Exodus 13

The Law of the Firstborn

13:11 The Lord spoke2 to Moses: 13:2 “Set apart3 to me every firstborn male – the first offspring of every womb4 among the Israelites, whether human or animal; it is mine.”5

13:3 Moses said to the people, “Remember6 this day on which you came out from Egypt, from the place where you were enslaved,7 for the Lord brought you out of there8 with a mighty hand – and no bread made with yeast may be eaten.9 13:4 On this day,10 in the month of Abib,11 you are going out.12

13:5 When13 the Lord brings you to the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Hivites, and Jebusites, which he swore to your fathers to give you, a land flowing with milk and honey,14 then you will keep15 this ceremony16 in this month. 13:6 For seven days17 you must eat18 bread made without yeast, and on the seventh day there is to be19 a festival to the Lord. 13:7 Bread made without yeast must be eaten20 for seven days;21 no bread made with yeast shall be seen22 among you, and you must have no yeast among you within any of your borders.

13:8 You are to tell your son23 on that day,24 ‘It is25 because of what26 the Lord did for me when I came out of Egypt.’ 13:927 It28 will be a sign29 for you on your hand and a memorial30 on your forehead,31 so that the law of the Lord may be32 in your mouth,33 for34 with a mighty hand the Lord brought you out of Egypt. 13:10 So you must keep35 this ordinance at its appointed time from year to year.36

13:11 When the Lord brings you37 into the land of the Canaanites,38 as he swore to you and to your fathers, and gives it39 to you, 13:12 then you must give over40 to the Lord the first offspring of every womb.41 Every firstling42 of a beast that you have43 – the males will be the Lord’s.44 13:13 Every firstling45 of a donkey you must redeem46 with a lamb, and if you do not redeem it, then you must break its neck.47 Every firstborn of48 your sons you must redeem.

13:1449 In the future,50 when your son asks you51 ‘What is this?’52 you are to tell him, ‘With a mighty hand53 the Lord brought us out from Egypt, from the land of slavery.54 13:15 When Pharaoh stubbornly refused55 to release us, the Lord killed all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of people to the firstborn of animals.56 That is why I am sacrificing57 to the Lord the first male offspring of every womb, but all my firstborn sons I redeem.’ 13:16 It will be for a sign on your hand and for frontlets58 on your forehead, for with a mighty hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt.”59

The Leading of God

13:1760 When Pharaoh released61 the people, God did not lead them62 by the way to the land63 of the Philistines,64 although65 that was nearby, for God said,66 “Lest67 the people change their minds68 and return to Egypt when they experience69 war.” 13:18 So God brought the people around by the way of the desert to the Red Sea,70 and the Israelites went up from the land of Egypt prepared for battle.71

13:19 Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, for Joseph72 had made the Israelites solemnly swear,73 “God will surely attend74 to you, and you will carry75 my bones up from this place with you.”

13:20 They journeyed from Sukkoth and camped in Etham, on the edge of the desert. 13:21 Now the Lord was going before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them in the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light,76 so that they could77 travel day or night.78 13:22 He did not remove the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night from before the people.79

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