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Exodus 7-12 records that God brought down 10 different plagues upon the people of Egypt because Pharaoh refused to release the children of Israel from their bondage. Each of these plagues would play a part in the ultimate exodus of God's chosen people from their captivity into a forty-year journey into the promised land,  but the tenth plague--the death of the first born son--would be the ultimate cause for Pharaoh authorizing the release of the people.

 The tenth and final plague was the big one--the death of the first-born son. (11:1-10; 12:29-42).  The death angel would pass through the land of Egypt and would kill the first-born son of every man, except for those who were covered by the blood of the lamb.

 In preparation for the tenth plague, God instructed the children of Israel to put the blood of the Passover lamb on the two doorposts and on the lentil of the house. God made a covenant with the people: when the death angel saw the blood on the doorposts, it would "pass over" that house and not kill the first-born son. But if a house did not have the blood on the doorposts and lintel, the death angel would visit their home and kill their first-born son. The Lord said, "And 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." (Exodus 12:13 NASB)

 Pharaoh didn't make the proper preparations and his son died, ultimately leading him to let God's people go. How great that pain must have been. He withstood the hassles of the other plagues, the resulting poisoning of the water supply, the devastation of their foodstuffs, but he couldn't bear the grief of losing his son. God's people were free to go and would from that day forth, celebrate the Passover--the day God graciously spared their sons. It was a day unlike any other.  A day that foreshadowed the rest He was providing for them.

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