BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 7, Day 5: Exodus 18

Summary of passage:  Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, visits Moses, bringing him his wife and two sons with him.  Moses meets him and Moses explains all that the Lord has been doing for the Israelites.  Jethro acknowledges God above all other gods and offers a burnt sacrifice.

The next day Moses sits in judgement of his people.  Immediately, Jethro sees how Moses spent his whole day listening to disputes and suggests that Moses appoint others to listen to the easy disputes so as not to wear himself out.  Then Moses can settle only the difficult disputes, and have time to rest and attend to other matters.  Moses followed his father-in-law’s advice and then Jethro returned to his country.

Questions:

10a)  Probably right after the crossing of the Red Sea because it would be difficult terrain.  Maybe during the plagues as well so they wouldn’t suffer while they were still in Egypt.  The fact is that the Bible does not say so no one knows.  Why this is a challenge question is beyond me.  Nothing in the Bible tells us.

b)  To protect them from something or someone (diseases, plagues, a dictator, hardships, etc).  Or even to better focus on his job (in this case leading the people out of Israel) without distractions.

11a)  Jethro was “delighted”.  He praised the Lord, acknowledged his greatness above all other gods and offered up a burnt offering and other sacrifices to God in praise.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I tend to think my life is not that noteworthy and I haven’t had any great God event occur–certainly not like parting the Red Sea.  So that leaves me with little things:  how God provided during hard times, God protected me when I was young and stupid, God protected us all from things we don’t even know, and God’s faithfulness day-in and day-out.

12a)  Moses was wearing himself out with the heavy workload.  People were standing around all day, waiting for their turn, becoming impatient and angry.  His time was better spent concentrating on leading the people to the Promised Land, not on disputes.

b)  He told Moses to delegate the simple tasks so he would have more time to hear from God.  To train up Godly men to help him.  To teach God’s laws and decrees to the people so that they are better able to govern themselves.

c)  Capable men–men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain.

d)  God

e)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Help me to be a better teacher of his decrees and laws to my kids and others around me.  Help me to ask for help when I need it.  Recently, we started a chore chart with the kids so they could help me keep up with the housecleaning duties.  This was something I desperately needed.  Help me to focus on God’s work and delegate the rest.  Help me to pray more and pray before decisions.

Conclusions:  Leaders must delegate if they are to lead properly.  Here we see the first Biblical example of doing so.  We also see God using others to promote His will and ease some of our burdens.  We see concern and compassion for others and the will to speak Godly advice into others’ lives.  Great stuff!

End Notes:  We assume Jethro worshipped the One, True God as scholars say a priest of Midian may be descended from Abraham (Genesis 25:1-2).

This is the only time Moses’ second son is mentioned.  Eliezer means “God is my helper.”  What a consrast with his first son’s name, meaning “alien there.”

Scholars believe this event is out of order, using Numbers and Deuteronomy as evidence.  They believe this scene happened much later, closer to coming near the Promised Land.

Moses took the advice; a great character trait in leaders.  Moses also prayed about advice from Jethro to make sure it was God’s will as well.

Note the importance of praying and teaching. Pray for others and teach them God’s laws so that they may settle disputes as well.  You are better when you develop those around you as well.  This also blessed those chosen, giving them the opportunity to serve God as well.

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BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 7, Day 4: Exodus 17:8-16

Summary of passage:  The Amalekites attack the Israelites. Moses sent Joshua out to fight while he, Aaron, and Hur went to a hill. Moses held up his hands and the Israelites would win. Aaron and Hur helped Moses to hold up his hands the entire day for if he didn’t, the Amalekites would win. Joshua overcame in the end and Moses built an alter to God and recorded the event and God’s promise to wipe the Amalekites from history.

Questions:

8a)  Moses calls it the “staff of God” in verse 9.  I think it represented God and God’s blessings

b)  The fact that Moses held up the staff because when Moses held up the staff, the Israelites were winning. When he lowered it, the Israelites were losing.  Presumably, if Moses didn’t hold up the staff, the Israelites would lose the war.  Plus, the staff represents God’s favor so God’s power is in the staff.  Furthermore, we are not told here what God said to do.  All that is recorded is Moses’ orders.  So God could have told Moses to hold up the staff and Moses could have told Joshua to go and fight.  We are not sure.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Not sure what the pronoun “this” is referring to in this question.  “This” could be the whole passage.  “This” could be the previous question.  BSF is unclear here.  I’m gonna go with the previous question here.  Moses had to pray to win the battle.  So must I.  I must pray to win my battles and lately I’ve been remiss of this as I’ve felt a bit far from God.  Prayer is a weapon that I must wield much more often.

