Personal study – Exodus 11, notes from Seder conducted by the Zeitlers

Monday, December 11, 2006

Exodus 11

We are still in Exodus, and are soon coming to the point where Pharaoh will realize that he must obey God, it will come at a time of sadness for the Egyptians, for many will have lost their first born sons. It could have been avoided if Pharaoh had honored God and allowed the Israelites go, but Pharaoh did not honor God, and God used the plagues to strike a blow against the idols of the Egyptians. Pharaoh chose to harden his heart at the expense of the people.

Exodus 11 will start the process for the final step for the liberation of the Israelites

Exodus 11:1 And the LORD said to Moses, “I will bring one more plague on Pharaoh and on Egypt. Afterward he will let you go from here. When he lets you go, he will surely drive you out of here altogether.

Can you imagine, after 400 years of slavery, and the current state of affairs (remember the Egyptians made the workload harder for the Israelites) how incredible this will sound to the people. They have suffered alongside the Egyptians for a few plagues, then watched the plagues strike the Egyptians and not touch Goshen. Now, at last, they will gain their liberty.

Exodus 11:2-3 Speak now in the hearing of the people, and let every man ask from his neighbor and every woman from her neighbor, articles of silver and articles of gold.” And the LORD gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians. Moreover the man Moses was very great in the land of Egypt, in the sight of Pharaoh’s servants and in the sight of the people.

You know, I used to wonder about this until I realized that these items of silver and gold would barely cover 400 years of slavery in wages. God had softened the people’s hearts and I am certain they were happy to hand over these items, items we will see will be used in the construction of the ark and temple, and some of the gold earrings for a purpose that is displeasing to God. But more of that in the future. The Egyptians realized that Moses’ God was far more powerful than any of the gods the Egyptians worshipped.

Exodus 11:4-7 The Moses said, “Thus says the LORD: ‘About midnight I will go out into the midst of Egypt; and all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sits on his throne, even to the firstborn of the female servant who is behind the handmill, and all the firstborn of the animals. Then there shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as was not like it before, nor shall be like it again. But against none of the children of Israel shall a dog move its tongue, against man or beast, that you may know that the LORD does make a difference between the Egyptians and Israel.'”

Remember that Egypt is a symbol of the World, and Israel was separate from the World. God will protect His children. Even today, God will protect a remnant of His children.

Ezekiel 20:5-6 Say to them, “Thus says the Lord GOD: “On the day when I chose Israel and raised My hand in an oath to the descendants of the house of Jacob, and made Myself known, to them in the land of Egypt, I raised My hand in an oath to them, saying, “I am the LORD your God. On that day I raised My hand in an oath to them, to bring them out of the land of Egypt into a land that I had searched out for them, ‘flowing with milk and honey,” the glory of all lands…. After 40 years in the wilderness, the people claimed the land. All went well for awhile, but when the Israelites did not honor God’s covenant, He allowed them to be scattered. This happened a few times, the last one being 70 a.d. when the Temple was destroyed. No other culture in history that has been scattered abroad for so long has ever come together and been restored. No other dead language has been revived, we don’t hear the Ammorite, or Jebusite, or Hittite language, only Hebrew has been restored. Today this nation is again a cup of trembling in the land, and God has allowed them to reform as a nation. As we approach the last days as Jesus prophesied in Matthew 24 & 25, and as John spoke of in Revelation, it is easy to see that Israel will also play a part. Many of the Prophecies in Daniel and Ezekiel and the other prophets have a near fulfillment (close to the time of the prophesy) and a far fulfillment – what will occur in the Last Days, in That Day. If you continue to read Ezekiel you see so many references that are mentioned in Revelation. God will restore His people, and they will come back to Him. God did make a difference between His children and the rest of the World. They are His people. His covenant with them was an eternal covenant, and God will not go back on His word.

Exodus 11:8-10 And all these your servants shall come down to me and bow down to me, saying, ‘Get out, and all the people who follow you!’ After that I will go out. “Then he went out from Pharaoh in great anger. But the LORD said to Moses, “Pharaoh will not heed you, so that My wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt.” So Moses and Aaron did all these wonders before Pharaoh; and the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not let the children of Israel go out of his land.

