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Verses of Exodus 12

21

Exodus 12:21 Commentary - Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae (Old and New Testaments)

DISCOURSE: 78
DELIVERANCE OF THE ISRAELITES FROM THE DESTROYING ANGEL

Exo 12:21-23. Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel, and said unto them, Draw out, and take you a lamb according to your families, and kill the passover. And ye shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two side-posts with the blood that is in the bas on; and none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning. For the Lord will pass through to smite the Egyptians: and when he seeth the blood upon the lintel and on the two side-posts, the Lord will pass over the door; and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you.

THE office of a Minister is to declare to the people what he himself has received from God to deliver to them [Note: 1Co 15:3.]. Nothing should be added by him; nothing should be withheld [Note: Act 20:27.]. The direction given to Moses, “See thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount [Note: Heb 8:5.],” is that to which all the servants of God should be conformed in all their ministrations. In this consists fidelity. “If we add any thing to the word of God, the plagues contained in it shall be added unto us: if we take away from it, our names shall be taken out of the book of life [Note: Rev 22:18-19.].” It is spoken to the honour of Moses, that “he was faithful in all his house:” and we find invariably, that the messages which he delivered to the people, and the ordinances which he established among them, accorded with the commission which he himself had received from God. In the words before us, he delivers to them a message of terror and of mercy: he informs them of the judgment about to be inflicted on the Egyptian first-born; and of the means which God in his mercy had appointed for exempting them from the general calamity.

We propose to consider.

I.

The means prescribed—

God might have preserved his people without any particular means; as he did when he sent forth an angel to destroy almost the whole Assyrian army. But he intended this deliverance as a type of a far greater deliverance, which he should afterwards effect through the incarnation and death of his own Son; and therefore he appointed certain observances which should lead their minds to that great event—

1.

They must kill the paschal lamb—

[Though the passover differed from all other sacrifices, inasmuch as no part of it was burnt upon the altar, yet it is expressly called a sacrifice [Note: Deu 16:4.] ; and it was ordered to be represented under that character to all succeeding generations [Note: 6, 27.]: and St. Paul himself speaks of it as prefiguring, in that particular view, the death of Christ [Note: 1Co 5:7.].

Here then it is most instructive to us, as it teaches us, that, without a sacrifice offered unto God for us, we cannot obtain favour in his sight, or escape the judgments which our sins have merited. We do not presume to say, absolutely, what God might, or might not, have done; because we know nothing of God except as he is pleased to reveal himself to us: but, as far as the revelation he has given us enables us to judge, we are persuaded that a vicarious sacrifice was necessary; and that, without such a sacrifice, God could not have been “just, and at the same time the justifier” of sinful man [Note: Rom 3:25-26.] — — —]

2.

They must sprinkle its blood—

[The destroying angel might have been instructed to discern between the Israelites and the Egyptians without any external sign upon the walls: but God ordered that the blood of the lamb should be sprinkled on the lintel, and side-posts of the doors, in order to shew us yet further, that the blood of Christ must be sprinkled on our souls. The blood of the lamb did not save the Israelites by being shed, but by being sprinkled: and, in the same manner, it is not the blood of Christ as shed on Calvary, but as sprinkled on the soul, that saves us from the wrath to come. Hence the Scripture so often speaks of our being “come to the blood of sprinkling, which speaketh better things than the blood of Abel [Note: Heb 12:24 and 1Pe 1:2.].” We must, as it were, dip the hyssop in the blood, and by faith apply it to our own hearts and consciences, or else we can have no benefit from it, no interest in it — — —]

3.

They must abide in their houses—

[This was appointed, that they might know to what alone they owed their safety, namely, to the blood sprinkled on their houses. If, presuming upon their descent from Abraham, or upon their having killed the passover, any of them had ventured abroad before the morning, they would, in all probability, have perished, as Lot’s wife did after her departure from Sodom, or as Shimei afterwards did by going without the walls of Jerusalem [Note: 1Ki 2:41-46.]. The injunction given to them, teaches us, that we must “abide in Christ [Note: Joh 15:4-7. N.B. Five times in four verses is this truth repeated.] ;” and that, to venture for one moment from under the shadow of his wings, will involve us in the most imminent danger, if not in utter ruin. We have no protection from the pursuer of blood any longer than we continue within the walls of the city of refuge [Note: Num 35:26-28.] — — —]

Let us now take a view of,

II.

