The Institution of the Passover 1
The Lord said 2 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 each 5 must take a lamb 6 for themselves according to their families 7 – a lamb for each household. 8 12:4 If any household is too small 9 for a lamb, 10 the man 11 and his next-door neighbor 12 are to take 13 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 be 15 perfect, 16 a male, one year old; 17 you may take 18 it from the sheep or from the goats. 12:6 You must care for it 19 until the fourteenth day of this month, and then the whole community 20 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 yeast 23 and with bitter herbs. 12:9 Do not eat it raw 24 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 through 27 the land of Egypt in the same 28 night, and I will attack 29 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 see 32 the blood I will pass over you, 33 and this plague 34 will not fall on you to destroy you 35 when I attack 36 the land of Egypt. 37
12:14 This day will become 38 a memorial 39 for you, and you will celebrate it as a festival 40 to the Lord – you will celebrate it perpetually as a lasting ordinance. 41 12:15 For seven days 42 you must eat 43 bread made without yeast. 44 Surely 45 on the first day you must put away yeast from your houses because anyone who eats bread made with yeast 46 from the first day to the seventh day will be cut off 47 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 kind 49 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 very 50 day I brought your regiments 51 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 days 54 yeast must not be found in your houses, for whoever eats what is made with yeast – that person 55 will be cut off from the community of Israel, whether a foreigner 56 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 select 57 for yourselves a lamb or young goat 58 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 out 62 the door of his house until morning. 12:23 For the Lord will pass through to strike Egypt, and when he sees 63 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 destroyer 64 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 observe 66 this ceremony. 12:26 When your children ask you, ‘What does this ceremony mean to you?’ 67 – 12:27 then you will say, ‘It is the sacrifice 68 of the Lord’s Passover, when he passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt, when he struck 69 Egypt and delivered our households.’” The people bowed down low 70 to the ground, 12:28 and the Israelites went away and did exactly as the Lord had commanded Moses and Aaron. 71 12:29
The Deliverance from Egypt 72
It happened 73 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 up 74 in the night, 75 along with all his servants and all Egypt, and there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was no house 76 in which there was not someone dead. 12:31 Pharaoh 77 summoned Moses and Aaron in the night and said, “Get up, get out 78 from among my people, both you and the Israelites! Go, serve the Lord as you have requested! 79 12:32 Also, take your flocks and your herds, just as you have requested, and leave. But bless me also.” 80
12:33 The Egyptians were urging 81 the people on, in order to send them out of the land quickly, 82 for they were saying, “We are all dead!” 12:34 So the people took their dough before the yeast was added, 83 with their kneading troughs bound up in their clothing on their shoulders. 12:35 Now the Israelites had done 84 as Moses told them – they had requested from the Egyptians 85 silver and gold items and clothing. 12:36 The Lord 86 gave the people favor 87 in the sight of the Egyptians, and they gave them whatever they wanted, 88 and so they plundered Egypt. 89
12:37 The Israelites journeyed 90 from Rameses 91 to Sukkoth. There were about 600,000 men 92 on foot, plus their dependants. 93 12:38 A mixed multitude 94 also went up with them, and flocks and herds – a very large number of cattle. 95 12:39 They baked cakes of bread without yeast using the dough they had brought from Egypt, for it was made without yeast – because they were thrust out 96 of Egypt and were not able to delay, they 97 could not prepare 98 food for themselves either.
12:40 Now the length of time the Israelites lived in Egypt was 430 years. 99 12:41 At the end of the 430 years, on the very day, all the regiments 100 of the Lord went out of the land of Egypt. 12:42 It was a night of vigil for the Lord to bring them out from the land of Egypt, 101 and so 102 on this night all Israel is to keep the vigil 103 to the Lord for generations to come. 12:43
Participation in the Passover 104
The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “This is the ordinance of the Passover. No foreigner may 105 share in eating it. 106 12:44 But everyone’s servant who is bought for money, after you have circumcised him, may eat it. 12:45 A foreigner and a hired worker must not eat it. 12:46 It must be eaten in one house; you must not bring any of the meat outside the house, and you must not break a bone of it. 12:47 The whole community of Israel must observe it.
