Passover, Then and Now

Exodus 12:1-28

God takes this opportunity to instruct Moses on preparing the nation for the final Exodus. He commands each household to take a lamb on the tenth day of the month and bring it into the house. On the fourteenth day, they are to slaughter the lamb and roast it, brushing its blood on the doorposts of their homes. They are to eat the roasted lamb accompanied by bitter herbs and matza, a special unleavened flatbread, while dressed for a journey, with shoes on and walking stick at the ready. The entire lamb must be finished, with any leftovers burned the next morning; therefore, God tells the people families should join together to make sure that there are enough people to consume it. The blood on the doorpost is meant to ensure God passes over the homes of the Israelites during His attack on Egyptian firstborns, set to take place the same night.


God goes on to tell the people that this practice, with some modification, will become part of His worship for all eternity. So that future generations may recall the miracle of the Exodus, Moses tells the people, as per God’s instructions, that from now on, on the anniversary of the Exodus, they are to remove all leavened products from their homes for the duration of seven days. They will bring the Passover lamb as an annual sacrifice and eat the same matza to commemorate the momentous occasion.


God introduces the laws of the Passover lamb by telling Moses that this month should be commemorated for all time as the first month of the year. Yet we know Passover takes place six (and a half) months after the Jewish New Year! As the Israel Bible explains, although the year begins in Tishrei, which in Jewish tradition is the anniversary of creation, the months are numbered from Nissan, when the Exodus took place. In ancient Israel, Nissan was also the point in the year from which kings’ reigns were counted. Nissan holds this significance because it is the birth month of Israel as a nation.


Virtual Classroom Discussion

Why do you think God asks the Israelites to paint lamb’s blood on their doorposts? Surely He knows which homes belong to them! God doesn’t need a sign to differentiate between Israelites and Egyptians, so what purpose would the blood serve?

Comments ( 28 )

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  • Sharon Seay

    It foreshadowed Jesus blood , as the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world

  • Don Harvey

    HASHEM wanted for HIS people to express their faith in HIM, just as HASHEM wants us to express our faith in YESHUA HIS SON. YESHUA HAMASHIACH YASHAYA.

  • Mark funk

    I got to this site because i was directed here from my google search: "How do i remove lamb's blood from my door". You wouldn't believe it, but there are no direct links to sites offering help on this.

  • Wenzel

    When we celebrate Passover now, why don't we put the blood on the door post,
    like the first time?

    • Lunnette Jones

      Disobedience is the first sin that broke our relationship with God. Obedience is better than sacrifice.

      Jesus shed blood fulfilled the law.

    • Don Harvey

      No need for sacrifice since YESHUA was the final sacrifice for all peoples, when HE stated "It is finished" and was risen from the grave conquering death and paying its price for all who believe in HIM and follow HIM in obedience.

  • Shlomenu

    He wants us to be involved in the Geula,to participate

  • Felicia Brooks

    I appreciate your comment! The blood protects us it gives us life. This revelation is sooo deep, amazing how great our God is. Jesus provides us with all we need, He is our covering as long as we stay under the blood. We need to apply the blood to our homes as well as families, in this respect we also take Jesus to be out covering. Hope I explained what revelation has come to me regarding this question. Thank all for letting me share what I feel the Holy Spirit God has shown me. Glory to God, thank you Jesus!

  • Carla Larson-Tucke

    First the blood painted on the lintels was to show obedience to Hashem because He commanded it. The blood was posted to show the people who did not paint their lintels and doors that the painting of the blood in obedience to Hashem was a true sign that the Angel of Death passed them by BECAUSE of their obedience. The final and perhaps most important reason for killing a lamb and painting its blood on the doors was to foreshadow the shedding of the blood of the Lamb of God, Yeshuda, to defeat death forever.

    • Sandy

      Amen! Thank you!

