Exodus (book of the Bible)

The Book of Exodus is the second book in the Bible . [1] The Hebrew title is derived from the first sentence of the text we’eleth shemoth (in Hebrew שׁמות ואלה , “and these are the names”), generally simplified as shemoth . The word exodus (in Greek ἔξοδος , “way out”) is the translation of the Hebrew title in the Septuagint . According to the main theme. It tells the story of the people of Israel from their departure from Egypt, where they had been slaves, to the construction of the tabernacle at the beginning of the second year. The initial word «and» (in the original) make it appear as a continuation of theGenesis (Book of the Bible .


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  • 1 Author and date
  • 2 Background
  • 3 Contribution to theology
  • 4 Panoramic vision
  • 5 Special Features
  • 6 Sketch
  • 7 Comment
  • 8 See also
  • 9 Sources

Author and date

Author . Exodus is one of the first five books of the Old Testament : books that Moses is traditionally said to have written. Pentateuch However, some scholars claim that Exodus was compiled by an unknown writer or editor that extracted data from many different historical documents. There are two good reasons why Moses can be viewed, without question, as the divinely inspired author of the book.

Exodus speaks of Moses’ work as a writer. In Ex 34:27, God commands him: “Write these words.” Another passage tells us that “Moses wrote all the words of Jehovah” in obedience to his command (24.4). So it is reasonable to suppose that these passages refer to the writings of Moses that appear in the book of Exodus. Moses was well trained to write, as he was educated in Pharaoh’s house during the first years of his life.

Date . Since Moses wrote Exodus, it could be dated to some time before his death, around 1400 BC. n. and. Israel spent the forty years prior to this date wandering in the desert because of their unfaithfulness. This could be the best time to write the book.


The book of Exodus is the continuation of the Genesis account, and deals with the development of a small town, within a nation of several million inhabitants. The Hebrews lived in Egypt for 430 years, most of them in bondage. Exodus records the story of Moses, the liberation of the people of Israel from slavery, the journey from Egypt to Mount Sinai, where they received the tablets of the Law of God, and their instructions on how to build the tabernacle. It ends with the building of the tabernacle as God’s dwelling place.

It covers a momentous period at the dawn of Israel’s history as a nation. Most conservative scholars place the events of the Exodus back to 1445 BC. n. and. They are based on 1 Kings 6.1. According to this passage, between the exodus and the fourth year (ca. 966 a. N. E.) Of the reign of Solomon there were 480 years. Literally interpreted, the date of the exodus would be ca. 1445. This seems to be confirmed in Judges 11.26 and Acts 13.19, 20, and suggests that Moses was adopted by Hatsepsut, daughter of Tutmosis I. This implies that, after Hatsepsut died and his friends were persecuted by Tutmosis III, Moses fled to Midian. Tutmosis III would be the Pharaoh who persecuted the Israelites and his son Amenhotep II the Pharaoh during the exodus.

Shepherd with his sheep at Jebel Musa (Arabic for “Mount of Moses”), a mount traditionally identified as Sinai, where Moses received the Law of God. Photo: Matson Photo Collection

On the other hand, many scholars believe they have discovered a very credible reason for not accepting the literal meaning of the 480 year figure of 1 Kings 6.1, and now they interpret it as representing 12 generations of 40 years each. They favor 1290 a. C. as the date of the exodus, for the following reasons, among others:

  1. Archeology teaches that the destruction of Lachish, Bethel and Hazor occurred in the mid-13th century BC. n. and. 2. The picture of Edom and Moab, between the exodus and the conquest, does not seem to agree with what archeology has discovered regarding the history before 1300 a. n. and. 3. The mention of the city of Rameses in Exodus 1.11, built by Ramesses II (1300–1233). In short, neither date is without foundation, but both have problems. However, until additional data is discovered, it seems more reasonable to interpret literally what the Bible affirms, however unsustainable it may seem to some.

The route of the exodus of the Israelites, traditionally accepted, follows the eastern coast of the Gulf of Suez until entering the desert of Sin, and from there to Mount → Sinai that is identified with Musa or Rowan in the south of the peninsula. Others are of the opinion that the Israelites would not have reached the southern peninsula for fear of the Egyptians guarding the Serabit mines, and Mount Hellal has been suggested as the Mount of Law. The sites could not be identified with certainty. mentioned in the exodus story, but the traditional route seems more acceptable in light of biblical history.

