Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Verse 43 (Exodus 12:43)

This is the ordinance of the passover - From the last verse of this chapter it appears pretty evident that this, to the 50th verse inclusive, constituted a part of the directions given to Moses relative to the proper observance of the first passover, and should be read conjointly with the preceding account beginning at Exodus 12:21 . It may be supposed that these latter parts contain such particular directions as God gave to Moses after he had given those general ones mentioned in the preceding verses, but they seem all to belong to this first passover.

There shall no stranger eat thereof - נכר בן ben nechar , the son of a stranger or foreigner, i.e., one who was not of the genuine Hebrew stock, or one who had not received circumcision; for any circumcised person might eat the passover, as the total exclusion extends only to the uncircumcised, see Exodus 12:48 . As there are two sorts of strangers mentioned in the sacred writings; one who was admitted to all the Jewish ordinances, and another who, though he dwelt among the Jews, was not permitted to eat the passover or partake of any of their solemn feasts; it may be necessary to show what was the essential point of distinction through which the one was admitted and the other excluded.

In treatises on the religious customs of the Jews we frequently meet with the term proselyte, from the Greek προσηλυτος , a stranger or foreigner; one who is come from his own people and country to sojourn with another. All who were not descendants of some one of the twelve sons of Jacob, or of Ephraim and Manasseh, the two sons of Joseph, were reputed strangers or proselytes among the Jews. But of those strangers or proselytes there were two kinds, called among them proselytes of the gate, and proselytes of injustice or of the covenant. The former were such as wished to dwell among the Jews, but would not submit to be circumcised; they, however, acknowledged the true God, avoided all idolatry, and observed the seven precepts of Noah, but were not obliged to observe any of the Mosaic institutions. The latter submitted to be circumcised, obliged themselves to observe all the rites and ceremonies of the law, and were in nothing different from the Jews but merely in their having once been heathens. The former, or proselytes of the gate, might not eat the passover or partake of any of the sacred festivals; but the latter, the proselytes of the covenant, had the same rights, spiritual and secular, as the Jews themselves. See Exodus 12:48 .

- Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible