The second meaning of Passover

We all as kids have learned that the meaning of Passover, Pesach, is to skip. The angel of God skipped the Houses of the Israelites, as written:

“וְעָבַרְתִּ֣י בְאֶֽרֶץ־מִצְרַיִם֮ בַּלַּ֣יְלָה הַזֶּה֒ וְהִכֵּיתִ֤י כָל־בְּכוֹר֙ בְּאֶ֣רֶץ מִצְרַ֔יִם מֵאָדָ֖ם וְעַד־בְּהֵמָ֑ה וּבְכָל־אֱלֹהֵ֥י מִצְרַ֛יִם אֶֽעֱשֶׂ֥ה שְׁפָטִ֖ים אֲנִ֥י יְהוָֽה׃וְהָיָה֩ הַדָּ֨ם לָכֶ֜ם לְאֹ֗ת עַ֤ל הַבָּתִּים֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר אַתֶּ֣ם שָׁ֔ם וְרָאִ֙יתִי֙ אֶת־הַדָּ֔ם וּפָסַחְתִּ֖י עֲלֵכֶ֑ם וְלֹֽא־יִֽהְיֶ֨ה בָכֶ֥ם נֶ֙גֶף֙ לְמַשְׁחִ֔ית בְּהַכֹּתִ֖י בְּאֶ֥רֶץ מִצְרָֽיִם׃”

” For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the Lord. And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you when I smite the land of Egypt.”
(Exodus 12:12-13).

However, the meaning of Pesach has been no just to skip/Passover. When you read Isaiah 31:5 there’s another meaning as written:

“כְּצִפֳּרִ֣ים עָפ֔וֹת כֵּ֗ן יָגֵ֛ן יְהוָ֥ה צְבָא֖וֹת עַל־יְרֽוּשָׁלִָ֑ם גָּנ֥וֹן וְהִצִּ֖יל פָּסֹ֥חַ וְהִמְלִֽיט׃”

“As birds flying, so will the Lord of hosts defend Jerusalem; defending also he will deliver it, and passing over he will preserve it.”

The meaning of Pesach here is to defend or protect. In the language of Rashi, it’s called to have mercy. There’s even a commentary that is brought by Malbim that claimed that if an Egyptian was standing in the house of the Israelites was protected and saved!

Have a lovely day, Eli

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