Exodus 11:1 - 12:30

Sunday Morning Bible Study

January 27, 2008


The process of deliverance began when Moses uttered those famous words to Pharaoh, “Let my people go”.

We’ve seen that the deliverance didn’t come easy.  Sometimes Pharaoh just flat out says “no”.  Other times he starts to give in, only to change his mind later.  Sometimes he offers a compromise, but Moses refuses to compromise.

With each refusal, God sends a “plague” or judgment on the Egyptians. We’ve come to see that these judgments aren’t just aimed at making the Egyptians miserable, they’re aimed at showing how phony the Egyptian gods are.

The first plague turned the Nile River to blood.  The second plague brought frogs.  The third brought lice, the fourth brought flies, the fifth brought death to the livestock, the sixth brought boils on the people, and the seventh brought a devastating hail storm.  The eighth plague brought locusts, the ninth plague a painful darkness, and still Pharaoh won’t give in.

We’ve tried to show how similar this process of Israel’s deliverance is to things in our own lives.

It can be a picture of a person making that step of choosing to follow Jesus instead of being enslaved to Satan.

It can be a picture of how a person can find “deliverance” from the things that hold them hostage – whether it’s an addiction like alcohol or drugs, or the kind of bad habits that destroy our relationships.

Do you know what really sets people free?


In Ireland there is a mental institution that every year picks two of its most reformed patients and questions them. If they get the questions right, they are free to leave. This year the two lucky gents were Patty and Mike. They were called down to the office and left there by the orderly. They were told to wait as the doctor got their files. The doctor came out and motioned for Patty to come in for his questioning. When Patty got in the office he was instructed to sit in the seat across from the doctor. “Patty, you know the tradition of this institution so I imagine you know why you are here. You will be asked two questions and if you get them right you will be free to go. Do you understand all that you have been told?” Said the doctor with a rather sly grin. Patty complied and the doctor began to question him. The first question was this. “Patty, if I was to poke out one of your eyes what would happen?” “I would be half blind of course,” Patty answered without much thought. “What would happen if I poked out the other eye?” “I would be completely blind,” said Patty knowing that he had just gotten his freedom. The doctor then sent him outside while he drew up the paperwork and accessed Mike’s files. When Patty got into the waiting room however, he told Mike what the questions would be and what the correct answers were. Then the doctor gave Patty his papers and called Mike in. He followed the same procedure that he had with Patty. “Mike, the first question is, what would happen if I cut off your ear?” “I would be blind in one eye,” He said remembering what he had been told. This received a perplexed look from the doctor but he just simply asked the other question so that he could figure out what the man was thinking. “Mike, what would happen if I cut off your other ear?” “I would be completely blind,” He answered with a smile as if he knew he had passed. But then the doctor ask him what his reasoning was and he said flatly, “Me hat would fall down over me eyes.”

Pay attention.  There will be a test at the end.  Do you see what will finally set them free?

Exodus 11

:1-10  Death of Firstborn announced

:1 And the LORD said to Moses, "I will bring yet one more plague on Pharaoh and on Egypt. Afterward he will let you go from here. When he lets you go, he will surely drive you out of here altogether.

plaguenega‘– stroke, wound, plague, mark of leprosy

This is the first time this word is used to describe the judgments that have come against Egypt.

The word is also found in Isaiah 53:

(Isa 53:8 NKJV)  He was taken from prison and from judgment, And who will declare His generation? For He was cut off from the land of the living; For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.

God informs Moses that this is it.  This is the last plague.  They will soon be free.

:2 "Speak now in the hearing of the people, and let every man ask from his neighbor and every woman from her neighbor, articles of silver and articles of gold."

Early on, God had told Moses about this:

(Exo 3:22 NKJV)  "But every woman shall ask of her neighbor, namely, of her who dwells near her house, articles of silver, articles of gold, and clothing; and you shall put them on your sons and on your daughters. So you shall plunder the Egyptians."

Archaeology has shown that in ancient Egypt, women weren’t the only ones that wore jewelry.  Men did too.

:3 And the LORD gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians. Moreover the man Moses was very great in the land of Egypt, in the sight of Pharaoh's servants and in the sight of the people.

was very great – the common people of Egypt had come to fear and respect Moses.  They took Moses seriously.

:4 Then Moses said, "Thus says the LORD: 'About midnight I will go out into the midst of Egypt;

:5 'and all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sits on his throne, even to the firstborn of the female servant who is behind the handmill, and all the firstborn of the animals.

The firstborn – in Egypt, the firstborn was the one who would succeed the father on the throne.

(Exo 4:22-23 NKJV)  "Then you shall say to Pharaoh, 'Thus says the LORD: "Israel is My son, My firstborn. {23} "So I say to you, let My son go that he may serve Me. But if you refuse to let him go, indeed I will kill your son, your firstborn."' "

God warned Pharaoh in the beginning to let His firstborn go.  Now Pharaoh has reached the end of the line.

:6 'Then there shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as was not like it before, nor shall be like it again.

Could you imagine what it would be like when every family in Egypt looses a child?

:7 'But against none of the children of Israel shall a dog move its tongue, against man or beast, that you may know that the LORD does make a difference between the Egyptians and Israel.'

movecharats – to cut; Not even the dogs of Egypt would be “cutting” or “criticizing” the Israelites when it was time to go.

:8 "And all these your servants shall come down to me and bow down to me, saying, 'Get out, and all the people who follow you!' After that I will go out." Then he went out from Pharaoh in great anger.

All the servants of Pharaoh would come and bow before Moses, begging him and his people to get out.

:9 But the LORD said to Moses, "Pharaoh will not heed you, so that My wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt."

:10 So Moses and Aaron did all these wonders before Pharaoh; and the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he did not let the children of Israel go out of his land.

Everything Moses has said to this point has happened.  Every plague has been delivered on the Egyptians just like Moses said.  There is no reason to believe that this will be any different.

Exodus 12

:1-28 The Passover described

:1 Now the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying,

:2 "This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you.

This event would take place in the seventh month of the “civil” calendar.  But now things will change.  This will become the first month of the religious calendar.

The original name for this month was “Abib”, which meant “ear” because the “grain was in the ear”.  The month would also be known as “Nisan”, a Babylonian name.  It fell in the time frame of March-April.

From this time on, the Israelites had two calendars, a sacred calendar and a civil calendar.

This will be such a monumental event that the Jews will change their calendar to reflect this event.

This is THE key event in Jewish history.  This is the event that changes everything.

It’s kind of like how the world’s calendars are affected by Jesus Christ.  BC and AD.

In fact, isn’t it kind of interesting that Jesus was called the “lamb of God” and that He actually died on the Passover?

No coincidence.

When you become a Christian, your world also changes.

We often refer to our life before Jesus as our “BC” days.

:3 "Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying: 'On the tenth day of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household.

:4 'And if the household is too small for the lamb, let him and his neighbor next to his house take it according to the number of the persons; according to each man's need you shall make your count for the lamb.

Josephus says there were never fewer than ten, and were often twenty, but no man might feast alone.

:5 'Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats.

without blemish – the overall principle is the same in all sacrifices, you don’t give God your “throw-aways”.  You give God your best. 


There’s a story about a man whose cow had twin calves. He was so excited that he ran to the church and decided to give one of the calves to God in thanks.  But he hadn’t decided which calf to give to the Lord. But after a week, one of the calves got sick, and eventually died. The man came to the pastor and said sadly, “I’m sorry, but God’s calf died”.
We too often want to give God things that don’t cost us very much.

But this also will be something that we see in the New Testament in another light:

(1 Pet 1:19 NKJV)  but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.
Pontius Pilate said to the priests and the crowd,

(Luke 23:4 NKJV) …"I find no fault in this Man."

The thief on the cross next to him said,

(Luke 23:41 NKJV)  "…this Man has done nothing wrong."

Judas realized …

(Mat 27:4 NKJV)  …"I have sinned by betraying innocent blood."

Why is this important?  For Jesus to be a perfect sacrifice for us, He needed to be without sin.  Otherwise when He died, He would be dying to pay for His own sins, not ours.

:6 'Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month. Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight.

keep it until the fourteenth day – after you’ve chosen the lamb to sacrifice, you hold on to the animal.  It becomes a bit of a part of the family. Did you see in verse 4-5 how the lamb was first “the lamb” and then it was “your lamb”?   And then you’re going to kill it.

