What does Exodus 12:26 really mean?

Exodus 12:26 is about the significance of passing down the story of the Israelites’ deliverance from slavery to future generations as a reminder of God’s faithfulness and power.

26 And when your children say to you, ‘What do you mean by this service?’


Setting the Scene for Exodus 12:26

In Exodus chapter 12, we find the Israelites in the land of Egypt, preparing for their departure after enduring years of slavery. The scene is set in the homes of the Israelites on the eve of the Passover. The air is tense with anticipation as they follow the instructions given by Moses and Aaron regarding the Passover meal. The Israelites have been instructed to take a lamb without blemish, slaughter it, and mark their doorposts with its blood as a sign for the Lord to pass over their homes and spare their firstborn from the final plague that will strike Egypt.

Among those gathered in the scene are families huddled together, fathers and mothers instructing their children on the significance of the events unfolding. The flickering light of oil lamps casts a warm glow on their faces as they partake in the solemn meal, dressed and ready for their imminent departure. The sound of prayers and hymns fills the air as they recount the miraculous deeds of the Lord and express gratitude for His impending deliverance. The atmosphere is one of faith, obedience, and unity as the Israelites await the fulfillment of God’s promise to lead them out of bondage and into freedom.

What is Exodus 12:26 about?

This verse serves as a powerful reminder for us to pass down traditions and teachings to future generations. Just like how the Passover feast was a significant event in the history of the Israelites, we are called to ensure that the importance of our own traditions and beliefs are conveyed to those who come after us. We preserve our heritage and nurture a sense of identity and purpose in the generations that follow us by explaining the significance of these practices.

Imagine a world where the stories of our ancestors are lost and their wisdom is forgotten. The richness of our cultural and religious practices would fade away, leaving a void in our understanding of who we are and where we come from. Therefore, it is our responsibility to ensure that the lessons and meanings behind our customs are not lost in time. Let us commit to sharing the reasons why we celebrate and commemorate certain events with those who will carry on our legacy. We strengthen the bonds between generations and deepen our connection to our shared past by doing so.

Understanding what Exodus 12:26 really means

In the Book of Exodus, amidst the narrative of the Passover’s institution, we encounter a pivotal verse that addresses the importance of passing down faith and tradition to future generations. The Israelites are commanded to observe the Passover as a perpetual ordinance, a tangible reminder of their liberation from Egyptian bondage. This verse, Exodus 12:26, specifically acknowledges the inevitable curiosity of children regarding the significance of the Passover ritual, emphasizing the duty of parents to educate their offspring about their faith heritage.

In parallel passages like Deuteronomy 6:20-25, Joshua 4:6-7, and Psalm 78:4-7, we witness a consistent theme of instructing children about God’s deliverance and commandments. These passages underscore the vital role of teaching future generations about the faith experiences of their ancestors, ensuring a continuous legacy of faith and remembrance. The act of passing down stories of God’s deeds is not merely a tradition but a deliberate effort to instill hope and faith in the hearts of the next generation.

The relevance of Exodus 12:26 extends beyond ancient rituals, resonating with contemporary society. It serves as a poignant reminder of the significance of transmitting faith and cultural heritage in a rapidly changing world. By engaging in conversations about faith and traditions within families, individuals can deepen their understanding of their beliefs and strengthen familial bonds, fostering a sense of unity and continuity.

Consider a scenario where a child inquires about a family tradition during a holiday gathering. The parents seize this moment to recount tales of their forebears, their trials, and the unwavering faith that sustained them. This exchange not only imparts knowledge to the child but also fortifies the family’s connection to their roots and to one another, illustrating the power of storytelling in preserving heritage.

The phrase “When your children ask you” in Exodus 12:26 anticipates the natural curiosity of the young and underscores the parental responsibility to provide meaningful answers. Similarly, the question “What does this ceremony mean to you?” prompts individuals to introspect and articulate the personal significance of their faith practices. It emphasizes the importance of not just following rituals mechanically but understanding and internalizing the essence behind them.

In contemplating these facets, we glean that Exodus 12:26 transcends a mere historical event; it embodies an enduring call to teach, remember, and live out one’s faith in a manner that resonates with each succeeding generation. It beckons us to embrace our role as custodians of faith, ensuring that the flame of tradition and belief is passed on brightly to illuminate the path of those who come after us.

How can we remember and pass on God’s redemption?

We can remember and pass on God’s redemption by teaching future generations about His deliverance and salvation. We can instill in others a knowledge and understanding of His faithfulness and power by recounting the stories of how God intervened on behalf of His people. Through sharing these accounts, we can encourage others to trust in God’s ability to redeem and rescue those who call upon Him. We not only remind ourselves of God’s past acts of redemption, but we also bear witness to His ongoing work in our lives and in the world. We keep alive the memory of God’s faithfulness and create a legacy of hope and trust in His saving power by passing on these stories of deliverance. We fulfill the command to remember and proclaim the great deeds of the Lord in this way, ensuring that His redemptive work remains a central part of our collective identity and faith.


Passing down our faith is like planting seeds in a garden – we nurture and watch them grow. It’s our duty to ensure our children grasp the depth of God’s presence in our lives and in the grand tapestry of history. Let’s discuss our faith openly, share our stories, and showcase God’s love through our deeds. Will you join me in fostering the faith of tomorrow by being a faithful guide and living out God’s teachings each day?