Come to Understanding

They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding,

and they that murmured shall learn doctrine. — Isaiah 29:24

So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense,

and caused them to understand the reading. — Nehemiah 8:8

April 1, 2007

Volume 6 Number 7

Our Passover is Sacrificed for Us

When the people of Israel were living as slaves in Egypt, God looked upon their condition and sent Moses back to Egypt with a clear mission:

9 Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel has come to me: and I have also seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them.

10 Come now therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh, that you may bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt. -Exodus 3

Moses had been born to an Israeli mother, but was raised as an Egyptian. He had fled from Egypt for fear of his life because, in a moment of revenge, he killed an Egyptian for mistreating one of his people. At the time God called him, Moses was serving as a shepherd to his father-in-law’s flock. Thinking himself to be an unworthy candidate for such a mission, Moses ask God, "Who am I?"

11 And Moses said to God, Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt? -Exodus 3

God told Moses that He would be with him and that, furthermore, He would give him a token, or a sign, after he had successfully freed Israel from Egypt. Moses would serve Him as God upon that mountain, which is called Mount Horeb and Mount Sinai:

12 And he said, Certainly I will be with you; and this shall be a token to you, that I have sent you: When you have brought forth the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God upon this mountain. -Exodus 3

Now Moses had an even bigger question to ask God, "Who are you?"

13 And Moses said to God, Behold, when I come to the children of Israel, and shall say to them, The God of your fathers has sent me to you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say to them? -Exodus 3

While God had called Moses, it was not clear to all which god had spoken to him. Since Moses had been raised as an Egyptian, he had very likely been exposed to a countless number of gods. To name a few, there was Re, the god of the sun, Osiris, the god of the Nile River, Heket, the frog goddess, Isis, the hawk goddess, and Horus, the son of Osiris and Isis, which is often depicted as an all-seeing eye.

Moses asked in effect, "Which god are you? How can I distinguish you from all of the other gods that my people think exist? What is your name?" God responded with a clear statement, which said in effect, "I AM THE ONE THAT IS!"

14 And God said to Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shall you say to the children of Israel, I AM has sent me to you. -Exodus 3

His name is exclusive. God called Himself a form of the Hebrew word, hyh (hyh), which may be pronounced as HA-YAH. It means "to be" or "to exist" in the past, present, and future. It is written here in Hebrew as hyha (ahyh), meaning "I AM" in the past, present, and future. God continued,

15 And God said moreover to Moses, Thus shall you say to the children of Israel, Yahweh God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you: this is my name forever, and this is my memorial unto all generations. -Exodus 3

He told Moses to call Him by the Hebrew name, hwhy (yhwh), which may be pronounced as Yahweh. It means "HE IS." Yahweh said that His name was to be a "memorial." It is to be remembered by all generations.

In other words, Yahweh answered Moses’ question about who He is. He said in effect, "I am the One that exists." He says that there is no other god but Him:

10 You are my witnesses, says Yahweh, and my servant whom I have chosen: that you may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

11 I, even I, am Yahweh; and besides me there is no savior. -Isaiah 43

Equipped with the knowledge of the name of the only true God, Moses, with the help of his brother Aaron, made a simple request to the Pharaoh:

1 And afterwards Moses and Aaron went in, and told Pharaoh, Thus says Yahweh God of Israel, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast to me in the wilderness. -Exodus 5

The Pharaoh was not persuaded. He answered "Who is Yahweh... I know not Yahweh."

2 And Pharaoh said, Who is Yahweh, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not Yahweh, neither will I let Israel go. -Exodus 5

Rather than letting Israel go, the Pharaoh made their conditions worse, prompting Moses to complain:

23 For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has done evil to this people; neither have you delivered your people at all. -Exodus 5

Yahweh replied:

1 Then Yahweh said to Moses, Now shall you see what I will do to Pharaoh: for with a strong hand shall he let them go, and with a strong hand shall he drive them out of his land.

2 And God spoke to Moses, and said to him, I am Yahweh:

3 And I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name Yahweh was I not known to them. -Exodus 6

Yahweh told Moses, that after He has delivered Israel from the Egyptians, they will know His name. They will know that He is Yahweh:

6 Therefore say to the children of Israel, I am Yahweh, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments:

7 And I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God: and you shall know that I am Yahweh your God, which brings you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. -Exodus 6

Yahweh said He would "multiply" His signs and wonders upon Egypt so that they also would finally know that He is Yahweh:

5 And the Egyptians shall know that I am Yahweh, when I stretch forth my hand upon Egypt, and bring out the children of Israel from among them. -Exodus 7

Yahweh sent plague after plague upon Egypt. He turned the river to blood:

21 And the fish that were in the river died; and the river stunk, and the Egyptians could not drink of the water of the river; and there was blood throughout all the land of Egypt. -Exodus 7

Yahweh then sent frogs upon the land:

6 And Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt; and the frogs came up, and covered the land of Egypt. -Exodus 8

The Egyptian magicians were able to copy the plagues of blood and frogs, perhaps demonstrating the power of the river god, Osiris, and the frog goddess, Heket. However, as the plagues continued, the magicians lost their power to copy them:

18 And the magicians did so with their enchantments to bring forth lice, but they could not: so there were lice upon man, and upon beast.

19 Then the magicians said to Pharaoh, This is the finger of God: and Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he listened not to them; as Yahweh had said. -Exodus 8

As Yahweh sent plague after plague, He continued to harden the Pharaoh’s heart:

1 And Yahweh said to Moses, Go in to Pharaoh: for I have hardened his heart, and the heart of his servants, that I might show these my signs before him:

2 And that you may tell in the ears of your son, and of your son’s son, what things I have worked in Egypt, and my signs which I have done among them; that you may know how that I am Yahweh. -Exodus 10

Finally, Yahweh revealed the last great plague, which was death. He would finally execute judgement upon Egypt and all their gods. Only those whose households were protected by the blood of a sacrificed lamb would be spared from death:

11 And thus shall you eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it in haste: it is Yahweh’s passover.

12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am Yahweh.

13 And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where you are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.

14 And this day shall be to you for a memorial; and you shall keep it a feast to Yahweh throughout your generations; you shall keep it a feast by an ordinance forever. -Exodus 12

The passover in Egypt was an example of our passover, which, Paul explains, is the Messiah:

7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, as you are unleavened. For even the Messiah our passover is sacrificed for us: -1 Corinthians 5

Peter clarifies that we are not redeemed by traditions,

19 But with the precious blood of the Messiah, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: -1 Peter 1



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Scriptures are taken from the Proper Name Version of the King James Bible.


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