Passover (3)

Sung Psalm 34:16-22

Read Numbers 9:1-14

This is the third repetition of the command to keep the Passover (first Ex.12, second Lev.23:4-5).

The date 14/1/1 when they left Egypt in the Exodus.

Second Passover was in wilderness of Sinai 14/1/2 with a number of differences e.g. no houses, no blood on door posts. We reckon they kept it in their tents. Where did they get bread or grain to make it? Perhaps bought, perhaps plundered, perhaps brought out of Egypt.

This second Passover took place in two groups. First the vast majority and then a month later (14/2/2) for the men defiled by a dead body who would have needed at least one week to become ceremonially clean.

The Tabernacle was erected 1/1/2 so just a fortnight before and the priests consecrated (Lev.8).

First numbering of people 1/2/2 (Numbers 1).

According to my reckoning Sinai and the giving of the Law was 1/3/1.

Failing to keep the Passover (v13) was the equivalent of church excommunication. We were unsure if it mandated the death penalty or just being put completely out of the camp. Foreigners could partake as long as they were circumcised (typifying the entrance of Gentiles into the church).


O Lord, why hast thou made us to err from thy ways.


Isaiah 63:17                                                                                                                                          “O Lord, why hast thou made us to err from thy ways, and hardened our heart from thy fear?…. These are the words, not of wicked men among the Jews, charging all their errors, hardness of heart, and wickedness they were guilty of, upon the Lord, as if he was the author and occasion of them, and led them into them; but of the truly godly, lamenting and confessing their wandering from the ways, commands, and ordinances of God, the hardness of their hearts; their want of devotion and affection for God; and their neglect of his worship; not blaming him for these things, or complaining of him as having done anything amiss or wrong; but expostulating with him, and wondering at it, that he, who was their loving and tender Father, that he should suffer them to err from his ways, and to wander from his worship, by withholding his grace and withdrawing his presence from them; by leaving them to the corruptions and hardness of their hearts; by chastising them sorely, and suffering the enemy to afflict them in such a severe manner as laid them under temptation to desert the worship of God, and cast off the fear of him.” John Gill Commentary.

Featured picture the broad and narrow ways of Pilgrim’s Progress.


Passover (2)

Sung Psalm 34:16-22 (note ref to bones)

Reading Ex.12:1-14, 21-28, 43-51.

Here we have the details of Passover/Feast of Unleavened Bread:

The date: Abib 10th select animal, sacrifice 14th, feast of unleavened bread 14-21, use hyssop to sprinkle/paint blood (c.f. Ps.51), meal in house with family, roast lamb (fire of God’s wrath), a sacrifice (Ex.23:17-18), unleavened bread (sinless Saviour), bitter herbs (Egyptian slavery), be ready for children’s questions, circumcision essential (strangers) (NT church baptism/membership), no broken bone (John 19:33, 36, Ps.34:20).

Deut.16:1-8 repeated plus possibility of bullock being used (herd) part of feast of unleavened bread (Num.28:17-19).

Development/change: change of place (not a house but a city i.e. Jerusalem, national, solemn, priests in charge, an altar, one of three pilgrimage feasts which every male should attend.

Passover in Josiah II Chron. 35:1,7-9,17

Eagle’s wings

Isaiah 40:31 is often misconstrued like Phil.4:18.

John Gill is wise: ” But they that wait upon the Lord,…. As children on their parents, to do them honour, to obey their commands, and receive food and blessings from them; as servants on their masters, to know their pleasure, do their work, and have their wages; as clients on their patrons, to have advice of them, put their cause into their hands, and know how it goes; and as beggars at the door, who knock and wait, tell their case and wait, meet with repulses, yet keep their place, and continue waiting: such an act supposes a knowledge and reverence of God, confidence in him, attendance on him, not with the body only, in public and private, but with the soul also, and with some degree of constancy, and with patience and quietness: the Lord is to be waited upon for the manifestations of himself, who sometimes hides himself, but is to be waited for, since he has his set time to show himself again, and his presence is worth waiting for; also for the performance of his promises, which may be expected from his perfections, the nature of the promises, and their being in Christ; likewise for answers of prayer, and for the fresh discoveries of pardoning grace and mercy; and as Old Testament saints waited for the first coming of Christ, so New Testament saints for his second coming, and for eternal glory and happiness: and such “shall renew their strength”; which is to be understood of spiritual! strength in the heart, and of the graces of the Spirit there: it supposes strength received already, which natural men have not, but converted men have; and yet they want more, and more they shall have; to assist them in the performance of duty, to enable them to resist Satan and his temptations, and the corruptions of nature, and to cause them to endure afflictions and persecutions patiently, and to persevere unto the end:they shall mount up with wings as eagles; swiftly and strongly; it is expressive of the motion of the affections heavenwards towards God and Christ, and things above; of the entrance of faith and hope within the veil, and of the exercise of these graces on Christ, who is now at the right hand of God; of the expectation of glory and happiness in heaven hereafter, and of present support under afflictions, the Lord bearing them as on eagles’ wings; see Psalm 103:5 they shall run, and not be weary; in the way of God’s commandments; which shows great affection for them, haste to obey them, delight and pleasure, cheerfulness and alacrity, therein, so as to be without weariness: and they shall, walk, and not faint: in the ways of God, in the name of the Lord, or in Christ, as they have received him; leaning on him, trusting in him, continuing to do so, till they receive the end of their faith, the salvation of their souls; and so shall not sink under their burdens, nor give out till they enjoy it; different persons, though all of them believers, may be here intended; particularly Christians under the Gospel dispensation, tried and exercised by many enemies; some shall soar aloft, and dwell on high; others, though they cannot rise and “fly” so swiftly and strongly, yet shall “run” without weariness; and others, though they can neither fly nor run, yet shall “walk” without fainting.

