Passover is an integral aspect of the Judaic religion, and is also important to Christians as the beginning of the events which led to the reign of King David — the ancestor of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
In a historic context, the time of Moses and the first Passover were different than the times of Jesus, however, the concept of each story is similar in the sense of Pharaoh and Caesar were both dictators who ruled the known world and oppressed the beliefs of people who worshiped God as known today.
While we, as Christians, uphold what we are told in the Bible about Passover out of faith, there are other sources that prove the events truly happened as described. Read on to review the evidence yourself.
The Passover as Told in the Bible
Exodus 11 begins with The Lord telling Moses there will be one last plague brought upon Pharaoh, one which will cause him to force the Hebrew people out of Egypt.
God then instructs the Hebrews to ask for silver and gold from their neighbors, and made the Egyptians favorable to their concerns and provide such gifts. This aspect of the story is not important to the Passover Miracle, but should be noted as it explains the details of a later story — the creation of an idol during the writing of the commandments.
The rest of the story is well known. The Holy Spirit killed all of the Egyptian people’s first born children, and excluded the Hebrew children by a mark God told them to place on their doors — that of lamb’s blood on each of the doorposts and lintels.
The story as related in the Bible goes into more detail concerning the sacrifice of the goats and lambs along with a diet to observe reverence for God as described in the 12th chapter of Exodus.
Did It Even Happen?
There may be a variance in the current Biblical translation, perhaps things didn’t occur in the timeline of the story exactly as it is currently told, but there are Egyptian records which confirm the 10 plagues of Egypt did in fact happen, and the Hebrew people left Egypt and wandered for several generations before establishing Judah, or modern day Israel, as a nation. There are some theories outside of faith about how the events of the Passover story may have happened.
Duties of the First Born at Court
One theory suggests a simple mistranslation of the original story, whether from the retelling over the years or into modern languages.
What was called “First Born” may have meant the nobility, and it was the people in court who died. The theory is easily explained because the Egyptians didn’t have modern medical knowledge, a simple flu virus could have infected everybody who lived and worked together.
It makes even more sense in the context of how the previous nine plagues had spread disease throughout the land. Just as in today’s world, disease spreads faster in schools, public buildings, or places where people gather and spread germs.
There is another theory which suggests the eldest son was given the bulk of food at dinner, and because the food was poisoned by the previous nine plagues the eldest son ate the most and was poisoned by it.
Although interesting as a concept, the story makes little sense sociologically. The idea that the First Born rather than younger siblings was the one who died may have been a later elaboration when a disease infested the land and killed an average of one child in every household.
It’s impossible to know exactly what happened in the time of Moses. There are some historic records which suggest the story to be true, and faith says it is.
Egyptian records allow the knowledge of how Hebrew people lived for some time before leaving, and outside of faith belief the Bible is considered an historic document outside of what faith declares to be true.
Although Passover isn’t celebrated by most Christians today, it represents one of the major milestones in the Old Testament that all people of faith can appreciate.
~ 1776 Christian