The Plague on the Firstborn

11 Now the Lord had said to Moses, “I will bring one more plague on Pharaoh and on Egypt. After that, he will let you go(A) from here, and when he does, he will drive you out completely.(B) Tell the people that men and women alike are to ask their neighbors for articles of silver and gold.”(C) (The Lord made the Egyptians favorably disposed(D) toward the people, and Moses himself was highly regarded(E) in Egypt by Pharaoh’s officials and by the people.)

So Moses said, “This is what the Lord says: ‘About midnight(F) I will go throughout Egypt.(G) Every firstborn(H) son in Egypt will die, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh, who sits on the throne, to the firstborn son of the female slave, who is at her hand mill,(I) and all the firstborn of the cattle as well. There will be loud wailing(J) throughout Egypt—worse than there has ever been or ever will be again. But among the Israelites not a dog will bark at any person or animal.’ Then you will know that the Lord makes a distinction(K) between Egypt and Israel. All these officials of yours will come to me, bowing down before me and saying, ‘Go,(L) you and all the people who follow you!’ After that I will leave.”(M) Then Moses, hot with anger, left Pharaoh.

The Lord had said to Moses, “Pharaoh will refuse to listen(N) to you—so that my wonders(O) may be multiplied in Egypt.” 10 Moses and Aaron performed all these wonders before Pharaoh, but the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart,(P) and he would not let the Israelites go out of his country.

The Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread(Q)

12 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in Egypt, “This month is to be for you the first month,(R) the first month of your year. Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb[a](S) for his family, one for each household.(T) If any household is too small for a whole lamb, they must share one with their nearest neighbor, having taken into account the number of people there are. You are to determine the amount of lamb needed in accordance with what each person will eat. The animals you choose must be year-old males without defect,(U) and you may take them from the sheep or the goats. Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month,(V) when all the members of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight.(W) Then they are to take some of the blood(X) and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lambs. That same night(Y) they are to eat the meat roasted(Z) over the fire, along with bitter herbs,(AA) and bread made without yeast.(AB) Do not eat the meat raw or boiled in water, but roast it over a fire—with the head, legs and internal organs.(AC) 10 Do not leave any of it till morning;(AD) if some is left till morning, you must burn it. 11 This is how you are to eat it: with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand. Eat it in haste;(AE) it is the Lord’s Passover.(AF)

12 “On that same night I will pass through(AG) Egypt and strike down(AH) every firstborn(AI) of both people and animals, and I will bring judgment on all the gods(AJ) of Egypt. I am the Lord.(AK) 13 The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are, and when I see the blood, I will pass over(AL) you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt.(AM)

14 “This is a day you are to commemorate;(AN) for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the Lord—a lasting ordinance.(AO) 15 For seven days you are to eat bread made without yeast.(AP) On the first day remove the yeast from your houses, for whoever eats anything with yeast in it from the first day through the seventh must be cut off(AQ) from Israel. 16 On the first day hold a sacred assembly, and another one on the seventh day. Do no work(AR) at all on these days, except to prepare food for everyone to eat; that is all you may do.

17 “Celebrate the Festival of Unleavened Bread,(AS) because it was on this very day that I brought your divisions out of Egypt.(AT) Celebrate this day as a lasting ordinance for the generations to come.(AU) 18 In the first month(AV) you are to eat bread made without yeast, from the evening of the fourteenth day until the evening of the twenty-first day. 19 For seven days no yeast is to be found in your houses. And anyone, whether foreigner(AW) or native-born, who eats anything with yeast in it must be cut off(AX) from the community of Israel. 20 Eat nothing made with yeast. Wherever you live,(AY) you must eat unleavened bread.”(AZ)

21 Then Moses summoned all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Go at once and select the animals for your families and slaughter the Passover(BA) lamb. 22 Take a bunch of hyssop,(BB) dip it into the blood in the basin and put some of the blood(BC) on the top and on both sides of the doorframe. None of you shall go out of the door of your house until morning. 23 When the Lord goes through the land to strike(BD) down the Egyptians, he will see the blood(BE) on the top and sides of the doorframe and will pass over(BF) that doorway, and he will not permit the destroyer(BG) to enter your houses and strike you down.

