Article by Ted McDivett

 The book of Exodus is divided into three parts:

1)      Chapters 1-18 – the exodus

2)      Chapters 19-24 – the law

3)      Chapters 25-40 – the tabernacle

In this study we are looking at the events that led up to the exodus and in particular chapter 12.

The book begins with Israel’s expansion in Egypt that in turn leads to their oppression.  Then we have preparation for Moses to be Israel’s deliverer.  This is followed by numerous requests and refusals resulting in these ten judgments:  1) the plague of blood (Nile turning into blood), 2) the plague of frogs, 3) the plague of gnats, 4) the plague of flies, 5) the plague of livestock, 6) the plague of boils, 7) the plague of hail, 8) the plague of locusts, 9) the plague of darkness, 10) the plague of the firstborn.

This is then followed by the Passover and exodus out of Egypt.

Question – Why all the plagues?

1)      To show the Egyptians that Israel’s God is greater than all of their gods.

2)      These plagues were also judgments against the gods of Egypt that in type, were judgments against the gods of the nations.  Still today the gods of Egypt are being worshipped in one form or another.

A lot of the plagues in Egypt are replicated in Revelation.  Compare Exodus 7:18-21 with Rev. 8:8-9 and 16:3-4 (water into blood).  Compare Ex. 8:3 with Rev. 16:13-14 (frogs).  Compare Ex. 8:16-19 with Rev. 9:5-6 (note too that in Deut. 14:19, gnats are unclean insects.  You think anyone swallowed these?  The idea is an insect creature and the land is defiled and death is everywhere.

All of this is a graphic judgment that shows Egypt that Elohim is greater than anything they have.  One way or another Egypt is going to know Yahweh is Elohim.  This brings us to Exodus 12.

Exodus 12 may be one of the most important chapters in the whole Bible.  Hopefully this will become manifest as we study it.


For one thing, chapter 12 is a pivotal point in Old Testament history.  Here is when Israel’s birth as a nation occurs.  Verses 1 and 2 bring this out.  For all intents and purposes, their life began here.  More will be said about the Passover, but for now, I’d like to stress that the beginning of their new life began when the blood of the Passover sacrifice was applied to their doorways (see v.23).

In Ex. 12:2 there is emphasis on a new beginning – a new start for them as a people.  God is freeing them from their Egyptian bondage.  In doing so, God is making a show of the Egyptian gods—triumphing over them (compare Col. 2:10-15).  Just as Israel was to always remember their deliverance from Egyptian bondage (by type – sin) through the blood of the Passover lamb, so we are to see our deliverance through the death, entombment and resurrection of Christ.  In both cases, Israel’s deliverance and ours, we see God triumphing over all that had us enslaved.

As Passover and the applying of the blood to the door posts was the deliverance and new beginning for Israel (as well as those Egyptians and others who were circumcised – see 12:43-49), so it is with us upon believing in Christ—in His death, entombment and resurrection for our sins—we too have a new beginning.  Our spiritual life begins at that moment.  We become a new man (a new creation – 2Cor. 5:16-17).  But the starting point of our deliverance is when Christ was crucified.  Everything starts with that.  In type, the blood of the lamb at that first Passover represented the blood of Christ that was shed for our sakes (that also occurred on the festival Passover).

Israel as a nation had a birth in their exodus.  In the future, Israel will have a new birth (Jn. 3).  Yet for us as members of the Body of Christ, we are said to be a new creation (2Cor. 5).  To create is to bring something into being that wasn’t there before.


In Psalm 78:2-4 we read that Israel was to be instructed by the miracles God wrought.  All of the signs in Egypt pointed to God.  Signs are a part of their birthright.  And this story was to be told generation after generation.

In Ex. 12, the blood upon the doorposts was a sign as well (see v.13).  As a sign, they were to see that the blood of the lamb was needed for their redemption.  This is the aspect that the apostle Paul touches on in 1Cor. 5:7 – “Christ is our Passover” – and as such we need to see our deliverance in Him and also that as believers, we are now separated unto Him and need to be living as such (1Cor. 5:6-8; 6:19-20).  When Paul says Christ is our Passover, we are to see the spiritual truths that are represented by the Passover that apply to us.

