Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing (epiphany) of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;  Titus 2:13

CHAPTER III

 

DELIVERANCE OF THE FIRSTBORN

Ex. 11: 1—13: 22

 

THREAT OF THE TENTH PLAGUE. PASSOVER LAMB AND SUPPER CHARGED. CERTAIN PASSOVER DETAILS CHARGED. THE FIRSTBORN. PARTING GIFTS. OTHER PASSOVER DETAILS CHARGED. THE DEPARTURE.

 

THE INTERVIEW between Moses and Pharaoh begun in Ex. 10: 24 is continued in Ex. 11: 4-8, with vs. 1-3 thrown in as a parenthesis. The first clause of v. 1 should be rendered: "For the Lord had said unto Moses, Yet will I bring one more plague upon Pharaoh, etc." Our reasons for suggesting this translation are: (1) Vs. 4-8 clearly give a continuation of the conversation of Ex. 10: 24-29; otherwise we would have to say that Moses broke his word given in v. 29, and this would imply our Lord's breaking His word in the antitype—an impossibility. (2) Grammatically the above suggested translation is as accurate as that of the A. V. (3) The fact of the continuance in vs. 4-8 of the interview of Ex. 10: 24-29 necessitates regarding vs. 1-3 as a parenthesis; and (4), it being a parenthesis, the above suggested translation is necessitated instead of that of the A. V. Accordingly, vs. 1-3 are inserted as a parenthesis to connect the first with the second part of the interview; for they furnish the reason for the statements that Moses makes in vs. 4-8. God told Moses in Ex. 3: 19-22; 4: 23; 7: 1-5, the things stated in vs. 1-3, for these three verses allude to the statements made in these citations. The most ancient Hebrew manuscript extant gives the following reading for the first clause of v. 3: "For I will give the favor of the people in the sight of the Egyptians." This reading seems preferable because it is the continuation of what God was saying in vs. 1, 2, in the first person. The word was, which is in italics, showing that it has no corresponding Hebrew word in

 

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the original, has been supplied in the second sentence of v. 3. It might better be supplanted by the words, shall be. In other words, all three verses contain restatements of things which God had previously said, and which were Moses' Divinely-given charge for telling Pharaoh what he said in vs. 4-8.

 

(2) The plague referred to in v. 1 is, therefore, the tenth—the death of the firstborn of man and beast, typical of the death of the unfaithful and Satan-controlled new creatures and of their humanity. This antitypical plague is inflicted through the great tribulation. The death of the typical firstborn hurt Pharaoh and the Egyptians ("upon Pharaoh and upon Egypt"—v. 1 [the Hebrew word Mitzraim means either Egypt or the Egyptians; here it refers to the people rather than to the land]). And the death of the antitypical firstborn will hurt Satan, whose firstborn, the Romanist hierarchy, which at least by November, 1916, consisted of new creatures, in going to pieces in the death of every one of its members, will certainly pain Satan; and it will also hurt his servants [the Egyptians], whose firstborn—other renegade new creatures—passing forever away, will be a deep grief to them. As in the type God forecast that the tenth plague would force Pharaoh to send Israel away, so in the antitype has He forecast ("He will let you go hence"—v. 1) that the antitypical tenth plague would force Satan to send antitypical Israel away free. Furthermore, God's forecast that Pharaoh in sending Israel away would thrust them out, very urgently require their leaving, types His forecast that antitypical Israel would be driven out urgently from Satan's empire. This indicates the persecutions, ostracisms, boycottings, symbolic beheadings, etc., that would fall to the lot of God's people when thrust out of Satan's empire. These refer, of course, to injustices done and yet to be done God's people by the antitypical Egyptians during the tribulation, from 1914 onward. The fact of deliverance from antitypical Egypt, as implied in such injustices, should take away

 

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the sting from such mistreatment and make us rejoice.

