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2 a Sanctify unto me all the firstND the LORD spake unto Mo a ver. 12. 13, 15. ch. 22. 29, 30. & 34. 19. ses, saying,
Lev. 27. 26. Numb. 3. 13. & 8. 16, 17. & 18. 15. Deut. 15. 19. Luke 2. 23.
were to them memorial circumstances, brance of that remarkable event, and in connected with the haste and sudden token of their gratitude for it, their first. ness of their exit. But to us they speak born, in all ages, were to be consecrated an emphatic language ; 'Arise ye and to God as his peculiar portion, and if depart, for this is not your rest.' 'Here re-appropriated to themselves, it could we have no abiding city, but look for only be done on the ground of certain one to come.' 'Now we desire a better redemptions prescribed in v. 13. country, even an heavenly.' 'Arise, 2. Sanctify unto me all the first-born, and let us go hence.' (3.) Not a bone &c. Let them be set apart, consecrated, of the pascha) lamb was to be broken. hallowed to me. See the import of the The primary moral drift of the injunc term more fully explained in the Note tion seems to be, that what has once on Gen. 2. 3. God, as the universal been offered to God is not to be unne. Creator, is of course the universal Processarily disfigured or mangled. The prietor of all his creatures, and might blood must be shed, for that was the justly lay claim to the most absolute seal of the covenant; the flesh might and unreserved dedication of all the pro. be eaten for it was given for the sus- geny of men and brutes to himself. But tenance of man's life; but the bones in the present case he was pleased to forming no part either of food or sacri. restrict this more peculiar sanctification fice, were to be left in their original to the first-born, as being especially his state till consumed by fire with the re on the ground of their protection and mainder of the flesh, if any remained, exemption from the destroying judg. in the morning. At the same time we ment which had swept off the first-born cannot doubt that there was an ulterior of the Egyptians. As he had in this fact allusion in this commanded circum shown to them a distinguishing mercy, stance of the paschal rite. “But when he was pleased to make it the occasion the soldiers came to Jesus, and saw that of a standing acknowledgment to that he was dead already, they broke not his effect on the part of his people. As he legs. It is clear from what follows, had spared their first-born, who were that the Evangelist regarded the pre- the joy, the hope, and the stay of their cept of the law as a prophecy of Christ; families, so it was fitting, as an evidence
For these things are done that the of their grateful love to their heavenly Scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of benefactor, that they should recognise him shall not be broken ;' as if a special as paramount his title to what he had Providence had watched over the cruci. graciously spared them, and should fixion of the Savior to secure his sacred cheerfully resign to him who is First person from maiming, and thus bring and Best, what was dearest and most about the fulfilment of the prediction. valuable to themselves. And it is by
this test that we are to determine the CHAPTER XIII.
measure of our love to God. Does he 1. And the Lord spake unto Moses. stand so high in our affections that we From v. 15, it would appear that this are willing for his sake to part with precept was founded upon the fact of what we love best in this world ? It is the preservation of Israel's first-born only by losing sight of all the claims of when the first-born of the Egyptians infinite beneficence, and becoming deaf were slain. To perpetuate the remem, i to the dictates of every tender and gen
born, whatsoever openeth the house of bondage; for c by strength womb among the children of Is- of hand the LORD brought you out rael, both of man and of beast: it from this place : d there shall no is mine.
leavened bread be eaten. 3 | And Moses said unto the peo- 4 e This day came ye out, in the ple, bRemember this day, in which month Abib. ye came out from Egypt, out of the
c ch. 6. 1. ^ a ch. 12. 6. 18. Deut. 16. 1.