  • The blood has to be applied at the doorposts on the outside of the house. This means that in the house was a family that kept G-ds commandments and did what HaShem asked. They believed and had been faithful. To distinguish one house from another is for G-d not necessary. He knows all. So it was a sign of following G-ds the Egyptian world around. The blood of our people has been spilled long enough, bu also a prophecying declaration to the world: we are the people of the covenant with Avraham. Where Avraham slept during the making of the covenant, so it seemed a one sided covenant. It is as if the israelites now had to show their part. (see also Bereshit 15:12 – 16)

    • Sandra Bangerter

      Thank you for posting. This has been interesting and informative.

  • Lamb blood protected jews from destruction and caharging angel who came to kil egyptians. The passover is also the sign of sacrifiction of jesus Christ the ultimate Lamb and perfect sacrifice.

  • Donna

    I love this SO MUCH!!! And, am learning SO MUCH!!! I didn’t know that the Egyptians worshipped sheep (which also explains why they didn’t like shepherds back in Genesis,) and that just adds even More Dimension to this account, as Aliza points out. As I am reading through this (a mitzvah in itself!!!) I am Understanding that this is such an example of our Free will – given the total ability to choose Blessings or curses, Life or death – I just listened to Rabbi Tuly on Voice of Israel on the Portion of Bo – which is AWESOME!!! and they mentioned that maybe 80% of Hebrews perished during this plague because they didn’t do what God Had Said – something else new I learned. This also implies that any Egyptian that applied the blood of a lamb to their doorposts would also Be Saved…, is this an accurate implication?
    ALL SO VERY Interesting and this Speaks to me SO MUCH!!! The Blessings and Life are ALWAYS through Being Obedient to what God Says = Doing things His Way (that frequently don’t make any sense to us or in the natural,) that He Clearly Proclaims to us, either Directly through His Word, or through His Prophets that are Clearly Moving in His Power. I have Heard 🙂 that the Hebrew Word “Shema” means “to hear,” but there is an action bundled in the hearing – that if there is no action in response to what you have heard, then you haven’t “Heard” at all (please correct me if needed!) So, I am now really seeing this as a God Given Opportunity for all to choose Life, and Blessings, and Deliverance = WOW & HALLELU YAH!!! And, this is the Choice He Puts Before us everyday….
    The Beautiful picture of the New Birth Through the blood of the lamb… Birthing and Delivery/Deliverance are bloody and messy and confusing and painful, BUT it is SO Worth it!!! And, that is ALL God Wants To Do Is To Deliver us from this fallen world and all of it’s bondages… He SO Desires to Bring us ALL Out of Egypt, and this is SUCH an Incredible Picture of that. I am SO enjoying everyone’s comments, questions and insights – and Aliza, you are doing a Fantastic job!!! So, gracious, knowledgeable, on point, and your sweet personality really comes through even in print :).

    • Donna, Thanks so much! I want to comment on something you wrote at the end, about how God wants to bring us all our of Egypt. During the Passover Seder, there is a command that each and every individual must see himself as if he was freed from Egypt. The story of Passover is not just a history lesson, but an opportunity to reflect, each year, on the different aspects in our lives that we have become slaves to. And then, we must connect to God, cling to His commandments, in order to be redeemed, and become free-by becoming servants of God. And yes, births are messy and painful, but they produce such joy. Suffering is followed by redemption, which makes that redemption that much sweeter. The phrase ‘no pain, no gain’ must have been coined in Egypt!

    • 🙂 I love this sharing, thank you.

    • Obedience and faith are truly important.

  • Jesse

    I think the main purpose is as always, showing who hears God and obeys. The warning was given to Israel and Egypt so even the Egyptians could show their faith in their actions, serving as a witness of their true conversion. I think it also serves as a reminder to Pharaoh who refused to allow Israel to sacrifice elsewhere. When the Israelites were sacrificing, they were opening their doors to God’s merciful presence while those who didn’t, invited in his judgment. If the Israelites had been allowed to sacrifice elsewhere, God would not have needed to enter Egypt as he did.

