St. Mark’s Adult Education Meeting Summary
A General Overview of the Old Testament
A Discussion led by The Rev. Mike Kreutzer
Sunday, February 21, 2010
The Old Testament — Exodus: Chapters 10 – 12
The Lord said to Moses to show your people how I made fools of the Egyptians. This will convince them that I am the Lord. So Moses next went to Pharaoh and told him that a locust plague would come to Egypt if he did not let the Israelites go and worship God. Even the top officials are now convinced to let them go! However, Pharaoh agrees to let the men go, but not the women and children. Of course, this is not acceptable to Moses.
So Moses, (who now has the staff back from Aaron), stretches out the staff and the locust come with the howling east winds. Egypt is devastated and Pharaoh now relents and agrees to let everyone go. So Moses now commands the west wind to blow and the locust disappear into the Red Sea (Sea of Reeds). Then Pharaoh changes his mind once again and this time Moses brings total darkness upon the Egyptian, but the Israelites can still see. When Pharaoh agrees this time he now makes the exception of the herds and flocks. Once again, this is not acceptable.
So the Lord now brings on the final plague that every firstborn son in Egypt shall be slaughtered. The Lord gives instructions to Moses to tell his people to slaughter a lamb and paint its blood on the lintel of your door. They shall also consume it in a very specific way and the leftovers shall be burned. Thus, when the Angels of Death comes, they shall pass over those homes who have followed those instructions.
The festivals of the lamb and bread came from the farmers and the shepherds. So there were also instructions to eat no leavened bread for seven days. John compares Jesus’ death with the sacrifice of the lamb.
The Israelites followed Moses’ instructions and all of the firstborn sons in Egypt were slain. There was a loud wailing from Egypt and finally Pharaoh and the Egyptians told the Israelites to go! In the deal, they also got gold and silver from the Egyptians.
The Bible notes that there were around 600,000 at the beginning of the journey. This is most likely an exaggeration and this number may represent something else, such as the population of Israel during David’s time. It was also shown to be a mixed crowd. Those who came into the nation of Israel took on this story as their own adopted history. All told, the Israelites were in Egypt for 430 years. God even stayed up all night to keep vigil. It also noted that no uncircumcised people shall participate.