The Passover Ritual, Part 1 An Exposition Of Exodus 12:1-14 -- By: Bruce K. Waltke

Journal: Emmaus Journal
Volume: EMJ 20:1 (Summer 2011)
Article: The Passover Ritual, Part 1 An Exposition Of Exodus 12:1-14
Author: Bruce K. Waltke

The Passover Ritual, Part 1
An Exposition Of Exodus 12:1-141

Bruce K. Waltke

Bruce Waltke is Distinguished Professor of Old Testament at Knox Theological Seminary, Fort Lauderdale, and professor emeritus of biblical studies at Regent College, Vancouver. During his professional career he also held professorships in Old Testament at Dallas Theological Seminary, Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, and Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando. Both the editor and associate editor had Bruce as a professor at Dallas, and we are delighted to welcome him to the pages of The Emmaus Journal.


In this series of articles I wish to discuss the Passover ritual. We usually associate this ritual with the religious holiday of our Jewish friends. They are celebrating a ritual that was given to them over three thousand years ago. According to this ritual the children of Israel were instructed to take a lamb, slay it, catch the blood of the lamb in a basin, take a shrub called hyssop and sprinkle it on their doors, and then after charring the lamb black, they were to eat it along with massahs and bitter herbs.

God Chose The Jewish People To Bless The Earth

This ancient ritual has significant meaning and relevance for us today. First, we must understand that God had set apart the nation of Israel, or the Jewish people, to bless the earth. That is why you will sometimes hear that the Jewish people or the nation of Israel are a chosen people. By that we mean that God chose the Jewish people to bless the earth.

God Set Apart Abraham, A Man Of Faith

Now let us establish this important point from the Bible. The crucial passage in this respect is Genesis 12:1-3. In this passage God gives a brief sketch of his program, or plan, for saving every family on this earth. This program has three phases. In the first phase of his program to bless the earth God set apart a man of faith. He took this man from the midst of a world which knew there was a God, yet refused to acknowledge him or to thank him for what he is or does. That man’s name was Abraham. Abraham lived about two thousand years before Jesus Christ. Thus we read in Genesis 12:1, “And the Lord said to Abram, ‘Go forth from your country, and from your relatives and from your father’s house, to the land which I will show you.’” That was the first phase in God’s program of salvation for this earth. He set apart Abraham, a man of faith.

God Promised To Create A Nation From Abraham’s Des...
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