Oneness in Exodus
R. Gustason, 29 May 2011
Exod 20.1 And God spake all these words, saying, 2 I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me. The first and foremost of God's commandments is stated here in Exodus verse 20:1-2. God is a jealous God and will not share His glory with another. There can be no doubt that a monotheistic teaching was infused into the thinking of Moses. From the time of his forefathers, Moses was taught that there is only one God, the God revealed as the I AM in Moses' encounter with God in the burning bush.
The korban pesach or קרבן פסח "sacrifice of Passover" also known as the "Paschal Lamb" is the sacrifice that the Torah mandates to be brought on the eve of Passover, and eaten on the first night of the holiday with bitter herbs and matzo.1 This feast and holiday is described in Exodus chapter 12.
God restructured the Jewish calendar after this holiday. God made this the first month. An unblemished lamb of one year old was to be sacrificed for a single household. The Jewish household was considered a single entity lead by the patriarch or oldest male of the house. This was done in the home privately. The sacrifice was to be consumed in a single day, and the whole entity eaten. It was not to be soaked in water where it would disolve, but rather eaten whole as a single piece.
Consider some of its laws: a one-year old animal eaten in one group within one house; consumed as a whole entity without breaking any bone, and roasted that kept the meat as one entity rather than cooked where the meat disintegrates. Performed by Israel just prior to the Exodus, the unity within korban pesach unequivocally attests to G-d’s Oneness (Maharal, Gevuos Hashem Ch.36 & Ch.60).2
As can be seen, the ancient Israelites believed in their one true God. They believed so much in their monotheistic faith that they were willing to venture out into the unknown, face certain death, in order to place complete trust in the one true God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob despite being surrounded by the polytheistic spread of Gods from Egypt. They knew the power of God and united behind Moses and stated "ALL THAT THE LORD hath spoken we will do." This monotheistic nature of God continues to be one of the greatest attributes we know and understand about God. The incarnation of God made manifest in Jesus Christ does nothing to change the fact that there is only One God in heavenDue 6:4, and only One God who is saviour of all peoplesIsa 43:11.
1. Taken from Wikipedia article on Korban Pesach accessed on 29 May 2011.
2. Taken from The Living Law- Parshas Vayikra, a blog provided by Torah.org and accessed on 29 May 2011.