12 And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt saying,
2 This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you.
3 Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house:
4 And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb.
5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats:
6 And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening.
7 And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it.
8 And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it.
9 Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof.
10 And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire.
K.J.V. Bible Text
In verse 2 of Exodus 12 the Lord tells Moses and Aaron something that seems very significant to me. He tells that that month would be the beginning of months, the first month of the year to them.
I wonder if Moses and Aaron or any of the other Israelite people realized at the time the significance of the event the Lord was planning—an event so important that it would herald the beginning of a new calendar, the month and day from which they would number their years to come.
The Lord instructs them to have each family take a lamb without blemish or to share such a lamb with neighbors if they were of a small household and to keep the lamb for the fourteenth of the month.
The Lord instructed them to kill all the lambs on the evening of the fourteenth and to paint the door posts of the houses where the lamb would be eaten with the blood of the lamb.
The lamb was to be roasted over fire with no water used and was to be eaten with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. All was to be consumed in that one night and if any remained the following day, it was to be burned with fire.
We know, of course, that this was the first Passover. God’s instructions to the Hebrews allowed for several things I can see instantly. First, their houses would be marked with the blood so the Lord would know they were obedient to his word. Second, they had something to do to occupy them that would keep them safe in their houses while death passed over Egypt. Third, the bitter herbs seem to me to mean that in Egypt the sojourn has been bitter, but those who have eaten the bitter herbs are to be spared this, the most sorrowful of all plagues that have affected Egypt. Fourth , and my final thought about this, by assigning the Israelites the task of eating the lamb according to his instructions, God assures them of having a full meal and being well fed before the journey we know they will soon take as they exit Egypt.
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