24 “Obey these instructions as a lasting ordinance(BH) for you and your descendants. 25 When you enter the land(BI) that the Lord will give you as he promised, observe this ceremony. 26 And when your children(BJ) ask you, ‘What does this ceremony mean to you?’ 27 then tell them, ‘It is the Passover(BK) sacrifice to the Lord, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes when he struck down the Egyptians.’”(BL) Then the people bowed down and worshiped.(BM) 28 The Israelites did just what the Lord commanded(BN) Moses and Aaron.

29 At midnight(BO) the Lord(BP) struck down all the firstborn(BQ) in Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh, who sat on the throne, to the firstborn of the prisoner, who was in the dungeon, and the firstborn of all the livestock(BR) as well. 30 Pharaoh and all his officials and all the Egyptians got up during the night, and there was loud wailing(BS) in Egypt, for there was not a house without someone dead.

The Exodus

31 During the night Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “Up! Leave my people, you and the Israelites! Go, worship(BT) the Lord as you have requested. 32 Take your flocks and herds,(BU) as you have said, and go. And also bless(BV) me.”

33 The Egyptians urged the people to hurry(BW) and leave(BX) the country. “For otherwise,” they said, “we will all die!”(BY) 34 So the people took their dough before the yeast was added, and carried it on their shoulders in kneading troughs(BZ) wrapped in clothing. 35 The Israelites did as Moses instructed and asked the Egyptians for articles of silver and gold(CA) and for clothing.(CB) 36 The Lord had made the Egyptians favorably disposed(CC) toward the people, and they gave them what they asked for; so they plundered(CD) the Egyptians.

37 The Israelites journeyed from Rameses(CE) to Sukkoth.(CF) There were about six hundred thousand men(CG) on foot, besides women and children. 38 Many other people(CH) went up with them, and also large droves of livestock, both flocks and herds. 39 With the dough the Israelites had brought from Egypt, they baked loaves of unleavened bread. The dough was without yeast because they had been driven out(CI) of Egypt and did not have time to prepare food for themselves.

40 Now the length of time the Israelite people lived in Egypt[b] was 430 years.(CJ) 41 At the end of the 430 years, to the very day, all the Lord’s divisions(CK) left Egypt.(CL) 42 Because the Lord kept vigil that night to bring them out of Egypt, on this night all the Israelites are to keep vigil to honor the Lord for the generations to come.(CM)

Passover Restrictions

43 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “These are the regulations for the Passover meal:(CN)

“No foreigner(CO) may eat it. 44 Any slave you have bought may eat it after you have circumcised(CP) him, 45 but a temporary resident or a hired worker(CQ) may not eat it.

46 “It must be eaten inside the house; take none of the meat outside the house. Do not break any of the bones.(CR) 47 The whole community of Israel must celebrate it.

48 “A foreigner residing among you who wants to celebrate the Lord’s Passover must have all the males in his household circumcised; then he may take part like one born in the land.(CS) No uncircumcised(CT) male may eat it. 49 The same law applies both to the native-born and to the foreigner(CU) residing among you.”

50 All the Israelites did just what the Lord had commanded(CV) Moses and Aaron. 51 And on that very day the Lord brought the Israelites out of Egypt(CW) by their divisions.(CX)

Consecration of the Firstborn

13 The Lord said to Moses, “Consecrate to me every firstborn male.(CY) 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,(CZ) out of the land of slavery, because the Lord brought you out of it with a mighty hand.(DA) Eat nothing containing yeast.(DB) Today, in the month of Aviv,(DC) you are leaving. When the Lord brings you into the land of the Canaanites,(DD) Hittites, Amorites, Hivites and Jebusites(DE)—the land he swore to your ancestors to give you, a land flowing with milk and honey(DF)—you are to observe this ceremony(DG) in this month: For seven days eat bread made without yeast and on the seventh day hold a festival(DH) 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,(DI) ‘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(DJ) and a reminder on your forehead(DK) that this law of the Lord is to be on your lips. For the Lord brought you out of Egypt with his mighty hand.(DL) 10 You must keep this ordinance(DM) at the appointed time(DN) year after year.

11 “After the Lord brings you into the land of the Canaanites(DO) and gives it to you, as he promised on oath(DP) to you and your ancestors,(DQ) 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.(DR) 13 Redeem with a lamb every firstborn donkey,(DS) but if you do not redeem it, break its neck.(DT) Redeem(DU) every firstborn among your sons.(DV)

14 “In days to come, when your son(DW) 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.(DX) 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.’(DY) 16 And it will be like a sign on your hand and a symbol on your forehead(DZ) 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.”(EA) 18 So God led(EB) the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea.[c] The Israelites went up out of Egypt ready for battle.(EC)

19 Moses took the bones of Joseph(ED) 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.”[d](EE)

20 After leaving Sukkoth(EF) they camped at Etham on the edge of the desert.(EG) 21 By day the Lord went ahead(EH) of them in a pillar of cloud(EI) 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(EJ) its place in front of the people.

