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Utmost Significance — Exodus Chapter 12

Updated: Dec 12, 2022

This blog post will cover the devotionals #44-57 for Exodus Chapter 12.

**Pictures will be added at a later date.

Please note that this devotional book WILL SOON be for sale as a physical (paperback) &/or digital (PDF) book on my website.

[44] Exodus 12:1-11,13,21-23,46

God told Moses that month would be like the first month of the year for them. Deuteronomy 16:1 tells us that it was called ‘Abib’ (or ‘Nisan’). It was the beginning of a new nation. They’d tell Israel what they were to do (on the tenth day of that month). All the men were to take a lamb for their household (if one home was too small, it’d join their neighbors’ house). It’d need to be without blemish, and in its first year of life. It could come from the sheep or goats. They’d keep it alive until the fourteenth day of the month, and all of Israel would kill it that evening (see Leviticus 23:5 and Deuteronomy 16:1-8 for more details). The blood would be dipped with hyssop (a bitter herb) and wiped on the three doorposts (the top and two sides) of each house. That same night, they’d eat the lamb’s flesh in their home. It’d have to be roasted (whole, without breaking the bones), not raw or boiled with water. They were to eat the head, legs, and center with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. If any of the lamb remained until morning, it must be burned. They were also to eat it in a certain manner—quickly, with their waists clothed and secured with belts, shoes on their feet, and their staff in their hand. It’d be referred to as ‘the Lord’s Passover’. All these aspects were symbolic of something important—and God had a reason for each. By putting the sign on their doors, separating themselves from the Egyptians, gathering in their homes, and eating the Passover Lamb—they were expressing their faith in their deliverance. Leaving even one aspect out would’ve put them at risk for the final plague. Likewise, trying a different method (like barricading the door) would’ve been futile.

[45] Exodus 12:3-7,10,11,13,21-23,46

The lamb without blemish (verse 5) would represent Jesus—the sinless Lamb of God. Verses 3-5 say they had to choose the Passover lamb a few days before they killed it. John 11:47-53 shows us that Christ was condemned to die a few days before the crucifixion. Verse 6 says the lamb had to be kept separate from the flock. John 11:53, 54 says that Jesus no longer walked openly among the Jews. Verse 6 also says that the lamb was killed on the fourteenth day of Abib (Nissan), between the two evenings. John 18:28 shows that Jesus was crucified the day the Jews prepared the Passover feast (the fourteenth day of Abib), and Mark 15:33-37 says that He died about the ninth hour. The sacrifice was done at evening, which is when the deliverance was secured—representing the sacrifice of the actual Passover Lamb—Who’d die on the cross in the evening. Verses 7, 13, 22, 23 say that the lamb’s blood was to be put on the door posts and lintel to save them from being destroyed—and that there’d be no other shelter from the destroyer. 1 John 1:7 says Christ’s blood cleanses us from sin, and Acts 4:12 shows that there’s no salvation in any other name. The blood needed to be put on the three posts because the blood of His sacrifice must reach the doorposts of our soul. We must accept the sacrifice He made for us individually. I also can’t help but think of Christ bleeding on the cross. He had blood on His head and both hands (and feet). Notice also what parts they were to eat—the head, legs, and center (we’ll discuss that in devotional #47). Verse 46 says that the bones weren’t to be broken. John 19:32-36 shows that, though most crucifixion victims had their legs broken (to hasten death), none of Jesus’ bones were broken (He’d already died). They had to prepare the lamb whole. This was to represent the wholeness of Christ’s sacrifice. Verse 10 says that no part of the lamb should remain until morning—but the leftovers burned. Malachi 4:1-3 and Ezekiel 28:16-19 says that nothing would be left to remind us of sin except the ashes. The morning would be the start of a new state for them—liberty from bondage of Egypt. Those that accept and partake of Christ’s sacrifice as their Passover Lamb by faith would start a new experience of freedom from the condemnation of their previous life. And when God finally delivers His people at midnight at the end of time, none will be in bondage in the morning. Likewise, Jesus’ body wasn’t to remain on the cross overnight (until morning). Furthermore, they had to eat the flesh—symbolizing not just belief in Christ’s forgiveness, but faithfully being constantly strengthened and nourished by His Word (see John 6:53, 54). They were to integrate His experience by symbolically eating His flesh and drinking His blood (the Word of God). They were to eat it quickly because, as Deuteronomy 16:3 says, they came out of Egypt in haste. They had to be ready to head out the door at a moment’s notice—so they had to be clothed, shoed, and ready to walk (verse 11). There’s not a moment to lose when choosing to accept Christ’s sacrifice for our salvation—we should make no delay, or all could be lost. Their standing, clothed/shoed state with staff in hand was representative of their thrust out of a strange land—and the difficult journey that awaited them. In Christ’s time, things were different because the people weren’t about to be thrust out of a strange land, but dwelled in their own. They weren’t about to journey there—they were already there. Thus, instead of standing ready to go, they laid on couches at the table, where they could eat with one hand, rest on the other arm, and lean on the chest of the one beside them. Their feet (filthy from traversing through dust), instead of being shoed for travel, were exposed at the edge of the couch to be washed by the one who circled the table.

