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Exodus 12:24-27, 43-49

24. And ye shall observe this thing for an ordinance to thee and to thy sons for ever,

24. Observabitis itaque rem istam, (vel verbum istud,) in statutum tibi et filiis tuis usque in saeculum.

25. And it shall come to pass, when ye be come to the land which the Lord will give you, according as he hath promised, that ye shall keep this service.

25. Et erit quum intraveritis terram quam dabit Jehova vobis, ut pollicitus est, tunc observabitis hunc cultum.

26. And it shall come to pass, when your children shall say unto you, What mean ye by this service?

26. Erit autem quum dixerint vobis filii vestri, Quis est cultus iste vobis?

27. That ye shall say, It is the sacrifice of the Lord’s passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he smote the Egyptians, and delivered our houses. And the people bowed the head, and worshipped.

27. Tunc dicetis, Est sacrificium Pesah Jehovae, qui transiliit domos filiorum Israel in Aegypto quando percussit Aegyptios, et domos nostras eruit.

43. And the Lord said unto Moses and Aaron, This is the ordinance of the passover; There shall no stranger eat thereof:

43. Et dixit Jehova ad Mosen et Aharon, Statutum Pesah: Nullus alienigena comedet ex eo.

44. But every man’s servant that is bought for money, when thou hast circumcised him, then shall he eat thereof.

44. Sed omnis servus viri pecunia emptus, postquam ipsum circumciderit, comedet ex eo.

45. A foreigner and an hired servant shall not eat thereof.

45. Advena et mercenarius non comedet ex eo.

46. In one house shall it be eaten: thou shalt not carry forth ought of the flesh abroad out of the house; neither shall ye break a bone thereof.

46. In eadem domo comedetur: non efferes extra domum foras e, carne, et os non confringetis ex eo.

47. All the congregation of Israel shall keep it.

47. Universus coetus Israel facient ipsum, (vel, mactabunt.)

48. And when a stranger shall sojourn with thee, and will keep the passover to the Lord, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as one that is born in the land: for no uncircumcised person shall eat thereof.

48. Quod si inquilinus apud to peregrinetur, ut faciat Pesah Jehovae, circumcidetur ei omnis masculus, et tunc accedat ad faciendum illud, eritque sicut indigena terrae; nullus autem incircuncisus veseatur ex eo.

49. One law shall be to him that is home-born, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you.

49. Lex una erit indigenae et peregrino, qui peregrinatur in medio vestri.

24. And ye shall observe this thing. He again repeats the precept as to its annual celebration, and expressly says, that, when they have come into the land, the recollection of their deliverance is yearly to be revived by this rite. He adds, however, what he had not before touched upon, that they should also teach their children, since, without the aid of this teaching, it would have been an unmeaning and useless spectacle. For doctrine may justly be called the life of sacraments, without which no rigor remains in them, so far are they from imparting to us any life. Lest, then, the passover should be a lifeless ceremony, God in this place enjoins that it shall not be mute; for in these words, “when your children shall say unto you,” Moses does not mean that they are to wait until their children make inquiry of their own accord, and anticipate the zeal of their parents; but he only indicates the age when they are capable of being taught. Yet, at the same time, he indirectly exhorts the children to teachableness, when their age admits of their understanding what the passover signifies, and enjoins them diligently to inquire into the use of the ceremony; that thus religion may be handed down, and may ever flourish amongst the people. Since, then, the Paschal Lamb corresponds with the Holy Supper, we may gather from hence, that none can be duly admitted to receive it, but those who are capable of being taught.