Some commentators say that the family held the lamb for four days as a symbol of the four hundred years that the Israelites were in captivity.

shall kill it – there is a lamb being killed for each family, yet all the lambs are seen as One Lamb, they kill “it” not “them”.

at twilight – there is some disagreement as to when this was to happen.  One view was that it was between 6 and 7 in the evening.  Another view was that it was between 3 and 5 in the afternoon, which was the custom of the Jews at the time of Christ.

Jesus, the Lamb of God, died at 3 in the afternoon.

:7 'And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses where they eat it.

The blood was to be painted onto the doorframe of the house.

The doorposts not only represented the entrance into the house, but also the security and protection for the house.

No one could get into that house unless they came through the blood.

:8 'Then they shall eat the flesh on that night; roasted in fire, with unleavened bread and with bitter herbs they shall eat it.

Just as our communion meal contains symbolism, the Jewish Passover has elements that were also supposed to be symbolic.

unleavened bread – to remind them that they needed to leave quickly.  It will also take on the significance of a pure life, a life without “leaven” or “sin”.

 (1 Cor 5:8 NKJV)  Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

There’s a part of the Passover that is a picture of turning from sin.

bitter herbs – things like endive, chicory, or nettles, meant to remind the people of their past sins and the oppression and bitter life that was in Egypt.

eat it – the lamb has to be consumed by each person

:9 'Do not eat it raw, nor boiled at all with water, but roasted in fire; its head with its legs and its entrails.

raw – pagan rituals often called for eating the meat raw.

boiled – later sacrifices would be boiled, but not this one.

roasted – Why roasted?  Perhaps the fire speaks of judgment.  The lamb has to be judged in the fire.

:10 'You shall let none of it remain until morning, and what remains of it until morning you shall burn with fire.

They were to eat it all, no left-overs in the morning.

Jesus died on the cross and was buried immediately.  When Jesus paid for your sins, He did it once-for-all.  He doesn’t need to remain on the cross overnight or forever.  The problem with the Catholic crucifix is that it makes you think Jesus is still on the cross.

:11 'And thus you shall eat it: with a belt on your waist, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. So you shall eat it in haste.

belt on your waist – They were going to do this by faith.  They were expecting to be released from Egypt before they would actually be set free.

:11  It is the Lord's Passover.

Are you seeing that this “Passover” is bigger than just getting Israel out of Egypt?

God is painting a picture of what freedom is all about.

Isaiah hinted at it:

(Isa 53:7 NKJV)  He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth.

John the Baptist had a clue…

(John 1:29 NKJV)  The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

Peter writes,

(1 Pet 1:18-19 NKJV)  knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, {19} but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.

:12 'For I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD.

against all the gods of Egypt – we’ve been getting a hint at this as we’ve made our way through Exodus.  God is showing the world that there is none like Him.

With this last plague we see judgment against…

Pharaoh – he was considered a “god” to the Egyptians.

His firstborn was the successor to the throne.
The firstborn was considered a specially born son having divine qualities, given by an act of the gods.

Other “gods” affected by this plague:

Min – the god of procreation and reproduction, a pretty lewd fellow.  I couldn’t find a “PG” picture of him anywhere, so I had to censor it.
Isis – the ultimate symbol of reproduction, the goddess with the power to produce offspring, she also had the job of protecting children.
Hathor – the cow “goddess”, an ancient protector of music, dancing, and love, she was one of seven deities who attended the birth of children.
Apis – the famous sacred animal, it was a firstborn bull.

:13 'Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.

pass over – this is why this holiday was called the “Passover” because God had “passed over” the Israelites.

Note:  The people of Israel were not saved because they were “nicer” than the Egyptians.

They were saved because they had heard about the deal with the lamb, and they chose to cover their homes with lamb’s blood.

:14 'So this day shall be to you a memorial; and you shall keep it as a feast to the LORD throughout your generations. You shall keep it as a feast by an everlasting ordinance.

memorial – our own “communion” is patterned after the Passover.  Jesus gave us the ritual of communion at the Passover.

:15 'Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall remove leaven from your houses. For whoever eats leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel.

