Old Testament Lesson 14 (Exodus 7–13)
March 27–April 2

INTRODUCTION

  • Exodus 7:2–3, 7, 13   Moses was appointed to give the word of the Lord to Pharaoh, with Aaron as his spokesperson. Moses was 80 years old at this time, and Aaron was 83.
  • Exodus 7:3–5   The Lord predicted that Pharaoh would harden his heart, resulting in many plagues and wonders in Egypt, that “the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I stretch forth mine hand upon Egypt (v. 5).
  • The Plagues of Egypt
  • Exodus 7:9–12  Turning Aaron’s rod into a serpent. When Pharaoh asked for a miracle Aaron threw down his rod and it became a serpent. Pharaoh called forth his own sorcerers and magicians and when they threw down their rods they also became serpents. So Pharaoh hardened his heart.
  • Exodus 7:15–22  Turning the water to blood. Aaron was commanded to touch the water of the river with his rod, whereupon the water was “turned to blood,” causing all the fish to die and a great stink to arise. All of the surrounding streams, ponds, and pools were also turned to blood along with the water in their vessels of wood and stone. Once again, Pharaoh called forth his magicians and they did the same thing, and he hardened his heart again Moses and Aaron.

Plagues of Frogs, Lice, and Flies

  • Exodus 8:1–15  A plague of frogs. One week later, the Lord sent a plague of frogs upon the land, which entered into their houses and beds, their ovens and kneading troughs. When Pharaoh asked Moses to remove the frogs, he did, and all of the dead frogs were heaped up upon the land causing another great stink.
  • Exodus 8:16–24  A plague of flies and lice. Due to the many dead fish and frogs, great swarms of flies descended upon Egypt, laying eggs which became a plague of lice upon every man and beast. However, no such plague of flies or lice descended upon the land of Goshen where the children of Israel lived.
  • Exodus 8:25–32  Once again Pharaoh begged Moses to remove the plague of flies and lice. He swore to Moses that he would not change his mind this time, but just as soon as the flies and lice were removed, he again broke his word and would not let them go.
  • A Plague Upon All Animals
  • Exodus 9:1–7  A plague came upon all horses, asses, camels, and oxen in Egypt. But none of these animals died among the Israelites. Still, Pharaoh hardened his heart and he would not let the Israelites go.

Boils and Blains

  • Exodus 9:8–12  Boils and blains broke forth upon all men and beasts in Egypt. This time, the magicians could not duplicate the sign because “the boil was upon the magicians, and upon all the Egyptians.” Still, Pharaoh would not let Israel go.

A Plague of Illness

  • Exodus 9:13–16  A plague upon on the people of Egypt, which caused many of them to die.

A Plague of Hail, Lightning, and Thunder

  • Exodus 9:17–27  A plague of hail and of fire (thunder and lightning). Next, the Lord sent forth a mighty hail upon the land, forcing everyone to seek shelter in their homes so that they would not die. The hail also destroyed their crops and their trees, but in the land of Goshen there was no hail. Pharaoh swore he would let Israel go, but once again did not keep his word.

Locusts and Thick Darkness

  • Exodus 10:3–20  A plague of locusts. Locusts came upon the land, so thick that they covered the whole earth, devouring every herb of the field and every fruit of the trees so that there was not any green thing throughout all of Egypt.
  • Exodus 10:21–27  Darkness over the land of Egypt. A thick darkness that could be “felt” covered all of Egypt for three days. The people “saw not one another, neither rose any from his place for three days: but all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings” (v. 23). Still, Pharaoh would not let the Israelites go, and commanded Moses and Aaron to “see my face no more; for in that day . . . thou shalt die” (v. 28). Moses agreed, telling Pharaoh that he would see his face no more (v. 29).

The Great Final Plague: Death of the Firstborn

  • Exodus 11:1, 4–6; 12:29–31  The firstborn of all Egypt died in the night as this curse came upon every Egyptian home.

The Plagues of Egypt
Exodus 7–12

             Plague                                                                              Result among Egyptians                                                  Result among Israelites

  1. Water was turned to blood (Exodus 7:20)                        The fish died, so the river stank (Exodus 7:21).                    Not mentioned.
  2. Frogs (Exodus 8:6)                                                                 All the frogs died, so the land stank (Exodus 8:13-14).      Not mentioned.
  3. Lice [swarms of gnats or maggots] (Exodus 8:17)          All men and animals were infected (Exodus 8:17).              Not mentioned.
  4. Flies (Exodus 8:24n)                                                             The land was corrupted (Exodus 8:24n).                              Goshen was spared (Exodus 8:21-23).
  5. “Grievous murrain” (cattle plague) (Exo. 9:3, 6n)          The cattle died (Exodus 9:6n).                                                 Israel was spared  (Exodus 9:6n)
  6. Boils (Exodus 9:10)                                                               All the Egyptians had boils (Exodus 9:11).                             Not mentioned.
  7. Hail and fire (lightnings) (Exo. 9:18, 23-24)                   Plant life was smitten and trees were broken (Exo.9:25).  There was no hail in Goshen (see Exodus 9:26).
    Some Egyptians found refuge (Exodus 9:20)
  8. Locusts (Exodus 10:13-14)                                                  The land was darkened and not any green thing                   Not mentioned.
    remained (Exodus 10:15)
  9. Thick darkness for three days (Exodus 10:22)               The people could not see one another (Exodus 10:23).       Israel was protected; “they “had light
    in their dwellings” (Exodus 10:23)
  10. The firstborn were killed (Exo. 11:5-7; 12:29)                Every house in Egypt was smitten with death:                       The obedient in Israel were spared.
    the firstborn of men and of animals died
    (Exodus 12:30)
  • Exodus 12:1–28  Some of the Israelites—those who did not heed Moses’ instructions —also died.
  • Exodus 12:32–33  This was the final stroke that broke the will of Pharaoh to resist Jehovah. The Pharaoh and the Egyptians were now anxious for Israel to leave them.
  • Exodus 12:34–36  The Israelites “borrowed” [plundered with permission] everything they wanted or needed—including much of the wealth (gold, silver, jewels, etc) of Egypt.
  • Exodus 32:1–4, 22–24  The Israelites seem to have taken great wealth with them. Probably some of these spoils were later used in the construction of the golden calf and in the building of the tabernacle.
  • Genesis 15:14  The wealth of the Egyptians also fulfilled the promise given to Abraham that the children of Israel would “come out with great substance.”

