12 1God said to Moses and Aaron while still in Egypt, 2“This month is to be the first month of the year for you. 3Address the whole community of Israel; tell them that on the tenth of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one lamb to a house. 4If the family is too small for a lamb, then share it with a close neighbor, depending on the number of persons involved. Be mindful of how much each person will eat. 5Your lamb must be a healthy male, one year old; you can select it from either the sheep or the goats. 6Keep it penned until the fourteenth day of this month and then slaughter it—the entire community of Israel will do this—at dusk. 7Then take some of the blood and smear it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which you will eat it. 8You are to eat the meat, roasted in the fire, that night, along with bread, made without yeast, and bitter herbs. 9Don’t eat any of it raw or boiled in water; make sure it’s roasted—the whole animal, head, legs, and innards. 10Don’t leave any of it until morning; if there are leftovers, burn them in the fire. 11“And here is how you are to eat it: Be fully dressed with your sandals on and your stick in your hand. Eat in a hurry; it’s the Passover to God. 12“I will go through the land of Egypt on this night and strike down every firstborn in the land of Egypt, whether human or animal, and bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am God. 13The blood will serve as a sign on the houses where you live. When I see the blood I will pass over you—no disaster will touch you when I strike the land of Egypt. 14“This will be a memorial day for you; you will celebrate it as a festival to God down through the generations, a fixed festival celebration to be observed always. 15You will eat unraised bread (matzoth) for seven days: On the first day get rid of all yeast from your houses—anyone who eats anything with yeast from the first day to the seventh day will be cut off from Israel. 16The first and the seventh days are set aside as holy; do no work on those days. Only what you have to do for meals; each person can do that. 17“Keep the Festival of Unraised Bread! This marks the exact day I brought you out in force from the land of Egypt. Honor the day down through your generations, a fixed festival to be observed always. 18In the first month, beginning on the fourteenth day at evening until the twenty–first day at evening, you are to eat unraised bread. 19For those seven days not a trace of yeast is to be found in your houses. Anyone, whether a visitor or a native of the land, who eats anything raised shall be cut off from the community of Israel. 20Don’t eat anything raised. Only matzoth.” 21Moses assembled all the elders of Israel. He said, “Select a lamb for your families and slaughter the Passover lamb. 22Take a bunch of hyssop and dip it in the bowl of blood and smear it on the lintel and on the two doorposts. No one is to leave the house until morning. 23God will pass through to strike Egypt down. When he sees the blood on the lintel and the two doorposts, God will pass over the doorway; he won’t let the destroyer enter your house to strike you down with ruin. 24“Keep this word. It’s the law for you and your children, forever. 25When you enter the land which God will give you as he promised, keep doing this. 26And when your children say to you, ‘Why are we doing this?’ 27tell them: ‘It’s the Passover–sacrifice to God who passed over the homes of the Israelites in Egypt when he hit Egypt with death but rescued us.’ ” The people bowed and worshiped. 28The Israelites then went and did what God had commanded Moses and Aaron. They did it all. 29At midnight God struck every firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh, who sits on his throne, right down to the firstborn of the prisoner locked up in jail. Also the firstborn of the animals. 30Pharaoh got up that night, he and all his servants and everyone else in Egypt—what wild wailing and lament in Egypt! There wasn’t a house in which someone wasn’t dead. 31Pharaoh called in Moses and Aaron that very night and said, “Get out of here and be done with you—you and your Israelites! Go worship God on your own terms. 32And yes, take your sheep and cattle as you’ve insisted, but go. And bless me.” 33The Egyptians couldn’t wait to get rid of them; they pushed them to hurry up, saying, “We’re all as good as dead.” 34The people grabbed their bread dough before it had risen, bundled their bread bowls in their cloaks and threw them over their shoulders. 35The Israelites had already done what Moses had told them; they had asked the Egyptians for silver and gold things and clothing. 36God saw to it that the Egyptians liked the people and so readily gave them what they asked for. Oh yes! They picked those Egyptians clean. 37The Israelites moved on from Rameses to Succoth, about 600,000 on foot, besides their dependents. 38There was also a crowd of riffraff tagging along, not to mention the large flocks and herds of livestock. 39They baked unraised cakes with the bread dough they had brought out of Egypt; it hadn’t raised—they’d been rushed out of Egypt and hadn’t time to fix food for the journey. The Passover 40The Israelites had lived in Egypt 430 years. 41At the end of the 430 years, to the very day, God’s entire army left Egypt. 42God kept watch all night, watching over the Israelites as he brought them out of Egypt. Because God kept watch, all Israel for all generations will honor God by keeping watch this night—a watchnight. 43God said to Moses and Aaron, “These are the rules for the Passover: No foreigners are to eat it. 44Any slave, if he’s paid for and circumcised, can eat it. 45No casual visitor or hired hand can eat it. 46Eat it in one house—don’t take the meat outside the house. Don’t break any of the bones. 47The whole community of Israel is to be included in the meal. 48“If an immigrant is staying with you and wants to keep the Passover to God, every male in his family must be circumcised, then he can participate in the Meal—he will then be treated as a native son. But no uncircumcised person can eat it. 49“The same law applies both to the native and the immigrant who is staying with you.” 50All the Israelites did exactly as God commanded Moses and Aaron. 51That very day God brought the Israelites out of the land of Egypt, tribe by tribe.
The Message® / © 2002 Eugene H. Peterson About