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by Paul E. Kretzmann
The Book of Exodus
The second book of Moses, called Exodus (going out, departure), has been recognized as a distinct book since the time of the Jewish Church. It is not a continuation, but a sequel of the Book of Genesis, a long interval of time being passed over without record. The family of Jacob had now grown into a large nation, and the inspired author proceeds to show how the Lord carried out His promise of leading the children of Israel back to the land where Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had been strangers. Genesis 15:13-16; Genesis 35:11-12; Genesis 48:21-22; Genesis 50:25. The main purpose of the book is to relate how the theocracy, the direct government of God, was established among the people of Israel by the solemn giving of the Law on Mount Sinai, the act by which God made and confirmed the covenant which He had hinted at to the patriarchs. The book tells the history of Israel from the time that God arranged for their departure out of Egypt until the time that the Tabernacle had been dedicated near Mount Horeb. A large part of the book is devoted to the legislation on Mount Sinai, which included not only the giving of the Moral, or Natural, Law in the form of the Ten Commandments, but also the Ceremonial, or Levitical, Law, which prescribed all forms of divine worship which were to be observed by the people of God in the centuries before the coming of Christ, and the Civil Law, which was given to the children of Israel as a separate people among the nations of the earth and which regulated their political affairs and provided for sanitary rules throughout the country.
"Exodus is the Book of Redemption. The chosen people are in hopeless bondage in the land of Egypt, having no power to deliver themselves. But God says: 'I have seen the affliction of My people, I have heard their cry, I know their sorrows; I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up into a good land,' Exodus 3:7-8. It is a beautiful picture of the soul redeemed from the bondage of Egypt into the glorious liberty of the children of God. God is revealed to us as the Deliverer and Leader of His people, a God near at hand, dwelling among them, concerned with the affairs of their daily life. " (Hodgkin. )
The Book of Exodus is especially rich in Messianic types and symbols. The burning bush, chap. 3, is a picture of the incarnation of Jesus Christ. The Passover Lamb, Exodus 12, is a type of Christ and His redemption, 1 Corinthians 5:7-8; 1 Peter 1:18-19. The manna, Exodus 16, is a type which Jesus applies to Himself, John 6:48-51, when He says: "I am the Bread of Life. " The smitten rock, Exodus 17, is referred to 1 Corinthians 10:4: "They drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them; and that Rock was. Christ. " Moses himself, the central personage of Exodus, is a type of the great Prophet of the New Testament, Deuteronomy 18:15-18. The high priest Aaron was a type of our great High Priest, Jesus Christ, whose atoning sacrifice reconciled the whole world to God. The Tabernacle in the wilderness, built according to the design furnished by God Himself, was a picture and shadow of heavenly things, Hebrews 8:5. It was the outward sign of God's presence, God's tent in the midst of the tents of the children of Israel, the meeting-place between God and man.
The contents of the book may be briefly summarized: The departure out of Egypt, including the narrative of the oppression, of the birth and education of Moses, of his flight, call, and equipment, of the ten plagues, of the institution of the Passover, of the passage through the Red Sea and the destruction of Pharaoh; the wilderness journey to Mount Sinai, including the stop at Marah, the quails, manna, water from the rock, the battle with Amalek; the solemn legislation on Mount Sinai, including the preparations, the Ten Commandments, the rights of Israel, and the making of the covenant; the building and the dedication of the Tabernacle, including the sin of Aaron and the people, the making of the Tabernacle coverings and appointments, the erection and the dedication of the Tabernacle
the Sixth Week after Easter