death of the firstborn

death of the firstborn

The last and most fearful of the ten plagues was the death of the firstborn of man and of beast. The exact time of the visitation was announced, "about midnight." Its extent also is specified, from the firstborn of the Pharaoh to the firstborn of the humblest slave, and all the firstborn of beasts.

Following God's command, Moses instructed his people to smear lamb's blood on the lintel and door posts of their houses, and not to leave until the morning, "For the Lord will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he seeth the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the Lord will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you."

29 And it came to pass, that at midnight the Lord smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle.
30 And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead.

Finally Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron and ordered them to gather their people, their flocks and their herds, and leave Egypt. See further Exodus.



  • Easton, M.G. (1897). Easton's Bible Dictionary. New York: Harper & Brothers.
  • Ex. 11, 12.