 

(3) As we have given a general interpretation—type and antitype—to the thought of v. 2, insofar as it refers to the Israelitish and Egyptian women, while treating of Ex. 3: 21, 22 [Chap. I, (36), (37)], and as v. 2 is but an allusion to Ex. 3: 21, 22, we need not here go into details on that feature of v. 2. A linguistic remark would here be in order. The second word of v. 2, rendered now, should have been rendered please, or I pray, as the mistranslation now, contradicts the connection and the fact that the speaking was not done until Ex. 12: 35. One item, however, is added in v. 2 that is not to be found in Ex. 3: 21, 22, which tells only of Israelitish women as asking their female neighbors for the jewels and raiment, but does not say anything of Israelitish men asking their (male) neighbors for jewels of gold and silver, while v. 2 adds this item. From the standpoint of the Israelitish mothers representing the Truth and its servants—the covenant—and the Israelitish children representing the household of faith, as shown in Chap. I, (36), (37), we would understand the Israelitish men of v. 2, as heads of the families, to represent God, particularly as He would act through our Lord and the latter's special mouthpieces, in extracting the Divine Truth, jewels of silver and gold, from the teachings of the various falsechrist and false-prophet systems at the end of the Age. It will be recalled that our Pastor calls our attention to the fact, when interpreting Matt. 24: 24 in Vol. IV, 580, 581, that the false christs and false prophets were symbolic men, systems. It is these whom we understand to be typed by the (male) neighbors of the Israelitish men, and certainly from the teachings of these our Lord through His special mouthpieces, extracted Divine Truth, the jewels of gold and silver of v. 2. E.g., out of the Presbyterian false-prophet system much of Truth on election and the Lord's Supper was extracted, and out of the Methodist false-prophet system much of Truth on free grace

 

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and Divine love was extracted, as out of the Greek and Roman false-christ systems much Truth on Christ's pre-human, human and post-human offices and on the one Church as being God's depository and dispenser of saving Truth was taken.

 

(4) In its amended form as suggested above we have likewise expounded, type and antitype, the first sentence in v. 3 in Chap. I, (36), (37). But we believe that a remark is here to be made on the literal translation of the expression rendered, "I will give the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians." As can be seen from Dr. Young's rendering, this clause should be rendered, "I will give the favor of [peculiar to] the people in the eyes of the Egyptians." The expression in Ex. 3: 21 is very similar: "I will give the favor of [peculiar to] this people in the eyes of the Egyptians." At first sound this expression seems odd, but it is most fitting when we consider the antitype. At first sight the persecutions, wrongs and other evils heaped upon God's people by the antitypical Egyptians seem not to be favors. To the natural man they are the reverse of favors. But when we recognize that the Lord works out character good from them in us they are seen to be favors indeed (Rom 8: 28; 2 Cor. 4: 17, 18). They are called the favor of God's people, not because the antitypical Egyptians mean them as such. The reverse is the case from their standpoint. But they are the favor of God's people through God's overruling and through His people accepting them as such, from an appreciation of the spiritual purpose of their bestowal. Certainly such persecutions, wrongs, etc., if inflicted upon antitypical Egyptians, would not be considered by them as the favor of [peculiar to] the Egyptians; for they resent any evil done them and as a rule are thereby embittered and thus damaged in character. Let us, dearly beloved, who have spiritual discernment, learn to love the evils that we undergo, as the favor of [peculiar to] God's people, even as St. Peter puts it while speaking of our suffering

 

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wrongs for righteousness, "This is thankworthy … acceptable [literally, grace, favor, in both verses] with God."—1 Pet. 2: 19, 20.

 

(5) We have already suggested that in the second sentence of v. 3 the italicized word was should be replaced by the words shall be; for the thought here expressed is an allusion to Ex. 7: 1-6, particularly to v. 1, as the place where it was said. While each of the plagues added its cumulative weight of greatness to Moses in the land of Egypt, in the sight of Egyptians and Israelites (v. 3), the tenth plague brought him to the climax of his greatness there, before both of these peoples. Antitypically, increasingly did our Lord's prestige rise before the people of the world and the Lord's people as plague followed plague, but as Moses became very great in the eyes of the Egyptians and Israelites as a consequence of the tenth plague, so will our Lord become very great, as a result of the third woe, before the world and before the Lord's people. It is with a consideration of the thoughts of vs. 1-3 on his mind that Moses could utter to Pharaoh the fearful threat contained in vs. 4-8. Antitypically, our Lord, conscious of the promises of the Father toward Him and His own, and the threats of God toward Satan's empire and its supporters, clarified to His understanding by God's pertinent statements, could proclaim and cause to be proclaimed by His mouthpieces the antitypes of the woes to Pharaoh and his subjects set forth in vs. 4-8. These thoughts, then, prepare us for, and introduce us to a consideration of the second part of Moses' interview with Pharaoh, as given in vs. 4-8.

