Exodus 12:8

And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it.

And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire,.... The night of the fourteenth of Nisan; and as the Jews reckoned their days from the evening preceding, this must be the beginning of the fifteenth day, which being observed, will serve to reconcile some passages relating to this ordinance. The lamb was to be roasted, not only because its flesh thereby would be more palatable and savoury, but because soonest dressed that way, their present circumstances requiring haste; but chiefly to denote the sufferings of Christ, the antitype of it, when he endured the wrath of God, poured out as fire upon him; and also to show, that he is to be fed upon by faith, which works by love, or to be received with hearts inflamed with love to him:

and unleavened bread; this also was to be eaten at the same time, and for seven days running, even to the twenty first day of the month,

Exodus 12:15, where see more concerning this: the reason of this also was, because they were then in haste, and could not stay to leaven the dough that was in their troughs; and was significative of the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth, with which the true passover lamb is to be eaten, in opposition to the leaven of error, hypocrisy, and malice, 1 Corinthians 5:7:

and with bitter herbs they shall eat it; the Vulgate Latin version renders it, "with wild lettuces", which are very bitter; and the worst sort of which, for bitterness, Pliny says {p}, is what they call "picris", which has its name from the bitterness of it, and is the same by which the Septuagint render the word here: the Targum of Jonathan is,

"with horehound and endive they shall eat it;''

and so the Targum on Song of Solomon 2:9. Wild endive; of which Pliny says {q}, there is a wild endive, which in Egypt they call cichory, and bids fair to be one of these herbs; according to the Misnah {r} and Maimonides {s}, there were five sorts of them, and anyone, or all of them, might be eaten; their names with both are these, Chazoreth, Ulshin, Thamcah, Charcabinah, and Maror; the four first of which may be the wild lettuce, endive, horehound, or perhaps "tansie"; and cichory the last. Maror has its name from bitterness, and is by the Misnic commentators {t} said to be a sort of the most bitter coriander; it seems to be the same with "picris": but whatever they were, for it is uncertain what they were, they were expressive of the bitter afflictions of the children of Israel in Egypt, with which their lives were made bitter; and of those bitter afflictions and persecutions in the world, which they that will live godly in Christ Jesus must expect to endure; as well as they may signify that as a crucified Christ must be looked upon, and lived upon by faith, so with mourning and humiliation for sin, and with true repentance for it as an evil and bitter thing, see

Zechariah 12:10.

{p} Nat. Hist. l. 19. c. 8. & 21. 17. & 32. 22.
{q} Ibid.
{r} Misn. Pesach. c. 2. sect. 6.
{s} Hilchot, Chametz Umetzah, c. 7. sect. 13.
{t} Maimon. & Bartenora in Misn. Pesach. ut supra. (c. 2. sect. 6.)