The book of Exodus is the second book of the Torah (“law”). It continues the story of Genesis concerning the migration of the family of Jacob (the Israelites) to Egypt (Genesis 50). It describes the commissioning of Moses and Aaron as God’s representatives on earth to accomplish God’s deliverance of His people from slavery in Egypt and lead them to the Promised Land (the land of Canaan). It also relates the miraculous deliverance from Egypt beginning with the plagues on Egypt and the crossing of the Red Sea. It then describes the journey to Mount Sinai and the establishment of the Mosaic covenant with the Israelites. The last part of the book involves the specifications and building of the tabernacle – the place where the Lord Himself dwelt amongst His people.
In the book of Exodus, the focus shifts to the deliverance of God’s people.
Chapter 12 continues the narrative of the tenth and final plague on Egypt – the death of the firstborn. It includes instructions about what was necessary to celebrate a new ritual called Passover and a feast involving unleavened bread. It also has the account of the plague itself, which describes the LORD going through Egypt and the death of all the firstborn except those in households with blood on the doorposts. Pharaoh finally allowed the Israelites and their livestock to leave Egypt. The chapter ends with more instructions concerning the celebration of Passover.
Chapter 12 can be outlined as follows:
- Instructions Concerning the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread (12:1 – 28)
- The Tenth Plague (12:29 – 36)
- The Israelites Leave Egypt (12:37 – 42)
- Additional Instructions Concerning the Passover (12:43 – 51)