12:48 “When a foreigner lives 107 with you and wants to observe the Passover to the Lord, all his males must be circumcised, 108 and then he may approach and observe it, and he will be like one who is born in the land 109 – but no uncircumcised person may eat of it. 12:49 The same law will apply 110 to the person who is native-born and to the foreigner who lives among you.”
12:50 So all the Israelites did exactly as the Lord commanded Moses and Aaron. 111 12:51 And on this very day the Lord brought the Israelites out of the land of Egypt by their regiments. 13:1
The Law of the Firstborn 112
The Lord spoke 113 to Moses: 13:2 “Set apart 114 to me every firstborn male – the first offspring of every womb 115 among the Israelites, whether human or animal; it is mine.” 116
13:3 Moses said to the people, “Remember 117 this day on which you came out from Egypt, from the place where you were enslaved, 118 for the Lord brought you out of there 119 with a mighty hand – and no bread made with yeast may be eaten. 120 13:4 On this day, 121 in the month of Abib, 122 you are going out. 123
13:5 When 124 the Lord brings you to the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Hivites, and Jebusites, which he swore to your fathers to give you, a land flowing with milk and honey, 125 then you will keep 126 this ceremony 127 in this month. 13:6 For seven days 128 you must eat 129 bread made without yeast, and on the seventh day there is to be 130 a festival to the Lord. 13:7 Bread made without yeast must be eaten 131 for seven days; 132 no bread made with yeast shall be seen 133 among you, and you must have no yeast among you within any of your borders.
13:8 You are to tell your son 134 on that day, 135 ‘It is 136 because of what 137 the Lord did for me when I came out of Egypt.’ 13:9 138 It 139 will be a sign 140 for you on your hand and a memorial 141 on your forehead, 142 so that the law of the Lord may be 143 in your mouth, 144 for 145 with a mighty hand the Lord brought you out of Egypt. 13:10 So you must keep 146 this ordinance at its appointed time from year to year. 147
13:11 When the Lord brings you 148 into the land of the Canaanites, 149 as he swore to you and to your fathers, and gives it 150 to you, 13:12 then you must give over 151 to the Lord the first offspring of every womb. 152 Every firstling 153 of a beast that you have 154 – the males will be the Lord’s. 155 13:13 Every firstling 156 of a donkey you must redeem 157 with a lamb, and if you do not redeem it, then you must break its neck. 158 Every firstborn of 159 your sons you must redeem. 13:14 160
In the future, 161 when your son asks you 162 ‘What is this?’ 163 you are to tell him, ‘With a mighty hand 164 the Lord brought us out from Egypt, from the land of slavery. 165 13:15 When Pharaoh stubbornly refused 166 to release us, the Lord killed all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of people to the firstborn of animals. 167 That is why I am sacrificing 168 to the Lord the first male offspring of every womb, but all my firstborn sons I redeem.’ 13:16 It will be for a sign on your hand and for frontlets 169 on your forehead, for with a mighty hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt.” 170 13:17
The Leading of God 171
When Pharaoh released 172 the people, God did not lead them 173 by the way to the land 174 of the Philistines, 175 although 176 that was nearby, for God said, 177 “Lest 178 the people change their minds 179 and return to Egypt when they experience 180 war.” 13:18 So God brought the people around by the way of the desert to the Red Sea, 181 and the Israelites went up from the land of Egypt prepared for battle. 182
13:19 Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, for Joseph 183 had made the Israelites solemnly swear, 184 “God will surely attend 185 to you, and you will carry 186 my bones up from this place with you.”