9a)  The account of this battle and that God will completely blot out the memory of the Amalekites.

b)  Two-fold:  So this battle can be remembered by future generations as a testament to God’s greatness and glory and mercy. So that His people would know that their enemies, the Amalekites, are insignificant and God will keep His promise to blot them from history.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  It’s more oral tales than written records.  Give God the credit to all in my life.  Hopefully, my life will be a testament itself.

Conclusions:  Too many pronouns “this” in this passage.  I had to go immediately to commentary to answer some of these.  Other Bible translations proved helpful as well.

My take away:  Pray.

End Notes:  Amalek was the grandson of Esau (Genesis 36:12).  The Amalekites were a group of wandering nomads in the Sinai at this time.  In Deuteronomy 25:17-18 we learn that the Amelekites attacked the end of the line where the women, children, old, and the baggage lay.  This was a cowardly act of war, intent to just steal from the Israelites.

This was the first battle for the Israelites in 400 years.  They had to rely on God for this one.

Moses calls the rod “the rod of God”.  God calls the rod “the rod of Moses”.  Love the honor here!

This is the first time in the Bible we meet Joshua, who always is faithful to Moses and God.

Scholars believe Hur was Miriam’s husband.

Moses holding up his hands was the traditional way for the Israelites to pray much like we bow our heads.  Here, Moses is praying.  When he stops praying, God stops acting.  Great lesson for us to learn–the power of prayer.

Praying was the hard work here, not the battle.  Note Moses needed others to support him–just like we do in our Christian walks.

Today many of God’s peoples are defeated because they do not pray.  Fighting is important and with prayer it’s indestructible.

Moses is commanded five times to write down something by God (Exodus 17:14, Exodus 24:4-7, Exodus 34:27, Numbers 33:1-2, and Deuteronomy 31:9, 24).

More battles will give the Amalekites time to repent.  God is good.

Favorite Map showing Rephidim where the Amalekites attacked Israel:  http://headwatersresources.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/ExodusColorNotesFramedCC.jpg

Fun Fact:  Jesus is the Greek pronunciation of Joshua.  They are the same name.  You can see why in the lives of both men.

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 7, Day 3: Exodus 17:1-7

Summary of passage:  The Israelites set out for their journey to Canaan, traveling from place to place, still in the Desert of Sin.  They reach Rephidim where there is no water so they again complain to Moses.  Moses asks them why do they test the Lord.  Still, they protest.  Moses, exasperated, asks God what to do.  God tells Moses to strike a rock at Horeb to bring forth water for the people.

Questions:

6a)  They complained they had no water and they accused him of bringing them out of Egypt so they could die–the same complaint they made in Exodus 16.

b)  Because they lacked faith in God to provide.

c)  He met their needs, specifically by sending out Moses to bring forth water from the rock of Horeb.

d)  Water, especially in the desert is precious and life-giving.  Jesus said he brings the water of eternal life if you choose to drink it (which is accept him as the Savior).  Jesus is our Rock, our salvation, and if you drink from the rock, you drink of him.  When Jesus was struck like this rock, living water flowed.  We received the Holy Spirit from that rock and water (Jesus).

7a)  The grumbled about water (Exodus 15:24; 17:2-3) and food (Exodus 16:3).  Three times they grumbled, repenting zero times.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I am ungrateful a lot of the time, not remembering my blessings like the Israelites. I can be flippant as well to others and dismissive and selfish.  I will ask God to allow me to remember my blessings, have a more grateful heart, and be kinder with my words and attitudes towards others.  Lessen my selfishness.

Conclusions:  I liked this cause it was a short read.  It’s hard to read how much the Israelites grumbled cause I wonder how much I do the same thing.  I think they are idiots, but I’m sure God thinks the same of me as well.  Luckily, He showers me with grace like He did the Israelites as I continue on my imperfect path.

Please read John 7:39 for question 6d.  It specifically says the living water is the Holy Spirit.  I’m not sure why BSF cut that verse off.

