Exodus 10:1-13:16 "The First Passover"


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Jan 21, 2006
San Salvador
El Salvador
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PARASHA: “BO” (enter) EXODUS 10:1-13:16

The Parasha starts out; “And the LORD said unto Moshe; ‘Go in unto Pharaoh’…” Strange, the word “Go” in Hebrew is “Sh’lach”, but the Hebrew scriptures read “Bo” (enter) so, in reality, the Word of God is saying; “Enter, or Come in unto Pharaoh” But why? One way of looking at this is that Adonai is already there in the palace of pharaoh, and HE is inviting Moshe to come where He is to do business with pharaoh! And what a business deal! Let’s make him an offer he can’t refuse! Freedom for Israel…or the plagues! So, it is “God against Pharaoh and his gods” Guess who wins?

The plagues against the Egyptian gods continue, it is our “Creator God YHVH” against Pharaoh and his false deities. Guess who is winning, yes, you know it. However, I need to point out that many of us peg Pharaoh and the Egyptians as the “bad guys” and the Israelites as the “good guys”.

But we need to take note of something that many believers have in common with pharaoh, After the plague of locusts, pharaoh said;

“I have sinned against the LORD your God, (notice that he said “YOUR” ) and against you, Now therefore forgive I pray thee my sin only this once and entreat the LORD your God that he may take away this death only”(Ex 10:17) and even before that, pharaoh spoke saying;

“I have sinned this time, the LORD is righteous, and I and my people are wicked, entreat the LORD that there be no more mighty thunderings and hail, and I will let you go, and ye shall stay no longer (EX 9:27,28)

All of these plagues were directed against the false gods of Egypt. The Nile had a goddess (Anuket), and the cattle god was “Apis” in the form of a bull. The sun-god “Ra” was directly attacked by the plague of darkness; In chap 10; 22-23 Moshe speaks of a “darkness which could be felt” per instructions of YHVH, Moshe stretched out his hand towards the heavens, and “darkness” descended over Egypt. We ask ourselves; “How can a person ‘feel’ darkness, it isn’t ‘physical’ yet it could be felt by the Egyptians.

It could be that the “darkness” that the Egyptians felt was more spiritual and emotional than physical. It was a darkness so “thick” that one person could not see another. Perhaps a sort of supernatural darkness came from YHVH, perhaps a “moist and humid” darkness so that when the Egyptians went to light their lamps, they would not light. It could have been a dense, dark fog.

I experienced such a darkness when I was living in Mexico in 1973. A “campesino” showed me a cave which was in the middle of a forest. No one could find the exit, for it extended for miles. “Cuidado” (careful he told me) “People have gone crazy inside there.” Well, I just had to go in to find out myself. After going in about thirty feet, the cave turned to the right. I went to the right about 10 feet and all of a sudden, there was pitch darkness, so dark that I could not see my hand in front of my face. I felt instant fear, so much so that I turned and left the way I came in. As soon as I saw the light of the outside, I breathed a sigh of relief. I did not go back inside. (Well, that day I did not have a lantern with me, nor a flashlight).

Perhaps the darkness which was felt was that of “fear”. There is a spiritual darkness in which many people dwell, without the light of the Torah, of Yeshua, we live in darkness, yet the scripture tells us that in the dwellings of the Israelites, there was light. Their lamps were lit and they could see each other, the three days of darkness were like three regular evenings for the Israelites, they had lights, and they had the light of YHVH, the promise of redemption, the coming of the first Passover, freedom was just around the corner, just a few days ahead.

Pharaoh seems to be repentant yet it is just “lip service” in Spanish it would be “de diente a labio” or from “tooth to lip” he continues to rebel against YHVH, and refuses to let Israel go. How many believers claim to love God and admit that they are sinners and wicked, and we all are because of our “yetzer hara” (evil inclination) or in simple words, “sin nature” yet we ignore the Torah, we disobey HIS commandments…or…we promise that we will obey, yet we go back on our promise. I think this is true for ALL of us from time to time, for some more often than others.

