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Old 15th May 2018, 06:41 PM
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Default Exodus 13

[Exodus 13]
{13:1} And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying:
{13:2} “Sanctify to me every firstborn which opens the womb among the sons of Israel, as much of men as of cattle. For they are all mine.”

Not to get confused between the firstborn and the first conceived. If an unborn male was miscarried, he was not considered a "firstborn" (as the English word translation itself indicates).

"Firstborn" correspond to the first male born, period; regardless if he is the only child or if his mother had more children thereafter.

Also, notice that says "among the sons of Israel", so it concerned the Jewish people in the OT.

{13:3} And Moses said to the people: “Remember this day, on which you were taken away from Egypt and from the house of servitude. For with a strong hand the Lord has led you away from this place. Thus, you shall eat no leavened bread.

This unleavened bread prefigures the Eucharist bread of the Real Presence.

{13:4} Today, you go forth in the month of new grain.
{13:5} And when the Lord has brought you into the land of the Canaanite, and the Hittite, and the Amorite, and the Hivite, and the Jebusite, which he swore to your fathers that he would give to you, a land flowing with milk and honey, you will celebrate this manner of sacred rites in this month.
{13:6} For seven days, you shall feed on unleavened bread. And on the seventh day, it will be the solemnity of the Lord.

This is the Old Covenant ceremonial rites which our Lord Jesus Christ elevated to our current and Everlasting Covenant prophesized in Gen 17:7, Jeremiah 32:40 and fulfilled in Christ at the Last Supper (Matt 26:26 ff) (Luke 22:19 ff) (1 Cor 11:24 ff).

{13:7} You shall consume unleavened bread for seven days. There shall not be seen anything leavened with you, nor in all your parts.

Notice that, prior to the exit from Egypt, the sons of Israel had to consume the lamb, and now in these continual memorial rituals, they had consume the unleavened bread. Both put into one (the lamb and bread) foreshadows the Eucharist.

{13:8} And you will explain to your son in that day, saying: ‘This is what the Lord did for me when I was taken away from Egypt.’

Passing on our Faith to our children is paramount before our Lord.

{13:9} And it will be like a sign in your hand and like a memorial before your eyes. And so may the law of the Lord be always in your mouth. For with a strong hand, the Lord led you away from the land of Egypt.
{13:10} You will keep this observance, at the established time, from day to day.
{13:11} And when the Lord has brought you into the land of the Canaanite, just as he swore to you and to your fathers, and when he will give it you,
{13:12} then you shall set aside for the Lord all that opens the womb and all that is first to go forth among your cattle. Whatever you will have of the male sex, you shall consecrate to the Lord.

All first born males were set apart (consecrated) for the Lord. Firstborn baby boys were set apart for God, 'they belonged to God', so they were "rescued" for God. Firstborn male animals, on the other hand, were immolated for God. It was going to be later in earthy time (timeless in God) that the one time perfect human sacrifice was going to take place with Jesus who is God's Firstborn Son (Hebrews 1:6) in reparation of all humanity.

Later we'll see that a portion from the firstborn sons of Israel (that is, from the tribe of Levy), will be set apart for the ministerial priesthood of the OT.

The firstborn sons of Israel are linked to their exit from Egypt. Later, the firstborn sons from the tribe of Levi are liked to the Golden calf apostasy which occurs later on.

{13:13} The firstborn of a donkey you will exchange for a sheep. And if you will not redeem it, you shall put it to death. But every firstborn of man among your sons, you shall redeem with a price.

Animals that had "hoofs", such as donkeys, were considered unclean (Lev 11:26), so a firstborn donkey needed redemption per this OT discipline.

We fallen sinners need redemption, a sacrifice in order to expiate for the damage that we have caused. In the OT, animals were sacrificed because animals do not sin. They do not have free will and do not feel shame. But all these animal sacrifices were only a foreshadow of what were to come, our Unblemished Lamb, our Lord Jesus Christ, who needed to be born of a woman in order to become part of us, of our lineage, so that His human sacrifice of the unblemished One be valid.

{13:14} And when your son will question you tomorrow, saying, ‘What is this?’ you will respond, ‘With a strong hand the Lord led us away from the land of Egypt, from the house of servitude.
{13:15} For when Pharaoh had been hardened and was unwilling to release us, the Lord killed every firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of man, even to the firstborn of beasts. For this reason, I immolate to the Lord all of the male sex that opens the womb, and all the firstborn of my sons I redeem.’
{13:16} Therefore, it will be like a sign in your hand and like something hanging between your eyes as a remembrance, because with a strong hand the Lord has led us away from Egypt.”

Permanent signs in the body are not intrinsically evil, to its morality depends on the intention and circumstances.

{13:17} And so, when Pharaoh had sent the people away, God did not lead them by the way of the land of the Philistines, which is nearby, considering that perhaps they might relapse, if they saw wars rise up against them, and then they might return to Egypt.
{13:18} But he led them around by the way of the desert, which is next to the Red Sea. And so the sons of Israel ascended, armed, out of the land of Egypt.

God tested the sons of Israel by going around the desert instead of a direct way which would have taken much more less time than 40 years in order to arrive at the Promised Land.

{13:19} Also, Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, because he had sworn to the sons of Israel, saying: “God will visit you. Carry my bones away from here with you.”
{13:20} And setting out from Soccoth, they encamped at Etham, in the most distant parts of the wilderness.
{13:21} Now the Lord preceded them to show them the way, by day with a pillar of cloud, and by night with a pillar of fire, so that he might be the leader of their journey at both times.
{13:22} These never failed: a pillar of cloud by day, and a pillar of fire by night, in the sight of the people.

This was a tremendous miraculous sign of God's existence, yet all these signs were not enough for some of the sons of Israel to start rejecting God later on. No matter how great a miracle is, we are still free, it is still up to us to accept or reject God.

Of course, up to this point in time, things were going good, this was the "courtship" period.
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