Dave Burnette's Commentary

Exodus Chapter 13

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Moses
Date Penned: (1450-1410 BC)
Overview: The Record of God's Deliverance of Israel (c 1-40)
Theme: Israel in the Wilderness (c 13-18)
Message: The Escape from Egypt (v 1-36)

Exodus 13 Commentary

(13:1-2) The Setting Apart - Sanctify means to sacrifice something or to set something apart as belonging to God. The dedication practice described in 13:11-16 was to remind the people of their deliverance through God.

(13:6-9) A marked People - The Feast of Unleavened Bread, which began with Passover and lasted seven days, marked the Hebrews as a unique people- as though they were branded on their hands and foreheads. What do you do that marks you as a follower of God? The way you raise your children, demonstrate love for others, show concern for the poor, and live in devotion to God-these actions will leave visible marks for all to see. While national groups are marked by customs and traditions, Christians are marked by loving one another (John 13:34-35).

(13:12-14) Redeemed - Why did the Israelites need to "redeem" all their firstborn sons? During the night the Israelites escaped from Egypt, God had spared the oldest son of every house marked with blood on the doorposts. Because God had saved the lives of the firstborn, he had a rightful claim to them. But God commanded the Israelites to buy their sons back from him. This ritual served three main purposes: (1) It was a reminder to the people of how God had spared their sons from death and freed them all from slavery; (2) it showed God's high respect for human life in contrast to the pagan gods who, their worshipers believed, demanded human sacrifice; and (3) it looked forward to the day when Jesus Christ would buy us back by paying the price for our sin once and for all.

(13:17-18) The Hebrews Follow God's Path - God doesn't always work in the way that seems best to us. Instead of guiding the Israelites along the direct route from Egypt to the Promised Land, he took them by a longer route to avoid fighting with the Philistines. If God does not lead you along the shortest path to your goal, don't complain or resist. Follow him willingly and trust him to lead you safely around unseen obstacles. He can see the end of your journey from the beginning, and he knows the safest and best route.

(13:17-18) God Keeps His Promises - God led the Hebrews out of Egypt, just as he had promised. This showed his great power and his great love for his people.

(13;21-22) A Cloud by Day and Fire by Night - God gave the Hebrews a pillar of cloud and a pillar of fire so they would know day and night that God was with them on their journey to the Promised Land. What has God given us so that we can have the same assurance? The Bible_-something the Israelites did not have. He also has given us the Holy Spirit to remind us of what the Bible says and to guide us each day John 14;26). Look to God's Word for reassurance of his presence. As the Hebrews looked to the pillars of cloud and fire, we can look to God's Word day and night to know he is with us, helping us on our journeys.

(12:21-22) God Guides His People - The pillars of fire and cloud were examples of theophany-God appearing in a physical form. In this form, God lighted the Israelites' path, protected them from their enemies, provided reassurance, controlled their movements, and inspired the burning zeal that the people of Israel should have for their God.

Dave Burnette's Life Application

A Fire and Cloud

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we Continue in the book of Exodus with Chapter 13 and in today's text we see the Lord instructing the people of Israel to remember this day when the Lord delivered them out of the hands of the Egyptians by dedicating their first born. Then latter in the chapter the Lord directs Israel with a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. In making application we see how the Lord would have us to live. He wants us to remember the victories He gives us in our lives and then look to Him for direction through the "theophany" (God appearing in a physical form) of the fire and cloud. Today the Lord still speaks to the believer through the Bible and Holy Spirit which we can look upon day and night for instruction. How about you? Do you remember the victories the Lord gives you and how He sustains you? If so, do you look to His Word for direction in the future? Let us learn from today's text and the theophany of the Fire and Cloud remembering the past, looking and listening to the Lord for direction for the future.


Exodus 13

Exodus 13

 1And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

 2Sanctify unto me all the firstborn, whatsoever openeth the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and of beast: it is mine.

 3And Moses said unto the people, Remember this day, in which ye came out from Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for by strength of hand the LORD brought you out from this place: there shall no leavened bread be eaten.

 4This day came ye out in the month Abib.

 5And it shall be when the LORD shall bring thee into the land of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, which he sware unto thy fathers to give thee, a land flowing with milk and honey, that thou shalt keep this service in this month.

 6Seven days thou shalt eat unleavened bread, and in the seventh day shall be a feast to the LORD.

 7Unleavened bread shall be eaten seven days; and there shall no leavened bread be seen with thee, neither shall there be leaven seen with thee in all thy quarters.

 8And thou shalt shew thy son in that day, saying, This is done because of that which the LORD did unto me when I came forth out of Egypt.

 9And it shall be for a sign unto thee upon thine hand, and for a memorial between thine eyes, that the LORD's law may be in thy mouth: for with a strong hand hath the LORD brought thee out of Egypt.

 10Thou shalt therefore keep this ordinance in his season from year to year.

 11And it shall be when the LORD shall bring thee into the land of the Canaanites, as he sware unto thee and to thy fathers, and shall give it thee,

 12That thou shalt set apart unto the LORD all that openeth the matrix, and every firstling that cometh of a beast which thou hast; the males shall be the LORD's.

 13And every firstling of an ass thou shalt redeem with a lamb; and if thou wilt not redeem it, then thou shalt break his neck: and all the firstborn of man among thy children shalt thou redeem.

 14And it shall be when thy son asketh thee in time to come, saying, What is this? that thou shalt say unto him, By strength of hand the LORD brought us out from Egypt, from the house of bondage:

 15And it came to pass, when Pharaoh would hardly let us go, that the LORD slew all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man, and the firstborn of beast: therefore I sacrifice to the LORD all that openeth the matrix, being males; but all the firstborn of my children I redeem.

 16And it shall be for a token upon thine hand, and for frontlets between thine eyes: for by strength of hand the LORD brought us forth out of Egypt.

 17And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt:

 18But God led the people about, through the way of the wilderness of the Red sea: and the children of Israel went up harnessed out of the land of Egypt.

 19And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him: for he had straitly sworn the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you; and ye shall carry up my bones away hence with you.

 20And they took their journey from Succoth, and encamped in Etham, in the edge of the wilderness.

 21And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night:

 22He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.