It’s no coincidence that the freedom of Yisra’el from bondage in Mitzraim was accompanied by 10 plagues and the release of mankind on the coming Day of the LORD comes after seven plagues. Why such drastic measures are required to give people freedom is behind this week’s Torah portion, וארא Va’era (“I appeared,” Exodus 6:2–9:35).
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.
Elohim‘s dealing through Moshe with the pharaoh of Mitzraim to let Yisra’el out of bondage explains Elohim’s plan to save the world from its bondage to the fantasy of self-sufficiency without the Life-giver and Life-sustainer. It’s a preview of the final seven plagues of Revelation 15–16.
These are the birth-pangs of Yisra’el’s birth out of Mitzraim. The Torah reading וָאֵרָא Va’era (“I appeared,” Exodus 6:2–9:35) covers the revealing of The Name of Elohim and the first seven plagues.
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 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 First-born, Yeshua the Messiah.
The 10 plagues against Mitsraim (Egypt) were judgments against the false deities of the land, to show the descendants of Yisra’el (Israel) and the people of the land Who was the true God.