43. This is the ordinance of the passover. Since the passover was the sacred bond whereby God would hold the elect people in obligation to Himself, He forbids all strangers from partaking of it; because a promiscuous permission to eat of it would have been an unworthy profanation. And in fact, since this is a supplement to the First Commandment, it only addresses itself to those unto whom is directed the preface of the Law, “Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord.” We know that among the Gentiles none but the initiated318318     “Ceux qui y estoyent sollennellement introduits, et comme emmatriculez;” those who had been solemnly introduced to them, and as it were, matriculated. — Fr. were admitted to their sacred rites. This was an absurd imitation319319     “Vray est que cela n’a este qu’une singerie: mais tant y a que le diable a voulu contrefaire ce qui est du vray ordre et legitime, lequel doit estre observe en tous sacremens, c’est puis qu’ils sont tesmoinages de la grace speciale de Dieu envers son Eglise, qu’on ne les doit pas prostituer a tons venans;” it is true that this was but a monkey-like imitation; but whilst the devil has thus wished to counterfeit the true and legitimate, order, which should be preserved in all sacraments, it is because they are the testimonies of the special favor of God to His Church, that they must not be prostituted to all comers. — Fr. of this true and lawful ordinance; because such a condition is only applicable to the institution of God, lest strangers should promiscuously usurp the testimonies of His grace, with which He honors His Church alone. For circumcision was then like a hedge, which should distinguish heathen nations from the holy race of Abraham; if, then, any should wish to celebrate the passover together with the elect people, it was necessary that he should be circumcised, so as to attach himself to the true God; though God did not merely refer to the outward sign, but to the object, viz., that all who were circumcised should promise to study sincere piety. Moses, therefore, first of all, excludes all strangers who were unclean through their uncircumcision; and then he adds two exceptions, viz., that servants bought with money should be circumcised, (which was a necessary requirement;) and that free and independent persons, if they chose to embrace the same alternative, should also be received to the passover. Hence it appears that this rite was not only peculiar to God’s people, but that it was a sign of the future redemption. For strangers could not testify that they were sharers in that redemption which had been promised to the race of Abraham alone; and, therefore, the ceremony of the sacred feast would have been vain and useless to them. Nor does Moses refer only to that mixed multitude which had followed the Israelites out of Egypt; but prescribes a law respecting all strangers, who for many succeeding ages should come on business into the land. No doubt but that, in celebrating the passover, they would have expected another redemption; since that which was already vouchsafed to the children of Abraham had not extended to them. For although they might be reckoned among the people, yet did no portion of the land in consequence fall to their lot, nor was their condition improved as to temporal rights;320320     Omitted in the French. but it was only that they might become members of the Church. From the analogy between the Holy Supper and the Passover, this law remains in force now, viz., that no polluted or impure person should intrude himself at the Lord’s table, but that only the faithful should be received, after they have professed themselves to be followers of Christ.321321     “Fait protestation de leur roy et Chrestiente;” made open profession of their faith and Christianity. — Fr. And this is expressed also in the words, “One law shall be to him that is homeborn, and unto the stranger,” etc., ver. 49; viz., that the ordinance of the sacrament should be solemnly observed by all, and that thus they should equally participate in the grace offered to them in common, and that in this respect the condition of all should be equal, though it differed as to their inheritance of the land.

46. Neither shall ye break a bone thereof. I am not certain why God desired no bone to be broken; unless that this might also be a sign of haste; because people at table seldom partake of the marrow, unless when their entertainment is protracted. For I fear there is too much subtlety in the explanation which some give, that the virtue of Christ, which is represented by the bones, is not diminished whilst we feed on His flesh. But the former opinion which I have glanced at above, as it is the simplest, so also it is by no means unsuitable here; that they were commanded, when they were standing in readiness for their journey, and eating hurriedly, to burn the bones in order to prevent all delay. What God commanded as to the lamb, He chose to have openly fulfilled in the person of His only-begotten Son; that the truth corresponding with its type, and the substance with its shadow, might shew that God would be reconciled to His people by no other blood than Christ’s. Whence it is again clear that the ancients under the Law were instructed by the Paschal Lamb as to the future redemption, for otherwise this passage could not have been properly accommodated to Christ. But when the Evangelist quotes it, (John 19:33,) he takes it for granted that thus was typically shewn what God would bestow by His Son. Hence it came to pass that He was distinguished by this visible mark, which proved Him to be the true Passover. But, in order that no bone of Christ’s should be broken, God’s providence wonderfully interfered. The soldiers were commanded to hasten the death of Christ, no less than that of the robbers, by breaking their bones. They execute their intention on the robbers, but lest they should attempt the same on Christ, it is certain that they were restrained by a divine power, so that the wholeness of His bones might be a presage of the approaching redemption.


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