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Exodus 12:2-11

Context
12:2 “This month is to be your beginning of months; it will be your first month of the year. 1  12:3 Tell the whole community of Israel, ‘In the tenth day of this month they each 2  must take a lamb 3  for themselves according to their families 4  – a lamb for each household. 5  12:4 If any household is too small 6  for a lamb, 7  the man 8  and his next-door neighbor 9  are to take 10  a lamb according to the number of people – you will make your count for the lamb according to how much each one can eat. 11  12:5 Your lamb must be 12  perfect, 13  a male, one year old; 14  you may take 15  it from the sheep or from the goats. 12:6 You must care for it 16  until the fourteenth day of this month, and then the whole community 17  of Israel will kill it around sundown. 18  12:7 They will take some of the blood and put it on the two side posts and top of the doorframe of the houses where they will eat it. 12:8 They will eat the meat the same night; 19  they will eat it roasted over the fire with bread made without yeast 20  and with bitter herbs. 12:9 Do not eat it raw 21  or boiled in water, but roast it over the fire with its head, its legs, and its entrails. 12:10 You must leave nothing until morning, but you must burn with fire whatever remains of it until morning. 12:11 This is how you are to eat it – dressed to travel, 22  your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. You are to eat it in haste. It is the Lord’s Passover. 23 

Exodus 12:18

Context
12:18 In the first month, 24  from the fourteenth day of the month, in the evening, you will eat bread made without yeast until the twenty-first day of the month in the evening.

Exodus 12:43-49

Context
Participation in the Passover

12:43 25 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “This is the ordinance of the Passover. No foreigner may 26  share in eating it. 27  12:44 But everyone’s servant who is bought for money, after you have circumcised him, may eat it. 12:45 A foreigner and a hired worker must not eat it. 12:46 It must be eaten in one house; you must not bring any of the meat outside the house, and you must not break a bone of it. 12:47 The whole community of Israel must observe it.

12:48 “When a foreigner lives 28  with you and wants to observe the Passover to the Lord, all his males must be circumcised, 29  and then he may approach and observe it, and he will be like one who is born in the land 30  – but no uncircumcised person may eat of it. 12:49 The same law will apply 31  to the person who is native-born and to the foreigner who lives among you.”

1 sn B. Jacob (Exodus, 294-95) shows that the intent of the passage was not to make this month in the spring the New Year – that was in the autumn. Rather, when counting months this was supposed to be remembered first, for it was the great festival of freedom from Egypt. He observes how some scholars have unnecessarily tried to date one New Year earlier than the other.

2 tn Heb “and they will take for them a man a lamb.” This is clearly a distributive, or individualizing, use of “man.”

3 tn The שֶּׂה (seh) is a single head from the flock, or smaller cattle, which would include both sheep and goats.

4 tn Heb “according to the house of their fathers.” The expression “house of the father” is a common expression for a family.

sn The Passover was to be a domestic institution. Each lamb was to be shared by family members.

5 tn Heb “house” (also at the beginning of the following verse).

6 sn Later Judaism ruled that “too small” meant fewer than ten (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 88).

7 tn The clause uses the comparative min (מִן) construction: יִמְעַט הַבַּיִת מִהְיֹת מִשֶּׂה (yimat habbayit mihyot miseh, “the house is small from being from a lamb,” or “too small for a lamb”). It clearly means that if there were not enough people in the household to have a lamb by themselves, they should join with another family. For the use of the comparative, see GKC 430 §133.c.

8 tn Heb “he and his neighbor”; the referent (the man) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

9 tn Heb “who is near to his house.”

10 tn The construction uses a perfect tense with a vav (ו) consecutive after a conditional clause: “if the household is too small…then he and his neighbor will take.”

11 tn Heb “[every] man according to his eating.”

sn The reference is normally taken to mean whatever each person could eat. B. Jacob (Exodus, 299) suggests, however, that the reference may not be to each individual person’s appetite, but to each family. Each man who is the head of a household was to determine how much his family could eat, and this in turn would determine how many families shared the lamb.

12 tn The construction has: “[The] lamb…will be to you.” This may be interpreted as a possessive use of the lamed, meaning, “[the] lamb…you have” (your lamb) for the Passover. In the context instructing the people to take an animal for this festival, the idea is that the one they select, their animal, must meet these qualifications.

13 tn The Hebrew word תָּמִים (tamim) means “perfect” or “whole” or “complete” in the sense of not having blemishes and diseases – no physical defects. The rules for sacrificial animals applied here (see Lev 22:19-21; Deut 17:1).

14 tn The idiom says “a son of a year” (בֶּן־שָׁנָה, ben shanah), meaning a “yearling” or “one year old” (see GKC 418 §128.v).

