Exodus 12:23
For the LORD will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he seeth the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the LORD will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you.
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(23) The destroyer.—The “plague” of Exodus 12:13 is here called “the destroyer” (τὸν ὀλεθρεύοντα, LXX.), as again in Hebrews 12:28. Jehovah seems to have employed an angel, or “angels” (Ps. 79:48) as His agents to effect the actual slaying of the firstborn. (Comp. 2Samuel 24:16; 1Chronicles 21:15; 2Kings 19:35.) There is no struggle or opposition (as Bishop Lowth and Redslob think) between Jehovah and” the destroyer,” who is simply His minister (Hebrews 1:14), bidden to enter some houses and to “pass over” others.

Exodus 12:23. The destroyer — The destroying angel: whether this was a good or an evil angel, we have not light to determine.

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.A bunch of hyssop - The species here designated does not appear to be the plant now bearing the name. It would seem to have been an aromatic plant, common in Palestine and near Mount Sinai, with a long straight stalk and leaves well adapted for the purpose of sprinkling.

Bason - The rendering rests on good authority and gives a good sense: but the word means "threshold" in some other passages and in Egyptian, and is taken here in that sense by some versions. If that rendering be correct it would imply that the lamb was slain on the threshold.

None ... shall go out ... - There would be no safety outside the precincts protected by the blood of the lamb; a symbolism explained by the margin reference.

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).

Will not suffer, Heb. not give him license or commission.

The destroyer, i.e. the destroying angel, which whether it were a good or bad angel is not agreed, nor is it necessary to determine.

For the Lord will pass though to smite the Egyptians,.... All the firstborn in the several families, in all the towns and cities in Egypt:

and when he seeth the blood upon the lintel, and upon the two side posts; which must be understood of his taking notice of it with a special view to the good of those within the house; otherwise every thing is seen by his all seeing eye: and thus Christ, the Lamb of God, is in the midst of the throne, as though he had been slain, and is always in the view of God and his divine justice; and his blood, righteousness, and sacrifice, are always looked unto by him with pleasure, delight, and satisfaction, to the advantage of his people, as applied unto them, who are hereby accepted with him, justified in his sight, and secure from condemnation and wrath:

the Lord will pass over the door; and the house where this blood is sprinkled, and go to the next, or where Egyptians dwell; and thus justice passes over, and passes by, acquits and discharges them who are interested in the blood and sacrifice of Christ:

and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you; the destroying angel, as the Targum of Jonathan; for he seems to be distinct from the Lord, who is said to pass through and pass over, being an attendant and minister of his, to execute vengeance upon the Egyptians; and whether a good or a bad angel, it matters not, since God can make use of either to inflict judgments on men; but it may be more probably the former, even such an one as was employed in destroying the whole host of the Assyrians in one night, 2 Kings 19:35 and answers better in the antitype or emblem to the justice of God taking vengeance on ungodly sinners, when it is not suffered to do the saints any harm.

For the LORD will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he seeth the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the LORD will pass over the door, and will not suffer the {l} destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you.

(l) The angel sent by God to kill the first born.

23. pass over] The verb is cognate with pésaḥ. See on v. 13.

the destroyer] The destroying angel: cf. esp. 2 Samuel 24:16; also Isaiah 37:36. LXX. ὁ ὀλεθρεύων: cf. Hebrews 11:28; and (with allusion to Numbers 16:46-50) Wis 18:25, 1 Corinthians 10:10 (ὁ ὀλοθρευτής).

Verse 23. - Compare verses 12, 13 which are closely followed. The only important difference is, the new expression, "The Lord will not suffer the destroyer to come in," which has generally been regarded as implying, that the actual agent in the killing of the first-born was a "destroying angel." But it is to be noted that elsewhere Jehovah himself is everywhere spoken of as the sole agent; and that in the present passage the word used has the meaning of "destruction" no less than that of "destroyer." Bishop Lowth's idea of an opposition between God and the destroying angel (Comment on Isaiah 31:5) is scarcely tenable. Exodus 12:23(cf. Exodus 12:13). "He will not suffer (יתּן) the destroyer to come into your houses:" Jehovah effected the destruction of the first-born through המּשׁחית, the destroyer, or destroying angel, ὁ ὁλοθρεύων (Hebrews 11:28), i.e., not a fallen angel, but the angel of Jehovah, in whom Jehovah revealed Himself to the patriarchs and Moses. This is not at variance with Psalm 78:49; for the writer of this psalm regards not only the slaying of the first-born, but also the pestilence (Exodus 9:1-7), as effected through the medium of angels of evil: though, according to the analogy of 1 Samuel 13:17, המּשׁחית might certainly be understood collectively as applying to a company of angels. Exodus 12:24. "This word," i.e., the instructions respecting the Passover, they were to regard as an institution for themselves and their children for ever (עד־עולם in the same sense as עולם, Genesis 17:7, Genesis 17:13); and when dwelling in the promised land, they were to explain the meaning of this service to their sons. The ceremony is called עבדה, "service," inasmuch as it was the fulfilment of a divine command, a performance demanded by God, though it promoted the good of Israel.
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