Exodus Chapters 1 through 15 Wonderfully describe an exciting and amazing time of NEW things for Israel: See them grow into their new name as the “children of Israel”, as a NEW creation There is the raising up of a NEW deliverer The “LORD God of the Hebrews” is revealed to Israel by a NEW name Israel will now enjoy a NEW relationship as “my son, even my firstborn” Israel and Egypt will know the LORD by NEW wonders Their lives will be changed with a NEW calendar and a NEW feast of deliverance This deliverance will be praise and commemorated through a NEW song Exodus Chapter 1 – A New Creation: God Keeps His Promises “And the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them.” v. 7 Breakdown of Exodus Chapter 1 The promised seed is multiplied by the unseen hand of the LORD despite the connivings of man. v. 1-5 The family that entered Egypt is enumerated v. 6 The passing of the first generation is highlighted v. 7 The next generations of Israel grow, and grow, and grow v. 8-14 A new king arises and fearful of Israel’s numbers places them into extreme servitude – Plan A (1st challenge) v. 15-21 Plan B – Stunt their growth by killing male children during child birth (2nd “private” pogrom) v. 22 Plan C – Pharaoh charges “all his people” to cast every Hebrew son into the Nile river (3rd “public” pogrom) A New Creation: God Keeps His Promises The Ways of Providence (first printed in 1881) – p. 71 When Joseph lived, their position was one of comfort and honour in the land; but after he was dead, “there arose a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph” (Exod. 1:8), and this new king regarded this thriving and prolific colony of Israelites with a jealousy which prompted him to devise harsh measures against them. He “made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in mortar, and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field”. This grievous experience was calculated to revive Israel’s recollection of the promise that God would deliver them—a promise made long before, but which prosperity of the first part of the period of their settlement in Egypt may have caused the people to forget or undervalue, in the same way that we find, in our day, that prosperity for the Jews in any part of the world makes them think lightly of the promised restoration. Evidence that Moses is the writer of the book of Exodus Internal evidence within the book: • Moses is told to record on a scroll the episode of Israel’s victory over Amalek – Exo. 17:14. • He records “all the words of the LORD” – Exo. 24:4, which included at least the Book of the Covenant – Exo. 20:22-23:33 Supporting references in the Gospels endorsing Moses’ authorship: • “have you not read in the book of Moses, how in the bush…” – Mar. 12:26 citing Exo. 3:6 • “the days of her purification according to the law of Moses…As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb…” – Luk. 2:22-23, which cites Lev. 12:2-6, in particular v. 8 and Exo. 13:2 • “For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother, and Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death:” – Mar. 7:10 which cites Exo. 20:12 and 21:17 • “Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law…” – Joh. 7:19 The Expositor’s Bible Commentary The Hebrew name for the book derives from the first words of the text: “And these are the names of” – Exo. 1:1 which connects with Gen. 46:8 where a list of names is provided for those who went to Egypt with Jacob. The first four books of Moses comprise one continuous record (Yg’s Lit): “In the beginning, God created…” – Gen. 1:1 “And these are the names of the sons of Israel…” – Exo. 1:1 “And Jehovah calleth unto Moses…” – Lev. 1:1 “And Jehovah speaketh unto Moses in the wilderness of Sinai…” Num. 1:1 Deuteronomy seems to connect with another new, significant period as Israel prepares to enter the promised – “And it cometh to pass after the death of Moses” – Jos. 1:1 and then “And…” continues once again. v. 1-4 virtually repeat Gen. 35:22-26 v. 5 is a reiteration of Gen. 46:27 v. 6 of Gen. 50:26 Painstakingly repeated. Why? Point = none were lost! Genesis 15:16 - “But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites in not yet full.” ‘iniquity’ – 5771 – perversity, moral (evil), cp. Gen. 4:13 in the response of Cain to the LORD’s pronouncement = ‘punishment’ ‘Amorites’ – 567 – publically with prominence, a mountaineer, from 559 – to say. The son of Canaan in Gen. 10:16, first usage. Resided in the land of Canaan, see v. 21. Conflict with the Amorites spoken of in Gen. 48:22. [‘Amalek’ – dweller in a valley’] ‘not yet full’ – Rotherham’s – ‘not complete’. Possible parallel with Pagan Rome’s restraint over the apostacy, “And now ye know what withholdeth (RSV, ‘restraining’) that he [the ‘man of sin’] might be revealed in his time.” The early history of the sons of Jacob must have shown the need alike of their removal from contact with the people of Canaan. The Amorites Jos. 9:10 – “to the two kings of the Amorites…to Sihon king of Heshbon, and to Og king of Bashan” 1 Kin. 21:26 – “And he [King Ahab, the husband of Jezebel] did very abominably in following idols, according to all things as did the Amorites, whom the LORD cast out before the children of Israel.” Amos 2:9-10 – “Yet destroyed I the Amorite before them, whose height was like the height of the cedars (see Deu. 1:27-28; 3:11), and he was strong as the oaks; yet I destroyed his fruit from above, and his roots from beneath. Also I brought you up from the land of Egypt, and led you forty years through the wilderness (due to their unwillingness to enter the land the first time – Num. 13:28-33), to possess the land of the Amorite.” “Now these are the names of the children of Israel, which came into Egypt; every man and his household came with Jacob.” – Exo. 1:1 ‘Jacob’ used 11x in Exodus (see below), whereas ‘Israel’ appears 158x. “that came out of the loins of Jacob” – 1:5 “remembered his covenant…with Jacob” – 2:24; 3:6; 4:5; 6:8 (land) “but by my name Yahweh” – 3:15, 16; 6:3 “And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God had respect unto them.” – 2:25 Exodus 19:3 – “Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel;” ‘say’ – 559 – to say, be told ‘tell’ – 5046 – to be conspicuous, tell, make known “Now these are the names of the children of Israel, which came into Egypt; every man and his household came with Jacob.” – Exo. 1:1 Leah’s sons in Exo. 1:2-3 Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah, Issachar, Zebulun Rachel’s son in Exo. 1:3 Benjamin. Joseph was already in Egypt (v. 5) Bilhah, Rachel’s maid’s sons in Exo. 1:4 Dan, and Naphtali “And all the souls that came out of the loins of Jacob were seventy souls” – Exo. 1:5 (cp. Exo. 15:27 – full circle!) Zilpah, Leah’s maid’s sons in Exo. 1:4 Gad, and Asher < Mothers’ names not mentioned > “And thou shalt dwell in the land of Goshen, and thou shalt be near unto me, thou, and thy children, and they children’s children, and thy flocks, and thy herds, and all that thou hast.” – Gen. 45:10 “Goshen” – 1657 – drawing near See Gen. 47:11… “a possession” – 272 – property, possession by inheritance, implying a fixed hereditary proprietorship, see v. 27 “in the best of the land” “and I will give you the good of the land of Egypt, and ye shall eat the fat of the land.” – Gen. 45:18 “That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies.” – Gen. 22:17 72 To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant’ 73 The oath which he sware to our father Abraham. 74 That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear. Luke 1 Compare to the blessing given to Jacob by Isaac in Genesis 28: “And God Almighty bless thee, and make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, that thou mayest be a multitude (6951 – assembly, company for religious purposes, see Exo. 12:6; 16:3) of people; and give thee the blessing of Abraham…” v. 3-4 “But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were grieved because of the children of Israel.” – Exo. 1:12 Language of a NEW creation in Exo. 1:7 “fruitful” – 6509 – to bear fruit – same English word in Gen. 1:22, 28 “increased abundantly” – 8317 – to wriggle, by implication, swarm or abound – ‘bring or brought forth abundantly’ in Gen. 1:20, 21 “multiplied” – 7235 – to increase in whatever respect – ‘multiply’ in Gen. 1:22, 28 “waxed exceeding” – 3966 – properly, vehemence, by implication, wholly, speedily – ‘very’ in Gen. 1:31 “mighty” – 6105 – to bind fast, to be powerful or numerous – ‘mightier’ in Gen. 26:16 (Isaac’s seed was mightier than Abimelech’s) “filled” – 4390 – to fill or be full of – ‘fill’ in Gen. 1:22; ‘replenish’ in Gen. 1:28 “grew” – 6555 – to break out – ‘abroad’ in Gen. 28:14 (growth of seed promised) Aligning Events in the Book of Exodus 120 “And Joseph died, and all his brethren, and all that generation” – Exo. 1:6 Death of Isaac At 40 he flees to Midian 18th Egyptian Dynasty 12th Egyptian Dynasty 13th Egyptian Dynasty HYKSOS “Now there arose a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph.” – Exo. 1:8 18th Egyptian Dynasty Old Testament Bible History – Volume II, Alfred Edersheim The Ancient Religion of Egypt – p. 14 Hyksos, or Shepherd kings, a foreign and barbarous race of invaders, hated and opposed by the people, and hostile to their ancient civilization and religion. “The Shepherds” were evidently an eastern race, and probably of Phoenician origin…there is evidence that the race brought with it the worship of Baal and the practice of human sacrifices—both of Phoenician origin. Aligning Events in the Book of Exodus 120 “And Joseph died, and all his brethren, and all that generation” – Exo. 1:6 Death of Isaac At 40 he flees to Midian 18th Egyptian Dynasty 12th Egyptian Dynasty 13th Egyptian Dynasty HYKSOS “Now there arose a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph.” – Exo. 1:8 18th Egyptian Dynasty Old Testament Bible History – Volume II, Alfred Edersheim The Ancient Religion of Egypt – p. 16 We know that under the rule of the last great king of this native dynasty (the 13th) a completely new system of Nile irrigation was introduced, such as we may well believe would have been devised to avoid another period of famine, and, strangest of all, a place by the artificial lake made at that time bears the name Pi-aneh, “the house of life,” which is singularly like that given by Pharaoh to Joseph. Aligning Events in the Book of Exodus 120 “And Joseph died, and all his brethren, and all that generation” – Exo. 1:6 Death of Isaac At 40 he flees to Midian 18th Egyptian Dynasty 12th Egyptian Dynasty 13th Egyptian Dynasty HYKSOS “Now there arose a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph.” – Exo. 1:8 18th Egyptian Dynasty Old Testament Bible History – Volume II, Alfred Edersheim The Ancient Religion of Egypt – p. 17 The period between the “new king” of the Bible (Aahmes I) and Thothmes II (the second in succession to him), when we suppose the Exodus to have taken place, quite agrees with the reckoning of Scripture. Now this Thothmes II began his reign very brilliantly. But after a while there is a perfect blank in the monumental records about him. But we read of a general revolt after his death among the nations whom his father had conquered. Of course, one could not expect to find on Egyptian monuments an account of the disasters which the nation sustained at the Exodus, nor how Pharaoh and his host perished in the Red Sea. Old Testament Bible History – Volume II, Alfred Edersheim The Ancient Religion of Egypt – p. 17 But we do find in his reign the conditions which we should have expected under such circumstances, viz., a brief, prosperous reign, then a sudden collapse; the king dead; no son to succeed him; the throne occupied by the widow of a Pharaoh, and for twenty years no attempt to recover the supremacy of Egypt over the revolted nations in Canaan and east of the Jordan. Lastly the character of his queen, as it appears on the monuments, is that of a proud and bitterly superstitious woman, just such as we would have expected to encourage Pharaoh in “hardening his heart” against Jehovah. Old Testament Bible History – Volume II The Ancient Religion of Egypt – p. 17-18 But the chain of coincidences does not break even there. From the Egyptian documents we learn that in the preceding reign—that is, just before the children of Israel entered the desert of Sinai—the Egyptians ceased to occupy the mines which they had till then worked in the peninsula. Further, we learn that, during the latter part of Israel’s stay in the wilderness, the Egyptian king, Thothmes III, carried on and completed his wars in Canaan, and that just immediately before the entry of Israel into Palestine the great confederacy of Canaanitish kings against him was broken up. This explains the state in which Joshua found the country, so different from that compact power which forty years before had inspired the spies with such terror; and also helps us to understand how, at the time of Joshua, each petty king just held his own city and district, and how easily the fear of a nation, by which even the dreaded Pharaoh and his host had perished, would fall upon the inhabitants of the land. “Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens…But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew.” – Exo. 1:10-11 “taskmasters” - Roth.’s – “chiefs of tribute…to humiliate them” “afflict” – 6031 – looking down, browbeating, to depress, abase. Hebrew word first used in Gen. 15:13. “rigour” – 6531 – in v. 13 & 14, to break apart, fracture, severity, Cf. Lev. 25:43, 46; Ezk. 34:4 Same Hebrew word in Deu. 8:2 – “humble”; v. 3 – “humbled”, Look at v. 5!! <<See v. 11>> “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.” – Heb. 12:6 “And they built for Pharaoh treasure cities (RSV – ‘store-cities’), Pithom and Raamses” - Exo. 1:11 ‘Pithom’ – 6619 – the city of justice ‘Raamses’ – 7486 – child of the sun * The positioning of these store-cities would be within easy reach of the children of Israel when they took a spoil from the Egyptians. “But the midwives feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the men children alive.” – Exo. 1:17 ‘midwives’ – mentioned earlier in the book of Genesis: a) Rachel with the birth of Benjamin – Gen. 35:16-18 a) Tamar with the births of Pharez and Zarah – Gen. 38:27-30 Wonderful quality here in Exo. 1:17 – they ‘feared God’ (see also v. 21) Exhibited by the very meanings of the names of these two sisters: ‘Shiphrah’ - brightness, garnished, glisten, fair ‘Puah’ - to glitter, brilliancy Cp. Ecc. 8:12; Exo. 20:20 << Acts 5:29; 4:18-19>> Exodus Chapter 1 Lessons that we have learned: The LORD keeps His promises His servants are known to Him by name The LORD will sustain us, as part of His NEW CREATION, despite the odds at times Whom the LORD loveth He chasteneth Those who allow their fear of God to guide their actions will be rewarded by the LORD Exodus Chapters 1 through 15 Wonderfully describe an exciting and amazing time of NEW things for Israel: See them grow into their new name as the “children of Israel”, as a NEW creation There is the raising up of a NEW deliverer The “LORD God of the Hebrews” is revealed to Israel by a NEW name Israel will now enjoy a NEW relationship as “my son, even my firstborn” Israel and Egypt will know the LORD by NEW wonders Their lives will be changed with a NEW calendar and a NEW feast of deliverance This deliverance will be praise and commemorated through a NEW song Exodus Chapters 3 & 4 – A New Name is Delivered by a New Mediator “And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. Exo. 3:14 Breakdown of Exodus Chapters 3 & 4 The timing is now right for God to act through his servant Moses to deliver the children of Israel, those he now claims as his firstborn son. 3:1-6 God’s glory, holiness, and faithfulness are manifested to Moses 3:7-10 The sufferings of Israel are know to their God 3:11-13 Moses 1st and 2nd objections to God’s plan for him 3:14-17 The Memorial Name is expounded 3:18-22 Israel will worship the LORD using the spoils of Egypt 4:1-17 Objections 3, 4, and 5 despite the signs provided 4:18-23 Moses to return to Egypt (new relationship as “firstborn son”) 4:24-26 Zipporah circumcises her son 4:27-31 Aaron meets Moses. They return to Egypt and communicate the LORD’s message. A New Name is Delivered by a New Mediator The Ways of Providence – p. 70-71 Chapter IX Moses Next we turn to the case of Moses. This towers over all others like a great mountain over the surrounding country. Moses is next to the Lord Jesus, “the prophet unto him”, in the height, breadth, importance, and greatness of his case in all points and relations; yet all of God, for apart from God’s use of him (God’s word to him and work with him), Moses would have lived a quiet pastoral life in Midian, and passed off the scene without leaving much if any mark behind him. “And when he (Moses) was full forty years old, it came unto his heart to visit his brethren the children of Israel…For he supposed his would have understood how that God by his hand would deliver them…” – Act. 7:23, 25 Moses saw his life as being inextricably linked to that of Joseph. Israel had been “added [to]” through Joseph; they would now be “drawn out” by Moses. • Joseph is in his 40th year in Gen. 45 • He was 30 years old in Gen. 41:46 when he stood before Pharaoh • 7 years of plenty finished in Gen. 41:53 • 2 years of famine had already elapsed in Gen. 45:6 Moses would have thought upon the parallels in his life to that of Joseph God did send me before you to preserve life And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth And to save your lives by a great deliverance It was not you that sent me hither, but God Like Joseph, he had a familial relationship with Pharaoh As the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, he too was in a position of authority in Egypt “And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him: for he had straitly sworn the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you; and ye shall carry up my bones away hence with you.” – Exo. 13:19 The Ways of Providence (first printed in 1881) – p. 80-81 Our aim is to bring to bear so much of the history and experience of the fathers as may be applicable to our own case. Like Moses we are living at the end of a time of Israel’s down-treading. Like him, we are looking for a promised divine interposition. Like him we are able to discern providential signs characteristic of the situation; but like him we have been the subjects of delay in our expectations. As in the case, we may see that notwithstanding adverse appearances, God is at work, and we may hope that like him we shall one day, and that soon, be rescued and cheered by the angelic intimation that the moment of open interference has at last arrived. Figure of the furnace used to describe Israel’s experience in Egypt “brought you forth out of the iron furnace, even out of Egypt” – Deu. 4:20; “brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, from the iron furnace” – Jer. 11:4 Why refer to Egypt as an “iron furnace”? IRON GOLD & COPPER SILVER TIN “…and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.” – Exo. 3:2 >>> not preserved by natural means ‘bush’ – 5572 – to prick, bramble, thorny bush. Edersheim – “the thorny acacia tree…the only timber of any size” Cp. Mat. 27:29 – “platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head” Principle of not being consumed… In Moses’ own life, see Exo. 18:4 See also Lam. 3:22-23; Mal. 3:6 “And God said, unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM (Rotherham’s ‘I Will Become’): and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM (‘I Will Become’) hath sent me unto you.” – Exo. 3:14 See Eph. 3:15 Heb. 11:16 Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh = I Will Be What I Will Be “that thou mayest fear this glorious and fearful name, THE LORD THY GOD (YHWH thy elohim)” – Deu. 28:58b Moses’ objections to the LORD’s commission 