13:20 They journeyed from Sukkoth and camped in Etham, on the edge of the desert. 13:21 Now the Lord was going before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them in the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, 187 so that they could 188 travel day or night. 189 13:22 He did not remove the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night from before the people. 190 14:1
The Victory at the Red Sea 191
The Lord spoke to Moses: 14:2 “Tell the Israelites that they must turn and camp 192 before Pi-hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea; you are to camp by the sea before Baal Zephon opposite it. 193 14:3 Pharaoh will think 194 regarding the Israelites, ‘They are wandering around confused 195 in the land – the desert has closed in on them.’ 196 14:4 I will harden 197 Pharaoh’s heart, and he will chase after them. I will gain honor 198 because of Pharaoh and because of all his army, and the Egyptians will know 199 that I am the Lord.” So this is what they did. 200
14:5 When it was reported 201 to the king of Egypt that the people had fled, 202 the heart of Pharaoh and his servants was turned against the people, and the king and his servants said, 203 “What in the world have we done? 204 For we have released the people of Israel 205 from serving us!” 14:6 Then he prepared 206 his chariots and took his army 207 with him. 14:7 He took six hundred select 208 chariots, and all the rest of the chariots of Egypt, 209 and officers 210 on all of them.
14:8 But the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he chased after the Israelites. Now the Israelites were going out defiantly. 211 14:9 The Egyptians chased after them, and all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh and his horsemen and his army overtook them camping by the sea, beside Pi-hahiroth, before Baal-Zephon. 14:10 When 212 Pharaoh got closer, 213 the Israelites looked up, 214 and there were the Egyptians marching after them, 215 and they were terrified. 216 The Israelites cried out to the Lord, 217 14:11 and they said to Moses, “Is it because there are no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the desert? 218 What in the world 219 have you done to us by bringing 220 us out of Egypt? 14:12 Isn’t this what we told you 221 in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone so that we can serve the Egyptians, 222 because it is better for us to serve 223 the Egyptians than to die in the desert!’” 224
14:13 Moses said to the people, “Do not fear! 225 Stand firm 226 and see 227 the salvation 228 of the Lord that he will provide 229 for you today; for the Egyptians that you see today you will never, ever see again. 230 14:14 The Lord 231 will fight for you, and you can be still.” 232
14:15 The Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. 233 14:16 And as for you, 234 lift up your staff and extend your hand toward the sea and divide it, so that 235 the Israelites may go through the middle of the sea on dry ground. 14:17 And as for me, I am going to harden 236 the hearts of the Egyptians so that 237 they will come after them, that I may be honored 238 because 239 of Pharaoh and his army and his chariots and his horsemen. 14:18 And the Egyptians will know 240 that I am the Lord when I have gained my honor 241 because of Pharaoh, his chariots, and his horsemen.”
14:19 The angel of God, who was going before the camp of Israel, moved and went behind them, and the pillar 242 of cloud moved from before them and stood behind them. 14:20 It came between the Egyptian camp and the Israelite camp; it was a dark cloud 243 and it lit up the night so that one camp did not come near the other 244 the whole night. 245 14:21 Moses stretched out his hand toward the sea, and the Lord drove the sea apart 246 by a strong east wind all that night, and he made the sea into dry land, and the water was divided. 14:22 So the Israelites went through the middle of the sea on dry ground, the water forming a wall 247 for them on their right and on their left.
14:23 The Egyptians chased them and followed them into the middle of the sea – all the horses of Pharaoh, his chariots, and his horsemen. 14:24 In the morning watch 248 the Lord looked down 249 on the Egyptian army 250 through the pillar of fire and cloud, and he threw the Egyptian army 251 into a panic. 252 14:25 He jammed 253 the wheels of their chariots so that they had difficulty driving, 254 and the Egyptians said, “Let’s flee 255 from Israel, for the Lord fights 256 for them against Egypt!”
14:26 The Lord said to Moses, “Extend your hand toward the sea, so that the waters may flow 257 back on the Egyptians, on their chariots, and on their horsemen!” 14:27 So Moses extended his hand toward the sea, and the sea returned to its normal state 258 when the sun began to rise. 259 Now the Egyptians were fleeing 260 before it, but the Lord overthrew 261 the Egyptians in the middle of the sea. 14:28 The water returned and covered the chariots and the horsemen and all the army of Pharaoh that was coming after the Israelites into the sea 262 – not so much as one of them survived! 263 14:29 But the Israelites walked on dry ground in the middle of the sea, the water forming a wall for them on their right and on their left. 14:30 So the Lord saved 264 Israel on that day from the power 265 of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead 266 on the shore of the sea. 14:31 When Israel saw 267 the great power 268 that the Lord had exercised 269 over the Egyptians, they 270 feared the Lord, and they believed in 271 the Lord and in his servant Moses. 272 15:1
The Song of Triumph 273
Then Moses and the Israelites sang 274 this song to the Lord. They said, 275
“I will sing 276 to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously, 277
the horse and its rider 278 he has thrown into the sea.
