Exodus 13

Set the firstborn apart 1
To remember leaving Egypt follow these ceremonies 3
Sons and the firstborn of animals are special 11
Explain to your son  14
God led them out; pillar of cloud and fire 17
 1 ¶ And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
.2  Sanctify unto me all the firstborn, whatsoever openeth the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and of beast: it is mine.
   2 - Sanctify ... firstborn The firstborn males who were also their mothers' first child. They are the ones spared when the destroying angel passed over. All of Israel was the Lord's firstborn ex0422.
.3  And Moses said unto the people, Remember this day, in which ye came out from Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for by strength of hand the LORD brought you out from this place: there shall no leavened bread be eaten.
 4  This day came ye out in the month Abib.
.5  And it shall be when the LORD shall bring thee into the land of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, which he sware unto thy fathers to give thee, a land flowing with milk and honey, that thou shalt keep this service in this month.
 6  Seven days thou shalt eat unleavened bread, and in the seventh day shall be a feast to the LORD.
 7  Unleavened bread shall be eaten seven days; and there shall no leavened bread be seen with thee, neither shall there be leaven seen with thee in all thy quarters.
.8  And thou shalt shew thy son in that day, saying, This is done because of that which the LORD did unto me when I came forth out of Egypt.
.9  And it shall be for a sign unto thee upon thine hand, and for a memorial between thine eyes, that the LORD'S law may be in thy mouth: for with a strong hand hath the LORD brought thee out of Egypt.
 10  Thou shalt therefore keep this ordinance in his season from year to year.
  8 - Shew thy son The Hebrew people were responsible to pass on to their children, the great things God did for them.
  9 - Sign ... upon thy hand The Jews of Jesus' time and, no doubt, before had given a literal interpretation to what is here a principle. They made little pouches containing written copies of certain scripture passages. Instead the hand and the forehead represented the actions and the thoughts. We can see the symbolic nature from the context. They didn't keep the words on parchment in their mouths. And the Lord's hand represented His actions not His literal hand. See on mt2305 where the pouches were called "phylacteries." Also the earth beast of Revelation empowers the sea beast who calls for worship by hand and head, the two parts of true worship mentioned in our text here re1316d. Also de0605.
  10 - Ordinance Of unleavened bread, v6.
.11 ¶ And it shall be when the LORD shall bring thee into the land of the Canaanites, as he sware unto thee and to thy fathers, and shall give it thee,
.12  That thou shalt set apart unto the LORD all that openeth the matrix, and every firstling that cometh of a beast which thou hast; the males shall be the LORD'S.
.13  And every firstling of an ass thou shalt redeem with a lamb; and if thou wilt not redeem it, then thou shalt break his neck: and all the firstborn of man among thy children shalt thou redeem.
  11,12 - Set apart This isolation from the others helped the people remember.
  13 - Firstling of an ass "The firstlings of beasts not used in sacrifice were to be changed for others so used, or they were to be destroyed. Our souls are forfeited to God's justice and, unless ransomed by the sacrifice of Christ, we will certainly perish." (Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary). At the time of participating in the Lord's Supper we renew our commitment realizing that we have been redeemed by the precious blood and body of  Christ.. When the tribe of Levi was established for sanctuary service, they were to be a substitute for the the redemption of the firstborn of other tribes ex3226, nu0311.
  13 - Firstborn of man They were to be bought back from God by five shekels of silver. nu0347, nu1816.
.14  And it shall be when thy son asketh thee in time to come, saying, What is this? that thou shalt say unto him, By strength of hand the LORD brought us out from Egypt, from the house of bondage:
 15  And it came to pass, when Pharaoh would hardly let us go, that the LORD slew all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man, and the firstborn of beast: therefore I sacrifice to the LORD all that openeth the matrix, being males; but all the firstborn of my children I redeem.
 16  And it shall be for a token upon thine hand, and for frontlets between thine eyes: for by strength of hand the LORD brought us forth out of Egypt.
  14 - What is this? See on ex1226.
  The firstborn sons were spared death from the destroying angel of the last plague. This ceremonial redemption represented this special saving. Payment could be in money nu0350 or by the sacrifice of an animal.
.17 ¶ And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt:
.18  But God led the people about, through the way of the wilderness of the Red sea: and the children of Israel went up harnessed out of the land of Egypt.
  17 - Repent Not from sin but from their plan to go to Canaan.
  18 - Led the people about They did not take the direct route. Many lessons were yet to be learned.
  18 - Wilderness of the Red Sea That is, the arid area between the nile and the Red Sea. This can be seen from v20 and the Egypt-Sinai map. They entered this "wilderness" when leaving Etham. The Hebrew grammar indicates the "Red Sea" as their current objective.
  18 - Harnessed The meaning of the Hebrew word is unclear but we can see that they were organized and ready.
.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.
 20  And they took their journey from Succoth, and encamped in Etham, in the edge of the wilderness.
.21  And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night:
 22  He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.
  19 - Bones of Joseph They were eventually buried at Shechem (see south of Samaria on map). Stephen's speech implies that Jacob's brothers' bones were also carried to Canaan ac0715.
  20 - Encamped in Etham This could have been a city or the word could be a transliteration of the Egyptian for "fortress." There were a series of border fortifications. The guards would have been frightened by the story of the freed Hebrews.
  21 - The Lord went before them He was in the pillar. Compare re1001.
  21,22 - Go by day and night Nehemiah confirms this light ne0912. We can see that they were never separated form the pillar.
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