Exodus 12:18
In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at even, you shall eat unleavened bread, until the one and twentieth day of the month at even.
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(18) In the first month.—The Hebrew omits “month” by a not unusual ellipse. (Comp. Ezekiel 1:1.)

At even.—The evening intended is not that with which the fourteenth day began, but that with which it closed, the end of the fourteenth and beginning of the fifteenth day. (See Leviticus 23:5-6.)

12:1-20 The Lord makes all things new to those whom he delivers from the bondage of Satan, and takes to himself to be his people. The time when he does this is to them the beginning of a new life. God appointed that, on the night wherein they were to go out of Egypt, each family should kill a lamb, or that two or three families, if small, should kill one lamb. This lamb was to be eaten in the manner here directed, and the blood to be sprinkled on the door-posts, to mark the houses of the Israelites from those of the Egyptians. The angel of the Lord, when destroying the first-born of the Egyptians, would pass over the houses marked by the blood of the lamb: hence the name of this holy feast or ordinance. The passover was to be kept every year, both as a remembrance of Israel's preservation and deliverance out of Egypt, and as a remarkable type of Christ. Their safety and deliverance were not a reward of their own righteousness, but the gift of mercy. Of this they were reminded, and by this ordinance they were taught, that all blessings came to them through the shedding and sprinkling of blood. Observe, 1. The paschal lamb was typical. Christ is our passover, 1Co 5:7. Christ is the Lamb of God, Joh 1:29; often in the Revelation he is called the Lamb. It was to be in its prime; Christ offered up himself in the midst of his days, not when a babe at Bethlehem. It was to be without blemish; the Lord Jesus was a Lamb without spot: the judge who condemned Christ declared him innocent. It was to be set apart four days before, denoting the marking out of the Lord Jesus to be a Saviour, both in the purpose and in the promise. It was to be slain, and roasted with fire, denoting the painful sufferings of the Lord Jesus, even unto death, the death of the cross. The wrath of God is as fire, and Christ was made a curse for us. Not a bone of it must be broken, which was fulfilled in Christ, Joh 19:33, denoting the unbroken strength of the Lord Jesus. 2. The sprinkling of the blood was typical. The blood of the lamb must be sprinkled, denoting the applying of the merits of Christ's death to our souls; we must receive the atonement, Ro 5:11. Faith is the bunch of hyssop, by which we apply the promises, and the benefits of the blood of Christ laid up in them, to ourselves. It was to be sprinkled on the door-posts, denoting the open profession we are to make of faith in Christ. It was not to be sprinkled upon the threshold; which cautions us to take heed of trampling under foot the blood of the covenant. It is precious blood, and must be precious to us. The blood, thus sprinkled, was a means of preserving the Israelites from the destroying angel, who had nothing to do where the blood was. The blood of Christ is the believer's protection from the wrath of God, the curse of the law, and the damnation of hell, Ro 8:1. 3. The solemn eating of the lamb was typical of our gospel duty to Christ. The paschal lamb was not to be looked upon only, but to be fed upon. So we must by faith make Christ our own; and we must receive spiritual strength and nourishment from him, as from our food, see Joh 6:53,55. It was all to be eaten; those who by faith feed upon Christ, must feed upon a whole Christ; they must take Christ and his yoke, Christ and his cross, as well as Christ and his crown. It was to be eaten at once, not put by till morning. To-day Christ is offered, and is to be accepted while it is called to-day, before we sleep the sleep of death. It was to be eaten with bitter herbs, in remembrance of the bitterness of their bondage in Egypt; we must feed upon Christ with sorrow and brokenness of heart, in remembrance of sin. Christ will be sweet to us, if sin be bitter. It was to be eaten standing, with their staves in their hands, as being ready to depart. When we feed upon Christ by faith, we must forsake the rule and the dominion of sin; sit loose to the world, and every thing in it; forsake all for Christ, and reckon it no bad bargain, Heb 13:13,14. 4. The feast of unleavened bread was typical of the Christian life, 1Co 5:7,8. Having received Christ Jesus the Lord, we must continually delight ourselves in Christ Jesus. No manner of work must be done, that is, no care admitted and indulged, which does not agree with, or would lessen this holy joy. The Jews were very strict as to the passover, so that no leaven should be found in their houses. It must be a feast kept in charity, without the leaven of malice; and in sincerity, without the leaven of hypocrisy. It was by an ordinance for ever; so long as we live we must continue feeding upon Christ, rejoicing in him always, with thankful mention of the great things he has done for us.An holy convocation - An assembly called by proclamation for a religious solemnity. See Leviticus 23:2; Numbers 10:2-3. In the East the proclamation is made by the Muezzins from the minarets of the mosques.

Save that ... - In this the observance of the festival differed from the Sabbath, when the preparation of food was prohibited. The same word for "work" is used here and in the fourth commandment: it is very general, and includes all laborious occupation.

17. ye shall observe, &c.—The seven days of this feast were to commence the day after the passover. It was a distinct festival following that feast; but although this feast was instituted like the passover before the departure, the observance of it did not take place till after. Until the one and twentieth day, inclusively. For otherwise they were obliged to eat unleavened bread eight days, viz. on the day of the passover, Exodus 12:8, and seven days after, which is strictly and properly called the feast of unleavened bread, because in them they were tied to that ceremony only, except the two days of a holy convocation. In the first month,.... As it was now ordered to be reckoned, the month Abib or Nisan:

the fourteenth day of the month at even, ye shall eat unleavened bread; that is, at the evening following, the fourteenth of Nisan, and which was the beginning of the fifteenth day, the Jews beginning their day from the evening: hence the Targum of Jonathan is,"on the fourteenth of Nisan ye shall slay the passover, in the evening of the fifteenth ye shall eat unleavened bread:"

unto the twentieth day of the month at even; which would make just seven days; the above Targum adds,"on the evening of the twenty second ye shall eat leavened bread,''which was the evening following the twenty first day. This long abstinence from leaven denotes, that the whole lives of those who are Israelites indeed should be without guile, hypocrisy, and malice, and should be spent in sincerity and truth.

In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at {k} even, ye shall eat unleavened bread, until the one and twentieth day of the month at even.

(k) For in ancient times they counted in this way, beginning the day at sunset till the next day at the same time.

18. The more precise determination of the ‘7 days’ of v. 15. They were to begin with the evening of the day on which the Passover was killed, and to last till the evening of the 21st day.Verse 18. - In the first month. The word "month" seems to have accidentally dropt out of the Hebrew text. In the evening. The Hebrew day commenced with the evening (Genesis 1:5); but the evening here intended is that at the close of the 14th of Abib, which began the 15th. Similarly, the evening of the 21st is here that which commenced the 22nd. In Exodus 12:12 and Exodus 12:13 the name pesach is explained. In that night Jehovah would pass through Egypt, smite all the first-born of man and beast, execute judgment upon all the gods of Egypt, and pass over (פּסח) the Israelites. In what the judgment upon all the gods of Egypt consisted, it is hard to determine. The meaning of these words is not exhausted by Calvin's remark: "God declared that He would be a judge against the false gods, because it was most apparent then, now little help was to be found in them, and how vain and fallacious was their worship." The gods of Egypt were spiritual authorities and powers, δαιμόνια, which governed the life and spirit of the Egyptians. Hence the judgment upon them could not consist of the destruction of idols, as Ps. Jonathan's paraphrase supposes: idola fusa colliquescent, lapidea concidentur, testacea confringentur, lignea in cinerem redigentur. For there is nothing said about this; but in v. 29 the death of the first-born of men and cattle alone is mentioned as the execution of the divine threat; and in Numbers 33:4 also the judgment upon the gods is connected with the burial of the first-born, without special reference to anything besides. From this it seems to follow pretty certainly, that the judgments upon the gods of Egypt consisted in the slaying of the first-born of man and beast. But the slaying of the first-born was a judgment upon the gods, not only because the impotence and worthlessness of the fancied gods were displayed in the consternation produced by this stroke, but still more directly in the fact, that in the slaying of the king's son and many of the first-born animals, the gods of Egypt, which were worshipped both in their kings and also in certain sacred animals, such as the bull Apis and the goat Nendes, were actually smitten themselves.
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