. ch. 23. 15. & 34.
b ch. 12. 42. Deut. 16. 3.
erous emotion, that we can suffer our grading bondage ; for which reason they selves to offer to the Most High the are said elsewhere to have been brought blind, the maimed, or the halt for sacri, forth from the furnace of iron ;' Deut. fice, or to serve him with that which | 4. 20. 1 Kings, 8.51. Jer. 11.4. - By costs us nothing. In accordance with strength of hand, &c. Heb. 7h piha this character of sanctity pertaining to behozek yad. As God had previously the first-born, the redeemed in heaven announced to Moses, Ex. 3. 19, 'I am are called the church of the first-born,' sure that the king of Egypt will not let and Christ himself is the first-born you go, no, not by a strong hand (773 among many brethren.' We find indeed Dir beyad hazakah),' where the ac. that at a subsequent period, Num. 3. 12, companying note shows that the meanthe divine Lawgiver saw fit to ordain a ing is, except or unless by a strong hand. commutation, by which one whole tribe As the original term is the same as that out of the twelve came into the room of applied in several instances to the hard. the first-born of every tribe, as an order ening of Pharaoh's heart (see Note on of priests to minister to him in holy Ex.4,21.), there is a tacit antithetical althings, which was otherwise one of the lusion to that event, implying that how. rights of primogeniture; and at any ever hard or strong the impious king time the privilege of redemption was made his heart, God made his hand still allowed in certain terms, Num. 18. 15— stronger. This is one of those nice 17; but neither of these provisions were shades of meaning which cannot well to operate in such a way as to weaken be conveyed in a translation. See Note the force of the moral considerations on Ex. 12. 33. - 1 There shall no connected with the ordinance.
leavened bread be eaten. This mode of 3. Remember this day, &c. Heb. 9737 rendering overlooks the true syntactical zakor, which has the import not mere. structure of the sentence, which is to ly of mental recollection, but of actual be read thus; 'Remember·this day in celebration, or of some kind of public which ye came out from Egypt, out of proceeding which should serve as a the house of bondage; for by strength perpetuating memorial of a particular of hand the Lord brought you out of
See Note on Ex. 20. 8. The this place (so) that there should no un. reason of this was not merely the favor leavened bread be eaten ;' i.e. under such shown to them in such a signal deliver. circumstances as gave rise to the ordi. ance, but the display it involved of the nance that no unleavened bread should divine interposition, and obviously the be eaten. more of God and of his power there is in 4. In the month Abib. That is, in the any deliverance, the more memorable month of green corn, which is the true it is. Out of the house of bondage. import of the word Abib. The Chaldee Heb. 8973ban mibbeth abadim, out name of this month was Nisan, corresof the house of servants ; i. e. from a ponding to part of our March and part condition of the most severe and de. 1 of April. See Note on Ex. 9. 31. Gr.
5 | And it shall be when the LORD en seven days: and there shall k no shall bring thee into the land of leavened bread be seen with thee, the Canaanites, and the Hittites, neither shall there be leaven seen and the Amorites, and the Hivites, with thee in all thy quarters, and the Jebusites, which he esware 8 | And thou shalt Ishew thy son unto thy fathers to give thee, a in that day, saying, This is done land flowing with milk and honey; because of that which the LORD did h that thou shalt keep this service unto me when I came forth out of in this month.
Egypt. 6 i Seven days shalt thou eat un 9 And it shall be for ma sign unleavened bread, and in the seventh to thee upon thine hand, and for a day shall be a feast to the LORD. memorial between thine eyes; that 7 Unleavened bread shall be eat
ver. 16, ch. 12. 14. Numb. 15. 39. Deut. 6. 6 ch. 6. 8. h ch. 12. 25, 26. ich. 8. & 11. 18. Prov. 1. 9. Isai. 49. 16. Jer. 22. 12. 15, 16.
k ch. 12. 19. lvei. 14. Ch. 12. 26.
fch. 3. 8.
