Questions about the Passover Feast

Exodus 12 is a chapter which raises a number of questions which are common types of questions applied to many passages in the Old Testament. So hopefully these questions here will not only help in understanding Exodus 12, but other passages also.

Why is there so much detail about this Passover meal in Exodus 12?
This chapter contains the details for later generations of Israel to prepare one of their most important meals of the entire year- like a list of instructions for how to prepare a Christmas dinner for somebody who had never had one before!

Why the blood on the doorpost?
This seemed a rather gory task! But it provided God’s people with a beautiful picture of what Christ’s sacrifice has done for us. We are safe from the judgement of God when we shelter “under the blood of Christ”, and the judgement of God passes over us.

Why the rule about the yeast?
Yeast was commonly used as a metaphor for sin in Bible times.

Why such a harsh punishment for breaking the rule about yeast? (v19) It’s quite possible that the phrase “cut off” does not necessarily refer to execution, but rather excommunication from the congregation. Furthermore, it is likely that these harsh punishments were rarely enforced. Having said this, there really should be little excuse for the Israelites who personally had seen God work such miracles for failing to obey Him in simple instructions like this. Such disobedience would be a sign of willful rebellion against the God who had so powerfully and openly saved them from slavery.

Was God’s judgement on the Egyptians fair? A few things need to be remembered in considering God’s acts of judgements in the OId Testament. Firstly, God is not obliged to give everybody 80 years of life. It is not a moral matter if God should take a life of somebody before they are old. Thus, the death of all the firstborn is not necessarily a judgement on each one of them specifically, but rather a general judgement on the nation of Egypt. As such, it was no different than any natural disaster in which many people have their lives cut short. While we may wrestle with why God allows any such event in the world, this event should be understood in a similar way to a natural disaster. Thus, the general judgement occurred against the nation of Egypt in general, and probably not against all of the specific Egyptians involved.