Basics For Believers -- By: William J. McRae

Journal: Emmaus Journal
Volume: EMJ 05:2 (Winter 1996)
Article: Basics For Believers
Author: William J. McRae

Basics For Believers

William J. McRae1

An Exposition of Exodus 13


Having officially been given their release, the children of Israel began their epoch-making journey to Canaan. The pilgrimage began at the city of Rameses in the land of Goshen (12:37). Among them were 600,000 men over twenty years of age (12:37). Assuming they constituted approximately one-fourth the population, the total number of Israelites involved in the Exodus surpassed 2,000,000 people.

With the Israelites was a “mixed multitude” (12:38). These included other Semites who had settled in the Delta area of Egypt and many native Egyptians who had been impressed with the power of Yahwah and perhaps even had accepted the faith of the Israelites. As they left, the Israelites carried with them jewels and raiment gladly given them by the Egyptians (Ex. 12:35–36; Gen. 15:14) As well, they had their flocks, herds, and a great number of cattle (12:38).

The first stop was at Succoth. This leg of the journey must have been a joyous and thrilling experience. Now, at Succoth, there were three institutions for the newly redeemed which are exceedingly instructive for new believers of our age. The first instructs us as to the Lord’s claim on the Redeemed.

The Sanctification of the Firstborn (13:1-2, 11-16)

Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Sanctify to Me every first-born, the first offspring of every womb among the sons of Israel, both of man and beast; it belongs to Me (Ex. 13:1–2).

Every firstborn of man and beast was to be sanctified to Yahweh. Everyone was to be given up to Him for His service. And what was His right to the firstborn?

The ground of His claim is expressly stated:

For all the first-born are Mine; on the day that I struck down all the first-born in the land of Egypt, I sanctified to Myself all the first-born in Israel, from man to beast. They shall be Mine; I am the Lord (Num. 3:13).

For every first-born among the sons of Israel is Mine, among the men and among the animals; on the day that I struck down all the first-born in the land of Egypt I sanctified them for Mysel...

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