This article is about the second book of the Bible.  See "The Exodus" for the event.

The book titled "Exodus" in our English Bibles is called in the Hebrew "Semowt" (Names), reflecting the first phrase: These are the names.  This is the story of the building of the extended family of Israel into a nation.  The number of the group that came into Egypt is given as 70, including Joseph and his children.  In the course of at least two centuries the Hebrews had become slaves and had grown prolifically.  The book gives an account of the birth and career of Moses through the dedication of the tabernacle -- a portable temple meant as a meeting place for Yahweh with his priests (Levites and especially Aaron's family).

As with Genesis, this book was written in Hebrew with the expected loan words from Egyptian and Aramean languages.  In several places in the book itself Moses is told by God to write down the history of the battles and other trials.  Through supernatural intervention Yahweh proves His credentials and then gives Moses the Ten Commandments and case law to guide the new nation.  There are 40 chapters, with the giving of the law centrally located (chapters 19 through 24).


Unlike with Genesis, the book of Exodus (except for the first chapter) can easily be seen as a first person account.  Moses is told specifically by God to write it down.  There is a continuity of story line between the two books, adding weight to the claim that Moses is the author of the full body of material of the first five books.  From the time of Joshua onward this record is referred to as "the book - or books - of Moses."


I. Israel in Egypt : subjection (1:1 - 12:30)

A. Pharaoh persecutes Israel 1:1-22
B. God prepares His leader 2:1-4:31
  1. Moses' early life (2:1-25)
  2. Moses' call (3:1 - 4:17)
  3. Moses' return to Egypt (4:18-31)
  4. Pharaoh hardens his heart (5:1 - 7:13)
  5. The Ten Plagues  (7:14 - 12:30)
a. Blood (7:14-24)
b. Frogs (8:1-15)
c. Lice (8:16-19)
d. Flies (8:20-32)
e. Death of Livestock (8:1-12)
f. Boils (9:8-12)
g. Hail (9:13-35)
h. Locusts (10:1-20)
i. Darkness (10:21-29)
j. Death of First born (11:1 - 12:30)
C. God sends Moses to Pharaoh  (5:1-12:30)

II. Israel's journey to Sinai (12:31 - 18:27)

  1. Crossing the sea (13:17 - 14:31)
  2. Hymn of victory (15:1-21)
  3. First crisis: Thirst (15:22-27)
  4. Second crisis: Hunger (16:1-36)
  5. Third crisis: More Thirst (17:1-7)
  6. Fourth crisis: War (17:8-16)
  7. Fifth crisis: Overworked Leader (18:1-27)
A. Exodus and Passover 12:31-13:16
B. Crossing the Red Sea 13:17-15:21
C. From the Red Sea to Sinai  (15:22-18:27)

III. Israel at Sinai (19:1 - 40:38)

  1. Establishment of the Covenant (19:1-25)
  2. Statement of the Covenant (20:1-17)
  3. Expansion of the Covenant (20:18 - 23:33)
  4. Ratification of the Covenant (24:1-18)
  5. The Instructions (25:1 - 31:18)
  6. Breach of Covenant and its renewal (32:1 - 34:35)
  7. Fashioning the Tabernacle, furnishings and priestly garments (35:1 - 39:31)
  8. Dedication of the Tabernacle (39:32 - 40:38)
A. Provision for life: the covenant  (19:1-24:18)
B. Provision for worship: the Tabernacle  (25:1-40:38)
  1. The King James Reference Bible, Thomas Nelson Publishing, p. 100
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