Moses (Joshua 8:31-35; Exodus 20:25; Mark 12:26; Luke 24:44).
Time covered in history:
Exodus picks up where Genesis left off…the 12 tribes of Israel had entered into Egypt with Joseph…and now it is 400 years later. It begins with the word “Now,” which really means, “And,” which shows its continuation of Genesis. It covers the time from Moses leading the children of Israel out of Egypt through their encounter with God at Mt. Sinai.
There are two general views as to the time that the Exodus from Egypt occurred. The earlier date is 1445-1440 B.C., during the reign of Amenhotep II (1450-1425). The later date is around 1290 B.C., during the reign of Raamses II (1299-1232). In view of Scriptural evidence and supporting archaeological evidence the first (earlier) date presents the more compelling choice.
Date of the Exodus Two principal views exist concerning the date of the Exodus: c. 1445-1440 B.C. during the reign of Amenhotep II (1450-1425), or c. 1290 B.C., during the reign of Raamses II (1299-1232). Scriptural evidence for the earlier date includes the statement of 1 Kings 6:1 that the Exodus occurred 480 years before the fourth year of Solomon's reign, thus placing it c. 1445. Further, in Judg. 11:26, Jephthah (c. 1100 B.C) declared that Israel had possessed the land of Palestine for 300 years, which would date the Exodus c. 1400 B.C. Objections to this earlier date include the following: (1) The Exodus could not have taken place until after 1300 because the city of Raamses was named after the pharaoh who was ruling at that time, and Raamses did not rule until 1299. However, if the Exodus was about 1290 and Moses was 80 at that time, and since the city was built before Moses' birth, the Exodus could not have been as late as 1290 since there is no room for the 80 years of Moses' life between 1299 and 1290. (2) It is said that the presence of strong opposition to the Israelites from the Edomites (Num. 20:20-21) was impossible before 1300 since the area of southern Transjordan was unoccupied from 1900-1300. Yet excavations in that area have uncovered objects and pottery dating as early as 1600. (3) It is claimed that Hazor did not fall to the Israelites until 1300 B.C. However, Scripture states that it fell twice: first in the days of Joshua (Josh. 11:10-11) and later in the time of Deborah and Barak (Judg. 4:2, 23-24). Further, there is evidence in one area of the excavated city of a destruction around 1400. (4) The destruction of Lachish (Josh. 10:32) and Debir (Josh. 10:38-39) is said to have occurred 1230-1200 B.C., indicating a late date for the Exodus. But the book of Joshua does not claim that these cities were completely destroyed by Joshua (as Jericho was). Further, since the Stele of Pharaoh Merneptah represents the Hebrews as settled in Canaan when Merneptah's armies attacked them about 1230, the Exodus had lo be somewhat earlier than 1290. Thus there is no compelling reason not to accept the earlier date, particularly in view of scriptural evidence.
The Ryrie Study Bible, Introduction to the Book of Exodus, p. 91
The Biblical Timeline of Genesis through Deuteronomy:
Genesis…The record of history from the Creation through the entry of Israel into Egypt.
Exodus…The record of the history of the Hebrew people from the Exodus led by Moses through the encounter with God at Mt. Sinai.
Leviticus…The contents of Leviticus take place one year after the Exodus from Egypt. It records the Laws for living and the instructions for the Tabernacle that were given during the month and 20 days between the setting up of the Tabernacle (Exodus 40:17) and the departure of the people from Sinai (Numbers 10:11).
Numbers…The record of the history of the Hebrew people starting one month after the close of Exodus and continuing through the 39 years of wandering in the wilderness…concluding at the border to the Promised Land.
Deuteronomy…The addresses given by Moses to the Hebrew people during the final months of his life while they were camped on the other (eastern) side of the Jordan River across from the Promised Land.
Exodus is the second of the 5 books written by Moses, called the Pentateuch (Genesis-Deuteronomy). The Hebrew title of the book is taken from the first verse, “these are the names of.” The English title “Exodus” comes from the Greek word that means “the outgoing, or way out” and is based on the principal theme of the book.
Genesis 47:27 tells us the number of family members that entered Egypt with Jacob was 70…and approximately 400 years later a vast multitude of 600,000 men plus women and children (Exodus 12:37) left. Someone has placed an estimate at the total number of people as being around 3,000,000.
Genesis 15:13 told us that the seed of Abraham (his descendants) would spend approximately 400 years in Egypt. Exodus 12:40 says it was 430 and Galatians 3:16-17 confirms it.
The great theme of Exodus is the deliverance from bondage in Egypt in fulfillment of the promise of Genesis 15:13-14.
