|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
12:37-42 The children of Israel set forward without delay. A mixed multitude went with them. Some, perhaps, willing to leave their country, laid waste by plagues; others, out of curiosity; perhaps a few out of love to them and their religion. But there were always those among the Israelites who were not Israelites. Thus there are still hypocrites in the church. This great event was 430 years from the promise made to Abraham: see Ga 3:17. So long the promise of a settlement was unfulfilled. But though God's promises are not performed quickly, they will be, in their season. This is that night of the Lord, that remarkable night, to be celebrated in all generations. The great things God does for his people, are to be not only a few days' wonder, but to be remembered throughout all ages; especially the work of our redemption by Christ. This first passover-night was a night of the Lord, much to be observed; but the last passover-night, in which Christ was betrayed and in which the first passover, with the rest of the Jewish ceremonies, was done away, was a night of the Lord, much more to be observed. Then a yoke, heavier than that of Egypt, was broken from off our necks, and a land, better than that of Canaan, set before us. It was a redemption to be celebrated in heaven, for ever and ever.
Verse 42. - It is a night to be much observed. We must suppose that some of the Israelites actually commenced their march before the night was over, being "hastened" by the Egyptians (ver. 33), and having all things in readiness; but the bulk of the people can scarcely have started before daybreak. This is that night of the Lord - i.e., the night concerning which directions had been already given (vers. 6-11) - the only "night" for which any observances were appointed. In their generations. To all time - so long as they continue to be a people. On the bindingness of this commandment, see the comment on ver. 14 of this chapter.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
It is a night to be much observed unto the Lord,.... Or "a night of observations" (t), in which many things are to be observed to the honour and glory of God, as done by him, wherein his power, wisdom, goodness, truth and faithfulness, are displayed; partly by the destruction of the Egyptian firstborn, and particularly
for bringing them, the children of Israel:
out from the land of Egypt: with the leave, and even pressing importunity of the Egyptians, and with so much wealth and riches, having found great favour in their sight, which was from the Lord:
this is that night of the Lord to be much observed of all the children of Israel in their generations in successive ages unto the coming of the Messiah, for the reasons before given; and the selfsame night is worthy the remembrance of all the spiritual Israel of God, of all true believers in Christ; for that very night after Christ had ate the passover with his disciples, he was betrayed by one of them; and to perpetuate the memory of this, and of his sufferings and death, an ordinance is appointed to be observed until his second coming, see 1 Corinthians 11:23, and the ancient Jews themselves have had some notion of the appearance of the Messiah at this time; for they not only expect his coming at the time of the passover, and speak of their redemption by him in the month of Nisan, as before observed on Exodus 12:14, but of this very night, among the four observable things in it, the fourth they say is, Moses shall go out of the midst of the wilderness, and the King Messiah out of Rome; so it is said in the Jerusalem Targum on the place.
(t) "nox observantiarum", Munster, Fagius, Vatablus, so Drusius, Piscator, Cartwright, Ainsworth.
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