Contribution to theology

The book of Exodus has had a great influence on the faith of Israel and on Christian theology. The biblical fundamental message of salvation arises in many ways from the covenant between God and his people that is first described in this book.

  • The first concept that shines through in the book of Exodus is that God blesses those who remain within the covenant. He is their God and they become his holy people.
  • Second, God explains in great detail what is acceptable to Him.
  • Third, God releases those who are in bondage. The Liberation

It may not arrive immediately, but it will reach those who wait and prepare for when this happens. This liberation is based on obedience to the will expressed by God and on going when He commanded. The children of Israel had to wait until the Passover meal and until the angel of death had passed; after that, God gave the order to go. We too must wait, but be ready to get moving when God ordains.

  • Christians see Christ in Exodus

Moses is a symbol of Christ, because he frees from bondage. Aaron also serves as another symbol of Jesus in his capacity as high priest (28.1), interceding before the altar of incense (30.1). Easter indicates that Jesus is the Lamb of God who was sacrificed for our redemption (12.1–22).

The passages that begin in the Gospel of John with the “I am” have their antecedents in Exodus. John affirms that Jesus is the bread of life; Moses speaks of the bread of God in two ways, as manna (16:35) and as the showbread (25:30). John tells us that Jesus is the light of the world; in the tabernacle the candlestick holds a light that never goes out (25.31–40).

  • Pentecost Christians see the Holy Spirit in Exodus

The oil in the book of Exodus symbolically represents the Holy Spirit (27.20). For example, anointing oil, as a symbol of the Holy Spirit, is used to prepare priests and worshipers for divine service (30.31).

The fruits of the Holy Spirit are identified in Galatians 5.22, 23. A parallel list can be found in Exodus 34.6, 7, which mentions as attributes of God being merciful, godly, slow to anger, kind, trustworthy, and forgiving.

The most direct references to the Holy Spirit can be found in 31.3–11 and 35.30–36.1, when speaking of individuals who, thanks to the Holy Spirit, become great craftsmen. Through the work of the Holy Spirit, the natural capacities of these individuals were increased and extended to perform urgent tasks with excellence and precision.

Panoramic vision

Exodus begins with the descendants of Jacob suffering oppression, slavery, and infanticide in Egypt; and it ends with the manifestation of the presence, the power and the glory of God that encamps in the desert in the middle of his liberated people.

The book is divided into three main sections. Chapters 1-14 reveal Israel in Egypt suffering under the oppression of a pharaoh who did not know Joseph, and God redeeming Israel with outstretched arm and great judgment . Among the monumental events in this part of Israel’s history are: the birth, preservation, and preparation of Moses (chapter 2), the calling of Moses in the burning bush (chapters 3-4), the ten plagues (chapters 7 -12), Easter (chapter 12), and the crossing of the Red Sea (chapters 13-14). Israel’s exodus from Egypt is considered throughout the Old Testament as the predominant experience of redemption from the old covenant.

Chapters 16-18 describe Israel in the desert en route to Mount Sinai. God guided his redeemed people with a cloud and a pillar of fire and supplied them with manna , quail, and water, while teaching them to walk by faith and obedience. Chapters 19-40 present Israel at Mount Sinai receiving the revelation regarding the covenant, the ten commandments , the tabernacle, and the priesthood . The book concludes with the completion of the tabernacle and the glory of God that fills it.

Special features

  1. Record the historical circumstances of Israel’s birth as a nation.
  2. It contains in the ten commandments the compendium of the moral law and of God’s just requirements for his people and, therefore, provides a foundation for biblical ethics.
  3. In Old Testament terms, Exodus describes the supernatural character of God’s deliverance from His endangered people and the enslavement of sin , Satan, and the world.
  4. Makes great demonstrations of the majesty of God
    • Glorious in his attributes: truthful, faithful, merciful, holy, and almighty.
    • Lord of history and powerful kings.
    • Redeemer making a covenant with the redeemed.
    • Just as revealed in his moral law and in trials.
    • Worthy of devout worship as a transcendental God who descends to meet his people in the tabernacle.
  5. Exodus highlights the how, the what and the why of the true worship that should follow the redemption by God of his people.