 

(6) In v. 4 the continuance of Moses' remarks of Ex. 10: 29, interrupted by the parenthesis of vs. 1-3, is taken up. Moses' asserting that his words were God's message ("Thus saith the Lord") types our Lord's taking the antitypical message from the Bible and speaking it publicly through His mouthpiece, the Church, as coming from the Bible as God's Word. In two places is God's going forth and slaying the firstborn

 

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associated with the midnight (v. 4 and Ex. 12: 29). It will be noted that the expressions differ slightly, v. 4 saying, "about midnight" and Ex. 12: 29 saying, "at midnight." Why this difference? We believe it is to indicate antitypically two distinct stages of the World War, which, being the beginning of the tribulation, is the beginning of that which inflicts the tenth plague, or the third woe. We know that the World War began to work as ordinary wars do, August 1, 1914, and that by September 21, when the Times of the Gentiles ended, it entered into its trench warfare stage, which began to weaken the nations and ultimately greatly weakened them, thus preparing them for Armageddon. We understand that the going forth "about midnight" (v. 4) types God's starting out (in order to inflict the antitypical tenth plague) in and through the beginning of the World War, August 1, 1914; and the actual beginning of inflicting the antitypical tenth plague, September 21, 1914, antitypes the actual beginning of the typical tenth plague "at midnight" (Ex. 12: 29). In another connection we have pointed out the beginnings of these two stages of the World War (P '32, 23, pars. 3, 5, 6), without there associating these dates with the tenth plague.

 

(7) In these passages the antitypical night referred to consists of the Parousia and the Epiphany periods, which total 80 years. Its midnight would be exactly the middle of these 80 years, i.e., 40 years from the beginning and 40 years from the ending of this night. In other words, the part of this night preceding its midnight was the Parousia and the part following its midnight is the Epiphany. Since the tenth plague in type and antitype began exactly in the middle of their respective nights, we have here another proof that the Parousia and the Epiphany each last 40 years. This consideration also proves that the time of trouble began in 1914 with the World War as the antitypical wind of Rev. 7: 1 ("that the wind [not winds] blow not, etc.") and does not begin with Armageddon, as most

 

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Levites hold, since the whole of the trouble itself is the means whereby the tenth plague, or the third woe, is inflicted. This consideration also proves that one of the Bible's symbolic hours is a period of 6⅔ years, for one-twelfth of an 80 years' night is 6⅔ years. If the hour of Rev. 17: 12 should not prove to be a period of 3⅓ years, as we believe it is, we might have to fall back on an hour of 6⅔ years, unless in the meantime the Lord should reveal to us an hour between these.

 

(8) God's going out into the midst of Egypt types His proceeding through the August 1-September 21, 1914, stage of the World War toward the work of inflicting the tenth plague on Christendom in its very midst—throughout Europe, which is the center of Christendom. Our Lord expressly spoke the antitype of Moses' statement on this point by forecasting through His people that the great tribulation would begin at the end of the Times of the Gentiles, about October, 1914; and from the double of 2,520 years given by the Edgar Brothers in their charts and writings on the lapping ending of the first member of this double during the period from the beginning of Jerusalem's destruction until the blinding of Zedekiah (Jer. 52: 12; 39: 4-7)—a period of seven weeks, from the 10th day of the fifth month to the 1st day of the seventh month— corresponding with the period from August 1, 1914, to September 21, 1914, He impliedly taught through His people that the beginning of the trouble would come about August 1, 1914, since the Times of the Gentiles lappingly ended from August 1 to September 21, 1914. From both standpoints the expression, "about midnight," was antityped by the forecasts made by our Lord through the Church that the trouble would come in 1914. Thus did our Lord as the antitypical Moses forecast before Satan the tenth plague as beginning in 1914.

 

(9) V. 5 tells just what the tenth plague would be—the death of every Egyptian firstborn of man and beast. Antitypically the tenth plague is the death of

 

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the new creatures and the humanity of the Second Death class. As the messenger that inflicted the death of the Egyptian firstborn of man and beast was not the typical tenth plague, which was the death of these, neither is the great tribulation the tenth plague—it is simply the means whereby the annihilation of the Second Death class is accomplished, while their annihilation is the antitypical tenth plague. Originally, all new creatures are antitypical firstborn Israelites—the Church—and are therefore called the Church of the firstborn (Heb. 12: 23). Those new creatures who commit the sin unto death die as antitypical firstborn Israelites, typed by such Israelites as left the cover of the houses safe-guarded to all within by their sprinkled doorposts and lintels (Ex. 12: 22). As such died as antitypical firstborn Israelites, i.e., as the sentence of the second death was passed upon them, not its execution, they were born as antitypical firstborn Egyptians. The reason that they become firstborn Egyptians is this: Satan and the antitypical Egyptians find them more able and useful for their pseudo-religious purposes; for, generally speaking, the brain organs of fallen new creatures are sharper and their hearts are more depraved than those of the unbegotten. Hence they can serve the purposes of Satan (Pharaoh) and his representatives (Pharaoh's servants) more effectively than can the unbegotten. It is, among others, this reason that makes Satan especially desirous to gain control of all new creatures, and he establishes it either in that partial and temporary control that he obtains over the Great Company in their unclean condition, or in that complete and perpetual control that he obtains over the Second Death class.

