Question: God and killing the firstborns of Egypt in the book of Exodus

Discussion in 'Muslim <---> Christian Dialogue' started by WhiteKnight, Jan 31, 2014.

  1. WhiteKnight
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    WhiteKnight Junior Member

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    Peace and God's blessings be upon you :)

    The book of Exodus tells us that God's tenth plague on the Egyptians was killing all the firstborns of Egypt. God told Moses that He would hover over the houses of Egypt and kill the Egyptian firstborns. He ordered the Israelites to stain their houses with blood so that God would know that those houses pertain to them, and hence he wouldn't strike down their firstborns. The book of Exodus (12:12-13) (The New International Version) says:-

    “On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn — both men and animals — and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the LORD. The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt."

    Now the question is, couldn't God the All-knowing differentiate between the Egyptians and the Israelites in terms of their firstborns??. Of course not, as God is the Omniscient whose knowledge is of no limits. So why would God descend from the heaven, fly over Egypt and and use blood as a sign to distinguish the Israelite houses from the Egyptian ones???. God might have sent the angel of death to do so, or he might have killed the firstborns of Egypt in a glance through His indomitable might :confused-82:.

    Now we have two answers to that question. Unequivocally, one of the following two answers must be right, we cannot find any other interpretations for these verses:-

    1- The LORD is the All-knowing God who cannot differentiate between the houses of the Egyptians and the Israelite..Such an Oxymoron:confused-82: that contradicts with all the Abrahamic religions!!!

    2- Those verses surely do not belong to the Bible God had revealed to His prophets, which confirms the occurrence of distortion (even if it is on relatively a small scale). The proof on that hypothesis is that those verses contradict with both the Holy Bible and the Holy Quran. God is the inward and the outward who knows everything in the whole universe. How would he order the Israelite to do such a ''bizarre'' thing??

    I don't mean to offend anybody at all through my threads ;) But I need the answer please from any Christian here
    #Cariad will relate :D

    Peace be upon you ;)
  2. Cariad
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    Cariad Junior Member

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    Cariad does relate. ;) but unfortunately has stuff and things to do now but will get back to you later. :)

    Blessings. C
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  3. Cariad
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    Cariad Junior Member

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    Firstly, we are using the Bible for reference here, the Old Testament to be precise. So one has to understand the context of the verse in question as in historical context.

    To your first answer..

    You see that The Lord God is all knowing, on that basis we can see that God could indeed tell the difference between the houses of the Egyptians and the Israelites. So the question should be why God would wish the Israelites, His people, to mark their door posts with blood. The Israelites were commanded, to sprinkle the blood of the paschal lamb upon the door-posts to test the faith of God's people. Those who, firmly relying upon the promise of their God, obeyed His word without question were spared. The blood was a true mark of discrimination to the Israelites themselves between those who confided in God, and those whose faith was weak and wavering.

    God was acting in perfect justice here, although it may seem a hard judgement. The Israelites were Gods chosen people they had been abused for decades by the Egyptians, the Pharaoh ordering the first born of the Israelites thrown into the river to drown. As you know Moses himself was saved by his mother hiding him in a basket in the river rather than see him drowned. So if we see God as merciful we should expect He would come to the aid of His people. Had the Pharaohs heart not been so hard he could he
    have avoided the Judgement of the firstborn, it was the tenth plague and He had already ignored the nine previous chances he had been given.

    This verse not only belongs in the Bible but it is has a great importance for future events. For the Passover lamb and the blood thereof which saved the Israelites is synonymous with Yeshua who was also known as the lamb of God and whose blood we are saved. As for the Passover being bizarre, :) I cannot agree, Jews I believe still hold to Passover today so for them it is still considered important. Maybe because they do not accept the blood of the lamb of God, they still have the need. I'm afraid I don't know much about Jewish festivals, but I'm sure you could find out easy enough about why the Passover is of such importance still. :)

    So it's not about God being able to tell the difference between people by blood on the door, but Gods justice, having faith in God. It certainly does not detract from any of Gods attributes of God being omnipresent, omnipotent or omniscient. :)

    As the only Christian here... Or so I believe.. ;) it seems so..;) I can say I am not offended at all by your threads. I take them as you wish explained how as a Christian I understand aspects of the Bible. I am not any kind of "theological scholar" but only speak from a personal understanding from a love of God and the teachings of Yeshua.

    Blessings. C
  4. WhiteKnight
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    WhiteKnight Junior Member

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    First off, I'd like to express my admiration for your interpretation :). But those verses tell us plainly that sprinkling the blood wasn't a test to the Israelites, but it was rather a sign so that the Lord could differentiate between the Israelite and Egyptian houses. Had it been a test to separate the faithful from those of wavering faith, God would have said so in the book of Exodus. However, there is not even a single word telling us that it was a test :(. God said "and when I see the blood, I will pass over you.". The Almighty should have added saying "for the blood is a test from the LORD your God to you" and so on. Let's say that it is really a test, why would God fly over Egypt Himself? He might have commissioned a cherub or one of his angels (the angel of death in particular) to do so instead of Him?

    Secondly, in the Jewish festivals, Jews do not slaughter lambs at all. They just abstain from yeast for seven days as God had ordered them in the Pentateuch. To put it another way, the Israelites were to slaughter goats for the Passover only for one time, when they were about to leave Egypt as Exodus 16 is telling us :D. It is the right that the Passover is one of the greatest Jewish festivals, but it doesn't hinge on the divine ordinance of slaughtering goats. If you don't believe me, look it up yourself in Google search engine :)

    Peace and God's blessings be upon you ;)
  5. Cariad
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    Cariad Junior Member

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    :) do you not see it as a test of faith? The Hebrews who did not hold faith and did not mark their doors as told also were judged. What makes you think God did not send an angel to do His work?