End Notes:  We in the Western world have a hard time understanding thirst.  I know I don’t think I’ve ever gone without water for a day.  So to go three days without water I cannot imagine.  But without it you will die.  And when dehydration sets in, the mind starts going and I’m sure patience as well.  Thirst is the number one need and the most important here.

We can learn from Moses who took his problems to God in complete faith to solve them, which He did.

God has Moses perform this miracle for all to see so that they would know God is with them.

God answers with no words of reproach–something I know I need to work on.

In Deuteronomy, God specifically refers to this test at Massah and Meribah as examples of unbelief.

The greatest sin of the Israelites is right here in their own words:  “Is the Lord among us or not?”  I think even if God appeared personally, someone would doubt.  I wonder what quality this is in us humans to doubt our eyes and our ears.  Every lower animal relies on their senses to survive and we rely on our brain.  Sometimes I think this may not be such a good thing.  We overthink instead of just using our senses and knowing.

I wonder how much God’s heart broke because of this.  What God wants most from us–belief in Him.  Sad.  Very, very sad.

We cannot think of the Sinai Peninsula as barren with no life.  It is a desert but it’s a high plateau with mountains, trees, and some grasslands.  It cannot support a large population but it does support life.

Insane in-depth analysis of the Wilderness of Sin, using mostly ariel satellite images.  Great website to get an idea of what the landscape is like.  Remember, no one is sure of these exact locations.  These are the best guesses, using the Bible in terms of location.  To me, it’s a great visual to gain a sense of what the Israelites faced.

http://www.bible.ca/archeology/bible-archeology-exodus-route-wilderness-of-sin.htm

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 7, Day 2: Exodus 15:22-16:36

Summary of passage:  The Exodus continues now as Moses leads God’s people from the Red Sea through the Desert of Shur.  Here, they could not find water so Moses cries out to the Lord.  God shows Moses a log which he throws in the water to purify it.  The Lord made a decree with his people that if they listened to Him and followed his command and kept his decrees, He would not bring any diseases upon them.

Exodus 16:  The march through the desert is not easy so the people begin to grumble against Moses and Aaron, saying they have brought them out here to die.  The Lord then promised to rain down bread from heaven and have the people gather the bread.  Moses told the people they would receive bread in the mornings and meat in the evenings from the Lord since He has heard their grumblings against Him.  The people could see the glory of the Lord speaking to Moses.  God did this so they would know He is the Lord their God.

God sent manna and quail for the Israelites to eat.  They were to take only what was needed and not save any. When some took too much, it rotted by morning.  On the sixth day, the people are to gather enough food for the Sabbath.  This they are allowed to store.  However, as always, some disobeyed and tried to find food, angering the Lord.

The Lord commanded the people to keep some manna as a reminder of their journey.  For 40 years, the people ate manna provided by God until they came to Canaan.

Questions:

3a)  Three days

b)  Moses cried out to the Lord and He heard and showed Moses a piece of wood, which he threw in the water, purifying it.

c)  The people must listen carefully to the voice of the Lord and do what is right in His eyes and pay attention to His commands and keep all of his decrees, then He would never bring diseases upon His people.

d)  He is the Lord their God who heals them.

4a)  The people think that Moses has brought them into the desert when it is the Lord who has done so.

b)  God. Verses 7, 8 & 9

5a)  He rained down bread (manna) for the people in the morning and provided meat (quail) for them in the evenings. He did this for 40 years.

b)  It was a test to see if the people followed His instructions exactly.  If they listened to God and followed His decrees.  It also tested their faith and reliance on God to provide for their needs.

c)  Jesus said that God gave them the bread from heaven but the true bread is himself–the one who came down from heaven and gives life to the world.  Jesus follows with one of his most famous statements, saying he is the bread of life and whoever comes to him in faith and belief will have everlasting life.

d)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I am assuming you can read this as how have you experienced Jesus.  For me, he is everywhere always in every nook and cranny of my being.  I experience him every day and praise and thank him for my life which he has blessed me with.  He is my bread, my salvation and I pray I live that every day of my life.

