“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
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Recent posts in Passover
- Numbers 8–12: The LORD calls, but will we answer? - June 25th, 2016
- Exodus 10:1–13:16: Make me unleavened - January 16th, 2016
- Numbers 9: 'Second-chance Pesach' and being covered by the Cloud - May 23rd, 2015
- Symbols of Passover: Original, Messianic, today and Day of the LORD - April 4th, 2015
- Psalm 113-118: The Hallel and the Passover - April 12th, 2014
- Passover and the Lamb of God - April 12th, 2014
- Of Lamb and Goats: God's salvation memorialized in Passover Lamb Selection Day and Day of Atonement - March 29th, 2014
- Exodus 13-15: God delivers Israel from Mitzraim (Egypt) through the Red Sea - March 8th, 2014
- Exodus 12: Instructions about Pesakh (Passover) - March 1st, 2014
- God's appointments with humankind gain meaning over time - not obsolescence - September 21st, 2013
- Luke 15: Loving the Lost, part 2: A Tale of Three Lambs - March 16th, 2013
- The Lamb of Elohim at Passover - March 9th, 2013
- Genesis 19: 'Righteous' Lot flees destruction of Sodom, impregnates his daughters - January 19th, 2013
- Passover: Remembering the work of the Lamb of God throughout the Bible - April 6th, 2012
- Pattern of the plagues of the Exodus - April 6th, 2012
- Passion of the Messiah in Psalms - March 24th, 2012
- Messiah our Passover - March 17th, 2012
- Isaac and the Passover - March 10th, 2012
- 'Feasts to the LORD' foreshadowed in Genesis 2-5 - October 20th, 2011
- Numbers 8-9: 'Second Passover'; purification of Levites as Israel's new 'firstborn' - May 7th, 2011
Recent posts in Torah
- Parashat Re'eh (ראה): Deuteronomy 11:26-16:17 - August 13th, 2017
- Parashat Eikev/Ekev (עקב): Deuteronomy 7:12–11:25 - August 6th, 2017
- Parashat Va'etchanan (ואתחנן): Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11 - July 29th, 2017
- Deuteronomy 1:1–3:22: Growing in grace by every word from God - July 29th, 2017
- Parashat Devarim (דברים): Deuteronomy 1:1–3:22 - July 22nd, 2017
- Numbers 30-36: We want Messiah to give us rest from our dumb oaths and vows - July 22nd, 2017
- Parashot Matot/Massei (מטות/מסעי): Numbers 30–36 - July 17th, 2017
- Numbers 25:10-29:40: A 'snake' again becomes an icon of salvation - July 15th, 2017
- Parashat Pinchas (פינחס): Numbers 25:10-30:1 - July 9th, 2017
- Numbers 22:1-25:9: God sent emissaries to the Gentiles too - July 8th, 2017
- Parashat Balak (בלק): Numbers 22:2-25:9 - July 2nd, 2017
- Numbers 19–21: Life and salvation amid death and rebellion - July 1st, 2017
- Parashat Chukat (חקת): Numbers 19:1-22:1 - June 25th, 2017
- Numbers 16–18: Korah, an early anti-Messiah - June 24th, 2017
- Parashat Korach (קרח): Numbers 16–18 - June 18th, 2017
- Numbers 13–15: Overcoming fear in doing the right thing - June 17th, 2017
- Parashat Shelach (שלח): Numbers 13–15 - June 11th, 2017
- Numbers 8–12: Heaven wants you to be Spirit-filled - June 10th, 2017
- Parashat Beha'alotecha (בהעלתך): Numbers 8–12 - June 4th, 2017
- Numbers 4:21–7:89: Ambassadors for the gospel - June 3rd, 2017