A-Z: Famous stories from the Bible: The first Passover

Definition

God sent Moses the Israelite to the Egyptian Pharaoh to warn him about the last plague. In it, every first-born son of Egyptian families would die. God predicted that the Egyptians would be so glad to see the Israelites leave that they would send them away with riches. But Pharaoh refused to give in.

So God told Moses how his people (the Israelites) were to prepare for The first passoverthe plague. Each family was to get dressed ready for a journey, then eat a meal of lamb, with bitter herbs and unleavened bread. They were to daub blood from the lamb onto the doorposts of their homes. When the angel bringing death to the Egyptians came, he would pass over these houses, sparing the sons within. This was the first Passover for the Israelites. 

During that night, every first-born son of the Egyptians died, but the Israelites were safe. (Each year, God said, they were to commemorate this event, eating unleavened bread to recall that they had no time to allow the bread to rise before they set off – See Big Ideas: Passover). There was great mourning throughout the land and the Egyptians begged the Israelites to leave quickly. Moses led them out, towards the Red Sea. God guided them by a pillar of cloud during the day and by a pillar of fire at night. The Israelites were leaving after 430 years in Egypt. However, then Pharaoh changed his mind again. 

The story illustrates:

  • God protects his people and delivers them from slavery
  • God’s people are to remember and celebrate what he has done for them.

Bible References

Exodus 11:1-10, Exodus 12:1-51, Exodus 13:1-22
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