Exodus and the Days of Unleavened Bread

by COGwriter

The Days of Unleavened Bread are first specifically brought up in the Book of Exodus (though they are alluded to in Genesis). This article will go through parts of the Book of Exodus and other scriptures and make some observations and connections related to the Days of Unleavened Bread.

But before getting to the Book of Exodus, let's just read something about the Days of Unleavened Bread from Leviticus:

4 'These are the feasts of the Lord, holy convocations which you shall proclaim at their appointed times. 5 On the fourteenth day of the first month at twilight is the Lord's Passover. 6 And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the Lord; seven days you must eat unleavened bread. 7 On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall do no customary work on it. (Leviticus 23:4-8)

Events leading up to the time these days are directly mentioned are covered in the Book of Exodus. A related sermon is available and is titled: Unleavened Bread: Lessons in Exodus.

Other Exodus sermons include Exodus 1-4: Jewish Myths or Lessons for Christians Today?, Exodus 5-7: Serpents, Blood, and Revelation, Exodus 8-9: Plagues and Prophecy, Exodus 10-12: The Last Plagues & 21st Century Prophecies, and Exodus 13-15: Passover Protection and Armageddon.

The Book of Exodus

The Book of Exodus was penned by Moses in the 15th century B.C. We know this because the Exodus out of Egypt occurred around 1446 B.C. (for details see When was the Exodus? Did it Happen?) and Moses lived for forty years after the Exodus (cf. Exodus 7:7; Deuteronomy 34:7).

1 Now these are the names of the children of Israel who came to Egypt; each man and his household came with Jacob: 2 Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah; 3 Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin; 4 Dan, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher. 5 All those who were descendants of Jacob were seventy persons (for Joseph was in Egypt already). 6 And Joseph died, all his brothers, and all that generation. 7 But the children of Israel were fruitful and increased abundantly, multiplied and grew exceedingly mighty; and the land was filled with them. (Exodus 1:1-7, NKJV throughout except as otherwise noted)

So, Exodus ties itself in with the Book of Genesis.

Before going further, some have wondered about the number of people mentioned in Exodus 1:5 compared to Genesis 41 and Acts 7: . Here is what Nelson's Study Bible (copyright 1997) teaches:

Genesis 46:26 The total is sixty-six, and when Jacob, Joseph, and Joseph's two sons are added, the grand total is seventy. The number did not include the wives of Jacob's sons.

Exodus 1:5, 6 seventy persons: See Gen. 46:1-27. Joseph was not included among the senventy (for Joseph's death, see Gen. 50).

Acts 7:14 Stephen stated that seventy-five people in all went to Egypt. Genesis 46:26 indicates that sixty-six people accompanied Jacob to Egypt, not including Jacob, Joseph, and the two sons of Joseph. Stephen derived the number seventy-five from the Septuagint translation of the Old Testament. The translators apparently added nine wives (Geneisis 46:26 says the number sixty-six did not include the wives). It was only nine and not twelve because the wives of Judah and Simeon had died and Joseph's wife was already in Egypt.

Getting back to Exodus, we see:

8 Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph.

Now the Book of Genesis records that Joseph saved Egypt from a massive famine and ended up increasing the wealth for the pharaohs there (Genesis 47:13-26). Despite benefiting from this, a new Pharaoh was not grateful as he should have been (cf. 2 Timothy 3:2). He forgot the blessings he got.

What might this have to do with the Days of Unleavened Bread?

Well the Days of Unleavened Bread come right after Passover. And while on Passover, Christians are reminded of the sacrifice that Jesus made for them, sometimes they are not grateful throughout the rest of the year. They forget. The Days of Unleavened Bread being right after Passover reminds us to not forget.

Getting back to Exodus. The Pharaoh turned against the Israelites:

9 And he said to his people, "Look, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we; 10 come, let us deal shrewdly with them, lest they multiply, and it happen, in the event of war, that they also join our enemies and fight against us, and so go up out of the land." 11 Therefore they set taskmasters over them to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh supply cities, Pithom and Raamses. 12 But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were in dread of the children of Israel. 13 So the Egyptians made the children of Israel serve with rigor. 14 And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage — in mortar, in brick, and in all manner of service in the field. All their service in which they made them serve was with rigor.

This was a very harsh bondage. The Hebrew word translated rigor, pehrek, means to fracture or crush. This was exceedingly difficult.

Then the Egyptian king called for what are now known as partial-birth abortions:

15 Then the king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives, of whom the name of one was Shiphrah and the name of the other Puah; 16 and he said, "When you do the duties of a midwife for the Hebrew women, and see them on the birthstools, if it is a son, then you shall kill him; but if it is a daughter, then she shall live."

This order was wrong. While we normally should obey government officials (Romans 13:1-2), the apostles realized in case of a conflict, "We ought to obey God rather than men" (Acts 5:29).

17 But the midwives feared God, and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the male children alive.

The midwives could have been killed for this. Will you truly be willing to risk your life to believe and obey God like the midwives did? Are you sure? Have you properly examined your own life to remove obstacles/sins from it that might get in the way?

That is something you should be doing all the time per 2 Corinthians 13:5, but also specifically just prior to the Days of Unleavened Bread as the Apostle Paul wrote:

28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. 30 For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep. 31 For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. 32 But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world. (1 Corinthians 11:28-32)

Well, getting back to Exodus:

18 So the king of Egypt called for the midwives and said to them, "Why have you done this thing, and saved the male children alive?"

19 And the midwives said to Pharaoh, "Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women; for they are lively and give birth before the midwives come to them."

Jesus taught:

16 "Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. 17 But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues. (Matthew 10:16-17)

The midwives apparently realized some of this nearly 1500 years before Jesus spoke those words. And God blessed them:

20 Therefore God dealt well with the midwives, and the people multiplied and grew very mighty. 21 And so it was, because the midwives feared God, that He provided households for them.

So, God blessed the midwives for not sinning. God will bless you for not sinning. During these Days of Unleavened Bread we are to be careful not only about avoiding physical leaven, but also spiritual leaven.

Getting back to Exodus:

22 So Pharaoh commanded all his people, saying, "Every son who is born you shall cast into the river, and every daughter you shall save alive."

Sadly, some must have done this. For how long is not clear. But this is something that no one should do.

Jesus, however, warns that in the end, people will betray their own relatives:

12 Now brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. 13 And you will be hated by all for My name's sake. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. (Mark 13:12-13)

Some apparently betrayed their children as the Pharaoh wanted in Exodus. Some will betray those in the Church of God in the end who acted like their were spiritual relatives as well (see also Daniel 11:32-35; see also Persecutions by Church and State).

Moses Was No Accident

Sometime after Pharaoh's decree, notice what happened:

1 And a man of the house of Levi went and took as wife a daughter of Levi. 2 So the woman conceived and bore a son. And when she saw that he was a beautiful child, she hid him three months. (Exodus 2:1-2)

This mother and father refused to obey Pharaoh's monstrous decree and did tried to work around it. They took it one day at a time, which is how we have to handle many tests and trials (Matthew 6:34). But since the mother realized that this could not continue, did she then decide to get her son killed?

3 But when she could no longer hide him, she took an ark of bulrushes for him, daubed it with asphalt and pitch, put the child in it, and laid it in the reeds by the river's bank. 4 And his sister stood afar off, to know what would be done to him. (Exodus 2:3-4)

Understand that the mother instituted a novel plan. And she had added details, such as having her daughter around. The mother (Jochebed) saw the general situation before this as impossible and probably prayed about it. God promises to grant wisdom to those who ask Him for it (e.g. James 1:5). And while both the Old and New Testaments say to ask for wisdom (details are in the booklet Prayer: What Does the Bible Teach?), none of the Bible had been written down then. Perhaps it should be mentioned that, although not in the Bible, Josephus says that Moses' father Amram prayed to God about his wife's impending delivery and God answered in a dream and the parents decided they had to do something (Josephus. Antiquities of the Jews - Book II. Chapter 9, verses 3-5). Whether that was the case or not is uncertain, but somehow Moses' mother knew to do something right.

