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Monday, April 25, 2016

Exodus Summary on Passover Celebration Starts Today

The book of Exodus consists mainly of two genres, Narrative History and Laws. It was written by Moses about 1450-1410 B.C. The key personalities include Moses, Miriam, Pharaoh, Pharaoh’s daughter, Aaron, and Joshua. It was written to record the events of Israel’s deliverance from slavery in Egypt. It describes the events to the reader in chronological order and also lists the Laws that God has given to the Israelites, in order to guide them in their relationship with Him.
•    Chapters 1-7 of Exodus, introduce Moses and the Israelites in bondage in Egypt. This setting is approximately 400 years after Joseph and his families were living in Goshen at the end of Genesis. God protects baby Moses and spares his life, as Moses is adopted by Pharaoh’s daughter and is raised as an Egyptian. God calls Moses with a special revelation, through a burning bush to release His people from slavery in Egypt. Moses obeys and with his brother Aaron, confronts Pharaoh to let God’s people go free, but Pharaoh ignores the warning.
•    In Chapters 7-13, Moses through the power of God releases 10 plagues of different sorts on the land of Egypt which included, turning all the water to blood, plagues of insects, boils, and hail. Finally, the death of every first-born son, this included the death of Pharaoh’s eldest who would someday inherit the kingdom of Egypt. However, the Israelites obeyed God and followed the ordinance of the Passover and God spared them.
•    Chapters 14-18 describe the Exodus or “Exit” from Egypt. Pharaoh can no longer endure the plagues that God poured on Egypt and himself and allows them to leave. Moses and the Israelites escape making it to the Red Sea. Shortly after, Pharaoh changes his mind and pursues them, but God destroys his army with the sea.
•    Chapters 19-24, Moses presents all of the Laws to all the people at Mt. Sinai as God has commanded.
•    From chapters 25-40, Moses gives the Israelites the tabernacle, priest and worship instructions.

Passover 101


Beginning this evening, Jewish people from around the globe will gather their loved ones and celebrate ‘Pesach’ {פסח} which is Hebrew for ‘pass over’ – and that is the meaning of the English name ‘Passover.’ The first night of Passover is the most special and it is known as ‘Ley’l Ha-Seder’ {ליל הסדר} – literally means ‘the night of the order.’ Probably many of you know it by the shorter English version ‘Seyder’ {סיידר} or ‘Seder’ {סדר} – which actually came from Yiddish.

The reason for this unique name is the main event of tonight and that is the festive ‘order’ of the holiday. All of the family and friends are seated together at the table and eat ‘unleavened bread’ (AKA ‘Matzah’ {מצה}– the same unleavened bread used by Jesus at the Last Supper) and read the story of the Exodus from Egypt.

In fact, these are the most important things about this night and they originate from a very specific command in the Torah:

“From the evening of the fourteenth day of the first month until the evening of the twenty-first day, you are to eat matzah.” (Exodus 12:18).
“You shall TELL YOUR SON on that day, ‘It is because of what the LORD did for me when I came out of Egypt'”. (Exodus 13:8).

The special ritual Jewish book from which the story of the Exodus is read, called ‘Haggadah Shel Pesach’ {הגדה של פסח} or simply ‘Haggadah’ {הגדה} – Hebrew for ‘telling,’ because of the biblical verse we have just seen above (‘you shall TELL your son…’).

That is also the reason for the fact that the ‘Haggadah’ is the most illustrated Jewish book there is – because it is intentionally aimed for children (”you shall TELL your son…”). (Source)

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