24. Matt. 23. 5.
Vulg. Chal. and Sam. “In the month of set their hope in God, and not forget new fruits. Syr. `In the month of flow the works of God, but keep his comers.' Arab. In the month when corn mandments: and might not be as their has ears.
fathers, a stubborn and rebellious gener. 5. When the Lord shall bring, &c. ation ; a generation that set not their Provision is here made for the perma- heart aright, and whose spirit was not nent remembrance of the great event of steadfast with God. No one can fail the nation's exodus from Egypt. The to infer from this the great importance present injunction prescribes the ob- of acquainting children at an early age servance of the rite after their settle with the leading stories of sacred writ, ment in the land of promise, and we and familiarising their minds with the learn that they kept only one passover moral lessons which they are designed during their forty years sojourn in the to teach. It is a debt which we owe to wilderness. It was omitted probably the honor of God and 10 the benefit of because circumcision was omitted dur. their souls, to tell them of the great ing that time, which was an indispens- things which God has in former ages, able prerequisite to the passover.
or in our own age, done for his church, 8. Thou shalt show thy son, &c. The or is still doing. Nor should parents most sedulous care in instructing their consider themselves released from this children in the rites and ceremonies of duty because their children can read their religion, and in the reasons on these narratives for themselves, or hear which they were founded, is frequently them recited and explained by Sunday enjoined upon parents throughout the School teachers. They are things to Mosaic narrative. The Psalmist also be talked about in the family circle, speaks of it, Ps. 78. 5—8, as a positive which is the grand nursery of God's ap. institution among his people ; · For he pointment for the training of the infant established a testimony in Jacob, and mind, and where the tender heart of appointed a law in Israel, which he childhood is most easily to be reached. commanded our fathers, that they should 9. It shall be for a sign unto thee make them known to their children: upon thine hand, &c. It may be doubt. That the generation to come might know ed whether this is to be understood as a them, even the children which should mere metaphorical expression or as a litbe born : who should arise and declare eral injunction. The Jewish commen. them to their children : that they might Itators are generally of opinion that the
the LORD's law may be in thy of the Canaanites, as he sware unto mouth: for with a strong hand thee and to thy fathers, and shall hath the LORD brought thee out of give it thee; Egypt.
12 . That thou shalt set apart 10 - Thou shalt therefore keep unto the LORD all that openeth the this ordinance in his season from matrix; and every firstling that year to year.
cometh of a beast which thou hast, 11 | And it shall be when the the males shall be the LORD'S. LORD shall bring thee into the land o ver. 2. ch. 22. 29, & 34. 19. Lev. 27. 26.
Numb. 8. 17.& 18. 15. Deut. 15. 19. Ezek. nch. 12. 14, 24. words of the precept concerning the guage of prophecy. Chal. ‘From time sanctification of the first-born were to to time. This throws light upon the be written on shreds of linen or parch. words of Dan. 4. 25, 35, written also in ment, and worn on their wrists and Chaldaic, 'Seven times shall pass over foreheads. These where the ‘Phylac. thee ;' i. e. seven years. teries,' or scrolls of parchment, with 11. And it shall be, &c. We have portions of the law written upon them, here a repetition, with some additional of which our Savior speaks, Mat. 23. 5, circumstances, of the precept respect. as distinguishing, when made uncom- ing the separation and dedication of the monly broad, the hypocritical Scribes first-born to God, after they should have and Pharisees. It is not improbable, become fixed in the land of their des. however, that the precept here is only tined inheritance. During their sojourn figurative, implying that the remem in the desert the strict observance of brance of God's goodness should be con- this and some other of their national tinually cherished, that it should no laws appears to have been dispensed more be lost sight of than is an object with. appended to the hand or hanging be. 12. Thou shalt set apart. Heb.291 tween the eyes. Thus Prov. 3. 3, ‘Bind ha-abarta, thou shalt make to pass over; them about thy neck; write them upon i. e. from thine own power and posses. the table of thine heart ;' i. e. have sion; thou shalt make a transfer of it. them in perpetual remembrance. That This term, therefore, may be considerthis was a proverbial mode of speech ed as explanatory of the term 'sanctify,' appears from the following passages v. 2. That openeth the matrix. among others, Hag. 2. 