Conclusions:  My favorite part is how the Israelites grumble against Moses but it’s truly against God.  How often do we do this? Blame others and lash out at them when it’s not their fault and we are truly mad at God for our circumstances.  We blame others when it’s our lack of faith that is to blame.  I loved how both God and Moses called the people on it and highlighted their lack of faith and ungratefulness.  I also like how it only took 3 days from seeing God at His most powerful for the Israelites to forget.

I wonder what it must have been like to see manna fall from the sky.  Cool!

End Notes:  Experts say 3 days is the maximum amount of time the human body can go without water under desert conditions.

Why did Moses not use his rod he is carrying that have worked the wonders before?  Every time, God has granted Moses and the rod the ability to do His bidding.  The same here.  God must give the rod magic powers; the rod itself has nothing to do with it.  Hence, God chooses a log instead, reminiscent of the cross.  Scholars also say this water was purified with elements to cleanse the Israelites of any maladies from Egypt.  So it cleansed and it satisfied.

When God calls you to obey Him, it is really a test.

Many of God’s laws is to keep the people safe from diseases.

Elim was a place of restoration for the people.  Testing would come later as they continued their journey across the desert.

Exodus 16 opens with one month after leaving Egypt.  The people are headed towards the Sinai but they must cross the Wilderness of Sin first.

Note the Israelites were the only ones to call the bread manna, which means “What is it?”  God almost always called it “bread from heaven”.  God provides in unexpected ways.

God could have been mad about the complaints.  Instead, He had compassion and mercy on them and gave them what they needed.

The quails here migrate over the Sinai Peninsula and at night they rest and are easy picking for predators.

Manna was a thin, flaky substance left over when the dew evaporated, which the people had to gather.  No one really knows exactly what it was but God.  No one knows exactly how much an omer was either.  It had to be gathered by each family when it appeared.  No laziness accepted.

The first mention of the Sabbath is right here!  The first mention since God rested after the creation, that is, in Genesis 2.  The root word of ‘rest’ and ‘Sabbath’ are the same.  I missed this because I am so used to the Sabbath being holy but here the Israelites had no clue what God was doing.  Hence, I think in some small way this can explain why some disobeyed (even though they shouldn’t have) to gather the bread.  God was teaching here and some unfortunately missed it.

Just as God provided, God stopped once they arrived in Canaan.  He blessed them instead with the joy of providing for themselves.

Here was our wonderful question to read from John as Jesus explains the true meaning behind manna and the bread of life.  Awesome!

Take away:  The details are truly unimportant here.  What we need to know is this:  depend on God who will provide in unexpected ways as long as you obey and trust in Him.  Feed daily from the true Bread of Life and you will be blessed forevermore.

Extras:  Short reading on Sabbath and this passage HERE

Interesting longer read on the Sabbath HERE, which details its beginnings, its meaning for the Jews at the time, and its meaning for Christians.  Very good article on the misunderstandings of the Sabbath and how Christians can distort the true intent behind it.  Excellent for those who think God can be compartimentalized to one day only!

More on the Sabbath will be forthcoming in our study, especially since it is one of the Ten Commandments so stay tuned!

My Favorite Map Showing Elim, Marah and Sinai:  HERE

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 6, Day 5: Exodus 15:1-21

Summary of passage:  Moses and the Israelites sing a song of praise and worship to the Lord after the final defeat of the Egyptians.  They exalt Him for defeating the Egyptians by parting the waters of the Red Sea.  The enemy boasted and God brought them down.  God redeemed His people in unfailing love and strength.  All of the nations will know and tremble once they hear of what happened here.  Miriam and the women sang God’s praises as well.

Questions:

10a)  Personal Question.  My answer:  verse 2:  “The Lord is my strength and my song…I will praise him and … exalt him.”  Verse 7:  “In the greatness of your majesty, you threw down those who opposed you.”  Verse 11:  “Who is like  you–majestic in holiness, awesome in glory?”  Verse 13:  “In your unfailing love…and strength you will guide them”

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  He is always there, waiting to help me and love me when I need Him most.  He is omnipotent and omniscient and knows everything about me.  He sees me.  He knows me.  He is present.  He protects me, shelters me, provides for me.  He wraps me in a big hug when no one else will.  His blessings are beyond what I deserve.  My greatest gift is praise and worship to Him.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  By being faithful.  Praising Him.  Thanking Him.  Praying.  Serving. Obeying.  By living a Godly life.

