Friday, July 16, 2004

Exodus 12B. Theological aspects

Next to be considered is the theological content of this chapter.

In 12:13, God promises that no destructive plague will strike those houses on which the lintels are smeared with blood.  The implication is that the first born Egyptians (presumably males, and their first born male animals) are struck with plague.  This act substantially diminishes the status of the surviving men. In addition, Jehovah will judge the gods of Egypt.  We are not told the results of this judgment.  Blood, the symbol of the life force that Jewish law forbids Jews consume, wards off the plague. 

In Exodus 12:40, we learn that the Lord protected the Hebrews by keeping vigil that night and so the Israelites keep vigil to honor the Lord.  This theme is seen in the New Testament, as Jesus keeps watch in the Garden of Gethsemene (Matt. 26:38).  In that context, Jesus keeps watch to protect humankind.  His disciples failed to keep watch, thereby dishonoring Him. 

A few minor points.  We are told that God made the Egyptians "favorably disposed" to the Hebrews' request for gold and silver. The sense seems to be that God cast a glamour upon the Hebrews. Matthew Henry suggests that the gold and silver came from melted down idols, although there is no evidence of this in the text. 


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