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April 30, 2010

The Book of Exodus

Filed under: Christianity — Brandon @ 12:00 am
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Home > My Research > Christianity > Sacred Scripture > Summaries & Commentary > Exodus


Exodus is the story of Moses as the leader of the Israelites. It begins with the generation of Joseph and the subsequent oppression of the Israelites by the Egyption Pharoh. Moses, an Israelite, is protected by God from death at the order fo the Pharoh, enters the royal household and rises to power within the Egyption government. He then leads the Israelites from bondage in Egypt to freedom in the Promised Land and delivers to them the Law of God. The focus of this book is the covenant-relationship between God that the nation of Israel. The Law was given so that a people may be prepared, through which the promise of a savior would be fulfilled.


Jewish Tradition, supported by Scripture, ascribes the authorhship of the Torah to Moses, though some Jewish and Christian scholars accepted that additions, such as the account of Moses’ death, were added by later authors including his successor, Joshua. Modern scholars believe that the Torah probably evolved through the work of many authors and editors. See the Wikipedia entries for the Torah and the (Wellhausen) Documentary Hypothesis for more details.


New American Bible. The NAB divides Exodus into four parts. The first is labelled “The Israelites in Egypt” (1:1-12:36), which spans from the birth and life of Moses to the eventual granting of permisison for the Israelites to leave Egypt. “The Exodus from Egypt and the journey to Sinai” (12:37-18:27) leads into “The Covenant at Mount Sinai (19:1-24:18), which includes various laws. Finally, “The Dwelling and its Furnishings” (25:1-40:38) details the preparation of the Lord’s dwelling place on Earth, the priests, sacrifices, the Sabbath, and other things. (NAB, p 58)

Nelson. Nelson’s Bible Handbook divides Exodus into two major parts, “Redemption from Egypt” (Ex 1-18) and “Revelation from God” (Ex 19-40). The first part is further refined into four sections: the need for redemption (Ex 1), the preparation (Ex 2-4), the redemption itself (Ex 5-15:21), and the preservation of Israel (Ex 15:22-18). The second part consists of the revelation of the covenant (Ex 19-31) and the response of Israel to that covenant (Ex 32-40). The division of the major parts agrees with the NAB, but the smaller sections are somewhat disjoint.

Summary & Commentary

From Jacob to Moses [Ex 1:1-2:10]

Moses’ Flight to Midian [Ex 2:11-2:22]

Moses’ Mission [Ex 2:23-4:17]

Moses’ Return to Egypt [Ex 4:18-4:31]

Bricks Without Straw [Ex 5:1-5:23]

Deliverance Promised [Ex 6:1-6:13]

Genealogy of Moses & Aaron [Ex 6:14-6:27]

Moses & Aaron Before Pharoh [Ex 6:28-7:13]

The Ten Plagues [Ex 7:14-11:10,12:29-12:30]

The Passover Instituted [Ex12:1-12:28]

Permission & Departure [Ex 12:31-12:42]

Passover Regulations [Ex 12:43-12:51]

Consecration of First-Born [Ex 13:1-13:2,13:11-16]

Feast of Unleavened Bread [Ex 13:3-13:10]

Column of Cloud, Column of Fire [Ex 13:17-13:22]

Crossing the Red Sea [Ex 14:1-14:31]

The Songs of Moses & Miriam [Ex 15:1-15:21]

Bitter Water Made Sweet [Ex 15:22-15:27]

Manna from Heaven [Ex 16:1-16:36]

Water from Rock [Ex 17:1-17:7]

Amalek Attacks [Ex 17:8-17:16]

Jethro [Ex 18:1-18:12]

Minor Judges Appointed [Ex 18:13-18:27]

Arrival at Sinai [Ex 19:1-19:15]

The Great Theophany [Ex 19:16-19:25]

The Ten Commandments [Ex 20:1-20:20]

Other Laws [Ex 20:21-23:19]

Canaan Promised [Ex 23:20-23:33]

The Covenant Ratified [Ex 24:1-24:11]

Moses on the Mountain [Ex 24:12-24:18]

The Tabernacle Planned [Ex 25:1-31:18]
Material Offerings
The Ark
The Table
The Lampstand
The Tent
The Walls
The Viels
The Holocaust Altar
The Court
The Lamp Oil
The Priestly Vestments
The Ephod
The Breastpiece
The Ephod Robe
Other Priestly Garments
Priestly Ordination
Ordination sacrifices
Daily Offerings
The Incense Altar
The Census Tax
The Bronze Laver
The Anointing Oil & Incense
The Artisans
The Sabbath Law

The Golden Calf [Ex 32:1-32:35]

The Command to Leave Sinai [Ex 33:1-33:6]

The Tent of Meeting [Ex 33:7-33:11]

Moses’ Intercession [Ex 33:12-33:23]

New Stone Tablets [Ex 34:1-34:9]

The Covenant Renewed [Ex 34:10-34:28]

Moses’ Face [Ex 34:29-34:35]

The Tabernacle Prepared [Ex 35:1-39:43]
The Sabbath
Material Offerings
The Artisans
Tabernacle Constructed
The Ark Made
The Lampstand Made
The Incense Altar Made
The Anointing Oil & Incense Made
The Holocaust Altar Made
The Laver & the Court Made
Materials of the Tabernacle
The Priestly Vestments Made
The Work Finished & Presented to Moses

The Erection of the Tabernacle [Ex 40:1-40:33]

God’s Presence in the Tabernacle [Ex 40:34-40:38]


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