The Feast of Unleavened bread was a second feast that was linked to the Passover.  Sometimes in Scripture you will have one or the other feast mentioned, but it usually involves both feasts.

This feast lasted for seven days.  On the first day of the feast each home was to be carefully cleaned of leaven.  Leaven is often seen as a picture of sin in the Bible (1Cor. 5:7-8)

Coming to Jesus is not just about escaping certain death, it’s also about coming away from sin.

:16 'On the first day there shall be a holy convocation, and on the seventh day there shall be a holy convocation for you. No manner of work shall be done on them; but that which everyone must eat; that only may be prepared by you.

holy convocation – like having church, the people were to get together.

:17 'So you shall observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread, for on this same day I will have brought your armies out of the land of Egypt. Therefore you shall observe this day throughout your generations as an everlasting ordinance.

:18 'In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at evening, you shall eat unleavened bread, until the twenty-first day of the month at evening.

:19 'For seven days no leaven shall be found in your houses, since whoever eats what is leavened, that same person shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he is a stranger or a native of the land.

:20 'You shall eat nothing leavened; in all your dwellings you shall eat unleavened bread.'"

:21 Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel and said to them, "Pick out and take lambs for yourselves according to your families, and kill the Passover lamb.

:22 "And you shall take a bunch of hyssop, dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin. And none of you shall go out of the door of his house until morning.

hyssop – a plant in the “mint” family.  It had stiff branches and hairy leaves which worked well in sprinkling things. It is often used in ceremonies of “cleansing” (Lev. 14:4, 49; Num. 19:6).  David wrote,

(Psa 51:7 NKJV)  Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

It’s interesting that this plant used in ceremonial cleansing would be used here. There is something in this ritual that has to do with cleansing.

Hyssop is the thing that applies the blood.  For us, this is what “faith” does.  We put our trust in Christ and the blood is applied to our lives.

(1 John 1:9 NKJV)  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

I need to confess my sins, but I also need to “trust” that Jesus has paid for my sins.

:23 "For the LORD will pass through to strike the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the LORD will pass over the door and not allow the destroyer to come into your houses to strike you.

the destroyer – some have suggested it might have been the Angel of the LORD, Jesus.

:24 "And you shall observe this thing as an ordinance for you and your sons forever.

:25 "It will come to pass when you come to the land which the LORD will give you, just as He promised, that you shall keep this service.

:26 "And it shall be, when your children say to you, 'What do you mean by this service?'

:27 "that you shall say, 'It is the Passover sacrifice of the LORD, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt when He struck the Egyptians and delivered our households.' " So the people bowed their heads and worshiped.

Teaching the kids…

God didn’t intend for your faith to die with you.  He wants it passed on to your family.

There ought to be things that we do that cause our kids to ask the question, “Why do we do things that way?”

:28 Then the children of Israel went away and did so; just as the LORD had commanded Moses and Aaron, so they did.

:29-30 The Tenth Plague:  Death of the Firstborn

:29 And it came to pass at midnight that the LORD struck all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of livestock.

firstborn of livestock – remember that the “Apis” bull was a firstborn bull.

We know Thutmose IV succeeded Amenhotep II, the Pharaoh of the Exodus, but Thutmose IV was not his firstborn. Egyptian records do not record what happened to his older brother, the first-born.

Click to show the death

There will be a day of judgment that we will all face.  No one will be spared.

(Heb 9:27 NKJV)  And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,

There is no possibility of avoiding this judgment.  The only chance we have is through the blood of the Lamb.

:30 So Pharaoh rose in the night, he, all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was not a house where there was not one dead.

What was Pharaoh thinking as he heard Moses warn that the first born of every family, including his own, was going to die?

What would he think when his own son would die?  He had gone too far.

I sometimes wonder what it will take for a person to realize that they need Jesus.


Freedom comes from … the Lamb

Do you know the answer?  Do you know what really sets people free?
Our countries leaders say that freedom comes from democracy.
Some folks say that freedom comes from the Twelve Step program.
Here’s the answer:  Freedom only comes from Jesus.
Only He can forgive your sins. Only He has the power to save you from death. Only He can give you the power to walk away from Egypt.