And the blood shall be to you for a token 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 smite the land of Egypt.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)The blood shall be to you for a token.—Rather, the blood shall be for a token for you: i.e., it shall be a token to Me on your behalf. (See the comment on Exodus 12:7, and compare Exodus 12:23.)
Against all the gods of Egypt - Compare the margin reference. In smiting the firstborn of all living beings, man and beast, God struck down the objects of Egyptian worship (compare Exodus 12:5).A token, both to you, as he now said, a sign and a pledge to confirm your faith in the expectation of the promised deliverance; and to the angel, that he may know and pass over your houses, as the following words intimate. See Poole on "Exodus 12:7". This is spoken of God after the manner of men; the sense is, If I find that you keep the condition which I require, you may expect the privilege which I have promised you; otherwise not.
and when I see the blood, I will pass over you; for which reason this ordinance now instituted was called the passover, because the Lord, on sight of the blood sprinkled, passed over the houses of the Israelites to those of the Egyptians; or "leaped", as Jarchi says, the word signifies, skipped from one Egyptian house to another, passing by that of the Israelites:And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)13. pass over] The Heb. is pâsaḥ, cognate with pésaḥ, ‘passover.’ Except here, and vv. 23, 27, the word occurs only in Isaiah 31:5 ‘As birds flying, so will Jehovah protect Jerusalem: he will protect and deliver, he will pass over and rescue.’ The word is not found in this sense in the cognate languages: there is a presumption that it is the same word as pâsaḥ, to limp (1 Kings 18:21; 1 Kings 18:26); see p. 408.
a token] Cf. Exodus 13:9; Exodus 13:16, Exodus 31:13; Exodus 31:17; Genesis 9:12-13; Genesis 9:17; Genesis 17:11; Joshua 2:12.
plague] Heb. négeph (lit. a striking or blow), usually of a calamity inflicted on those who have aroused God’s anger: Exodus 30:12, Numbers 8:19; Numbers 16:46-47, Joshua 22:17 (all P). Cf. the cogn. verb (‘smite’), vv. 23, 27, Exodus 8:2, Exodus 32:35, Joshua 24:5 (‘plagued’). Not the word rendered ‘plague’ in Exodus 11:1; but cognate with maggçphâh, Exodus 9:14 : see p. 58.
to destroy you] This is a paraphrase: the Heb. may be rendered either (RVm.) for a destroyer (cf. v. 23), or for destruction (cf. Ezekiel 5:16; Ezekiel 9:6 RVm.). As P regards Jehovah as the destroyer (v. 12), the latter rend. is preferable (Di.).
On the history and significance of the Passover, see further p. 405 ff. By Di. and others the Passover is thought to have been originally a pre-Mosaic spring-offering of propitiation and communion with the Deity, offered annually for the purpose of protecting tents and flocks from pestilence or other misfortune during the coming year, and of renewing by the common sacred meal a sense of communion with the Deity: the observance was gradually associated by tradition with the deliverance of Israel from the plague which attacked the Egyptians; and it thus became an annual commemoration of the Exodus.Verse 13. - The blood shall be to you for a token, etc. The blood was not to be a token to the Israelites, but to God for them. Translate- "and the blood shall be as a token for you upon the houses that you are there." It shall distinguish the houses in which you dwell from the others. I will pass over you. This is the emphatic clause. God would pass by, or over the house on which the blood was, spare it, slay none of its inmates; and from this action of His, the lamb itself, and the feast whereof it was the principal part, were to be termed "the Passover." It has been proposed to connect the Hebrew pesach with the Egyptian pesh, "to stretch, or extend (protection)"; but the name "Tiphsach," borne by the place of passage over the Euphrates (1 Kings 4:24), would seem to indicate that "crossing," or "passing over" is the primary meaning of the root. Leviticus 4:18, where יתּן is distinguished from הזּה, to sprinkle, in Leviticus 4:17) upon the two posts and the lintel of the door of the house in which the lamb was eaten. This blood was to be to them a sign (Exodus 12:13); for when Jehovah passed through Egypt to smite the first-born, He would see the blood, and would spare these houses, and not permit the destroyer to enter them (Exodus 12:13, Exodus 12:23). The two posts with the lintel represented the door (Exodus 12:23), which they surrounded; and the doorway through which the house was entered stood for the house itself, as we may see from the frequent expression "in thy gates," for in thy towns (Exodus 20:10; Deuteronomy 5:14; Deuteronomy 12:17, etc.). The threshold, which belonged to the door quite as much as the lintel, was not to be smeared with blood, in order that the blood might not be trodden under foot. But the smearing of the door-posts and lintel with blood, the house was expiated and consecrated on an altar. That the smearing with blood was to be regarded as an act of expiation, is evident from the simple fact, that a hyssop-bush was used for the purpose (Exodus 12:22); for sprinkling with hyssop is never prescribed in the law, except in connection with purification in the sense of expiation (Leviticus 14:49.; Numbers 19:18-19). In Egypt the Israelites had no common altar; and for this reason, the houses in which they assembled for the Passover were consecrated as altars, and the persons found in them were thereby removed from the stroke of the destroyer. In this way the smearing of the door-posts and lintel became a sign to Israel of their deliverance from the destroyer. Jehovah made it so by His promise, that He would see the blood, and pass over the houses that were smeared with it. Through faith in this promise, Israel acquired in the sign a firm pledge of its deliverance. The smearing of the doorway was relinquished, after Moses (not Josiah, as Vaihinger supposes, cf. Deuteronomy 16:5-6) had transferred the slaying of the lambs to the court of the sanctuary, and the blood had been ordered to be sprinkled upon the altar there.
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