Exodus 11:1–12:30

The Tenth Blow: Death

11:1 1 The Lord said to Moses, “I will bring one more plague on Pharaoh and on Egypt; after that he will release you from this place. When he releases you,2 he will drive you out completely3 from this place. 11:2 Instruct4 the people that each man and each woman is to request5 from his or her neighbor6 items of silver and gold.”7

11:3 (Now the Lord granted the people favor with8 the Egyptians. Moreover, the man Moses was very great in the land of Egypt, respected by Pharaoh’s servants and by the Egyptian people.)9

11:4 Moses said, “Thus says the Lord: ‘About midnight10 I will go throughout Egypt,11 11:5 and all the firstborn in the land of Egypt will die, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh12 who sits on his throne, to the firstborn son of the slave girl who is at her hand mill, and all the firstborn of the cattle. 11:6 There will be a great cry throughout the whole land of Egypt, such as there has never been,13 nor ever will be again.14 11:7 But against any of the Israelites not even a dog will bark15 against either people or animals,16 so that you may know that the Lord distinguishes17 between Egypt and Israel.’ 11:8 All these your servants will come down to me and bow down18 to me, saying, ‘Go, you and all the people who follow19 you,’ and after that I will go out.” Then Moses20 went out from Pharaoh in great anger.

11:9 The Lord said to Moses, “Pharaoh will not listen to you, so that my wonders21 may be multiplied in the land of Egypt.”

11:10 So Moses and Aaron did all these wonders before Pharaoh, but the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not release the Israelites from his land.

The Institution of the Passover

12:1 1 The Lord said2 to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt,3 12:2 “This month is to be your beginning of months; it will be your first month of the year.4 12:3 Tell the whole community of Israel, ‘In the tenth day of this month they each5 must take a lamb6 for themselves according to their families7—a lamb for each household.8 12:4 If any household is too small9 for a lamb,10 the man11 and his next-door neighbor12 are to take13 a lamb according to the number of people—you will make your count for the lamb according to how much each one can eat.14 12:5 Your lamb must be15 perfect,16 a male, one year old;17 you may take18 it from the sheep or from the goats. 12:6 You must care for it19 until the fourteenth day of this month, and then the whole community20 of Israel will kill it around sundown.21 12:7 They will take some of the blood and put it on the two side posts and top of the doorframe of the houses where they will eat it. 12:8 They will eat the meat the same night;22 they will eat it roasted over the fire with bread made without yeast23 and with bitter herbs. 12:9 Do not eat it raw24 or boiled in water, but roast it over the fire with its head, its legs, and its entrails. 12:10 You must leave nothing until morning, but you must burn with fire whatever remains of it until morning. 12:11 This is how you are to eat it—dressed to travel,25 your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. You are to eat it in haste. It is the Lord’s Passover.26

12:12 I will pass through27 the land of Egypt in the same28 night, and I will attack29 all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both of humans and of animals,30 and on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment.31 I am the Lord. 12:13 The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are, so that when I see32 the blood I will pass over you,33 and this plague34 will not fall on you to destroy you35 when I attack36 the land of Egypt.37

12:14 This day will become38 a memorial39 for you, and you will celebrate it as a festival40 to the Lord—you will celebrate it perpetually as a lasting ordinance.41 12:15 For seven days42 you must eat43 bread made without yeast.44 Surely45 on the first day you must put away yeast from your houses because anyone who eats bread made with yeast46 from the first day to the seventh day will be cut off47 from Israel.

12:16 On the first day there will be a holy convocation,48 and on the seventh day there will be a holy convocation for you. You must do no work of any kind49 on them, only what every person will eat—that alone may be prepared for you. 12:17 So you will keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread, because on this very50 day I brought your regiments51 out from the land of Egypt, and so you must keep this day perpetually as a lasting ordinance.52 12:18 In the first month,53 from the fourteenth day of the month, in the evening, you will eat bread made without yeast until the twenty-first day of the month in the evening. 12:19 For seven days54 yeast must not be found in your houses, for whoever eats what is made with yeast—that person55 will be cut off from the community of Israel, whether a foreigner56 or one born in the land. 12:20 You will not eat anything made with yeast; in all the places where you live you must eat bread made without yeast.’ ”

12:21 Then Moses summoned all the elders of Israel, and told them, “Go and select57 for yourselves a lamb or young goat58 for your families, and kill the Passover animals.59 12:22 Take a branch of hyssop,60 dip it in the blood that is in the basin,61 and apply to the top of the doorframe and the two side posts some of the blood that is in the basin. Not one of you is to go out62 the door of his house until morning. 12:23 For the Lord will pass through to strike Egypt, and when he sees63 the blood on the top of the doorframe and the two side posts, then the Lord will pass over the door, and he will not permit the destroyer64 to enter your houses to strike you.65 12:24 You must observe this event as an ordinance for you and for your children forever. 12:25 When you enter the land that the Lord will give to you, just as he said, you must observe66 this ceremony. 12:26 When your children ask you, ‘What does this ceremony mean to you?’6712:27 then you will say, ‘It is the sacrifice68 of the Lord’s Passover, when he passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt, when he struck69 Egypt and delivered our households.’ ” The people bowed down low70 to the ground, 12:28 and the Israelites went away and did exactly as the Lord had commanded Moses and Aaron.71

The Deliverance from Egypt

12:29 72 It happened73 at midnight—the Lord attacked all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who was in the prison, and all the firstborn of the cattle. 12:30 Pharaoh got up74 in the night,75 along with all his servants and all Egypt, and there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was no house76 in which there was not someone dead.

Read more