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Christ In Type And Prophecy: Volumes 1&2 by Rev. A.J. Maas S.J.

Ex. 12:1–20; 43–49

1. CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF THE PASSAGES.—The inspired writer narrates in ch. 12, 13 the institution of the Passover and of the feast of unleavened bread. The death of the first-born of the Egyptians and the journey of the Israelites from Rameses to Succoth are also mentioned. Prof. Driver (Literature of the Old Testament, p. 25) is of opinion that a double treatment is especially evident in these passages. He gives the following division: a. 12:1–13 (Passover); 14–20 (Mazzoth or unleavened cakes); 28, 38a, 40–42, 51 (narrative); 43–50 (Passover); 13:1 f. (first-born). b. 12:21–27 (Passover); 29–36, 37b–38 (narrative, continuation of 11:4–8); 39, 13:3–10 (unleavened cakes); 11–16 (first-born). The former narrative exhibits throughout the marks of Priest-codex, the later those of Jehovist and Elohist. It will appear in the commentary that it is not necessary to assign the two series of commands and narratives classified under a and b to different authors; it is quite sufficient to consider the one a promulgation or a practical execution of the other.

2. MESSIANIC CHARACTER OF THE PASSAGES.—a. The typical nature of the paschal lamb is beyond dispute in the light of the New Testament fulfilment. We need only place side by side the passage referring to the type and the corresponding New Testament fulfilment in order to be convinced of this statement. Ex. 12:3 reads: “Speak ye to the whole assembly of the children of Israel, and say to them: On the tenth day of this month let every man take a lamb by their families and houses.” St. John (1:29) relates the counterpart: “The next day John saw Jesus coming to him, and he saith: Behold the lamb of God, behold him who taketh away the sin of the world.” Besides, it is well known that if we place Good Friday on the fifteenth day of Nisan, the first Palm Sunday fell on the tenth day of the same month, so that the lamb of God was actually set aside as it were on the day of his solemn entry into Jerusalem.

Again Ex. 12:5 enjoins: “And it shall be a lamb without blemish …” St. Peter (1 Pet. 1:18, 19) has written the Christian commentary to this commandment: “Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things as gold or silver, from your vain conversation of the tradition of your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb unspotted and undefiled.”

Ex. 12:6 reads: “And you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month, and the whole multitude of the children of Israel shall sacrifice it in the evening.” St. Mark says: “And it was the third hour, and they crucified him” (15:25). With this passage may be compared Mark 15:33, 34, where darkness is said to have come over the whole earth at the sixth hour, and where Jesus is said to have cried out with a loud voice at the ninth. If the Friday on which Jesus died fell on the fourteenth day of Nisan, as several authors contend, the time of his death coincided with the sacrifice of the paschal lamb, and his rejection in the temple during Holy Week coincided practically with the time at which they set aside the paschal lamb.

Ex. 12:7: “And they shall take of the blood thereof, and put it upon both the side posts, and on the upper door posts of the houses, wherein they shall eat it.” St. Paul (Heb. 12:22, 24) gives the Christian application of this passage: “But you are come to mount Sion, and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to the company of many thousands of angels, and to the Church of the first-born, who are written in the heavens, and to God the judge of all, and to the spirits of the just made perfect, and to Jesus the mediator of the New Testament, and to the sprinkling of blood which speaketh better than that of Abel.”

