0 God kills all Egyptian firstborn sons and animals (Ex 11-12)

Episode 29: God kills all Egyptian firstborn sons and animals

(Exodus 11-12)

God plans the tenth plague

11 1 God said to Moses,

I'll bring one more plague on Egypt. After that, the Pharaoh will let you go.

2 When you leave, tell the people to steal all the Egyptians' jewels, silver, and gold.

4 Moses said to the people,

This is what God says,

5 About midnight I will come down to Egypt and kill every firstborn human and animal.

6 There will be a cry throughout Egypt like nothing ever heard before or will ever be heard again.

7 But I won't hurt a thing among the Israelites.

7 God said to Moses,

9Pharaoh will not listen to you -- so that I can show off all my signs and wonders.

10 Then God hardened Pharaoh's heart so that he would not let the Israelites go.

God finds a way to avoid killing the wrong children

12 1 God said to Moses,

3 On the tenth day of this month, every family must select an unblemished, first-year, male lamb or goat. 6 On the evening of the fourteenth day, kill the animal and wipe some of its blood on the sides and top of the door posts.

12 I will pass through Egypt, killing all the firstborn men and animals. 13 As I pass over Egypt, I'll see the blood on your door posts, and I'll pass over you. That way I'll know not to kill your firstborn men or animals.

Passover laws

God continued his speech, saying,

14 This day shall be a memorial to you. You must keep it by law forever.

15 For seven days you must eat unleavened bread, and you must remove all leaven from your houses.

Whoever eats leaven bread during this time must be cut off from Israel.

16 There will be holy convocations on the first and seventh days.

No one may do any work on these days.

Moses said to the people,

21 Each family must select and kill a lamb.

22 And they must take some hyssop and dip it in the lamb's blood and smear it on the top and sides of the door.

23 Because God will pass through and kill the Egyptians, but when he sees the blood on the door posts, he'll pass over your house without killing you.

24 You must observe this thing as a law forever.

26 When your children ask you, "Why are you doing this?", you will say to them,

27 "Because God passed over our houses when he was killing Egyptians and didn't kill any of us."

The tenth plague: God kills all the Egyptian firstborn children and animals

29 At midnight, God killed all the firstborn children and livestock in Egypt.

30 There was a great cry throughout Egypt because there wasn't a single house in which there wasn't one dead child.

The Firstborn Slain. Gustave Dore

31 The Pharaoh called Moses and said to him,

Get up and get out of Egypt. Go serve God.

32 And take all your children and animals with you. Leave now and bless me, too.

35 The Israelites, following Moses and God's instructions, stole jewels and clothing from the Egyptians.

The Israelites begin their Exodus from Egypt

37-39 The Israelites left Egypt, with 600,000 men, a multitude of farm animals, and lots of unleavened bread. (They didn't have time to make it leavened, since they were in such a hurry.)

43-51 More Passover laws (because you can never have too many)

A few more words about this episode

So that I can show off all my signs and wonders (11:9)

God explains to Moses that he has been hardening Pharaoh's heart so that Pharaoh will not let the Israelites go.

God says that this way he'll be able to show off his signs and wonders (by murdering little children and killing animals).

I'll see the blood on your door posts, and I'll pass over you. (12:13)

God tells the Israelites to smear some blood on their doors. That way when he's going around killing Egyptian children, he'll remember not to kill their children too.

He probably said to himself when he saw the blood, "Oh yeah, I remember now. I'm not supposed to kill the children in this house."

At midnight, God killed all the firstborn children and livestock in Egypt. (12:29)

Drunk With Blood: The Lord smote all the firstborn in Egypt

600,000 men (12:37)

The Israelites went from a population of only seventy (Exodus 1:5) to several million (600,000 men) in a few hundred years.

If there were 3 million Israelites marching rows of families with an average of five members with a meter between the rows, the column would have stretched 600 km -- which is more than the distance between Goshen and Jerusalem.

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