Remember the Bible teaches that:

13 ... God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)

You might be facing a difficult trial. While it probably is not as physically serious as that which the mother faced, you do have the written word of God available and you should remember what it says. Pray and examine yourself.

Getting back to Exodus, the narrative continues with:

7 Then his sister said to Pharaoh's daughter, "Shall I go and call a nurse for you from the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for you?"

8 And Pharaoh's daughter said to her, "Go." So the maiden went and called the child's mother. 9 Then Pharaoh's daughter said to her, "Take this child away and nurse him for me, and I will give you your wages." So the woman took the child and nursed him. 10 And the child grew, and she brought him to Pharaoh's daughter, and he became her son. So she called his name Moses, saying, "Because I drew him out of the water." (Exodus 2:7-10)

We see that Pharaoh's daughter named the child Moses. You can see the reason here that she gave. But there may have been another reason.

It is most likely that Thutmose I was Pharaoh at the time (see When was the Exodus? Did it Happen?). The Pharaoh's daughter probably felt that a name similar to her father's would meet with more favor with him. Simply take away "Thut" from Thutmose" and you get "mose." Mose may have meant something like 'born of the gods' (Thut/Thoth was an Egyptian deity; Thutmose, Wikipedia, accessed 03/18/15 [Thoth was usually shown the head of a waterbird called an ibis]).

The name “Moses” finds meaning both in Hebrew and Egyptian. In Hebrew mosheh means “drawn out” and in Egyptian mos means “child,” it being the same element as found in Thutmose, which means “child of Thoth.” (Moses. Biblical Archeology of the Exodus. http://www.truthnet.org/Biblicalarcheology/5/Exodusarcheology.htm accessed 03/21/15)

6. Hereupon it was that Thermuthis imposed this name Mouses upon him, from what had happened when he was put into the river; for the Egyptians call water by the name of Mo, and such as are saved out of it, by the name of Uses: so by putting these two words together, they imposed this name upon him. (Josephus. Antiquities of the Jews - Book II. Chapter 9, verse 6).

The woman who pulled Moses out appears to have been better known as Hatshepsut (for more details, see When was the Exodus? Did it Happen?). Since Hatshepsut later became queen, it is logical to conclude that Moses was in consideration to become the Pharaoh of Egypt.

To add a few more details here, let's notice something from Exodus 6:

20 Now Amram took for himself Jochebed, his father's sister, as wife; and she bore him Aaron and Moses. (Exodus 6:20)

With the Bible, doctrine is often learned here a little and there a little (cf. Isaiah 28:10-13; 2 Timothy 3:16-17), and some details are scattered throughout it.

Now, let me add that these accounts in Exodus are not just stories. God had this planned out for a long time. Moses and his being brought up with royalty was part of God's plan. While Moses' mother probably would not have a reason to realize what would happen to Moses, God did.

God planned for Moses to lead the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt long before it happened. And this departure from Egypt happened after the Passover lambs were slain.

But God long had a plan.

Remember that Jesus the Passover Lamb (1 Corinthians 5:7) was "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" (Revelation 13:8).

But what about God's people?

God's people were "written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world" (Revelation 17:8).

Did that include Moses?

Certainly. And he knew it:

31 Then Moses returned to the Lord and said, "Oh, these people have committed a great sin, and have made for themselves a god of gold! 32 Yet now, if You will forgive their sin — but if not, I pray, blot me out of Your book which You have written."

33 And the Lord said to Moses, "Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book. 34 Now therefore, go, lead the people to the place of which I have spoken to you. Behold, My Angel shall go before you. Nevertheless, in the day when I visit for punishment, I will visit punishment upon them for their sin." (Exodus 32:31-34)

Were Christians known since before the foundation of the world? The Apostle Paul wrote that they were:

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, 5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.

7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace 8 which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, 9 having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, 10 that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth — in Him. (Ephesians 1:3-10)

If you are being called now, God predestined to call you long ago.


28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. (Romans 8:28-30)

Moses' mother did not know how things would work out for sure, but they did. As Christians, we know that all things will work together for our good is we truly live as a Christian (see also Living as a Christian: How and Why?).

Moses' calling was no accident. Nor was yours.

Moses Grew and Moses Knew

Getting back to Moses' early days, the New Testament martyr Stephen taught:

20 At this time Moses was born, and was well pleasing to God; and he was brought up in his father's house for three months. 21 But when he was set out, Pharaoh's daughter took him away and brought him up as her own son. 22 And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and deeds. (Acts 7:20-22)

Moses was brought up in the royal household of the most powerful human ruler on the planet. He likely had the best education and everything that was available. As 21st century Christians, we should stop and realize have more information available to us than others before us. This was prophesied (Daniel 12:4) and in the end times, we are to "instruct many" (Daniel 11:33).

We need to handle the knowledge we have access to properly.

Moses did:

24 By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, 25 choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, 26 esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.

27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible. 28 By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, lest he who destroyed the firstborn should touch them.

29 By faith they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land, whereas the Egyptians, attempting to do so, were drowned. (Hebrews 11:24-29)

Moses knew and wanted to stand up for the truth.

Yet, according to what he wrote in Exodus, Moses did not handle everything right:

11 Now it came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown, that he went out to his brethren and looked at their burdens. And he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his brethren. 12 So he looked this way and that way, and when he saw no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. 13 And when he went out the second day, behold, two Hebrew men were fighting, and he said to the one who did the wrong, "Why are you striking your companion?"

14 Then he said, "Who made you a prince and a judge over us? Do you intend to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?"

So Moses feared and said, "Surely this thing is known!" (Exodus 2:11-14)

Moses was planned, Moses was written in the Book of Life, yet Moses made a major mistake. You too may have made major mistakes since you were called, but you still can be used by God. Moses had a problem with self-control (cf. 2 Peter 1:6). Unless you completely turn against God, you have not committed the unpardonable sin (see also What is the Unpardonable Sin?). Satan is the accuser of the brethren (Revelation 12:10), don't let his plan stop you.

An interesting fact that is not mentioned in the account in Exodus is that Moses knew that God called him to lead the children of Israel as Stephen relates:

23 "Now when he was forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren, the children of Israel. 24 And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended and avenged him who was oppressed, and struck down the Egyptian. 25 For he supposed that his brethren would have understood that God would deliver them by his hand, but they did not understand. 26 And the next day he appeared to two of them as they were fighting, and tried to reconcile them, saying, 'Men, you are brethren; why do you wrong one another?' 27 But he who did his neighbor wrong pushed him away, saying, 'Who made you a ruler and a judge over us? 28 Do you want to kill me as you did the Egyptian yesterday?' 29 Then, at this saying, Moses fled and became a dweller in the land of Midian, where he had two sons. (Acts 7:23-29)

People did not want to believe God was using Moses, but God was.

Perhaps if Moses had not killed the Egyptian, God may have been willing to use Moses to lead then. But because of Moses' actions he fled:

15 When Pharaoh heard of this matter, he sought to kill Moses. But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh and dwelt in the land of Midian; and he sat down by a well. (Exodus 2:15)

Moses was chosen by God, but he was not supposed to have killed.

Some of you probably have not been properly baptized yet. Some of you know that God is calling you. But sometimes you are taking the wrong actions and going in the wrong direction. Because of that, God may need to give you additional tests and trials to help straighten you out.

