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Verses of Exodus 12

3

Exodus 12:3 Commentary - Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae (Old and New Testaments)

DISCOURSE: 77
THE PASSOVER

Exo 12:3-11. Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house: and if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it, according to the number of the souls: every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats. And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month; and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side-posts, and on the upper door-post of the houses wherein they shall eat it. And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof. And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire. And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand: and ye shall eat it in haste; it is the Lord’s passover.

THE mercies promised to the Lord’s people shall be fulfilled to them in due season. Their trials may be long continued, and may increase when the time of their termination is near at hand: but God will not forget his promises, or delay the execution of them beyond the proper time. He had foretold to Abraham that his posterity should be ill treated in Egypt to a certain period; but that they should then be brought out of it with great substance. The appointed period, foretold four hundred and thirty years before, was arrived, and yet the condition of the Israelites was as distressed as ever: but at its conclusion, “even on the self-same day,” the promised deliverance was vouch-safed; and an ordinance was appointed to keep up the remembrance of it to all future generations.

From the words of our text we shall be led to notice,

I.

The ordinance itself— This was,

1.

Commemorative—

[The deliverance of Israel from the sword of the destroying angel, and from their bondage in Egypt, was great [Note: Deu 26:8.], and unparalleled from the foundation of the world [Note: Deu 4:34.]. And, in the commemoration of it, God appointed that in all future ages one of the junior members of each family should ask the reason of the institution, and the head of the family should relate what God had done for their nation in passing over the houses of the Israelites when he slew the Egyptians, and in bringing them out of their cruel bondage [Note: 5–27.]. To this the Apostle refers, when he speaks of the Lord’s Supper as an ordinance appointed for “the shewing forth of the Lord’s death, till he come” again at the end of the world to judgment [Note: 1Co 11:26.].]

2.

Typical—

[Every the minutest particular in this ordinance seems to have been intended to typify the redemption of the world by the death of Christ. “The lamb” which was to be “under a year old,” denotes Christ, “the Lamb of God,” in a state of perfect purity [Note: This seems more suited to its tender age than the explanation generally given, of Christ being cut off in the midst of his years.]. It was to be “a male,” as being the most perfect of its kind, and “without blemish,” in order to represent the perfect manhood of Christ, who was indeed “a lamb without blemish and without spot [Note: 1Pe 1:19.].” It was to be set apart four days before it was slain; not only to mark God’s eternal designation of Christ to be a sacrifice, but to foreshew that Christ, during the four last days of his life, (from his entrance into Jerusalem to his death,) should be examined at different tribunals, to ascertain whether there were the smallest flaw in his character; that so his bitterest enemies might all be constrained to attest his innocence, and thereby unwittingly to declare, that he was fit to be a sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. The precise hour of the day wherein Jesus was to die, is thought to have been predicted by the time appointed for the slaying of the paschal lamb, which was “between the two evenings,” or soon after three o’clock in the afternoon: and it was ordered to be slain by all the congregation; to shew that all ranks and orders of men, both of Jews and Gentiles, should concur in his death. Its blood was to be sprinkled on the door-posts and lintels, to shew that the blood of Christ must be sprinkled upon our hearts and consciences, if we would not fall a prey to the destroying angel: but it was not to be sprinkled on the threshold, because the blood of Christ is not to be trodden under foot, or counted by any as an unholy thing [Note: Heb 10:29.]. Its flesh was to be roasted, (not to be eaten raw or boiled,) that the extremity of our Saviour’s sufferings from the fire of God’s wrath might be more fitly depicted. It was to be eaten by all; because none can ever be saved, unless they eat of Christ’s flesh, and receive him into their hearts by faith. It was to be eaten whole, and not a bone of it to be broken [Note: Joh 19:36.] ; probably to intimate, that we must receive Christ in all his offices and in all his benefits; and certainly to foreshew, that he should be exempt from the common fate of all who died his death, and be marked out thereby with the most undoubted evidence, as the true Messiah. And none of it was to be left till the morning, lest it should be treated contemptuously by the profane, or become an occasion of idolatry or superstition to mistaken zealots; and to guard us also against similar abuses in the supper of our Lord.]

Some other particulars worthy of observation will occur, while we consider,

II.

