|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
13:1-10 In remembrance of the destruction of the first-born of Egypt, both of man and of beast, and the deliverance of the Israelites out of bondage, the first-born males of the Israelites were set apart to the Lord. By this was set before them, that their lives were preserved through the ransom of the atonement, which in due time was to be made for sin. They were also to consider their lives, thus ransomed from death, as now to be consecrated to the service of God. The parents were not to look upon themselves as having any right in their first-born, till they solemnly presented them to God, and allowed his title to them. That which is, by special mercy, spared to us, should be applied to God's honour; at least, some grateful acknowledgment, in works of piety and charity, should be made. The remembrance of their coming out of Egypt must be kept up every year. The day of Christ's resurrection is to be remembered, for in it we were raised up with Christ out of death's house of bondage. The Scripture tells us not expressly what day of the year Christ rose, but it states particularly what day of the week it was; as the more valuable deliverance, it should be remembered weekly. The Israelites must keep the feast of unleavened bread. Under the gospel, we must not only remember Christ, but observe his holy supper. Do this in remembrance of him. Also care must be taken to teach children the knowledge of God. Here is an old law for catechising. It is of great use to acquaint children betimes with the histories of the Bible. And those who have God's law in their heart should have it in their mouth, and often speak of it, to affect themselves, and to teach others.
Verses 1-16. - SANCTIFICATION OF THE FIRSTBORN. In connection with the deliverance from death of the Israelite first-born by the blood of the lamb, and still further to fix the remembrance of the historical facts in the mind of the nation, Moses was commissioned to declare all the firstborn of Israel for all future time, and all the firstborn of their domesticated animals "holy to the Lord." There was, perhaps, already in the minds of men a feeling that peculiar dignity attached to the first-born in each family; and this feeling was now strengthened by the assignment to them of a sacred character. God claimed them, and also the first-born of beasts, as His own. The clean beasts became his by sacrifice; but the unclean ones could not he similarly treated, and therefore had to be "redeemed" (verse 13) by the sacrifice of clean animals in their place. The first-born of men became at the first institution of the new ordinance God's ministers; but as this system was not intended to continue, it was announced that they too would have to be "redeemed" (verses 13, 15). The exact mode of redeeming them was left to be settled afterwards, and will be found in Numbers 3:40-51; Numbers 18:16. Verse 1. - On the true grammatical nexus of this verse, see note on Exodus 12:51. The injunctions of verse 2, and probably those of 3-15 - were given to Moses on the very day of the setting-forth, most likely, at Succoth in the evening.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And the Lord spake unto Moses,.... When he and the Israelites were at Succoth:
saying; as follows.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Ex 13:1, 2. The First-born Sanctified.
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