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Exodus 12:4,7,13 NASB

[4]Now if the household is too small for a lamb, then he and his neighbor nearest to his house are to take one according to the number of persons in them; according to what each man should eat, you are to divide the lamb. [7]Moreover, they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. [13]The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live; and when I see the blood I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt. Feast of Unleavened Bread

Verse 7 says the blood was only sprinkled on the door posts of the house were the Passover lamb was eaten.

Seeing that the sign for the death of Angel was blood on the door posts:

1) Was blood also sprinkled on the neighbours door posts?

or

2) Did the neighbours also sacrifice their own lamb but shared because of numbers?

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  • I think the answer is right in the passage: "Moreover, they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses in which they eat it." If I understand that right, it says both doorposts and both lintels get covered with blood.
    – Bit Chaser
    Oct 24, 2020 at 1:58

3 Answers 3

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Each house must be marked

The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live;

Every house should be marked, so that every family will be counted among the redeemed.

when I see the blood I will pass over you

The destroying angel would enter and kill the firstborn in any house without the blood.

(Two commentaries that say "every house must be marked", with the explanation that each household is saved or lost independent of all others. I'm still looking for an explanation of the Hebrew words in the text, to verify that this has to be right.)

"they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel"

This means the two sides and the top of the one doorway.

Talking about either one family, or one pair of neighbors here.

But then it says "houses" -- meaning it must be done to each of their houses.

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The key point to note here is "you are to divide the lamb". This refers to the raw, freshly slaughtered, meat.

Assuming the two households are about the same size, it would be split down the middle, half each.

The two families would not share their cooked meals and eat them in the same house. Each household would individually take their portion of the meat home, and prepare, cook, and serve it there: "the houses in which they eat it".

There is even a reminder that confirms this: "Moreover, they shall take some of the blood", that when they take their meat, they should also take some blood with them to use on their own house.

The whole point of this scripture is that it would be unreasonable to expect a small family to eat a whole lamb, so allowing the meat purchase to be shared is an obvious way of handling the problem.

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The blood sprinkled only on the door of the house the Passover was eaten in. All people who were counted on one lamb were in the house it was eaten in during midnight so there was no need to sprinkle on their doors too.

Each Passover lamb was made for a certain amount of persons. So, the neighbors did not make their one lamb, 2 families together for example, made one lamb if only together they were able to eat it up.

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  • Alternatively, the lamb was divided into two parts, which were prepared and eaten in two different houses. Oct 29, 2019 at 2:44
  • I believe this answer is wrong. I am still looking for a good explanation of the text.
    – Bit Chaser
    Oct 24, 2020 at 2:31

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