A Short Study of Exodus 11:4-5
“And Moses said, Thus saith the LORD, About midnight will I go out into the midst of Egypt: And all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh thst sitteth upon the throne, even unto the firstborn of the maidservant that is behind the mill; and all the firstborn of beasts.”
The mysteries of Egypt’s plagues can only be understood in the light of God’s glorious redemption in Christ. As the blood, water, frogs, lice, and fiery hail had little effect on the Egyptians; neither do they have any meaning to the natural man of whom Egypt is a type. It is as true now as it was when it was written “…the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him: Neither can he know them because they are spiritually discerned.” (1st Corinthians 2:14)
This is the tenth and final plague of God upon Egypt and the end to which all the other plagues were sent. Pharaoh is a picture of Satan as he reigns over this world by a pretence to deity. No man dared question what he dictated because his image was synonymous with God. As Satan is called the god of this world, so Pharaoh projected himself in Egypt. Egypt then is a type of this world. This world is called, in John’s prophecy, spiritual Sodom and Egypt (See Revelation 11:4). All who give their allegiance to him and believe and defend his honor worship a false deity. They worship what and where he dictates and they are so blinded by his deceit that they never question his authority and claims. Israel represents the true Jew who is born in this place of idolatry and wickedness and lives out their days as slaves doing the will and work of their evil king.
Now the firstborn is set forth in the scriptures as the heir, the priest, and the assurance of all the future blessings of God. “And he is the head of the body, the church; who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.” (Colossians 1:18; Romans 8:29; Colossians 1:15)
Even so in Egypt, the future and glory of Pharaoh is his firstborn. His firstborn is a type of every false convert. He is what Paul calls the son of perdition (2nd Thessalonians 2:3). “Whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders.” (2nd Thessalonians 2:9) To overthrow his rule and establish the true God and his firstborn, all the firstborn in Egypt must die at the hand of God. It is in the death of the firstborn that Egypt’s false gods are fully exposed and his power broken. “Against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment….” (Exodus 12:12)
So it is in the experience of grace that God exposes the idolatry of this world and then slays its firstborn, pulling to death all the fleshly hopes of glory and reward. God will have Israel to leave with only one hope, the Lamb of God, the firstborn from the dead.