    • Thanks for your comments Jesse! Definitely we ‘prove’ something to ourselves and others when we demonstrate our faith in and commitment to God through action, and not just through the heart or mind. A similar parallel can be drawn to Abraham during the episode of the Binding of Isaac. The story begins with God ‘testing’ Abraham, and commanding him to sacrifice Isaac. What is meant by a test? God knew that Abraham would obey, so why the test? A (good) test is meant as a way for an individual to evaluate themselves through the results. In school, the best teachers give tests that help the students master the information and, through the results, see how much they knew and what they still need to work on. Here, Abraham was being tested to help him (and perhaps the people around him) internalize how strong his faith in God really was. The actions were necessary to reach the end result.

  • Na'ahma

    I believe it’s also a prophecy of a Lamb to come whose sacrificial blood will save those who believe from the eternal wrath of God for our sin and rebellion on that final day of judgment. The Hebrews would have known Someone was coming to save them. This was their first hope of that being fulfilled.

  • Diana Brown

    He is a G-d of Order and not confusion. He gave clear instructions explaining how those behind the blood washed doorposts and thresholds would be saved from the death of the firstborn. He does the saving. We do the believing and act on our belief in Him by faith. Habbakuk the prophet said….”the just shall live by faith.” We do this today as our forefathers did on Pesach when they obeyed the instructions given to them through Moses by HaShem.

  • Drew

    First thought was Life is in the blood (hence the prohibition not to eat it.)

    • There is definitely a connection to blood and life. Ezekiel 16:6 And I passed by you and saw you downtrodden with your blood, and I said to you, ‘With your blood, live,’ and I said to you, ‘With your blood, live.’ Here, the Jewish nation are compared to a newborn covered in blood, and they are told by God that with their blood, they shall live. The sages have explained that the repetition of the phrase indicates the two commandments regarding blood-the pascal sacrifice and ritual circumcision. These two commandments represent the people’s commitment to God.

  • Magda

    I am not sure? would love to hear your comments. I am thinking in terms of sacrifice – the Israelites sacrifice a lamb and the Egyptians – because of Pharao’s hardness of heart and unwillingness to hearken HaShem’s voice – are about to sacrifice their first-borns. The lamb’s blood is a sign of the Israelites’ sacrifice in obedience to haShem’s voice (through Mosheh) – contrary to the Egyptians (and specifically Pharaoh’s) outright rebellion and indifference. God doesn’t need the sign – the Israelites and Egyptians need the sign to once again see and experience how God differentiates between the two nations. But why specifially a lamb?

    • Drew

      Egyptians didnt kill lambs publically apparently.
      a lamb As verse 5 and Deuteronomy 14:4 indicate, Hebrew seh covers both a lamb and a kid
      of the goats.6 In light of the assertion in 8:22, this act broke the code of fear enforced by the Egyptian
      bondage and thereby removed the psychological barrier to liberation. According to a tradition in Shabbat
      87b, that day was a Sabbath, which is one of the reasons adduced for entitling the Sabbath before
      Passover “the Great Sabbath” (Heb. shabbat ha-gadol).

    • Once again, we see the Egyptian gods under attack. The sheep was one of the Egyptian gods. As you said, the sign is not for God, but rather for the people. Humans need actions to solidify their faith in something. When one works or volunteers for a cause, they are likely to believe in that cause even more. So here, we have an incredible test of faith on behalf of the Nation of Israel! They must take the god of their masters, sacrifice it, and publicly demonstrate that they did so, while showing their support for God, by painting the blood on the outside of their home-for all to see! Here, the people are showing that they fear and trust God, more than they fear (and trust) their rulers. I would imagine some people were afraid they would be killed by the Egyptians for following the word of God-and so this was a great test of faith for them.

      • I agree, but also the blood according to Yahweh's Law which is eternal (was and is and will forever be) is representative of atonement. Yahweh has to operate by His principles and hence the Israelites had to operate within these same principles. That blood atoned for their sins and hence sparing their firstborns.

        • Mark funk

          I got to this site because i was directed here from my google search: "How do i remove lamb's blood from my door". You wouldn't believe it, but there are no direct links to sites offering help on this.

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