Passover (1)

Passover (1)

Sung Psalm 114:1-8 (note Exodus theme)

Reading Exodus 12:1-28

The Jewish Feasts

  • Weekly Sabbath
  • Monthly New Moons
  • Annually pilgrimage: Passover, Pentecost, Tabernacles.
  • Other annual: Day of Atonement, Blowing of Trumpets
  • Later: Purim (Esther), Dedication (Hanukkah-2nd century B.C.)

Significance of Passover

  • First historically
  • First in calendar
  • Related to ten plagues and Exodus from Egypt i.e. redemption
  • Trialled by other institutions viz. feast of unleavened bread and dedication of firstborn.
  • Movable (sometimes in next month e.g.Num.9)
  • Most mentioned feast in all of Scripture
  • Helps determine Christ’s ministry timetable (he attended three Passovers during his ministry)
  • Leads to second sacrament (Lord’s Supper)
  • Reveals nature of the cross
  • In Exodus 12 and 13 the number of verses allocated to each of the three aspects of the feast reflects the importance of each: Passover 31, unleavened bread 16, firstborn 6.
  • Passover has much to teach us about what it typifies viz. Christ our Passover.

The Jubilee (4)

Sung Psalm 45:1-6

Read Lev.27:16-25

The freewill offering of land to the priests became cash to the value of the seed required to sow that land. If a man wanted to buy it back he had to add 20% of the cash value but at the jubilee it reverted to the priests. If a man devoted land to the priests that was bought from another man then a cash value was calculated to be given the priesthood and the land reverted to the original owner at jubilee.

Related passages: Numbers 36:1-7. To prevent land leaving Manasseh the daughters of Zelophehad married within their tribe. Jer.32:7. II Chron.36:21. Neh.10:31. Ezek.46:16-18 (c.f. I Sam.8:14)

Another aspect of Jubilee: Deut.15:1-16. The non-exaction of debt among the Jews (but not foreigners).

In Isaiah 61:1, Jubilee was fulfilled partly when the Jews returned from Babylon but ultimately in the coming of Christ who himself said this Scripture was fulfilled as he read it in the synagogue in Nazareth (Luke 4:16-21). Note it included kindness to Gentiles (widow of Zarephath and Naaman the Syrian).

So the real jubilee came by preaching, by faith and by freeing from slavery to sin and the forgiveness of the debt of sin in the New Testament age, the “now” of II Cor.6:2, in which we no more keep days, months or years (Gal.4:9-10) but resort wholly to the person who brought in real jubilee namely Jesus.

” The benefits of Jubilee were squarely based on the atonement, on the shedding of blood in the stead of Israel. Israel did nothing to atone for itself, did nothing to pay. The benefits were simply bestowed upon Israel by sheer divine grace: slaves were released; debtors were freed;land and people had rest. No one did anything to earn liberation. All simply received it as a pure gift.” Prof David J Engelsma in pamphlet entitled “AD 2000: Year of Jubilee by Papal Indulgence or Reformation Gospel.”

Jubilee ppt (click on view slideshow)

The Promise of God

We read of many promises of God (II Peter 1:4) but in essence they are all wrapped up in Jesus Christ-he is the fulfilment of every Promise (II Cor.1:20).

He is the promised Messiah (Gen. 3:15). He fulfils the promises to Abraham of righteousness, multiplied seed, a people who would be redeemed from slavery, a land, and a seed who would bless all nations (Gen.12:2, 15:5,7,13,14 22:18, Acts 26:6, Gal.3:18). He is Abraham’s righteousness (Rom.4:3), gives him seed in great number (all believers) and gives him the inheritance of a new heaven and earth, of which Canaan was a type (Heb.11:8-10). As Abraham’s spiritual children we too inherit all the promises (Heb.6:12-17).

He is the promise of salvation or eternal life (Acts 16:31, 2:39, II Tim.1:1, I John 2:25, Heb.9:15) to all who repent and believe.

The promised Spirit who is poured out is His Spirit (Luke 24:49) who personally enables us to persevere and inherit the promises to come (Heb.10:36). Abraham and the Old Testament faithful looked forward to Christ’s coming but never actually saw it (Heb.11:13,33) we look back on it as history, but whether faith is prospective or retrospective, all are partakers of all the blessings that are wrapped up in him.

