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It’s absurd to say that at the passover, the Israelite houses were being protected but not the people.

I don’t think so. It makes the point that the blood is a sign of protection rather than atonement.

What had they done which might put them in danger of the same judgment as the Egyptian firstborn? (Please don’t keep saying that the blood was only a “sign” when you haven’t answered the question why they or YHWH or “the destroyer” needed a sign).

They hadn’t done anything. The point appears simply to be that the destruction was inherently indiscriminate, like the previous plagues. For example, Moses warns Pharaoh to get people and livestock out of the fields before the hail comes, otherwise they will die (Ex. 9:13-26). The hail did not fall in the land of Goshen, where the Israelites were. The marking of the doors with blood corresponds to the sparing of the land of Goshen. It is a matter of the protection of the Israelites, who are God’s chosen or firstborn people, from these demonstrations of the power of YHWH (Ex. 9:14). Atonement for sin has nothing to do with it.

You haven’t considered at all the detailed argument about the meaning of hilasterion (in the light of proetheto - Romans 3:25) which is central to the discussion here.

I don’t follow you here. The word “redemption” is certainly not crucial in the passover/Exodus story. I said before that the link via lutron is just about conceivable but the association with hilastērion in Hebrews 9:15 rather suggests that the thought is entirely of the day of atonement. I haven’t checked this, but I don’t think elsewhere Paul speaks of a redemption from slavery, which might perhaps allude to the exodus, using the apolutrōsis/lutroō word group. He speaks of being set free (eleutheroō) from slavery to sin, and in Galatians 4:5 he uses exagorazō.

In his commentary on Romans Dunn writes:

The uncompounded word (λύτρωσις) is more widely used, in the LXX at any rate (about 10 times), in the same sense of “ransoming”; it is quite possible that Christian tradition or Paul himself deliberately chose the weightier compound form to strengthen the sense of ransoming from (sin) or back (to God…). But it is almost impossible to doubt that behind the text lies the strong OT motif, expressed in regular use of the verb λυτροῦν, particularly of God as redeemer of his people Israel and especially of Israel’s being ransomed (from slavery) in Egypt….

But even if this is correct (I am not convinced—Paul does not appear to connect this language with the liberation from slavery to sin), it does not mean that Paul thought of the passover lamb as a sacrifice for sin. Nowhere in the LXX is lutroō used with reference to sin offerings. Nor is the redemption language connected with the passover sacrifice specifically. Typically the exodus redemption is seen—with reference to the demonstration of YHWH’s power over Pharaoh and the gods of Egypt—as an act of “great strength” (cf. Deut. 9:26), not as an act of redemption.

The fact that Jesus brings together the passover and forgiveness of sins in the supper does not mean that he understood the passover sacrifice to be a sin offering. It is not the blood of the passover lamb that is poured out for the forgiveness of sins but the “blood of the covenant” (Matt. 26:28), which, as I said before, is a reference to Exodus 24:8. Jesus identifies himself with the manna in the wilderness, but the blood is not part of that story, and the blood of the passover sacrifice was not drunk. He has simply expanded the bread argument in anticipation of the institution of the last supper.

So I’m afraid I still see i) nothing in the text to support the view that the passover entailed an act of atonement for the sins of Israel, and ii) almost nothing that supports the view that Paul has the passover in mind in Romans 3:21-25. Yes, I’m being dogmatic, but if you want to use my blog to such an extent to publish your own views, you shouldn’t be surprised if I say what I think in response. I have not instantly dismissed your arguments. On the contrary, I have spent a great deal of time looking at them and writing detailed replies—and it’s been an instructive exercise. But I can’t help it if I still come to the conclusion that you are wrong on the particular points that I have stressed here.

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