Bible Society of South Africa

Bible Reading Plan – Day 19

Bible text(s)

The Passover

1The LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron in Egypt: 2“This month is to be the first month of the year for you. 3Give these instructions to the whole community of Israel: on the tenth day of this month each man must choose either a lamb or a young goat for his household. 4If his family is too small to eat a whole animal, he and his next-door neighbour may share an animal, in proportion to the number of people and the amount that each person can eat. 5You may choose either a sheep or a goat, but it must be a one-year-old male without any defects. 6Then, on the evening of the fourteenth day of the month, the whole community of Israel will kill the animals. 7The people are to take some of the blood and put it on the doorposts and above the doors of the houses in which the animals are to be eaten. 8That night the meat is to be roasted, and eaten with bitter herbs and with bread made without yeast. 9Do not eat any of it raw or boiled, but eat it roasted whole, including the head, the legs, and the internal organs. 10You must not leave any of it until morning; if any is left over, it must be burnt. 11You are to eat it quickly, for you are to be dressed for travel, with your sandals on your feet and your stick in your hand. It is the Passover Festival to honour me, the LORD.

12“On that night I will go through the land of Egypt, killing every firstborn male, both human and animal, and punishing all the gods of Egypt. I am the LORD. 13The blood on the doorposts will be a sign to mark the houses in which you live. When I see the blood, I will pass over you and will not harm you when I punish the Egyptians. 14You must celebrate this day as a religious festival to remind you of what I, the LORD, have done. Celebrate it for all time to come.”

The Festival of Unleavened Bread

15The LORD said, “For seven days you must not eat any bread made with yeast — eat only unleavened bread. On the first day you are to get rid of all the yeast in your houses, for if anyone during those seven days eats bread made with yeast, he shall no longer be considered one of my people. 16On the first day and again on the seventh day you are to meet for worship. No work is to be done on those days, but you may prepare food. 17Keep this festival, because it was on this day that I brought your tribes out of Egypt. For all time to come you must celebrate this day as a festival. 18From the evening of the fourteenth day of the first month to the evening of the 21st day, you must not eat any bread made with yeast. 19-20For seven days no yeast must be found in your houses, for if anyone, native-born or foreign, eats bread made with yeast, he shall no longer be considered one of my people.”

The First Passover

21Moses called for all the leaders of Israel and said to them, “Each of you is to choose a lamb or a young goat and kill it, so that your families can celebrate Passover. 22Take a sprig of hyssop, dip it in the bowl containing the animal's blood, and wipe the blood on the doorposts and the beam above the door of your house. Not one of you is to leave the house until morning. 23When the LORD goes through Egypt to kill the Egyptians, he will see the blood on the beams and the doorposts and will not let the Angel of Death enter your houses and kill you. 24You and your children must obey these rules for ever. 25When you enter the land that the LORD has promised to give you, you must perform this ritual. 26When your children ask you, ‘What does this ritual mean?’ 27you will answer, ‘It is the sacrifice of Passover to honour the LORD, because he passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt. He killed the Egyptians, but spared us.’ ”

The Israelites knelt down and worshipped. 28Then they went and did what the LORD had commanded Moses and Aaron.

The Death of the Firstborn

29At midnight the LORD killed all the firstborn sons in Egypt, from the king's son, who was heir to the throne, to the son of the prisoner in the dungeon; all the firstborn of the animals were also killed. 30That night, the king, his officials, and all the other Egyptians were awakened. There was loud crying throughout Egypt, because there was not one home in which there was not a dead son. 31That same night the king sent for Moses and Aaron and said, “Get out, you and your Israelites! Leave my country; go and worship the LORD, as you asked. 32Take your sheep, goats, and cattle, and leave. Also pray for a blessing on me.”

33The Egyptians urged the people to hurry and leave the country; they said, “We will all be dead if you don't leave.” 34So the people filled their baking pans with unleavened dough, wrapped them in clothing, and carried them on their shoulders. 35The Israelites had done as Moses had said, and had asked the Egyptians for gold and silver jewellery and for clothing. 36The LORD made the Egyptians respect the people and give them what they asked for. In this way the Israelites carried away the wealth of the Egyptians.

