The Book of Exodus

Author:

Not stated explicitly, but traditionally attributed to Moses.

Setting:

Mid-15th Century B.C.

Major Events:

God's chosen people, the Israelites, live in Egypt as a thriving people. They also live in Egypt at the invitation of Abram's grandson, Joseph, who rises to power as the second-in-command, after having entered the country as a slave. Upon Joseph's death, the new Pharaoh sees these Israelites as a threat to himself and his Egyptian people and makes them his slaves. The Israelites, having suffered tremendously under the rule of the new Pharaoh, cry out to God for deliverance. God hears the cries of His chosen people and remembers the covenant He made with Abraham, Issac, and Jacob, and summons Moses, raising him up as their deliverer. God speaks to Moses through a "burning bush" and Moses reluctantly agrees to demand that Pharaoh release his people out of bondage. God hardens Pharaoh's heart by sending down 10 plagues from Heaven on Egypt, with the final plague being the death of the first-born son of every Egyptian with the exception of the Israelites. The assurance that the Israelites' first-born would be spared was made when God instructs Moses to tell the Israelites to spread sacrificial blood on their doorsteps so that He would pass them by and spare their children. Pharaoh finally gives in and releases the Egyptian slaves setting them free to leave Egypt. The Israelites cross the Red Sea after Moses parts the water by holding up his staff and God causes a great wind to separate the waters. The Egyptian army pursues the slaves as they flee across the Red Sea, but are drowned when the waters once again come together. At Mount Sinai, God gives Moses His Ten Commandments, rules of Worship, and laws that transform the families into the nation of Israel. While Moses is with God on Mount Sinai, the Israelites fall into sin and create their own god from a Golden Calf they formed from bronze and gold. This brings plagues upon the people and Moses returns to them to restore order. The people of Israel follow Moses to the "Promised Land" of Canaan following God's "pillar of clouds" by day and "pillar of fire" by night.

Transcendental:

God tells the Israelites to celebrate the "Passover" meal to remember how the Angel of Death passed over their homes after they were instructed to spread the blood of a sacrificial lamb over top of the doorway leading into their dwelling places. This meal was to consist of bread made without yeast (see 12:14-15). This celebration is still commemorated by the Jewish people today.

Take Away:

The story of redemption is clearly presented in Exodus as God rescues his chosen people from slavery and bondage in Egypt. Likewise, Jesus breaks our bondage of sin (see Hebrews 2:14-15).