Abram and the Passover Prophecy
Abram was to know for certain that his descendants would be enslaved for four hundred years.
After this, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision:
"Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward."
But Abram said, "O Sovereign LORD, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?" And Abram said, "You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir." Then the word of the LORD came to him: "This man will not be your heir, but a son coming from your own body will be your heir." He took him outside and said, "Look up at the heavens and count the stars-if indeed you can count them." Then he said to him, "So shall your offspring be."Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.
The armies of four kings from the east had seized all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah and all their food along with many captives. Abram's nephew Lot was among those taken. Abram and the men born in his household had rescued his nephew Lot along with the other men and women. The king of Sodom was so grateful that he said, "Give me the people and keep the goods for yourself." But Abram refused saying, "I have raised my hand to the LORD, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth, and have taken an oath that I will accept nothing belonging to you, not even a thread or the thong of a sandal, so that you will never be able to say, 'I made Abram rich.'
Abram declared that YHWY is the Most High God who created the heavens and the earth. Abram acknowledged that the LORD, and not man, is his provider. After this public declaration and refusal to as much as a thread or the thong of a sandal from the king of Sodom, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision.
Although Abram was in his mid-eighties and his wife Sarai was in her mid-seventies, Abram believed that the LORD would fulfill His promises and Abram would father a son who would be his heir and have a multitude of descendants. Abram was declared righteous based upon his faith in the word of God.
As the sun was setting, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and a thick and dreadful darkness came over him. Then the LORD said to him, "Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and mistreated four hundred years. But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions.
Prior to the LORD cutting His covenant with Abram, the LORD foretold of the Hebrew enslavement in Egypt. The promise of the possession of the land of Canaan by Abram's descendants would be fulfilled, but only after the Hebrews endured four hundred years in the furnace of affliction.
The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in Egypt, "This month is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year. Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household.
When the seventh month came and the Israelites had settled in their towns, the people assembled as one man in Jerusalem. Then Jeshua son of Jozadak and his fellow priests and Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and his associates began to build the altar of the God of Israel to sacrifice burnt offerings on it, in accordance with what is written in the Law of Moses the man of God.
Israel experienced two great captivities. Nine hundred years after the great delivery from the bondage of Egypt, a remnant of God's people from the Southern Kingdom of Judah returned from Babylon after 70 years of captivity. These events are reflected in two Hebrew calendars.
The Ceremonial Calendar begins with the month of Aviv. The Hebrew word, byba (aviv) literally means ear of grain. It first month on the ceremonial calendar is in the spring when barley, the first of the grain harvests, is reaped. After the Babylonian captivity, the first month was called Nisan. The word “Nisan” is related to the word “nissim,” meaning “miracles.” The first month on the Hebrew ceremonial calendar, corresponds to the Roman months of March - April.
The Civil Calendar begins in the seventh month, Ethanim which means the month of offerings. Three out of the seven Festivals of YHWH take place within the seventh month. After the Babylonian exile, the name of the seventh month was called Tishri. The name Tishri was taken from the Assyrian language and means, “beginning.” According to rabbinic belief, creation took place on Rosh HaShona - “In the beginning …” Tishri, the seventh month on the Hebrew calendar, corresponds to the months of September - October. The Hebrew calendar originally started in the fall, but after the great deliverance from Egypt the LORD commanded that the calendar begin in the spring. The deliverance from bondage and the passing over from death to life by the blood of the lamb is remembered each year in the spring during the Festival of Pesach (Passover).
The deliverance of Israel from the bondage of Egypt is both an historical account and a prophetic picture. Moses “The Deliverer” is a type of the Messiah. The bondage of slavery in Egypt is a type of the bondage of sin in the world. Pharaoh typifies Satan. The Passover, when the firstborn male child passed from death to life by the blood of the lamb, is a picture of our passing from the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of the Son by the blood shed by the Lamb of God.