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Exo, summary

Author: Moses (date of writing: c 1440-1400 BC).

Period: c 1520-1440 BC.

Exodus (which is Greek)         literally means 'a going out' and this book, the second of the five ascribed to Moses, deals with the 'going out' ('exit', or 'departure')         of the children of Israel from Egypt. The Hebrew title is taken from the first two words of the book: "ve'elleh shemoth" ("These are the names of...").

Summary: Exodus records the great numerical growth of the Israelites during their enslavement in Egypt. It introduces Moses and records the plagues God brought upon Egypt to secure His peoples' release from the bondage of slavery. This was a matter of some concern to the Egyptians, who saw a threat to their own existence. In order to overcome this imbalance, the Egyptians saw three possible solutions:

  1. The placing of the Israelites into slavery (Exo 1:11). When this was not successful,
  2. work in slavery was made much harder (Exo 1:14), and
  3. the killing of every male child (Exo 1:16).
It was against this background that Moses was born (Exo 2:2), educated in the Egyptian court (Exo 2:10), and selected by God to lead the Israelites out of their slavery and towards the land that God promised them (Exo 3:17).

From this point, the people are given the proclamations of the covenant of the Law at Mount Sinai. The book concludes with a description of the order of worship centered around the Tabernacle and the Law of Moses. This is the second book of the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Hebrew Scriptures.

As the people of God they had certain privileges and responsibilities. The message from Exodus is clear to those under the new covenant. God chooses whom He will. Continued blessing is dependent on obedience and the carrying out of responsibilities. It is through Jesus' sacrifice that the new covenant has been established and the new Exodus, the "going out" or deliverance from the bondage of sin is possible.

It is in Exodus that God makes Himself known by His memorial name (Exo 3:13-15). Even this revelation indicates His infinite greatness.


1:1 - 4:31:
Background. The children of Israel become more numerous. Moses is selected to lead deliverance.
5:1 - 15:21:
Leaving Egypt.

5:1 - 6:30 Harder bondage and promise of deliverance.
7:1-25 Signs
8:1 - 10:29 Plagues
11:1 - 13:16 The Passover
13:17 - 14:31 To the Red Sea
15:1-21 Moses' Song of Thanks
15:22 - 19:2:
To Sinai
19:3 - 24: 18:
God's Laws
25:1 - 31: 18:
Plan for the Tabernacle -- a place for God to dwell -- a place for people to worship.
32:1 - 34: 35:
Disobedience, punishment and God's covenant.
35:1 - 40: 38:
The construction of the Tabernacle.

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