Exodus 12:15-13:16 (Vespers - Meeting of Our Lord)

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Exodus 12:15-13:16 (Vespers - Meeting of Our Lord)

Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread; on the first day you shall put away leaven out of your houses, for if any one eats what is leavened, from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel.  On the first day you shall hold a holy assembly, and on the seventh day a holy assembly; no work shall be done on those days; but what every one must eat, that only may be prepared by you.  And you shall observe the feast of unleavened bread, for on this very day I brought your hosts out of the land of Egypt: therefore you shall observe this day, throughout your generations, as an ordinance for ever.  In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at evening, you shall eat unleavened bread, and so until the twenty-first day of the month at evening.  For seven days no leaven shall be found in your houses; for if any one eats what is leavened, that person shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he is a sojourner or a native of the land.  You shall eat nothing leavened; in all your dwellings you shall eat unleavened bread."  Then Moses called all the elders of Israel, and said to them, "Select lambs for yourselves according to your families, and kill the passover lamb.  Take a bunch of hyssop and dip it in the blood which is in the basin, and touch the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood which is in the basin; and none of you shall go out of the door of his house until the morning.  For the LORD will pass through to slay the Egyptians; and when he sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the LORD will pass over the door, and will not allow the destroyer to enter your houses to slay you.  You shall observe this rite as an ordinance for you and for your sons for ever.  And when you come to the land which the LORD will give you, as he has promised, you shall keep this service.  And when your children say to you, 'What do you mean by this service?'  you shall say, 'It is the sacrifice of the LORD's passover, for he passed over the houses of the people of Israel in Egypt, when he slew the Egyptians but spared our houses.'" And the people bowed their heads and worshiped.  Then the people of Israel went and did so; as the LORD had commanded Moses and Aaron, so they did.  At midnight the LORD smote all the first-born in the land of Egypt, from the first-born of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the first-born of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the first-born of the cattle.  And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was not a house where one was not dead.  And he summoned Moses and Aaron by night, and said, "Rise up, go forth from among my people, both you and the people of Israel; and go, serve the LORD, as you have said.  Take your flocks and your herds, as you have said, and be gone; and bless me also!"  And the Egyptians were urgent with the people, to send them out of the land in haste; for they said, "We are all dead men."  So the people took their dough before it was leavened, their kneading bowls being bound up in their mantles on their shoulders.  The people of Israel had also done as Moses told them, for they had asked of the Egyptians jewelry of silver and of gold, and clothing;  and the LORD had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they let them have what they asked. Thus they despoiled the Egyptians.  And the people of Israel journeyed from Ram'eses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides women and children.  A mixed multitude also went up with them, and very many cattle, both flocks and herds.  And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough which they had brought out of Egypt, for it was not leavened, because they were thrust out of Egypt and could not tarry, neither had they prepared for themselves any provisions.  The time that the people of Israel dwelt in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years.  And at the end of four hundred and thirty years, on that very day, all the hosts of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt.  It was a night of watching by the LORD, to bring them out of the land of Egypt; so this same night is a night of watching kept to the LORD by all the people of Israel throughout their generations.  And the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, "This is the ordinance of the passover: no foreigner shall eat of it;  but every slave that is bought for money may eat of it after you have circumcised him.  No sojourner or hired servant may eat of it.  In one house shall it be eaten; you shall not carry forth any of the flesh outside the house; and you shall not break a bone of it.  All the congregation of Israel shall keep it.  And when a stranger shall sojourn with you and would keep the passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised, then he may come near and keep it; he shall be as a native of the land. But no uncircumcised person shall eat of it.  There shall be one law for the native and for the stranger who sojourns among you."  Thus did all the people of Israel; as the LORD commanded Moses and Aaron, so they did.  And on that very day the LORD brought the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt by their hosts. 

The LORD said to Moses,  "Consecrate to me all the first-born; whatever is the first to open the womb among the people of Israel, both of man and of beast, is mine."  And Moses said to the people, "Remember this day, in which you came out from Egypt, out of the house of bondage, for by strength of hand the LORD brought you out from this place; no leavened bread shall be eaten.  This day you are to go forth, in the month of Abib.  And when the LORD brings you into the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Hivites, and the Jeb'usites, which he swore to your fathers to give you, a land flowing with milk and honey, you shall keep this service in this month.  Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day there shall be a feast to the LORD.  Unleavened bread shall be eaten for seven days; no leavened bread shall be seen with you, and no leaven shall be seen with you in all your territory.  And you shall tell your son on that day, 'It is because of what the LORD did for me when I came out of Egypt.'  And it shall be to you as a sign on your hand and as a memorial between your eyes, that the law of the LORD may be in your mouth; for with a strong hand the LORD has brought you out of Egypt.  You shall therefore keep this ordinance at its appointed time from year to year.  "And when the LORD brings you into the land of the Canaanites, as he swore to you and your fathers, and shall give it to you,  you shall set apart to the LORD all that first opens the womb. All the firstlings of your cattle that are males shall be the LORD's.  Every firstling of an ass you shall redeem with a lamb, or if you will not redeem it you shall break its neck. Every first-born of man among your sons you shall redeem.  And when in time to come your son asks you, 'What does this mean?' you shall say to him, 'By strength of hand the LORD brought us out of Egypt, from the house of bondage.  For when Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go, the LORD slew all the first-born in the land of Egypt, both the first-born of man and the first-born of cattle. Therefore I sacrifice to the LORD all the males that first open the womb; but all the first-born of my sons I redeem.'  It shall be as a mark on your hand or frontlets between your eyes; for by a strong hand the LORD brought us out of Egypt."

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