11a)  God will lead the people He has redeemed and guide them to His holy dwelling.  Israel’s enemies would be as still as stone, allowing God’s people to pass by.  Israel will have the Promised Land once again.

b)  God led Abraham to the Promised Land.  God cared for His people in bringing them to Egypt.  He will do the same now.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  God has done everything for me and I know He will continue to do so.  I have so many hopes for the future it is ridiculous.  I feel like I’m in a lull now, but I am praying and waiting on Him to do great things.  I would like to write an impactful novel, raise good, God-fearing children, be a dutiful wife, care for all that God has given me (which includes material things and pets), and continue to live in His light.

Conclusions:  Nice break from all the reading!  Nice reflection day since most all are personal questions.  It’s good to think about these things in our lives because often we don’t stop and do so.  It was nice just to pray and think about how much God has done in my life and His promises for the future.

I am wondering though:  Is “Moses and the Israelites” just the men praising God since Miriam then took the women?  I’m confused.

End Notes:  This song is thought to have been spontaneous and a new song unto the Lord.  It is all about God, nothing about Moses.  God is their strength, not He gives them strength.

Parts of this song is found in Scripture 3 times.

The right hand (considered the hand of skill and power) is used in the Bible over 50 times.

This song shows the Israelites definitely knew who God was if the Egyptians still haven’t.

God’s enemies did hear of this event as Rahab the prostitute said so (Joshua 2:10).

This is the first mention of Miriam by name.  Numbers 26:59 seems to indicate Moses had only this one sister.  We also will study later this year that it was not only Aaron who caused trouble for Moses; Miriam did as well.  She is called a prophetess because she received divine communication as did Moses as the prophet.

Scholars are divided on whether the men and women were separated as are ancient recordings on such.  There is arguments on both sides but I think most think men and women were separated.  It would seem to fit the culture to have men and women separated.  Some suggest Moses and the men sang the chorus while Miriam and the women sang the refrain.  Vocal wise, this makes sense since men have low voices and women have high voices.

I find it strange all the women have tambourines.  If this were me, I’d leave that behind when I fled Egypt.  But maybe tambourines were integral in the worship of God, so they brought them.

Fun Fact about Passage:  This is the first song recorded in the Bible.  Can you imagine?  Millions singing at once to God.  Amazing!!

My take away from the Exodus out of Egypt:  God did it.  No one else.

More Celebrations of God:  Psalm 78 & 105

Fun Fact:  The Book of Exodus shows a greater proportion of miracles (direct, supernatural acts of God) than any other part of the Bible except the Gospels.

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 6, Day 3: Exodus 12:31-13:16

Summary of passage:  During the night Pharaoh finally told the Egyptians to leave as the Egyptians were afraid they would all die.  Pharaoh also asks to be blessed by God.  So they were given clothing, silver, and gold and journeyed on foot.  They numbered 600,000 men, along with the women, children, livestock, and others.  They were in Egypt for 430 years.

The Lord said no uncircumcised males may partake of the Passover.  It must be eaten inside with no bones broken.

Exodus 13:  God ordered every firstborn male be consecrated to him, including the animals (this would later be replaced with the Levites in Numbers).  This day must forever be commemorated with a festival and with no bread with leaven in it for the generations to come and is to be told to every generation and remembered.  Every firstborn and sacrifice will be a sign of this remembrance.

Questions:

5a)  It would devastate it.

b)  When He struck down all the firstborn in Egypt (Passover).

c)  Israel is God’s firstborn son.

d)  Personal Question.  My answer:  By following God’s purpose for my life.  Living a godly life.  Doing what Jesus would do.  Repenting.  Asking for forgiveness for others.  Praying.  Faith.

6)  “The Lord made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people, and they gave them what they asked for; so they plundered the Egyptians.”

7)  Non-Israelites did go with the Israelites (verse 38) and God had to make sure they believed in Him and accepted His sacrifice for their sins.  It’s just like taking communion or the Eucharist today.  It has meaning and you must accept Him in order to be cleansed just like with Jesus.

Conclusions:  Try not to gloss over this section although it’s easy to do especially after yesterday which was a doozy. It is repetitive, yes, of what happened in Exodus 12 but it’s important enough to be repeated.  Note the emphasis of how God keeps stressing over and over the importance of remembering this day and what it means to His people.  The importance of passing this on to the next generations.  The importance of obeying these ordinances forever.

