The Time of Their Sojourning part 1
by John Thomas Lowe
The Time of Their Sojourning.
41And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, on the fifteenth of Nisan even the same day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt.
42It is a night to be much observed unto the LORD for bringing them out from the land of Egypt: this is that night of the LORD to be observed of all the children of Israel in their generations.
Moreover, it came to pass at the end of four hundred and thirty years, which was the fifteenth of Nisan, that all the hosts of the Lord left the land of Egypt. It was 430 years to the day, after they had entered the land of Egypt, that the armies of the Lord came out from Egypt in excellent order, as if in a military formation. It seems inevitable that they all came out the same day, which was very remarkable that such a large number could be gathered together, and march out of the land on the same day. Moreover, it is pretty plain that it was in the daytime, for they were not to stir out of their houses till morning. Then they had what remained of the Passover to burn and many other things to do, some of which they could not do. So, they did not go by night or stealth but openly at noon. So the Jews represent the Lord speaking after this manner, "If I bring out Israel by night, the Egyptians will say, now he does his work after the manner of thieves; but behold, I will bring them out during the day, and when the sun, is the hottest. The words will bear rendering, "in the strength, or body of the day" when the sun is at its height, as it is at noon.
It is a night to be much observed unto the Lord, or "a night of observations" (t), in which many things are to be observed to the honor and glory of God, as done by him, wherein his power, wisdom, goodness, truth, and faithfulness, are displayed; partly by the destruction of the Egyptian firstborn, and particularly for bringing them, the children of Israel: out from the land of Egypt: with the leave, and even pressing importunity of the Egyptians, and with so much wealth and riches, having found great favor in their sight, which was from the Lord:
This is that night of the Lord to be observed by all the children of Israel in their generations unto the coming of the Messiah, for the reasons given above; and the same night is worthy the remembrance of all the spiritual Israel of God, of all true believers in Christ; for that very night after Christ had ate the Passover with his disciples, he was betrayed by one of them; and to perpetuate the memory of this, and of his sufferings and death, an ordinance is appointed to be observed until his second coming, see 1 Corinthians 11:23, and the ancient Jews themselves have had some notion of the appearance of the Messiah at this time; for they not only expect his coming at the time of the passover, and speak of their redemption by him in the month of Nisan, as before observed on Exodus 12:14, but of this very night, among the four observable things in it, the fourth they say is, Moses shall go out of the midst of the wilderness, and the King Messiah out of Rome; so it is said in the Jerusalem Targum on the place.
It is the Lord's Passover (Exodus 12:11). After Pharaoh refuses to see Moses again, Jehovah comes more distinctly into history in his people's last judgment and deliverance. Three significant events crowd now into a single night, the Passover, the slaying of the firstborn, and the march out. Consider now the Passover.
I. ITS A NECESSITY.
1. Israel must be separated from Egypt. This idea of separation runs through all Hebrew history from the time of Abraham to this hour. However, to a large extent, Israel had now become merged into the Egyptian race, catching the plagues of its idolatry and sins. Great separating acts necessary - e.g., as in some of the earlier visitations, the tenth, the Passover, the Exodus, and the Red Sea.
2. To this end, Israel must be atoned afresh with God. The tenth plague was a miracle of pure judgment: an atonement necessary for Israel to escape the penalty of its sin. That atonement was the Passover.
II. ITS DESIGNATIONS.
They were these: "A pass-over unto Jehovah: a sacrificial-slaying of pass-over unto Jehovah:" "The sacrifice of the feast of the Passover," 12:11, 27; 34:25. Here we have four unique ideas.
1. The Objective of the Pass-over was God. "Unto Jehovah." Like prayer is intended to benefit man, but its objective is God. Herein lies the distinction between Scriptural and unscriptural ideas of atonement.
2. The pass-over was a Sacrifice.
3. The result was a Passing-over. The stained lintel was a bridge over which Jehovah was to pass in dread judicial progress through the land.
4. And a more remote result, the ushering of a Festal Life for Israel. The Festival of the Passover foreshadowed the coming life of liberty.