[46] Exodus 12:9

Why'd it need to be roasted? In Genesis 8:20, 21, we see the first mentioned burnt offering when Noah offered up the animals after leaving the ark (they'd been delivered from destruction)—which was a sweet savor to God. In Genesis 22:2-13 (where Abraham's called to sacrifice Isaac as a burnt offering), Isaac asks Abraham where the lamb is for the burnt offering, and he was told that God would provide it. We know this was a taste of God’s sacrifice of His own beloved Son on the cross, but even in that situation, He still provided a ram (a grown, male lamb) for the burnt offering, and Abraham’s willingness pleased God. In Exodus 29:16-18, 25, God instructs Aaron to prepare the ram for the consecration of the priests. “And you shall slay the ram, and take his blood, and sprinkle it around on the altar. And you shall cut the ram in pieces, and wash his inwards, and his legs, and put them unto his pieces, and unto his head. And you shall burn the whole ram on the altar: it is a burnt offering unto the Lord: it is a sweet savor, an offering made by fire unto the Lord.” The ram’s blood would be sprinkled around the altar, just as the lamb’s blood was to be put on the doorposts and lintel of the Hebrews’ houses. The ram was to be burned whole on the altar, just as the Passover lamb was to be roasted whole. The lamb was to be eaten roasted, not raw or sodden with water. Strong’s Concordance defines ‘sodden’ as ‘boiled’, and ‘raw’ (in this verse) as ‘tough’ or ‘in the sense of harshness from refusal’ (‘to refuse, forbid, dissuade, or neutralize—to break, disallow, discourage, or make of none effect’). The usage of this version of ‘raw’ intrigues me. There are a few places in the Bible that the phrase ‘make/made of none effect’ is used. The following ones catch my attention: Galatians 3:16-18, Romans 4:13, 14, and 1 Corinthians 1:17. Let me summarize. Promises were made to Abraham and his Seed, Christ. The covenant confirmed by God in Christ cannot be disannulled by the law, which came 430 years later—making the promise of none effect (empty, neutralized, void, in vain, etc.). If the inheritance comes by the law, it’s no longer by promise. However, God gave the inheritance of the world to Abraham and his Seed by promise—through the righteousness of faith, not through the law. If they’re heirs by keeping the law, then faith is made void, and the promise is made of none effect. The gospel isn’t to be preached with the wisdom of words, otherwise the cross of Christ would be made of none effect. Though it doesn’t state specifically in verses 8, 9 why not raw (or sodden), their understanding of the word used for raw would’ve told them a story. The lamb (especially in the context of the Passover and the cross) wasn’t to be associated with empty tradition or law-keeping (righteousness by works). It was used to symbolize what God promised—and their keeping of the feast wouldn’t earn them salvation / deliverance, but rather, be an act of faith in His promise to give them that. If they rejected His sacrifice (even if they kept the law), they wouldn’t be saved—just like how, in Egypt, the destroyer would be permitted to enter their homes at midnight. If all they needed to avoid was done anyway, then the sacrifice would’ve been in vain (neutralized)—it would’ve had no effect. Now, another thought that I heard someone share once was quite powerful. Jesus was the perfect sacrifice, because He Who knew no sin became sin for us (in other words, God removed the sin of the entire world and laid it on Him). Thus, in the ‘fire’ of God’s wrath (Him giving up Jesus, as the innocent sacrifice, to the consequences of all sin), when His whole being was tried by fire, no dross / chaff (refuse) was found in Him (Ezekiel 22:18-22, Proverbs 25:4, Isaiah 1:25, Matthew 3:12). Thus, because of the experience Christ would have to go through, this was the only way that the Passover lamb should be prepared.