We must remember the Passover in the OT is the equivalent of Jesus dying on the cross–it was that important.  It accomplished the same thing–cleansing us of our sins.  Hence, the importance of it in these passages.

I love how Pharaoh says “Go but bless me too!”.  It’s still about him, yes.  But we see he has finally accepted that God is the One, True God.  He learned the hard way.  I pray we don’t learn that way.

End Notes:  Pharaoh was finally broken when his son died.  God does whatever it takes for His will.  Always justly.

We see the importance of the unleavened bread for the Israelites had to leave NOW.

Succoth means shelters to this may not be the town of Succoth.  There was probably was an air of celebration after the haste and the people were probably over the moon.

The number 600,000 has been debated.  Some say this was about 2 million people in total who left Egypt.  Regardless, it was a lot of people to be moving all at once out of the country.

Note the magnitude of God:  to the exact day of 430 years did the Israelites leave.

If you were part of God’s people, you had to celebrate the Passover.  If you wanted in,  you had to be circumcised and celebrate Passover.

God also required the dedication of the firstborn to Him because God always requires our best and the firstborn was considered the best in Ancient Times.

Phylactery boxes began with these instructions of which priests corrupted back in Jesus’ day.  This passage is not meant to be literal.

This is the simpliest and easiest Map of Exodus I could find with Rameses and Succoth clearly marked:  http://dedicatedchristfollower.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/exodus-map.gif

Fun Fact:  “Out of Egypt” occurs 56 times from this passage in the Bible.  Important, wouldn’t you say?

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 6, Day 2: Exodus 11:1-12:30

Summary of passage:  The Lord says He will bring one more plague upon Egypt and then Pharaoh will finally relent and let His people go.  Tell the Israelites to ask for gold and silver as I (God) have made them favorably disposed to help you.  So Moses tells Pharaoh that God will kill every firstborn son in Egypt and every firstborn calf as well.  There will be mourning as never seen before.  No harm will come to the Israelites.  Then everyone will demand us to leave and we will leave.  Moses, angry, leaves Pharaoh.

[In Chapter 10 of Exodus we see how Pharaoh banishes Moses from his court because Moses won't compromise on the Exodus.  Presumably, no time has elapsed here and God speaks to Moses in this moment before he leaves Pharaoh for the last time so Moses can warn Pharaoh.]

Chapter 12:  God gives Moses and Aaron clear instructions for the Passover, which is where God does not harm the Israelites but instead takes the firstborn of every Egyptian and animal.  Each Israelite household is to take a lamb without defect and raise it for 14 days.  Then at twilight all the lambs must be slaughtered.  They must take the blood and mark their doorways with it, which will serve as the sign for me (God) to pass over and not bring the plague.  Roast the meat over fire and make haste and be prepared to exit Egypt.

This is to become the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which entailed eating no yeast for a week and doing no work except preparing food.  Moses summoned the elders of Israel, gave them the Lord’s instructions, and they obeyed and worshipped.

Everything happened as the Lord said and there was one one house in Egypt without someone dead.

Questions:

3a)  This will be the last plague and Pharaoh will let His people go and he will drive them out completely from Egypt.

b)  Verses 4-8:  “This is what the Lord says:  ‘About midnight I will go throughout Egypt.  Every firstborn son in Egypt will die, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh, who sits on the throne, to the firstborn son of the slave girl, who is at her hand mill, and all the firstborn of the cattle as well.  There will be loud wailing throughout Egypt–worse than there has ever been or ever will be again.  But among the Israelites not a dog will bark at any man or animal.’  Then you will know that the Lord makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel.  All these officials of yours will come to me, bowing down before me and saying, ‘Go, you and all the people who follow you!’  After that I will leave.”

c)  Moses does not give Pharaoh time to respond, so angry is he with Pharaoh’s obstinance.  We can assume since God sent the plague that Pharaoh acted the same way as he has consistently acted–flippant, defiant, and refusing to release God’s people.

