Exodus 12:5

5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a year-old male; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats.

Exodus 12:5 Meaning and Commentary

Exodus 12:5

Your lamb shall be without blemish
Without any spot or defect in it. Maimonides F8 reckons no less than fifty blemishes in a creature, anyone of which makes it unfit for sacrifice, see ( Leviticus 21:21-24 ) . This lamb was a type of Christ, who is therefore said to be our passover sacrificed for us, ( 1 Corinthians 5:7 ) comparable to a lamb for his innocence and harmlessness, for his meekness, humility, and patience, for usefulness both for food and raiment, as well as for being fit for sacrifice; and who is a lamb without spot and blemish, either of original sin, or actual transgression, holy in his nature, harmless in his life: a male of the first year;
anyone within that time, but not beyond it; denoting the strength and vigour of Christ, in the flower of his age, his short continuance among men, and his being tender and savoury food for the faith of his people: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats;
it might be either a lamb, or a kid of the goats; for the most part, or generally, it was a lamb that was taken; so the Jewish canon runs F9,

``he that says to his servant, go and slay for me the passover, if he slays a kid he may eat it; if he slays a lamb he may eat of it; if he slays a kid and a lamb, he may eat of the first.''
The goat being of an ill smell may denote Christ being made sin, and a sin offering for his people; and the taking of a lamb from these may signify the choice of Christ from among the people in the council and covenant of God; the preordination of him to be the lamb slain from the foundation of the world; the preservation of him from the infection of sin in his incarnation, and the separation of him from sinners in his conversation.

F8 Hilchot Biath Hamikdash, c. 7. sect. 1.
F9 Misn. Pesach. c. 8. sect. 2.

Exodus 12:5 In-Context

3 Tell the whole congregation of Israel that on the tenth of this month they are to take a lamb for each family, a lamb for each household.
4 If a household is too small for a whole lamb, it shall join its closest neighbor in obtaining one; the lamb shall be divided in proportion to the number of people who eat of it.
5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a year-old male; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats.
6 You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month; then the whole assembled congregation of Israel shall slaughter it at twilight.
7 They shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it.
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.