Exodus 12:9

9 Do not eat any of it raw or boiled in water, but roasted over the fire, with its head, legs, and inner organs.

Exodus 12:9 Meaning and Commentary

Exodus 12:9

Eat not of it raw
Not roasted enough; and so Jarchi says, that what is not sufficiently roasted, or is not thoroughly and down roasted, is in the Arabic language called (an) F21, the word here used; and so Maimonides F23 says it signifies flesh, on which the fire begins to operate, and is roasted a little, but not enough for eating. And indeed there seems to be no necessity of a prohibition of eating the flesh quite raw: some F24 derive the word from a root which signifies to break, and suppose that this rule forbids the breaking or cutting it in pieces; that as it was to be roasted whole, and not a bone of it to be broken, so it was to be brought to table whole, and the whole to be eaten; but then it could not be eaten without being cut to pieces. Abarbinel F25 takes the word in the usual signification of it, "now", as if the sense was, ye shall not eat of it now, not before the evening of the fourteenth day; but whereas Moses had told them, ( Exodus 12:6 ) , that the lamb was to be kept up until the fourteenth day, it was needless to tell them that they should not eat it now or immediately; the first sense is best, and this shows that Christ, the antitype of this lamb, is not to be eaten in a carnal but spiritual manner, of which our Lord treats in ( John 6:31-59 ) , nor sodden at all with water; the Targum of Jonathan is,

``neither boiled in wine, nor in oil, nor in other liquor, nor boiled in water.''

This, with respect to the antitype, shows, that Christ is not to be received in a cold lukewarm manner, and with indifference; and that nothing is to be mixed, added, and joined unto him, but he alone is to be regarded in the business of our acceptance, justification, and salvation:

but roast with fire;
for the reasons before given: the manner of roasting it, according to the Jewish canons F26, was this, they bring a spit made of the wood of pomegranate, and thrust it into its mouth quite through it, and put the thighs and entrails within it; they do not roast the passover lamb on an iron spit, nor on an iron grate. Maimonides F1 is a little more particular and exact in his account; to the question, how do they roast it? he replies,

``they transfix it through the middle of the mouth to its posteriors, with a wooden spit, and they hang it in the midst of a furnace, and the fire below:''

so that it was not turned upon a spit, according to our manner of roasting, but was suspended on a hook, and roasted by the fire underneath, and so was a more exact figure of Christ suspended on the cross, and enduring the fire of divine wrath. And Justin Martyr F2 is still more particular, who was by birth a Samaritan, and was well versed in Jewish affairs; he, even in conversing with Trypho the Jew, who could have contradicted him had he said what was wrong, says, the lamb was roasted in the form of a cross; one spit, he says, went through from the lower parts to the head, and again another across the shoulders, to which the hands (or rather the legs) of the lamb were fastened and hung; and so was a very lively emblem of Christ crucified:

his head, with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof;
or with its inwards F3, these were all to be roasted together, the whole lamb with all that belonged to it, with which the above canon of the Jews agrees.


F21 <arabic> "cruda fuit caro", Golius, col. 2476. Semicocta, "cruda fuit caro", Castell. Lex. col. 2296. Vid. Hottinger. Smegma Oriental. p. 169, 170.
F23 Hilchot Korban Pesach. c. 8. sect. 6.
F24 Oleaster apud Rivet in loc. Gusset. Comment. Ebr. p. 487, 488; so some in Aben Ezra.
F25 So Marinus Brixianus in Arca Noe.
F26 Misn. Pesach. c. 7. sect. 1, 2.
F1 Hilchot Korban Pesach. c. 8. sect. 10.
F2 Dialog. cum Trypho Jud. p. 259.
F3 (wbrq lew) "et cum interioribus ejus", Pagninus, Tigurine version, so Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.

Exodus 12:9 In-Context

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.
8 They shall eat the lamb that same night; they shall eat it roasted over the fire with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.
9 Do not eat any of it raw or boiled in water, but roasted over the fire, with its head, legs, and inner organs.
10 You shall let none of it remain until the morning; anything that remains until the morning you shall burn.
11 This is how you shall eat it: your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it hurriedly. It is the passover of the Lord.