God had sent the ninth plague - total darkness throughout
Egypt for 3 days - Pharaoh flew into a rage.
"Get out of my sight!" he shouted at Moses.
"I never want to set eyes on you again!"
won't" replied Moses angrily, "but because you
will not change your mind, God is going to bring one more
plague on Egypt. After it you will let the people go for,
God says, 'At midnight I shall go through the land of
Egypt and the firstborn of every family will die - from
the richest to the poorest. And all the firstborn of cattle
will die. There will be a great crying in Egypt.'"
Then Moses left Pharaoh for the last time.
God had told Moses that the Israelites would be kept safe
from this last and worst disaster, just as they had been
from others. But this time they had to follow God's
instructions which Moses would give them. If they
did as God said then their firstborn would be safe.
and Aaron passed on God's instructions to the Israelites.
Each family had to choose the best male lamb from their
flock - one that was in perfect condition - and kill it.
Then they were to smear the top and the side posts of
their doors with its blood. After that they had to roast
and eat the lamb with bitter herbs and with bread that
had no leaven, or yeast, in it. The bread was called unleavened
this, God said, they had to do on a certain night. Everybody
had to stay indoors and not go out. They also had to eat
the meal in a hurry, with their outdoor clothes and shoes
on, and their staffs in their hands, ready...
for what? Well, outside all was quiet that particular
night. The Egyptians might have seen lights burning in
the Israelite homes but no-one was out and about. At midnight,
and silently, the angel of God moved in, passing over
every house marked with blood, but entering every unprotected
the firstborn (the eldest child) of every Egyptian family
and all the firstborn of the Egyptian animals died. At
last Pharaoh could take no more! The Israelites had to
go! "Get up" he commanded, "and get out
of my country and away from my people. And take your animals
wonder the people had to be ready. They were to start
their journey to the Promised Land that very night! The
Egyptians were not sorry to see them leave. Indeed, they
were so eager to be rid of them that they gave the Israelites
whatever they asked for - bracelets, earrings, silver,
gold, and more besides. Nothing was refused.
hardly a backward glance, the huge crowd of Israelites
set out with Moses in the lead...
important were the events of that night, when God brought
the children of Israel out of Egypt, that the Israelites
were told to remember the occasion at the same time every
year in the future and to eat the lamb and the unleavened
bread in the same way. The annual celebration was to be
called the Feast of the Passover because the angel
of God passed over the blood-marked houses of the
Israelites. And when the children asked their parents
what it all meant they were to be told "It is the
sacrifice of the Lord's Passover, who passed over the
houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he smote
the Egyptians and delivered our houses".