1. “Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt” – Exo. 3:11 2. “When I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? What shall I say unto them? – Exo. 3:13 3. “But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The LORD had not appeared unto thee.” – Exo. 4:1 4. “O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.” – Exo. 4:10 5. “O my Lord, send, I pray thee, by the hand of whom thou wilt send.” – Exo. 4:13, see NIV trans. “But Moses said, O Lord please send someone else to do it.” God makes a concession to help his servant, but there would be a consequence: >>> Aaron would receive the honour of leading the priesthood. It is strange that Moses did not raise another, larger issue: the feasibility of organizing, equipping, and sustaining such a massive escape. Apparently the problem was settled by the burning bush, for to preserve one entity (the bush) was a token that Israel could be preserved. “Israel is my son, even my firstborn” – Exo. 4:22 >>> ADOPTION! Moses and Aaron sprang, not from the “firstborn,” Reuben, but from Levi, Jacob’s third son, and not even then from Levi’s oldest son; but Kohath, his second son; and Moses was not even the oldest son of his father, for Aaron was older. Privileges of firstborn: Priesthood cp. Abel, Aaron & Samuel Inheritance Double portion Deu. 21:17 Rulership Jehoshaphat & Jehoram in 2 Chr. 21:3 * Based on Gen. 49:3 Gershon/Gershom – 1647 “And her two sons; of which the name of the one was Gershom; for he said, I have been an alien in a strange land: And the name of the other was Eliezer; for the God of my father, said he, was mine help, and delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh.” – Exo. 18:3b-4 (rejoin Moses) Old Testament characters with this name: • Firstborn son of Moses and Zipporah Exo. 2:22, Eliezer not initially named • Firstborn son of Jacob’s son Levi 1 Chr. 6:16 • A son of the priestly family of Phinehas who returned from exile with Ezra Ezr. 8:2 Exodus Chapters 3 & 4 Lessons that we have learned: The timing of events is according to the LORD’s will God’s people are tried to reveal His glory, not to be destroyed The LORD is He that sanctifieth The LORD is faithful and His NEW NAME is “future-focused” and will be revealed in a multitude God is patient and He will work with His saints to fulfill his plans By adoption and covenant we can enjoy a NEW RELATIONSHIP with our God Exodus Chapters 1 through 15 Wonderfully describe an exciting and amazing time of NEW things for Israel: See them grow into their new name as the “children of Israel”, as a NEW creation There is the raising up of a NEW deliverer The “LORD God of the Hebrews” is revealed to Israel by a NEW name Israel will now enjoy a NEW relationship as “my son, even my firstborn” Israel and Egypt will know the LORD by NEW wonders Their lives will be changed with a NEW calendar and a NEW feast of deliverance This deliverance will be praise and commemorated through a NEW song Exodus Chapters 7 & 8 – New Wonders by the Finger of God Seen in Egypt “And the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I stretch forth mine hand upon Egypt, and bring out the children of Israel from among them.” Exo. 7:5 Breakdown of Exodus Chapters 7 & 8 The plagues will show Pharaoh and his servants that there is none like “the LORD God of the Hebrews” in all the earth. Yahweh orders and controls all things. 7:1-9 Moses is encouraged to go to Pharaoh 7:10-13 The contest begins with Pharaoh and his magicians 7:14-25 First plague : waters in Nile River and vessels turned to blood 8:1-15 Second plague: frogs covered the land of Egypt 8:16-19 Third plague: lice, which the magicians could not replicate!!! 8:20-24 Fourth plague: flies, the land of Goshen is now shielded 8:25-32 Moses and Aaron called before Pharaoh. Will they compromise??? New Wonders by the Finger of God Seen in Egypt Egypt & Pharaoh – Symbols of Sin & Death Like Israel… - By our own: thinking, strength, and actions we can’t conquer Sin! - We must learn that our deliverance from Sin and Death depends on the LORD - We personally struggle with Sin each day of our lives (if there isn’t a struggle then Sin is winning – see Gal. 5:16-17) - Victory over Sin and Death will not be easy and will require real sacrifice - Sin and temptation will not let go of us of their own free will – We have to leave them behind. - There can be no peace with Sin, it must be utterly destroyed (stone that crushes the kingdoms of men) Introduction to the Plagues The plagues increase in severity… • 1) Irritations – plagues 1, 2 & 3 • 2) Destructions – plagues 4, 5 & 6 • 3) Death – plagues 7, 8 & 9 and ultimately the tenth as well The first 9 plagues are arranged in 3 groups of 3 plagues each: • The first plague in each group (1, 4 & 7) was introduced by a warning delivered to Pharaoh early in the morning as we went out to the Nile, each with a purpose clause – Exo. 7:15; 8:20; 9:13 • The second plague in each group (2, 5 & 8) was introduced by a warning, but it was delivered to Pharaoh at his palace – Exo. 8:1; 9:1; 10:1 • The last plague in each group (3, 6 & 9) commenced without any warning – Exo. 8:16; 9:8; 10:21 The Ways of Providence – p. 81-82 The purpose of God (which was declared to Moses), that ultimately He would fill the earth with His glory (Num. 14:21), required that a beginning should be made then, in the exhibition of His power in a way not to be mistaken. To allow of this exhibition, it was needful there should be a plain issue between God and man, and resistance on the part of man, and an ensuing struggle sufficiently prolonged and diversified to exclude the possibility of doubt as to the nature of the operations performed. God could have manifested His power by hurling the mountains from their base, or cleaving the earth with terrible chasms, or rending the air with terrific conflagration. But this would not have got at the understanding of the people. It would have scared without instructing, and would have passed out of memory as a mere freak of nature. It was necessary that intelligence should be manifestly at work, and this necessity could only be met by a situation that all could understand, and that would allow of the works of God being seen in intelligible relation thereto. Old Testament Bible History – Volume II, Alfred Edersheim Progress and Duration of the Ten Plagues – p. 69-70 The supernaturalness of the plagues consisted in: 1) their severity; 2) their successive occurrence; 3) their coming and going at the word of Moses; 4) their partial extent, and 5) the unusual seasons and manner in which they appeared. (Suggests a ten month period.) The first three were in connection with the river