The manner of its celebration—

In this also was the ordinance both commemorative and typical. The bitter herbs and unleavened bread were intended to keep up a remembrance of the bitter sorrows which they endured, and the bread of affliction which they ate, in Egypt [Note: Deu 16:4.] ; and their standing, with their loins girt, and shoes on their feet, and staves in their hands, denoted the haste with which they were driven out of the land, as it were, by the Egyptians themselves. As types, these things declared in what manner we should feed upon the Lord Jesus Christ. We know that it is possible enough to strain types and metaphors too far: but in interpreting the import of the paschal sacrifice, though in some smaller matters we may not be able to speak with certainty, the great outlines are drawn by an inspired Apostle; who says, “Christ our passover is sacrificed for us [Note: 1Co 5:7-8.].” Taking him then for our guide, we say that we may learn even from the manner in which the passover was celebrated, how we are to feast upon the Lamb of God that has been slain for us. We are to do it,

1.

With humble penitence—

[The bitter herbs reminded the Israelites of the misery they had endured: but we must further reflect upon the guilt we hare contracted. Their bondage was the effect of force and constraint; ours has been altogether voluntary; and therefore has involved us in the deepest guilt — — — When we eat of Christ’s flesh, we must recollect that his sufferings were the punishment of our iniquities; and we must “look on him whom we have pierced, and mourn; yea, we must mourn for him as one mourneth for his only son [Note: Zec 12:10.].” And the more assured we are of our deliverance from wrath through him, the more must we abhor ourselves for all our iniquities, and for all our abominations [Note: Eze 16:63.] — — —]

2.

With unfeigned sincerity—

[This is expressly declared by the Apostle to have been intended by the unleavened bread [Note: 1Co 5:7-8.]. Sin is a leaven, the smallest portion of which will leaven and defile our whole souls. It must therefore be purged out with all possible care and diligence. If we retain knowingly and wilfully the smallest measure of it, we have nothing to expect but an everlasting separation from God and his people — — — Let us then search and try our own hearts; and beg of God also to “search and try us, to see if there be any wicked way in us, and to lead us in the way everlasting” — — — We must be “Israelites indeed and without guile,” if we would enjoy the full benefits of the body and blood of Christ.]

3.

With active zeal—

[We are in a strange land, wherein “we have no continuing city; but we seek one to come, even a city that hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” We are not to take up our rest in this world, but, as pilgrims, with our loins girt, our shoes on our feet, and our staff in our hand, to be always ready to proceed on our journey to the heavenly Canaan. In this state and habit of mind we should feed upon Christ from day to day; commemorating the redemption he has wrought out for us, and receiving from him renewed strength for our journey — — — This weanedness from every thing in this world, and readiness to depart out of it at any moment that our Lord shall call us, constitutes the perfection of a Christian’s character, and the summit of his felicity — — —]

Application—

[Whether we be Israelites feeding on the Paschal Lamb, or Egyptians lying on our beds in thoughtless security, let us remember, that the hour is fast approaching, when God will put a difference between the Israelites and the Egyptians. Let the one rejoice in the safety which they enjoy under the blood sprinkled on their hearts; and let the other tremble at their impending danger from the sword of the destroying angel: and let all endeavour to realize the unavailing cries of God’s enemies, and the joyful exultations of his redeemed people. O terrible judgment! O glorious deliverance! May God keep us all from hardening our own hearts, and stir us up to an immediate compliance with the directions given us in the Gospel!]


Verses of Exodus 12

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Consult other comments:

Exodus 12:3 - Albert Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Exodus 12:3 - Joseph Benson’s Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

Exodus 12:3 - Calvin's Complete Commentary

Exodus 12:3 - The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges

Exodus 12:3 - Adam Clarke's Commentary and Critical Notes on the Bible

Exodus 12:3 - Commentary on the Holy Bible by Thomas Coke

Exodus 12:3 - Companion Bible Notes, Appendices and Graphics

Exodus 12:3 - Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers (Old and New Testaments)

Exodus 12:3 - Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary

Exodus 12:3 - Geneva Bible Notes

Exodus 12:3 - John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Exodus 12:3 - Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary (Old and New Testaments)

Exodus 12:3 - Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae (Old and New Testaments)

Exodus 12:3 - Biblical Illustrator Edited by Joseph S. Exell

Exodus 12:3 - Jamieson, Fausset and Brown's Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Exodus 12:3 - English Annotations on the Holy Bible by Matthew Poole

Exodus 12:3 - The Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary Edited by Joseph S. Exell

Exodus 12:3 - John Trapp's Complete Commentary (Old and New Testaments)

Exodus 12:3 - The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Exodus 12:3 - Whedon's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

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