15 tn Because a choice is being given in this last clause, the imperfect tense nuance of permission should be used. They must have a perfect animal, but it may be a sheep or a goat. The verb’s object “it” is supplied from the context.

16 tn The text has וְהָיָה לָכֶם לְמִשְׁמֶרֶת (vÿhaya lakem lÿmishmeret, “and it will be for you for a keeping”). This noun stresses the activity of watching over or caring for something, probably to keep it in its proper condition for its designated use (see 16:23, 32-34).

17 tn Heb “all the assembly of the community.” This expression is a pleonasm. The verse means that everyone will kill the lamb, i.e., each family unit among the Israelites will kill its animal.

18 tn Heb “between the two evenings” or “between the two settings” (בֵּין הָעַרְבָּיִם, ben haarbayim). This expression has had a good deal of discussion. (1) Tg. Onq. says “between the two suns,” which the Talmud explains as the time between the sunset and the time the stars become visible. More technically, the first “evening” would be the time between sunset and the appearance of the crescent moon, and the second “evening” the next hour, or from the appearance of the crescent moon to full darkness (see Deut 16:6 – “at the going down of the sun”). (2) Saadia, Rashi, and Kimchi say the first evening is when the sun begins to decline in the west and cast its shadows, and the second evening is the beginning of night. (3) The view adopted by the Pharisees and the Talmudists (b. Pesahim 61a) is that the first evening is when the heat of the sun begins to decrease, and the second evening begins at sunset, or, roughly from 3-5 p.m. The Mishnah (m. Pesahim 5:1) indicates the lamb was killed about 2:30 p.m. – anything before noon was not valid. S. R. Driver concludes from this survey that the first view is probably the best, although the last view was the traditionally accepted one (Exodus, 89-90). Late afternoon or early evening seems to be intended, the time of twilight perhaps.

19 tn Heb “this night.”

20 sn Bread made without yeast could be baked quickly, not requiring time for the use of a leavening ingredient to make the dough rise. In Deut 16:3 the unleavened cakes are called “the bread of affliction,” which alludes to the alarm and haste of the Israelites. In later Judaism and in the writings of Paul, leaven came to be a symbol of evil or corruption, and so “unleavened bread” – bread made without yeast – was interpreted to be a picture of purity or freedom from corruption or defilement (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 90-91).

21 sn This ruling was to prevent their eating it just softened by the fire or partially roasted as differing customs might prescribe or allow.

22 tn Heb “your loins girded.”

23 tn The meaning of פֶּסַח (pesakh) is debated. (1) Some have tried to connect it to the Hebrew verb with the same radicals that means “to halt, leap, limp, stumble.” See 1 Kgs 18:26 where the word describes the priests of Baal hopping around the altar; also the crippled child in 2 Sam 4:4. (2) Others connect it to the Akkadian passahu, which means “to appease, make soft, placate”; or (3) an Egyptian word to commemorate the harvest (see J. B. Segal, The Hebrew Passover, 95-100). The verb occurs in Isa 31:5 with the connotation of “to protect”; B. S. Childs suggests that this was already influenced by the exodus tradition (Exodus [OTL], 183, n. 11). Whatever links there may or may not have been that show an etymology, in Exod 12 it is describing Yahweh’s passing over or through.

24 tn “month” has been supplied.

25 sn The section that concludes the chapter contains regulations pertaining to the Passover. The section begins at v. 43, but vv. 40-42 form a good setting for it. In this unit vv. 43-45 belong together because they stress that a stranger and foreigner cannot eat. Verse 46 stands by itself, ruling that the meal must be eaten at home. Verse 47 instructs that the whole nation was to eat it. Verses 48-49 make provision for foreigners who may wish to participate. And vv. 50-51 record the obedience of Israel.

26 tn This taken in the modal nuance of permission, reading that no foreigner is permitted to share in it (apart from being a member of the household as a circumcised slave [v. 44] or obeying v. 48, if a free individual).

27 tn This is the partitive use of the bet (ב) preposition, expressing that the action extends to something and includes the idea of participation in it (GKC 380 §119.m).

28 tn Both the participle “foreigner” and the verb “lives” are from the verb גּוּר (gur), which means “to sojourn, to dwell as an alien.” This reference is to a foreigner who settles in the land. He is the protected foreigner; when he comes to another area where he does not have his clan to protect him, he must come under the protection of the Law, or the people. If the “resident alien” is circumcised, he may participate in the Passover (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 104).

29 tn The infinitive absolute functions as the finite verb here, and “every male” could be either the object or the subject (see GKC 347 §113.gg and 387 §121.a).

30 tn אֶזְרָח (’ezrakh) refers to the native-born individual, the native Israelite as opposed to the “stranger, alien” (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 104); see also W. F. Albright, Archaeology and the Religion of Israel, 127, 210.

31 tn Heb “one law will be to.”



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