|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
12:21-28 That night, when the first-born were to be destroyed, no Israelite must stir out of doors till called to march out of Egypt. Their safety was owing to the blood of sprinkling. If they put themselves from under the protection of that, it was at their peril. They must stay within, to wait for the salvation of the Lord; it is good to do so. In after-times they should carefully teach their children the meaning of this service. It is good for children to ask about the things of God; they that ask for the way will find it. The keeping of this solemnity every year was, 1. To look backward, that they might remember what great things God had done for them and their fathers. Old mercies, to ourselves, or to our fathers, must not be forgotten, that God may be praised, and our faith in him encouraged. 2. It was designed to look forward, as an earnest of the great sacrifice of the Lamb of God in the fulness of time. Christ our passover was sacrificed for us; his death was our life.
Verse 22. - A bunch of hyssop. The hyssop was regarded as having purging or purifying qualities, and was used in the cleansing of the leper (Leviticus 14:4), and of the leprous house (ibid. 51-52), and also formed an element in the "water of separation" (Numbers 19:6). It was a species of plant which grew on walls, and was generally low and insignificant (1 Kings 4:33), yet which could furnish a stick or stalk of some length (John 19:29). It must also have been a common plant in Egypt, the wilderness, and Palestine. Two suggestions are made with respect to it. One, that it was a species of marjoram (Origanum Aegyptiacum, or O. Syriacum) common in both Egypt and Syria; the other that it was the caper plant (Capparis spinosa), which abounds especially in the Desert. (Stanley, Sinai and Palestine, p. 21.) It is in favour of this latter identification, that the modern Arabic name for the caper plant is asaf or asuf, which excellently represents the Hebrew ezob, the word uniformly rendered in our version by "hyssop" The blood that is in the basin. The Septuagint and Vulgate render - "that is on the threshold." Saph - the word translated "basin" has the double meaning. None of you shall go out. Moses may well have given this advice on his own authority, without any Divine command. (See introductory paragraph.) He would feel that beyond the protection of the blood of the lamb, there was no assurance of safety.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And ye shall take a bunch of hyssop,.... Which some take to be "mint", others "origanum" or "marjoram", as Kimchi (s), others "rosemary", as Piscator, Rivet, and many more; and indeed this seems to be fitter to strike or sprinkle with than hyssop; but it is more generally understood of hyssop, because the Hebrew word "ezob" is so near in sound to it; though whether it means the same herb we call hyssop is uncertain: Jarchi says, three stalks of it are called a bunch, and so the Misnic canon runs (t),"the command concerning hyssop is three stalks (which Maimonides on the place interprets roots), and in them three branches;''which some have allegorically applied to the Trinity, by whom the hearts of God's people are sprinkled with the blood of the true paschal Lamb, and are purged from dead works: the Heathens in their sacrifices used sometimes branches of laurel, and sometimes branches of the olive, to sprinkle with (u):
and dip it in the blood that is in the basin: which, according to the Targum of Jonathan, was an earthen vessel, into which the blood of the lamb was received when slain, and into this the bunch of hyssop was dipped; so it was usual with the Heathens to receive the blood of the sacrifice in cups or basins (x): the blood being received into a basin, and not spilled on the ground and trampled on, may denote the preciousness of the blood of Christ, the true passover lamb, which is for its worth and excellent efficacy to be highly prized and esteemed, and not to be counted as a common or unholy thing; and the dipping the bunch of hyssop into the blood of the lamb may signify the exercise of faith on the blood of Christ, which is a low and humble grace, excludes boasting in the creature, deals alone with the blood of Jesus for peace, pardon, and cleansing, and by which the heart is purified, as it deals with that blood:
and strike the lintel and the two side posts with the blood that is in the basin: an emblem of the sprinkling of the hearts and consciences of believers with the blood of Christ, and cleansing them from all sin by it:
and none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning; that they might not be in the way of the destroyer; and though the destroying angel knew an Israelite from an Egyptian, yet this was to be the ordinance of protection to them, abiding in their houses, marked with the blood of the passover lamb; signifying that their safety was in their being under that blood, as the safety of believers lies in their being justified by the blood of Christ; for to that it is owing that they are saved from wrath to come: this is the purple covering under which they pass safely through this world to the heavenly glory, Romans 5:9, this circumstance was peculiar to the passover in Egypt; in later times there was not the like danger.
(s) Sepher Shorash, rad. (t) Misn. Parah, c. 11. sect. 9. (u) Vid. Kipping. Rom. Antiqu. p. 241. Virgil Aeneid. 6. Ovid. Fast. l. 5. (x) "-------------tepidumque cruorem Succipiunt pateris----------" Virgil. Aeneid. 6.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
22. hyssop—a small red moss [Hasselquist]; the caper-plant [Royle]. It was used in the sprinkling, being well adapted for such purposes, as it grows in bushes—putting out plenty of suckers from a single root. And it is remarkable that it was ordained in the arrangements of an all-wise Providence that the Roman soldiers should undesignedly, on their part, make use of this symbolical plant to Christ when, as our Passover, He was sacrificed for us [Joh 19:29].
none … shall go out at the door of his house until the morning—This regulation was peculiar to the first celebration, and intended, as some think, to prevent any suspicion attaching to them of being agents in the impending destruction of the Egyptians; there is an allusion to it (Isa 26:20).
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