23, ‘In that day 'The Hebrew expression is the same will I make thee as a signet ; for I have with that in v.2.- And every firstchosen thee, saith the Lord.' Cant. 8. ling. Rather 'even every firstling,' as 6, 'Set me as a seal upon thy heart, as the precept, as here repeated, has rea seal upon thine arm.' Comp. Deut. spect primarily to the first-born of 6.649, with Note. That the Lord's beasts, and not of men. The firstlings law may be in thy mouth. That is, that of clean beasts, such as calves, lambs, it may be familiar to thee; that thou and kids, if males, were to be dedicated mayest frequently speak of it, both in to God, and used in sacrifice. These order to affect thine own heart, and to were not to be redeemed. Their blood instruct others. See Note on Josh. 1.8. must be sprinkled on the altar, and
10. From year to year. Heb. Ona their fat consumed upon it; while their 12 na mioyamim yamimah, from days flesh belonged to the priest, who used onward to days. An instance of the it as his share of the sacrifice, Num. 18. frequent usage by which days is em- 17, 18. But the first born of unclean ployed for years, particularly in the lan. I beasts, as the ass's colt, for instance, Vol. I
13 And p every firstling of an ass 14 Ir And it shall be when thy thou shalt redeem with a lamb; son asketh thee in time to come, and if thou wilt not redeem it, then saying, What is this ? that thou thou shalt break his neck : and all shalt say unto him, By strength the first-born of man among thy of hand the LORD brought us out children 9 shalt thou redeem. from Egypt, from the house of
bondage: 'p ch. 34. 20. Numb. 18. 15, 16. 9 Numb. 3. 46, 47.& 18. 15, 16.
rch. 12. 26. Deut. 6. 20. Josh. 4.6, 21. s ver. 3, though due to God in virtue of this law appears that it was fixed at five shekels. of consecration, yet, as they could not Comp. also Num. 3. 46, 47. The re. be offered in sacrifice, were either to demption of a child took place when it be redeemed or killed. Comp. Num, was a month old. If it died sooner, the 18. 15.
parents were not obliged to redeem it. 13. Every firstling of an ass thou It died as were to God, to whom it shalt redeem with a lamb. Or with a previously belonged. kid, as the original equally signifies. 14. It shall be when thy son asketh This lamb or kid was to be given to the thee, &c. Again the duty of instructLord through the priest, Num. 18. 8, 15, ing children in the import of these sa. and then the owner of the ass might cred rites is inculcated. It is supposed appropriate it to his own use, which that when they saw all the firstlings otherwise he would not be at liberty to thus devoted, they would ask the mean. do. There is no doubt that the spirit ing of it, and this their parents were re. of the law applied also to other ani. quired to explain to them, teaching mals, as the horse, the camel, &c., but them that God's special claim to their the ass alone is specified, because the first-born and all their firstlings, was Israelites had scarcely any other beast founded in his gracious preservation of of burden, and if they had, one species them from the sword of the destroying would serve as a representative of all angel. This feature of the Mosaic econothers.
3.- Thou shalt break his neck. omy was calculated to have a powerHeb. 1993 araphto. The original is ful practical effect upon the eldest sons defined in the Lexicon to break the neck, of every family; for when they were but it seems more properly to express taught that they themselves had been the act of decollation, or cutting off the redeemed by their parents according to neck (i. e. the head), in which sense it the divine appointment, they could is plainly used, Deut. 21. 4, 'And the scarcely fail to perceive that peculiar elders of that city shall strike off the obligations rested upon them to walk heifer's neck (7673 arephu) there in the worthy of that hallowed preeminence valley.' Is. 66. 3, 'He that sacrificeth with which they were invested in God's a lamb, as if he cut off a dog's neck estimation. But if this was the im(979 oreph).' The reason of the law pression produced by this statute on the was undoubtedly this, that whatever minds of Jewish children, how should had been once solemnly devoted to God Christians be affected with the consider. was ever after to be considered as ation, that they have been redeemed, clothed with such a peculiar sanctity not with corruptible things, as silver as forbade its being put to any other and gold, like the first-born of Israel, but
1 All the first-born of man with the precious blood of Christ, as of among thy children shalt thou redeem. a, lamb without blemish and without The law of this redemption is more spot ? . By strength of hand the specifically given Num. 18. 16, where it | Lord brought us out of Egypt. This