About Jesus Steve Sweetman
This Chapter 13
Of The Firstborn (ch. 13:1 - 16)
In verses 1 and 2 the
Lord commands Moses to tell Israel
that they must "consecrate", as the NIV puts it, every first
born male, both animals and people. The
KJV uses the word "sanctify".
God is simply saying that every first born male must be set aside
for Him. As He killed every
first born Egyptian, so every firstborn Israeli must be set aside for God.
The idea of firstborn is
a major topic throughout the Bible. Jesus
Himself is said to be the firstborn among a new creation of people.
These people are the redeemed who will be like Jesus in the next
life. Jesus became a new type
of creation, although we need to realize that Jesus wasn't created.
The new aspect to Jesus is His glorified body that He did not have
prior to His incarnation.
In verse 3 we see the
word "consecrate" again. This
time the day that they left Egypt
was to be consecrated, or set apart, as a special day.
It was to be a day of remembering when God delivered them from the
hands of the Egyptians with His mighty acts of judgment.
Notice in verse 4 we see
this is the month of Abib. The
word "Abib" is another name for the month of "Nisan".
Nisan is normally the word used when speaking of this month.
Nisan corresponds with our month of March.
In verse 5 we see the
Verses 6 and 7 are a
reminder of the seven day feast of Unleavened Bread.
For seven days Israel
was not to eat bread with leaven in it.
Even more than that, leaven was not even to be found in all of Israel. Again, leaven in the Bible
is symbolic of pride and sin. During
the deliverance or salvation of
Verse 8 simply states
that this feast was to be a time of remembering.
One problem that man has is to learn the lessons of history.
We may know our history, but we have a hard time learning from
history. The time of
remembrance provided by the Feast of Unleavened bread was to make
In verse 9 we learn that
the Feast of Unleavened Bread was to be like a sign, like a mark on one's
hand or forehead. This was a
visible reminder of God's deliverance that should motivate
Note the idea of a sign
on ones hand or forehead. Such
marks are seen in other cultures other than Israeli culture.
We also see the same in the book of Revelation.
The mark of the beast is such a sign.
The saints also in the book of Revelation are seen with such a
sign. In this case with
In verse 11 we see that
God commands that this feast must be kept year after year.
was never to forget their deliverance out of Egypt.
In verses 1 to 13 the
idea of the firstborn being consecrated to the Lord that we saw in verse 1
and 2 is further explained. As
the NIV puts it, God wanted
The idea that God wanted
baby boys killed is strange to us. Once
again, God told Adam that in the day he disobeyed, he would die.
Death entered Creation in many ways because of Adam's disobedience.
When God killed the
firstborn sons of Egypt, He was in fact taking them in judgment.
When it comes to the firstborn in Israel He was taking them for
himself. Really, going
straight to God at birth is better than living in a fallen world.
All that being said, in
verse 13 God made a provision for Israel. Instead of actually killing
the firstborn baby boys, they could be redeemed with the death of a lamb.
If an Israeli father sacrificed one of his lambs to God, then the
firstborn baby boy would not have to die. Once again, death was involved,
but not the death of a human.
This is very important
because this speaks to the death of Jesus very clearly.
In fact this is prophetic. This
is more than a command to Israel. It is prophetic.
The lamb represents Jesus. Jesus
is called the Lamb of God in the New Testament.
As the lamb replaced the baby boy in Moses' day, so Jesus replaced
us on the cross.
We often think that Old
Testament prophecy is only seen in what we call the prophetic books, like
Isaiah, but that's not so. All
of the Old Testament is laced with prophecy.
The Law of Moses is just as much prophetic as it is a list of
We notice the word
"redeem" in verse 13. This
will become one of the most important theological words in the Bible.
Many theological words have fallen out of fashion in modern times,
and that's too bad, because they represent something real and very
important to our salvation. The
lamb in Moses day was the means of salvation for the baby boys.
The lamb purchased the boys freedom, just as Jesus purchased our
freedom with His death. That's
what the word "redeem" means.
In verses 14 and 15 we
see what we've seen before. The killing of the firstborn is to be a
remembrance of God delivering
This shows us the importance of passing the truths of God on from one generation to the next. It is the responsibility of every Christian parent, as well as every Jewish parent to teach their children the things of God.
Notice in verse 16 we see mention of the forehead and hands as we saw in verse 9. Note my comments in verse 9.