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Exodus 13Amplified Bible (AMP)

Consecration of the Firstborn

13 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Sanctify to Me [that is, set apart for My purpose] every firstborn, the first offspring of every womb among the children of Israel, both of man and of animal; it is Mine.”

Moses said to the people, “Remember [solemnly observe and commemorate] this day on which you came out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage and slavery; for by a strong and powerful hand the Lord brought you out of this place. And nothing leavened shall be eaten. On this day in the month Abib, you are about to go onward. And it shall be when the Lord brings you into the land of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite, which He swore to your fathers to give you, a land [of abundance] [a]flowing with milk and honey, that you shall keep and observe this rite (service) in this month. For seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day there shall be a feast to the Lord. Unleavened bread shall be eaten throughout the seven days; no leavened bread shall be seen with you, nor shall there be leaven within the borders of your territory. You shall explain this to your son on that day, saying, ‘It is because of what the Lord did for me when I came out of Egypt.’ It shall serve as a sign to you on your hand (arm), and as a reminder on your forehead, so that the instruction (law) of the Lord may be in your mouth; for with a strong and powerful hand the Lord brought you out of Egypt. 10 Therefore, you shall keep this ordinance at this time from year to year.

11 “Now it shall be when the Lord brings you into the land of the Canaanite, as He swore to you and your fathers, and gives it to you, 12 you shall set apart and dedicate to the Lord all that first opens the womb. All the firstborn males of your livestock shall be the Lord’s. 13 Every firstborn of a [b]donkey you shall redeem by [substituting] a lamb [as a sacrifice for it], but if you do not [wish to] redeem it, then you shall break its neck; and every firstborn among your sons you shall redeem [that is, “buy back” from God with a suitable sacrifice]. 14 And it shall be when your son asks you in time to come, saying, ‘What does this mean?’ you shall say to him, ‘With a strong and powerful hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt, from the house of bondage and slavery. 15 For it happened, when Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go, that the Lord struck every firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man and the firstborn of animal. Therefore, I sacrifice to the Lord all the males, the first [to be born] of every womb, but every firstborn of my sons I redeem.’ 16 So it shall serve as a sign and a reminder on your [left] hand (arm) and as [c]frontlets between your eyes, for by a strong and powerful hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt.”

God Leads the People

17 So it happened, when Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, even though it was nearer; for God said, “The people might change their minds when they see war [that is, that there will be war], and return to Egypt.” 18 But God led the people around by the way of the wilderness toward the [d]Red Sea; the sons of Israel went up in battle array (orderly ranks, marching formation) out of the land of Egypt. 19 Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, for Joseph had solemnly ordered (placed under an oath) the Israelites, saying, “God will assuredly take care of you, and you must carry my bones away from here with you.” 20 They journeyed from Succoth [in Goshen] and camped at Etham on the edge of the wilderness. 21 The [presence of the] Lord was going before them by day in a pillar (column) of cloud to lead them along the way, and in a pillar of fire by night to give them light, so that they could travel by day and by night. 22 He did not withdraw the pillar of cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from going before the people.

Footnotes:

  1. Exodus 13:5 This phrase referred to the abundant fertility of the land of Canaan. Milk (typically that of goats and sheep) was associated with abundance; “honey” referred mainly to syrups made from dates or grapes and was the epitome of sweetness. Bees’ honey was very rare and was considered the choicest of foods.
  2. Exodus 13:13 For most Israelites, the donkey would eventually be important for their livelihoods as a work-animal, so God foresaw the need and allowed this exception. Those who had no need for an additional donkey were not required to redeem it, but were to kill it in recognition of God’s right to the firstborn. On the other hand, redemption was of course the only option for a firstborn son. God thereby honors His own right to the firstborn, but at the same time forbids human sacrifice.
  3. Exodus 13:16 Heb totaphoth, later renamed tefillin (“attachment”) but often called phylacteries (Gr “safeguards”) these came to be small cube-shaped leather pouches which contained tiny parchments of Ex 13:1-16 and Deut 6:4-9; 11:13-21. They were strapped to the forehead and the left forearm of Jewish men (or the right forearm, if a man was left-handed) in obedience to the commands in this verse and Deut 6:8. Phylacteries and the parchments contained in them were very artistically made, and are still worn today by observant Jews during morning services.
  4. Exodus 13:18 Lit Sea of Reeds. See note 10:19.
Amplified Bible (AMP)

Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

Exodus 13New International Version (NIV)

Consecration of the Firstborn

13 The Lord said to Moses, “Consecrate to me every firstborn male. The first offspring of every womb among the Israelites belongs to me, whether human or animal.”

Then Moses said to the people, “Commemorate this day, the day you came out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery, because the Lord brought you out of it with a mighty hand. Eat nothing containing yeast. Today, in the month of Aviv, you are leaving. When the Lord brings you into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Hivites and Jebusites—the land he swore to your ancestors to give you, a land flowing with milk and honey—you are to observe this ceremony in this month: For seven days eat bread made without yeast and on the seventh day hold a festival to the Lord. Eat unleavened bread during those seven days; nothing with yeast in it is to be seen among you, nor shall any yeast be seen anywhere within your borders. On that day tell your son, ‘I do this because of what the Lord did for me when I came out of Egypt.’ 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.”

Crossing the Sea

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.[a] The Israelites went up out of Egypt ready for battle.

19 Moses took the bones of Joseph with him because Joseph had made the Israelites swear an oath. He had said, “God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up with you from this place.”[b]

20 After leaving Sukkoth they camped at Etham on the edge of the desert. 21 By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. 22 Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people.

Footnotes:

  1. Exodus 13:18 Or the Sea of Reeds
  2. Exodus 13:19 See Gen. 50:25.
New International Version (NIV)

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