12:22 Take a branch of hyssop, 1 dip it in the blood that is in the basin, 2 and apply to the top of the doorframe and the two side posts some of the blood that is in the basin. Not one of you is to go out 3 the door of his house until morning. 12:23 For the Lord will pass through to strike Egypt, and when he sees 4 the blood on the top of the doorframe and the two side posts, then the Lord will pass over the door, and he will not permit the destroyer 5 to enter your houses to strike you. 6
1 sn The hyssop is a small bush that grows throughout the Sinai, probably the aromatic herb Origanum Maru L., or Origanum Aegyptiacum. The plant also grew out of the walls in Jerusalem (1 Kgs 4:33). See L. Baldensperger and G. M. Crowfoot, “Hyssop,” PEQ 63 (1931): 89-98. A piece of hyssop was also useful to the priests because it worked well for sprinkling.
2 tn The Greek and the Vulgate translate סַף (saf, “basin”) as “threshold.” W. C. Kaiser reports how early traditions grew up about the killing of the lamb on the threshold (“Exodus,” EBC 2:376).
3 tn Heb “and you, you shall not go out, a man from the door of his house.” This construction puts stress on prohibiting absolutely everyone from going out.
4 tn The first of the two clauses begun with perfects and vav consecutives may be subordinated to form a temporal clause: “and he will see…and he will pass over,” becomes “when he sees…he will pass over.”
5 tn Here the form is the Hiphil participle with the definite article. Gesenius says this is now to be explained as “the destroyer” although some take it to mean “destruction” (GKC 406 §126.m, n. 1).
6 tn “you” has been supplied.