  1. Oppression of the Hebrews in Egypt (1: 1-11: 10).
    1. Obligations of the oppressed (1: 1-22).
    2. The Liberator’s Preparation (2: 1-4: 31).
      1. The birth of Moses and the first forty years (2: 1-15a).
      2. Moses’ exile and the second forty years (2: 15b-25).
      3. Moses’ call and return to Egypt (3: 1-4: 31).
    3. The fight with the oppressor (5: 1-11: 10).
      1. The request: “Let my people go” (5: 1-3).
      2. The answer: Tyrannical persecution (5: 4-21).
      3. Security: The Lord will manifest his lordship (5: 22-7: 13).
      4. The resource: The ten plagues (7: 14-11: 10).
    4. The liberation of the Hebrews from Egypt (12: 1-15: 21).
      1. Deliverance from Passover: Redemption by blood (12: 1-13: 16).
      2. Liberation in the Red Sea: Redemption by power (13: 17-14: 31).
      3. Songs of Deliverance: Praise to the Redeemer (15: 1-21).
    5. Hebrew education en route to Mount Sinai (15: 22-19: 2).
      1. The trial of adversity and providential care (15: 22-27).
        1. The first test: Bitter waters of Mara (15: 22-27).
        2. The Hunger Trial: Provision of Quail and Manna (16: 1-36).
        3. The thirst test: Water in Refidim (17: 1-7).
        4. The proof of the conflict: Battle with Amalek (17: 8-16).
      2. Jethro’s wise counsel (18: 1-27).
    6. Covenant with the Hebrews at Mount Sinai (19: 3-24: 18).
      1. Preparatory instructions given to Moses (19: 3-24: 18).
      2. The Ten Commandments: Foundation for life under the covenant (20: 1-17).
      3. Protective ordinances of the covenant relationship (20: 18-23: 19).
      4. Promises regarding the promised land (23: 20-33).
      5. Ratification of the covenant (24: 1-18).
    7. The specified Hebrew worship at Mount Sinai (25: 1-40: 38).
      1. Instructions regarding the tabernacle (28: 1-27: 21).
      2. Instructions regarding the priest (28: 1-31: 18).
      3. The sin of idolatry (2: 1-34: 35).
      4. The implementation of divine instructions (35: 1-40: 38).


“Postmosaic” are often branded as passages in the text that appear to have been written in later times than Moses. As such the note (11.3) is quoted that “Moses was considered a great man in the land of Egypt .” This phrase, which is justified by the context, should not be understood as boasting. That Moses does not write the book to glory, is seen by many other passages. For example: 4.10–15, 24; 6.12; cf. Deuteronomy 1.37; 3.26.

Another passage that is said to prove its postmosaic origin is Exodus 16:35: “Thus the children of Israel ate manna forty years, until they came to inhabited land; They ate manna until they reached the limits of the land of Canaan. But it should not be deduced from these words that another author wrote them. Rather, they indicate that the book had its final writing shortly before the death of Moses.

Exodus 20:24: “Wherever I make the memory of my name to be, I will come to you and bless you.” This passage is interpreted preferably in the sense that there could be, simultaneously and with divine approval, several places of worship, which would be a clear contradiction to the demand of Deuteronomy 12.14 that the sacrifices only be presented in the place that “chose” Jehovah”. It would be an incomprehensible contradiction, if really in Exodus 20:24 sacrifices were allowed everywhere, while according to Dt 12.14 they should only be presented in the main sanctuary, both passages being by the same author. But such difficulty is dissolved if one takes into account the change of situation determined by the imminent entry into the promised land that is foreseen in the legislation of Deuteronomy. At the time of the pilgrimage, referred to above all in the Book of the Covenant, as well as most of Leviticus, the central sanctuary constantly changed position. The explanation can also be added that Exodus 20.24 means “in the region of the whole sanctuary”, so we would have here a direct reference to the only subsequent sanctuary, that ofJerusalem .

Difficulties regarding differences in the position of the tabernacle (according to Ex 33.7, always outside the camp; according to Nm 2.2ss, always in the middle of the camp) are solved by understanding that the tabernacle in Ex 33.7 is not the same as that of Nm 2.2ss, but a provisional tent that served as a tabernacle until the definitive one could be built, according to the prescriptions indicated in Exodus 25–27


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