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HAYDOCK CATHOLIC BIBLE COMMENTARY ON THE OLD TESTAMENT



EXODUS 12

 

CHAPTER XII.

 

Ver. 1.  Said, some time before.  Moses mentions all the plagues together.  M.

 

Ver. 2.  Year, sacred or ecclesiastical, which is most commonly used in Scripture.  The civil year commenced with Tisri, in September, and regulated the jubilee, contracts, &c.  Lapide --- January was the first month to determine the age of trees, and August to decide when cattle became liable to be tithed.  C. xxii. 29.  Levit. xix. 23.  C. --- Before the captivity, the months were not styled Nisan, &c. but abib, (C. xiii. 4,) the first...Bul the 11th, (1 K. vi.), &c.  Sa.

 

Ver. 3.  Children; a word which has been dropped in the printed Heb. and in the Chaldee, which has been assimilated to it, though found still in some MSS. and in the Sam. Sept. Syr. and Arab. versions.  Ken. --- Day.  This regarded only the present occasion.  Jonathan. --- The Jews no longer eat the paschal lamb, as they are banished from Chanaan.  C. --- Man, who has a family sufficient to eat a lamb; Heb. se, which means also a kid, (as either was lawful, v. 13,) and perhaps also a calf.  Deut. xvi. 2.

 

Ver. 4.  Less.  Moses does not specify the number.  But in never comprised fewer than ten, nor more than twenty, in which number Menoch does not think women or children are comprised.  The Jews satisfied the inquiry of Cestius, concerning the multitude which might be assembled at the paschal solemnity, by allowing ten for every victim; and finding that 250,600 victims had been sacrificed in the space of two hours, they concluded 2,700,000 people were collected at Jerusalem.  Josep. Bel. vii. 16.

 

Ver. 5.  Lamb.  Heb. se, which denotes the young of either sheep or goats.  Kimchi.  He who had not a lamb, was to sacrifice a kid.  Theodoret. --- A kid.  The Phase might be performed, either with a lamb or with a kid; and all the same rites and ceremonies were to be used with the one as with the other.  Ch. --- Many have asserted, that both were to be sacrificed.  But custom decides against them.  All was to be perfect, Momim, as even the pagans required; (Grotius) and God (Lev. xxii. 22,) orders the victims in general must have no fault.  The Egyptians rejected them, if they were even spotted, or twins. --- A male, as all holocausts were to be.  Pagans gave the preference to females.  C. --- One year, not older, though it would do if above eight days old.  M. --- The paschal lamb prefigured Jesus Christ, who has redeemed us by his death, being holy, set apart, and condescending to feed us with his sacred person, in the blessed Eucharist.  Here we eat the lamb without breaking a bone, though we take the whole victim.  Jo. xix. 36.  1 Cor. v. 7.  C. --- To fulfil this figure, Christ substituted his own body, and, making his apostles priests, ordered them to continue this sacrifice for ever.  He came to Jerusalem on the 10th day of Nisan, on Sunday.  He gave himself to his disciples on the evening of the 14th, and died at noon on the 15th.  The unleavened bread, and the cup, (Lu. xxii. 17,) clearly denoted the blessed Sacrament, which was ordered to be eaten in the house or church of God.  S. Cyp. Unit.  See S. Greg. hom. 22. in Evang.   Tert. c. Marc. iv.  "The bread he made his own body."  If, therefore, the truth must surpass the figure, surely the blessed Sacrament must be more than bread and wine; otherwise it would yield in excellence and signification to the paschal lamb.  W.

 

Ver. 6.  Sacrifice, not simply kill, as the Protestants would have it.  W. --- Evening.  Heb. "between the two evenings," or "suns," according to the Chaldee, alluding to the sun when it declines and when it sets, including about the space of two hours.  This time belonged to the evening of the 14th, at which time the lamb was to be sacrificed, though it was to be eaten in the night, which pertained to the 15th.  M. --- The Jews began the day at sun-set, and some began the first evening soon after mid-day.  Matt. xiv. 15. and seq.  C.

 

Ver. 7.  Houses.  Those who joined their neighbours to eat the paschal lamb, were therefore to continue with them that night, if they would escape destruction, v. 23.  M.

 

Ver. 8.  Unleavened, in testimony of innocence, 1 Cor. v. 7.  The priests of Jupiter did the like.  Servius. --- Lettuce, or some "bitter herbs."  Heb. and Sept.  The Jews allow of five sorts.

 

Ver. 9.  Raw.  Some nations delighted in raw flesh, in the feasts of Bacchus, who hence received the title of Omadios.  Porphyr. de Abstin. 3.  The Heb. term na occurs no where else, and may perhaps signify half-roasted or boiled, semicoctum.  It cannot be inferred from this prohibition, that the Hebrews commonly lived on such food. --- In water, as the other victims usually were, 1 K. ii. 13.  2 Par. xxxv. 13. --- You shall eat, is not in the original, nor in the Sept.  We may supply it, however, or "you shall roast all, head," &c. but in eating, you shall avoid breaking any bone, as the Sept. and Syr. express it, (v. 10,) and as we read, v. 46, and Num. ix. 12.  These were to be burnt, that they might not be profaned.  C.

 

Ver. 11.  Haste, as all the aforesaid prescriptions intimate.  M. --- Many of them regarded only this occasion, and were not required afterwards. --- Phase, which the Chaldee writes Pascha, signifies the passing over (C.) of the destroying angel, when he spared those houses only which were marked with blood, to insinuate the necessity of faith in Christ's death.  Some have derived the word from the Greek Pascho, "to suffer," on account of the similarity of sound.  H.

