31 During the night Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “Up! Leave my people, you and the Israelites! Go, worship the Lord as you have requested. 32 Take your flocks and herds, as you have said, and go. And also bless me.”
33 The Egyptians urged the people to hurry and leave the country. “For otherwise,” they said, “we will all die!” 34 So the people took their dough before the yeast was added, and carried it on their shoulders in kneading troughs wrapped in clothing. 35 The Israelites did as Moses instructed and asked the Egyptians for articles of silver and gold and for clothing. 36 The Lord had made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people, and they gave them what they asked for; so they plundered the Egyptians.
37 The Israelites journeyed from Rameses to Sukkoth. There were about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides women and children. 38 Many other people went up with them, and also large droves of livestock, both flocks and herds. 39 With the dough the Israelites had brought from Egypt, they baked loaves of unleavened bread. The dough was without yeast because they had been driven out of Egypt and did not have time to prepare food for themselves.
40 Now the length of time the Israelite people lived in Egypt was 430 years. 41 At the end of the 430 years, to the very day, all the Lord’s divisions left Egypt. 42 Because the Lord kept vigil that night to bring them out of Egypt, on this night all the Israelites are to keep vigil to honor the Lord for the generations to come. Exodus 12:31-42
To the Egyptians, the Israelite were trouble but yet they helped them get out of the country by any means possible. The Israelites rightfully feared for their lives. It makes sense. If they were able to correlate the death of their firstborn children with the Hebrews, they would definitely be in trouble.
A lot of emphasis in this passage is given to the dough the Israelites took with them to make their bread.
Recall Jesus used unleavened bread as illustrations in His teachings. Leaven or yeast was something to be cautious about. It gets in the bread and after it’s mixed in is difficult to separate.
- Jesus said to them, “Watch and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees. -Matthew 16:6
- Then they understood that he did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees. -Matthew 16:12
- “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness. -Matthew 23:27
- “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. -Matthew 23:25
- “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. -Matthew 23:23
The Hebrews were officially on the move with a minimum amount of stuff. They were finally leaving after 430 years.
I’ve never seen this before, but the Lord kept watch over them as they left. We know of course that they would be led by night with a pillar of fire and a pillar of cloud by day, but verse 42 is significant in its simplicity. He watched over them.
Nothing has changed except for the years.
He still watches over His children. As long as He’s watching over us, we have nothing to fear or dread. We can lay all of our burdens and cares at His feet, every night, every day.
That is so comforting!