Even the Israelites, once they got out of Egypt, began to complain, gripe, grumble and groan, and break God’s commandments by making by an idol of the calf of gold. Are we any better? Do we not grumble and complain too? For this and for that? We break YHVH’s commandments, and we say, “sorry” and seem repentant, but continue in the same sins, I think we are like Pharaoh as much as like the Israelites.

Sometimes, we want to compromise, not follow ALL of Adonai’s instructions, and perhaps not follow the whole Torah. Adonai’s instructions to Moshe, as he revealed to pharaoh, were to leave Egypt, all the people, with all their properties (herds and flocks), go to the wilderness and sacrifice to the LORD, yet pharaoh said he would comply…but…not all the way;

“go sacrifice to your God in the land” (just stay in Egypt) “Go to the wilderness, but not so far away”

(yes, so we can keep an eye on you so that you don’t run away!) “Go serve the LORD, the men only” (yet Adonai wants “all the people”) “Go serve the LORD, but your herds and flocks stay here” (so, how are they going to sacrifice without the flocks and the herds?)

Do we follow wholeheartedly? Or do we pick and choose? Do we follow the Torah only when convenient? Or parts that won’t interrupt our lifestyles? Do we follow some commandments and not follow others saying “These aren’t for us, only for Israel” If we are picking and choosing, then we are like pharaoh, trying to “bargain” or make “Compromise” with the LORD through his chosen servant.

I would like to add this detail also. It is about “HaMateh” (The Staff) this is the staff or the rod of Moshe and Aaron, the one that was used to bring about the plagues. It is very interesting and how it relates to the power of Elohim through Moshe. The word “Mateh” in Hebrew has two meanings. One is “Rod” or “Staff” and it represents the power and authority of the holder of the same. It also means “Tribe” and in the plural; “Matot” (Tribes).

When Moshe was still before YHVH at Mt. Sinai, He told Moshe to use the “Mateh” to show the people HIS power. The power of Elohim-YHVH through Moshe. Moshe would be as “Elohim” before Pharaoh. The rod would be the symbol of authority, as it also represents the “Tribe” of “Kol Israel” of “All Israel” united as One Tribe. “Mateh Echad”.

If we look at the staff of Moshe through spiritual eyes, just imagine the name YHVH carved into this staff or rod of judgment. We look at the value of the letters Y H V H. The first two letters “Yod and Hey” 10 and 5. Those two letters form the shorter form of the name of God; “YaH”. The letter “Yod” = 10. It can symbolize the “10” plagues that were to befall Egypt, by the “Arm” (Yod) of Elohim. The hand is part of the arm, remember that.

Then we see the letter “Hey” that has the value of “5”. We can sum up the promises of YHVH as the following; 1) Elohim will deliver Israel out from under the burden of Egyptian Slavery; 2) Israel will be REDEEMED by the ARM of Elohim-YHVH; 3) Elohim-YHVH will Israel as HIS people and will be their GOD; 4) Israel will be brought into the chosen land of promise; 5) The promised land will be an INHERETANCE.

After the 10 plagues, the 5 basic promises were fulfilled. The redemption was fulfilled when the lambs and goats were slaughtered and sacrificed in the Israelite homes during the Eve of Pesach. So that gives us Y and H in the infallible name of God.

But we still have Vav (V) and Hey (H). We know that the “Hey” covers the promises, but the “Vav” is the key letter that points us to Calvary’s Cross! The “Vav” is the nail, that was driven into the hands of Mashiach, this would “really” fulfill the promise of redemption. The redemption was symbolized by the animal sacrifices until Yeshua came and fulfilled it in “Full”. The “Vav” has the value of “6” which is the number of “Man”. So, Elohim became a man to receive the nail in his hands to make full the promise of redemption, which was part of the promises. The first story of Israel’s redemption by blood is in chapter 12. This can be the most important chapter of Shemot because it is “Pesach Time”

” This month shall be your beginning of months for you, it shall be the first month of the year for you”

This can't be any clearer in my observation, it isn't January 1st, it is the first of Abib, or Nisan, and since the lunar calendar changes from year to year, God's “New Year's Day” comes on April 8th(New Year's Eve).

” On the tenth of this month, everyone shall take a lamb.... a lamb for each household” ......