 Israel requires signs.  The blood united them as a people set apart for God and by the physical ritual of circumcision, even the foreigners/aliens (including the Egyptians and other Gentiles who applied the blood to their doorposts and left with Israel), had to be circumcised themselves in flesh to partake of the Passover (12:43-48), and as such were united under the Abrahamic covenant.

For us today, upon believing that Christ’s blood was shed for our sakes, the blood is applied to us and we are united with Him.


 1) Exodus 12:6 – The death of the lamb on that night was crucial.  Israel’s beginning, redemption is based on the death of the lamb.

 1Pet. 1:19-20 – the precious blood of Christ, as of a flawless and unspotted lamb was foreknown before man was created.  Paul says in 1Cor. 2:1 – “for I decide not to perceive anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.”  Everything with us begins with the death of Christ.  He is the One crucified on our behalf.

 John 1:29 – John writes, “Lo! the Lamb of God Which is taking away the sin of the world!”  This identifies Jesus as THE Lamb of God.  He was the price of redemption – to buy back all that was lost.  Sin was holding creation in bondage.  Egypt in type was a picture of sin.  The lamb sacrificed on Passover is what brought redemption for Israel.  This is why Paul calls Christ our Passover – He was the Lamb of God slain to free us from all that held us in bondage.

 In Gen. 22:7-8, Isaac is the lamb for the offering.  In this he was a type of Christ, but the type can only go so far.  As we know, a lamb was provided that took the place of Isaac.  The reality of the type is Christ.

 2) In Ex. 12:3-6 Moses gets specific.  On the 10th day of the month they were to get a lamb.  On the 14th day they were to kill the lamb.  In between they are to look for any imperfections of the lamb.  If there were—then they would have to get another one.  It had to be without blemish.  Thus, Christ was also without sin and therefore fulfilled the type of the lamb offered at Passover.

 The following is a developing thought to consider in relation to Exodus 12, especially during the three days after they obtained the lamb for sacrifice to see if it had any imperfections.  In John 11:47 we see a lot of conflict with the Jewish leaders because Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead.  From that day on, they consult that they should kill Him (11:53).  Jesus knows what’s in their hearts, so He leaves, and goes into the wilderness (11:54).  In John 11:55 we read that the Passover of the Jews was near and many went up into Jerusalem that they should be purifying themselves and they sought Jesus.  Why were they seeking Jesus?  Because they were to look after the lamb before it is sacrificed.  So true believers are coming into Jerusalem to seek the lamb selected.  In John 12:1, Jesus, then six days before the Passover, comes into Bethany.  Some understand Christ is coming to be their Messiah.  They understand Exodus 12, Ps. 118, and other Psalms (John 12:12-13).  The Lamb came to save and deliver the world, not to judge it (John 12:47).  The purpose is revealed in John 12:32 – “And I, if I should be exalted out of the earth, shall be drawing all to Myself.”  John 12:31 is a judgment similar to that in Egypt.  However, it is not against the people, but against the god of this world (Satan).  By judging the false gods, religions, and things that hold us in bondage, He brings about liberation and freedom and life to the people.  Judgment of the Egyptian rule and their gods brought deliverance for God’s people Israel. 

 All of these passages are dealing with the time of the Passover.  After John 12:13 (Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem), there was a time of questionings to Jesus.  They are trying to entrap Him.  So a question here – How does this relate back to Exodus 12? Remember the time between the 10th and 14th day of the month—between the selecting of the lamb and the killing of the lamb?  What were the people to be doing during those days?  They were to keep an eye on the lamb, to observe it to see if it had any imperfections.

 Look at Luke 20:1-8.  In this passage the chief priests are the Sadducees, the scribes are the lawyers, and the elders are the Pharisees.  The religious leaders are questioning Jesus not knowing that in doing so, they are proving Him in this three-day period to be without blemish.  Jesus knows His hour has come (John 13:1).  It’s there in type in Exodus 12.

 So by the leaders questioning Jesus—trying to bring out imperfections in Him—they prove Him to be THE LAMB that is taking away the sin of the world.  The Lord didn’t come as a king; He came as a Lamb.