Epistles of Thomas

January 26, 2009

Exodus 10-12

Filed under: Old Testament — Thomas @ 13:28
Tags: , ,

Moses and Aaron warn Pharaoh and his officials that a plague of locusts will come and eat the remainder of the crops. This would complete the undoing of the blessings that Joseph’s management brought to Egypt during the great famine. Pharaoh’s officials advised that the Hebrews be allowed to go but once Pharaoh realises that they intend to take all the people and their livestock he fears they will not return. He offers to let only the men go. Moses stretched out his staff and the locusts came in and ate everything. Pharaoh again repents, but once the locusts are gone so is his softened heart. The next plague brought darkness for three days. Pharaoh then offered to let the people go but not their flocks. Moses again refuses to accept this partial measure because they will need the animals to sacrifice to God. Pharaoh tells Moses to leave and never appear before him again. The final plague is announced – God will smite the firstborn of every Egyptian person and even cattle. This will be the final straw that breaks the camel’s back and the people will be allowed to depart.

In chapter twelve, the Lord gives Moses the instructions for departure. The people need to both eat and prepare for their long walk and also prevent the destroyer from killing their firstborn. From a New Testament perspective the placing of blood from the animal on their doorframes is important as it foreshadows Jesus’ blood being spilled so that we might escape the destroyer. It is no coincidence that his death took place at Passover. “This is how you are to eat it: with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand. Eat it in haste; it is the Lord’s Passover” (12:11). The people did as Moses commanded and the destroyer did as God promised and all the firstborn of Egypt died. “During the night Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “Up! Leave my people, you and the Israelites! Go, worship the Lord as you have requested. Take your flocks and herds, as you have said, and go. And also bless me” (12:31-32). So the people asked the Egyptians for gold and silver and “plundered them” and left the land. It records that “There were about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides women and children. Many other people went up with them, and also large droves of livestock, both flocks and herds” (12:37-38). There were a lot of people travelling out of Egypt and not all of them were Hebrew according to this. These foreigners are commanded to be circumcised before they can participate in the Passover commemorating God’s saving them from Egypt. Circumcision is the sign that the person has identified with YHWH, the God who Was and Is and Is to Come.

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