy, as the first of the passover, and as long as that continued; See Gill on "Ex 12:14".


Exodus 12:18

Ver. 18. In the first month,.... As it was now ordered to be reckoned, the month Abib or Nisan:

the fourteenth day of the month at even, ye shall eat unleavened bread; that is, at the evening following, the fourteenth of Nisan, and which was the beginning of the fifteenth day, the Jews beginning their day from the evening: hence the Targum of Jonathan is,

"on the fourteenth of Nisan ye shall slay the passover, in the evening of the fifteenth ye shall eat unleavened bread:''

unto the twentieth day of the month at even; which would make just seven days; the above Targum adds,

"on the evening of the twenty second ye shall eat leavened bread,''

which was the evening following the twenty first day. This long abstinence from leaven denotes, that the whole lives of those who are Israelites indeed should be without guile, hypocrisy, and malice, and should be spent in sincerity and truth.


Exodus 12:19

Ver. 19. Seven days there shall be no leaven found in your houses,..... Wherefore, on the fourteenth day the most diligent search was made, and whatever was found was burnt, or cast into the sea, or dispersed with the wind; about which the traditionary writers of the Jews, give many rules and canons, See Gill on "Ex 12:15",

for whoso eateth that which is leavened, even that soul shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel; which is repeated to deter them from the breach of this ordinance; See Gill on "Ex 12:15", and it is added for further explanation, of whom it concerns:

whether he be a stranger, or born in the land; by a "stranger" is meant, not a mere Heathen, who was not bound by this law, but a proselyte; and not a proselyte of the gate, one that was only a sojourner among them, and observed the commandments of the sons of Noah; but a proselyte of righteousness, who professed the Jewish religion, and proposed to conform to it in all respects, and therefore was obliged to observe this as other precepts: and by one "born in the land", is intended a native of the land of Canaan, whither they were now going in order to possess it, or a real Israelite, such as were born of Israelitish parents, and proper inhabitants of Canaan, which they would be put into the possession of.


Exodus 12:20

Ver. 20. Ye shall eat nothing leavened,.... Bread or anything else that had any leaven in it:

in all your habitations shall ye eat unleavened bread, that is, if they eat any bread at all, it must be such; otherwise they might eat cakes of almonds or of eggs mixed with sugar, provided there was no leaven used, and this the Jews call the rich unleavened bread {p}: this is repeated over and over, that they might be the more careful of observing this precept; but as this was limited for a certain time, it plainly appears to be a mistake of Tacitus {q} the Roman historian, who represents unleavened bread as the bread the Jews eat of in common.

{p} See Leo Modena's History of the Rites, &c. of the Jews, par. 3. c. 3. sect. 5. {q} Hist. l. 5. c. 4.


Exodus 12:21

Ver. 21. Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel,.... Not in age but in office, who were either heads of families, or at least principal men in the tribes; which explains in what manner he was to speak to the congregation of Israel, and convey to them the will of God concerning the observation of these feasts, Ex 12:3,

and said unto them, draw out; a lamb or a kid, out of the flocks on the tenth day of the month, and keep it up until the fourteenth, as in
Ex 12:3

and take you a lamb, according to your families; or "take ye of the flock" {r}, whether a lamb or a kid; a lamb for every family, if there was a sufficient number in it to eat it up; if not, two or more families were to join and keep the feast together:

and kill the passover; the lamb for the passover, which was to be done on the fourteenth day of the month; and before the priesthood was established in the family of Aaron, and before the Israelites were possessed of the land of Canaan, and the temple was built at Jerusalem, the passover was killed by the heads of families, and in their own houses, but afterwards it was killed only by the priests, and at Jerusalem and in the temple there, see De 16:5.

{r} zau "de filiis gregis", Onk. & Jon.


