Exodus Chapter 13

The Israelites began their journey from Egypt, with Moses as their prophet and leader. They had been given some instruction as far as the passover and how to handle the pascal lamb and unleavened bread. This was a time for the Lord to establish His laws with his people, who had been in bondage for over 400 years. The story of the Exodus of the Israelites continues as follows:

1 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
2 Sanctify unto me all the firstborn, whatsoever openeth the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and of beast: it is mine.

The firstborn of both man and beast, were to be sanctified to the Lord.


I’m not sure all the significance of the first born throughout the scriptures, but I do believe that part of the reason for this, was to be a continual reminder of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the firstborn of our Father in Heaven and as such was The Holy One of the Lord. His entire life was sanctified to do the will of His Father. The sacrifices of any firstborn has always seemed to remind us of the sacrifice of God’s firstborn son, Jesus Christ.

3 And Moses said unto the people, Remember this day, in which ye came out from Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for by strength of hand the Lord brought you out from this place: there shall no leavened bread be eaten.
4 This day came ye out in the month Abib.

Moses told the people what he had been told by the Lord. They were to keep the time of deliverance in remembrance. They were to eat unleavened bread in the first month of the year, which was called Abib.

5 And it shall be when the Lord shall bring thee into the land of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, which he sware unto thy fathers to give thee, a land flowing with milk and honey, that thou shalt keep this service in this month.
6 Seven days thou shalt eat unleavened bread, and in the seventh day shall be a feast to the Lord.
7 Unleavened bread shall be eaten seven days; and there shall no leavened bread be seen with thee, neither shall there be leaven seen with thee in all thy quarters.

Moses told the people that they were going to be taken to the land promised to their ancestors, the land of Canaan. When in that land, they were to have the feast of unleavened bread. There was to be no leaven in their homes during the week they did this.

8 And thou shalt shew thy son in that day, saying, This is done because of that which the Lord did unto me when I came forth out of Egypt.
9 And it shall be for a sign unto thee upon thine hand, and for a memorial between thine eyes, that the Lord’s law may be in thy mouth: for with a strong hand hath the Lord brought thee out of Egypt.
10 Thou shalt therefore keep this ordinance in his season from year to year.

The people were to teach their children, that they had this feast to remember the day when the lord delivered them from Egypt. This was an ordinance they would perform to the Lord, to show their remembrance of him and their devotion. This was not something to be done for others to see, but it was to be between God and the people. The footnote for the word memorial, references the Savior’s words to the people of his day, who did many rituals of the law of Moses, without the true devotion to God. They followed the letter of the law, but did not have their hearts in the covenants and promises of the law. We are also hypocrites, if we follow the commandments without turning our hearts to the Lord and being devoted to the cause for the laws.

11 And it shall be when the Lord shall bring thee into the land of the Canaanites, as he sware unto thee and to thy fathers, and shall give it thee,
12 That thou shalt set apart unto the Lord all that openeth the matrix, and every firstling that cometh of a beast which thou hast; the males shall be the Lord’s.
13 And every firstling of an ass thou shalt redeem with a lamb; and if thou wilt not redeem it, then thou shalt break his neck: and all the firstborn of man among thy children shalt thou redeem.

At that time, in the promised land of Canaan, they would set apart the first males of their flocks in this season each year. This would be for their annual sacrifice of the passover.

14 And it shall be when thy son asketh thee in time to come, saying, What is this? that thou shalt say unto him, By strength of hand the Lord brought us out from Egypt, from the house of bondage:
15 And it came to pass, when Pharaoh would hardly let us go, that the Lord slew all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man, and the firstborn of beast: therefore I sacrifice to the Lord all that openeth the matrix, being males; but all the firstborn of my children I redeem.
16 And it shall be for a token upon thine hand, and for frontlets between thine eyes: for by strength of hand the Lord brought us forth out of Egypt.

They were to teach their children of the passover, and how the firstborn in Egypt were slain, so that Pharaoh would let the people of the Lord go. The firstborn children would be redeemed and sanctified through the sacrifice of the firstborn of the flocks.

17 And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt:
18 But God led the people about, through the way of the wilderness of the Red sea: and the children of Israel went up harnessed out of the land of Egypt.
19 And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him: for he had straitly sworn the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you; and ye shall carry up my bones away hence with you.

The Lord, knowing that the Israelites might fear war seen in the land of the Philistines, and want to return to Egypt, led them through the wilderness instead. The footnote for “harnessed” seems to mean that they were prepared to do battle as they traveled through the wilderness. Moses took Joseph’s bones out of Egypt, which fulfilled the desire of Joseph when he was about to die. He had wanted to be buried in the land of his father when the Israelites were free once more.

20 And they took their journey from Succoth, and encamped in Etham, in the edge of the wilderness.
21 And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night:
22 He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.

They journeyed at the edge of the wilderness, and as they went, the Lord led them. He went in front of them in a pillar of cloud during the day, and then a pillar of fire by night. God was there for them continually, to protect them and guide them.

We do not need to continue to practice the law of Moses today, because through the atonement of Jesus Christ, all of the law was fulfilled. Instead, Christ instituted a sacrament, in which we look back to his atonement and remember Him and what He has done for us. These rules for the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and how they were to devote the firstborn to the Lord, were in preparation for the coming of the Savior to the world. We can know now that the Savior did come and went through the atonement for all mankind. Now we partake of the sacrament, to remember what He has already done for us. We need reminders often of this, which is why we are to partake of the sacrament each week. If we do not have this, we will easily forget these things and find ourselves no longer prepared for the eventual second coming of the Lord. I am grateful for the example in this chapter, of the deliverance and protection from the Lord for those who choose to look to Him. We can also have protection and guidance through the power of the Holy Ghost, if we are willing to look to Christ and follow His commandments.

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I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I love the scriptures, but I am not a scriptorian. I've been told that I'm too "deep" for some, but if you are willing, I'd love to have others join me in my quest for a greater understanding of the gospel. Please feel free to leave me comments and hopefully we can help each other to learn.


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