III. THE LAMB.
After expository development of the leading incidents, the following truths will emerge concerning the antitype.
1. The objective of the death of Christ is God. The Socinian formula runs: "The death of Christ was not to reconcile God to man, but man to God." The scriptural doctrine is that the atonement does both: but reconciles man to God by first atoning God with man.
2. Christ is "without blemish and spot.
3. The atoning Christ was deliberately selected and fore-appointed.
4. Kept because of the world that His worth, beauty, and destiny might suitably affect men, as the lamb went in and out, for four days, the homes of Israel.
6. The death was Sacrificial
7. The result is a Passing-over of judicial wrath.
8. But the sacrifice must be appropriated. The blood on the posts of the door is a sign of the appropriating faith of the people. Here may be brought out the idea that the door was the only possible altar at that moment in history. The idea of sacrifice had come down from patriarchal times, but there was no law of sacrifice, for there was no nation to which to give it, and therefore there was no temple and no altar. Every family must be atoned for apart; every house was then a temple, and every door an altar.
9. Faith in Christ's atonement begins for us high Festiva.
IV. THE MEAL. The meal was much more than a mere supper to prepare for a journey.
It had its spiritual significance concerning Christ.
1. The Atoning Christ is the Food of the Soul (John 6:51). This is because the truth of the atonement is central, supreme, and comprehensive.
2. An uncorrupted Christ. The lamb was roasted, i.e., pure flesh acted on by fire; not sodden, diluted with water, or corrupted.
3. A perfect Christ, no bone broken. So on the cross, a Christ divided is not sufficient for nourishing the soul, e.g., Christ as an elect spirit of the race;' or as one in whom the "God-consciousness ' received high development; or as an example, Teacher, etc. Christ in his whole nature, character, and office.
4. The enjoyment of Christ and his salvation will depend on the memory of the slavery of sin. "Bitter herbs."
5. The Christian life is to be characterized by simplicity and sincerity. For the significance, see the Christian Rabbi, Paul, 1 Corinthians 1:6-8. Note that unleavened bread is a simply pure meal, all water Parched out by the action of fire.
6. The end of soul nutriment is the Pilgrim-Life. Each with staff in hand that night.
7. To the banquet, Exodus, and Pilgrim-Life, all are welcome, on conditions, 12:43-45. In that case, first circumcision, then coming under the sprinkled blood, were needful. The analogy is clear. Note! At the moment when the distinction between Israel and Egypt was most marked, then did the catholicity of authentic Judaism most appear. In Abraham, all humanity was to be blessed.
I. THE HAND THAT SMOTE. Most, if not all, of the nine earlier plagues had a biological basis; they had none. It was purely supernatural. They blended mercy (first warning and then withdrawal) with judgment. This was pure judgment. There was indeed a call to faith but room for unbelief in them. The demonstrations of God are seldom absolute. However, the tenth judgment was impressive. There is very little evidence of any secondary instrumentality, angelic, or any other; but see in the Hebrews 12:13, 23. Jehovah, this time smote with his hand.
II. THE VICTIMS. Firstborns. Of all beasts. Of men. However, here distinguish between the firstborns of fathers and mothers. In the tenth plague, it was so that the firstborns of mothers were destroyed (Exodus 13:2). Now, these were the "sanctified" unto the Lord, first, as "living sacrifices," and as representing the consecration of each family, and then of the entire nation. However, failing this consecration, their lives were forfeited. This was the case at that moment with the Israelites and Egyptians alike. In the case of the Egyptians, the firstborn's life was taken in that of the Israelites atoned for. Hence emerges a law of the Kingdom of God, that every soul that will not voluntarily consecrate himself to the Lord must involuntarily come under a cloud of condemnation.
III. THE OBJECTIVE. The gods of Egypt (Exodus 12:12). This was so with the nine plagues; it was especially so with the tenth. The heir to the throne was regarded as an incarnation of the Deity; by this plague, God pronounced him common clay with the rest. However, the firstborn of animals also fell. This was a blow against the animal worship of the land.