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Exodus 12 (Common English Bible)

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First Passover

1 The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, 2 “This month will be the first month; it will be the first month of the year for you.a 3 Tell the whole Israelite community: On the tenth day of this month they must take a lamb for each household, a lamb per house. 4 If a household is too small for a lamb, it should share one with a neighbor nearby. You should divide the lamb in proportion to the number of people who will be eating it. 5 Your lamb should be a flawless year-old male. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats. 6 You should keep close watch over it until the fourteenth day of this month. At twilight on that day, the whole assembled Israelite community should slaughter their lambs. 7 They should take some of the blood and smear it on the two doorposts and on the beam over the door of the houses in which they are eating. 8 That same night they should eat the meat roasted over the fire. They should eat it along with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. 9 Don't eat any of it raw or boiled in water, but roasted over fire with its head, legs, and internal organs. 10 Don't let any of it remain until morning, and burn any of it left over in the morning. 11 This is how you should eat it. You should be dressed, with your sandals on your feet and your walking stick in your hand. You should eat the meal in a hurry. It is the Passover of the LORD. 12 I'll pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I'll strike down every oldest child in the land of Egypt, both humans and animals. I'll impose judgments on all the gods of Egypt. I am the LORD. 13 The blood will be your sign on the houses where you live. Whenever I see the blood, I'll pass overb you. No plague will destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt. 14 "This day will be a day of remembering for you. You will observe it as a festival to the LORD. You will observe it in every generation as a regulation for all time. 15 You will eat unleavened bread for seven days. On the first day you must remove yeast from your houses because anyone who eats leavened bread anytime during those seven days will be cut off from Israel. 16 The first day and the seventh day will be a holy occasion for you. No work at all should be done on those days, except for preparing the food that everyone is going to eat. That is the only work you may do. 17 You should observe the Festival of Unleavened Bread, because on this precise day I brought you out of the land of Egypt in military formation. You should observe this day in every generation as a regulation for all time. 18 In the first month, from the evening of the fourteenth day until the evening of the twenty-first day, you should eat unleavened bread. 19 For seven days no yeast should be found in your houses because whoever eats leavened bread will be cut off from the Israelite community, whether the person is an immigrant or a native of the land. 20 You should not eat anything made with yeast in all your settlements. You should eat only unleavened bread." 21 Then Moses called together all of Israel's elders and said to them, "Go pick out one of the flock for your families, and slaughter the Passover lamb. 22 Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it into the blood that is in the bowl, and touch the beam above the door and the two doorposts with the blood in the bowl. None of you should go out the door of your house until morning. 23 When the LORD comes by to strike down the Egyptians and sees the blood on the beam above the door and on the two doorposts, the LORD will pass over that door. He won't let the destroyer enter your houses to strike you down. 24 You should observe this ritual as a regulation for all time for you and your children. 25 When you enter the land that the LORD has promised to give you, be sure that you observe this ritual. 26 And when your children ask you, ‘What does this ritual mean to you?' 27 you will say, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice to the LORD, for the LORD passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt. When he struck down the Egyptians, he spared our houses.'" The people then bowed down and worshipped. 28 The Israelites went and did exactly what the LORD had commanded Moses and Aaron to do.

Death of Egypt’s oldest children

29 At midnight the LORD struck down all the first offspring in the land of Egypt, from the oldest child of Pharaoh sitting on his throne to the oldest child of the prisoner in jail, and all the first offspring of the animals. 30 When Pharaoh, all his officials, and all the Egyptians got up that night, a terrible cry of agony rang out across Egypt because every house had someone in it who had died. 31 Then Pharaoh called Moses and Aaron that night and said, "Get up! Get away from my people, both you and the Israelites! Go! Worship the LORD, as you said! 32 You can even take your flocks and herds, as you asked. Just go! And bring a blessing on me as well!"

Israel set free

33 The Egyptians urged the people to hurry and leave the land because they thought, We'll all be dead. 34 So the people picked up their bread dough before the yeast made it rise, with their bread pans wrapped in their robes on their shoulders. 35 The Israelites did as Moses had told them and asked the Egyptians for their silver and gold jewelry as well as their clothing. 36 The LORD made sure that the Egyptians were kind to the people so that they let them have whatever they asked for. And so they robbed the Egyptians. 37 The Israelites traveled from Rameses to Succoth. They numbered about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides children. 38 A diverse crowd also went up with them along with a huge number of livestock, both flocks and herds. 39 They baked unleavened cakes from the dough they had brought out of Egypt. The dough didn't rise because they were driven out of Egypt and they couldn't wait. In fact, they didn't have time to prepare any food for themselves. 40 The length of time that the Israelites had lived in Egypt was four hundred thirty years. 41 At the end of four hundred thirty years, on that precise day, all the LORD's people in military formation left the land of Egypt. 42 For the LORD, that was a night of intent watching, to bring them out of the land of Egypt. For all Israelites in every generation, this same night is a time of intent watching to honor the LORD.

Instructions for observing Passover

43 The LORD said to Moses and Aaron: This is the regulation for the Passover. No foreigner may eat it. 44 However, any slave who has been bought may eat it after he's been circumcised. 45 No temporary foreign resident or day laborer may eat it. 46 It should be eaten in one house. You shouldn't take any of the meat outside the house, and you shouldn't break the bones. 47 The whole Israelite community should observe it. 48 If an immigrant who lives with you wants to observe the Passover to the LORD, then he and all his males should be circumcised. Then he may join in observing it. He should be regarded as a native of the land. But no uncircumcised person may eat it. 49 There will be one Instruction for the native and for the immigrant who lives with you. 50 All the Israelites did just as the LORD had commanded Moses and Aaron. 51 On that precise day, the LORD brought the Israelites out of the land of Egypt in military formation.
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