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Daily manna from the Torah by Dr Ketriel Blad

Bo 15-5


Exodus 12:21-28

For the LORD will pass through to strike the Egyptians, and when he sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the LORD will pass over the door and will not allow the destroyer to enter your houses to strike

Ex. 12:23 ESV

Who struck the Egyptians?

The Torah says that the Eternal was going to pass through Egypt and strike all the firstborn. The only way of being protected against that death was through the blood of the lamb. The blood from the lamb's sacrifice delivered the firstborn from death. The firstborn represents the whole people.

The symbolism with Yeshua's death is very clear. Through his blood we are redeemed from eternal death. All those who apply his blood in a spiritual way through faith won't suffer the second death but will partake in the resurrection and eternal life.

Now, the following question rises: who smote the Egyptians? Was it the Eternal, satan or another angel? It is written in this verse that the destroyer was going to enter their houses to kill. Who is this destroyer? Other verses will give us an answer. In 1 Chronicles 21:15-16 it is written: “And God sent an angel to Jerusalem to destroy it: and as he was destroying, the LORD beheld, and he repented of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed, It is enough, stay now thy hand. And the angel of the LORD stood by the threshing-floor of Ornan the Jebusite. And David lifted up his eyes, and saw the angel of the LORD stand between the earth and the heaven, having a drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders of Israel, who were clothed in sackcloth, fell upon their faces.”(Webster cf. 2 Sam. 24:16)

This text reveals that there is an angel who is called the "angel who destroys", malach hamashchit מלאך המשחית – who is also called the "angel of the Eternal" malach HaShem. In the text from Exodus we are studying now, it is only referred to as "the destroyer" hamashchit המשחית – but I deduce that it refers to the same person.

But, doesn't the sacred text say that the Eternal was going to strike the Egyptians? How is it that it later says that it was His angel?

This teaches us three things:

-      The Eternal operates through His emissaries, His angels. When an emissary operates, it is as if the one sending him was doing the task himself, thus the emissary's work is counted as the emissor's. It was the Eternal who struck the Egyptians, through His angel, called "the destroyer" – HaMashchit.

-    The destroyer is not satan because the former is called "the angel of the Eternal" – Malach HaShem. Even though satan is an angel created by the Eternal, he is never called "the angel of the Eternal" in the Scriptures. Even if he is a rebellious angel he must still fulfill the Eternal's purposes. He can't do anything without the Almighty's permission (see the book of Job). There are not two Gods, a good one and a bad one; there is only one, the Almighty, who controls everything.

-   The "angel of the Eternal" is not the Messiah because the Messiah is not a destroyer but a saviour, symbolized with the lamb that is sacrificed and eaten in Pesach.

Blessed be the Eternal for the blood of the lamb who delivered from death on our first redemption and will also deliver us from death in our second redemption.

Kol tuv – all the good,


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