Summary: A study in the book of Exodus 11: 1 – 10
Exodus 11: 1 – 10
Friday the 13th
11 And the LORD said to Moses, “I will bring one more plague on Pharaoh and on Egypt. Afterward he will let you go from here. When he lets you go, he will surely drive you out of here altogether. 2 Speak now in the hearing of the people, and let every man ask from his neighbor and every woman from her neighbor, articles of silver and articles of gold.” 3 And the LORD gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians. Moreover the man Moses was very great in the land of Egypt, in the sight of Pharaoh’s servants and in the sight of the people. 4 Then Moses said, “Thus says the LORD: ‘About midnight I will go out into the midst of Egypt; 5 and all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sits on his throne, even to the firstborn of the female servant who is behind the handmill, and all the firstborn of the animals. 6 Then there shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as was not like it before, nor shall be like it again. 7 But against none of the children of Israel shall a dog move its tongue, against man or beast, that you may know that the LORD does make a difference between the Egyptians and Israel.’ 8 And all these your servants shall come down to me and bow down to me, saying, ‘Get out, and all the people who follow you!’ After that I will go out.” Then he went out from Pharaoh in great anger. 9 But the LORD said to Moses, “Pharaoh will not heed you, so that My wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt.” 10 So Moses and Aaron did all these wonders before Pharaoh; and the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not let the children of Israel go out of his land.
The oldest reference to bad things befalling people on Friday the 13th is found in Egyptian literature that is over 3000 years old. The Ancient Egyptians believed life was a spiritual journey that unfolded in stages. They believed that 12 of those stages occurred in this life, but last, the 13th was a joyous transformative ascension to an eternal afterlife. So the number 13 represented death to the Egyptians, but not death as in decay and fear, but as an acknowledgment of a glorious eternal life.
The Israelites had been under bondage by the Egyptian people and labored under extremely difficult conditions for hundreds of years. Their cries to God for deliverance were heard and He sent Moses to demand that Pharaoh let them go. Pharaoh would not, and God sent a series of plagues upon Egypt to convince him that He was the one true God and that the Israelites were His chosen people.
So far we have been looking at the ten plagues that were sent and why they were specifically chosen to get the Egyptians’ attention. But the tenth plague was the event that broke the Pharaoh’s will and caused him to order the Israelites to leave Egypt. It was the plague of the death of all of the firstborn in Egypt.
We are going to see that the Israelites were exempt from this slaughter because they had been told by Moses on behalf of God to sacrifice a lamb and paint its blood on the doorposts of their houses. The Death Angel would pass over that blood, and any firstborn that was in those houses would be spared.