Exodus 12:9
Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof.
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(9) His head with his legs . . . —The lamb was to be roasted whole: “not a bone of it was to be broken” (Exodus 12:46). Justin Martyr says that it was prepared for roasting by means of two wooden spits, one perpendicular and the other transverse, which extended it on a sort of cross, and made it aptly typify the Crucified One.

The purtenance thereof.—Heb., its inside. The entrails were taken out, carefully cleansed, and then replaced.

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.Raw - i. e. "half-cooked."

Sodden ... with water - It was probably more common to seethe meat than to roast meat; hence, the regrets expressed by the Israelites for the seething pots of Egypt.

The purtenance thereof - or its intestines. This verse directs that the lamb should be roasted and placed on the table whole. No bone was to be broken (see Exodus 12:46, and margin reference). The bowels were taken out, washed and then replaced. The Talmud prescribes the form of the oven of earthenware, in which the lamb was roasted, open above and below with a grating for the fire. Lambs and sheep are roasted whole in Persia, nearly in the same manner.

This entire consumption of the lamb constitutes one marked difference between the Passover and all other sacrifices, in which either a part or the whole was burned, and thus offered directly to God. The whole substance of the sacrificed lamb was to enter into the substance of the people, the blood only excepted, which was sprinkled as a propitiatory and sacrificial offering. Another point of subordinate importance is noticed. The lamb was slain and the blood sprinkled by the head of each family: no separate priesthood as yet existed in Israel; its functions belonged from the beginning to the father of the family: when the priesthood was instituted the slaying of the lamb still devolved on the heads of families, though the blood was sprinkled on the altar by the priests; an act which essentially belonged to their office. The typical character of this part of the transaction is clear. Our Lord was offered and His blood shed as an expiatory and propitiatory sacrifice, but His whole Humanity is transfused spiritually and effectually into His Church, an effect which is at once symbolized and assured in holy communion, the Christian Passover.

9. Eat not of it raw—that is, with any blood remaining; a caveat against conformity to idolatrous practices. It was to be roasted whole, not a bone to be broken, and this pointed to Christ (Joh 19:36). Eat not of it raw, i.e. not thoroughly roasted, for such we also say is raw and so the Hebrew word na is understood by the Jewish and other doctors. It signified that Christ should suffer, as well as save, to the uttermost, all that was done for our sins.

The purtenance; Heb. the inwards, which were to be taken and washed, and then to be roasted together with the rest. So do here except the fat, and caul, and kidneys which were reserved by God for himself, 2 Chronicles 35:12,4. But that exception was not made till after this time, and it seems not certain that that exception extended to the paschal lamb. These and the heads and legs are here mentioned, not to exclude other parts, but because they are not commonly roasted; but God would have the whole lamb roasted and eaten, to signify that we must have either nothing of Christ, or the whole Christ, and all his benefits, hist Spirit to sanctify and rule us, as well as his blood to save us.

Eat not of it raw,.... Not roasted enough; and so Jarchi says, that what is not sufficiently roasted, or is not thoroughly and down roasted, is in the Arabic language called (u), the word here used; and so Maimonides (w) says it signifies flesh, on which the fire begins to operate, and is roasted a little, but not enough for eating. And indeed there seems to be no necessity of a prohibition of eating the flesh quite raw: some (x) derive the word from a root which signifies to break, and suppose that this rule forbids the breaking or cutting it in pieces; that as it was to be roasted whole, and not a bone of it to be broken, so it was to be brought to table whole, and the whole to be eaten; but then it could not be eaten without being cut to pieces. Abarbinel (y) takes the word in the usual signification of it, "now", as if the sense was, ye shall not eat of it now, not before the evening of the fourteenth day; but whereas Moses had told them, Exodus 12:6, that the lamb was to be kept up until the fourteenth day, it was needless to tell them that they should not eat it now or immediately; the first sense is best, and this shows that Christ, the antitype of this lamb, is not to be eaten in a carnal but spiritual manner, of which our Lord treats in John 6:31, nor sodden at all with water; the Targum of Jonathan is,"neither boiled in wine, nor in oil, nor in other liquor, nor boiled in water.''This, with respect to the antitype, shows, that Christ is not to be received in a cold lukewarm manner, and with indifference; and that nothing is to be mixed, added, and joined unto him, but he alone is to be regarded in the business of our acceptance, justification, and salvation:

but roast with fire; for the reasons before given: the manner of roasting it, according to the Jewish canons (z), was this, they bring a spit made of the wood of pomegranate, and thrust it into its mouth quite through it, and put the thighs and entrails within it; they do not roast the passover lamb on an iron spit, nor on an iron grate. Maimonides (a) is a little more particular and exact in his account; to the question, how do they roast it? he replies,"they transfix it through the middle of the mouth to its posteriors, with a wooden spit, and they hang it in the midst of a furnace, and the fire below:''so that it was not turned upon a spit, according to our manner of roasting, but was suspended on a hook, and roasted by the fire underneath, and so was a more exact figure of Christ suspended on the cross, and enduring the fire of divine wrath. And Justin Martyr (b) is still more particular, who was by birth a Samaritan, and was well versed in Jewish affairs; he, even in conversing with Trypho the Jew, who could have contradicted him had he said what was wrong, says, the lamb was roasted in the form of a cross; one spit, he says, went through from the lower parts to the head, and again another across the shoulders, to which the hands (or rather the legs) of the lamb were fastened and hung; and so was a very lively emblem of Christ crucified:

his head, with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof; or with its inwards (c), these were all to be roasted together, the whole lamb with all that belonged to it, with which the above canon of the Jews agrees.

(u) "cruda fuit caro", Golius, col. 2476. Semicocta, "cruda fuit caro", Castell. Lex. col. 2296. Vid. Hottinger. Smegma Oriental. p. 169, 170. (w) Hilchot Korban Pesach. c. 8. sect. 6. (x) Oleaster apud Rivet in loc. Gusset. Comment. Ebr. p. 487, 488; so some in Aben Ezra. (y) So Marinus Brixianus in Arca Noe. (z) Misn. Pesach. c. 7. sect. 1, 2.((a) Hilchot Korban Pesach. c. 8. sect. 10. (b) Dialog. cum Trypho Jud. p. 259. (c) "et cum interioribus ejus", Pagninus, Tigurine version, so Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.

Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his {f} head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof.

(f) That is, all that may be eaten.

9. Eat not of it raw] lest the blood should be eaten at the same time, against the standing prohibition, Leviticus 7:26 f., Exodus 17:10-12, &c.

nor boiled at all with water] Sacrifices partaken of by the worshipper are elsewhere regularly represented as boiled: see (in P) Exodus 29:31, Leviticus 6:28; Leviticus 8:31, Numbers 6:19; cf. also Exo 1 Samuel 2:15, Zechariah 14:21, and the ‘boiling-places’ in Ezekiel’s restored Temple, Ezekiel 46:20; Ezekiel 46:24 : there must thus be some reason for roasting being here so emphatically enjoined. What the reason was must remain matter of conjecture. Di. thinks that it was because in this case the fat (which might not be eaten, Leviticus 3:17; Leviticus 7:23-25, and had not, as in the case of the peace-offering, been removed previously, and burnt upon the altar, Leviticus 3:3-5; Leviticus 3:9-11; Leviticus 3:14-16) might drip down and be consumed in the fire. G. F. Moore, art. Sacrifice in EB. iv. 4187, thinks it a survival of archaic usage. ‘In the earliest times the carcase of the victim was probably roasted whole either over an open fire, or in a pit in the earth (as by the modern Samaritans), and the flesh sometimes eaten half raw or merely softened by fire. Deuteronomy 16:7 (see RVm.) prescribes that it shall be boiled, like other sacrifices partaken of by the worshipper. This, however, did not prevail; and P preserves the primitive custom.’

its head with, &c.] i.e. it is not to be divided (like the burnt-offering, for instance, Exodus 29:17, Leviticus 1:8-9), but to be roasted whole (cf. v. 46).

Verse 9. - Eat not of it raw. The injunction appears to moderns superfluous; but an ὠμοφαγία, or eating of the raw flesh of victims sacrificed, seems to have been practised by several heathen nations in ancient times, more especially in the worship of Dionysus or Bacchus. Its head with its legs. The lamb was to be roasted whole - according to some, as a symbol of the unity of Israel, and especially of the political unit which they were to become so soon as they quitted Egypt; but, as we learn from St. John (John 19:36), still more to prefigure the unbroken body of Him whom the lamb especially represented, the true propitiation and atonement and deliverer of His people from the destroyer, our Lord Jesus Christ. The purtenance thereof. Rather, "the intestines thereof." The Jewish commentators say that the intestines were first taken out, washed, and cleansed, after which they were replaced, and the lamb roasted in a sort of oven. Exodus 12:9With regard to the preparation of the lamb for the meal, the following directions were given: "They shall eat the lamb in that night" (i.e., the night following the 14th), and none of it נא ("underdone" or raw), or בּשׁל ("boiled," - lit., done, viz., בּמּים מבשּׁל, done in water, i.e., boiled, as בּשׁל does not mean to be boiled, but to become ripe or done, Joel 3:13); "but roasted with fire, even its head on (along with) its thighs and entrails;" i.e., as Rashi correctly explains it, "undivided or whole, so that neither head nor thighs were cut off, and not a bone was broken (Exodus 12:46), and the viscera were roasted in the belly along with the entrails," the latter, of course, being first of all cleansed. On כּרעים and קרב see Leviticus 1:9. These regulations are all to be regarded from one point of view. The first two, neither underdone nor boiled, were connected with the roasting of the animal whole. As the roasting no doubt took place on a spit, since the Israelites while in Egypt can hardly have possessed such ovens of their own, as are prescribed in the Talmud and are met with in Persia, the lamb would be very likely to be roasted imperfectly, or underdone, especially in the hurry that must have preceded the exodus (Exodus 12:11). By boiling, again, the integrity of the animal would have been destroyed, partly through the fact that it could never have been got into a pot whole, as the Israelites had no pots or kettles sufficiently large, and still more through the fact that, in boiling, the substance of the flesh is more or less dissolved. For it is very certain that the command to roast was not founded upon the hurry of the whole procedure, as a whole animal could be quite as quickly boiled as roasted, if not even more quickly, and the Israelites must have possessed the requisite cooking utensils. It was to be roasted, in order that it might be placed upon the table undivided and essentially unchanged. "Through the unity and integrity of the lamb given them to eat, the participants were to be joined into an undivided unity and fellowship with the Lord, who had provided them with the meal" (cf. 1 Corinthians 10:17).

(Note: See my Archologie i. p. 386. Baehr (Symb. 2, 635) has given the true explanation: "By avoiding the breaking of the bones, the animal was preserved in complete integrity, undisturbed and entire (Psalm 34:20). The sacrificial lamb to be eaten was to be thoroughly and perfectly whole, and at the time of eating was to appear as a perfect whole, and therefore as one; for it is not what is dissected, divided, broken in pieces, but only what is whole, that is eo ipso one. There was not other reason for this, than that all who took part in this one whole animal, i.e., all who ate of it, should look upon themselves as one whole, one community, like those who eat the New Testament Passover, the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 5:7), of whom the apostle says (1 Corinthians 10:17), "There is one bread, and so we, being many, are one body: for we are all partakers of one body." The preservation of Christ, so that not a bone was broken, had the same signification; and God ordained this that He might appear as the true paschal lamb, that was slain for the sins of the world.")

They were to eat it with מצות (ἄζυμα, azymi panes; lxx, Vulg.), i.e., (not sweet, or parched, but) pure loaves, nor fermented with leaven; for leaven, which sets the dough in fermentation, and so produces impurity, was a natural symbol of moral corruption, and was excluded from the sacrifices therefore as defiling (Leviticus 2:11).

"Over (upon) bitter herbs they shall eat it." מררים, πικρίδες (lxx), lactucae agrestes (Vulg.), probably refers to various kinds of bitter herbs. Πικρίς, according to Aristot. Hist. an. 9, 6, and Plin. h. n. 8, 41, is the same as lactuca silvestris, or wild lettuce; but in Dioscor. 2, 160, it is referred to as the wild σέρις or κιχώριον, i.e., wild endive, the intubus or intubum of the Romans. As lettuce and endive are indigenous in Egypt, and endive is also met with in Syria from the beginning of the winter months to the end of March, and lettuce in April and May, it is to these herbs of bitter flavor that the term merorim chiefly applies; though others may also be included, as the Arabs apply the same term to Scorzonera orient., Picris scabra, Sonclus oler., Hieracium uniflor., and others (Forsk. flor. cxviii. and 143); and in the Mishnah, Pes. 2, 6, five different varieties of bitter herbs are reckoned as merorim, though it is difficult to determine what they are (cf. Bochart, Hieroz. 1, pp. 691ff., and Cels. Hierobot. ii. p. 727). By על (upon) the bitter herbs are represented, both here and in Numbers 9:11, not as an accompaniment to the meat, but as the basis of the meal. על does not signify along with, or indicate accompaniment, not even in Exodus 35:22; but in this and other similar passages it still retains its primary signification, upon or over. It is only used to signify accompaniment in cases where the ideas of protection, meditation, or addition are prominent. If, then, the bitter herbs are represented in this passage as the basis of the meal, and the unleavened bread also in Numbers 9:11, it is evident that the bitter herbs were not intended to be regarded as a savoury accompaniment, by which more flavour was imparted to the sweeter food, but had a more profound signification. The bitter herbs were to call to mind the bitterness of life experienced by Israel in Egypt (Exodus 1:14), and this bitterness was to be overpowered by the sweet flesh of the lamb. In the same way the unleavened loaves are regarded as forming part of the substance of the meal in Numbers 9:11, in accordance with their significance in relation to it (vid., Exodus 12:15). There is no discrepancy between this and Deuteronomy 16:3, where the mazzoth are spoken of as an accompaniment to the flesh of the sacrifice; for the allusion there is not to the eating of the paschal lamb, but to sacrificial meals held during the seven days' festival.

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