Exodus 12:22

Ver. 22. And ye shall take a bunch of hyssop,.... Which some take to be "mint", others "origanum" or "marjoram", as Kimchi {s}, others "rosemary", as Piscator, Rivet, and many more; and indeed this seems to be fitter to strike or sprinkle with than hyssop; but it is more generally understood of hyssop, because the Hebrew word "ezob" is so near in sound to it; though whether it means the same herb we call hyssop is uncertain: Jarchi says, three stalks of it are called a bunch, and so the Misnic canon runs {t},

"the command concerning hyssop is three stalks (which Maimonides on the place interprets roots), and in them three branches;''

which some have allegorically applied to the Trinity, by whom the hearts of God's people are sprinkled with the blood of the true paschal Lamb, and are purged from dead works: the Heathens in their sacrifices used sometimes branches of laurel, and sometimes branches of the olive, to sprinkle with {u}:

and dip it in the blood that is in the basin: which, according to the Targum of Jonathan, was an earthen vessel, into which the blood of the lamb was received when slain, and into this the bunch of hyssop was dipped; so it was usual with the Heathens to receive the blood of the sacrifice in cups or basins {x}: the blood being received into a basin, and not spilled on the ground and trampled on, may denote the preciousness of the blood of Christ, the true passover lamb, which is for its worth and excellent efficacy to be highly prized and esteemed, and not to be counted as a common or unholy thing; and the dipping the bunch of hyssop into the blood of the lamb may signify the exercise of faith on the blood of Christ, which is a low and humble grace, excludes boasting in the creature, deals alone with the blood of Jesus for peace, pardon, and cleansing, and by which the heart is purified, as it deals with that blood:

and strike the lintel and the two side posts with the blood that [is] in the basin: an emblem of the sprinkling of the hearts and consciences of believers with the blood of Christ, and cleansing them from all sin by it:

and none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning; that they might not be in the way of the destroyer; and though the destroying angel knew an Israelite from an Egyptian, yet this was to be the ordinance of protection to them, abiding in their houses, marked with the blood of the passover lamb; signifying that their safety was in their being under that blood, as the safety of believers lies in their being justified by the blood of Christ; for to that it is owing that they are saved from wrath to come: this is the purple covering under which they pass safely through this world to the heavenly glory, Ro 5:9, this circumstance was peculiar to the passover in Egypt; in later times there was not the like danger.

{s} Sepher Shorash, rad. bza. {t} Misn. Parah, c. 11. sect. 9. {u} Vid. Kipping. Rom. Antiqu. p. 241. Virgil Aeneid. 6. Ovid. Fast. l. 5. {x} "-------------tepidumque cruorem Succipiunt pateris----------" Virgil. Aeneid. 6.


Exodus 12:23

Ver. 23. For the Lord will pass though to smite the Egyptians,.... All the firstborn in the several families, in all the towns and cities in Egypt:

and when he seeth the blood upon the lintel, and upon the two side posts; which must be understood of his taking notice of it with a special view to the good of those within the house; otherwise every thing is seen by his all seeing eye: and thus Christ, the Lamb of God, is in the midst of the throne, as though he had been slain, and is always in the view of God and his divine justice; and his blood, righteousness, and sacrifice, are always looked unto by him with pleasure, delight, and satisfaction, to the advantage of his people, as applied unto them, who are hereby accepted with him, justified in his sight, and secure from condemnation and wrath:

the Lord will pass over the door; and the house where this blood is sprinkled, and go to the next, or where Egyptians dwell; and thus justice passes over, and passes by, acquits and discharges them who are interested in the blood and sacrifice of Christ:

and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you; the destroying angel, as the Targum of Jonathan; for he seems to be distinct from the Lord, who is said to pass through and pass over, being an attendant and minister of his, to execute vengeance upon the Egyptians; and whether a good or a bad angel, it matters not, since God can make use of either to inflict judgments on men; but it may be more probably the former, even such an one as was employed in destroying the whole host of the Assyrians in one night, 2Ki 19:35 and answers better in the antitype or emblem to the justice of God taking vengeance on ungodly sinners, when it is not suffered to do the saints any harm.

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