 

(10) Just as in the type Moses forecast that every living Egyptian firstborn would die the night of Nisan 14 (vs. 4, 5; Ex. 12: 6, 29), so our Lord through His Church forecast that none of the Second Death class then living would survive the great tribulation, but would during it pass away. This was done in the

 

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B.S.M., in the published sermons and in public lectures of the pilgrims from before 1914 to 1916; and it was repeatedly emphasized in America from the fall of 1914 to that of 1916, especially in the denunciations against those of the clergy who had been begotten of the Spirit, and who wickedly misrepresented and opposed the Truth. The firstborn of Pharaoh, who as king occupied Egypt's throne, typed the papacy as the firstborn of Satan, the god or ruler of the present evil world; for the papacy is Satan's chief product on earth. From at least shortly before 1914 up to the fall of 1916, when this forecast was antitypically made, every member of the Roman hierarchy, which does not consist of Romanist priests, but only of Romanist bishops, archbishops and cardinals as body and of the pope as head, was a new creature. Jesus in Matt. 24: 15 and St. Paul in 2 Thes. 2: 4 show that the man of sin would be in the Holy and God's temple—the Church, in which none others than new creatures are; hence it would consist of new creatures, in every case crown-losers who later became of the Second Death class; and those of such who would at least from shortly before 1914 up to November, 1916, be parts of Antichrist would without exception, as antitypical Pharaoh's firstborn, be destroyed during and as a part of the destruction of the system. Their total extirpation will not only destroy the system, which consists of them; but will leave the Romanist church without any one capable of ordaining new priests or members of the hierarchy, which, if the trouble would not destroy that church, would destroy it in a natural way within a generation, from the Romanist standpoint.

 

(11) The lowliest of Egypt's maidservants were those who would grind out the grain. We, therefore, understand that "the maidservant that is behind the mill" types the lowliest of the sects of Christendom. Her firstborn would therefore type the Second Death members belonging to the lowliest sect of Christendom. The antitypical meaning of the expression, "from the

 

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firstborn of Pharaoh … to the firstborn of the maidservant that is behind the mill" (v. 6), therefore, is from the greatest to the least of antitypical Egypt's firstborn. None of these would be spared; but all would be annihilated through the tribulation of the time of trouble. Not one of these would survive into the Millennial Kingdom. Egypt's firstborn of beast type the humanity of these. This feature of the firstborn of beasts is added to show that nothing will be left of antitypical Egypt's firstborn—that they will be totally annihilated. It is by the general setting of the typical events and by contrasted association of the involved typical persons that we conclude that Egypt's firstborn of man type the new creatures of the Second Death class and that Egypt's firstborn of beast type their humanity. That Israel's firstborn of man type the new creatures who constitute the Church of the firstborn is evident from Heb. 12: 23. From the fact that Israel's firstborn of clean beasts were to be sacrificed on God's altar we conclude that they type the humanity of "the Church of the firstborn whose names [characters] are written in heaven [spiritual]," since it is not the latter's new creatures, but their humanity that is sacrificed on God's altar (Rom. 12: 1; 1 Pet. 2: 5; Heb. 9: 14; 1 Pet. 1: 18, 19). Both their new creatures and their humanity are saved—passed over by the antitypical tenth plague. The fate that befalls those that are not passed over by the inflictor of the antitypical tenth plague therefore must be that from which those passed over are spared; hence it is the Second Death that antitypical Egypt's firstborn of men suffer—that which antitypical Israel's firstborn of men escape. This implies that antitypical Egypt's firstborn of men are the unfaithful new creatures that lose life; while antitypical Israel's firstborn of men are the faithful, the new creatures who gain life. If Israel's firstborn of beast represent the humanity of those new creatures who obtain life, Egypt's firstborn of beast

 

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must represent the humanity of those new creatures who will lose life—the humanity of the Lost.

