I received the following question:

Exodus 12:43-49. And the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “This is the ordinance of the Passover: No foreigner shall eat it. 44. But every man’s servant who is bought for money, when you have circumcised him, then he may eat it. 45. A sojourner and a hired servant shall not eat it. 46. In one house it shall be eaten; you shall not carry any of the flesh outside the house, nor shall you break one of its bones. 47. All the congregation of Israel shall keep it. 48. And when a stranger dwells with you and wants to keep the Passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as a native of the land. For no uncircumcised person shall eat it. 49. One law shall be for the native-born and for the stranger who dwells among you.”

Can the slave be made an Israelite? Does the alien become Israelite after him and his household circumcise? or just to celebrate it yet not share in promises?

When they were circumcised, they became identified with Israel, and could then keep the Passover feast with them. From that point, it depended upon which nation they were from. If they were Egyptians or Edomites, the third generation of their children would be considered as Israelites. If they were Ammonites or Moabites, however, they would have to wait ten generations before they would be considered as Israelites.

It was different with women, however. The command was particularly for males (notice that only males would be circumcised, of course.) David was the third descendant from Ruth, and was considered a full Israelite. Yet Ruth was a Moabitess, not a Moabite. The command seems to have been particularly against Moabite and Ammonite males. The word is male in Hebrew.

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