THE FIRST PASSOVER

The deliverance of the house of Israel from bondage is not only one of history’s most dramatic events, but it is also full of symbolic significance for the Saints of all times.

  • Exodus 12:1–2  The “Passover” became the marking of their new calendar and the current month— Nisan—became the first month of their new year. The month Nisan begins on March 21st of our modern calendar, the spring equinox.
  • Exodus 12:3–6; Revelation 5:6  The lamb is a representation of Christ himself.
  • Alma 34:10–11  His slaying represents the “infinite and eternal” sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
  • 1 Peter 1:19, v. 5  The lamb was to be a male without blemish, as was Christ. The Savior is the firstborn Son of God, the Lamb of God without spot or blemish. Note that a goat could also be used.
  • v. 6  They were to kill the lamb and eat it on the 14th day of Nisan—April 4th on our calendar—at evening.
  • Exodus 12:7  The doorposts in Israelite culture represent the daily acts of their lives.
  • D&C 45:4–5  The blood of the lamb marking the door signified who should be spared (“atone” means to “‘cover”). It is the blood of the spotless Lamb (Christ) that can spare them (and us) from both physical and spiritual death.
  • Exodus 12:8; 2 Nephi 31:13–17  Roasting the meat with fire symbolizes the purifying work of the Holy Ghost and the baptism of fire.
  • The unleavened bread symbolized the coming Lord as the bread of life without any impurity. Leaven, or yeast, was seen anciently as a symbol of corruption because it so easily spoiled and turned moldy. . . .
  • John 6:35  The removal of leaven also suggested repentance or the removal of sin from our lives.
  • The bitter herbs represented the bitterness of their bondage in Egypt, and also the suffering and bitterness of soul resulting from willful rebellion against God.
  • Exodus 12:9–10  The lamb was to remain whole and entirely consumed and/or burned with fire.
  • Exodus 12:46  No bone of the Lamb was to be broken. This is one of the fascinatingly precise details of the Lord’s crucifixion. No bone was broken, though this was a normal procedure for crucified persons (John 19:31–36).
  • Exodus 12:11  Loins girded, shoes on, and staffs in hand symbolize the need to be ready to do the Lord’s will immediately, including their pending journey out of Egypt. They were also to eat this meal “in haste” (in a hurry).
  • Exodus 12:12–13  The angel of death passing over represents the saving work of the Atonement providing deliverance from spiritual death through the blood of the Lamb.
  • Exodus 12:14, 21–28  The Passover was to be a perpetual celebration forever, but at the Last Supper, the Savior instituted the sacrament in place of the Passover (Matt.26:19, 26–28).
  • Exodus 12:43–47  Only Israelites (members of the Church) were to partake of the Passover.

THE EXODUS

Date and Size of the Exodus

  • Passover Date: 14th of Nisan – 14 days after March 21st.
    April 4th on our calendar – Day Christ was crucified.
  • Exodus Date: 16th of Nisan – 16 days after March 21st.
    April 6th on our calendar – Day Christ was resurrected.
  • Exodus 12:37–38  About 600,000 men—which means only the males 20 years and older—left Egypt in a mass migration of the children of Israel. If this number is accurate, then the total company could easily have been over 2 million people. Some Bible scholars believe that the number was exaggerated by a power of 10, making the number 60,000 men, or 200,000 individuals. Either way, it was a lot of people to be moving together through the wilderness.
  • The “mixed multitude” refers to people of other nationalities who attached themselves to the Israelites and accompanied them in the Exodus (v. 38).

Led by Fire and a Cloud

  • Exodus 12:51  Israel departed from Egypt.
  • Exodus 13:1–2, 11–16  The Lord asked for the firstborn of all Israelite families to be devoted to His work.
  • President John Taylor said, “The Lord . . . , having saved the lives of all the first-born of Israel, made a claim upon them for their services in His cause. . . . It was through the propitiation and atonement alone that the Israelites were saved . . . Hence the Lord claimed those that He saved as righteously belonging to Him . . . But afterwards, as shown in [Numbers 3:12–13]; He accepted the tribe of Levi in lieu of the first-born of Israel; and as there were more of the first-born than there were of the Levites, the balance had to be redeemed with money, which was given to Aaron . . . [Numbers 3:50–51.l”1
  • Exodus 13:9–10  The Lord gave a commandment to bind the sign on the hand and between the eyes. This is what led to the use of phylacteries by devout Jews.
  • Exodus 13:17–20  The route of the Exodus. They would have had a short journey had they been ready to follow the coastal route through Philistine lands to Canaan. But their faith was not yet sufficient, and the Lord led them in a different direction toward the Mount of God.
  • Exodus 13:21–22  God led Israel in the wilderness with a pillar of a cloud, and by night in a pillar of fire.

Notes:

  1. Mediation and Atonement, 108.
Comments