EXODUS STUDY WITH A
CONCENTRATION ON CHAPTER 12
Article by Ted McDivett
In our last study we focused on Israel’s exodus from Egypt
and the events that led up to it. The
following is a brief review:
We looked at the ten plagues and the fact that they were a
show of power of God over the Egyptians and their gods, and also the similar
language of such plagues upon the gods of the nations in Revelation that will
take place in the latter days. All such
miracles manifest the greatness of the God of Israel over all the gods of the
Then we looked at Exodus 12 in some detail. I mentioned that this chapter might be one of
the most important chapters in the Old Testament. The following explains why this is so.
14 MAIN POINTS
1) For one thing, it is a pivotal point in Old Testament
history. This is where Israel’s birth as
a nation occurs ( Ex. 6:7). Their new
life began when the blood of the Passover sacrifice was applied to their doorways.
2) By God making a show of the Egyptian gods and triumphing
over them, at the same time He was freeing Israel from Egyptian bondage. (There is a parallel thought in Col. 2:10-15
as to Christ’s triumphing over all that had us enslaved). Israel was to always celebrate Passover to
remember the fact that their deliverance from Egyptian bondage (by type – sin)
was through the blood of the Passover lamb.
We too are to see our deliverance through Christ’s death, entombment and
resurrection. In this respect, He is our
Passover and by His blood He has delivered us.
3) So Israel as a nation had a birth in Exodus. In the future, Israel will have a new birth
(John 3:3, 7). As for the Body of
Christ, Paul uses the figure, “new creation” (2Cor. 5:17). This is the more fitting term for us. To create is to bring something into being
that wasn’t there before. The Body of
Christ is something brand new. We are
not as some say, “an extension of Israel.”
4) The Israelites applying the blood to the doorposts was a
sign (12:13). It separated them from all
others that didn’t have the blood on the doorposts. The blood united them as a people. For us today, upon believing that Christ’s
blood was shed for our sakes – the blood is applied to us and we are sealed
through the Spirit. This sealing is the
work of the Spirit, and in spirit we are united to Christ and to each other.
5) So Israel’s beginning/redemption is based on the death of
the lamb. The death of the lamb was
crucial! (See 1Pet. 1:19-20; 1Cor. 2:1; John 1:29). Jesus Christ is the Lamb of God. He was the price of redemption. He buys back all that was lost in bondage to
Sin. This is why Paul calls Christ our
6) All the plagues and miracles in relation to the Egyptians
and their gods were signs. You could say
that signs are their birthright. Israel
is to look for signs (see Jn. 2:11; 4:48; 2:23; Acts 15:12). In contrast, we walk by faith, not by
perception (2Cor. 5:8).
7) In Exodus 12:3-6 Moses gets specific as to days of the
Passover. On the 10th day of
the month they were to get a lamb. On
the 14th day they were to kill the lamb. In between they were to look for any
defects/imperfections of the lamb. It
had to be without blemish.
Now think about Jesus before His death. In John 11:55 we read, “Now near was the
Passover of the Jews, and many went up into Jerusalem, before the Passover,
that they should be purifying themselves.
They, then, sought Jesus…
Why were they seeking Jesus?
Because they were to look after the Lamb before it was sacrificed. True believers were coming into Jerusalem to
seek the Lamb selected. In John 12:12-13
some understood that Christ was coming to be their Messiah. They understood Exodus 12, Psalm 118 and
other Psalms. The purpose of Him coming
is revealed in John 12:32 and 47. John
13:1 – “Now before the festival of the Passover, Jesus, being aware that His
All of these passages are dealing with the time of the
Passover. After Jesus’ entry into
Jerusalem there was a time of questionings to Him. They were trying to entrap Him
QUESTION – How does this relate back to Exodus 12? Between the 10th and 14th
day of the month – between the selecting of the lamb and the killing of the
lamb – the people were to keep an eye on the lamb, to observe it to see if it
had any imperfections.
With these things in mind, let’s look at Luke 19:47, 48;
20:1-8. In this passage, the chief
priests are the Sadducees, the scribes are lawyers, and the elders are the
Pharisees. The religious leaders were questioning
Jesus not knowing that in doing so, they were proving Him in the 3-day period
to be without blemish. So by the leaders
questioning Jesus, trying to bring out imperfections in Him, they prove or show
Him to be THE LAMB that is taking away the sin of the world.
Bullinger’s notes beginning with John 12:12 are very
good. Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem is
“the fourth day before the Passover, the 11th of Nisan.” (See also Bullinger’s Appendix 156 – begin
with the fourth day).
Therefore much of the opposition and questionings of the
Chief Priests, scribes and elders would have been between the 10th
and 14th day of the month—thus fulfilling the typology of Exodus 12
when the people were to be checking the Passover lamb for any defects.
8) In Exodus 12:46 we read that no bone of the Passover lamb
was to be broken. In John 19:36 we have
the fulfillment of this in Christ’s death – “A bone of Him shall not be
9) Israel was redeemed by the blood of the Passover
lamb. They became a set apart people for
service to God. In Exodus 12:15 we read
that they were told to take the leaven out of the house. They were to physically do that.
“Leaven” quite often symbolizes evil or sin (see Matt. 16:6;
Mk. 8:15). Paul says in 1Cor. 5:6-8 that
we are to clean out the old leaven, that we may be a fresh kneading, according
as we are unleavened. Upon believing, we
now have our identity in Christ. We are
a new creation, and as such we are to be putting away all that is not pleasing
to God (see Col. 3:5-17). As we read in
Eph. 4:22, we are to be putting off from us, our former behavior, the old
humanity which is corrupted…yet to be rejuvenated in the spirit of our mind,
and to put on the new humanity which, in accord with God, is being created in
righteousness and benignity of the truth (Eph. 4:22-24).