Exodus continues with:

16 Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters. And they came and drew water, and they filled the troughs to water their father's flock. 17 Then the shepherds came and drove them away; but Moses stood up and helped them, and watered their flock.

18 When they came to Reuel their father, he said, "How is it that you have come so soon today?"

19 And they said, "An Egyptian delivered us from the hand of the shepherds, and he also drew enough water for us and watered the flock."

20 So he said to his daughters, "And where is he? Why is it that you have left the man? Call him, that he may eat bread."

21 Then Moses was content to live with the man, and he gave Zipporah his daughter to Moses. 22 And she bore him a son. He called his name Gershom, for he said, "I have been a stranger in a foreign land."

23 Now it happened in the process of time that the king of Egypt died. Then the children of Israel groaned because of the bondage, and they cried out; and their cry came up to God because of the bondage. 24 So God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. 25 And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God acknowledged them. (Exodus 2:16-25)

The forty years commenced. Moses lived in the wilderness outside of Egypt for forty years. Later, this wilderness experience would prove helpful.

Both Moses and the children of Israel probably thought God had forsaken them. But that was not the case:

9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)

Now, Moses DID NOT have to sin to fulfill God's plans for him. God could have called some Israelite out of the wilderness who perhaps had fled slavery in Egypt to join Moses and the children of Israel--so do not conclude that sin, especially your own, is the only way God's will would be done. God does not have the limits we humans tend to hold to. Jesus said, "The things which are impossible with men are possible with God" (Luke 18:27).

Nor do you have to sin--ever!

Understand that sin does have its consequences and that is something to always keep in mind, but especially during the Days of Unleavened Bread.

But also understand that if you will accept what happens to you in a godly manner, you can build character:

3 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope. (Romans 5:3-4)

This happened to Moses. He did not become bitter for spending forty years as a shepherd. Instead, notice:

3 (Now the man Moses was very humble, more than all men who were on the face of the earth.) (Numbers 12:3)

3 (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.) (Numbers 12:3, KJV)

Yet despite Moses' meek humility, detractors accused him of wanting to "lord it over them" (Numbers 16:1-7).

Similar false accusations are made today. Even David was accused of vanity for obeying the fifth commandment by his brother (1 Samuel 17:20, 26-29). Many do not wish to accept God's governance, but they should (see also The Bible, Peter, Paul, John, Polycarp, Herbert W. Armstrong, Roderick C. Meredith, and Bob Thiel on Church Government).

Moses and the Burning Bush

God still had plans for Moses, despite him being a shepherd. Here is what Stephen said:

30 "And when forty years had passed, an Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire in a bush, in the wilderness of Mount Sinai. 31 When Moses saw it, he marveled at the sight; and as he drew near to observe, the voice of the Lord came to him, 32 saying, 'I am the God of your fathers — the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.' And Moses trembled and dared not look. 33 'Then the Lord said to him, "Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground. 34 I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt; I have heard their groaning and have come down to deliver them. And now come, I will send you to Egypt."'

35 "This Moses whom they rejected, saying, 'Who made you a ruler and a judge?' is the one God sent to be a ruler and a deliverer by the hand of the Angel who appeared to him in the bush. 36 He brought them out, after he had shown wonders and signs in the land of Egypt, and in the Red Sea, and in the wilderness forty years. (Acts 7:30-36)

Here is the account of the burning bush from Exodus:

1 Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian. And he led the flock to the back of the desert, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2 And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. So he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed. 3 Then Moses said, "I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn."

4 So when the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, "Moses, Moses!"
And he said, "Here I am."

5 Then He said, "Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground." 6 Moreover He said, "I am the God of your father — the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God.

7 And the Lord said: "I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows. 8 So I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites. 9 Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel has come to Me, and I have also seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them. 10 Come now, therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt."

11 But Moses said to God, "Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?" (Exodus 3:1-13)

By this time Moses did not well consider that God would use him. God's plan still included Moses:

12 So He said, "I will certainly be with you. And this shall be a sign to you that I have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain."

So Moses then asked God His name, God answered, and provided an overview of part of His plan for Moses, the Egyptians, and the children of Israel.

13 Then Moses said to God, "Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they say to me, 'What is His name?' what shall I say to them?"

14 And God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." And He said, "Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.'" 15 Moreover God said to Moses, "Thus you shall say to the children of Israel: 'The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is My name forever, and this is My memorial to all generations.'

Some have misunderstood the name issue. For more details, check out the article The Bible, Church History, and Sacred Names.

16 Go and gather the elders of Israel together, and say to them, 'The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, appeared to me, saying, "I have surely visited you and seen what is done to you in Egypt; 17 and I have said I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt to the land of the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, to a land flowing with milk and honey."' 18 Then they will heed your voice; and you shall come, you and the elders of Israel, to the king of Egypt; and you shall say to him, 'The Lord God of the Hebrews has met with us; and now, please, let us go three days' journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the Lord our God.' 19 But I am sure that the king of Egypt will not let you go, no, not even by a mighty hand. 20 So I will stretch out My hand and strike Egypt with all My wonders which I will do in its midst; and after that he will let you go. 21 And I will give this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians; and it shall be, when you go, that you shall not go empty-handed. 22 But every woman shall ask of her neighbor, namely, of her who dwells near her house, articles of silver, articles of gold, and clothing; and you shall put them on your sons and on your daughters. So you shall plunder the Egyptians." (Exodus 3:14-22)

The above included the ten plagues, which are discussed in more detail in the article Reasons, Proofs, and Ramifications of the Ten Plagues of Exodus.

Moses Made Excuses


1 Then Moses answered and said, "But suppose they will not believe me or listen to my voice; suppose they say, 'The Lord has not appeared to you.'"

2 So the Lord said to him, "What is that in your hand?"

He said, "A rod."

3 And He said, "Cast it on the ground." So he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from it. 4 Then the Lord said to Moses, "Reach out your hand and take it by the tail" (and he reached out his hand and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand), 5 "that they may believe that the Lord God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has appeared to you."

6 Furthermore the Lord said to him, "Now put your hand in your bosom." And he put his hand in his bosom, and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous, like snow. 7 And He said, "Put your hand in your bosom again." So he put his hand in his bosom again, and drew it out of his bosom, and behold, it was restored like his other flesh. 8 "Then it will be, if they do not believe you, nor heed the message of the first sign, that they may believe the message of the latter sign. 9 And it shall be, if they do not believe even these two signs, or listen to your voice, that you shall take water from the river and pour it on the dry land. The water which you take from the river will become blood on the dry land."

10 Then Moses said to the Lord, "O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue."

Note: Jeremiah (Jeremiah 1:6-8) and Paul (2 Corinthians 10:7-10) had speaking issues, but God used them anyway.

11 So the Lord said to him, "Who has made man's mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the Lord? 12 Now therefore, go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say."

13 But he said, "O my Lord, please send by the hand of whomever else You may send."

14 So the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses, and He said: "Is not Aaron the Levite your brother? I know that he can speak well. And look, he is also coming out to meet you. When he sees you, he will be glad in his heart. 15 Now you shall speak to him and put the words in his mouth. And I will be with your mouth and with his mouth, and I will teach you what you shall do. 16 So he shall be your spokesman to the people. And he himself shall be as a mouth for you, and you shall be to him as God. 17 And you shall take this rod in your hand, with which you shall do the signs." (Exodus 4:1-17)

Moses made excuses. Do you?