15:2 The Lord 279 is my strength and my song, 280
and he has become my salvation.
This is my God, and I will praise him, 281
my father’s God, and I will exalt him.
15:3 The Lord is a warrior, 282
the Lord is his name. 283
15:4 The chariots of Pharaoh 284 and his army he has thrown into the sea,
and his chosen 285 officers were drowned 286 in the Red Sea.
15:5 The depths have covered them, 287
they went down to the bottom 288 like a stone.
15:6 Your right hand, O Lord, was majestic 289 in power,
your right hand, O Lord, shattered the enemy.
15:7 In the abundance of your majesty 290 you have overthrown 291
those who rise up against you. 292
You sent forth 293 your wrath; 294
it consumed them 295 like stubble.
15:8 By the blast of your nostrils 296 the waters were piled up,
the flowing water stood upright like a heap, 297
and the deep waters were solidified in the heart of the sea.
15:9 The enemy said, ‘I will chase, 298 I will overtake,
I will divide the spoil;
my desire 299 will be satisfied on them.
I will draw 300 my sword, my hand will destroy them.’ 301
15:10 But 302 you blew with your breath, and 303 the sea covered them.
They sank 304 like lead in the mighty waters.
15:11 Who is like you, 305 O Lord, among the gods? 306
Who is like you? – majestic in holiness, fearful in praises, 307 working wonders?
15:12 You stretched out your right hand,
the earth swallowed them. 308
15:13 By your loyal love you will lead 309 the people whom 310 you have redeemed;
you will guide 311 them by your strength to your holy dwelling place.
15:14 The nations will hear 312 and tremble;
anguish 313 will seize 314 the inhabitants of Philistia.
15:15 Then the chiefs of Edom will be terrified, 315
trembling will seize 316 the leaders of Moab,
and the inhabitants of Canaan will shake.
15:16 Fear and dread 317 will fall 318 on them;
by the greatness 319 of your arm they will be as still as stone 320
until 321 your people pass by, O Lord,
until the people whom you have bought 322 pass by.
15:17 You will bring them in 323 and plant them in the mountain 324 of your inheritance,
in the place you made 325 for your residence, O Lord,
the sanctuary, O Lord, that your hands have established.
15:18 The Lord will reign forever and ever!
15:19 For the horses of Pharaoh came with his chariots and his footmen into the sea,
and the Lord brought back the waters of the sea on them,
but the Israelites walked on dry land in the middle of the sea.”
15:20 Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a hand-drum in her hand, and all the women went out after her with hand-drums and with dances. 326 15:21 Miriam sang in response 327 to them, “Sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously; the horse and its rider he has thrown into the sea.” 328 15:22
The Bitter Water 329
Then Moses led Israel to journey 330 away from the Red Sea. They went out to the Desert of Shur, walked for three days 331 into the desert, and found no water. 15:23 Then they came to Marah, 332 but they were not able to drink 333 the waters of Marah, because 334 they were bitter. 335 (That is 336 why its name was 337 Marah.)
15:24 So the people murmured 338 against Moses, saying, “What can 339 we drink?” 15:25 He cried out to the Lord, and the Lord showed him 340 a tree. 341 When Moses 342 threw it into the water, the water became safe to drink. There the Lord 343 made for them 344 a binding ordinance, 345 and there he tested 346 them. 15:26 He said, “If you will diligently obey 347 the Lord your God, and do what is right 348 in his sight, and pay attention 349 to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, then all 350 the diseases 351 that I brought on the Egyptians I will not bring on you, for I, the Lord, am your healer.” 352
15:27 Then they came to Elim, 353 where there were twelve wells of water and seventy palm trees, and they camped there by the water.