Exodus 13:14
And it shall be when your son asks you in time to come, saying, What is this? that you shall say to him, By strength of hand the LORD brought us out from Egypt, from the house of bondage:
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13:11-16 The firstlings of beast not used in sacrifice, were to be changed for others so used, or they were to be destroyed. Our souls are forfeited to God's justice, and unless ransomed by the sacrifice of Christ, will certainly perish. These institutions would continually remind them of their duty, to love and serve the Lord. In like manner, baptism and the Lord's supper, if explained and attended to, would remind us, and give us occasion to remind one another of our profession and duty.An ass - The ass could not be offered in sacrifice, being an unclean animal: possibly the only unclean animal domesticated among the Israelites at the time of the Exodus. This principle was extended to every unclean beast; see Numbers 18:15.

Thou shalt redeem - The lamb, or sheep, was given to the priest for the service of the sanctuary.

Firstborn of man - The price of redemption was fixed at five shekels of the sanctuary: Numbers 3:47, where see the note.

12, 13. every firstling, &c.—the injunction respecting the consecration of the first-born, as here repeated, with some additional circumstances. The firstlings of clean beasts, such as lambs, kids, and calves, if males, were to be devoted to God and employed in sacrifice. Those unclean beasts, as the ass's colt, being unfit for sacrifice, were to be redeemed (Nu 18:15). Which is added to teach parents in all succeeding ages, that it is their duty to instruct their children in the word and works of God, and in the nature and reasons of every particular kind or part of God’s worship and service. See Deu 15:5 Psalm 66:4 Hosea 2:14. And it shall be when thy son asketh thee in time to come,.... Or "on the morrow" (h), the day following such a separation of the firstborn of clean creatures, or such a redemption of the firstborn of unclean ones, and of man, or in any later time:

saying, what is this? what is the meaning of this? for what reason are such things done?

that thou shall say unto him, by strength of hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt from the house of bondage: by laying his mighty hand upon the firstborn of Egypt, and destroying them, which made the king of Egypt, and his people, willing to let Israel go; See Gill on Exodus 13:3.

(h) "eras", Pagninus, Montanus, Tiguriue version.

And it shall be when thy son asketh thee in time to come, saying, What is this? that thou shalt say unto him, By strength of hand the LORD brought us out from Egypt, from the house of bondage:
14. in time to come] Heb. to-morrow: so Genesis 30:33, Deuteronomy 6:20, Joshua 4:6; Joshua 4:21; Joshua 22:24; Joshua 22:27-28 †.

By strength of hand, &c.] See on v. 3.

14–15. The children to be instructed (as in v. 8) on the meaning of the observance: it is a memorial of the deliverance from Egypt, and of Jehovah’s slaughter of the firstborn of the Egyptians at the time.Verse 14. - When thy son asketh thee. Compare Exodus 12:26, and the comment ad loc. "because of that which Jehovah did to me" (זה in a relative sense, is qui, for אשׁר, see Ewald, 331): sc., "I eat unleavened bread," or, "I observe this service." This completion of the imperfect sentence follows readily from the context, and the whole verse may be explained from Exodus 12:26-27.
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