[47] Exodus 12:8,9

When we looked at Exodus 29:16-18, 25 (in devotional #46), the focus of the ram’s parts was his center (Strong’s Concordance defines ‘inwards’ as ‘the center’), legs, and head, just as the Hebrews were to consume the center (‘purtenance’), legs, and head in the Passover. I love how Strong's Concordance reveals the true meanings of the words, ‘head’, ‘legs’, and ‘purtenance’, in this context. ‘Purtenance’—'the nearest part’, mentioning, ‘to approach or bring / be near’, ‘to offer / present’, ‘to join’. ‘Head’—the definition of this word focuses on the figurative principle of the word, rather than the physical body part: ‘captain, chief, first’ (within the context of place, time, rank, etc.). It also mentions the root of the word, meaning ‘to shake’. ‘Legs’—‘from the knee to the ankle’—specifically, ‘to bend the knee, prostrate, bow, cast down, stoop, sink’. I’m impacted by the correlation of the meanings of these words to what Christ did on the cross. He stooped down to become man. He humbled Himself, submitting to be offered up as the only thing that could bring us near to God—to be rejoined to Him once more (Ephesians 2:14). He bowed His head and died, becoming the Captain of our Salvation (Hebrews 2:10). He rose again, becoming the first fruits of those that slept (were dead) and were risen back to life (1 Corinthians 15:20). He delivered them from the power of death (Hosea 13:14). Hebrews 2:14, 15 says, “Since the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He similarly took part of the same; that through death, He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who, through fear of death, were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” The words used to describe which parts they were to eat were understood by Israel as something representative of the significance of their deliverance from both Egypt and sin. Each time they ate the head, legs, and center, they’d be reminded of that. Exodus 12:8 says that the lamb was to be eaten with bitter herbs and unleavened bread. 1 Corinthians 5:7, 8 shows that the old leaven (of wickedness) must be purged so one can become a new [unleavened] lump (of dough), full of sincerity and truth. The lamb was to be eaten with bitter herbs to remind them of the bitterness experienced in their slavery to Egypt. When we ponder Christ’s sacrifice, we must be remorseful of the bitter results of our sins. Unleavened bread was to be used to represent the rejection of the leaven of sin in our lives if we want to receive nourishment and life from Christ. The hyssop (a bitter mint shrub) was to be used to put the blood on the doorposts as a symbol of purification (a symbol seen much throughout Scriptures—such as in Psalm 51:7).

[48] Exodus 12:11-13,21-23

Why would it be called the Lord’s Passover? Verse 12 says God would pass through Egypt that night and strike all the firstborns, and would execute judgment against all the gods of Egypt—but the blood on the doorposts (a signature of God’s ownership over them) would signal to God not to let the plague destroy them because they accepted Christ’s sacrifice to save them and their children. See Hebrews 11:28. We’ll see a similar sign (Sabbath-keeping) on God’s people at the end of time. Notice how many of the passages say God would kill them. However, look what verse 23 says. “When He sees the blood on the lintel, and on the two side posts, the Lord will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come into your houses to smite you.” Who’s the destroyer? Is it God (or one of His angels)? In John 10:10, Jesus tells us, “The thief comes for nothing but to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come so they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” So, Satan comes to kill and destroy, and Jesus came so they could have life. Notice that Hebrews 2:14, 15 says “…that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” God came to get rid of death (caused by the thief (destroyer)). Isn’t it amazing that the choice of words that Jesus used here (to describe those He came to save) perfectly describes Israel in Egypt? We already learned that the God who spoke to Moses (‘I AM THAT I AM’) was the same God who spoke the words in John 10:10 (Jesus Christ). Jesus used verbiage to show what was really going to happen to the firstborns in Egypt. Did you notice how Exodus 12:23 says that God wouldn’t suffer the destroyer to come into the houses with the blood? Strong’s Concordance defines ‘suffer’ as ‘give over / up’. We’ve talked extensively about the definition of God’s wrath. Recall that Romans 1:18-28 tell us that God’s wrath is Him giving them up / over to the natural consequences of their actions / decisions. Thus, if God wouldn’t suffer the destroyer to enter the houses of those who had the symbolic Passover feast—He was saying that He wouldn’t give them up / over to be affected by the destroyer of body and soul (see Matthew 10:28 and Malachi 3:11). In Revelation 9:11, we see the king (Satan) referred to as ‘Abaddon’ and ‘Apollyon’. Strong’s Concordance defines these as ‘a destroying angel’ and ‘a destroyer—that is, Satan’. What about the other part, where it mentions executing judgment against all the gods of Egypt? 1 John 3:8 tells us: “…For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, so He might destroy the works of the devil.” We discussed, in devotional #32, that the works done by the magicians and sorcerers were wonderous acts achieved through cooperation with their god—Satan. The beliefs in the different gods we saw addressed in each of the plagues were also inspired by Satan himself. As we just read, in 1 John 3:8, God came to destroy those very works (that’s the only thing He came to destroy). He’d give a clear understanding of the truth to these highly educated men of Egypt. 1 Corinthians 1:19 says, “It is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring the understanding of the prudent to nothing.”

