The Lamb That is Pierced

Exodus 12:8-9, “They shall eat the flesh that night, roasted on the fire; with unleavened bread and bitter herbs they shall eat it.  Do not eat any of it raw or boiled in water, but roasted, its head with its legs and its inner parts.”

Some of the aspects of the Pesach are simply practical.   The lamb was to be killed at twilight, and the blood collected and placed on the door.  Suddenly, time is of the essence.  Realistically, cooking a whole animal quickly would require a roasting.   If it’s head and inner parts are included, the typical butchering process would not be followed with the Pesach.   Skinning, dressing, quartering, etc… are too time consuming for a ritual meal like Pesach.  This lamb is the original fast food.  The Pesach is to be cooked whole and intact.   

Plus, if you boiled it in water rather than roasting it, the entire meal would be ruined by several forms of internal and external grossness.  That is not a stew you’d want any part of.  However, roasting it all directly in the fire would allow the meat to be eaten directly off of the bones without having to do any processing whatsoever.  The fire itself would kill bacteria and parasites, plus remove the hair, etc.  The remaining meat then would be safe (and tasty) to consume.   Fire purifies.  To cook it in this way you’d pierce the lamb with a long skewer before positioning it over the flames.

This allegory of intense direct heat is used elsewhere, where Egypt itself is referred to as an iron furnace:

Deuteronomy 4:20, “But the LORD has taken you and brought you out of the iron furnace, out of Egypt, to be a people of his own inheritance, as you are this day.”   

Jeremiah 11:4 “…I commanded your fathers when I brought them out of the land of Egypt, from the iron furnace, saying, Listen to my voice, and do all that I command you. So shall you be my people, and I will be your God.”

The Hebrew word for “furnace”, koor (Strongs H3564appears only a handful of verses, and some of those refer to the same purification the lamb would be experiencing as it’s being roasted.

Proverbs 17:3, “The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold, and YHWH tests hearts.”

Proverbs 27:21, “The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold, and a man is tested by his praise. 

Isaiah 48:10, “Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried you in the furnace of affliction.”

There’s another Pesach connection to koor that is surprising and lost in the English translation.  They relate to Messiah’s final words from the cross.   Matthew 27,46, “And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, ‘Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?’ that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”   Those words are the opening line of Psalm 22, which is a detailed prophecy of Messiah’s crucifixion.   The word koor is translated as “pierced”, perhaps like the lamb is first pierced when being roasted over a fire. 

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?

O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer, and by night, but I find no rest.

Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel.

In you our fathers trusted; they trusted, and you delivered them.

To you they cried and were rescued; in you they trusted and were not put to shame.

But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by mankind and despised by the people.

All who see me mock me; they make mouths at me; they wag their heads;

“He trusts in YHWH; let Him deliver him; let Him rescue him, for he delights in Him!”

Yet you are he who took me from the womb; you made me trust you at my mother’s breasts.

On you was I cast from my birth, and from my mother’s womb you have been my God.

Be not far from me, for trouble is near, and there is none to help.

Many bulls encompass me; strong bulls of Bashan surround me; they open wide their mouths at me, like a ravening and roaring lion.

I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax;

it is melted within my breast; my strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to my jaws; you lay me in the dust of death.

For dogs encompass me; a company of evildoers encircles me; they have pierced my hands and feet–I can count all my bones—they stare and gloat over me;

They divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.

But you, O YHWH, do not be far off! O you my help, come quickly to my aid!

Deliver my soul from the sword, my precious life from the power of the dog!

Save me from the mouth of the lion!  You have rescued me from the horns of the wild oxen!

I will tell of your name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation I will praise you:

You who fear YHWH, praise him!

All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him, and stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel!

For he has not despised or abhorred the affliction of the afflicted, and he has not hidden his face from him, but has heard, when he cried to him.

From you comes my praise in the great congregation; my vows I will perform before those who fear him. The afflicted shall eat and be satisfied; those who seek him shall praise YHWH!

May your hearts live forever!

All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to YHWH, and all the families of the nations shall worship before you.

For kingship belongs to YHWH, and he rules over the nations.

All the prosperous of the earth eat and worship; before him shall bow all who go down to the dust, even the one who could not keep himself alive.

Posterity shall serve him; it shall be told of the Lord to the coming generation; they shall come and proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn, that he has done it!

Amen and Amen!!

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