Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary

Verses 43-51 (Exodus 12:43-51)

Some further precepts are here given concerning the passover, as it should be observed in times to come.

I. All the congregation of Israel must keep it, Exod. 12:47. All that share in God?s mercies should join in thankful praises for them. Though it was observed in families apart, yet it is looked upon as the act of the whole congregation; for the smaller communities constituted the greater. The New-Testament passover, the Lord?s supper, ought not to be neglected by any who are capable of celebrating it. He is unworthy the name of an Israelite that can contentedly neglect the commemoration of so great a deliverance. 1. No stranger that was uncircumcised might be admitted to eat of it, Exod. 12:43, 45, 48. None might sit at the table but those that came in by the door; nor may any now approach to the improving ordinance of the Lord?s supper who have not first submitted to the initiating ordinance of baptism. We must be born again by the word ere we can be nourished by it. Nor shall any partake of the benefit of Christ?s sacrifice, or feast upon it, who are not first circumcised in heart, Col. 2:11. 2. Any stranger that was circumcised might be welcome to eat of the passover, even servants, Exod. 12:44. If, by circumcision, they would make themselves debtors to the law in its burdens, they were welcome to share in the joy of its solemn feasts, and not otherwise. Only it is intimated (Exod. 12:48) that those who were masters of families must not only be circumcised themselves, but have all their males circumcised too. If in sincerity, and with that zeal which the thing required and deserves, we give up ourselves to God, we shall, with ourselves, give up all we have to him, and do our utmost that all ours may be his too. Here is an early indication of favour to the poor Gentiles, that the stranger, if circumcised, stands upon the same level with the home-born Israelite. One law for both, Exod. 12:49. This was a mortification to the Jews, and taught them that it was their dedication to God, not their descent from Abraham, that entitled them to their privileges. A sincere proselyte was as welcome to the passover as a native Israelite, Isa. 56:6, 7.

II. In one house shall it be eaten (Exod. 12:46), for good-fellowship sake, that they might rejoice together, and edify one another in the eating of it. None of it must be carried to another place, nor left to another time; for God would not have them so taken up with care about their departure as to be indisposed to take the comfort of it, but to leave Egypt, and enter upon a wilderness, with cheerfulness, and, in token of that, to eat a good hearty meal. The papists? carrying their consecrated host from house to house is not only superstitious in itself, but contrary to this typical law of the passover, which directed that no part of the lamb should be carried abroad.

The chapter concludes with a repetition of the whole matter, that the children of Israel did as they were bidden, and God did for them as he promised (Exod. 12:50, 51); for he will certainly be the author of salvation to those that obey him.

- Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary