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is home born, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among
you. 50 Thus did all the children of Israel ; as the LORD com51 manded Moses and Aaron, so did they. And it came to pass
the selfsame day, [that] the LORD did bring the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt by their armies, ordering and marshalling them in a regular manner.
1. N OD can make the stoutest sinners yield and submit to
U his commands. It is in vain to contend with him, if one plague will not do, he has more ; men must bend, or break. Submit to God, therefore, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way.
2. The time will come, when the proudest sinners will be glad of the prayers of those servants of God whom they have despised. And Pharaoh said, be gone and bless me also, v. 32. He was glad of the prayers of those whom he had threatened with continued slavery, yea, with death. This is the case with sinners, when on a sick and dying bed ; they then send for ministers, or for this or that good man whom they have despised, and say, Bless me also. But how little good can be expected from those who have obstinately defied the Almighty, and slighted his messages, all their days.
3. See the wisdom of the institution of the Lord's Supper, and the reasonableness of attending upon it. The passover was a wise and good institution, the Lord's Supper answers the same end. It is the memorial of a great event, of a glorious deliverance; it is more worthy of remembrance, as the redemption it celebrates is greater, and the observation of it easier. All chris... tians should attend upon it, for it is an ordinance for ever, and the command of Christ is, This do, in remembrance of me.
Israel being led out of Egypt, God here gives them directions about
sanctifying their firstborn ; repeats the warning about the feast of unleavened bread ; and the Israelites march, under the divine guidance; with Joseph's bones. 1 AND the LORD' spake unto Moses, saying, Sanctify unto 2 me, consecrate, or set apart to my service, all the first
born, whatsoever openeth the womb among the children of Israel, [both] of man and of beast ; it [is] mine, by a peculiar
right, being preserved, when the Egyptians were destroyed, 3 And Moses said unto the people, Remember this day, this
first day of unleavened bread, to keep up a memorial of it, it
r which ye came out from Egypt, out of the house of bondage ; di for by strength of hand the LORD brought you out from this
[place :) and this shall be the memorial, there shall no leaven4 ed bread be eaten. This day came ye out, in the month 5 Abib, which signifies, an ear of corn. And it shall be when
the LORD shall bring thee into the land of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, which he sware unto thy fathers to give thee, a land
flowing with milk and honey, that thou shalt keep this service 6 in this month. Seven days thou shalt eat unleavened bread, 7 and in the seventh day [shall be) a feast to the LORD. Un** leavened bread shall be eaten seven days ; and there shall no · leavened bread be seen with thee, neither shall there be leaven . 8. seen with thee in all thy quarters. And thou shalt show thy • son in that day, saying, (This is done] because of that (which] • the Lord did unto me when I came forth out of Egypt ; that
is, this feast of unleavened bread shall be as a continual means 9 to remind you of your deliverance out of Egypt. And it shall
be for a sign unto thee upon thine hand, as familiar to you as any thing on your hand, which you are continually looking on ; and for a memorial between thine eyes, like something hung there, which comes continually in thy sight ;* that the Lord's
law may be in thy mouth : for with a strong hand hath the 10 Lord brought thee out of Egypt. Thou shalt therefore keep
this ordinance in his season from year to year. 11 And it shall be when the LORD shall bring thee into the
land of the Canaanites, the nations descended from Cain, as he
sware unto thee and to thy fathers, and shall give it thee; 12 That thou shalt set apart unto the Lord all that openeth the
matrix, every firstborn male, and every firstling that cometh
of a beast which thou hast ; the males (shall be] the Lord's. 13 And every firstling of an ass, or of any unclean beast, thou
shalt redeem with a lamb ; and if thou wilt not redeem it, if it is not worth the price of its redemption, which is left to thy own choice, then thou shalt break his neck, that it may not be put to any other use : and all the firstborn of man among thy children shalt thou redeem, for five shekels ; (Num. xviii. 16.) no
choice is left here, it is expressly commanded.t 14 And it shall be when thy son asketh thee in time to come,
saying, What [is] this? I that thou shalt say unto him, By
• This is an allusion to the forehead or frontlet jewels, which were commonly worn by the eastern ladies. The superstitious Tews understood this literally; hence they wore scrolls of parchment, on which particular portions of the law were written, upon their foreheads and arms, which they called Philacteries.
+ In Num. u. 12. the tribe of Levi was taken instead of the first devoted to God's service. Travellers inform us, that the nation of Tanguth, in the East In. dies, redeem their sons with a ram, which they offer as a kind of sacrifice; which probably took its rise from this, as the ten tribes were scattered throughout all Asia.
The Jews say, that those who had no children of their own were obliged to teach the children of others.
strength of hand the LORD brought us out from Egypt, from 15 the house of bondage : And it came to pass, when Pharaoh
would hardly let us go, that the LORD slew all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man, and the firstborn of beast : therefore I sacrifice to the Lord all that open
eth the matrix, being males ; but all the firstborn of my chil16 dren I redeem. And it shall be for a token upon thine hand,
and for frontlets between thine eyes : for by strength of hand the LORD brought us forth out of Egypt.
And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God led them not (through] the way of the land of the Philistines, although that [was) near ; not above three or four days journey ; * for God said, Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt : But God led the people about, (through) the way of the wil. derness of the Red sea :t and the children of Israel went up harnessed, or, by five in a rank, in great order and regularity, out of the land of Egypt.
