When I read the story of the Passover in the book of Exodus, questions arose in my mind pertaining to some very specific instructions the LORD gave to Moses regarding the preparation of the "passover lambs" they were instructed to eat that night. From my analysis, below, I have concluded that there was something done to these lambs prior to them being eaten, and whatever it was immunized the Israelites from a kind of biological weapon that was used against Egypt that night, killing the firstborn humans and beasts
of all of Egypt except the Israelites, who were "passed over". Here's the story, from the book of Exodus, interspersed with my comments:
Exodus 12:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt saying, 12:2 This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you.
12:3 Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, 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: 12:4 And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb.
12:5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: 12:6 And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening.
It is curious that the lambs were to be taken inside the house, to reside there with the family for four days in advance of the event. What possible reason could there be for this? Since it is my contention that something was done to them, perhaps what was done to them was accomplished during these four days. And I'm suggesting that the angels did this, invisibly.
Why must the lamb must be "without blemish"? The Hebrew for "without blemish
" is a single word meaning complete, whole, entire, sound.
The health and purity of the animal may have been important with regard to its ability to serve as the carrier of the the immunization agent.
12:7 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.
This is the part everyone remembers about the story. The implication is that the LORD was going to go door to door and kill the firstborn in each household, but would pass over any door that had the blood painted on it. We are taught that the blood on the doors is what protected the Israelites, not the eating of the lambs. I have come to believe, however, that the eating of the lambs was the primary protection, and the blood over the doors was a secondary step: if the lamb's blood contained some special agent, as i contend it did, it may be that the blood would fluoresce under special lighting, or something along that line, such that the angels could detect which homes to skip, or "pass over".
12:8 And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. 12:9 Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof.
This is a very key passage in support of my theory. There are many specific instructions here, none of which have any immediately obvious purpose. First, why does the LORD care how they cook it? He specifically instructs them: do not boil
the meat; roast it. There must be a good reason for this, but what is it? Well, as I stated earlier, I think something had been done to these lambs, and I suspect that boiling the meat would have rendered whatever was done to them ineffective. He also specifically warns them: do not eat it raw
. This is another indication that something was done to them to make the meat harmful if eaten raw. Next, the bread must be unleavened
. Would the leaven have interfered with the intended effect of the meat? Finally, what are the "bitter herbs
"? Easton's Bible Dictionary says no one knows what exactly they were. What was their purpose in this meal? Jewish tradition speculates that they symbolize the bitterness of their lives in bondage in Egypt. I'll speculate too: I think they had a chemical purpose.
Also notice the reference to the head, legs, and entrails ("the purtenance
thereof"). He's saying to be sure to roast those parts too, but why? This seems like it might have something to do with the next verse, which admonishes them to leave nothing of the beast remaining in the morning:
12:10 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.
Why does the LORD want there to be no leftovers
in the morning? How could that have any importance at all, since they were about to flee Egypt anyway? The previous instruction,
Exodus 12:4 And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb.
also seems to speak to this concern about leftovers: if there aren't enough people in the house to eat a whole lamb, then share one lamb with another household. He didn't want much left over, and any leftovers must be burned
. Why? This sounds a lot like destruction of evidence
to me. If the meat was specially treated, and if this was something the LORD didn't want any 'other gods' to know about, then maybe that's why he instructed them to burn the evidence.
12:11 And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the LORD's passover.
This is another key verse because it says that that which they ate
is the passover. Not the blood over the door, the meat itself.
12:12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD.
It is interesting that here the LORD is saying that that he is executing judgment "against all the gods of Egypt" by killing the firstborn of all in the land. Clearly these were real gods, otherwise there would be no one to execute judgment against.
Another curious thing here is that he smote the firstborn of not just man but beast also, for some odd reason. I wonder, were the beasts intentional or merely an unintentional but acceptable side effect of the weapon used?
In conclusion, it is my contention that the eating of the lambs was what truly preserved the Israelites that night, because there was something done to the lambs during the four days they were inside the house prior to the event. And whatever was done to them caused the meat to act as an immunization which spared their lives.
Jesus as the Passover Lamb
If I am correct that it was primarily the eating of the lamb which preserved their lives, it becomes clear why Jesus said:
John 6:54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
Some who heard him say this were baffled, and called this a "hard saying". They didn't understand that he was drawing a parallel between himself and the Passover lamb. The Israelites escaped physical death by eating those special lambs. Jesus is saying to escape spiritual death, eat of him. And as the following verses suggest, to 'eat' of him is to listen to and be nourished by his words:
John 6:62 What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
Matthew 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God..
Note also that Jesus was crucified on Passover, and he died at 3pm, the exact time at which the passover lamb was customarily slaughtered . It would appear this was by design, to emphasize the correlation between Jesus and the Passover lamb. And just as the lambs had to die before they could be consumed, so too did Jesus, as he said concerning his death:
John 12:23 And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified.
12:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.
John 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
While contemporary Christianity continues to stress that Jesus died for our sins, as if that somehow made perfect sense (see The History of Sacrifice
), we can see from this analysis that the bible itself also gives us an alternative view: that by his ascension to heaven, he became available to all men as spiritual food, and that it is his living spirit in us, not his shed blood, which makes us suitable for the kingdom. In this way, it would seem to me, he does indeed 'bringeth forth much fruit'.
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