Contents The theme of the book is deliverance from Egypt, in fulfillment of the promise of Gen. 15:13-14. The book records the birth of the nation Israel, the giving of the Law, and the origin of ritual worship. The revelation of God is paramount throughout the book. He is the one who controls history (Exodus 1); He revealed Himself in a new name (3:14); He is the sovereign of the covenant relationship (19:5); He is the faithful redeemer (6:6; 15:13); He is a judge of His own people (4:14; 20:5; 32:27-28) and of His foes (chaps. 7-12); He is the transcendent one (33:20) who nevertheless lived among His people (29:45). Favorite passages include the birth and protection of Moses (chap. 2), the call of Moses (3:14; 5:1), the crossing of the Red Sea (chap. 14), the manna story (chap. 16), the Ten Commandments (chap. 20), the tabernacle (chaps. 25-27), and the golden calf (chap. 32).
The Ryrie Study Bible, Introduction to the Book of Exodus, p. 91
Exodus, Book Of:
Exodus is the name given in the LXX. to the second book of the Pentateuch (q.v.). It means "departure" or "outgoing." This name was adopted in the Latin translation, and thence passed into other languages. The Hebrews called it by the first words, according to their custom, Ve-eleh shemoth (i.e., "and these are the names").
It contains, (1.) An account of the increase and growth of the Israelites in Egypt (“the names") (Exd 1). (2.) Preparations for their departure out of Egypt (Exd 2-12:36). (3.) Their journeyings from Egypt to Sinai (Exd 12:37-19:2). (4.) The giving of the law and the establishment of the institutions by which the organization of the people was completed, the theocracy, "a kingdom of priest and an holy nation" (Exd 19:3-ch. 40).
The time comprised in this book, from the death of Joseph to the erection of the tabernacle in the wilderness, is about one hundred and forty-five years, on the supposition that the four hundred and thirty years (Exd 12:40) are to be computed from the time of the promises made to Abraham (Gal 3:17).
The authorship of this book, as well as of that of the other books of the Pentateuch, is to be ascribed to Moses. The unanimous voice of tradition and all internal evidences abundantly support this opinion
Easton’s Bible Dictionary,
The Deliverance from Bondage Exodus 1-18
Exodus 1-4 The Call of Moses
The life of Moses can be divided up…
1-2:10 The Prince of Egypt (first 40 years)
2:11-4 The Shepherd of Midian (second 40 years)
5-40 The Man of God (beginning of his third 40 years, 120 years old when he dies…Deuteronomy 34:7)
D.L. Moody said that Moses spent 40 years thinking he was somebody, 40 years learning he was nobody, and 40 years discovering what God can do with a nobody (cf. Hebrews 11:23-29).
Exodus 1:1-7-It has been suggested that since the census at Sinai (cf. Numbers 1:46) showed 603,550 males, if they represented one quarter of the total population, then there would have been 2,000,000 people. An annual growth rate of 5%, beginning with 100 people, over a period of 215 years, would increase to 2 million (cf. Genesis 46:27; Exodus 12:41). There had been ample time for the Hebrews to grow to this population size (Ryrie Study Bible, verse 7 footnote, p. 93).
- Increased abundantly: This family started with five people back in Haran: Jacob, Rachel, Leah, Zilphah, and Bilhah. It grew into a clan of about 100 people in 50 years (the 100 includes the seventy of Genesis 46:27 and Exodus 1:5 plus a few wives of the sons not mentioned and grandchildren). This represents a growth rate of just over 6% per year. At that rate there would be several million descendants by the time of Exodus, 430 years later.
David Guzik :: Study Guide for Exodus 1,
Exodus 1:8-10-Joseph and all the people of his generation died. And along with their death the memory of what they had done for Egypt died, as well. Now, because of their vast numbers, they appeared to be a threat to the Egyptians. This new king was either Amenhotep I (c. 1546-1525), or Thutmose I (c. 1525-1508).
Exodus 1:11-18-The Egyptian’s solution to control the Hebrews was two-fold: 1. to relegate them to hard labor…slavery. But the more difficult the Egyptians made it for them, the more God blessed them in their affliction. 2. To restrict their numerical growth by ordering the midwives to kill all newborns who were males. A “birthstool” was a pair of bricks or stones on which the pregnant woman would crouch in childbirth. They were to allow the female babies to live because they could be married to Egyptian men and assimilated into the culture. When the Hebrew midwives disobeyed Pharaoh's command to let the male babies die...it was an act of civil disobedience based on a fear of God. God blessed the midwives. Pharaoh now took it a step further and demanded that all newborn male children (regardless of whether they survived the birth process, or not) were to be thrown into the Nile River.