 

(12) The threat of Moses on the great cry that the Egyptians would utter on finding their firstborn dead (v. 6) types the threat that our Lord through the Church from shortly before 1914 to November, 1916, made on the bitter grief that antitypical Egyptians would experience on learning that their main religious leaders—clerical and lay, shepherds and principals of the flock—had gone into the Second Death. This grief is accentuated by the world-wide sufferings of the great tribulation. Notice how much similar is the expression, "such as there was none like it, nor shall be like it any more" (v. 6), to that which Daniel (12: 1) and our Lord (Matt. 24: 21) use of the great tribulation. This similarity serves to associate, though it does not identify the two experiences, and suggests that it is through the tribulation that the antitypical tenth plague is poured out. A somewhat related Scripture implying, among other things, the second death of the members of the man of sin and of the new creature officers of the image of the beast and the resultant grief of their followers on learning of their fate, is Rev. 14: 9-11. These considerations show that it is during and by the wind, earthquake and fire features of the tribulation, and during and by their accompanying famines and pestilences, and not so much by and during the pauses between these great birth pangs, that the antitypical tenth plague is poured out. The dogs of v. 7 type the growling, barking, snapping and biting sectarians. Their tongues type the theories of these. Literal dogs, when they know that their masters are dead, lose their savagery and mourn deeply therefore, as doubtless all of us know from observation or information. Egypt's dogs mourning over the death of their masters or masters' firstborn did not growl, bark and snap at, nor bite Israelitish men or beasts (v. 7) that memorable night. They were too sad therefore, as Moses forecast. This forecast types our Lord

 

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declaring through His people that the sectarian adherents of the beast and the image, when they would learn the fate of the new-creaturely shepherds and the principals of the flock in these systems, would be too greatly depressed, woebegone, also confounded in their views, to use their theories pugnaciously against God's real people. In their grief and confusion, and in the peace and joy of God's real people at that time, they would be forced to recognize that God has made a clear-cut difference (v. 7) between antitypical Israelites and antitypical Egyptians.

 

(13) As Moses forecast the humiliation of Pharaoh's nobles and their subserviency to him (Come and bow down—v. 8), as a result of the tenth plague, so our Lord forecast the humiliation of Satan's special representatives in church, state, capital and society, through the loss of their new-creaturely associates and through the troubles that would cause their loss, and their subserviency to our Lord as forced upon them by the same causes. The B.S.M., the sermons in the newspapers and the lectures of those days repeatedly forecast such humiliation and subserviency coming as punishments upon the unbegotten clergy, politicians, financiers, industrialists, military officers and other influential unbegotten leaders in Satan's order of affairs, before the trouble consumes them. Moses' forecast that Pharaoh's officials would beg relief from their distresses through Moses' and Israel's departure types that the prominent ones of Satan's empire in their multiplied griefs and losses, which they will recognize as punishments for oppressing God's people, will by persecuting acts desire our Lord's expediting His people's departure from what is actually oppression. Such a forecast was made in the Truth messages of the pertinent period to the effect that by persecutions the great ones would drive God's people out of their midst. But how would this be a matter of subserviency? We answer, this will make them minister to the execution of our Lord's demand, and

 

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that most abjectly, because of the wicked conduct (moral debasement) through which they will force them out of antitypical Egypt. Moses' statement that after this he would go out (v. 8) types our Lord's statement made through His people that by the evils of the great tribulation He would forever free His people from Satan's empire. Moses' departure from Pharaoh's presence in great anger types our Lord's ceasing in great displeasure public work on new lines with His final announcement of the great tribulation, from just before 1914 to November, 1916, before the war came here, where mainly the forecast was made.

 

(14) After Jesus and the Church in Europe and America began to announce the great trouble as coming with its incidental destruction of the antitypical firstborn, antitypical of Moses' and Aaron's like announcement, Jehovah told our Lord (v. 9) that Satan would not heed the messages, just as in the type He told Moses that Pharaoh would not heed his message. As in the type this inured to the increase ("multiplied"—v. 9) of the plagues by adding to them the tenth, so also in the antitype. As Moses and Aaron performed all the wonders (the nine plagues and many miracles) in Egypt (v. 10), so did our Lord and the Church perform their antitypes. It will be noted that Moses and Aaron did not work the tenth plague, nor does this tenth verse imply it, since it speaks only of the first nine plagues. So it is not our Lord and the Church that inflict the second death, but it is the great tribulation that does this on antitypical Egypt's firstborn, though they certainly have wrought the first nine antitypical plagues, and that by a teaching ministry, by which ministry they also forecast the tenth antitypical plague. As Moses and Aaron worked the typical plagues "before Pharaoh" (v. 10) in opposition to him, so have our Lord and the Church done in the antitype in public work against Satan. The statement at the end of v. 10 on God's hardening Pharaoh's heart at the end of the ninth plague has the

 

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same significance in the type and antitype as we have explained in previous uses of the expression, so we will not here repeat the explanation.