The Israelites Leave Egypt

37The Israelites set out on foot from Rameses for Sukkoth. There were about 600,000 men, not counting women and children. 38A large number of other people and many sheep, goats, and cattle also went with them. 39They baked unleavened bread from the dough that they had brought out of Egypt, for they had been driven out of Egypt so suddenly that they did not have time to get their food ready or to prepare leavened dough.

40The Israelites had lived in Egypt for 430 years. 41On the day the 430 years ended, all the tribes of the LORD's people left Egypt. 42It was a night when the LORD kept watch to bring them out of Egypt; this same night is dedicated to the LORD for all time to come as a night when the Israelites must keep watch.

Regulations about Passover

43The LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “These are the Passover regulations: no foreigner shall eat the Passover meal, 44but any slave that you have bought may eat it if you circumcise him first. 45No temporary resident or hired worker may eat it. 46The whole meal must be eaten in the house in which it was prepared; it must not be taken outside. And do not break any of the animal's bones. 47The whole community of Israel must celebrate this festival, 48but no uncircumcised man may eat it. If a foreigner has settled among you and wants to celebrate Passover to honour the LORD, you must first circumcise all the males of his household. He is then to be treated like a native-born Israelite and may join in the festival. 49The same regulations apply to native-born Israelites and to foreigners who settle among you.” 50All the Israelites obeyed and did what the LORD had commanded Moses and Aaron. 51On that day the LORD brought the Israelite tribes out of Egypt.

Dedication of the Firstborn

1The LORD said to Moses, 2“Dedicate all the firstborn males to me, for every firstborn male Israelite and every firstborn male animal belongs to me.”

The Festival of Unleavened Bread

3Moses said to the people, “Remember this day — the day on which you left Egypt, the place where you were slaves. This is the day the LORD brought you out by his great power. No leavened bread is to be eaten. 4You are leaving Egypt on this day in the first month, the month of Abib. 5The LORD solemnly promised your ancestors to give you the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. When he brings you into that rich and fertile land, you must celebrate this festival in the first month of every year. 6For seven days you must eat unleavened bread and on the seventh day there is to be a festival to honour the LORD. 7For seven days you must not eat any bread made with yeast; there must be no yeast or leavened bread anywhere in your land. 8When the festival begins, explain to your sons that you do all this because of what the LORD did for you when you left Egypt. 9This observance will be a reminder, like something tied on your hand or on your forehead; it will remind you to continue to recite and study the Law of the LORD, because the LORD brought you out of Egypt by his great power. 10Celebrate this festival at the appointed time each year.

The Firstborn

11“The LORD will bring you into the land of the Canaanites, which he solemnly promised to you and your ancestors. When he gives it to you, 12you must offer every firstborn male to the LORD. Every firstborn male of your animals belongs to the LORD, 13but you must buy back from him every firstborn male donkey by offering a lamb in its place. If you do not want to buy back the donkey, break its neck. You must buy back every firstborn male child of yours. 14In the future, when your son asks what this observance means, you will answer him, ‘By using great power the LORD brought us out of Egypt, the place where we were slaves. 15When the king of Egypt was stubborn and refused to let us go, the LORD killed every firstborn male in the land of Egypt, both human and animal. That is why we sacrifice every firstborn male animal to the LORD, but buy back our firstborn sons. 16This observance will be a reminder, like something tied on our hands or on our foreheads; it will remind us that the LORD brought us out of Egypt by his great power.’ ”

The Pillar of Cloud and the Pillar of Fire

17When the king of Egypt let the people go, God did not take them by the road that goes up the coast to Philistia, although it was the shortest way. God thought, “I do not want the people to change their minds and return to Egypt when they see that they are going to have to fight.” 18Instead, he led them in a roundabout way through the desert towards the Red Sea. The Israelites were armed for battle.