[49] Exodus 12:14-20,24-27

The Passover day was to be a memorial to Israel of the objection lesson of redemption (Israel’s deliverance from Egypt)—and to be acknowledged through all their generations (as a feast) also symbolically pointing to the actual, coming Passover (Christ’s sacrifice on the cross). This feast was to be kept only until Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, which would fulfill what was being foreshadowed 1,500 years before. He was the slain lamb. The day Christ was crucified, He kept His own Passover feast with His disciples (the last that should’ve ever been kept) and instituted a new memorial (The Lord’s Supper / Communion) to replace the Passover. Just as the Sabbath has always been, and will always be, a memorial of Creation—Communion is meant to be kept until His return—to serve as a memorial of His death / sacrifice on the cross. When the Jews put Christ to death, they confirmed their rejection of Him as the Messiah. Thus, they also rejected the significance of the Passover. Their continued observance of it was meaningless. Verse 19 says that (not only their bread, but) the homes must be keep free of leavening for a week following the Passover—they were to eat unleavened bread for seven days. 1 Peter 3:10 says to refrain from evil, and 1 Thessalonians 5:23 says to be completely sanctified and kept blameless until Christ’s return. The first and seventh days of that week were to be kept as a holy convocation—and no work was to be done except the food. This was to be a feast of unleavened bread because God took them out of Egypt the same day—on the fourteenth day of the first month at evening (until the twenty-first day at evening). Any who ate leaven would be cut off from the people of Israel, regardless of who they were. This was to be observed forever—even when they’d reached the promised land. When their children asked the purpose of it, they were to explain that it’s the sacrifice of the Lord’s Passover, who spared the children of Israel in the death of the firstborns of Egypt.

[50] Exodus 12:28-33

After Moses and Aaron finished explaining their tasks and how it’d become a part of their future and their children’s futures, the people went and began preparations. Verses 29, 42 show us God’s deliverance of His people from Egypt at midnight. Job 34:20 says that God’s people will be delivered at midnight, while the others are troubled and pass away. At midnight, all the firstborn in Egypt (Pharaoh’s firstborn, prisoners’ firstborns, the cattle’s firstborns, etc.) were killed. Just as predicted by God through Moses, a great cry arose in Egypt that night when all the Egyptians got up and found their dead children. That very night, Pharaoh himself called for Moses and Aaron and told them to leave Egypt with all their people and animals. He also asked them to bless him before they left—out of fear that they, too, would be killed after their firstborns. The Egyptians urged the people to leave as soon as possible, so their presence wouldn’t cause any more death in Egypt. We saw many times how Pharaoh’s heart was hardened. Sometimes it said God hardened it, and in others it said Pharaoh hardened it. How was his heart hardened, and what does that actually mean? If he rejected God’s display of almighty power before him, then he’d become harder and firmer in his rebellion. Each time he resisted God’s power his heart would grow harder. He saw the powerful work of the Holy Spirit and God’s servant performing miracles—but he refused to obey God. The heavier the judgments fell on him, the more stubbornly he resisted Heaven’s light. By refusing to acknowledge the manifestations of God’s power through His providence, he hardened his heart (understanding) against receiving more light (truth)—he couldn’t be impressed by the Holy Spirit—and greater demonstrations of His influence would be more vain the farther he went from God. It thus became harder to distinguish right from wrong, and easier to repeat the same or worse sins. Finite man fought for his own will against the expressed will of an infinite God. This was a clear sin against the Holy Spirit. Galatians 6:7, 8 says, “Do not be deceived; God is not mocked: because whatever a man sows, he will also reap. Because he that sows to his flesh will reap corruption of the flesh; but he that sows to the Spirit will reap everlasting life of the Spirit.” Just as He always respects those who wish for His presence to depart from them, God withdrew His Spirit more and more from Pharaoh. Once His restraining power (against the natural effects of sin) was fully removed, God’s wrath gave Pharaoh into the hands of self—the greatest tyrant of all. His stubborn resistance that first expressed (in Exodus 5), “Who is the Lord, that I should obey His voice?” was the seed of rebellion harvested in the plagues that ended in the death of his own child—and eventually the loss of his army. If he’d accepted the evidence of God’s power from the beginning, he wouldn’t have experienced all that followed. God never exercised supernatural power to harden his heart. His character became fixed despite warnings and rebuke of sin. If someone refuses to be corrected, God won’t step in to prevent the results of their actions. They might think they can calm their guilt by believing they can change from an evil path to a righteous one whenever they want, but a life of sinful indulgence molds the character to the point that they’re unable to adapt Jesus’ image.

