Can anyone tell me the main difference between the first Passover that occurred in Egypt and the 2nd Passover we’re dealing with here in Numbers 9?
The main difference is of course that the first Passover took place prior to the Law being received at Sinai and the second Passover here took place after the Law was received.
As a result of the Law being given, the observance of Passover underwent a bit of a transformation and a couple of key differences came about.
First, the Lord’s HOLY dwelling place, the Tabernacle was built.
Second, the firstborns, who up until now had served as the family priests, had been replaced by the Levites.
The point about the firstborns is an important detail.
In the first Passover, each family individually slaughtered their own lamb inside their own home.
And the person in the family who was in charge of doing this slaughtering was the firstborn son.
Remember, until the Levitical Priesthood came into being, it was the firstborns who performed the priestly functions in their households.
However, AFTER Sinai, the Passover sacrifices would from that point on come under the supervision of the Levitical priests.
One common misconception about the first Passover is thinking that the blood of the lamb was applied to save all of the Israelites from death.
This is NOT true.
It was only the lives of the firstborns that were in danger.
The blood of the lamb only applied to the firstborns.
The women and anybody else who was not a firstborn was safe.
This fact does point to some interesting symbolism as well I think.
Think about it.
Since it was the firstborns who God threatened to kill, it was the firstborns who killed the lamb and applied the blood to the doorpost.
The firstborns were atoning for themselves so to speak.
However, from here on out, that responsibility would be handed over to the Levites.