This lamb was to be a young, healthy lamb, and it would be kept for 5 days, on the 14th day, it would be slaughtered, and as we know, the blood would be placed on the two side posts of the door of the house entrance and along the top frame. As the story goes on, the death angel would come and see the blood and thus “pass over” that house that had the blood on the doorposts.

If you imagine that, the blood on the door posts...forms sort of a “cross” you can imagine Yeshua with his arms and hands extended, each one touching one of the “doorposts” and his head against the “top part” where the blood from his head would be (where the Roman soldiers pushed in the crown of thorns and where the nails were hammered (in the wrists) between the two small bones that form the arm (remember that not one bone was broken), so it had to between the bones, through the muscle.

The lamb or goat was to be eaten roasted, with bitter herbs and unleavened bread. The other elements were added later and were present when Yeshua celebrated the Pesach Supper with his talmidim. The roasted lamb or goat symbolizes “Yeshua being “roasted” in the “fires of judgment for our sins. He took upon himself ALL of our sins, past, present, and future. They were all “nailed” to the cross and judged by the Father. The “bitter herbs” symbolize the bitterness of slavery, the slavery to sin, and having a master “HaSatan” as our taskmaster. The unleavened bread symbolizes “Yeshua The Bread of Life” Bread without leaven can be considered “perfect, sinless bread, therefore calling Yeshua who is without sin, “The Bread of Life”, and when we eat the “bread without leaven” (Matzah) we are symbolizing “taking into us Yeshua” and when we eat only unleavened bread for 7 days afterward, we are being conscience of “sin in our lives” (avoiding it) being reminded by the matzah.

At the first Passover, wine wasn't mentioned nor does it mention “Charoseth” (a sweet mixture of nuts, apples, honey, cinnamon, etc.). They may have had wine, or water, or another drink, but no one knows for sure, nor do we know what kind of “bitter herbs” were used, today we use horseradish. Back then, it had to be something common in Egypt.

The death angel visited the houses where no blood was found, so probably all the houses of the Egyptians lacked the blood, but perhaps there were a few houses that had members that paid attention to Moshe, and they might have gone to the Israelites and put blood on their doors.

We are talking about a “substitution sacrifice” the “lambs and goats” were substituted for the Israelites' firstborn. And any Egyptian household that also placed the blood on their doors (those who believed). We can see in scripture where a “substitute” was used. When Abraham was asked to sacrifice Isaac, God provided a “ram” as a substitute for Isaac, On Yom Kippur, two goats are used as “substitutes” for all of the people of Israel, and finally, “Yeshua Ha Mashiach” (Jesus the Messiah/Christ) was “OUR” substitute on the cross, HE exchanged his “Righteousness for our sinfulness” instead of us being punished for our sins, Yeshua accepted the punishment in our place. All that remains for us is to accept his “one time only” sacrifice and receive and accept HIM as our LORD and SAVIOR, thus being “born again” according to John 3:3. Have you done this? If you were to die today, are you sure that Yeshua/Jesus is your LORD and Savior? Will HE let you into his Kingdom? Only you can answer that question.

ANCIENT EGYPTIAN WORDS/VOCABULARY (just for the fun of knowing them)

“Aw Ibek” = May your heart rejoice, “Em Hotep” = shalom, peace, “Kemet” = Egypt (black earth)

“Qed” = architect (masculine) “Qedet” = architect (feminine) “baket” = female servant

“Em heset net Ra” = be in favor with (the god) Ra, “Em heset net Yah” = be in favor with Yah (YHVH)

“Retehtey” = baker “Retehtet” = baker (female) , “Neter” = god “Sen” = brother, “Sat” = sister

“Dua netjer en ek” = thank you.

One thing about the ancient Egyptian language, the hieroglyphs were consonants and at times, whole words. There is little known about the vowels, so, it is hard to say the true sounds of the words. Torah scrolls are written in Hebrew without the vowel markings. Also, some of our words were not known in ancient Egypt. For example, the ancient Egyptians had no word for "death" instead, the word was "cease to live".

However, God understands all languages. Pharaoh had many chances to repent, but he remained hardened. He thought of himself as a "god on earth"
Don't be like pharaoh, surrender your life to Christ Jesus, (Messiah Yeshua). You'll have all eternity to enjoy.