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How to Understand the Passover Story

The Passover story marks the time when God delivered the Hebrews from slavery in Egypt and into the promised land.


  • TIP: Understand that they were instructed to eat the food in haste with girded loins, sandals on their feet, and their staffs in their hands so they would be ready to flee Egypt.
  • Step 1: Find out what the Hebrews ate during the Passover feast. They roasted and ate the flesh of the lamb, along with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. The bread was unleavened because it was meant to be eaten in a hurry.
  • Step 2: Know the significance of the blood in the Passover story. God smote the first-born male of every family in Egypt, sparing only those households with blood on their doors. The next day Pharaoh freed the Hebrews.
  • Step 3: Know that after the Hebrews left Egypt, Pharaoh sent his army to bring them back. The Jews were trapped at the Red Sea, but Moses prayed and God parted the sea so that the Hebrews could cross. He closed the Red Sea on the Egyptians, and the Jews were finally free.
  • FACT: Although often portrayed as a great speaker, Moses was believed to have been a stutterer.
  • Step 4: Learn the ritual. Each Hebrew household was instructed to slaughter a lamb at twilight, and to sprinkle the lamb's blood on the two sides and lintel of their doors. God would see the blood on the doors, and pass over those houses.
  • Step 5: Understand the importance of the last plague. When Pharaoh refused to release the Hebrews, Moses warned Pharaoh that there would be a final plague that would be so severe Pharaoh would be compelled to send them away.
  • TIP: Know that the Hebrews were enslaved in Egypt for 210 years.
  • Step 6: Discover how the Hebrews became enslaved. The Hebrews multiplied and prospered, but a Pharaoh came along who did not remember all that Jacob had done for Egypt. He enslaved the Hebrew people, but they continued to grow.
  • Step 7: Learn about Moses. The Pharaoh decreed every newborn male Hebrew should be killed, but a baby named Moses was saved when his mother placed him in a basket and sent him down the Nile River, where he was found and raised by Pharaoh's daughter.
  • Step 8: Find out about how God appeared to the adult Moses in the desert as a burning bush. He sent Moses and his brother Aaron to perform miracles before Pharaoh, but Pharaoh's magicians mimicked the miracles. Pharaoh refused to let the Hebrews go free, and doubled their workload.
  • Step 9: Learn about the 10 plagues. God unleashed 10 plagues upon Egypt to sway Pharaoh. The first nine plagues were water turning to blood, frogs, lice, flies, death of livestock, people getting boils, hail, locusts, and darkness.
  • Step 10: Become familiar with why the Hebrews were in Egypt. After he was sold into slavery by his brothers, Joseph, the great grandson of Abraham, rose to become viceroy of Egypt because he could interpret Pharaoh's dreams and saved Egypt from famine. He reconciled with his brothers and brought them, their families, and his father Jacob to Egypt.

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