In Exodus 12 God is going to institute a sacred feast that began in Egypt and is still celebrated today, the Passover Seder. We are blessed in our church to celebrate it every year, and the Rabbi that comes to help us celebrate it, gives a description of all the elements and shows us where Jesus is in the symbolism I have brought this description forward, so that you can be blessed with all the references to Jesus in the Seder. Remember, in all parts of the Old Testament Jesus is present. I still would have loved to have been a fly on the wall when Jesus opened up the scripture on the Road to Emmaus. Here is the Seder description:


I wanted to share a few of the insights the Messianic Rabbi shared with us about the Seder, and how so much of it points to Jesus. Rabbi Michael and his wife Gail Zeitler from Baruch Ha Shem were the ones who led this Seder.


Before the Seder occurs there is a lot of cleaning to be done. The wife has to make sure that there is no leaven in the house, so she does a thorough Spring cleaning during the month of Nissan. So that the dad’s have something to do, the wife leaves a tiny bit of something with leaven in it so that the father and kids can find it. They take a feather and a wooden spoon, and sweep the leaven onto the wooden spoon, wrap it in a napkin, march to the temple and throw it in a fire behind the temple. When the last bit of leaven (which is symbolic of sin) is removed, the father and kids triumphantly shout, “The house is clean.”

For Christians this is rich with symbolism.

The house – we are the temple of God.
The Feather – is the Holy Spirit
The Leaven – is sin which must be removed
The Wooden Spoon-our sin was removed by a wooden cross
The fire-Jesus is the light of the world, and light destroys the darkness
When Jesus was crucified, he was wrapped in cloths, and then arose to
give us new life

The elements of the Seder:

1. Parsley – new growth
2. Salt Water – tears and sweat
3. Horseradish – bitter herbs
4. Lamb – sacrificed at temple
5. Haroseth- apples, nuts, honey, grapes, etc. mortar for bricks
6. Eggs-new growth, spring
7. Matzoh-lots of meaning, bread without yeast

The Seder begins with the lighting of the candle – and we know that Jesus is the light of the world.

Then the sanctification cup is blessed.

The Rabbi said an interesting thing that blew my mind. He said that the disciples had been with Jesus during his ministry for three years. A rabbi begins serving when he is 30, so this would have been the third seder that Jesus and the disciples shared. Reminds me of third day things from a previous study.

In the upper room the tables would have been in a U-shaped, and there was a spot where the servant would be seated. In the last supper, the servant was to have been Peter. Peter sat with the disciples but did not do what the servant should have done, which is to bring a bowl of water around so that the participants should wash their hands ceremonially before beginning.

That is why Jesus went and washed the feet of the disciples, to show them what being a true servant was. When Jesus got to Peter, Peter was ashamed of what he didn’t do, and asked Jesus to wash all of him. Jesus said that the feet were sufficient.

Then we dipped the Parsley twice into salt water. Salt water represents sweat and tears. Jesus sweat blood in the garden. But it also reminds us of the martyred church, those saints who died for Christ and to further the gospel.

Then the children come up to ask the questions. My daughter asked one of them (about reclining), and the Rabbi helped her say it in Hebrew.

  The questions are:

1. How is this night different from all other nights?
2. On all other nights we eat bread or matzoh, on this night why do we  eat only matzoh?
3. On all other nights we eat all kinds of vegetables. On this night why do we eat only bitter herbs?
4. On all other nights we do not dip our vegetables even once. On this night why do we dip them twice?
5. On all other nights we eat our meals sitting or reclining. On this night why do we eat only reclining?

One of my sons took a turn reading one of the answers to the above questions. These questions were so that the fathers (papa) could answer and share the history of the Exodus with their children. It is important to God that the fathers teach their children about Him. Oh I should add all men wore yarmulkes and even my sons. They thought it was way cool, but my daughter was upset for girls didn’t. I have a question, what is the female equivalent of the yarmulke for a girl, is it a prayer shawl. I know that when I lit the candle I was instructed to put a napkin on my head as a head covering. So I am just curious.

The Rabbi showed us his matzoh tasha(sp) the cloth holder for the matzoh for the Seder. He pointed out that it had three pockets. And if a traditional rabbi was asked why three pockets there are two standard answers. 1. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob or 2. The High Priest, the Levites, and the People of Israel are represented by the pockets. We, as Christians, have another answer, the father, the son, and the Holy Spirit.

Then we were instructed to take a piece of matzoh, which is baked no more than 18 minutes (how many inches from head to hear – Heather’s comment on re-reading this) so that it does not rise from steam, and is obviously without leaven, and hold it up to the light. When you look at a sheet of matzoh in the light you see the piercings, and the strips from the oven. This reminds us of many things. Historically the Jews had to leave in a hurry so they made bread without leaven and that is a reminder of the Exodus. But it is also a perfect representation of the Lamb of God, as described in Isaiah 53, wounded (pierced) for our iniquities, by his stripes we are healed, and without sin (leaven).



