Commentary on Parashat Bo

The Israelites are leaving Egypt in this week’s reading of the Torah.  The reading is from Exodus 10:1 – 13:16 – Parashat Bo. I suppose that this reading of the Exodus is probably one of the most significant readings in the Word of God that describes the whole concept of SALVATION.

Here are some of the basic elements of the exodus:

  1. The people are oppressed and mal-treated by a big world power.
  2. There is racial discrimination and injustice against people.
  3. The strong take advantage of the weak and abuse their civil rights because of their vulnerability.
  4. When the suffering people complain and cry for justice – things get worst and a heavier hand is used to suppress the suffering people.
  5. The suffering people cry to God for help.  God is their only resort and hope for change for the better of their conditions.
  6. God has prepared a savior at least 40 years in advance.
  7. The savior is activated by a deep sense of justice and righteousness that is deeply engraved in his conscience, probably from his mother’s milk and from the values of the empire, that are not being practiced by their rulers. (A national hypocrisy)
  8. The savior wants to and tries to help the suffering people, but is rejected by them and betrayed.
  9. The conditions of the suffering nation only go from bad to worst.  They continue to cry to God for help.
  10. The savior is in exile serving a pagan priest and his family.
  11. God wakes up the savior with a dramatic wake-up call with a burning bush and a reissue of the mission to save the people who are suffering from injustice and slavery.
  12. God provides the savior with the tools that are necessary to accomplish his mission successfully.  The success of this mission is totally not logical and against all odds.
  13. The savior takes up God’s mission, the tools that God has provide him and goes back to Egypt with a positive attitude – I am going to save the suffering nation from slavery and from social injustice.
  14. He is again rejected by the very people whom he is sent to serve.
  15. God demonstrates by power, and signs and wonders and plagues that He alone is in control of both nature and earthly politics and politicians.  Earls, Princes, Kings and presidents, are all beholden to God for who they are and what they are and when God is ready they all fall on their faces and beg for mercy.
  16. God tests the resolve of the oppressed people and their faith by asking them to do something strange and not logical.  The test that God issues to the suffering nation is a demand to put their ideas of what is right and what should happen under HIS MIND and HIS LOGIC.  They are asked to offer a lamb for the sacrifice and smear the blood of that lamb on their clean door posts.  This simple act was not reasonable nor was it logical but it was a test and a prophetic act that will test the resolve of the people that will demonstrate their willingness to be saved and come out of Egypt.
  17. The people who do obey God’s silly demands and smear the blood of the lamb on their door posts – are ordered to pack up their belongings and eat the meat of the lamb that was roasted on fire, take the unleavened bread that they baked in haste.  They were also to go and ask and take gold and silver and wealth from their former task-masters and Egyptian nobility that built their wealth on the pain and suffering of the enslaved.
  18. 18.    The plague strikes every household of the Empire of Egypt and now they are willing to let God’s people go because they understood that it is not worth it to misuse their power to enrich themselves by the suffering of others. No one can build his happiness by making other suffer.
  19. The Israelites finally leave Egypt with an outstretched arm and with the wealth of Egypt.
  20. The final demonstration of God’s power and the need to have faith in God and march according to HIS guidance is the crossing of the Red Sea on dry land.

Much to our regret and according to the continuation of the Bible – this lesson does not last more than one generation and the wheels of history keep turning and we both as a nation and as human being have to relearn this lessons again and again, until the ultimate savior comes to end this cycle and end this earth as we know it.

Every year reading this text in Exodus becomes again and again a source of inspiration for me. I ask myself the question “Will the circle be unbroken?” I answer myself with the words of the song, “by and by Lord by and by!”  The Savoir that God has prepared for this task is still serving as a poor shepherd in the service of the gentile pagan priest in the exile away from the Land of Promise given to His forefathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  In the words of a Talmudic story, “The Messiah is at the gates of Rome, sitting among the poor, the sick and wretched. Like them, he changes the bindings of his wounds, but does so one wound at the time, in order to be ready at a moment’s notice.” (Babylonian Talmud Tractate Sanhedrin 98a.)

This is the reason my dear brothers and sisters that Yeshua is our Passover. The whole Passover is patterned as a fore runner event of the ultimate Salvation of all mankind in Yeshua son of David son of Abraham.

This article originally appeared as a part of The Jerusalem Prayer List by Netivyah Bible Instruction Ministry, February 2, 2017, and reposted with permission.