Part of the reasons I do these sermons is because of Moses. I know full well that there are a lot more entertaining speakers out there, but did not try to use my limited rhetorical skills as an excuse. Neither did the Apostle Paul:

1 And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. (1 Corinthians 2:1)

6 Even though I am untrained in speech, yet I am not in knowledge. (2 Corinthians 11:6)

8 For even if I should boast somewhat more about our authority, which the Lord gave us for edification and not for your destruction, I shall not be ashamed — 9 lest I seem to terrify you by letters. 10 "For his letters," they say, "are weighty and powerful, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible." (2 Corinthians 10:8-10)

As a teacher, I try to give biblically based knowledge. Seeing what happened to Paul to Moses shows that God will use leaders even if they are not entertaining speakers--so that cannot be a valid excuses. Many people want to be entertained--if you are watching our sermons (available as the ContinuingCOG channel) hopefully you are doing so to be informed.

If God is calling you to be a true Christian, do not make excuses, just follow God--and in modern times that means doing what His word explains and trying to live as Jesus would have you to.


1 Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened,
That it cannot save;
Nor His ear heavy,
That it cannot hear.
2 But your iniquities have separated you from your God;
And your sins have hidden His face from you,
So that He will not hear. (Isaiah 59:1-2)

Do you have hidden sins to deal with? Do you lack faith (see also Faith for Those God has Called and Chosen)?

Something to think about during the Days of Unleavened Bread.

Moses' Enemies Are Dead

Getting back to Exodus 4:

18 So Moses went and returned to Jethro his father-in-law, and said to him, "Please let me go and return to my brethren who are in Egypt, and see whether they are still alive."

And Jethro said to Moses, "Go in peace."

19 Now the Lord said to Moses in Midian, "Go, return to Egypt; for all the men who sought your life are dead." 20 Then Moses took his wife and his sons and set them on a donkey, and he returned to the land of Egypt. And Moses took the rod of God in his hand. (Exodus 4:18-20)

One of the 'secret sins' that Moses may have had was that he apparently was fearful about getting killed when he returned to Egypt. God provided assurances that this was no longer a problem. We all sometimes have concerns about things we do not voice--but God still knows.

Getting back to the narrative:

21 And the Lord said to Moses, "When you go back to Egypt, see that you do all those wonders before Pharaoh which I have put in your hand. But I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go. 22 Then you shall say to Pharaoh, 'Thus says the Lord: "Israel is My son, My firstborn. 23 So I say to you, let My son go that he may serve Me. But if you refuse to let him go, indeed I will kill your son, your firstborn."'" (Exodus 4:21-23)

From the above verses we can see that God expected trouble with Pharaoh.

Then in Exodus an odd test comes up:

24 And it came to pass on the way, at the encampment, that the Lord met him and sought to kill him. 25 Then Zipporah took a sharp stone and cut off the foreskin of her son and cast it at Moses' feet, and said, "Surely you are a husband of blood to me!" 26 So He let him go. Then she said, "You are a husband of blood!" — because of the circumcision. (Exodus 4:24-26)

The above is a puzzling account. Moses is God's guy, yet there was something from God that could have killed him. I suspect that there was more to the story than Moses wrote. But apparently related to this, Moses' wife did not accompany him to Egypt.

The Bible shows, however, that she came later (Exodus 18:1-6).

But the account also shows that even God's people can have serious problems that need to be dealt with, sometimes with serious consequences. Notice something that the Apostle Peter wrote to Christians:

12 Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; 13 but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ's sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. (1 Peter 4:12-13)

So, do not get discouraged when you face fiery trials. Remember that "the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death" (Revelation 21:8).

Much more details and explanations related to Exodus 4:24-26 are in the article: .Exodus 4:24, Why would God have sought to kill Moses?

Anyway, getting back to Exodus, God did not have Moses make the entire journey alone.

27 And the Lord said to Aaron, "Go into the wilderness to meet Moses." So he went and met him on the mountain of God, and kissed him. 28 So Moses told Aaron all the words of the Lord who had sent him, and all the signs which He had commanded him. (Exodus 4:27-28)

Having to make the journey together would have gave Moses and Aaron a good chance to get caught up on not only what happened to Moses, but what happened in Egypt and with the children of Israel.

After they journeyed, they went to the leaders of Israel:

29 Then Moses and Aaron went and gathered together all the elders of the children of Israel. 30 And Aaron spoke all the words which the Lord had spoken to Moses. Then he did the signs in the sight of the people. 31 So the people believed; and when they heard that the Lord had visited the children of Israel and that He had looked on their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshiped. (Exodus 4:29-31)

Although the people believed then, they really did not have faith in God.

Moses and Aaron Meet with Pharaoh

So, in chapter 5, we see that Moses and Aaron went to meet with Pharaoh:

1 Afterward Moses and Aaron went in and told Pharaoh, "Thus says the Lord God of Israel: 'Let My people go, that they may hold a feast to Me in the wilderness.'"

2 And Pharaoh said, "Who is the Lord, that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I do not know the Lord, nor will I let Israel go."

Pharaoh did not know the true God and would not let the people go. Now it is easy to read this and condemn Pharaoh. But how often do you convince yourself of something that is contrary to Matthew 6:33, seeking first the Kingdom of God, and tell yourself what you are doing is fine?

Some actually wonder, 'Who is God that I need to change my life?"

Many act like 'Pharaoh' in aspects of their life.

Moses and Aaran added more information.

3 So they said, "The God of the Hebrews has met with us. Please, let us go three days' journey into the desert and sacrifice to the Lord our God, lest He fall upon us with pestilence or with the sword."

4 Then the king of Egypt said to them, "Moses and Aaron, why do you take the people from their work? Get back to your labor." 5 And Pharaoh said, "Look, the people of the land are many now, and you make them rest from their labor!" (Exodus 5:3-5)

Yet, Pharaoh contunued to resist.

Furthermore, Pharaoh came up with a plan to get the people upset:

6 So the same day Pharaoh commanded the taskmasters of the people and their officers, saying, 7 "You shall no longer give the people straw to make brick as before. Let them go and gather straw for themselves. 8 And you shall lay on them the quota of bricks which they made before. You shall not reduce it. For they are idle; therefore they cry out, saying, 'Let us go and sacrifice to our God.' 9 Let more work be laid on the men, that they may labor in it, and let them not regard false words."

Before going further, since few of us now make bricks, notice the following:

Many clay products require the addition of other materials to add strength and durability. In the case of bricks in Old Testament Egypt -- river clay is usually composed of very fine particles and so would dry slowly. Adding straw would "open up" the clay, allowing it to dry more readily and so be more promptly and successfully fired. In addition to aiding in drying, the linear nature of straw adds stability to the clay brick in much the same way that rebar or wire mesh reinforce modern day concrete. Bricks made without straw would break and crumble easily. Adobe bricks used around the world are generally only sun dried but grasses, straw and other materials are added to the clay for the same basic reasons. The ancient brick-making process can still be seen on Egyptian tomb paintings ... (Bricks without straw. Wikipedia, accessed 02/21/18)

The Biblically cited practice of adding straw to the bricks in Egypt was done with intent. It was done so, due to the extreme cost of firing the bricks in a land without an abundant fuel source. The Egyptians made a brilliant discovery that was not widely known. Bricks made out of mud and straw made the product three times stronger than dried mud/clay.The scientific reason was that straw releases humic acid into the mud, assisting in the hardening.  (IN THE WORKPLACE: Can It Be Like “Building Bricks Without Straw”? https://theworddetective.wordpress.com/2012/03/22/in-the-workplace-can-it-be-like-building-bricks-without-straw/ 02/21/18)

When the Tower of Babel was built, the bricks were apparently made without straw (cf. Genesis 11:3).

Notice also:

“Hard labor in mortar and brick” (Exodus 1:14) was the lot of the Israelite slaves in Egypt. In the lower extreme right of this 15th-century B.C. wall painting from the tomb of Rekhmire, mayor of Thebes and vizier of Thutmose III, Egyptian overseers with sticks in their hands put foreigners to work making mud bricks to build the storehouse for the temple of Amun in Karnak. The overseer warns the workers, “The rod is in my hand; be not idle.” The painting shows the various stages of the brick-making process. In the upper left of the bottom register, a Syrian prisoner/slave draws water from a pool. Others, among them a Nubian, work the moistened mud with some sort of tool. Another worker carries the prepared mud in a bucket on his shoulders to the brick-makers who shape the mud into bricks. The bricks are then stacked and left to dry in the hot Egyptian sun. When the bricks are properly set, they are carried off to the building project. The upper register shows foundry workers who are crafting metal doors. (Walker M., ed. Ancient Israel in Egypt and the Exodus. © 2012 Biblical Archaeology Society, p. 5)

Anyway, back to Exodus 5:

10 And the taskmasters of the people and their officers went out and spoke to the people, saying, "Thus says Pharaoh: 'I will not give you straw. 11 Go, get yourselves straw where you can find it; yet none of your work will be reduced.'" 12 So the people were scattered abroad throughout all the land of Egypt to gather stubble instead of straw. 13 And the taskmasters forced them to hurry, saying, "Fulfill your work, your daily quota, as when there was straw." 14 Also the officers of the children of Israel, whom Pharaoh's taskmasters had set over them, were beaten and were asked, "Why have you not fulfilled your task in making brick both yesterday and today, as before?"

15 Then the officers of the children of Israel came and cried out to Pharaoh, saying, "Why are you dealing thus with your servants? 16 There is no straw given to your servants, and they say to us, 'Make brick!' And indeed your servants are beaten, but the fault is in your own people."

17 But he said, "You are idle! Idle! Therefore you say, 'Let us go and sacrifice to the Lord.' 18 Therefore go now and work; for no straw shall be given you, yet you shall deliver the quota of bricks." 19 And the officers of the children of Israel saw that they were in trouble after it was said, "You shall not reduce any bricks from your daily quota."

Let me add here that 'strawless' bricks have since been found in Egypt relating to this time period. Notice, though, what the leaders of the children of Israel did:

20 Then, as they came out from Pharaoh, they met Moses and Aaron who stood there to meet them. 21 And they said to them, "Let the Lord look on you and judge, because you have made us abhorrent in the sight of Pharaoh and in the sight of his servants, to put a sword in their hand to kill us." (Exodus 5:6-21)

Pharaoh's plan worked. Pharaoh tried to justify his plan with lies, Satan is the father of lies and still uses that against all that he can (see also Satan's Plan). Yes, many have lied about leaders in the Continuing Church of God with myself (Bob Thiel) and Evangelist Evans Ochieng the subject of more of them than others we are aware of.

Satan has a plan to turn you and everyone else against God. But as Christians what are we are supposed to do?

7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up. (James 4:7-10)

Leaven helps picture sin, pride, and hypocrisy, whereas as God wants His people humble and spiritually unleavened. It is not just enough to avoid leaven for seven days, we need to work on humility and eliminating spiritual leaven.

Notice also that it did not take the children of Israel very long from when they believed to when they complained.

You are not to complain like they did:

1 Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, 2 all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3 all ate the same spiritual food, 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ. 5 But with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.

6 Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. 7 And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, "The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play." 8 Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell; 9 nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents; 10 nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer. 11 Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.

12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. 13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. (1 Corinthians 10:1-13)

What should you do instead of complain?

39 Why should a living man complain, A man for the punishment of his sins?

40 Let us search out and examine our ways, And turn back to the Lord; (Lamentations 3:39-40)

If you do or do not have a problem with complaining, the Days of Unleavened Bread are a time for you to examine your ways--and to really turn back to God. The bulk of the children of Israel never did.

Notice also the following:

” Bricks without straw is a phrase which refers to a task that must be done without the appropriate resources.”

How many times have you said to yourself and others, “If I only had more schooling, more wisdom, more talent and skills and resources in my life, THEN, I could do my job more efficiently.”  The Israelites in the Old Testament probably had the same conversation. ...

They hate their job and would love to get out of it, but often they can’t.  They feel that they are stuck there until they retire.  Maybe this describes you. ...

Should a Christian worker tell his/her boss they can’t work overtime because they intend to go to church to worship the Lord or attend a Bible study?   The boss then becomes angry, thinking the Christian is lazy; uncooperative and gives the Christian employee a hard time. ...

“Then Moses turned again to the Lord and said,  O Lord, why have you dealt evil to this people?  Why did You ever send me?”  (Exodus 5:22).

How many times have I asked the Lord, “Whyam I in such a workplace like this? Or, “Whydid You ever send me to this job?”  We see in Exodus, even Moses became discouraged over the turn of events.

The phrase of “Building Bricks Without Straw” in today’s workplace simple means, ‘You can’t do something correctly without the necessary materials or knowledge.” (IN THE WORKPLACE: Can It Be Like “Building Bricks Without Straw”? https://theworddetective.wordpress.com/2012/03/22/in-the-workplace-can-it-be-like-building-bricks-without-straw/ 02/21/18)

Most who profess Christianity do not keep the Days of Unleavened Bread. Most who do simply will not spend enough time examining themselves and are in an other than Philadelphian state--and even the Philadelphians all need to grow in grace and knowledge (2 Peter 3:18).

Moses Discouraged, But God Was Not

Getting back to the account in Exodus 5:

22 So Moses returned to the Lord and said, "Lord, why have You brought trouble on this people? Why is it You have sent me? 23 For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in Your name, he has done evil to this people; neither have You delivered Your people at all." (Exodus 5:22-23)

The problems the children of Israel faced from Pharaoh's plan and the complaints from the children of Israel discouraged even Moses. Sometimes, I hear complaints from people about living the Christian way of life in this Satanically-dominated age. Just like Moses with Egypt, I cannot personally resolve the issues of this world that Christians face.

But God still had a plan. Both then and now. Notice what happened back then, in chapter 6:

1 Then the Lord said to Moses, "Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh. For with a strong hand he will let them go, and with a strong hand he will drive them out of his land."

2 And God spoke to Moses and said to him: "I am the Lord. 3 I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty, but by My name Lord I was not known to them. 4 I have also established My covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage, in which they were strangers. 5 And I have also heard the groaning of the children of Israel whom the Egyptians keep in bondage, and I have remembered My covenant. 6 Therefore say to the children of Israel: 'I am the Lord; I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, I will rescue you from their bondage, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. 7 I will take you as My people, and I will be your God. Then you shall know that I am the Lord your God who brings you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. 8 And I will bring you into the land which I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and I will give it to you as a heritage: I am the Lord.'" 9 So Moses spoke thus to the children of Israel; but they did not heed Moses, because of anguish of spirit and cruel bondage. (Exodus 6:1-9)

The children of Israel would not listen to Moses as their physical situation was exceedingly difficult. But they should have.

Jesus said:

21 "Now brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. 22 And you will be hated by all for My name's sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved. (Matthew 10:21-22)

12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved. (Matthew 24:12-13)

Yes, we are to endure even when it is very difficult.

Moses Has Doubts

After all this, God gave instructions to Moses, and he still had objections:

10 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 11 "Go in, tell Pharaoh king of Egypt to let the children of Israel go out of his land."