[51] Exodus 12:34-39

Israel took their dough before it was leavened (they were basically thrown out of Egypt and had no time to linger and prepare any food for the road), and their wrapped kneading troughs on their shoulders (when they left, going from Rameses to Succoth, they baked the cakes from the unleavened dough they’d brought once they were out of Egypt). The Israelites’ release / departure was indeed sudden, but they were prepared. They’d begun assembling in Goshen. Organization of the movement of roughly two million people was necessary, and they were divided into smaller groups under appointed leaders. There were roughly 600,000 men (not including children), and many cattle and herds. The animals that went with them were theirs. Recall, from Genesis devotional #190, that Joseph’s family (the first Israelites to go to Egypt) never sold themselves to Pharaoh, as most of the Egyptians did, during the famine. Not only had they brought their own animals from Canaan, but had greatly increased them after they’d settled in at Goshen. Furthermore, all the unpaid, forced labor imposed upon Israel must be recompensed, even if only a small portion. Thus, they also left with the goods ‘borrowed’ from their Egyptian neighbors / taskmasters. They weren’t the only ones to leave on that trip. A mixed multitude also joined them. Even though Egypt had rejected the truth about God for so long, He still provided an opportunity to repent. In Joseph’s days, Egypt was a haven for Israel. The kindness they showed His people honored God at that time. Now the patient God had given the judgments their time to accomplish their purpose. The Egyptians were being cursed by the very things they worshipped and could’ve submitted to God to escape that. The hardness of Pharaoh’s heart caused the knowledge of God to spread throughout Egypt, and many Egyptians gave themselves to God’s work. Many acknowledged that God was the only true God witnessing His signs and wonders in Egypt. They asked to be allowed to take shelter in Israel’s homes during the Passover, because they were convicted their gods had no power to save or destroy. They pledged to serve God as their own from then on, and even decided to leave Egypt with Israel to worship Him. The converted Egyptians were welcomed into the Hebrews’ homes (and spared the loss of their firstborns) and joined Israel in their departure. However, the group of Egyptians that went with them didn’t comprise only of those that’d been converted, but also of those who merely hoped to escape the plague or join the excitement out of curiosity. This is why it was called a mixed multitude. The unconverted Egyptians that left with them were an ongoing source of trouble for the Israelites.

[52] Exodus 12:34-39 (Part 1)

