The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Book of Exodus
It was while they were still in the land of Egypt that the Lord said to Moses and Aaron,
For you, this month is to lead in all the months, to be the first month of the year.
Make this proclamation to the whole assembly of Israel: On the tenth day of this month, each family, each household, is to choose out a yearling for its own use.
Or, if there are not enough of them to eat a whole lamb, the head of the family must call in some neighbour who lives close by, so that a lamb shall not be too much for their needs.
It must be a male yearling lamb, or a male yearling kid, that you choose, with no blemish on it.
These victims must be kept ready till the fourteenth day of the month, and on the evening of that day the whole people of Israel must immolate.✻
They must take some of the blood, and sprinkle it on the doorway, jambs and lintel alike, of the house in which the lamb is being eaten.
Their meat that night must be roasted over the fire, their bread unleavened; wild herbs must be all their seasoning.
No part must be eaten raw, or boiled, it must be roasted over the fire; head, feet, and entrails, all must be consumed,
so that nothing remains till next day; whatever is left over, you must put in the fire and burn it.
And this is to be the manner of your eating it; your loins must be girt, your feet ready shod, and every man’s staff in his hand; all must be done in haste. It is the night of the Pasch, the Lord’s passing by;✻
the night on which I will pass through the land of Egypt, and smite every first-born thing in the land of Egypt, man and beast alike; so I will give sentence on all the powers of Egypt,✻ I, the Lord.
The blood on the houses that shelter you will be your badge; at sight of the blood, I will pass you by, and there shall be no scourge of calamity for you when I smite the land of Egypt.
You are to observe this day as a memorial of the past, a day when you keep holiday in the Lord’s honour, generation after generation; a rite never to be abrogated.
For a whole week you will eat unleavened bread; from the first day of it, yeast is to disappear from your houses, and the man who eats any leavened thing between the first day and the seventh, is lost to Israel.✻
That first day shall be solemnly set apart, and the seventh observed with no less honour; on neither of them shall you do any work, except to prepare your food.
Mark well this day of unleavened bread; for this is the day on which I will lead your whole muster away out of Egypt, and you are to observe it, generation after generation, a rite never to be abrogated.
From evening on the fourteenth day of the first month to evening on the twenty-first day of it, the bread you eat must be unleavened;
no yeast to be found in any house for a whole week. If anyone, stranger or native, eats leavened bread during that time, there is one soul lost to Israel.
There must be no food cooked with yeast; there must be no house in which leavened bread is eaten.
Thereupon Moses called the elders of Israel together, and gave them the command: Set about choosing victims for each family to immolate at the paschal feast.
Take bunches of hyssop, too, and dip them in the blood which stands at your doors, and sprinkle it over the doorway, lintel and jambs alike. None of you must cross the threshold of his house till morning comes.
The Lord will pass on his way smiting down the Egyptians, and when he sees the blood on the lintel and the jambs of a doorway he will pass by that house, and will not let the destroying angel enter your homes to do them injury.
And this command is to be kept as an observance by you and your sons for ever.
When you reach the land which the Lord will give you in accordance with his promise, you are to keep these ceremonies alive;
and if your children ask, What is the meaning of this rite?
then you shall tell them, This is the victim that marked the Lord’s passing-by, when he passed by the houses of the Israelites in Egypt, smiting only the Egyptians, and leaving our homes exempt. Upon hearing this, the whole people bowed down in worship,
and the Israelites went away to carry out the divine commands which Moses and Aaron had received.
Then, at midnight, the Lord’s stroke fell; fell on every first-born thing in the land of Egypt, whether it were the first-born of Pharao, where he sat on his throne, or the first-born of some captive woman where she lay in her dungeon; all the first-born, too, of their cattle.
So Pharao and all his servants and all Egypt rose up at dead of night, and all over Egypt there was loud lament; in every house a man lay dead.
And it was still night when Pharao sent for Moses and Aaron, and said to them, Up, out of my kingdom, you and all the people of Israel with you; go and offer this Lord of yours the sacrifice you spoke of.
You shall have your way, and take your flocks and herds with you; leave me only your blessing, and begone.
The Egyptians, too, urged the people to hasten their departure; We are dead men else, they said.
So the Israelites carried away the dough in their kneading-troughs before they had time to leaven it, tying it up in cloths and carrying it on their shoulders.
Nor did they forget to do what Moses had bidden them; they asked the Egyptians for gold and silver trinkets, and a great store of garments.
And the Lord let his people have their way with the Egyptians, claiming as they would; so they took toll of Egypt.
The Israelites, then, set out from Ramesses to Socoth, about six hundred thousand men on the march, not reckoning in the children;
and with them a mingled array of other folk, past counting; they had flocks and herds, too, and beasts of all kinds, in great numbers.
For cooking they used the dough which they had brought with them all the way from Egypt, making girdle-cakes without any yeast in them; they had had no time to leaven it, no chance of making provision for their journey, with the Egyptians eagerly bidding them begone, and allowing them no respite.
It was four hundred and thirty years since the Israelites had first dwelt in Egypt;
at the end of that time, the whole muster of the Lord’s people left Egypt in a single day.
It is a night for keeping vigil in the Lord’s honour, this night when he led them away out of the land of Egypt; the sons of Israel, age after age, must needs observe it.
And these are the rules for keeping the Pasch, as the Lord gave them to Moses and Aaron. No alien is to partake of it;
a slave acquired by purchase may do so, if he will be circumcised,
but not a foreign resident, not a hired servant.
All of it must be eaten under the same roof; you must not take any of the victim’s flesh elsewhere, or break it up into joints.✻
Every Israelite is bound to keep the observance.
If any stranger that lives among you wishes to be of your company, and to eat the pasch, all the males of his household must be circumcised before he can lawfully celebrate the rite. That done, he takes rank as an inhabitant of the country; whereas the uncircumcised are not allowed to partake of it.
Native-born, or foreign resident, the same rules are binding on everyone.
So all the sons of Israel carried out the divine commands Moses and Aaron had received;
and that same day the Lord led them away out of the land of Egypt, company by company.
The Holy Bible