Studies in Torah

Parashat Bo (בוא): Exodus 10:1–13:16

“For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it?” (Luke 14:28 NASB)

The cost of freedom for enslaved Yisra’el was the death of the firstborn of Mitzraim, and the cost of our freedom from slavery to the deathward lifestyle away from the Creator is the death of the LORD’s Firstborn.

The last three plagues, including the coming of the Destroyer for the firstborn of Mitzraim, and the first Pesakh are the focus of Torah reading בוא Bo (“come,” Exodus 10:1-13:16).

The standard complementary (haftarah) reading for Parashat Bo is Jeremiah 46:13-28.

The following are notes and recordings of studies by Hallel Fellowship teachers on passages in this week’s reading.

Parashat Bo discussions

Exodus 10:1–13:16: Make me unleavened

When we observe the commandments of God, we are like  unleavened bread, flatbread, called matzot in Hebrew. There’s nothing added, nothing taken out. So we are not to add to God’s commandments, and we are not to treat any traditions we keep on the same level as God’s commandments.

In the Torah reading Bo (“come,” Exodus 10:1–13:16), we learn that matzot gives you life, but it also gives you some affliction and difficulty. God’s mitzvot are the same, they give us life but they also bring some difficulty to life.

Exodus 10–11

Plagues of locusts, darkness, death of first-born against Mitsraim

The plague against the firstborn seems harsh because the innocent died because of the faults of the leadership of Mitsraim (Egypt). However, like with the life of Yosef (Joseph), that plague is a foreshadowing of the future death of an innocent Firstborn, Yeshua the Messiah.

Exodus 12

Yeshua fulfills Pesakh completely

At the time of the Exodus, YHWH (God’s personal name in Hebrew, often translated as “the LORD”) told the people of Israel to have a “lamb for a household” (Exodus 12:3). Usually 10 people could manage to consume a whole lamb. Smaller groups joined together to form a chaverim, Hebrew for “a group of friends,” and that formed a mishpokhah, “a family group.” Paul talks about believers being the “household of God” (1st Timothy 3:15) because there is a “lamb for the household.”

Passover & Unleavened Bread preview

Israel leaves Egypt for good at the first Passover

The exile of the Israelites in the land of Egypt comes to a climatic end with the 10th plague — the death of the firstborn — and the first Passover, or Pesakh in Hebrew.

Instructions about Pesakh (Passover)

As the 10th plague was set to begin against the first-born children and livestock of Mitsraim (Egypt), God told Moshe (Moses) the month with Pesakh (Passover) and the Exodus would be the beginning of Yisra’el’s year (Ex. 12:2). God told Moses of the particular rituals that are to happen during this first month, called Aviv (Ex. 12:3–11). This was relayed to them at the beginning of the month, a couple of weeks before the final plague. There are particular housekeeping rituals that had to be done in advance as well. A particular goat or lamb had to be chosen, leavened items were to be removed from the home, etc. Moses gave all these instructions to the elders of Israel to help them prepare.

Symbols of Passover: Original, Messianic, today and on the Day of the LORD

The “Law of liberty” mentioned by the Apostle Ya’akob (James 1:25; 2:12) is connected to entering into God’s “rest” (Hebrews 3-4) and “walking in liberty” (Psa. 119:45). And the symbols of Pesakh (Passover) show how God planned for this to work originally, at the time of Yeshua Mashiakh (Jesus Christ), today and at the future Day of the LORD.

Of Lamb and Goats: God’s salvation memorialized in Passover Lamb Selection Day and Day of Atonement

Lamb Selection Day is closely connected with Yom haKippurim (Day of Atonement). Both occur on the 10th day of their respective months: first month for Lamb selection day and seventh month of Yom Kippur. And the words of the herald for the Mashiakh (Messiah), Yokhanan the Immerser (John the Baptist), that Yeshua was “the Lamb of God Who takes away the sins of the world” (Jn. 1:29) further connects these two memorials of God’s salvation plan.

Journey to the 10 — First day of Feast of Unleavened Bread and the meaning of ‘leaven’

Today is the 15th day of the first month of God’s year (Exodus 12). We are continuing our “Journey To the 10” which is the retelling of the journey from Egypt to Sinai. This discussion explores the meaning of leaven that God wants believers to remove from their lives.

Acts 12 — the leavened leaders of the ‘lump’ of Israel try to bump off Petros

It’s no coincidence God frees Petros (Peter) from jail during Passover/Unleavened Bread, which even at that time was understood to be a removing of “sourness” from one’s life. In Acts 12, the “leaven” of Herod and of the leaders was shown to be “spoiling” Israel.

Feast of Unleavened Bread — Purge out malice and wickedness

The apostle Paul uses the object lesson of purging leaven out of the home for the Feast of Unleavened Bread in one of his most shocking statements on discipline for immorality in the congregation in Corinth — purge out “malice” and “wickedness.”

Other teachings on Lamb Selection Day, Firstfruits, Passover and Unleavened Bread

Exodus 13

God delivers Israel from Mitzraim (Egypt) through the Red Sea

On the 15th day of the first month, the first day of what God established as Khag Matzot (Feast of Unleavened Bread), Israel left Mitzraim (Egypt). We’ll explore why the Bible talks more about the Matzot than Pesakh (Passover). Pesakh commemorates God’s breaking the chains of Mitzraim that held Yisra’el there, and Matzot, God’s breaking the power of Mitzraim via the sea.

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