And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Strike it.—With a bunch of hyssop. (See Exodus 12:22.)
The two side posts and on the upper door post.—The idea seems to have been that the destroying influence, whatever it was, would enter the house by the door. The sight of the bloody stains above the door and on either side would prevent its entering. The word translated “upper door post” appears to be derived from shâcaph, “to look out,” and to signify properly the latticed window above the door, through which persons reconnoitred those who knocked before admitting them. Such windows are frequently represented in the early Egyptian monuments. The blood thus rendered conspicuous would show that atonement had been made for the house, i.e., for its inmates.Exodus 12:7. They shall take of the blood — Which was to be sprinkled before the flesh was eaten. Strike it on the two side-posts, and the upper door- post — These were to be sprinkled by dipping a bunch of hyssop into the blood, Exodus 12:22; but not the threshold, lest any one should tread upon the blood, which would have been profane.Exodus 12:23. This direction was understood by the Hebrews to apply only to the first Passover: it was certainly not adopted in Palestine. The meaning of the sprinkling of blood is hardly open to question. It was a representation of the offering of the life, substituted for that of the firstborn in each house, as an expiatory and vicarious sacrifice.
They shall strike it; with a bunch of hyssop, Exodus 12:22, as a badge of distinction between their houses and the Egyptians; not to direct the destroying angel where they were, who could as well discern the houses as the blood in the night, but to direct their thoughts to Christ, whose blood was hereby evidently typified, by whose merits and mediation they obtained this preservation and deliverance from Egypt, as well as their great deliverance from hell. Exodus 12:22,
and strike it on the two side posts; with a bunch of hyssop dipped into it:
and on the upper doorpost of the houses, wherein they shall eat it; but not on the posts of those houses, the inhabitants of which joined with their neighbours in eating it; though Levi Ben Gersom thinks they were sprinkled as the rest; but to what purpose, when there were no Israelites, and no firstborn in them? the two side posts were the posts of a folding door, on which the two folds were hung, and the upper doorpost is what is afterwards called the lintel, Exodus 12:23 and has its name in Hebrew from looking out; for, as Aben Ezra says, there was a window over the door, as is the custom throughout the whole country of the Ishmaelites or Arabians; and so Schindler says (o), which perhaps he took from him, that the word signifies either a lintel, or a little window over the door, through which it might be seen who called or knocked at the door; and adds, in Egypt, as now in Arabia, there were windows over the doors of houses. The sprinkling the blood of the paschal lamb was typical of the sprinkling of the blood of Christ upon the hearts and consciences of his people, and of their peace, safety, and security by it from the wrath of God, and the vengeance of divine justice; of the further use of this rite, see Exodus 12:22, Aben Ezra mentions it as the opinion of some, that the sprinkling of the blood on those places was to show that they slew the abomination of the Egyptians openly; but he himself gives a much better reason for this rite, namely, that it was to be a propitiation for everyone that ate in the house, and was a sign to the destroyer, that he might look upon it in like manner, as it is said Ezekiel 9:4, "set a mark, &c." this seems to be peculiar to the passover in Egypt, and was not used in later times.And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)7. The blood of the slain lamb to be applied to the doorposts and lintel of the house in which it is eaten,—as it were, to consecrate the house, and protect its inmates against destruction. This rite is probably a survival of an earlier, perhaps pre-Yahwistic stage, of usage. The Bedawin of the present day, when a new house is dedicated, sprinkle its doors and front with the blood of a goat slaughtered at the ceremony. See p. 411; and Lees, The Witness of the Wilderness (1909), p. 180.Verse 7. - They shall take of the blood. The blood, which, according to Hebrew ideas, "is the life," and so the very essence of the sacrifice, was always regarded as the special symbol of that expiation and atonement, with a view to which sacrifice was instituted. As by the Paschal sacrifice atonement was made for the house, which was therefore to escape unscathed, the sign of atonement was to be conspicuously placed upon it. And strike. The "striking" was to be by means of a bunch of hyssop dipped in the blood (ver. 22). The selection of the doorway as the part of the house to receive the stains of blood is probably to be connected with the idea that the secondary agency producing death, whatever it was, would enter by the door - and if the door showed the house to have been atoned for, would not enter. The upper door-past. The word used is elsewhere translated "lintel" (Exodus 12:22, 23); but it seems properly to mean the latticed window which was commonly placed over a doorway in Egyptian houses, and which is often represented in the facades of tombs. (See Lepsius, Denkmaler, pt. 2. pls. 16,17, 147, etc.) It is derived from a root signifying "to look out." Isaiah 43:15) commenced with the institution of the Passover. As a proof of this, it was preceded by the appointment of a new era, fixing the commencement of the congregation of Jehovah. "This month" (i.e., the present in which ye stand) "be to you the head (i.e., the beginning) of the months, the first let it be to you for the months of the year;" i.e., let the numbering of the months, and therefore the year also, begin with it. Consequently the Israelites had hitherto had a different beginning to their year, probably only a civil year, commencing with the sowing, and ending with the termination of the harvest (cf. Exodus 23:16); whereas the Egyptians most likely commenced their year with the overflowing of the Nile at the summer solstice (cf. Lepsius, Chron. 1, pp. 148ff.). The month which was henceforth to be the first of the year, and is frequently so designated (Exodus 40:2, Exodus 40:17; Leviticus 23:5, etc.), is called Abib (the ear-month) in Exodus 13:4; Exodus 23:15; Exodus 34:18; Deuteronomy 16:1, because the corn was then in ear; after the captivity it was called Nisan (Nehemiah 2:1; Esther 3:7). It corresponds very nearly to our April.
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