Exodus – Know the Book
“Now there arose a new king over Egypt who did not know Joseph.”
This verse portends a coming enslavement which will only be broken by the mighty hand of God through a series of calamities, or plagues, which befall the Egyptians. This is a continual story of God’s deliverance of his people which divides rather neatly at Exodus 15. The first 15 chapters declare God’s attention to his people; the calling of Moses and the conflict between Moses and Pharaoh. Chapter 15 is a song of deliverance after the pursuing Egyptians are destroyed in walls of collapsing water in the Red Sea.
The remaining 25 chapters detail an interval of encampment at Mount Sinai where God delivered the Law to Moses. Within those chapters we find the 10 Commandments which are a part of the larger Law of Moses.
If there is a key verse in the book I would point to Exodus 5:1.
“…Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Let my people go’…”
The bondage of the Hebrews is a type of the bondage we endure today from sin. As God broke the bonds of wicked Pharaoh he will also break the bonds of Satan upon men today. The call to “…let my people go…” resounds today as it did then.
Authorship, Dating and Technical Details
Like Genesis, the authorship of the book is attributed to Moses.
“And as for the dead being raised, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, how God spoke to him, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob?” (Mark 12:26)
The statement Jesus speaks of is found in Exodus 3:1-4 and Exodus 3:17. Thus Jesus attributes the book to Moses.
Dating is connected with authorship. As with Genesis it would almost certainly have been written during the period of Israelite wandering.
Exodus finds its great significance in the demonstration of God’s interest and care for his people. The law, revealed in Exodus and Leviticus, will be the same law in effect when Jesus is born.