and soil which formed the boast of Egypt. The other six came exclusively upon the Egyptians, as the LORD had said: “I will put a division between My people and thy people,” “to the end that thou mayest know that I am Yahweh in the midst of the land.” If the first three plagues had shown the impotence of Egypt, the others proved that Yahweh reigned in the midst of Egypt…the three last “strokes” were not only far more terrible than any of the others, but intended to make Pharaoh know “that there is none like Me in all the earth.” Plagues by reference to a natural phenomena – plague number in brackets • Heavy rainfall causes high flooding of the Nile around September • High flooding means more red earth and bacteria suspended in the soil, causing a “bloody” Nile  • Fish die because of bacteria in the Nile; they die and decompose causing disease (anthrax) • Infected frogs leave the river because of unpalatable water and die rapidly  • Lice/mosquitoes multiply because of favorable breeding conditions at the time of the high Nile  • Frogs die of anthrax, and flies multiply because of the dead frogs and fish  • Cattle are now infected with anthrax, perhaps carried into the field by frogs  • The boils are skin anthrax carried by the flies from infected carcasses of frogs and cattle  • Heavy storms are typical of early February in the region  • The heavy rainfall which caused the high Nile in the first place would make conditions favorable for a locust plague by March  • The ‘khamsin’ dust storm would be fueled by the dust from the now dried-out flooded areas of the Nile valley. These storms typically last three days  • We are now in the right sort of time-period for Passover and plague  The Exodus: a commentary on Exodus 1-15 – Bro. Mark Vincent, p. 115-116 “In this thou shalt know that I am the LORD” – Exo. 7:17 “This is the finger of God” – Exo. 8:19 “I will put a division between my people and thy people” – Exo. 8:23 1st plague: water turned to blood God had “struck the Nile” (RSV Exo. 7:25), the lifeline of Pharaoh’s empire. The Nile was the source of: • Drinking water • Fish for their daily diet Normal work would have been disrupted! “And the fish that was in the river died…And all the Egyptians digged round about the river for water to drink; for they could not drink of the water of the river” – Exo. 7:21a, 24 2nd plague: frogs The visitation was horrible to the senses— nauseous, disgusting. The frogs were hideous to the eye, grating to the ear, repulsive to the touch. Their constant presence everywhere rendered them a continual torment. If other plagues were more injurious, the plague of frogs was perhaps the most loathsome [i.e. their psychological affects]. Eustathius recorded that the people of Paeonia and Dardania [in Macedonia] on one occasion, were so plagued by a multitude of frogs, which filled the houses and the streets, infected the water, invaded the cooking utensils, and made all the food uneatable, that after a time, being unable to bear the pest any longer, they “fled from that region altogether.” Ellicott’s Commentary on the Whole Bible Frogs were sacred animals to the Egyptians, who regarded them as symbols of procreative power, and associated them especially with the goddess Heka (a wife of Kneph, or Num), whom they represented as frog-headed. Sacred animals might not be intentionally killed; and even their involuntary slaughter was not infrequently punished with death. To be plagued with a multitude of reptiles which might not be put to death, yet on which it was scarcely possible not to tread, and which, whenever a door was opened were crushed, was a severe trial to the religious feelings of the people, and tended to bring the religion itself into contempt. Ellicott’s Commentary on the Whole Bible “they gathered them together upon heaps: and the land stank” – Exo. 8:14 Why should the frogs so suddenly abandon their natural habitat in August during a high Nile and invade the homes, bedrooms, ovens, kneading troughs, and even the palace itself? And why should they likewise die off so suddenly? Possibly linked to the dead fish that had been killed by bacteria. The frogs abandoned all the polluted waterways and seek cover from the sun on dry land in homes where possibly the presence of some unadulterated water attracted them. However, since they had already been exposed to spores of bacillus anthracis from the death spread along the waterways, the frogs also suddenly collapsed and died. 3rd plague: lice The references, both in Exodus and in Psalms, are all to the plague of "lice." the Revised Version margin suggests "fleas" or "sandflies." The Septuagint rendering would favor "sandflies" or "mosquitoes," between which two insects the Old Testament writers would hardly be expected to discriminate. Mosquitoes belong to the order of Diptera, family Culicidae; the sandfly (Plebotomus papataci) to the family of Simuliidae of the same order. The sandflies are much smaller than mosquitoes, and are nearly noiseless, but give a sharp sting which may leave an unpleasant irritation. They are abundant in the Levant (eastern Mediterranean). In Southern Europe they cause the "three-day fever" or "papataci." 4th plague: flies It is thought that the fly Stomoxys calcitrans best fulfills all the conditions of the text. This fly multiples rapidly in tropical or subtropical regions in the fall by laying its six hundred to eight hundred eggs in dung or rotting plant debris. When it is full grown, the fly prefers to infest houses and stables, and it bites both men and animals, usually in the lower extremities. Thus is becomes the principal transmitter of skin anthrax, which it contracts by crawling over carcasses of animals that have died of internal anthrax. The Process of Personal Free Will versus the Divine Will Passage Exo. 7:13 Exo. 7:14 Exo. 7:22 Exo. 8:15 Exo. 8:19 Exo. 8:32 Exo. 9:7 Exo. 9:12 Exo. 9:34 Exo. 9:35 Exo. 10:1 Exo. 10:20 Exo. 10:27 Exo. 11:10 Exo. 14:4 Exo. 14:8 Exo. 14:17 Pharaoh hardened God hardened P P P P P P P G P P “What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction” – Rom. 9:22 G G G G G G G Consider these verses: • Act. 7:39-42 • Rom. 1:24 • Rom. 9:17 “the deceitfulness of sin”… it will entice us to make compromises! 1st compromise You don’t have to leave just worship here beside us, we’re your friends – Exo. 8:25 2nd compromise We’re okay you don’t need to go so far away – Exo. 8:28 Consider the examples of Lot and Solomon… Both compromised their service to God by making wrong choices! 