At midnight God struck every firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh, who sits on his throne, right down to the firstborn of the prisoner locked up in jail. Also the firstborn of the animals.
Pharaoh got up that night, he and all his servants and everyone else in Egypt - what wild wailing and lament in Egypt! There wasn't a house in which someone wasn't dead.
Pharaoh called in Moses and Aaron that very night and said, "Get out of here and be done with you - you and your Israelites! Go worship God on your own terms.
And yes, take your sheep and cattle as you've insisted, but go. And bless me."
The Egyptians couldn't wait to get rid of them; they pushed them to hurry up, saying, "We're all as good as dead."
The people grabbed their bread dough before it had risen, bundled their bread bowls in their cloaks and threw them over their shoulders.
The Israelites had already done what Moses had told them; they had asked the Egyptians for silver and gold things and clothing.
God saw to it that the Egyptians liked the people and so readily gave them what they asked for. Oh yes! They picked those Egyptians clean.
The Israelites moved on from Rameses to Succoth, about 600,000 on foot, besides their dependents.
There was also a crowd of riffraff tagging along, not to mention the large flocks and herds of livestock.
They baked unraised cakes with the bread dough they had brought out of Egypt; it hadn't raised - they'd been rushed out of Egypt and hadn't time to fix food for the journey. The Passover
The Israelites had lived in Egypt 430 years.
At the end of the 430 years, to the very day, God's entire army left Egypt.
God kept watch all night, watching over the Israelites as he brought them out of Egypt. Because God kept watch, all Israel for all generations will honor God by keeping watch this night - a watchnight.
God said to Moses and Aaron, "These are the rules for the Passover: No foreigners are to eat it.
Any slave, if he's paid for and circumcised, can eat it.
No casual visitor or hired hand can eat it.
Eat it in one house - don't take the meat outside the house. Don't break any of the bones.
The whole community of Israel is to be included in the meal.
"If an immigrant is staying with you and wants to keep the Passover to God, every male in his family must be circumcised, then he can participate in the Meal - he will then be treated as a native son. But no uncircumcised person can eat it.
"The same law applies both to the native and the immigrant who is staying with you."
All the Israelites did exactly as God commanded Moses and Aaron.
That very day God brought the Israelites out of the land of Egypt, tribe by tribe.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)