And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him : for he had straitly sworn the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you ; and ye shall carry up my bones away hence with
And they took their journey from Succoth, and encamped in Etham, in the edge of the wilderness.
And the LORD, the Shekinah, or visible token of his presence, went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them
the way ; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light ; 22 to go by day and night :f He took not away the pillar of the
cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, (from) before the people.
• Philistia lay on the back of Goshen. The Philistines were a warlike people ; and the Israelites, undisciplined, and just come out of slavery, were unfit to stand before them.
+ Here they might be trained up in the art of war, and would be abstracted from the idolatry of their neighbours. Here also they were to receive a system of laws, and have many miracles wrought for them, to strengthen their faith in God's power and goodness.
This was a large cloud that overspread the camp, like a pyramid, wide at the bottom and narrow at the top. It directed their march, went with them, sheltered them from the heat by day, and perhaps distilled some refreshing dews by night. In the day time it appeared like smoke, in the night like fire, to light them and keep off the beasts of prey ; and this continued with them til they came near to Canaan.
1. L O W proper is it that those, who are redeemed to God,
11 should devote themselves to him. He has a claim to this, as he is the first and best of Beings, and were there no extraordinary interpositions of his providence in our favour, to entitle him to it. But there are such : we are delivered by him from worse than Egyptian slavery ; we are not our own, but bought with a price ; therefore obliged to yield ourselves to him. We should yield to God our first and our best ; the first of our days, our youth, strength, and vigour, and the best of our faculties ; he best deserves them. Parents should devote their children to God; and when their lives are spared, and they are delivered from enemies and dangers, they should make a thankful acknowledgment of his mercy. Let us be engaged by the mercies of God, and especially by the redemption through Jesus Christ, to present our souls, bodies, time, strength, children, wealth, and all we have, to God, as a sacrifice, holy and acceptable in his sight.
2. We see the importance of making the deliverances granted by God to his people, familiar to the minds of the rising generation. It is our business to take every method to form them to wisdom and virtue : this is an important and necessary duty. Children should be early taught scripture stories, and God's dealing with his ancient people. That we have been contemplating is proper to teach them, especially if we proceed to an account of our spiritual redemption and deliverance. Children when they hear or read of any thing they do not understand, or when they attend upon gospel ordinances, as baptism, or the Lord's supper, should ask, What mean you by this service 2 They should be desirous and willing to learn ; parents should put them upon asking questions, be ready to teach them, if they do not inquire ; and not hide God's wonders from their children ; showing to generations to come the praise of the Lord, and his strength, and the wonderful works that he hath done. Psalm · Ixxviii. 14.
3. We see the wisdom and goodness of God, in proportioning the trials of his people to their strength. Their spirits were broken with slavery ; they were unfit to encounter difficulties, or to face any danger : this is a remarkable instance of divine compassion. Thus he deals with his people to this day. He knows their frame, and has compassion on their infirmities. God is faithful ; who will not suffer you to be tempted above what you are able, but will, with the temptation, also make a way to escape, that you may be able to bear it.
4. Let us adore and praise God for the provision he made for guiding and conducting his people through the wilderness. The Lord went before them, and the God of Israel was their rereward, their direction and protection. This was a constant mira.
cle. We are not to expect such extraordinary appearances ; but if we acknowledge God in all our ways, he will direct our paths. Providence takes care of good men, leads them in the way, in the right way to the city of habitation, though not the nearest. Whatever difficulties he brings us into, he can extricate us out of them. How happy is it to be under the divine guidance, to be hid under the shadow of his wings ! This is the privilege of the christian church, and of all its members. See a prophecy of this in Isaiah iv. 5, 6. which plainly refers to gospel times. And the Lord will create upon every dwelling place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night ; for upon all the glory shall be a defence. And there shall be a tabernacle, for a shadow in the day time from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain. Happy the church and people who are in such a case, yea, thrice happy the people, whose God is the Lord!
Contains a remarkable story, often referred to in scripture, by . which God made 10 himself an everlasting name. We have here - Pharaoh's pursuit of Israel ; their temper ; the directions given - to Moses ; the deliverance of Israel; and the destruction of the
Egyfitians, '1 AND the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto 2 A the children of Israel, that they turn and encamp be
forę Pihahiroth. between Migdol and the sea, over against 3 Baalzephon : before it shall ye encamp by the sea.* For
Pharaoh will say of the children of Israel, They (are) entangled in the land, the wilderness hath shut them in ; the moun.
tains are on each side of them, and the sea is before them, 80 4 that they cannot escape. And I will harden Pharaoh's heart,
that he shall follow after them ; and I will be honoured upon Pharaoh, and upon all his hosts, I will show my power and justice : that the Egyptians may know that I [am] the LORD.
And they did so. 5 And it was told the king of Egypt, by some of the mixed
multitude who returned, that the people fled, were going away with a purpose not to return ; and the heart of Pharaoh, and of his servants was turned against the people, and they
repented of having let them 20, and they said, Why have we 6 done this, that we have let Israel go from serving us? And
he made ready his chariot, and took ļiis people with him :
* Instead of going over the Isthmus of Suez, they were commanded to turn to the right, along the edge of the Redsea, into the straits, or passage between the mountains of Hiroth. Into these straits God led them, to avoid war with the Philistines, ch.xiii. 17. to draw Pha, raoh furth upon a supposed advantage gotten, o. 3. and to try the faith of his people,