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Exodus 13:1-2 meaning

The Lord commands Israel to set apart the firstborn of all people and animals to His service.

In chapter 12, the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, Sanctify to Me every firstborn, the first offspring of every womb among the sons of Israel, both of man and beast. The idea behind the word "sanctify" (Heb. piel of qadesh) is "to set apart for a special purpose," "declare holy," or "dedicate for God's use only." The "firstborn" (male only - see verse 12) belonged to the LORD and to Him only.

To make it more explicit, the firstborn was the first offspring of every womb (lit. "that which opens the womb"). It included animal life as well. The LORD declared that all firstborn males of Israel and animals belongs to Me. In other words, those whom the LORD delivers must be set apart to the LORD for His service.


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