Luke 3:23 tells us that Jesus was about to be thirty years old when He was baptized—starting the period of His 3.5 year ministry. He died in the spring of 31 AD, exactly 1,500 years after the exodus (and the encounter at Mount Sinai, which we’ll look at in Exodus 34), putting those events in the spring of 1470 BC. Thus, Jesus was born in the fall of 3 AD (around October)—3,981 years after Creation (3984 BC). We’ll do the analysis to determine the timing in relation to Christ at another time. Exodus 12:40, 41 tells us Israel sojourned for 430 years—and it specifies the Hebrews that lived in Egypt. Verses 41, 42 say that the exact day at the end of the 430 years was the day God delivered them from Egypt, and that that night was to be acknowledged forever. It doesn’t say they lived in Egypt (and/or were its slaves) for that long. The call of Abraham (to sojourn in a strange land) occurred when he was seventy-five years old, at the death of his father (in 1900 BC). If you count 430 years from then, you get to the exodus and Sinai (in 1470 BC). The four hundred years of affliction and sojourning that God told Abraham about in Genesis 15:13-16 included their time in Canaan (which wasn’t yet theirs). People often think that the four hundred years was the length of Israel’s slavery to Egypt, but it wasn’t. In fact, Genesis 15 doesn’t even mention Egypt—but simply, a strange land (that’s not theirs). Israel only spent a total of 215 years in Egypt (and not all of that was in bondage). Canaan was part of Palestine, which, during the time of Moses, was part of the Egyptian empire. Thus, Moses would’ve meant two things when he wrote Exodus 12:40, “Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelled in Egypt, was four hundred thirty years.” They dwelled in Egypt specifically / geographically (the land where they experienced slavery) and generally / technically (the land of Canaan that was under the dominion of Egypt). Now that we know that the four hundred years consisted of Israel’s affliction in a strange land (both Canaan and Egypt), we can look at why the affliction is counted from far before their slavery. Thirty years after Abraham’s call (the start of the 430 years), Isaac was weaned (he was five years old and Abraham was 105). From there, we see the start of the four hundred years of affliction of Abraham’s seed, as Genesis 21:8, 9 tells us that the day Isaac was weaned, Abraham threw a feast, and Sarah saw Ishmael mocking Isaac (see also Galatians 4:29). Isaac also experienced affliction at the hands of the Philistines (Genesis 26:15-21) when they filled and/or fought for his wells. Jacob experienced much affliction. Esau sought to kill him, forcing him to flee his home / family (Genesis 27:41-43) and then to fear his return there (Genesis 32:6-32; 33:1-3). Laban deceived and took advantage of Jacob for twenty years (Genesis 29 and 30), and then chased after him when he finally left (Genesis 31). Joseph experienced affliction at the hands of his brothers—especially when they sold him as a slave (Genesis 37:19-28)—which began his affliction of exile, slavery, accusation, and imprisonment (Genesis 39 and 40). And lastly, Israel was afflicted under the forced slavery of the Egyptians (Exodus 1:14 to 12:40), and their hot pursuit at the Red Sea (Exodus 14).

[53] Exodus 12:34-39 (Part 2)

So how do we get the exact dates of their time in Egypt? We’ll see how the calculation of the BC calendar dates was determined shortly, but I’ll include them in the following breakdown for quick, concise reference. We know that Isaac was born when Abraham was one hundred (in 1875 BC) (Genesis 21:5), Jacob was born when Isaac was sixty years old (in 1815 BC) (Genesis 25:26), Joseph was born when Jacob was ninety-one years old (in 1724 BC), Joseph was roughly seventeen when sold to Egypt (in 1707 BC) (Genesis 37), thirty when he was promoted to Prime Minister over Egypt (in 1694 BC) (Genesis 41:46), and thirty-nine when Jacob came to Egypt (in 1685 BC). We can calculate the unmentioned figures because Jacob was 130 when he came to Egypt (Genesis 47:9) and died seventeen years later at 147 (in 1668 BC) (Genesis 47:28), and Joseph died fifty-four years after that at the age of 110 (in 1614 BC) (Genesis 50:22). The 215 year time-frame of Israel in Egypt started when Jacob moved there, 215 years after the call of Abraham. Thus, their 430 years of sojourning were perfectly divided between Canaan and Egypt. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that Israel’s slavery would last four hundred, 430, or even 215 years. We don’t actually know exactly how long the Israelites were slaves to Egypt for, but we can calculate that it was about eighty years, because they’d been told by Heavenly messengers that a deliverer would be born to take them out of Egypt (which Moses didn’t accomplish until he was eighty years old (Exodus 7:7)), and because of the timing of history (which we'll see in devotionals #54-56). If the exodus occurred in the spring of 1470 BC, when Moses was eighty years old, that means he was born around 1550 BC and exiled to Midian around 1510 BC. If we work backwards 430 years from 1470 BC, we get to the call of Abraham—which would have to be 1900 BC. From there, we can work forward to get the dates of the life and events of Abraham through Joseph—taking us to the end of Genesis, 2,370 years after creation, in 1614 BC. We don’t know exactly how much later Moses was born, but we have the 430 year time frame that gets us the start of the first 215 years, and the end of the second 215 years. Thus, the reign of Joseph’s Pharaoh included 1694-1685 BC (and likely some years after). The reign of Moses’ adoptive Pharaoh included 1550-1510 BC (and likely some years after). And the reign of ‘final’ Pharaoh ended in 1470 BC (and must’ve started sometime after 1510 BC).

