New International Reader's Version

Exodus 12

The First Passover Sacrifice

1The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron in Egypt. He said, “From now on, this month will be your first month. Each of your years will begin with it. Speak to the whole community of Israel. Tell them that on the tenth day of this month each man must get a lamb from his flock. A lamb should be chosen for each family and home. Suppose there are not enough people in your family to eat a whole lamb. Then you must share some of it with your nearest neighbor. You must add up the total number of people there are. You must decide how much lamb is needed for each person. The animals you choose must be males that are a year old. They must not have any flaws. You may choose either sheep or goats. Take care of them until the 14th day of the month. Then the whole community of Israel must kill them when the sun goes down. Take some of the blood. Put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where you eat the lambs. That same night eat the meat cooked over a fire. Also eat bitter plants. And eat bread made without yeast. Do not eat the meat when it is raw. Don’t boil it in water. Instead, cook it over a fire. Cook the head, legs and inside parts. 10 Do not leave any of it until morning. If some is left over until morning, burn it up. 11 Eat the meat while your coat is tucked into your belt. Put your sandals on your feet. Take your walking stick in your hand. Eat the food quickly. It is the Lord’s Passover.

12 “That same night I will pass through Egypt. I will strike down all those born first among the people and animals. And I will judge all the gods of Egypt. I am the Lord. 13 The blood on your houses will be a sign for you. When I see the blood, I will pass over you. No deadly plague will touch you when I strike Egypt.

14 “Always remember this day. You and your children after you must celebrate this day as a feast to honor the Lord. You must do this for all time to come. It is a law that will last forever. 15 For seven days eat bread made without yeast. On the first day remove the yeast from your homes. For the next seven days, anyone who eats anything with yeast in it must be separated from Israel. 16 On the first and seventh days, come together for a sacred assembly. Do not work at all on these days. The only thing you are allowed to do is prepare food for everyone to eat.

17 “Celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread. I brought you out of Egypt on this very day like an army on the march. It is a law that will last for all time to come. 18 In the first month eat bread made without yeast. Eat it from the evening of the 14th day until the evening of the 21st day. 19 For seven days do not let any yeast be found in your homes. Anyone who eats anything with yeast in it must be separated from the community of Israel. That applies to outsiders and Israelites alike. 20 Do not eat anything made with yeast. No matter where you live, eat bread made without yeast.”

21 Then Moses sent for all the elders of Israel. He said to them, “Go at once. Choose the animals for your families. Each family must kill a Passover lamb. 22 Get a branch of a hyssop plant. Dip it into the blood in the bowl. Put some of the blood on the top and on both sides of the doorframe. None of you can go out of the door of your house until morning. 23 The Lord will go through the land to strike down the Egyptians. He’ll see the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe. He will pass over that house. He won’t let the destroying angel enter your homes to strike you down.

24 “Obey all these directions. It’s a law for you and your children after you for all time to come. 25 The Lord will give you the land, just as he promised. When you enter it, keep this holy day. 26 Your children will ask you, ‘What does this holy day mean to you?’ 27 Tell them, ‘It’s the Passover sacrifice to honor the Lord. He passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt. He spared our homes when he struck down the Egyptians.’ ” Then the Israelites bowed down and worshiped. 28 They did just what the Lord commanded Moses and Aaron.

29 At midnight the Lord struck down every oldest son in Egypt. He killed the oldest son of Pharaoh, who sat on the throne. He killed all the oldest sons of prisoners. He also killed all the male animals born first to their mothers among the livestock. 30 Pharaoh and all his officials got up during the night. So did all the Egyptians. There was loud crying in Egypt because someone had died in every home.

The Exodus

31 During the night, Pharaoh sent for Moses and Aaron. He said to them, “Get out of here! You and the Israelites, leave my people! Go. Worship the Lord, just as you have asked. 32 Go. Take your flocks and herds, just as you have said. And also give me your blessing.”

33 The Egyptians begged the people of Israel to hurry up and leave the country. “If you don’t,” they said, “we’ll all die!” 34 So the people took their dough before the yeast was added to it. They carried it on their shoulders in bowls for kneading bread. The bowls were wrapped in clothes. 35 They did just as Moses had directed them. They asked the Egyptians for things made out of silver and gold. They also asked them for clothes. 36 The Lord had caused the Egyptians to treat the Israelites in a kind way. So the Egyptians gave them what they asked for. The Israelites took many expensive things that belonged to the Egyptians.

37 The Israelites traveled from Rameses to Sukkoth. There were about 600,000 men old enough to go into battle. The women and children went with them. 38 So did many other people. The Israelites also took large flocks and herds with them. 39 The Israelites brought dough from Egypt. With it they baked loaves of bread without yeast. The dough didn’t have any yeast in it. That’s because the people had been driven out of Egypt before they had time to prepare their food.

40 The Israelites lived in Egypt for 430 years. 41 Then all the Lord’s people marched out of Egypt like an army. That happened at the end of the 430 years, to the exact day. 42 The Lord kept watch that night to bring them out of Egypt. So on that same night every year all the Israelites must keep watch. They must do it to honor the Lord for all time to come.

Rules for the Passover

43 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Here are the rules for the Passover meal.

“No one from another country is allowed to eat it. 44 Any slave you have bought is allowed to eat it after you have circumcised him. 45 But a hired worker or someone who lives with you for a short time is not allowed to eat it.

46 “It must be eaten inside the house. Do not take any of the meat outside. Do not break any of the bones. 47 The whole community of Israel must celebrate the Passover.

48 “Suppose an outsider living among you wants to celebrate the Lord’s Passover. Then all the males in that home must be circumcised. After that, the person can take part, just like an Israelite. Only circumcised males may eat it. 49 The same law applies to Israelites and to outsiders living among you.”

50 All the people of Israel did just what the Lord had commanded Moses and Aaron. 51 On that day the Lord brought the Israelites out of Egypt like an army on the march.