1The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in Egypt, 2“This month will be the very first month of the year for you. 3Tell the whole community of Israel: On the tenth ⌞day⌟ of this month each man must take a lamb or a young goat for his family—one animal per household. 4A household may be too small to eat a whole animal. That household and the one next door can share one animal. Choose your animal based on the number of people and what each person can eat. 5Your animal must be a one-year-old male that has no defects. You may choose a lamb or a young goat. 6Take care of it until the fourteenth ⌞day⌟ of this month.
“Then at dusk, all the assembled people from the community of Israel must slaughter their animals. 7They must take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they will eat the animals. 8The meat must be eaten that same night. It must be roasted over a fire and eaten with bitter herbs and unleavened bread. 9Don’t eat any of it raw or boiled but roast the whole animal over a fire. 10Don’t leave any of it until morning. Anything left over in the morning must be burned up. 11This is how ⌞you should be dressed when⌟ you eat it: with your belt on, your sandals on your feet, and your shepherd’s staff in your hand. You must eat it in a hurry. It is the Lord’s Passover.
12“On that same night I will go throughout Egypt and kill every firstborn male, both human and animal. I will severely punish all the gods of Egypt, ⌞because⌟ I am the Lord. 13But the blood on your houses will be a sign for your protection. When I see the blood, I will pass over you. Nothing will touch or destroy you when I strike Egypt.
14“This day will be one for you to remember. This is a permanent law for generations to come: You will celebrate this day as a pilgrimage festival in the Lord’s honor. 15For seven days you must eat unleavened bread. On the very first day you must remove any yeast that you have in your houses. Whoever eats anything with yeast in it from the first day through the seventh day must be excluded from Israel. 16You must have a holy assembly on the first day and another one on the seventh. You must not work on these days except to prepare your own meals. That’s all you may do.
17You must celebrate the Festival of Unleavened Bread because it was on this very day that I brought you out of Egypt in organized family groups. This is a permanent law for future generations: You must celebrate this day. 18From the evening of the fourteenth day of the first month until the evening of the twenty-first day you must eat unleavened bread. 19There should be no yeast in your houses for seven days. Whoever eats anything with yeast in it must be excluded from the community of Israel, whether he is an Israelite or not. 20Eat nothing made with yeast. Wherever you live, you must eat ⌞only⌟ unleavened bread.”
21Then Moses called for all the leaders of Israel. He said to them, “Pick out a lamb or a young goat for your families, and kill the Passover animal. 22Take the branch of a hyssop plant, dip it in the blood which is in a bowl, and put some of the blood on the top and sides of the doorframes ⌞of your houses⌟. No one may leave the house until morning. 23The Lord will go throughout Egypt to kill the Egyptians. When he sees the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe, he will pass over that doorway, and he will not let the destroyer come into your home to kill you.
24“You must follow these instructions. They are a permanent law for you and your children. 25When you enter the land that the Lord will give you as he promised, observe this ceremony. 26When your children ask you what this ceremony means to you, 27you must answer, ‘It’s the Passover sacrifice in the Lord’s honor. The Lord passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes when he killed the Egyptians.’ ”
Then the people knelt, bowing with their faces touching the ground. 28The Israelites did as the Lord had commanded Moses and Aaron.
29At midnight the Lord killed every firstborn male in Egypt from the firstborn son of Pharaoh who ruled the land to the firstborn son of the prisoner in jail, and also every firstborn animal. 30Pharaoh, all his officials, and all the ⌞other⌟ Egyptians got up during the night. There was loud crying throughout Egypt because in every house someone had died.
Pharaoh Allows the Israelites to Leave Egypt
31Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron during the night. He said, “You and the Israelites must leave my people at once. Go, worship the Lord as you asked. 32Take your flocks and herds, too, as you asked. Just go! And bless me, too!”
33The Egyptians begged the people to leave the country quickly. They said, “Soon we’ll all be dead!” 34So the people picked up their bread dough before it had risen and carried it on their shoulders in bowls, wrapped up in their clothes.
35The Israelites did what Moses had told them and asked the Egyptians for gold and silver jewelry and for clothes. 36The Lord made the Egyptians generous to the people, and they gave them what they asked for. So the Israelites stripped Egypt of its wealth.
The Israelites Leave Egypt
37The Israelites left Rameses to go to Succoth. There were about six hundred thousand men on foot, plus all the women and children. 38Many other people also went with them, along with large numbers of sheep, goats, and cattle.
39With the dough they had brought from Egypt, they baked round, flat bread. The dough hadn’t risen because they’d been thrown out of Egypt and had no time to prepare food for the trip.
40The Israelites had been living in Egypt for 430 years. 41After exactly 430 years all the Lord’s people left Egypt in organized family groups. 42That night the Lord kept watch to take them out of Egypt. (All Israelites in future generations must keep watch on this night, since it is dedicated to the Lord.)
Rules for the Passover
43The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “These are the rules for the Passover:
“No foreigner may eat the Passover meal.
44“Any male slave you have bought may eat it after you have circumcised him.
45“No foreigner visiting you may eat it.
“No hired worker may eat it.
46“The meal must be eaten inside one house. Never take any of the meat outside the house.
“Never break any of the bones.
47“The whole community of Israel must celebrate the Passover.
48“Foreigners may want to celebrate the Lord’s Passover. First, every male in the household must be circumcised. Then they may celebrate the Passover like native-born Israelites. But no uncircumcised males may ever eat the Passover meal. 49The same instructions apply to native-born Israelites as well as foreigners.”
50All the Israelites did as the Lord had commanded Moses and Aaron. 51That very day the Lord brought all the Israelites out of Egypt in organized family groups.