UNLEAVENED BREAD, etc. part 2

by John Thomas Lowe
(Woodruff, S.C.)

part 2
19 For seven days, no yeast will be found in your houses. Moreover, anyone, whether foreigner or native-born, who eats anything with yeast in it must be cut off from the community of Israel.

This is not a mere "vain repetition" of verse 15. It adds an important extension of the corrective clause - "must be cut off from the community of Israel." - from authentic Israelites to proselytes. We are thus reminded, at the very time when Israel is about to become a nation and to enter upon its inheritance of exclusive privileges, that no exclusion of the Gentiles because of race or descent was ever contemplated by God, either at the giving of the law or at any other time. In Abraham, all their families were blessed (Genesis 12:3). It was always open to any Gentiles to join themselves in Israel by becoming "proselytes of justice," adopting circumcision and the general observance of the law, and joining the Israelite community. The whole law is full of references to persons of this class (Exodus 20:10; Exodus 23:12; Leviticus 16:29; Leviticus 17:10; Leviticus 18:26; Leviticus 20:2; Leviticus 24:16; Numbers 35:15; Deuteronomy 5:14; Deuteronomy 16:11-14; Deuteronomy 24:17, 19; Deuteronomy 27:19; Deuteronomy 29:11, etc.). It must have been largely recruited in the times immediately following the exodus from the "mixed multitude" which accompanied the Israelites out of Egypt (Exodus 12:38) and from the Kenites who joined them in the wilderness (Numbers 10:29-31; Judges 1:16). Born in the land - i.e., an Israelite by birth - "the land" is, no doubt, Canaan, which is regarded as the true "Land of Israel" from the time when God assigned it to the posterity of Abraham (Genesis 15:18). Exodus 12:19

20 Eat nothing made with yeast. Wherever you live, you must eat unleavened bread."
Here again, there is no repetition but an extension. "Ye shall eat nothing leavened," not only no leavened bread (ver. 15) but no leavened cake of any kind. Moreover, "in all your habitations shall ye eat unleavened bread," i.e., wherever ye dwell, whether in Egypt, the wilderness, Palestine, Babylonia, or Media, this law shall be observed. So the Jews observe it everywhere to this day, though they no longer sacrifice the Paschal lamb.

21 Then Moses summoned all Israel's elders and said, "Go at once and select the animals for your families and slaughter the Passover lamb."
Then Moses summoned all the elders of Israel and said to them
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, (Exodus 12:3).
"Go at once and select the animals for your families and slaughter the Passover lamb."
Take a lamb, according to your families; or "take ye of the flock," 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 slaughter the Passover lamb.
Moreover, killing the Lamb for the Passover, which was to be done on the fourteenth day of the month; 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 heads of families killed the Passover, and in their own houses, but afterward it was killed only by the priests, and at Jerusalem and in the temple there, see Deuteronomy 16:5.

22 Take a bunch of hyssops, dip it into the blood in the basin and put some of the blood on the top and both sides of the doorframe. None of you shall go out of the door of your house until morning
Take a bunch of hyssops,
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. However, whether it means the same herb we call hyssop is uncertain: Jarchi says three stalks of it are called a bunch, and so the Mishnic canon runs, "the command concerning hyssop is three stalks (which Maimonides on the place interprets roots), and in the 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 sometimes used branches of laurel, and sometimes branches of the olive, to sprinkle with:
And dip it in the blood that is in the basin:
According to the Targum of Jonathan, this was an earthen vessel into which the blood of the Lamb was received when slain, and into this, the bunch of hyssops was dipped. Hence, it was usual with the Heathens to receive the blood of the sacrifice in cups or basins: 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 actual Passover lamb, which is for its worth and excellent efficacy to be highly prized and esteemed, and not be counted as a standard 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 owes that they are saved from the wrath to come: this is the purple covering under which they pass safely through this world to the heavenly glory, Romans 5:9, this circumstance was peculiar to the Passover in Egypt; in later times there was not the like danger.

23 When the LORD goes through the land to strike down the Egyptians, he will see the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe and pass over that doorway, and he will not permit the destroyer to enter your houses and strike you down.
When the LORD goes through the land to strike down the Egyptians.
All the firstborns in several families, in all the towns and cities in Egypt.
Moreover, when he seeth the blood upon the lintel and the two side posts.
Which must be understood of his taking notice of it with a unique view to the good of those within the house; otherwise, everything is seen by his all-seeing eye: and thus Christ, the Lamb of God, is amid 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 constantly looked unto by him with pleasure, delight, and satisfaction, to the advantage of his people, as applied unto them, who are now accepted with him, justified in his sight, and secure from condemnation and wrath:
The Lord will pass over the door.
Furthermore, 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:
Moreover, he will not permit the destroyer to enter your houses and strike you down.
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 an evil 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 a one as was employed in destroying the whole host of the Assyrians in one night, 2 Kings 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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