12 And Moses spoke before the Lord, saying, "The children of Israel have not heeded me. How then shall Pharaoh heed me, for I am of uncircumcised lips?" (Exodus 6:10-12)

God did not accept Moses' lack of speaking talent as an excuse to not use him. Do not give God excuses. Jesus told about this:

16 Then He said to him, "A certain man gave a great supper and invited many, 17 and sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, 'Come, for all things are now ready.' 18 But they all with one accord began to make excuses. The first said to him, 'I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it. I ask you to have me excused.' 19 And another said, 'I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them. I ask you to have me excused.' 20 Still another said, 'I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.' 21 So that servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house, being angry, said to his servant, 'Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in here the poor and the maimed and the lame and the blind.' 22 And the servant said, 'Master, it is done as you commanded, and still there is room.' 23 Then the master said to the servant, 'Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. 24 For I say to you that none of those men who were invited shall taste my supper.'" (Luke 14:16-24)

If God is calling you (check out the articles Are You Being Called by God? by Norman Shoaf and Is God Calling You? by Alfred E Carrozzo), respond or He may get someone else and you left out!

Anyway, God told Moses that despite his weaknesses, to do the job anyway.

13 Then the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, and gave them a command for the children of Israel and for Pharaoh king of Egypt, to bring the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt. (Exodus 6:13)

Sometimes when God wants you, He does not allow you to back out. Remember Jonah.

14 These are the heads of their fathers' houses: The sons of Reuben, the firstborn of Israel, were Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi. These are the families of Reuben. 15 And the sons of Simeon were Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jachin, Zohar, and Shaul the son of a Canaanite woman. These are the families of Simeon. 16 These are the names of the sons of Levi according to their generations: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. And the years of the life of Levi were one hundred and thirty-seven. 17 The sons of Gershon were Libni and Shimi according to their families. 18 And the sons of Kohath were Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel. And the years of the life of Kohath were one hundred and thirty-three. 19 The sons of Merari were Mahli and Mushi. These are the families of Levi according to their generations.

20 Now Amram took for himself Jochebed, his father's sister, as wife; and she bore him Aaron and Moses. And the years of the life of Amram were one hundred and thirty-seven. (Exodus 6:14-20)

So, in the above we learn the name of Moses' mother. Then there is more geneaological information:

21 The sons of Izhar were Korah, Nepheg, and Zichri. 22 And the sons of Uzziel were Mishael, Elzaphan, and Zithri. 23 Aaron took to himself Elisheba, daughter of Amminadab, sister of Nahshon, as wife; and she bore him Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. 24 And the sons of Korah were Assir, Elkanah, and Abiasaph. These are the families of the Korahites. 25 Eleazar, Aaron's son, took for himself one of the daughters of Putiel as wife; and she bore him Phinehas. These are the heads of the fathers' houses of the Levites according to their families.

26 These are the same Aaron and Moses to whom the Lord said, "Bring out the children of Israel from the land of Egypt according to their armies." 27 These are the ones who spoke to Pharaoh king of Egypt, to bring out the children of Israel from Egypt. These are the same Moses and Aaron. (Exodus 6:14-27)

Next we see that God gave instructions to Moses, and he apparently still had some doubts:

28 And it came to pass, on the day the Lord spoke to Moses in the land of Egypt, 29 that the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, "I am the Lord. Speak to Pharaoh king of Egypt all that I say to you."

30 But Moses said before the Lord, "Behold, I am of uncircumcised lips, and how shall Pharaoh heed me?" (Exodus 6:28-30)

Just because you have had doubts after God has called you, that does not mean that you were not called. Move forward.

God still has a plan for you and still had one back then for Moses.

Now let's look at chapter 7:

1 So the Lord said to Moses: "See, I have made you as God to Pharaoh, and Aaron your brother shall be your prophet. 2 You shall speak all that I command you. And Aaron your brother shall tell Pharaoh to send the children of Israel out of his land. 3 And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and multiply My signs and My wonders in the land of Egypt. 4 But Pharaoh will not heed you, so that I may lay My hand on Egypt and bring My armies and My people, the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great judgments. 5 And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I stretch out My hand on Egypt and bring out the children of Israel from among them."

6 Then Moses and Aaron did so; just as the Lord commanded them, so they did. 7 And Moses was eighty years old and Aaron eighty-three years old when they spoke to Pharaoh. (Exodus 7:1-7)

After God spoke to them, Moses and Aaron again believed. While we generally do not hear God audibly, consider what the Apostle Paul wrote:

14 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written:

"How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace,
Who bring glad tidings of good things!"

16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed our report?"

17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:14-17)

Hopefully, the more you study the word of God as well as listen to it being taught in sermons, articles, and other messages, you will cast aside doubts and truly act as God wants you to (see also Living as a Christian: How and Why?).

The Bible DOES NOT say that faith comes from witnessing miracles, though many think they must do that. Sadly, even when many see them, they discount them.

8 Then the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, 9 "When Pharaoh speaks to you, saying, 'Show a miracle for yourselves,' then you shall say to Aaron, 'Take your rod and cast it before Pharaoh, and let it become a serpent.'" 10 So Moses and Aaron went in to Pharaoh, and they did so, just as the Lord commanded. And Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh and before his servants, and it became a serpent.

11 But Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers; so the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments. 12 For every man threw down his rod, and they became serpents. But Aaron's rod swallowed up their rods. 13 And Pharaoh's heart grew hard, and he did not heed them, as the Lord had said. (Exodus 7:8-13)

Satan has his ministers (2 Corinthians 11:14-15) and while deception will worsen (2 Timothy 3:13; 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12) even back then they could do things that deceived. Pharaoh would not believe.

Although there was a miraculous wonder, Pharaoh's magicians did something similar. Despite their Satanically-influenced miracle being inferior, Pharaoh decided it was close enough and hence chose to ignore the message that God had for him. Many have been influenced by Satan and signs and lying wonders are part of his plan (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12; see also Satan's Plan). Even today, most real Christians seem to think that Laodicean churches are similar enough to God (despite their doctrinal and other falsehoods), so they do not heed the messages to Laodicea nor Philadelphia--this will result in disaster to the Laodiceans (prophetic reasons why are in the article The Laodicean Church Era).

But why a serpent?

Consider the following:

Even Pharaoh was a god, always the son of Amon-Ra, ruling not merely by divine right but by divine birth, as a deity transiently tolerating the earth as his home. On his head was the falcon, symbol of Horus and totem of the tribe; from his forehead rose the uraeus or serpent, symbol of wisdom and life, and communicating magic virtues to the crown. (Durant W. The Story of Civilization, PART ONE: OUR ORIENTAL HERITAGE. Great Neck, N. Y., March, 1935, p. 201; https://archive.org/stream/storyofcivilizat035369mbp/storyofcivilizat035369mbp_djvu.txt accessed 03/12/15)

There is archeological evidence that snake charming was practiced by Egyptian magicians; this was done by putting the serpent, usually a cobra, into a paralyzed, rigid state, then awakening it in some way so that it returned to its natural state.54 Thus, there are depictions of men or gods holding stiff serpents, and a text refers to a king using a serpent-staff. (Montenegro M. THE SERPENT IN EGYPT AND IN THE BIBLE: EVIL, POWER, AND HEALING. http://www.christiananswersforthenewage.org/Articles_Serpents2.html accessed 02/20/18)

Thus, with Aaron's serpent swallowing up those associated with Pharaoh's magicians, God was giving the message that He was above Pharaoh as well as the gods of the Egyptians.

Now, after this, Egypt was hit with the ten plagues, which are discussed in more detail in the article Reasons, Proofs, and Ramifications of the Ten Plagues of Exodus.

Since the first three plagues also hit the children of Israel, they too likely complained about that and had basically no faith in God.

While you may feel you have a lot of faith. Jesus made it sound like there would not be much at the end as He said, "when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?" (Luke 18:8).

Do you have really faith? Whether you think you do or not, consider reading the booklet Faith for Those God has Called and Chosen.

Days of Unleavened Bread

Shortly after the the first nine plagues and the announcement of the tenth, the Book of Exodus states:

15 Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall remove leaven from your houses. For whoever eats leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel. 16 On the first day there shall be a holy convocation, and on the seventh day there shall be a holy convocation for you. No manner of work shall be done on them; but that which everyone must eat — that only may be prepared by you. 17 So you shall observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread, for on this same day I will have brought your armies out of the land of Egypt. Therefore you shall observe this day throughout your generations as an everlasting ordinance. 18 In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at evening, you shall eat unleavened bread, until the twenty-first day of the month at evening. 19 For seven days no leaven shall be found in your houses, since whoever eats what is leavened, that same person shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he is a stranger or a native of the land. 20 You shall eat nothing leavened; in all your dwellings you shall eat unleavened bread.' (Exodus 12:15-20)

The way to have no leaven was for the children of Israel were to remove all the leaven back then--and this is a practice observant Jews do to this day. Normally they would have not tried to make unleavened bread. Naturally, unless the Bible said otherwise, Christians would not have tried to keep days of unleavened bread.

Yet the Bible and history shows that the true Christians kept this practice (see Should Christians Keep the Days of Unleavened Bread?). But there are spiritual applications as well.

The Bible shows that on the 15th day of the month of Nisan/Abib, which is the first day of unleavened bread (Leviticus 23:6) they went out of Egypt:

3 And they departed from Rameses in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the first month; on the morrow after the passover the children of Israel went out with an high hand in the sight of all the Egyptians. (Numbers 33:3, KJV)

41 And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt.

42 It is a night to be much observed unto the Lord for bringing them out from the land of Egypt: this is that night of the Lord to be observed of all the children of Israel in their generations. (Exodus 12:41-42, KJV)

3 And Moses said to the people: "Remember this day in which you went out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for by strength of hand the Lord brought you out of this place. No leavened bread shall be eaten. 4 On this day you are going out, in the month Abib. (Exodus 13:3-5, NKJV)

That night to be observed is observed/remembered as the first portion of the Days of Unleavened Bread. Christians still keep it (see also The Night to Be Observed).

The children of Israel, themselves, were happy to leave physical Egypt--at least for a time as they complained many times (e.g. Exodus 15:24; 16:2; 17:3).

Christians are to be happy to leave the world spiritually, and we need to be careful to be grateful and not be complainers like they were.

The Bible says:

8 "For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways," says the Lord.
9 "For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9)

Why mention that here? Well, the next actions would have likely confused not only the Egyptians, but the children of Israel:

1 Now the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 2 "Speak to the children of Israel, that they turn and camp before Pi Hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, opposite Baal Zephon; you shall camp before it by the sea. 3 For Pharaoh will say of the children of Israel, 'They are bewildered by the land; the wilderness has closed them in.' 4 Then I will harden Pharaoh's heart, so that he will pursue them; and I will gain honor over Pharaoh and over all his army, that the Egyptians may know that I am the Lord." And they did so. (Exodus 14:1-4)

Once the armies of Egypt arrived, the children of Israel had doubts:

10 And when Pharaoh drew near, the children of Israel lifted their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians marched after them. So they were very afraid, and the children of Israel cried out to the Lord. 11 Then they said to Moses, "Because there were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you so dealt with us, to bring us up out of Egypt? 12 Is this not the word that we told you in Egypt, saying, 'Let us alone that we may serve the Egyptians'? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than that we should die in the wilderness." (Exodus 14:10-12)

Despite seeing all the miracles and the ten plagues, within about one week after they left Egypt, the children of Israel did not have the confidence in God's deliverance that they should have. Moses believed, though he did not know how God would deliver:

13 And Moses said to the people, "Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. 14 The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace." (Exodus 14:13-14)

God then delivered them:

15 And the Lord said to Moses, "Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward. 16 But lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it. And the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea. 17 And I indeed will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they shall follow them. So I will gain honor over Pharaoh and over all his army, his chariots, and his horsemen. 18 Then the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I have gained honor for Myself over Pharaoh, his chariots, and his horsemen."

19 And the Angel of God, who went before the camp of Israel, moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud went from before them and stood behind them. 20 So it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel. Thus it was a cloud and darkness to the one, and it gave light by night to the other, so that the one did not come near the other all that night.

21 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea into dry land, and the waters were divided. 22 So the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea on the dry ground, and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. 23 And the Egyptians pursued and went after them into the midst of the sea, all Pharaoh's horses, his chariots, and his horsemen.

24 Now it came to pass, in the morning watch, that the Lord looked down upon the army of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and cloud, and He troubled the army of the Egyptians. 25 And He took off their chariot wheels, so that they drove them with difficulty; and the Egyptians said, "Let us flee from the face of Israel, for the Lord fights for them against the Egyptians."

26 Then the Lord said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand over the sea, that the waters may come back upon the Egyptians, on their chariots, and on their horsemen." 27 And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and when the morning appeared, the sea returned to its full depth, while the Egyptians were fleeing into it. So the Lord overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea. 28 Then the waters returned and covered the chariots, the horsemen, and all the army of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them. Not so much as one of them remained. 29 But the children of Israel had walked on dry land in the midst of the sea, and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.

30 So the Lord saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. 31 Thus Israel saw the great work which the Lord had done in Egypt; so the people feared the Lord, and believed the Lord and His servant Moses. (Exodus 14:15-31)

In 1965, the old Radio Church published the following:

Over 3450 years ago, more than three million Israelites crossed the Red Sea dry shod! In this unusual photo the Red Sea stretches as a barrier between the desolate wilderness of Egypt in the foreground and the peaks of the Sinai peninsula which rise hazily on the horizon. …

Did God Almighty get His people safely across the Red Sea before daylight? Exodus 14:21-27. 10. Then on the daylight part of Wednesday, the seventh and last day of Unleavened Bread, was there great rejoicing? Since the seventh day of Unleavened Bread was an annual Sabbath, was there a Sabbath meeting in which newly composed congregational hymns were sung in memoriam and thanksgiving to God? Ex. 15:1-18, 20-21. (Lesson 34 – Days of Unleavened Bread – Your Part In God’s Master Plan, Ambassador College, 1965)

After finally escaping Egypt, by crossing the Red Sea dry shod on the seventh day of Unleavened Bread (Lesson 35 – Feast of Pentecost – The Church In God’s Master Plan, Ambassador College, 1965)

After the army of Egypt was destroyed, Moses and the Israelites were then, for a time grateful:

1 Then Moses and the children of Israel sang this song to the Lord, and spoke, saying:

"I will sing to the Lord, For He has triumphed gloriously! The horse and its rider He has thrown into the sea! 2 The Lord is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation; He is my God, and I will praise Him; My father's God, and I will exalt Him. 3 The Lord is a man of war; The Lord is His name. 4 Pharaoh's chariots and his army He has cast into the sea; His chosen captains also are drowned in the Red Sea. 5 The depths have covered them; They sank to the bottom like a stone.

6 "Your right hand, O Lord, has become glorious in power; Your right hand, O Lord, has dashed the enemy in pieces. 7 And in the greatness of Your excellence You have overthrown those who rose against You;You sent forth Your wrath;It consumed them like stubble. 8 And with the blast of Your nostrils The waters were gathered together;The floods stood upright like a heap; The depths congealed in the heart of the sea. 9 The enemy said, 'I will pursue,I will overtake,I will divide the spoil; My desire shall be satisfied on them. I will draw my sword, My hand shall destroy them.' 10 You blew with Your wind, The sea covered them; They sank like lead in the mighty waters.

11 "Who is like You, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like You, glorious in holiness, Fearful in praises, doing wonders? 12 You stretched out Your right hand; The earth swallowed them. 13 You in Your mercy have led forth The people whom You have redeemed; You have guided them in Your strength To Your holy habitation.

14 "The people will hear and be afraid; Sorrow will take hold of the inhabitants of Philistia. 15 Then the chiefs of Edom will be dismayed; The mighty men of Moab,Trembling will take hold of them; All the inhabitants of Canaan will melt away. 16 Fear and dread will fall on them;By the greatness of Your arm They will be as still as a stone, Till Your people pass over, O Lord, Till the people pass over Whom You have purchased. 17 You will bring them in and plant them In the mountain of Your inheritance, In the place, O Lord, which You have made For Your own dwelling, The sanctuary, O Lord, which Your hands have established.

18 "The Lord shall reign forever and ever."

19 For the horses of Pharaoh went with his chariots and his horsemen into the sea, and the Lord brought back the waters of the sea upon them. But the children of Israel went on dry land in the midst of the sea. (Exodus 15:1-19)

Are you properly grateful for your calling and deliverance from this Satanically-dominated age?

It perhaps should be mentioned that this deliverance may have been on the 21st day of Abib/Nisan, the seventh and last day of unleavened bread.

Tradition has it that the miraculous opening of the Red Sea and the completion of the Israelites' escape from slavery took place before dawn on the seventh and last day of the first Feast of Unleavened Bread. (Lesson 26 - Feast Of Unleavened Bread - Our Part in God's Master Plan. c. 1986)

We often face tests and trials and have doubts, but God will deliver us:

3 I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, 4 always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, 5 for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ; (Philippians 1:3-6)

We need to be confident.

You might say, "Well, if I saw those miracles I would have believed," don't be too sure--the Israelites kept having doubts and complaining. But as Christians we need to realize that God works a lot of spiritual miracles in our lives and that they are not always seen. Christians are to "we walk by faith, not by sight" (2 Corinthians 5:7).

Even the invisible things of God should be understood:

20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, (Romans 1:20)

We, Christians, have no excuse.

The Israelites were to leave Egypt behind (though they failed often). Christians are to leave the world behind, even though we have to live in it:

15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world — the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life — is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. (1 John 2:15-17)

14 I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. (John 17:14-17)

The Days of Unleavened Bread help picture that the ways of the world are to be left behind.

Concluding Comments

There are many spiritual lessons from the Book of Exodus as well as reminders for us today.

Moses was planned and called. You are planned and called.

Unleavened bread was part of God's plan too.

The Bible says:

6 Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day there shall be a feast to the Lord. 7 Unleavened bread shall be eaten seven days. And no leavened bread shall be seen among you, nor shall leaven be seen among you in all your quarters. (Exodus 13:6-7)

This has both physical and spiritual applications.

No leaven should be found in Christian houses during then. But Christians are to be "striving against sin" (Hebrews 12:4). How much? Jesus taught:

48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect. (Matthew 5:48)

Those who do not keep the Days of Unleavened Bread are not striving to be perfect as Jesus said. Strive to be spiritually without leaven.

Remember the Apostle Paul wrote:

1 Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ. (1 Corinthians 11:1)

Both he and Jesus kept the Days of Unleavened Bread. There is also historical evidence that the Apostle Paul kept these days in Gentile regions (see The Apostle Paul and/or Should Christians Keep the Days of Unleavened Bread?). Recall, this is the same Apostle Paul who wrote related to the preparation for this time of year, "let a man examine himself" (1 Corinthians 11:28).

The Bible, including a writing by the Apostle Paul, shows that the Days of Unleavened Bread are connected to Passover (Leviticus 23:5-6; Exodus 12:19-20; 1 Corinthians 5:7-8).

While most professing Christians are aware that 1 Corinthians 5:7 teaches that "indeed Christ our Passover, was sacrificed for us," they do not seem to literally observe the verse that follows. "Therefore let us keep the feast, not with the old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth" (1 Corinthians 5:8).

Actually, most professing Christians do not seem to be aware that they are supposed to keep any biblical feast. There are many reasons, though, to so do.

Here is the entire verse of 1 Corinthians 5:7:

7 Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.

Notice clearly that the Corinthians must have been observing the Days of Unleavened Bread because the Apostle Paul stated "you truly are unleavened." The problem that the Corinthians had was that they were not unleavened spiritually. That is why Paul continued and told them to also spiritually be unleavened "with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth." This is what the Bible shows that the Apostle Paul was teaching. Do you believe it?

Furthermore, in Romans 3:25 it states, "in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed." Passed over is a term also from Exodus (Exodus 12:27).

Does being passed over for our sins mean we are to continue is sin? Of course not! A few verses later in Romans, Paul wrote, "On the contrary, we establish the law" (Romans 3:31).

Sadly, while many who claim Christianity understand that the Passover pictures a remembrance of Jesus Christ and his sacrifice (1 Corinthians 11:24-26), most seem to not understand that we are not to continue in sin.

Moses and the children of Israel were not supposed to remain in Egypt. Christians are not to remain and accept sin. This is one of the many lessons from Exodus.

A related sermon is available and is titled: Unleavened Bread: Lessons in Exodus.

Thiel B. Exodus and the Days of Unleavened Bread. http://www.cogwriter.com/exodus-days-of-unleavened-bread.htm COGwriter (c) 2015/2018/2019 0215

Some items of possible related interest may include:

When was the Exodus? Did it Happen? Some deny the biblical account of the Exodus. Was Ramses II the pharaoh then? When did the Exodus occur?  Is there proof outside of the Bible that there was an Exodus?
Exodus 4:24, Why would God have sought to kill Moses? What did Moses do wrong? Do you have a similar problem?
Reasons, Proofs, and Ramifications of the Ten Plagues of Exodus What do you know about these plagues? Is there any confirmation outside the Bible? Might something worse be coming?
Should Christians Keep the Days of Unleavened Bread? Do they have any use or meaning now? What is leaven? This article supplies some biblical answers. Here is a YouTube video intended to be viewed for the first day of unleavened bread: Christians and the Days of Unleavened Bread.
How often should we partake of THE LORD'S SUPPER? Herbert Armstrong answers that question.
Keeping Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread How should Christians keep Passover, especially if they are by themselves. Why does the Church of God not require lambs for Passover? How does one keep the Days of Unleavened Bread? For a step-by-step video for Christians to keep it, check out CCOG Passover Service. Here is a link to a related article in the Spanish language: Guardando la Pascua y los Días de los Panes sin Levadura.
Preparing for Passover The Apostle Paul taught that Christians should examine themselves prior to taking Passover. This YouTube video sermon gives suggestions on how to prepare.
Passover and the Early Church Did the early Christians observe Passover? What did Jesus and Paul teach? Why did Jesus die for our sins? There is also a detailed YouTube video available titled History of the Christian Passover.
The Passover Plot What was the first Passover plot? Which plots have Islam and the Greco-Roman faiths perpetuated about Passover? A sermon video of related interest is The Passover Plots, Including Easter.
Melito's Homily on the Passover This is one of the earliest Christian writings about the Passover. This also includes what Apollinaris wrote on the Passover as well. Here is a related sermon, also titled Melito's Homily on the Passover.
TPM: Passover on the 14th or 15th? While the real COG observes Passover on the 14th, some observe it on the 15th. Why is the 14th correct? A related sermon is titled Is Passover on the 14th or 15th for Christians?
The Night to Be Observed What is the night to be much observed? When is it? Why do Jews keep Passover twice and emphasize the wrong date? Here is a link to a YouTube video titled The Night to Be Observed.
Holy Day Calendar This is a listing of the biblical holy days through 2024, with their Roman calendar dates. They are really hard to observe if you do not know when they occur :) In the Spanish/Español/Castellano language: Calendario de los Días Santos. In Mandarin Chinese: 何日是神的圣日? 这里是一份神的圣日日历从2013年至2024年。.

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