Ex. 12:8: “And they shall eat the flesh that night roasted at the fire, and unleavened bread with wild lettuce.” St. Paul (1 Cor. 5:7, 8) is again our Christian commentator of this passage: “Purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new paste, as you are unleavened. For Christ our pasch is sacrificed. Therefore let us feast, not with the old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”

Ex. 12:46: “In one house shall it be eaten, neither shall you carry forth of the flesh thereof out of the house, neither shall you break a bone thereof.” Num. 9:12 repeats the injunction that no bone of the paschal lamb must be broken. John 19:36 gives us the corresponding fulfilment in the antitype: “For these things were done that the scripture might be fulfilled: You shall not break a bone of him.”

b. Here is the place to notice Prof. Bickell’s little work on “The Lord’s Supper and the Passover Ritual” (Translated by W. F. Skene, Edinburgh, T. T. Clark, 1891). The learned author shows that the ceremonies of the sacrificial part of the Mass agree substantially with the ceremonies which our Lord must have observed during the last supper, and in particular with those rites of the last supper in which he instituted the Holy Eucharist. If then the Passover is a type of the sacrifice of Christ, as we have proved it to be, it is also a type of the Eucharistic sacrifice of the Mass. Not as if the Eucharistic sacrifice were a bloody sacrifice; but both the Eucharist and the paschal lamb are necessarily connected with a sacrificial meal.

EX. 12:1–20

And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt: This month shall be to you the beginning of months; it shall be the first in the months of the year. Speak ye to the whole assembly of the children of Israel, and say to them: On the tenth day of this month let every man take a lamb by their families and houses. But if the number be less than may suffice to eat the lamb, he shall take unto him his neighbor that joineth to his house, according to the number of souls which may be enough to eat the lamb. And it shall be a lamb without blemish, a male, of one year, according to which rite also you shall take a kid. And you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month, and the whole multitude of the children of Israel shall sacrifice it in the evening. And they shall take of the blood thereof, and put it upon both the side posts, and on the upper door posts of the houses wherein they shall eat it. And they shall eat the flesh that night roasted at the fire, and unleavened bread with wild lettuce. You shall not eat thereof anything raw, nor boiled in water, but only roasted at the fire; you shall eat the head with the feet and entrails thereof. Neither shall there remain anything of it until morning. If there be anything left, you shall burn it with fire. And thus you shall eat it: you shall gird your reins, and you shall have shoes on your feet, holding staves in your hands, and you shall eat in haste; for it is the Phase [that is, the Passage] of the Lord. And I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and will kill every first-born in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments; I am the Lord. And the blood shall be unto you for a sign in the houses where you shall be, and I shall see the blood, and shall pass over you; and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I shall strike the land of Egypt.

And this day shall be for a memorial1 to you, and you shall keep it a feast to the Lord in your generations with an everlasting observance. Seven days shall you eat unleavened bread:1 in the first day there shall be no leaven in your houses; whosoever shall eat any thing leavened, from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall perish out of Israel. The first day shall be holy and solemn,1 and the seventh day shall be kept with like solemnity; you shall do no work in them, except those things that belong to eating. And you shall observe the feast of unleavened bread; for in this same day I will bring forth your army1 out of the land of Egypt, and you shall keep this day in your generations by a perpetual observance. The first month, the fourteenth day of the month in the evening,1 you shall eat unleavened bread, until the one and twentieth day of the same month in the evening. Seven days there shall not be found any leaven in your houses; he that shall eat leavened bread, his soul shall perish out of the assembly of Israel, whether he be a stranger, or born in the land. You shall not eat any thing leavened; in all your habitations you shall eat unleavened bread.

EX. 12:43–49

And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron: This is the service of the Phase:1 No foreigner shall eat of it. But every bought servant shall be circumcised, and so shall eat. The stranger and the hireling shall not eat thereof. In one house shall it be eaten, neither shall you carry forth of the flesh thereof out of the house, neither shall you break a bone thereof. All the assembly of the children of Israel shall keep it. And if any stranger be willing to dwell among you, and to keep the Phase of the Lord, all his males shall first be circumcised, and then shall he celebrate it according to the manner: and he shall be as he that is born in the land; but if any man be uncircumcised, he shall not eat thereof. The same law shall be to him that is born in the land and to the proselyte that sojourneth with you.

By way of corollary we must recommend Prof. Bickell’s treatise on “The Lord’s Supper and the Passover Ritual,” already referred to.








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