 

Ver. 12.  First-born, often denotes the most beloved; or, when spoken of those under oppression, the most miserable.  Is. xiv. 30.  Ps. lxxxvii. 27.  Moses observes, (v. 30,) that every house had one dead, which would not probably be true of the first-born, taken in a literal sense; but where there was no child, there the most dear and honourable person was cut off.  Hab. iii. 13. 14. --- Gods, idols, whose statues some assert were overthrown (S. Jer. ep. ad Fabiol.  Euseb. præp. ix. ult.); or sacred animals, which were adored by the Egyptians; (Origen) or the word may imply that the princes and judges of the land would be mostly destroyed.  C. --- Forbes observes, that by the destruction of the first-born, all the proper sacrifices, and priests of Egypt, were destroyed.

 

Ver. 14.  This day.  The Jews assert, that as their fathers were delivered out of Egypt on the 15th of Nisan, so Israel will be redeemed on that day by the Messias; which has been literally verified in Jesus Christ. --- Everlasting.  This is what will be done with respect to our Christian passover, (C.) of which the Jewish was a figure, designed to subsist as long as their republic.  M.

 

Ver. 15.  Perish, either by sudden death, or by forfeiting all the prerogatives of God's people; (v. 19) or, his offense shall be deemed mortal.  See Gen. xvii. 14.  The punishment of Kerith, separation, among the Jews, bore some resemblance to our excommunication.  These menaces presuppose, that the law is possible, and that the land of Chanaan be in the possession of the Jews.  Thus, the people who were not circumcised during the 40 years' sojournment in the desert, were not liable to this punishment of separation, as they knew not when the cloud would move, and they would have to march.

 

Ver. 16.  Eating.  On the sabbath, meat was not even to be prepared.  C. xvi. 23.  During the five intermediate days, any work might be done.

 

Ver. 17.  Bread.  Heb. matsoth.  But the Sam. and Sept. read Motsue, precept, or ordinance.  C.

 

Ver. 18.  Unleavened bread.  By this it appears, that our Saviour made use of unleavened bread, in the institution of the blessed Sacrament, which was on the evening of the paschal solemnity, at which time there was no unleavened bread to be found in Israel.

 

Ver. 19.  Stranger.  Heb. ger, signifies also a proselyte.  M.  See v. 43. --- Only those men who had been circumcised were allowed to eat the Phase.  Women, belonging to the Hebrews, might partake of it.  The unclean were excluded.  C.

 

Ver. 22.  Hyssop; Heb. ezob: which some translate rosemary.  M. --- Sprinkle, &c.  This sprinkling the doors of the Israelites with the blood of the paschal lamb, in order to their being delivered from the sword of the destroying angel, was a lively figure of our redemption by the blood of Christ. Ch. --- S. Jerom, in Is. lxvi. says the doors were to be sprinkled in the form of a cross.

 

Ver. 24.  Children; twelve years old.  Lu. ii. 42.  M. --- Ever.  Sam. adds, "in this month."

 

Ver. 27.  Victim, sacrificed upon the altar, in honour of the passage, &c.  It was a true "sacrifice of propitiation," as the Arab. translates, and of thanksgiving.  C.

 

Ver. 30.  Pharao, who it seems was not the eldest son.  Where the first-born of a family had a son, both were consigned to destruction.  M.

 

Ver. 32.  Bless me, by exposing me to no further danger by your stay.

 

Ver. 34.  Leavened; which dough afterwards made unleavened ember-cakes.  Heb. "and misharoth (a word which the Vulg. does not translate) provisions" of flour, &c. v. 39.  Josep. ii. 6. --- This flour might be tied up in their cloaks, as they were only square pieces of cloth.  Ruth iii. 15.  C.

 

Ver. 36.  The Egyptians, who afterwards, pursuing them unjustly, put it out of their power to restore, if they had not been otherwise dispensed with by God.  H.

 

Ver. 37.  Ramesse.  The first of the 42 stations or encampments of the Hebrews.  M. --- Socoth, or tents, perhaps the scenæ of Antoninus, or the Mischenot, mentioned C. i. 11. --- About. Moses does not speak with such precision, as after the people had been numbered, and were found, 13 months after, to be 603,550 men, without the Levites, or those under 20 years.  C. --- Women and old men, and Egyptians, who joined their company, might make them amount to three millions.  M.

 

Ver. 40.  Egypt.  Sam. and Sept. add, "and in the land of Chanaan, they and their fathers," dating from the departure of Abraham from Haran in his 75th year; from which period, till Jacob's going into Egypt, 215 years elapsed.  Kennicott produces this instance, as a proof that the Hebrew text is defective: Dis. 1. p. 399.  Josephus ii. 15.  S. Aug. q. 47. and others, admit this addition as genuine; which, however we have observed on Genesis, is rejected by Ayrolus, Tournemine, &c.  H.

 

Ver. 42.  Observable, in which the Lord has been our sentinel and preserver.  Vatab.

 

Ver. 48.  Dwell, or become a proselyte, by circumcision, if a male; or by baptism, if a female; receiving a sort of new-birth.  Jo. iii. 10.  The Jews would not suffer any to dwell among them, who would not observe the seven precepts given to Noe.  Gen. ix.  But the proselytes of justice embraced the Jewish religion.  C.

 

 








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