[54] Exodus 12:34-39 (Part 3)

If we consider the history of Egypt, we can gain some idea of who its rulers were during the centuries between Joseph and Moses, and even see if the dates and facts of secular historical records line up with our calculations. It’s believed that a famine ended the reign of the thirteenth and fourteenth dynasties of Egypt, but it certainly was defeated with the invasion of the fifteenth. If the fourteenth dynasty did indeed reign from either 1805 or 1725 to 1650 BC (alongside the thirteenth dynasty, which reigned roughly 1803-1650 BC) with Avaris as its capital, the timing is too obvious to ignore, as the famine of Joseph’s time would’ve lasted from about 1687-1680 BC. Unfortunately, the historical records of the kings of these two dynasties weren’t clearly maintained enough to know even the dates of their reigns. This’d prevent us from determining the identity of the Pharaoh that promoted Joseph and provided for his family. The Hyksos (translated as ‘shepherd kings’)—the fifteenth dynasty of Egypt—were able to rise to monarchy in lower Egypt due to the eighteenth-century BC movement of Palestinian immigrants to Egypt. The Hyksos introduced modern technology to Egypt—specifically certain weapons and the horse/chariot set-up (which we see clear evidence of in the Red Sea story, and even in Joseph’s promotion). The timeframe of the rule of the Hyksos is debated but lasted just over a hundred years in the middle of the 1600-1500s BC—and is largely believed to have been from roughly 1650-1550 BC. Salatis was the founder and first king of the Hyksos. His rule lasted roughly nineteen years until his death (around 1650-1631 BC. Khyan is believed to be one of the next Hyksos kings (referred to, by Jewish historian, Josephus, as King Iannas). The dates of his reign are still debated but considered to probably have been somewhere between 1700 and 1580 BC. Apophis (aka Apepi) ruled northern Egypt for thirty-five to forty years (roughly 1580-1540 BC)—but dominated most of Egypt at the beginning of his reign. It’s believed that he usurped the throne from Yanassi (who’d been left the throne by his father, Khyan, when he died). Apophis outlived Kamose (final king of the seventeenth dynasty Thebans), but not Ahmose I (founder / first ruler of the eighteenth dynasty). His successor was Khamudi (last ruler of the Hyksos)—who’s believed to have ruled only one to eleven years. The Hyksos were pushed out of Egypt (by Ahmose I) within fifteen years of Apophis’ death. We'll learn about Ahmose and the eighteenth dynasty in devotional #55.

[55] Exodus 12:34-39 (Part 4)

People suggest that Pithom and Ramesses (the treasure / store cities built by the Hebrew slaves, as seen in Exodus 1:11 and devotional #4) were built under Ramesses II—which’d make him the Pharaoh of the Oppression (he that enslaved Israel). However, Ramesses II (aka Ramesses the Great) was the third king from the nineteenth dynasty (1292-1189 BC) and most Egyptologists today believe he took the throne in May of 1279 BC and reigned until 1213 BC. Thus, these dates don’t come close to coinciding with the dates we’ve established for the exodus and the prior 215 years (1685-1470 BC). The actual Pharaoh of the Oppression would’ve likely reigned in the time frame including 1550-1510 BC (the first forty years of Moses’ life). The eighteenth dynasty of Egypt was roughly 1550-1292 BC, whose starting date matches up very well with the beginning of the oppression. It’s interesting that the name of the city Pi-Tum (Pithom) was first discovered on Egyptian monuments from the nineteenth dynasty. It’s believed that Avaris was the largest city in the world from 1670-1557 BC, and a large citadel was built around 1550 BC (which is interesting, considering the timing of the building projects of the Hebrew slaves). Ahmose I started the eighteenth dynasty (ending the reign of the Hyksos) in the 1520s BC, after Avaris (the Hyksos’ chief settlement / garrison) fell to him during the Theban Revolt, led by his brother Kamose (the last king of the Thebans—the native, southern-ruling, seventeenth dynasty) who’d only reigned three years until his death. Ahmose I (then ten years old) took the throne after his brother’s death, and his mother, Ahhotep, reigned as regent until he was old enough to rule. The eighteenth dynasty was called the first dynasty of the New Kingdom of Egypt (this was the era that ancient Egypt reached its peak power). He reasserted Egyptian power over Nubia and Canaan, then reopened quarries, mines, and trade routes—beginning massive construction projects unlike anything seen in years (the last Egyptian-ruler-built pyramid was constructed during this project). It’d make sense then, that Ahmose I was indeed the new pharaoh that began the Hebrew’s bondage (aka the Pharaoh of the Oppression)—having cities, temples, etc. built. Although Ahmose I reigned before he conquered Avaris (which happened by the eighteenth or nineteenth year of his twenty-five year reign), Khamudi’s (final king of the Hyksos) reign would’ve lasted until then. The date of Ahmose’s reign is disputed, but best estimates age him at about thirty-five years old when he died, placing his reign around 1550-1525 BC. He may’ve briefly co-reigned with his successor / son, Amenhotep I (who we'll learn about in devotional #56).