    ....29 At midnight the Lord struck down all the firstborn in Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh, who sat on the throne, to the firstborn of the prisoner, who was in the dungeon, and the firstborn of all the livestock as well. 30 Pharaoh and all his officials and all the Egyptians got up during the night, and there was loud wailing in Egypt, for there was not a house without someone dead....

    The Lord struck down... it does not state how The Lord struck down, would it be likely that God did indeed used an instrument of His choice, an Angel of Death perhaps? Cherubim maybe not.. But Angel quite likely. ;)

    This event is the first Passover.. It's the very act of God "passing over" the marked houses that starts the road to freedom from bondage with Egypt. I never said that today the blood of a lamb is necessary for the Jewish Passover, I apologise if my post implied that. I meant that Passover is still observed today. Exodus does state how Jews are to commemorate Passover, quite rightly as you say with unleavened bread. I'm thinking if you have read much of the Book of Exodus you know this. :)

    There are other instances where the blood of a lamb was required as a covering for sin, this is not needed any longer as Yeshua brought in a new covenant.

    Btw... I don't think God flies anywhere... ;)

    Blessings. C
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  6. WhiteKnight
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    But Exodus said that God had been flying over Egypt Himself :). Of course the Exodus of the sons of Israel from Egypt is a great remarkable event in all the Abrahamic religions, but being God ''flying'' over Egypt and killing the firstborns is ''blasphemous'' to me. God might have said ''and when My angel sees the blood, he will pass over you", why He said: "and when I see the blood, I will pass over you". Can you explain it to me please :)?

    In Islam, God doesn't require oblations and their blood as atonement for the sins committed by Muslims as well :). God forgives anyone without requiring oblations and such things as mentioned in the Old Testament. That makes Christians and Muslims different from Jews :D

    BTW, I've read the book of Exodus two times ;)

    Peace and God's blessings be upon you ;)
  7. Cariad
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    Cariad Junior Member

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    :) do you believe God is Spirit? Or do you view God as a person? The Bible says Gods Spirit moved over the land, how does a Spirit move? Float.. Fly.. Glide.. All words!! Sometimes it is possible to get caught up in the words used and overlook the meaning behind the words. I see muslims tend to look at the word literally and so when it says "fly" you maybe think of ... I don't know wings or whatever or like superman.. ;) this could be because you see the Quran as word verbatim and so hang on the word used rather than the wider meaning. Does this sounds a reasonable supposition?

    As a Christian I see God thus, God the father the power behind all! for which nothing is impossible, so if God wished to be any form God could do so. Gods uncreated Word, through which God communicates His message to mankind and Gods Holy Spirit through which God can work His will through others, like prophets etc. I understand this is an anathema to you and I do not wish to cause offence by my explanation. :) it's often said that the word "trinity" is not to be found in the Bible and so must be an invention. True, the word itself is not there but the concept is, from the beginning we have Gods Word and Gods Spirit. I believe the Jews believed in Spirit and word of God but do not marry them together as the three main attributes of One God. Whatever muslims say about Christians worship three gods, it is not so, Christians have always worshipped ONE God.

    So when you see the words "I will pass over you" ... It does not necessarily mean God the Father the power behind all is doing the passing over, but His Spirit could be.... His Spirit could be in the form of an avenging Angel. Nothing is impossible for God. As a Christian I take it to mean God caused it to happen, weather His divine Spirit or through another medium (Angel) the minutiae of detail is not as important as the event itself, and why it happened and what are we to take from it.

    The reasons Christians do not need blood atonement is because of the Messiah, Yeshua. We see Yeshua as the last lamb of God. So yes, we are different from the Jews in that respect. Although I think we see the concept of sin differently... That's why the atoning blood of The messiah was necessary for us. We believe like you that God forgives anyone who is truly repentant, but also believe that all sin carries a price and for God to be just the price must be paid. :)

    I have not read Exodus for quite a while. Usually through Lent I make it my task to read the Bible through... I will give Exodus extra consideration :) I'm sure you could find better answers than mine to your questions, as I said I'm not a "scholar" in any way. ;) but if it is your intention just to know how a Christian views things then I guess I can fit that role.. But I'm sure other Christians may see things differently? However, as I'm in a minority of one here then my opinion will have to suffice. :)

    Blessings. C
  8. WhiteKnight
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    Me, too. I'm not an Islamic scholar :). However, it still doesn't make any sense to me because I don't believe in the Holy Trinity (I don't mean to offend you at all by saying this ;). But I wonder how Jews who do not believe in the Holy Trinity interpret those verses in Exodus 16??

    Peace be upon you..
  9. Cariad
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    Well, we'd have to ask a Jewish person to know the answer to that.... Not sure if there are many Jewish members on here, I'm guessing not. :)

    However, seeing as the Old Testament was primarily part of the Jewish scripture and it is written from their prospective, as per their understanding from YHWH. There are a great many references to YHWH appearing in person to the people, well, prophets mainly. So maybe they do not see any issue with YHWH appearing Himself in this instance in the Book of Exodus. :)

    Although Jews do not hold to the concept of the trinity, Gods word and Gods Spirit are to be found in the Old Testament. Who knows maybe God only grants Christians understanding of the Trinity.. ;) :) like .. That's what we're supposed to see. No doubt it will become clear in the end of days .. Until then I shall enjoy the mystery. :)

    I'm not at all offended by you not believing in the trinity.. I mean.. If you did you would not be Muslim would you? :) however, you have been courteous in your reply in respecting it's my belief. I sincerely thank you for that :)

    Blessings. C
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  10. Sanshoes
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    What a senseless question. stop posting threads just for the sake of it.
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