4a)  Verses 2-11:  Each Israelite household is to take a lamb without defect and raise it for 14 days. Then at twilight all the lambs must be slaughtered. They must take the blood and mark their doorways with it, which will serve as the sign for God to pass over and not bring the plague. Roast the meat over fire, along with bitter herbs and bread made without yeast, and make haste and be prepared to exit Egypt.

b)  Verse 13:  “…when I see the blood, I will pass over you.”  Moses tells the elders in verse 27 “It is the Passover sacrifice to the Lord, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes when he struck down the Egyptians.”  It is the day to be remembered as the fulfillment of God’s promises to His people.

c)  Jesus rescued us (His people) from sin and he had to be sacrificed to do so just like the Passover lambs who had to be sacrificed to save and mark God’s people.

d)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Yes.

Conclusions:  I had never noticed before how Moses never left Pharaoh and how God spoke directly to Moses so Moses could give Pharaoh the final warning.  God keeps His promise from Exodus 4:12 “I will help you speak and will teach you what to say”. I wonder how this occurred.  Did Moses pause and listen to God and then repeat God?  Or did Moses just open his mouth and God spoke through Moses?  I think it would be pretty cool if God’s words just came from my mouth, wouldn’t you?

I also had never noticed how God killed the firstborn cattle and animals in Egypt as well.  God already stuck down the livestock in the Plague of the Livestock (Exodus 9) so I’m wondering how much time is actually taken place between these plagues?  Obviously enough time for the cattle and the animals to re-populate themselves if God is going to strike them down again.

I also like how we see the first commandment in full on play here and just how jealous God is.  “I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt.  I am the Lord.”  Love this!!  God is going to show Pharaoh once more just how stupid his gods are and how mighty the One, True God is!  I love it! This shows God’s justness and it helps me to see man’s need for justice as well and that we are right to seek justice and dole out consequences from those who harm us as God pronounced judgment on the Egyptians.  As long as the path is not crossed into revenge I believe is God’s example here.

Since we are made in God’s image, we are like Him as well.  And seeing God punish the Egyptians for their sins gives me a new perspective on justice.

End Notes:  This is the fulfillment of God’s word (Exodus 4:21-3).  The Egyptians gave the Israelites silver and gold to get rid of them.  The Israelites saw this as payment for past wages.  These riches were later used to adorn the temple.

Why the firstborn?  As punishment for Egypt not letting God’s firstborn (Israel) go.  There were no exemptions.

Pharaoh would take the fall for this one; there would be no one else to place the blame

The first 9 plagues dealt with nature.  Here, this is against man.

For the fourth time we are told that God hardened Pharaoh’s heart (Exodus 9:12, 10:20, 10:27, and 11:10). Yet God never hardened Pharaoh’s heart until he first hardened it against the Lord and His people (Exodus 7:13, 7:22, 8:15, 8:19, 8:32, and 9:7).

Christians today do not usually celebrate the Passover.  It has been incorporated into the taking of the Lord’s Supper or the Eucharist.  The idea is still there–relying on God whom rescued His people.  Only for Christians, the ultimate rescue was Jesus.

God starts the calendar over with this event.

The lamb (or goat in Hebrew–either one) was to live with them so that the sacrifice would be meaningful and mourned.

Lamb killed at twilight.  Jesus at the last hour. (1 John 2:11).

Presumably this blood would remain as a sign for the Israelites to remember this day.

All of the lamb was to be consumed just like we are to take and feed upon all of Jesus and not just some.

Leaven is seen as a picture of sin.  Hence, God’s people needed to begin anew without sin.

The herb hyssop has seen throughout the Bible with blood.  Presumably, it helped it stick. We will see hyssop again in our study this year.

The Passover is the Old Testament’s equal to the cross.  It was what cleansed God’s people to be with Him before Jesus was sent.

The Israelites obeyed as we are to do.  We are not told if any disobeyed or if any Egyptians obeyed.

This final plague was against Osiris, the giver of life to the Egyptians and against Pharaoh himself who thought he was a god.

Interesting read on who exactly was the Pharaoh during this time:  http://www.biblewitness.org/pharaoh.htm

Even more detail with all kinds of charts and reasonings–for those who desire more in depth analysis:

http://www.bible.ca/archeology/bible-archeology-exodus-date-1440bc.htm

Short answer:  Thutmose III during Exodus is the most likely candidate.

Fun Fact:  This is the first use of the word that would become our word for church.  Here it is translated as community.  It describes Israel collectively as a religious body.