The Breaker shall come (Micah 2:13)

“The breaker is come up before them: they have broken up, and have passed through the gate, and are gone out by it: and their king shall pass before them, and the Lord on the head of them.”

 The breaker up is come up before them,…. Not the enemy, either the Assyrian or Chaldean army, but it is best to interpret “the breaker” of Christ himself; so called with respect to his incarnation, being the firstborn that opened the womb, and broke forth into the world in a very extraordinary manner; his birth being of a virgin, who was so both before and after the birth; thus Pharez had his name, which is from the same root, and is of a similar sound with Phorez here, from his breaking forth before his brother, unawares, and contrary to expectation, Genesis 38:29; this agrees with Christ, with respect to his death, when he broke through and vanquished all enemies, sin, Satan, the world, and death; broke through all the troops of hell, and spoiled principalities and powers; and through all difficulties that lay in the way of the salvation of his people; he broke down the middle wall of partition, the ceremonial law which was between Jew and Gentile; and broke off the yoke of sin, Satan, and the law, under which they were, and set them at liberty; and at his resurrection he broke asunder the cords of death, as Samson did his withs as a thread of tow; and at his ascension he broke his way through the regions of the air, and legions of devils there, leading captivity captive, and entered into heaven;  “opening the way” for his people into it; by the ministry of the word, he broke his way into the Gentile world, conquering and to conquer, which was mighty, through God, for the pulling down of strong holds, and reducing multitudes to his obedience; at the conversion of every sinner he breaks open the everlasting doors of their hearts, and enters in; he breaks their rocky hearts in pieces, and then binds up what he has broken; and in the latter day he will break in pieces all his enemies as a potter’s vessel; yea, he will break in pieces and consume all the kingdoms of the earth, which will become like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors: and now he is ascended, or “gone up” to heaven to his Father there, and “before them” his sheep, his people, said to be assembled, gathered and put together; he is ascended as the forerunner of them, to receive gifts for them, and bestow them on them, and to prepare heaven for them, and to make intercession on their behalf; and, as sure as he is gone up, so sure shall they also follow:”

John Gill commentary

This fits well with the verse that describes the means he uses, “Is not my word like as a fire? saith the Lord; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?” Jeremiah 23:29

The Land (13) our inheritance

  • Sung Psalm 16:1-7 (note esp. vv 5,6)
    Reading Ezekiel 48
    This is one of the most obscure chapters in Scripture.
    Points to note:
  • The division of the land is stylized in strips from east to west for each of the twelve tribes.
  • The most important tribes are nearest the centre and those descended from Jacob’s concubines furthest away.
  • In comparison with Joshua’s division, the land size is bigger especially in the north with none on east bank of Jordan.

Ezekiel                                           Joshua

Interpretations: Pre-millennial dispensational. Christ returns to set up a Jewish millennial kingdom in Israel because the detail demands it and it compares with the plans for tabernacle and temple and Joshua’s division. It is literal not allegorical. It is future. The prophets did not speak of the church age.
Amillennial (Reformed) view: There is no literal millennium. We are in the last days now. Ezekiel is prophetic and visionary (40:2) comparable to Zechariah and John’s Revelation. The genealogies are all forgotten-the Jews have no idea of what tribe they are. Any literal millennial kingdom is a retrograde step because God’s people (the church) are not catholic (Jews only), not apostolic (the apostles clearly teach that the OT was written for the church (Acts 15, Rom.15:16, I Cor.10:11, I Pet.1:12), not united and not all holy (ceremonial uncleanness occurs again and the Levites are separated). Also the Mosaic law is changed.
Much in these chapters fit with the new heavens and earth e.g. Trees and river (47:7 c.f. Rev.22:12) and gates (48:31-34 c.f. Rev.21:12-13,25). The key to interpretation is that the prophets portray the glory of the church (in the NT age and age to come) using OT imagery. The Spirit is like oil, wine, harvest, a river. Messiah is the lamb. Our eternal inheritance is the land.
The context: Ezekiel is exiled, he is a priest without a priesthood, the land has been overrun and the people taken captive.

The Land (12)

The Land (Cont)

Sung Psalm 43

Reading Judges 11:12-28

Jephthah recounts the history of Israel in his dispute with the king of Ammon showing that the Land east of the Jordan was rightfully the possession of Israel and for 300 years.

Ruth is the story in which her future mother-in-law Naomi leaves God’s church in Israel along with husband Elimelech and her two sons which resulted in the death of all three men. By grace she is brought back to the land and provided with a godly husband Boaz.

The Gleaners

David (I Sam.26:19) implies that being forced to leave Israel and the temple was actually leaving God’s worship and Psalm 43 may well have been penned under those circumstances when hunted by Saul.

Naboth had his land coveted by Ahab but he knew it being his father’s inheritance stood for his eternal salvation and a place in the new heavens and earth, so he refused to part with it and put his seal on his faith and hope by dying for that inheritance (c.f.Esau).

Ahab and Naboth.

Next week prepare by reading Ezekiel 48 (or 40-48).