 

(15) We now come in our study of Israel's Enslavement and Deliverance to the institution of the Passover, whose command to keep must have been given before Nisan 10, since the command to keep it involved the setting aside of the lamb on Nisan 10 (Ex. 12: 3). As a matter of fact, the charge to set aside the lamb on Nisan 10 implies that the charge to keep the Passover preceded Nisan 10 by a few days, so as to allow time for the charge to reach all Israelites, who were scattered abroad over a considerable territory, and who lacked means of quick communications. Again, making Nisan the first month (v. 2) seems to imply its giving on Nisan 1st, at the latest. But, according to Ex. 11: 4 (about the middle of the night), it was in the day preceding the night that the death of Egypt's firstborn of man and beast occurred when Moses had his last interview with Pharaoh, after the ninth plague. This consideration, coupled with the fact that the institution of the Passover was commanded before Nisan 10, and not likely later than Nisan 1, implies that Ex. 12: 1 should be rendered as follows: "For Jehovah had spoken, etc." This is exactly what the antitype requires; for while Moses' forecasts of Ex. 11: 4-8 cover the period from somewhat before October, 1914, to November, 1916, in the denunciations of woe upon antitypical Egypt, which reached their climax in confessing the sins over Azazel's Goat, the smiting of Jordan, antitypical Gideon's First Battle, and executing [pronouncing] the judgment written, the command to institute antitypical Passover preceded Nisan 10, 33 A. D., when our Lord, as the antitypical Lamb, was set aside for death. This, then, turns the antitype, in so far as it concerns the institution and operation of antitypical Passover, back to the beginning of the Gospel Age.

 

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(16) Accordingly, in v. 1 (and also in the following verses while speaking of the things preceding and including the killing of our Lamb) Moses represents our Lord while He was yet in the flesh. Jesus' forecasting and speaking of His death and faithfully executing His ministry, and thereby arousing the Jews to determine on Nisan 10, and to secure on Nisan 14, His death (Matt. 12: 40; 16: 4, 21; 17: 12, 22, 23; 20: 17-19, 28; 21: 37-39; 26: 2, 18, 24, 28, 39, 42, 53, 54; 9: 22, 44; 12: 50; 17; 22: 15, 37; John 3: 4-17; 6: 51; 10: 11, 15, 17, 18; 12: 7, 24, 32, 33; 13: 18, 19, 21; 14: 19; 15: 13; 18: 11; 19: 11), antitypes Moses' charging the institution of the original Passover. God's revealing to Jesus the thought that He was the antitypical Lamb (John 1: 29, 36) that was to be set aside on Nisan 10 and slain Nisan 14, which He did through opening His mind to understand the pertinent prophecies in the Law and the Prophets, antityped Jehovah's speaking to Moses in the pertinent verses. In v. 1 Aaron represents, first, the Apostles while Jesus was in the flesh, for the pertinent verses, and, later, the Apostles and the others of God's people since Pentecost receiving the pertinent truths on the antitypical Passover, for the purpose of giving them to their brethren. God's speaking to Aaron these things represents, first, God's making clear to the Apostles Jesus' pertinent teachings and then, afterwards, the pertinent words of Jesus and the Apostles being by God made clear to the other Christians who would expound them to their brethren. God's doing this speaking in Egypt types Jehovah's revealing these things to Jesus and the Church while they have been amid Satan's empire.

