Justin Holcomb and The Resurgence have started a new “Bible Book Summaries” series, providing helpful overviews of the main topics, themes, and theology of each book of the Bible. Below is the summary posted for Exodus:
Author and Dates:
The book of Exodus was written by Moses to the Israelites on the plains of Moab as they were preparing to enter the Promised Land (around 1410 BC or 1255 B.C., depending on the exact date of the exodus from Egypt).
Divine authorization of Moses’ covenant order for the nation. To motivate the readers to trust in God’s deliverance, law, and instructions for worship under the authority of Moses.
I. Deliverance under Moses (1-18)
- Israel in Egypt (1-11)
- Plagues (5-11)
- Exodus to Sinai (12-18)
II. Law under Moses: Covenant and law (19-24)
- Covenant with Moses
- 10 commandments (20)
III. Worship under Moses: Rebellion and renewal (25-40)
- Golden calf and Moses’ intercession (32-33)
- Consecration of the Tent of Meeting (40)
Moses, Aaron, and Pharaoh
The book of Exodus reads like a great epic with the hero, Moses, continually at the center of events. Moses is born in the midst of toil and oppression. However, his miraculous birth anticipates a life that will prove to be a tremendous blessing to Israel. Moses is eventually called by God to liberate the Israelites from the oppressive hand of imperial Egypt. This “exodus” is marked by a dramatic confrontation with Pharaoh and multiple examples of the power of God. Upon the acquisition of freedom, Israel embarks on a journey to Sinai where God gives Moses the 10 Commandments and the Book of the Covenant. This great encounter transitions into a prolonged discussion on worship, the construction of the tabernacle, and the organization of priests and religious life.
Exodus plays an important role in the biblical story since it tells the basic story of God’s saving his people from bondage. This exodus is a major foreshadowing of the promised “second exodus” in Isaiah 40–66, and thus, for Jesus’ own departure (Luke 9:30).
- Suffering – The blessing of God when it hurts.
- Loyalty – God is loyal to us, which causes us to be dedicated to God.
- Deliverance – God’s desire to save people and rescue them from despair.
- DivinePresence – The tabernacle is the place of God’s presence and Israel’s worship.
- Transcendence – A glimpse at the powerful, eternal, holy character of God.
- Law – The revelation of God’s just and loving principles that should direct our lives.
- Judgment – God is holy and his judgment of his people is righteous, yet tempered with mercy.
- Worship – The significance of worship and the benefits to the participants.