10) Exodus 12:29 – notice how widespread the killing of the
firstborn was. This caused a rapid
change in Pharaoh’s demeanor. There is a
real urgency in his words – “get out – go.”
But notice what he says in verse 32 – “And bless me also.” This phrase implies that he still views
himself as a god. The word “also”
implies as Israel is blessed by serving their God – bless me – honor me –
praise me also.
The other interesting thing is their plundering of
Egypt. It is sort of like their wages
for all their forced labor (see 12:36 and 21:22). God is giving them a paid wage for all their
Notice too in 12:37, in describing the exodus, there was
also a mixed multitude. This
would include Egyptians but also other people enslaved that attached themselves
to Israel. Some would have believed in
Yahweh while others would have been taking advantage of the situation. Egypt was a world power at that time, so
there could have been representatives of many nations. This mixed multitude became a problem in
11) Exodus 12:40, 41 – Why 430 years? Compare Gen. 15:13 (400 years). Also Acts 7:6. How do we explain this difference in
years? The sojourning of Gen. 12 goes
from the promise given to Abraham in Gen. 12:1-3. Notice in the “KJV” for Ex. 12:40 the words,
“who dwelt in Egypt” are in parenthesis.
This is used to further define the People and connect the 2 parts of
their history. The “sojourning” is a
different subject from the “dwelling” in Egypt.
There are 2 reckonings of the sojourning:
starting from the promise to Abraham (Gen. 12:1-3; Gal. 3:17) to the exodus =
other starting from the recognition of his “seed” (Israel) (Gen. 21:12; Gen
15:13; Acts 7:6 = 400 years.
12)In Ex. 12:37, we read, “And the children of Israel
journeyed from Rameses to Succoth…” Interesting,
“Rameses” = Egypt and “Succoth” = booths/tabernacles. God is taking them from bondage/slavery to
the kingdom and it all began with the Passover lamb.
Ezek. 20 describes another exodus still in the future that
is much greater than the exodus out of Egypt.
It will be a fulfillment of the feast days given to Israel. There will be a Passover that is connected
with the exodus described in Ezek. 20 and it will lead to the feast of
Thus, the future greater exodus of Israel from all the
nations will lead to the feast of Tabernacles (Lev. 23:33-44; Zech. 14:16).
The meanings of the 2 cities mentioned in Ex. 12:37 point to
13) Moses in Exodus 12 is similar to John the Baptist in
that he is leading the nation toward God.
But Moses is also a picture of Jesus.
Near the end of the future latter days when God’s covenant People will
be afflicted and persecuted by the lawless one/the antichrist/beast and false
prophet (of whom Pharaoh was a picture), Christ will deliver them and will
bring them into the kingdom of His Father.
This is the big picture of Exodus 12. Israel will be delivered and given the land
God has always promised them, and the other nations will have access to God.
14) Exodus 12 and the Body of Christ.
The name of the book is taken from Ex. 12:51 where we read,
“Israel out of the land of Egypt.”
Chapter 12 speaks of a new life (12:1-2). Ex. 13:3 speaks of a new liberation -- out of
the house of slavery/bondage. They are
freed from the bondage of Egypt. It
cannot be stressed enough that this new life began with the Passover lamb.
So first and foremost, the exodus is a new life. It also brings new liberty and new
fellowship/communion (12:14). This
fellowship is symbolized in celebration of a festival. It’s a time of rejoicing; a rejoicing of a
new life and new freedom. And the exodus
is also a beginning of a new assurance (Ex. 6:7-8). God is going to be doing things for them. They had the following assurances: 1) God was
taking them for a People. 2) He will be
their God. 3) They will know Him as
Yahweh—their God Who delivered them from the burdens of the Egyptians. 4) He will bring them unto the land that He
promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. 5)
He will give the land to them for a heritage.
So 4 blessings are associated with the exodus:
How about the Body of Christ?
we have new life? Israel was in a house
of slavery and they could not get out without God’s help. We too were in servitude to Sin, without
hope, strangers of the covenant, and without God in the world (Rom. 6; Eph.
2:12), but in Romans 6 we see that we have been given a new life (v.4-14). In 2Cor. 5:17 we are referred to as a “new
creation.” (See also 1Cor. 6:19, 20 – We
have been bought with a price.)
about liberty? Just as Israel was not to
go back to Egypt, so we are not to go back into slavery (law/legalism). Read Gal. 5:1-4. In verse 8 Paul writes, “This persuasion is
not out of Him Who is calling you.” In
other words, God has called us into freedom, not slavery/legalism.
about fellowship? See 1Cor. 1:9 –
“Faithful is God, through Whom you were called into fellowship of His Son,
Jesus Christ, our Lord.” This fellowship
is a collective thing. See also 2Cor. 8:4-5. We first have fellowship with our Savior and
this flows over into every other area of our life. This goes into our service. In our service to the saints, we are giving
to Yahweh. So our service to our Lord
creates a second fellowship of service to the saints.
about new assurances? The Body of Christ
has assurance that God will take us from the earth to our home in the heavens
(Phil. 3:20; Eph. 2:6; Heb. 3:1; 10:34; 1Thess. 4:17-18; Gal. 1:4). Until then we have the assurance that He
seals us (2Cor. 1:22; 2Cor. 5:5; Eph. 1:13-14).
In closing, I hope those reading this article will see
as I am just beginning to see, how much typology there is in Exodus 12. I’m sure we haven’t even scratched the
surface of what should be grasped.