Death of the Firstborn


Scripture Reference: Exodus 11-12:42

Story Overview: The tenth and final plague brought upon Egypt convinced Pharaoh to allow the Israelites to leave. The firstborn children and even the firstborn of the livestock died as the angel of death passed through Egypt. Only those who obeyed the instructions of the Lord were safe. The angel of death “passed over” their homes. That night Israelites ate the first Passover Meal. This would become a yearly meal to remind them that the Lord delivered them. As soon as Pharaoh finally gave his permission, all of the Israelites left Egypt quickly by night. Four hundred and thirty years of bondage was finally over.

Suggested Emphasis: It is important to obey God’s instructions.

Background Study
Way to Introduce the Story
The Story
Review Questions
Craft and Activity Ideas
Online Resources


Background Study:

The First 9 Plagues are covered in the story: Let My People Go!

 
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Way to Introduce the Story:
Let the children taste and compare normal bread and unleavened bread (matzo bread from specialty shops or simply the bread we use for communion). Notice the air holes in the leavened bread that makes it light and fluffy. This happens when leaven (like yeast) is added to the recipe and the dough is allowed to rise. Read a recipe for yeast bread and discuss how long it takes to make the bread. Compare that to a simple and quick recipe for unleavened bread. “If you were in a hurry, which kind of bread would you make? Of course, we would want to make the unleavened bread because we wouldn’t have to wait for it to rise. When the Lord brought the last plague on Egypt He told the Israelites to eat a special meal and be ready to leave Egypt quickly. They did not have time to make leavened bread.”
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The Basic Story:
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Review Questions:

  1. How many plagues did God send in all? Ten
  2. What was the tenth plague? Death of the firstborn.
  3. How did the Israelites’ firstborn children not die? Blood from a lamb was placed above their doors and the Lord passed over their homes and no one died.
  4. What is the purpose of the Passover Meal? To remember how the Lord passed over the Israelites’ homes and kept their children safe. It also helped them remember how the Lord brought them out of Egypt.
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Craft and Activity ideas for the class:

  • Before class cut red construction paper to look like streaks of blood and blue-tac it above the door outside your class room.
  • Prepare and eat foods eaten at the first Passover meal.
  • Books from the Public Library will show how the Egyptians would have buried their dead.
  • Sing “Trust and Obey”
  • Arrange to let your children come to the adult bible class. One of the children could tell the adult class that you are studying about the tenth plague when the firstborn in every family died if they did not put lamb’s blood above their door. Tell them that you want to see how many firstborn children there are in this class. Ask if they would please stand. You could do the same with the teen class or other classes. After you get back to class apply this and talk about what would have happened if our congregation lived back then. Who would have died if we did not obey?
  • Older children can discuss this parallel: The angel of death passed over the Israelites because of the blood of a lamb. Today, if we are covered by the blood of Christ then God’s judgement will pass over us. Spiritually, we do not die. (John 1:29;
    1 Corinthians 5:7). Also read Exodus 12:24-48 and 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 comparing the reasons for the Passover meal and the Lord’s Supper (to remember). Compare the events on posters for effect. Sing: “Nothing But the Blood” or “There is Power in the Blood.”
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Online Resources:

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