3rd compromise The men can go, but leave your children here we’ll look after them – Exo. 10:7-9 4th compromise Don’t be a stickler, you can serve God your own way, details don’t matter – Exo. 10:24-25 Exodus Chapters 7 & 8 Lessons that we have learned: God prepares some vessels unto honour and others unto dishonour Pretenders will come to challenge the truth, but the LORD will be revealed to be in control At times the LORD will use trials to teach us with NEW WONDERS God will safeguard His children Sin will entice us to make compromises, but don’t give in Exodus Chapters 1 through 15 Wonderfully describe an exciting and amazing time of NEW things for Israel: See them grow into their new name as the “children of Israel”, as a NEW creation There is the raising up of a NEW deliverer The “LORD God of the Hebrews” is revealed to Israel by a NEW name Israel will now enjoy a NEW relationship as “my son, even my firstborn” Israel and Egypt will know the LORD by NEW wonders Their lives will be changed with a NEW calendar and a NEW feast of deliverance This deliverance will be praise and commemorated through a NEW song Exodus Chapters 11 & 12 – The Beginning of a New Calendar and the New Feast of Redemption “This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you…the fourteenth day…it is the LORD’s passover.” – Exo. 12:1, 6, 11 Breakdown of Exodus Chapters 11 & 12 The final plague would vanquish Egypt and provide deliverance to Israel, if they obediently followed the LORD’s instructions regarding passover. 11:1-3 Last plague foretold. Israel to start borrowing from Egypt. 11:4-10 All of the firstborn of Egypt will now perish 12:1-2 The new calendar is established for the “congregation” 12:3-28 The arrangements for passover are outlined. Passover is linked with judgment and deliverance (see also details in v. 42-51) 12:29-30 Tenth plague at midnight, “a great cry in Egypt” 12:31-39 Israel is commanded to leave Egypt 12:40-41 Their sojourning in Egypt ends according to God’s timetable The Beginning of a New Calendar and the New Feast of Redemption “This month shall be unto you the beginning of months” – Exo. 12:2 Instituted before the Law was given… The male of the household “acted as a priest” since the role of the Levites had not been defined yet. (see Exo. 19:24) There was no talk of war, no training for the battle, no building of ramparts or preparing for ambush: Instead the Lord talked of a yearold lamb or kid, and of the families of Israel. In this defenseless yet blemish-free creature each Israelite was to see himself, his family and his nation. The year-old sacrifice was chosen on a selected day. The eyes of the taskmasters of Egypt must have gazed on the sight with wonder and apprehension. Each family or group had chosen its living sacrifice and brought it home to be kept there until the moment of killing. If Egypt expected a sudden uprising of rebel slaves, a bursting forth of the trapped sea of captive people, to break with fury upon the homes of the Egyptians, then this act of bringing home a little lamb or kid of the goats must have seemed a strange and harmless prelude. – Bro. Harry Tennant “Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying…” – Exo. 12:3 “congregation” – 5712 – a stated assemblage (specifically, a concourse, or generally, a family or crowd). First usage of this term in the Old Testament. Parallels the concept of “ecclesia”, see similar idea in Gen. 28:3-4 with the word “multitude”. 48x in Exodus; 50x in Leviticus; 120x in Numbers & 6x in Deuteronomy “…In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house.” – Exo. 12:3 “Significantly, in accord with this requirement, the Lord Jesus entered Jerusalem on the tenth day of Abib for his final public witness to the people. Six days before Passover the Lord arrived at Bethany (Joh. 12:1), and on the following day, he entered Jerusalem (Joh. 12:12). The Passover lamb was slain on the fourteenth day of Abib, which is called the Day of Preparation (Joh. 19:14), and the festival was commemorated on the fifteenth which was celebrated as sabbathon, a holy convocation, when no servile work was to be done (Joh. 19:31) Hence the tenth of Abib was five days (days of grace) before Passover proper.” The Christadelphian Expositor: Exodus “Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year…” – Exo. 12:5 “For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” – Heb. 9:13-14 “And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it.” – Exo. 12:7 “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.” – Exo. 12:13 Similar principle in: Ezk. 9:4-6; Rev. 7:3; 9:4 “For the life of the flesh is in the blood…” – Lev. 17:11 Previously the Israelites were automatically protected as God divided between His people and the Egyptians. Now, being an Israelite by birth is no longer sufficient; there is no automatic immunity. Hebrew - abar (5674) To pass over, to pass through, to pass beyond, to pass by, to pass along or away v. 12 – “pass through” v. 23 – “pass through” Hebrew – pasah (6452) and pesha (6453) To leap over, to pass over; more specifically, to ward off a blow, to bend or spring forward, as bending or kneeling on one knee in act and posture to ward off either a stroke, or to oppose the threatened entrance of an enemy. v. 11 – “passover” – h6453 v. 13 – “pass over” – h6452 v. 23 – “pass over” – h6452 v. 27 – “passover” – h6453 v. 27 – “passed” – h6452 Definitions from Wilson’s O.T. Word Studies “As birds flying, so will the LORD of hosts defend Jerusalem; defending also he will deliver it; and passing over he will preserve it.” – Isa. 31:5 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem…how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings…” – Mat. 23:37 The Passover Meal an Act of Unity by Israel in Goshen… (Exo. 12) • “a lamb for an house” v. 3 • “if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it” v. 4 Focus >> the “lamb” not the “household” • “the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening” v. 6 • “circumcision” by all males required to permit participation, v. 48 • “roast with fire; his head with his legs, and the purtenance thereof” v. 9, and not to “break a bone thereof”, v. 46 • “And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire” v. 10. The remains were not to leave the house, see v. 46 “And none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning.” – Exo. 12:5 Deliverance was provided to those who obeyed and stayed in the house! Response of Israel: “And the people bowed the head and worshipped.” – Exo. 12:27 Cp. Exo. 4:29-31… “And the people believed: and when they heard that the LORD had visited the children of Israel, and that he had looked upon their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshipped.” The Deliverance of the children of Israel comes at a GREAT PRICE. “And