Shabbat Commentary

Sunday, January 28, 2007 |  by Michael Schneider
“BO – Come!”
Exodus 10:1–13:16; Jeremiah 46:13-26 Commentary: This week’s Torah portion speaks about the last three plagues over Egypt, where God showed the mighty Pharaoh His great power. The final plague follows with the triumphant Exodus of the people of Israel from Egypt, from slavery into freedom.

Jewish scholars explain that the first nine plagues are divided into three-year cycles. Before each three-year cycle, the LORD commanded Moses early in the morning to stand before Pharaoh in the presence of many (7:15; 8:16; 9:13) to forewarn him of what was coming (7:17; 8:17). The third time Moses stood before Pharaoh, at the beginning of the third cycle, it came without warning (8:12).

In the beginning, Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, he refused to let the people go, but then he did allow the people to sacrifice to the God of Israel. Then he said it was okay for the men, women and children to leave Egypt, but without the livestock and finally God had the victory, calling the children out with wealth and blessings.

Even Pharaoh’s advisors told him to let God’s people go, but Pharaoh’s pride and selfish ambitions kept him from listening to counsel. May we also be careful to recognize our pride early on, willing to humble ourselves and surrender all. The punishment for Pharaoh and “all who trusted him” came later through Nebuchadnezzar when he ruled Babylon (Jeremiah 46).

Remember, it took only three days for the children of Israel to leave Egypt once Pharaoh told them to go, but it took 40 years for Egypt and her cults and idols to leave the minds and hearts of Israel – this required heart surgery!

In order to know the exact timing of the Exodus we must begin with the Babylonian exile, which we know happened in 586 BC. If we add another 390 ‘day-years’ mentioned in Ezekiel 4:4-13 we come to the year King Solomon divided the two kingdoms into Israel and Judea in 976 BC. Take another 36 years (40 less 4) of Solomon’s reign and the 480 years between his throne and the time of the Exodus described in 1 Kings 6:1 and the date comes to 1492 BC!

Commandments were given, still used today, which commemorates the Exodus from Egypt. A blameless lamb should be kept on the 10th of Nissan and on the 14th slaughtered and eaten at the last supper on the 15th of Nissan on the last night.

The Exodus also foreshadows the sacrificial atonement of the Lamb of God, Yeshua the Messiah, who, although blameless, was slaughtered on the cross. For the children of God, celebrating the evening before brought salvation, but to those who opposed Him, it brought death. A lesson to us!

Messianic Rabbi Yohanan Kemper makes a comparison between Moses and Yeshua, the first and the last deliverers. Moses fled from Egypt and Jesus fled to Egypt until those seeking their death, died. Yeshua was in Egypt until 4 BC when Herod died (Matthew 2:14-15). The Talmud says, that the first redemption will equal the last redemption! Also, Pharaoh killed every male child and Herod did the same some 1,500 years later.

Concerning the final plague, the Lord had the final say. While Pharaoh was guilty of murdering all the Hebrew newborns, even calling Israel, according to Exodus 4:22, the “first-born son,” God went and killed Pharaoh’s first-born child who was known in Egypt as a “son of God”!

Those of us who are believers should see ourselves in the same way. Redeemed of God, called out of Egypt (the world) through the eternal sacrifice of Yeshua who made it possible once and for all to free us from the bondage of sin. Hallelujah!

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