Book of the Week 2: Exodus

Hebrew Name: Shemot 

Author: Moses                                                                                  

OT or NT: Old Testament 

Number of Chapters: 40

Basic Facts

  1. Exodus is the second book of the Bible.
  2. Exodus is part of the “Pentateuch”: the first five books of the Bible including Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.
  3. The Pentateuch is also referred to as the “Torah,” meaning “to guide or teach.”
  4. The name Exodus comes from the Greek term exodos, meaning “a departure.”
  5. The Hebrew name for the book of Exodus is shemot, which comes from the second word of the Hebrew text of Exodus. Shemot means "names."

Story of the Book

Exodus is the story of how God called Moses to lead God’s chosen people—the people of Israel—out of slavery in Egypt. The story begins with Pharaoh’s oppression of the people of Israel. The book of Exodus includes the following:

  • Moses’ birth
  • God’s calling of Moses
  • Moses’ flight from Egypt
  • Moses’ stay with Jethro
  • The burning bush
  • The story of the ten plagues
  • The story of the Exodus through the Red Sea
  • God's appearing to Moses on Mount Sinai
  • God's giving manna to the Israelites in the wilderness
  • God's giving the law to Moses
  • Some early commandments
  • Regulations and instructions for the building of the Tabernacle with its articles of worship
  • The establishment of God’s presence among the people of Israel in the Tabernacle

The story of Exodus is a story of God’s deliverance of the people of Israel in fulfillment of God’s covenant promises given to Abraham in Genesis chapter 15. The story of Exodus ends with the story of how the glory of the LORD fills the tabernacle, and God’s presence goes with and before the people of Israel throughout all their journeys. 

Jesus Foreshadowed in Exodus

The central theme of Exodus is God’s deliverance of Israel out of Egypt in the Exodus through the red sea. Before this key event, God instituted the first Passover, in which the angel of death passed over the Israelites because their doorposts were covered with the blood of the Passover lamb. The lamb was to be without defect: a perfect Passover lamb. The shedding of the blood of the lamb on the doorposts spared the Israelites from the wrath of God, leading them to eventual freedom from slavery in Egypt. Later, Jesus would be crucified near the time of the feast of the Passover. In a real yet symbolic way, Jesus served as the Passover lamb to free all who have faith in him from the wrath of God, leading to freedom from sin and leading to salvation for all who are covered by the blood of Jesus, the perfect Passover lamb.