A piece of the Matzoh was broken off and folded into a napkin and hid by the dads. This is the Matzoh that has to be redeemed, the children will find it later in the Seder, and it must be found before the Seder is completed, and the father will redeem it with a ransom. This is called the Afikomen – that which is to come after. Just like Jesus was wrapped in a cloth and rose three days after.

We blessed the Matzoh, and spread it with bitter herbs. Jesus told the disciples that one of them would betray Him. And it would be the one who dipped with him into the dish. The dish was filled with the bitter herbs. We were instructed to dip our Matzoh into the bitter herb.

At the last supper John was sitting on Jesus’ left (for when he reclined on Jesus breast) he had to be on the right. In order for the disciple who would dip with Jesus into the bitter herbs, to be able to do so, he had to be sitting on Jesus’ right. This would have been a place of honor at the table, and Jesus let Judas sit in this place of honor.

We then got to eat some of the Haroseth which reminded us of the mortar that the Israelites used when they were slaves, and had to build and make bricks. We were told to put a bit of the bitter herb on it because with the sweet there is also a bit of bitter.

Then we reclined against each other for a bit. To remind us that we were once slaves, but now we are free. And the Messiah had said, “Come unto Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

Then we shared the cup of Joy – also known as the cup of plagues. For the Israelites did not suffer the plagues of Egypt. Each of the Plagues also was an indictment to pharaoh of the false gods that they worshipped. The Egyptians had over 300 gods, and tied with nature. The frogs were important to the Egyptians for they ate the bugs that came out, the goddess hecht was the frog goddess, and these frogs came out three days, and then died, leaving behind a stench. apis, the bull god, was put in his place with the cattle disease. The Egyptians also worshipped themselves, so they were inflicted with lice and boils. They had lots of leisure and garden parties, so their crops were destroyed with locusts. There was darkness three days for their sun god to be defeated, and the last and worst plague was the death of the first born son.

We were told to take our little finger (pinkie), not the index finger which God wrote with, but our little finger and dip it into the cup of joy and say a Hebrew version of yuck (Feh) and shake the drop of wine off onto a plate as each of the plagues was read, as a celebration that we were preserved from them. (my observation is that these drops of wine (grape juice) looked so much like drops of blood). Jesus preserved us from the worst plague imaginable, eternal damnation.

We did not serve lamb, for we know that the Lamb of God made the ultimate sacrifice for us once, for all. Also we could not make a sacrifice in the temple of our lamb, for that is no longer needed. But the lamb in those days was to be without blemish. They had to bring it into their house and examine it for four days. (just like the rabbis examined Jesus for days in the temple with questions), to make sure it was without spot or blemish. With a lamb in the house, the children and family members would grow attached to the lamb, so when it was time to do the sacrifice, it was graphically brought to mind the terrible cost of sin, death.

In those days the lambs were usually brought up from Bethlehem, the house of bread, where the shepherds were. And the Levites as young men were sent to Bethlehem to learn how to tend lambs in preparation for their priesthood. Then the lamb was brought through Bethany and then into the gate of Jerusalem. The same gate that Jesus rode through on his donkey. The people would sing praises to the lamb when it was driven through the gate, for they knew their sins would be redeemed for one year. Jesus kind of took away the priests’ glory when he rode through and received those praises for the Lamb of God.

The Israelites in the Exodus were instructed to kill the lamb, dip its blood out with hyssop (a spongy herb) and strike the lintel and two door posts with the hyssop soaked with blood. If you think of that you realize they are making a sign of the cross for the lintel would drip down straight, and the two door posts right and left are the arms of the cross. When they struck the door post the blood would splatter covering the head of the house and all the others who were watching with blood.

The rabbi then explained that the cross was not a wonderful symbol to the Jew because of the persecution that they received at the hands of Christians. but in those days Pomegranate branches were formed into the shape of a cross and the Pascal lamb was hung from that, the fore paws spread out and then the rear feet were put on the cross like the feet of Christ. This was put into a base over the altar. The shepherd who told the rabbi of this, mentioned that after struggling, the lamb would become quiet, drop his head and look at the people, and then the lamb would be sacrificed and his blood would drip down, and this blood would be put on the Holy of Holies for the yearly atonement. The intestines of the lamb would be formed into a crown and put on the lambs head for all to see. When the sacrifice was completed, the priest would come out of the Holy of Holies and say, “It is finished.”

