It is in here in vs.3 of Exodus 12 when for the first time, Israel is called a congregation,

עֲדַת יִשְׁרָאֵל, (Adat Israel) a congregation of Israel and this is the first time we find the Hebrew word adat used in the Scriptures. A new identity for a new creation.

From Genesis 12 where the promise of a new nation was given to Abraham, we now reach Exodus 12 where the birth of this nation is now taking place. The word adat finds its root in the word ad (עֵד) which means witness and this is descriptive of Israel’s calling as it points to her being chosen to be a witness of God, as a light to the nations: This was part of her task.

Interestingly enough, from this root we have the word ya-ad, which came to designate a woman who is to be betrothed, one to be espoused, or a wife as it is used in the laws later on in Exodus (21: 8-9). So just from this one word we can perceive the many tasks and her high calling in relation to God.  We see later in the Torah, in the book of Numbers 27:17 how she is named; עֲדַ֣ת יְהֹוָה  (Radat Jehovah) the congregation of Jehovah. It had become His assembly, His wife to be, but we can also relate a similar closeness to God with believers today being called the bride of the Messiah.

Another word used for Israel is found in Exodus 12:6 where she is called the assembly of the congregation of Israel. The Hebrew word for assembly is קָהָל (qāhāl), where we get the word kehilat, meaning an assembly or gathering just like we have here at Beth Ariel.

And so, reaching Exodus 12, confirmation of Israel’s destiny is seen. Despite the fierce persecution and the many attempts to do away with her, God’s plan cannot and will not be altered.  With this new election, a brand-new way of life develops for the Israelite; a new calendar and new laws are given to the nation.

Let us look again at vs. 2, and see what is new: This month shall be the beginning of months for you; it is to be the first month of the year to you. Notice how three times the word month is repeated just in this one verse, because from this point on, the people ought to be different and distinct, for now they belong to God. This new calendar would protect Israel from the influences of the Canaanites with whom they would soon cohabit in the Land.

And notice the words for you, to you. This means that these new things were intended only for this new nation. If we don’t share the same holidays or the same foods to eat, then we cannot become friends. This was the object of this new calendar; it was to allow Israel to be sanctified until she would be ready to proclaim the Word.

With the new sets of laws they would soon be given, they would certainly look different from others around them. Men were to wear payot; they were not to shave the corners of the head, so they looked different. Israelites were to wear tzitzit; fringes or tassels that would hang down from the edges of an inner vest. In this way, they would again look different, mingling less with and standing out from the nations around them. This new calendar with a different New-Year symbolized great change.

But do you see how this turning point in the life of Israel also touches the lives of believers today? Aren’t we told to be different so that we stay unaffected by the wrong things of this world, and so that we can set the example of light to the world?

A new calendar translates in having a new schedule, a new perspective, a new way to live.

Once a believer, we cannot follow the ways of this world. The Scriptures tell us that we were formerly darkness, but now we are light in the Lord; therefore walk as children of light. Eph. 5:8

And this change from darkness to light remains our best witness to the world. We can argue about science and sin, but the best way to refute the critics is to produce the evidence from our changed lives. A changed life is evidence of our salvation.


But the deeper one looks into this chapter, the more Yeshua stands out.

See vs.7, Moreover, they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. They shall eat the flesh that same night, roasted with fire, and they shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.

First see how the blood was placed, on the two doorposts. Many are familiar with the Hebrew word for doorpost.  It is the word mezuzah. This is where, at a Jewish home, we would find, on the right side of the door, on the doorpost, a small box containing the prayer called the Shema. The blood is to be placed there as well as on the lintel of the house, but this is still not the full picture.  There is another element added when we consider vs.22, You shall take a bunch of hyssop and dip it in the blood which is in the basin, and apply some of the blood that is in the basin to the lintel and the two doorposts; and none of you shall go outside the door of his house until morning.

See the word basin, saf in Hebrew. It also designates the threshold of a home. In Scripture, it is used 25 times to indicate a threshold and only 7 times it is used for basin. Therefore, it refers mainly to the threshold of the house. And it is on the threshold where the lamb was sacrificed. This is why ancient rabbis writing in the Jerusalem Talmud would say that that our forefathers had four altars in Egypt, the two doorposts, the lintel and the threshold. Y. Pesah. 9:5, I.2.A

This is just like it was at the Tabernacle and the Temple; the altar of sacrifice was right at the entrance and so, the home on this Passover eve was to be like the Temple. This would continue until the Tabernacle was constructed and later the Temple. The Tabernacle and Temple were then to become the only places where sacrifices could take place.

So, the picture is complete; the Israelites were protected from all sides; east, west, north and south. God is above, on each side and carries His people from below, in the palm of His hand. He does this right to our final destination.


Click Here for the Teaching The Book of Exodus, Sermon 10: A New Calendar / A New Start :