14 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites to turn back and encamp near Pi Hahiroth, between Migdol(EK) and the sea. They are to encamp by the sea, directly opposite Baal Zephon.(EL) Pharaoh will think, ‘The Israelites are wandering around the land in confusion, hemmed in by the desert.’ And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart,(EM) and he will pursue them.(EN) But I will gain glory(EO) for myself through Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord.”(EP) So the Israelites did this.

When the king of Egypt was told that the people had fled,(EQ) Pharaoh and his officials changed their minds(ER) about them and said, “What have we done? We have let the Israelites go and have lost their services!” So he had his chariot made ready and took his army with him. He took six hundred of the best chariots,(ES) along with all the other chariots of Egypt, with officers over all of them. The Lord hardened the heart(ET) of Pharaoh king of Egypt, so that he pursued the Israelites, who were marching out boldly.(EU) The Egyptians—all Pharaoh’s horses(EV) and chariots, horsemen[e] and troops(EW)—pursued the Israelites and overtook(EX) them as they camped by the sea near Pi Hahiroth, opposite Baal Zephon.(EY)

10 As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried(EZ) out to the Lord. 11 They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die?(FA) What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? 12 Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!”(FB)

13 Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid.(FC) Stand firm and you will see(FD) the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see(FE) again. 14 The Lord will fight(FF) for you; you need only to be still.”(FG)

15 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me?(FH) Tell the Israelites to move on. 16 Raise your staff(FI) and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water(FJ) so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground. 17 I will harden the hearts(FK) of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them.(FL) And I will gain glory through Pharaoh and all his army, through his chariots and his horsemen. 18 The Egyptians will know that I am the Lord(FM) when I gain glory through Pharaoh, his chariots and his horsemen.”

19 Then the angel of God,(FN) who had been traveling in front of Israel’s army, withdrew and went behind them. The pillar of cloud(FO) also moved from in front and stood behind(FP) them, 20 coming between the armies of Egypt and Israel. Throughout the night the cloud brought darkness(FQ) to the one side and light to the other side; so neither went near the other all night long.

21 Then Moses stretched out his hand(FR) over the sea,(FS) and all that night the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind(FT) and turned it into dry land.(FU) The waters were divided,(FV) 22 and the Israelites went through the sea(FW) on dry ground,(FX) with a wall(FY) of water on their right and on their left.

23 The Egyptians pursued them, and all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots and horsemen(FZ) followed them into the sea. 24 During the last watch of the night the Lord looked down from the pillar of fire and cloud(GA) at the Egyptian army and threw it into confusion.(GB) 25 He jammed[f] the wheels of their chariots so that they had difficulty driving. And the Egyptians said, “Let’s get away from the Israelites! The Lord is fighting(GC) for them against Egypt.”(GD)

26 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea so that the waters may flow back over the Egyptians and their chariots and horsemen.” 27 Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at daybreak the sea went back to its place.(GE) The Egyptians were fleeing toward[g] it, and the Lord swept them into the sea.(GF) 28 The water flowed back and covered the chariots and horsemen—the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed the Israelites into the sea.(GG) Not one of them survived.(GH)

29 But the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground,(GI) with a wall(GJ) of water on their right and on their left. 30 That day the Lord saved(GK) Israel from the hands of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians lying dead on the shore. 31 And when the Israelites saw the mighty hand(GL) of the Lord displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared(GM) the Lord and put their trust(GN) in him and in Moses his servant.


  1. Exodus 12:3 The Hebrew word can mean lamb or kid; also in verse 4.
  2. Exodus 12:40 Masoretic Text; Samaritan Pentateuch and Septuagint Egypt and Canaan
  3. Exodus 13:18 Or the Sea of Reeds
  4. Exodus 13:19 See Gen. 50:25.
  5. Exodus 14:9 Or charioteers; also in verses 17, 18, 23, 26 and 28
  6. Exodus 14:25 See Samaritan Pentateuch, Septuagint and Syriac; Masoretic Text removed
  7. Exodus 14:27 Or from

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