 

(17) Nisan being set aside (v. 2) as the first month of the year involved a change in the calendar; for hitherto the first month of the Fall (Tishri) had been the first month of the year. The Israelites accordingly had thenceforth a twofold year—a secular year beginning in the Fall with the seventh month, Tishri, and the ecclesiastical year beginning in the Spring with

 

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the first month, Nisan, first called Abib. There was an antitype in this change, which antitype is suggested in the name given to these two kinds of years, the secular year suggesting the earthly character of the dispensations before the present one, and the ecclesiastical year suggesting the spiritual character of the present dispensation. Accordingly, we understand the change from the secular to the ecclesiastical year to type the change from the previous dealings, especially from the Law dealings during the Jewish Age, with God's people, to His grace dealings during the Gospel Age with His people. God's giving such a charge for the change of His dispensational dealings with His people, antitypical of the change of the year's beginning (v. 1), is indicated by such passages as John 1: 7; Matt. 4: 17; 5: 17, 18; 11: 11-13; Luke 16: 16; Heb. 1: 1, 2, and the contents of the typical charge are antityped by the contents of these citations. And, true enough, God's dealings with His people previous to the Gospel Age were along earthly—secular—lines, while during the Gospel Age such dealings have been along ecclesia—church, spiritual— lines. The fact that God made the change in the beginning of the year in connection with His institution of the Paschal Lamb, its feast and the entire Passover festival, likewise suggests that the change of the beginning of the year is typical of the Lord's dispensational dealings changing at the beginning of the Gospel Age; for the change in the type was made because of the Passover Lamb, its feast and its following festival, and these typing Christ our Lamb, our privileges as to our Lamb and the blessings of the Christian life respectively, the change of the beginning of the year to Nisan would appropriately type the change to the beginning of the Gospel Age.

 

(18) The charge (v. 3) to tell entire Israel to set aside the typical lamb on Nisan 10, which charge was given before that date, would type a charge given before Nisan 10, 33 A. D.; because, this type being an institutional type fixed to a definite date, when the antitype

 

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would come it would have to come on the date for the type. This we see is a general rule for institutional types fixed to a definite date, evidenced, e.g., by our Lord as the antitypical Lamb dying on Nisan 14, by Christ, the antitypical first ripe Firstfruit entering the antitypical Most Holy Nisan 16, by the antitypical two wave loaves being offered on Pentecost (Lev. 23: 16-21; Acts 2: 1-4, 38, 41), by our Lord as the antitypical Bullock being consecrated on Tishri 10 (Lev. 16: 29, 30-34; 23: 27-32) and by His begettal on Tishri 14 so as to be able to dwell in the antitypical booth on Tishri 15 (Lev. 23: 34-43). Accordingly, before Nisan 10, 33 A. D., God charged that Jesus be set aside as the Lamb on Nisan 10 and be sacrificed on Nisan 14. This charge, like many another one, was given not by words, but by acts. How was it done? By our Heavenly Father arranging such a course of acts for our Lord, and by the Latter's performing them, as to arouse the Sanhedrin and other Israelitish leaders, as the representatives of all Israel, to set Jesus aside for death the day He entered Jerusalem riding on the ass amid the acclamations of the multitude. That day was Monday, Nisan 10, not Sunday, as the nominal church teaches, as is evident by counting back from His death day, Friday, Nisan 14. The decision to put Him to death was made the day He thus entered Jerusalem (Luke 19: 47; compare Matt. 21: 12, 13 with Mark 11: 15-18). Therefore it was made Nisan 10, 33 A. D. Thus was He as our Passover (1 Cor. 5: 7, 8) set aside on Nisan 10, 33 A. D., for death by Israel, acting through their leaders; and their leaders stood here as the heads of the Israelitish nation, hence as its representatives. Israel in them therefore acted as an entirety in this transaction.

 

(19) It would be well to note by what Jesus charged His setting aside as the antitypical Lamb, antitypical of Moses' charging the setting aside of the typical lamb Nisan 10. Jesus did this by those words and acts of His through which the scribes and Pharisees

 

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were aroused to opposition against Him. Among such words and acts were His preaching and teaching without their authorization, His preaching and teaching authoritatively and attractively as against their servile and dry ways, His preaching and teaching contrary to their traditions, His working miracles on the Sabbath, His refuting and denouncing their false teachings and practices, His refusal to truck to them and their ways, His drawing immense numbers after Him and away from them, His using new methods of propaganda so different from theirs, His kindly receiving and companying with publicans and sinners, whom they despised and avoided, His being considerate of Samaritans and paying taxes to Caesar, His calling Himself the Son of God, whose Fatherhood of them He denied, His claiming to be God's special Messenger and sinless, His making and baptizing disciples, His leading a religious movement not subject to the Jewish hierarchy, His outspokenness which refrained not from denouncing their sins, errors and selfishness, His performing miracles that condemned their opposition to Him as an alleged deceiver, His triumphal entrance into Jerusalem, His cleansing of the temple and denouncing them for defiling it, etc., etc., etc. The above listed teachings and acts up to the last three mentioned aroused their deadly opposition, and the last three influenced them to set Him aside on Nisan 10 for death. By these teachings and acts He charged them to set Him aside as the antitypical Lamb on Nisan 10, 33 A. D.

