11 And it shall be when the Lord shall bring thee into the land of the Canaanites, 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, 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 thou shalt redeem with a lamb; and if thou wilt not redeem it, then thou shalt break his neck: and all the firstborn of man among thy children shalt thou redeem.
14 And it shall be when thy son asketh thee in time to come, saying, What is this? that thou shalt say unto him, By strength of hand the Lord brought us out from Egypt, from the house of bondage:
15 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 openeth the matrix, being males; but all the firstborn of my children I redeem.
16 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.
K.J.V. Bible Text
In today’s reading, the Lord tells Moses that when the people have been brought to the land of Canaan and it has been given to them, the first born male of all the beasts shall be “set apart” and belong to the Lord.
He tells them that the firstborn of an ass will be redeemed by a lamb and if not redeemed its neck shall be broken. The firstborn male child he also ordered to be redeemed.
All this the Lord wanted done in memory of him. He told Moses that when in time to come a son would ask why this was done, he would be told how the Lord had brought the people out of Egypt and out of bondage, by slewing the firstborn of the land of Egypt.
The scripture says the Lord said that this shall be “for a token upon thine hand.” Certainly, this would assure that the Israelite people would not forget through all the many generations to come that the Lord had brought them out of Egypt, for by the very custom of sacrifice he asked them to follow they were reminded of all he had done every time a new generation either of their animals or of their own families was born.
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