Exodus 11 Commentary
The killing of the firstborns. Chapter 11 reflects of the last sign. With this sign Pharaoh gives in. Some have suggested that the killing of the firstborns was linked to the pain that Israel suffered as they lost male children – Moses himself being a survivor. We would want to understand the killing of the firstborns as a way to help Pharaoh appreciate the pain of loss that Israel suffered over the many years of bitter and cruel enslavement.
These signs can be thought of as acts of divine judgment on a people that neither respected human life nor feared God, not even in the remotest sense. But again we cannot take this thought too far as we can understand that Egypt got far less in punishment, if a fair trial is considered. The mercies of the LORD are a difficult attribute to understand.
The last sign is symbolic of God’s redemption work. So the narration slows down to pick up more details on the symbols. The smooth flow of the story is sacrificed as we see the next several lines in chapter 12 devote space for the Passover and the rituals in attendance.
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