19Moses took the body of Joseph with him, as Joseph had made the Israelites solemnly promise to do. Joseph had said, “When God rescues you, you must carry my body with you from this place.”

20The Israelites left Sukkoth and camped at Etham on the edge of the desert. 21During the day the LORD went in front of them in a pillar of cloud to show them the way, and during the night he went in front of them in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel night and day. 22The pillar of cloud was always in front of the people during the day, and the pillar of fire at night.

Crossing the Red Sea

1Then the LORD said to Moses, 2“Tell the Israelites to turn back and camp in front of Pi Hahiroth, between Migdol and the Red Sea, near Baal Zephon. 3The king will think that the Israelites are wandering about in the country and are closed in by the desert. 4I will make him stubborn, and he will pursue you, and my victory over the king and his army will bring me honour. Then the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD.” The Israelites did as they were told.

5When the king of Egypt was told that the people had escaped, he and his officials changed their minds and said, “What have we done? We have let the Israelites escape, and we have lost them as our slaves!” 6The king got his war chariot and his army ready. 7He set out with all his chariots, including the 600 finest, commanded by their officers. 8The LORD made the king stubborn, and he pursued the Israelites, who were leaving triumphantly. 9The Egyptian army, with all the horses, chariots, and drivers, pursued them and caught up with them where they were camped by the Red Sea near Pi Hahiroth and Baal Zephon.

10When the Israelites saw the king and his army marching against them, they were terrified and cried out to the LORD for help. 11They said to Moses, “Weren't there any graves in Egypt? Did you have to bring us out here in the desert to die? Look what you have done by bringing us out of Egypt! 12Didn't we tell you before we left that this would happen? We told you to leave us alone and let us go on being slaves of the Egyptians. It would be better to be slaves there than to die here in the desert.”

13Moses answered, “Don't be afraid! Stand your ground, and you will see what the LORD will do to save you today; you will never see these Egyptians again. 14The LORD will fight for you, and there is no need for you to do anything.”

15The LORD said to Moses, “Why are you crying out for help? Tell the people to move forward. 16Lift up your stick and hold it out over the sea. The water will divide, and the Israelites will be able to walk through the sea on dry ground. 17I will make the Egyptians so stubborn that they will go in after them, and I will gain honour by my victory over the king, his army, his chariots, and his drivers. 18When I defeat them, the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD.”

19The angel of God, who had been in front of the army of Israel, moved and went to the rear. The pillar of cloud also moved until it was 20between the Egyptians and the Israelites. The cloud made it dark for the Egyptians, but gave light to the people of Israel, and so the armies could not come near each other all night.

21Moses held out his hand over the sea, and the LORD drove the sea back with a strong east wind. It blew all night and turned the sea into dry land. The water was divided, 22and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with walls of water on both sides. 23The Egyptians pursued them and went after them into the sea with all their horses, chariots, and drivers. 24Just before dawn the LORD looked down from the pillar of fire and cloud at the Egyptian army and threw them into a panic. 25He made the wheels of their chariots get stuck, so that they moved with great difficulty. The Egyptians said, “The LORD is fighting for the Israelites against us. Let's get out of here!”

26The LORD said to Moses, “Hold out your hand over the sea, and the water will come back over the Egyptians and their chariots and drivers.” 27So Moses held out his hand over the sea, and at daybreak the water returned to its normal level. The Egyptians tried to escape from the water, but the LORD threw them into the sea. 28The water returned and covered the chariots, the drivers, and all the Egyptian army that had followed the Israelites into the sea; not one of them was left. 29But the Israelites walked through the sea on dry ground, with walls of water on both sides.

30On that day the LORD saved the people of Israel from the Egyptians, and the Israelites saw them lying dead on the seashore. 31When the Israelites saw the great power with which the LORD had defeated the Egyptians, they stood in awe of the LORD; and they had faith in the LORD and in his servant Moses.

Exodus 12:1-14:31GNBOpen in Bible reader
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