Exodus 13

The believer should retain remembrance of God’s great deliverance and to impress it on the heart,
should use the appointed means for preserving remembrance.
So, under the Gospel, Christ said, “This do in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19).

1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

2 Sanctify unto me all the firstborn, whatsoever openeth the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and of beast: it is mine.

3 ¶ And Moses said unto the people, Remember this day, in which ye came out from Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for by strength of hand the LORD brought you out from this place: there shall no leavened bread be eaten.

4 This day came ye out in the month Abib.

5 ¶ And it shall be when the LORD shall bring thee into the land of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, which he sware unto thy fathers to give thee, a land flowing with milk and honey, that thou shalt keep this service in this month.

6 Seven days thou shalt eat unleavened bread, and in the seventh day shall be a feast to the LORD.

7 Unleavened bread shall be eaten seven days; and there shall no leavened bread be seen with thee, neither shall there be leaven seen with thee in all thy quarters.

8 ¶ And thou shalt shew thy son in that day, saying, This is done because of that which the LORD did unto me when I came forth out of Egypt.

9 And it shall be for a sign unto thee upon thine hand, and for a memorial between thine eyes, that the LORD’S law may be in thy mouth: for with a strong hand hath the LORD brought thee out of Egypt.

10 Thou shalt therefore keep this ordinance in his season from year to year.

11 ¶ And it shall be when the LORD shall bring thee into the land of the Canaanites, as he sware unto thee and to thy fathers, and shall give it thee,

12 That thou shalt set apart unto the LORD all that openeth the matrix, and every firstling that cometh of a beast which thou hast; the males shall be the LORD’S.

13 And every firstling of an ass thou shalt redeem with a lamb; and if thou wilt not redeem it, then thou shalt break his neck: and all the firstborn of man among thy children shalt thou redeem.

14 ¶ And it shall be when thy son asketh thee in time to come, saying, What is this? that thou shalt say unto him, By strength of hand the LORD brought us out from Egypt, from the house of bondage:

15 And it came to pass, when Pharaoh would hardly let us go, that the LORD slew all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man, and the firstborn of beast: therefore I sacrifice to the LORD all that openeth the matrix, being males; but all the firstborn of my children I redeem.

16 And it shall be for a token upon thine hand, and for frontlets between thine eyes: for by strength of hand the LORD brought us forth out of Egypt.

17 ¶ And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt:

18 But God led the people about, through the way of the wilderness of the Red sea: and the children of Israel went up harnessed out of the land of Egypt.

19 And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him: for he had straitly sworn the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you; and ye shall carry up my bones away hence with you.

20 ¶ And they took their journey from Succoth, and encamped in Etham, in the edge of the wilderness.

21 And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night:

22 He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.

Exodus 13:1-16 – The First-born Set Apart unto Jehovah

Two Hebrew customs dated from the Exodus—first, the dedication of the first-born to God’s service, and second, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover must be killed. See Luke 22:7. The first-born had been especially redeemed and so were especially God’s. On them all was branded the one brief word Mine. What a lesson for us all who have been redeemed by the precious blood of Christ. We are His by right of purchase; we ought to be His by our own choice and indwelt by His Spirit. Whenever we take up this position with regard to God, we may count on His strong hand. In after years the first-born sons, who performed the priestly rites, were replaced by Levites, Numbers 3:11-13; but still they were ransomed by a slain lamb. Every first-born son lived because a lamb died. In this he stood on the same level as the firstling of an ass. What a parable is here! See Romans 3:22 and 10:12. —Through the Bible Day by Day

Little things are made important in the Scriptures. This is an apparently out-of-the-way incident. Out of the way! What way? Out of our way, possibly; but what is our way? a little path leading nowhere: a road we have made with which to please ourselves to go up and down upon, and suppose to be the universe. (Joseph Parker)

Exodus 13:14 – By strength of hand the LORD brought us out.

   Four times over in this chapter Moses lays stress on the strong hand with which God redeemed his people from the bondage of Egypt; and we are reminded of “the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe” (Ephesians 1:12-20).
   God’s strong hand reaches down to where we are.—It would have been useless if Israel had been bidden to help itself up to a certain point, God would do the rest. The people were so broken that they could only lie at the bottom of the pit, and moan. God’s hand reached down to touch and grasp them at their lowest. So God’s help is not conditional on our doing something, He will do the rest. When we are without strength, when we have expended our all in vain, when heart and flesh fail then God comes where we are, and becomes the strength of our heart and our portion for ever.
   God’s strong hand is mightier than our mightiest adversaries.—Pharaoh was strong, and held the people as a child may hold a moth in its clenched fist. But a man’s hand is stronger than a child’s, and God’s than Pharaoh’s. So Satan may have held you in bondage; but do not fear him any more, look away to the strength of God’s hand. What can it not do for you?
   We must appropriate and reckon on God’s strong hand.—It is there towards them who believe, as a locomotive may be next a line of carriages; yet there must be a coupling-iron connecting them. So you must trust God’s strength, and avail yourself of it, and yield to it. Remember that his arm is not shortened, nor his hand paralyzed, except our unbelief and sin intercept and hinder the mighty working of his Power. —Our Daily Homily

Exodus 13:17 – 14:9 – The People are Led out and Pursued

There were two routes to Canaan, the nearest through the land of the Philistines; but to take that would have exposed the Hebrews to the very sights that so dismayed the twelve spies. See Numbers 33. They might have had to fight every mile of advance. This would have been too great an ordeal for their young faith. So God, like the mother eagle, bore them on His wings. The Angel who conducted the march in the cloud chariot, led the people about (v. 18). Thus God deals with us still, tempering the wind to the shorn lamb. Patience and faith are still severely tested by the circuitous and laborious route, but when in the afterwards we understand God’s reasons, we are satisfied. There are many lessons learned on the wilderness route. How often God leads us into what seem to be impossible positions, that in our absolute extremity there may be room for Him to work. All is love. See Psalm 136. —Through the Bible Day by Day