[56] Exodus 12:34-39 (Part 5)

Amenhotep I’s twenty-one year reign’s said to have been 1526-1506 BC. He’s thought to have had only one child, a son who died in infancy. This’d catch our attention if he was indeed the Pharaoh whose firstborn son was killed the night of the Passover, but his reign would’ve ended too early for the date of the exodus (1470 BC). Thutmose I (the third king of the eighteenth dynasty), a senior military officer, took the throne after the death of Amenhotep I (some believe Thutmose was his nephew) but may’ve co-reigned with Amenhotep before he died. His reign’s believed to have been the thirteen years around 1506-1493 BC. He was succeeded by his son, Thutmose II (who reigned 1493-1479 BC). It’s believed he was still a minor when he took the throne, so it’s generally thought that his wife (and half-sister), Hapshetsut (whom he married to gain full kingship) was the real power behind the scenes. She considered herself their father’s intended successor, and even named herself Pharaoh several years into Thutmose III’s reign. Thutmose III (the fifth king of the eighteenth dynasty) is considered a famous pharaoh and great builder (including over fifty temples). His reign started when he was only two years old (thus, his step-mother / aunt, Hapshetsut, co-reigned with him his first twenty-two years on the throne). His fifty-four year reign’s considered to be April 28, 1479 BC to March 11, 1425 BC. In the last two years of his reign, he made his son / successor (Amenhotep II) his junior co-regent, because his firstborn son (Amenemhat) had died. This’d match up if he was indeed the Pharaoh whose firstborn son was killed the night of the Passover. The dates of his reign match up with the date of the exodus (1470 BC)—assuming he didn’t die in the Red Sea. Thus, we can probably safely assume that the identity of the Pharaoh of the Exodus was Thutmose III.

[57] Exodus 12:43-51

Verse 43 says that no strangers can eat of the Passover. Matthew 7:21-23 says that not all who call on God’s name will share in His reward (“I never knew you”), and Revelation 21:27 reveals that it is the sinner that cannot share in the reward of His people. Yet verse 48 says that provision was made for others to partake. Ephesians 2:13-16 tells us that those who were far away / separate were brought near via Christ’s blood—reconciling us to God. Therefore, Galatians 3:28, 29 says that there is no distinction between Jews and Greeks, or slaves and free men—meaning we’re partakers of the reward if we’ve accepted Christ. Sin prevents man from partaking in the blessings that God promised for His children. Thankfully, there’s a reconciliation for sin. Isaiah 1:18 says, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.” Therefore, a stranger technically could take part in the Passover feast because of the provisions made for them to become Israelites (in other words, children of God). Each man’s servant (not one that’d been hired, but purchased) could eat the Passover once they’d been circumcised. If any strangers would sojourn with them, they could join in the feast as long as their males would be circumcised—because then they’d be like the Israelites. No uncircumcised (whether Israelite or foreigner) could eat of the Passover. Therefore, we can see that ‘stranger’ here referred to the uncircumcised. All Israelites were required to keep the Passover, and they weren’t to remove the meat of the Passover from their house, nor should they break any of the bones of it. Israel obeyed and was delivered from Egypt.

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