The Book of Exodus

Arend Remmers

40 chapters

1. Author and Time of Writing

What has been said to the book of Genesis also applies to Exodus. In Genesis Moses depended on the revelations of God and possibly on the accounts of his ancestors while he was mostly able to write down the happenings of Exodus to Deuteronomy by his own view and experience under the guidance of the Holy Spirit (compare Ex. 17:14; Deut. 31:22,24).

In the New Testament Moses is mentioned several times as author of Exodus (for example Luke 20:37; Mark 7:10).

Between the happenings at the end of Genesis and the beginning of Exodus there are nearly 300 years.

2. Purpose of Writing

In the book of Exodus we find no longer exclusively the dealings of God with individuals mentioned. We are coming to know a redeemed people of God. The origin and redemption of God's earthly people Israel is described. Israel is delivered from the slavery in Egypt and is led on to the way into the promised land of Canaan. Therefore Exodus is the book of redemption. Its landmarks are the Passover and the passage through the Red Sea (see explanation in 1 Cor. 5:7; 10:1-2).

After the exodus out of Egypt the people of Israel received the law of Jehovah and erected the tabernacle of congregation according to His command. Through that the new relationship between the people and Jehovah were fixed:

  • God was now dwelling amidst His people
  • Israel was able to approach God and to worship Him (by means of the offerings)
  • the Glory of the Lord was typically revealed.

The epistles to the Romans and Galatians can be compared with the Book of Exodus, there subjects being redemption and the relation of the Christian to the law.

3. Peculiarities

a) Typology

The book of Exodus is especially rich in typical teachings. The following is of importance: Egypt is a picture of this present world (Gal. 1:4), the Red Sea is a picture of the death and resurrection of Christ and of the death of the old man with Christ (Rom. 6:6). The stay in the desert describes the earthly circumstances in which the believer has to stand the test (John 17:14-15).

b) Date of Exodus out of Egypt

Most of today's scholars date the exodus of Israel in the 13th century BC, that is in the time of the 19th Dynasty (Ramses I. to Merenphthah, under whose reign the name of Israel is first mentioned in Egypt). This late date leaves much too little time for the period of conquest of the land and for the time of the judges. The different indications of time in the Bible also would be untrustworthy (see Jud. 11:26; 1 Kings 6:1; Acts 13:20). But if we take the Biblical indications the time of the exodus can be dated to the year 1446 BC approximately.

4. Overview of Contents

I. Exodus 1-13: Israel in Egypt

Chapter 1 Israel's Oppression

Chapter 2 Moses' Birth, Upbringing and Flight to Midian

Chapter 3 God reveals Himself to Moses as Jehovah (Jahwe) at (Mount) Horeb

Chapter 4 God's Commission to Moses

Chapter 5 Moses speaks to Pharaoh

Chapter 6 God encourages Moses ; Pharaoh hardens his heart

Chapter 7 1st Plague : Water turned into blood

Chapter 8 2nd Plague : Frogs ; 3rd Plague: Lice (Gnats), 4th Plague: (Dog-) Flies

Chapter 9 5th Plague. Very grievous Murrain ; 6th Plague: Boils; God hardens Pharao's heart; 7th Plague: Hail

Chapter 10 8th Plague : Locusts ; 9th Plague: Darkness

Chapter 11 Announcement of the 10th Plague and of Israel's Exodus

Chapter 12 Institution of the Passover and Killing of all Firstborn in Egypt

Chapter 13 Sanctification of the Firstborn of Israel and Beginning of the Exodus

II. Exodus 14-18: Israel's Journey to Mount Sinaļ

Chapter 14 Jehovah saves Israel at the Red Sea

Chapter 15 The Song of Redemption

Chapter 16 The Manna (John 6 :31-59)

Chapter 17 The Water out of the Rock (1 Cor. 10:4); Battle against Amalek

Chapter 18 Jethro's Advice for Moses

III. Exodus 19-24: Covenant and Giving of the Law at Sinaļ

Chapter 19 The Covenant of Jehovah with Israel

Chapter 20 The Ten Commandments

Chapter 21 The Law - Personal Rights

Chapter 22 The Law - Rights of Property

Chapter 23 The Law - Rights in Social and Religious Life

Chapter 24 The Covenant is concluded

IV. Exodus 25-31: Commandments for the Sanctuary and the Priesthood

Chapter 25 The Heave-Offering; the Ark of Covenant, the Table and Candle-stick

Chapter 26 The Tabernacle

Chapter 27 The Altar of Burnt Offering and the Court of Tabernacle

Chapter 28 Holy Garments for the Priests

Chapter 29 Hallowing of the Priests and the Continual Burnt Offering

Chapter 30 The Golden Altar of Incense; the Brazen Laver; the Oil of Holy Ointment and the Incense

Chapter 31 Bezaleel and Aholiab

V. Exodus 32-34: Israel's Departure and the Grace of God

Chapter 32 The Golden Calf and the Broken Tables of Testimony

Chapter 33 Moses as Mediator

Chapter 34 The Second Law

VI. Exodus 35-40: The Building of the Sanctuary

Chapter 35 The Heave-Offering

Chapter 36 The Building of the Tabernacle

Chapter 37 The Ark of Covenant; the Table; the Candle-stick and the Altar of Incense

Chapter 38 The Altar of Burnt Offering and the Court

Chapter 39 The Holy Garments for the Priests

Chapter 40 The Setting-Up of the Tabernacle