 

(20) In the type ("a lamb for an house," v. 3) a lamb was to serve for each house—family. Each family was thus used to type the entire household of faith and each lamb was used to type Jesus our Lamb. If a family was too small (v. 4) reasonably to eat a lamb, it should join another similar one near by, so that both together for the Passover time might form one family reasonably large enough to eat an entire lamb, typing that the household of faith would not be

 

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small, but large, and that to partake of the antitypical Lamb without an unreasonable waste in the non-use of its imputed merit. There is also in this the suggestion that Christ's merit would be almost entirely availed of imputatively, which implies that many of those for whom it would be imputed would be so fallen from perfection as to require almost all of the merit to bring them up to perfection—not many wise, mighty, noble and great among them, but mainly the foolish, weak, base, despised and nothings (1 Cor. 1: 26-29). A lamb or kid (v. 5) was to be taken, in order to type Jesus' innocence, purity and harmlessness. Hence He is called the Lamb of God (John 1: 29, 36), our Passover, Paschal Lamb (1 Cor. 5: 7), unresisting Lamb (Is. 53: 7), unblemished and spotless Lamb (1 Pet. 1: 19), slain Lamb (Rev. 5: 6, 12; 13: 8) and the Lamb whose blood makes white (Rev. 7: 14) and enables to overcome (Rev. 12: 11). The unblemished condition of the lamb (v. 5) was required to type our Lord as perfect in His physical, mental, artistic, moral and religious faculties, as well as in His human character. Thus the freedom of His humanity from sin and error, and His perfection in every good thing were typed (Ps. 45: 2, 7; Is. 7: 14-16; 53: 9; Acts 13: 28; 2 Cor. 5: 21; Heb. 4: 15; 1 John 3: 5). The lamb's being a male was to type Christ's perfect character strength as a human being; and its being a yearling was to guarantee its being a lamb, so that not as a sheep, but as a genuine lamb it might represent our Lord as the Lamb of God, not as the sheep of God. The stipulation that it might be the young of the sheep or goats was for the convenience of the Israelites, some having only the young of sheep, others having only the young of goats, the provision being made broad enough to accommodate the actual possession of every Israelitish family. Hence we think there is nothing specially typical in this liberty of choice allowed the Israelites.

 

(21) The provision to keep the lamb (v. 6) separate from Nisan 10 to Nisan 14 was made to type that,

 

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though our Lord on Nisan 10, 33 A. D., was set aside for death, He was actually not to be put to death until Nisan 14. The charge that the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel should kill it not before, but on Nisan 14, types Christ's so acting from Nisan 10 to Nisan 14 in His contacts with the Israelites as to give them no opportunity to lay hold on Him to put Him to death before Nisan 14, while His willingly surrendering Himself to them, His forbidding the disciples to deliver Him from their hands in the garden, His unresisting endurance of the trial before, and death sentence from, the Sanhedrin and His permitting the Jews to gain from Pilate His sentence to crucifixion, were the ways in which He at God's command charged the whole house of Israel to put Him as the antitypical Lamb to death Nisan 14. The whole house of Nominal Fleshly Israel partook in it representatively through the great number of them and their leaders asking for it and being willing to have it done. The lamb was slain between the two evenings, the first of which began from about 3 P. M. and lasted until about 6 P. M. and the second of which then began and lasted until about 9 P. M., when night would, according to the Jewish viewpoint, set in. These two evenings are clearly seen as separate and distinct in Matt. 14: 15, 23, when the intervening verses are taken into consideration. Accordingly, the end of the first and the beginning of the second evening, i.e., generally speaking, 6 P. M., or sunset, strictly speaking, would be between the evenings. The lamb being slain at that time, which would be at the beginning of Nisan 14, types not only that our Lord would be slain on Nisan 14, but it was more especially to show that it would be exactly at the end of the Jewish Age—1845 years from Jacob's death—and at the beginning of the Gospel Age. From this viewpoint the night of Nisan 14 would represent the entire Gospel Age, as our Pastor shows in Vol. VI, 460, par. 1, and the beginning of its evening would represent the Lord's death day.