Jesus portrayed all aspects of the Mishna of this sacrifice.

At the time this happened, when Jesus died, he was nailed to a cross, wore a crown of thorns, his blood dripped down, and when he died, the veil of the temple was split from top to bottom, signifying that no further sacrifice was needed.

When the statements are made regarding the Lamb, that it was God himself, not an angel who passed through Egypt, God himself, not a seraph to strike down every first born, and God himself, not a messenger to bring judgement on the gods of Egypt.

We believe that Yeshua the Messiah is the Lamb of God, our Passover Lamb. It was God Himself, not an angel, God Himself, not a seraph, God Himself, not a messenger who paid the price for us to save us from sin and death.

Then we were instructed to say Dayenu (which means it would have been enough) after each statement.

The Lord rescuing the Israelites (Dayenu) but had not judged the Egyptians, destroyed the Egyptian gods but had not parted the sea, drowned the enemies but had not fed us with manna, led us through the desert, but had given us the Sabbath, given us the Torah, but had not given us the land of Israel.

Then the traditional blessing of God for fulfilling all our needs.

The Afikomen was then found and redeemed. Then broken among all at the table for the bread for a communion. And we drank the cup of redemption. This is the cup that Jesus said would be the last cup he would share with the disciples, and where on this third (last supper) he changed the format, breaking the bread, and sharing the wine as His body and blood.

The last of the four cups was the cup of Elijah where there is the promise of the Messiah coming again. (Personal note) I believe that Jesus will share this cup with us, his disciples at the wedding feast. And it will truly be a cup of Praise. and His love endures forever.

The Seder ended with Next Year in Jerusalem. I know it won’t be long before that prophesy comes true.

Please know this is all new to me, so if I made any mistakes in sharing this, I apologize. The other seder I attended was at the house of a friend of my husband’s years ago, and they were not Messianic Jews.

I also wanted to thank all those who served us during the Seder, the hospitality committee and the teenagers. We had an awesome feast as well as the Seder.

This was a very impacting evening for me and also for my family. I learned so much, and can’t wait until Jim puts the pictures up so you can see some of the Seder. So keep checking, he promised to have them to me today.

Have a blessed Sunday, I now have to go and wake up the family for church.



About Heather Marsten

Welcome to Heather's Blog. I'm looking forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. I just moved about nine years of material over from another blog site, Xanga, who may close down mid-July. At first I was disappointed to make the move because I had a lifetime membership at Xanga and had to spend weeks transferring posts. But now I'm thrilled. Already I've met new bloggers and read many new websites. Blogging is a wonderful way to expand my horizons and garner new ideas. I'm a happily married mom of three young adults. My husband and I are proud to watch our children grow and venture out into the world. My daughter is still in college but my two sons have graduated. One has a job and the other just graduated and is in the process of finding a job in his field, physics. Anyone know of any jobs out there? I'm proud of our children and love watching them grow and mature. They've become fine, compassionate, and loving people. Empty nest? Nah, I'm too busy to let an empty nest bother me. Not enough hours in the day. My husband and I enjoy quiet time together and I have many interests to pursue - one of which is blogging :D I am a born-again believer and love God. As you read this blog, you will discover that Bible studies thrill me. There is so much wisdom contained between the covers of the Bible and I am fortunate to sit under the teachings of a remarkable pastor, Pastor Don Moore. Members of our church (Living Word Chapel in West Hurley, New York) are encouraged to teach and there are visiting pastors who stop by our church, I also study the Bible on my own and love sharing what I learn. One other passion is writing. My current work in process is a memoir. A scene from my memoir was published in a book called: Heavenly Company: Entertaining Angels Unaware - an anthology of angelic encounters compiled by Cecil Murphy. I'm hoping my memoir will encourage other survivors of abuse. I grew up in a home filled with abuse, including incest. For most of my life I was searching for something that would fill the void of not being loved by my parents. I tried many ways to find that love -- therapy, relationships, occult studies, and keeping my life so filled I had no way to think about my past. It was only when I discovered God that I was able to put the pieces of my life back together and walk forward in a joyous life. My nickname - wondering has changed from wondering where the heck God was in my life, to wondering what incredible adventure is going to happen next. I hope you enjoy my site. Please say hi, share some thoughts, and ask questions. I look forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. Have a blessed day. Heather
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