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Exodus 12:29-32, Death of the Firstborn

Narrative Lectionary Key Verse for Today

At midnight the Lord struck down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the prisoner who was in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of the livestock.
— Exodus 12:29

NL Daily Devotion for Friday, January 11, 2019

by Dr. Kimberly Leetch, Clergy Stuff


It may seem, to our modern sensibilities, that God striking the firstborn is a cruel punishment, even for Egypt.

There’s an interesting scene in the movie, The Prince of Egypt, a movie from the 1990’s that told the story of Moses. The movie was intentional about telling the early part of the Israelites’ story. The Pharaoh had worried that the Hebrews (Israel) would grow too numerous, so he had their babies killed. In the movie, when Moses returns to confront Pharaoh to let the people go, the Pharaoh refuses. (Ten times, as we know.) Before the final plague, Moses and Pharaoh share a moment in the palace where the art on the wall tells the story of the Hebrew children’s mass murder. The movie (and the Bible) implies that Pharaoh himself chose the final plague when he murdered the children of the Hebrews. It was a moment of serendipity (or karma) that changed the tide for Israel.

Cruel or not, it seemed this plague had to happen. Fortunately for Israel, death turned into life when they were freed from slavery and they walked with God.


Narrative Lectionary Daily Reading:

Exodus 12:29-32

At midnight the Lord struck down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the prisoner who was in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of the livestock.Pharaoh arose in the night, he and all his officials and all the Egyptians; and there was a loud cry in Egypt, for there was not a house without someone dead. Then he summoned Moses and Aaron in the night, and said, “Rise up, go away from my people, both you and the Israelites! Go, worship the Lord, as you said. Take your flocks and your herds, as you said, and be gone. And bring a blessing on me too!”

Related & Recent Posts

 
Earlier Event: January 10
Exodus 2:1-11, Birth of Moses
Later Event: January 12
Hosea 11:1-12, A Promise out of Egypt