Exodus 13:11-16

11 “After the LORD brings you into the land of the Canaanites and gives it to you, as he promised on oath to you and your ancestors,
12 you are to give over to the LORD the first offspring of every womb. All the firstborn males of your livestock belong to the LORD.
13 Redeem with a lamb every firstborn donkey, but if you do not redeem it, break its neck. Redeem every firstborn among your sons.
14 “In days to come, when your son asks you, ‘What does this mean?’ say to him, ‘With a mighty hand the LORD brought us out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
15 When Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go, the LORD killed the firstborn of both people and animals in Egypt. This is why I sacrifice to the LORD the first male offspring of every womb and redeem each of my firstborn sons.’
16 And it will be like a sign on your hand and a symbol on your forehead that the LORD brought us out of Egypt with his mighty hand.”

Exodus 13:11-16 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO EXODUS 13

This chapter begins with an order to sanctify or set apart the firstborn of man and beast to the Lord, Ex 13:1,2 and the people of Israel are charged to keep the feast of unleavened bread in its season, from year to year, when they came into the land of Canaan, the reason of which they were to acquaint their children with, Ex 13:3-10 and they are also directed, when come into the land of Canaan, to set apart every firstling of a beast unto the Lord, and particularly the firstling of an ass was to be redeemed with a lamb, or its neck to be broke, and all the firstborn of men were to be redeemed also, Ex 13:11-13, and when their children inquired the reason of it, they were to be told it was on account of the Lord's slaying the firstborn of men and beast among the Egyptians, when Pharaoh would not let Israel go, and of saving the firstborn of his people, Ex 13:14-16, and it is observed, that when the children of Israel went out of Egypt, they were not led by the nearest way, the way of the land of the Philistines, but a round about way, the way of the wilderness of the Red sea, when they took the bones of Joseph with them, as he had adjured them to do, Ex 13:17-19, and the chapter is concluded with an account of their journeying from Succoth to Etham, the Lord going before them in a pillar of cloud by day, and in a pillar of fire by night, Ex 13:20-22.

Exodus 13:11-16 In-Context

9 This observance will be for you like a sign on your hand and a reminder on your forehead that this law of the LORD is to be on your lips. For the LORD brought you out of Egypt with his mighty hand.
10 You must keep this ordinance at the appointed time year after year.
11 “After the LORD brings you into the land of the Canaanites and gives it to you, as he promised on oath to you and your ancestors,
12 you are to give over to the LORD the first offspring of every womb. All the firstborn males of your livestock belong to the LORD.
13 Redeem with a lamb every firstborn donkey, but if you do not redeem it, break its neck. Redeem every firstborn among your sons.
14 “In days to come, when your son asks you, ‘What does this mean?’ say to him, ‘With a mighty hand the LORD brought us out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
15 When Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go, the LORD killed the firstborn of both people and animals in Egypt. This is why I sacrifice to the LORD the first male offspring of every womb and redeem each of my firstborn sons.’
16 And it will be like a sign on your hand and a symbol on your forehead that the LORD brought us out of Egypt with his mighty hand.”
17 When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.”
18 So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea. The Israelites went up out of Egypt ready for battle.

Cross References 12

  • 1. S ver 5
  • 2. S Genesis 22:16; Deuteronomy 1:8
  • 3. S Genesis 12:7; S Genesis 17:19; Psalms 105:42-45
  • 4. S Genesis 4:4; Leviticus 27:26; Numbers 3:13; Numbers 18:15,17; Luke 2:23*
  • 5. ver 15; Leviticus 27:11
  • 6. Exodus 34:20; Isaiah 66:3
  • 7. Numbers 3:46-47
  • 8. Numbers 18:15
  • 9. S Exodus 10:2; Exodus 12:26-27; Deuteronomy 6:20
  • 10. Exodus 20:2; Deuteronomy 7:8; Deuteronomy 28:68; ver 3,9
  • 11. S ver 2; Exodus 12:29
  • 12. S ver 9