The deliverance vouchsafed—

The deliverance itself was truly wonderful—

[Throughout all the land of Egypt, the first-born of every person, from the king on his throne to the captive in the dungeon, was slain by an invisible agent. By whatever means the various families were awakened, whether by any sudden impression on their minds, or by the groans of their first-born smitten by the destroying angel, there was at the same hour throughout all the kingdom a cry of lamentation and of terror; of lamentation for their deceased relatives, and of terror on their own account, lest a similar judgment should be inflicted on them also. What dreadful consternation must have prevailed, the instant that the extent of this calamity was seen; when every one, going for relief and comfort to his neighbour, saw him also overwhelmed with similar anguish! But though the first-born of men and cattle was destroyed amongst all the Gentiles, not one, either of men or cattle, suffered amongst the Israelites. How must the whole Jewish nation be struck with wonder at this astonishing display of God’s mercy towards them!
But a greater deliverance than this was shadowed forth. There is a day coming when God will put a more awful difference between his friends and enemies; when his enemies, without exception, shall be smitten with the second death, and his friends be exalted to eternal glory and felicity. What terror will be seen in that day! what weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth among the objects of his displeasure! and what exultation and triumph amongst those who shall be the monuments of his distinguishing favour! That deliverance will be indeed wonderful; and eternity will be too short to explore the unsearchable riches of grace and love contained in it.]

The manner in which it was effected also deserves particular attention—

[There was not one agent only in this transaction, but two: a destroying angel, that went forth to execute judgment indiscriminately on one in every house; and God, who attended him, as it were, to intercept his stroke, and ward off the blow wherever the blood was sprinkled on the houses. This is clearly intimated in the text; and it is as clearly referred to by the Prophet Isaiah, who combines this image with that of a bird darting between her offspring and the bird of prey, in order to protect them from their voracious enemy [Note: Isa 31:5.]. Indeed the very name given to the ordinance which was appointed to commemorate this event, was taken from the circumstance of God’s leaping forward, and thus obliging the angel to pass over every house where the blood appeared.

In reflecting on this, we take comfort from the thought, that, whoever may menace the Lord’s people, God himself is their protector; and that, “while he is for them, none can be effectually against them.” If all the angels in heaven, yea and all the devils in hell too, were employed to execute vengeance on the earth, we need not fear; since God is omniscient to discern, and almighty to protect, the least and meanest of his believing people.]

We may learn from hence,
1.

The use and excellence of faith—

[It was “by faith that Moses kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the first-born should touch them [Note: Heb 11:28.].” It is by faith also, and by faith alone, that we can obtain an interest in the Lord Jesus. In what other way can we present to God his sacrifice? In what other way can we sprinkle our hearts with his atoning blood? In what other way can we “abide in him till the morning” of the resurrection? This is not done by repentance, or love, or any other grace, but by faith only. Other graces are good, and necessary in their place; but it is faith only that apprehends Christ, and obtains for us all the benefits of his passion. Let us then “believe in him,” and “live upon him,” and “dwell in him,” as our sure and only deliverer from the wrath to come.]

2.

The importance of inquiring into our state before God—

[The generality go to their rest as securely as the Egyptians did, unawed by the threatenings of Almighty God, and unconscious of the danger to which they were exposed. But how many wake in eternity, and find their error when it is too late! Let me then entreat you to inquire whether you have ever dreaded the stroke of God’s avenging arm? whether you have been made sensible that God has appointed one way, and one way only, for your escape? whether you have regarded “Christ as your passover that has been sacrificed for you?” whether you have fed upon him, with the bitter herbs of penitence and contrition? Have you dipped the hyssop, as it were, in his blood, and sprinkled your souls with it? And do you feel that it would be at the peril of your souls, if you were to venture for one moment from your place of refuge? Make these inquiries; and be not satisfied till you are assured, on scriptural grounds, that you are out of the reach of the destroying angel. Till then, adopt the prayer of David; “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.”]


Verses of Exodus 12

21

Consult other comments:

Exodus 12:21 - Albert Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Exodus 12:21 - Calvin's Complete Commentary

Exodus 12:21 - The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges

Exodus 12:21 - Adam Clarke's Commentary and Critical Notes on the Bible

Exodus 12:21 - Commentary on the Holy Bible by Thomas Coke

Exodus 12:21 - Companion Bible Notes, Appendices and Graphics

Exodus 12:21 - Expository Notes of Dr. Constable (Old and New Testaments)

Exodus 12:21 - Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers (Old and New Testaments)

Exodus 12:21 - Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary

Exodus 12:21 - John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Exodus 12:21 - Matthew Henry's Whole Bible Commentary

Exodus 12:21 - Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae (Old and New Testaments)

Exodus 12:21 - Biblical Illustrator Edited by Joseph S. Exell

Exodus 12:21 - Jamieson, Fausset and Brown's Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Exodus 12:21 - The Popular Commentary on the Bible by Kretzmann

Exodus 12:21 - A Commentary on the Holy Scriptures, Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical by Lange

Exodus 12:21 - Peake's Commentary on the Bible

Exodus 12:21 - Commentary Series on the Bible by Peter Pett

Exodus 12:21 - The Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary Edited by Joseph S. Exell

Exodus 12:21 - The Complete Pulpit Commentary

Exodus 12:21 - John Trapp's Complete Commentary (Old and New Testaments)

Exodus 12:21 - The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Exodus 12:21 - Whedon's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae (Old and New Testaments)