WORD STUDY – Pass Through
Exodus 12:23: “For the Lord will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he sees the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the Lord will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you.”
Pass Through: Hebrew –Avar: (Ancient teaching) – A light passing through something and leaving a shadow or darkness behind it.
I wondered if the Israelites knew when God passed over their home. What was that experience like. Was it a light that passed by? Did they sit in terror, hoping upon hope they put the blood on the door post right? Did the father begin wondering if he used a proper lamb? Maybe there was a blemish on the lamb? Was there a great sigh of relief when God passed by and nothing happened? Is it possible for God to pass by and for nothing to happen? Does God pass over today, perhaps every day in our lives?
Exodus 12:23 tells us that the Lord “will pass through (Heb. Avar)” the Egyptians, but He will pass over (Heb. Pesach – to leap over) the Hebrews who have the blood on the door post. He will Avar (pass through) to smite the Egyptians. Yet, in the same breath he says he will not allow the destroyer to come into the houses of the Hebrews. So who is doing the destroying here? Is it God or another being, called a destroyer?
The word for “smite” is Nagaph is an unusual word. It could mean to smite with plague or disease, but it also means to “stumble.” Since it is clearly shown that it is a destroyer who will doing the dirty work, we would have to go with the word usage of stumble rather than smite. Thus, as the Lord passes through the Egyptians, He stumbles. In other words He is seeking to protect us from the “destroyer” but when He passes in judgment, sin causes him to “stumble” in His attempt to protect us.
Jewish literature teaches that the word “avar (pass through)” is a picture of a light moving towards something and leaving a shadow behind. The Ayin represents spiritual insight, the Beth represents the heart and the Resh represents judgment. In other words, Jewish literature teaches that the light of God passed through (avar) the Egyptians, inspecting and judging their hearts. Thus when God “avar” those without the blood on the door, they averted the light and hid in their sin such that the destroyer was permitted to have his evil way with them.
Yet when he came to the doors with the blood he “passed over” or “pesach.” The word is spelled “Pei – speak, Samek – protection, and Hei – God’s presence. In other words when He pesached or passed over the door with the blood he turned to the destroyer and spoke (pe): “No, this house is protected (samek) by My Presence (he).” Whether they had sin or not, the blood on the door post allowed God to leap over and perform no “Ayin” or spiritual insight on the sin. The blood made them exempt from the consequences of their sin. The destroyer or enemy cannot do his dirty work until God judges’ sin. Once He does and finds sin, He “stumbles” or must turn away leaving a shadow or darkness and turn us over to the “destroyer,” the enemy, who is chomping at the bit just waiting for his chance to do his dirty work.
Only through the blood of Jesus and nothing else, not years of study in the Word, ministry, or good deeds, but only the blood of Jesus will cover our sins so that he will turn to the destroyer who wants to have his way with us and He will say “pesach” “No, this one is protected by my presence.”