in came to pass, that at midnight the LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle. And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead.” - Exo. 12:29-30 God has a definite plan. He is in control. “Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years. And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt.” – Exo. 12:40-41 “Have no anxiety about anything” – Php. 4:6 RSV “this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God” – Acts 2:23 RSV Exodus Chapters 11 & 12 Lessons that we have learned: The LORD is known by the judgment that He executeth His people, who are joined to Him in covenant, will be rewarded God provides/makes NEW BEGINNINGS Deliverance requires obedience and sacrifice Our lifestyle must mark us as a NEW people, redeemed of the LORD Those delivered will be both Jew and Gentile God has a defined plan; He is in control Exodus Chapters 1 through 15 Wonderfully describe an exciting and amazing time of NEW things for Israel: See them grow into their new name as the “children of Israel”, as a NEW creation There is the raising up of a NEW deliverer The “LORD God of the Hebrews” is revealed to Israel by a NEW name Israel will now enjoy a NEW relationship as “my son, even my firstborn” Israel and Egypt will know the LORD by NEW wonders Their lives will be changed with a NEW calendar and a NEW feast of deliverance This deliverance will be praise and commemorated through a NEW song Exodus Chapter 15 – A New Song of Deliverance is Sung by Children of New Faith “I will sing unto the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea. The LORD is my strength and song: he is become my salvation: he is my God” – Exo. 15:1-2 Breakdown of Exodus Chapter 15 “through faith he [Moses] kept the Passover” and “by faith they [the children of Israel] passed through the Red sea” – Heb. 11:28-29 15:1-13 Stanza 1 – God’s great power, mercy, and deliverance are praised. He is now “my salvation: he is my God”. 15:14-19 Stanza 2 – Conquest of the land is seamlessly foretold, the LORD’s sanctuary will be established and he “shall reign for ever and ever.” 15:20-21 Miriam leads the woman who answer Moses’ song. 15:22 Travel 3 days in the wilderness of Shur – Heb. “wall” 15:23-26 Water of Marah is bitter and Israel murmurs. The LORD professes that he is “your healer” RSV 15:27 The LORD provides abundantly at Elim – Heb. “palms” A New Song of Deliverance is Sung by Children of New Faith What, then, are the LORD’s objectives in this final overthrow of Pharaoh? His defeat must achieve at least the following aims: • • • • To remind the Israelites one final time just what the Egyptians were like To show that Pharaoh would otherwise never let go To illustrate again that Israel’s salvation depended totally upon God To show that sin can never be left behind just by walking away: it has to be destroyed completely • To set a line in the sand (desert) – a line of demarcation beyond which Pharaoh (sin) cannot pass, and a line which marks the starting point of a new life for Israel: it is the water that signals the new start • To show that God, and only God, is able completely to destroy Pharaoh and all that he represents • To teach Pharaoh and the Egyptians Who God is, and to get glory by triumphing over them The Exodus: a commentary on Exodus 1-15 – Bro. Mark Vincent, p. 203-204 Principle of Division Shown • God divides between the camp of Israel and the camp of Egypt by stationing His pillar between them • He divides the sea, and its waters part to form a way • He divides between a way of life for the Israelites and a way of death for the Egyptians The theme of the “hand” Used in: Gen. 71x; Exo. 74x; Lev. 29x; Num. 36x; and Deu. 64x Started back in the garden… “And the LORD God said, behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, (Strong’s - 3027) and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:” – Gen. 3:22 Exo. 1 Exo. 2 Exo. 3 Exo. 4 Exo. 5 1x 3x (v. 19-20) 8x (v. 21) 1x Exo. 6 Exo. 7 Exo. 8 Exo. 9 Exo. 10 1x 5x 3x 3x 3x Exo. 11 Exo. 12 Exo. 13 Exo. 14 Exo. 15 1x 4x 8x 4x The theme of the “hand” in Exodus 14 & 15 Translated from two Hebrew words: 3027 – a primitive word; a hand (the open one (indicating power, means, direction) in distinction from 3709, the closed one). Appears in Exo. 14:8, 16, 21, 26, 27, 30. 3225 – the right hand or side (leg, eye) of a person or other object (as the stronger and more dexterous). Appears in Exo. 14:22, 29; 15:6 (2x), 12 Associated with choosing and the offering/receiving of blessings: • • • • Gen. 13:9 – Abram and Lot and choose lands Gen. 24:49 – Eliezer (Abraham’s servant) choosing a wife for Isaac Gen. 48 – Joseph desires blessings for Ephraim and Manasseh Exo. 14 & 15 – Connection with 1 Cor. 10:1-2 Songs of Victory and Deliverance in the Scriptures Oppressed by In wilderness due to their unfaithfulness – Deu. 31 Jabin king of Canaan and Sisera – Jud. 4 Philistines – 1 Sam. 18 David’s enemies including Saul – 2 Sam. 22 Sin – Rev. 5 Beast, image, his mark, the number of his name – Rev. 14, 15 Delivered by and song led by The LORD, wrote by Moses for posterity – Deu. 31 Jael and Barak, sung by Deborah and Barak – Jud. 5 Saul and David, sung by women of Israel – 1 Sam. 18 The LORD, sung by David – 2 Sam. 22 The Lamb of God, sung by the redeemed – Rev. 5 Christ the King, sung by his brethren – Rev. 14, 15 Stanza 1 of the Song of Moses – Exodus Chapter 15:1-13 “Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the LORD… Highlights the operation of the LORD’s “right hand” – v. 6, 12 • Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? • Who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders? “Thou in thy mercy (first usage in Exo.) hast led forth the people, which thou hast redeemed (cp. Exo. 6:6): thou hast guided (5095 – to run with a sparkle, to flow, to protect, sustain) them in thy strength unto thy holy habitation.” v. 13 “And Israel saw that great work which the LORD did upon the Egyptians: and the people feared the LORD, and believed the LORD, and his servant Moses.” – Exo. 14:31 “Pharaoh’s chariots and his host hath he cast into the sea: his chosen captains also were drowned in the Red sea. The depths have covered them: they sank into the bottom as a stone.” – Exo. 15:4-5 Stanza 2 of the Song of Moses – Exodus Chapter 15:14-19 Israel was led out with a strong hand, so too would they be led into the promised land…reaction of Canaanites: Afraid, sorrow shall take hold, amazed, trembling, melt away, fear, dread Routing implied in Exo. 15:16? “till thy people pass over, O LORD, till the people pass over, which thou hast purchased (Cain – ‘gotten’ in Gen. 4:1; Hebrew servant – ‘buy’ in Exo. 21:2)” “Thou shalt bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of thine inheritance, in the place, O LORD, which thou hast made for thee to dwell in, in the Sanctuary, O Lord which thy hands have established.” – Exo. 15:17 “the place” • Deu. 12:3, 5, 11, 14, 18, 21, 26 • 2 Sam. 7:10 • 2 Chr. 6:6, 20 “the Sanctuary” • First use of term in O.T. • Next used in Exo. 25:8 The Song before the Marriage Supper of the Lamb… “And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God. For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand.” Rev. 19:1-2 (ref. Rev. 15:3 – “the song of Moses the servant of God and the song of the Lamb”) Old Testament Bible History – Volume II Destruction of Pharaoh and his Host – p. 87 According to Egyptian documents, seventeen years elapsed after the death of Thothmes II (whom we regard as the Pharaoh of this narrative) before any Egyptian expedition was undertaken into the Peninsula of Sinai, and twentytwo years before any attempt was made to recover the power over Syria which Egypt seems to have lost. And thus, also, it was that Israel could safely pursue their march through the wilderness, which had hitherto been subject to the Egyptians. The lives of the “children of Israel” have come full circle, but they are now enriched with faith. “the righteous shall flourish like the palm tree” – Psa. 92:12 Elim – 362 – palm trees; plural of 352 – properly, strength; a pilaster (as a strong support); and oak “through faith he (Moses) kept the Passover” “by faith they (the children of Israel) passed through the Red sea” – Heb. 11:28-29 Exodus Chapter 15 Lessons that we have learned: We can not just separate from sin, its operation in each of our lives must be destroyed To each of us, the LORD needs to become our strength, our NEW song, our salvation, and in our lives we must glorify him We can trust that God will bring us into our inheritance by the example of Israel Trials are an integral part of our ongoing development in this life Ultimately, we will each be individually watered/washed and made righteous Exodus Chapters 1 through 15 What we have benefitted from considering together this week… Seen Jacob’s seed grow into their new name as the “children of Israel”, as a NEW creation Watched the raising up of a NEW deliverer Saw “The LORD God of the Hebrews” revealed to Israel by a NEW name Witnessed Israel enjoy the start of a NEW relationship as the LORD’s “son, even [his] firstborn” Observed how Israel and Egypt came to know the LORD by NEW wonders Saw how their lives were forever changed with a NEW calendar and NEW feast of deliverance, the Passover Witness their redemption from Egypt by the LORD, commemorated through a NEW song “Now it came to pass at the end of four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the LORD (cp. Psa. 103:17-22) went out from the land of Egypt.” – Exo. 12:41 430 YEARS FROM THE PROMISE TO THE LAW (Gal 3:17) 86 66 ALTERNATE 400 YEAR PERIOD 120 “this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God” – Acts 2:23 RSV Death of Isaac Receives Gen. 15 85, which would have been 18thpromise EgyptianatDynasty at Passover time. Ishmael born one year later when Abraham is 86. At 40 he flees to Midian History of Iron The Egyptians called iron “the metal of heaven” or ba-en-pet, which indicates that the first specimens employed were of meteoric origin. 3,500 years ago, the metal was produced in larger amounts, as amongst the lists of tributes received by Thutmose the Third there is also the new metal. Iron is one of the most frequent metals in the terrestrial crust. At the beginning, it was achieved by heating the ore, placed alternatively with charcoal. But the temperatures achieved during those times were not enough to melt the iron and it resulted only a spongy mass which had to be cleaned of dross and hammered. As it could not be molten, the iron was shaped by hammer. This technique required bellows. Before the bellows, there were the fan and blowing tube. “Hear ye this, O house of Jacob, which are called by the name of Israel…Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction” – Isa. 48:1, 10 ‘affliction’ – 6040 – depression, i.e. misery, sense of looking down or browbeating – Cf. Act. 14:22 “though much tribulation” Same Hebrew word found in: Exo. 3:7 – “And the LORD said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt” Exo. 3:17 – “And I have said, I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt” Exo. 4:31 – “And the people believed: and when they heard that the LORD had visited the children of Israel, and that he had looked upon their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshipped.” Law and Grace, W.F. Barling The Covenant Token – p. 38-39 Circumcision as a rite was, like many others, a “carnal ordinance”; yet how misguided Israel were in regarding it as confirming or witnessing to some intrinsic right on their part, as lineal descendants of Abraham, to the privileges of the Covenant. By divine irony the rite, though made in the flesh, was by its very nature—being a cutting off of flesh—a veritable disowning of flesh and fleshly descent. Far from establishing any hereditary right it did the very opposite: it stressed that their fleshly descent in no way qualified them for enjoyment of Covenant privileges, and was a ground not for pride, but rather for humility. The Law of Moses, Robert Roberts The Court of the Tabernacle – p. 147 Consider what those conditions are as involved in circumcision. Literally, circumcision was a cutting-off of the flesh of the foreskin in token of the accepted covenant of God, to choose Abraham’s posterity as a people for himself (Gen. 17:9-14). In virtue or efficacy, it was “nothing” in itself, except as a commandment (1 Cor. 7:19). Its significance was everything; and this was double: first (as a token of the covenant) that rejected man had no relation to God except by Divine choice; and second, that this choice was based upon submission to the Divine will. Law and Grace, W.F. Barling The Covenant Token – p. 38-39 Circumcision as a rite was, like many others, a “carnal ordinance”; yet how misguided Israel were in regarding it as confirming or witnessing to some intrinsic right on their part, as lineal descendants of Abraham, to the privileges of the Covenant. By divine irony the rite, though made in the flesh, was by its very nature—being a cutting off of flesh—a veritable disowning of flesh and fleshly descent. Far from establishing any hereditary right it did the very opposite: it stressed that their fleshly descent in no way qualified them for enjoyment of Covenant privileges, and was a ground not for pride, but rather for humility.