Exodus 2:1-The man was Amram (cf. Exodus 6:16-20) and his wife was Jochebed. She gave birth to a son and instead of throwing him into the Nile she hid him for three months. Then, when she could not hide him any longer, she put him into a “wicker basket” (papyrus basket) and hid him in the papyrus reeds along the shoreline of the Nile. His sister was nearby to keep an eye on him.
Exodus 2:5-10-Pharaoh’s daughter came to the Nile to bathe and saw the basket. Upon investigation she saw the child, recognized that he was a Hebrew, had pity on him. The sister volunteered to find someone to nurse him and she agreed. She brought his own mother back and Pharaoh’s daughter hired her to take care of him. When the child was between two and three years old she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter and “he became her son” (a member of the royal household). She named him Moses, which means “one who draws out”.
Exodus 2:11-15-Moses was about 40 at this time. In an attempt to intervene when an Egyptian was beating a Hebrew, Moses killed the Egyptian. It could be that he thought the Hebrews would be appreciative and would not say anything to any one. He carefully hid the dead man’s body. Then, the next day, he intervened between two Hebrews who were fighting with each other. One of them asked if he was going to kill him…like he had killed the Egyptian. While the man possibly had been appreciative that Moses had saved him…there could have been some animosity towards Moses and the privileges he had in Pharaoh’s household. Pharaoh tried to kill him, but was unsuccessful. So, Moses fled to Midian...the Sinai peninsula...inhabited by the nomadic sons of Abraham’s wife, Keturah (Genesis 25:2).
Exodus 2:16-20-Reuel, also called Jethro (3:1; 18:1)...was a priest. He possibly already knew the true God...later it is certain that he did (18:10-11). His daughters were shepherdesses. One day as they were watering their flocks they were chased away by a group of shepherds. Moses intervened once again…and helped them water the flocks. Reuel sent word for Moses to come join them.
Exodus 2:21-22-Moses accepted an offer from Reuel to live with them and eventually accepted his daughter, Zipporah (means “warbler”), to be his wife. They had a son and named him Gershom (means “a stranger here”). They would later have another son and name him Eliezer (18:4).
Exodus 2:23-25-After some time the king of Egypt died. The Hebrews called out to God for help and He heard their prayers.
Exodus 3:1-Horeb is another name for Mt. Sinai (cf. Deut. 5:2)…traditionally located in the southwest part of the Sinai Peninsula.
Exodus 3:2-This appearance of the "angel of the LORD" as a fire in the bush was the Lord Himself (3:4).
- Undoubtedly, this is another occasion where Jesus appeared before His incarnation in the Old Testament as the Angel of the LORD, as He did many times (Genesis 16:7-13, Judges 2:1-5, Judges 6:11-24, Judges 13:3-22).
- We say this is God, in the Person of Jesus Christ, because of God the Father, it is said No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him (John 1:18), and that no man has ever seen God in the Person of the Father (1 Timothy 6:16).
David Guzik :: Study Guide for Exodus 3,
The bush was on fire, yet it was not being burned up. This caught Moses’ attention and he went closer to see what was happening. When God saw that Moses had come to investigate, He called out his name…and Moses responded. God told him to come no closer because His presence made the very ground that he was walking on holy. He also told him to remove his sandals, a sign of respect. God then identified Himself as the God of his forefathers. Moses hid his face (turned his eyes away) because He now realized that He was in God’s presence.
Exodus 3:7-10-(:16)-God tells Moses that He is aware of what is going on with His people and has come to rescue them. He tells Moses that He is sending him to Pharaoh in order to demand the release of His people, to bring them out of Egypt, and lead them to the Promised Land.
Moses argues with God and tells him that he is not the man for the job. His argument is five-fold: Identity (3:11); Theology (3:13); Authority (4:1); Ability (4:10); Destiny (4:13).
Exodus 3:11-12...Identity (no ability)...Moses complains that he is a nobody and that Pharaoh will not listen to him. God tells Moses that He will be with him. It isn't a matter of who Moses is, but Who God is. That is his real source of identity.
Exodus 3:13-22…Theology (no message)...Moses then responds that he doesn’t even know Who God is…he doesn’t even know His name. How could he possibly represent Him. God gives Moses a crash course in theology. First, God identifies Himself as "I AM WHO I AM"...basically meaning, "I am the One Who is"...emphasizing God's dynamic and active self-existence. Elements of the lesson in theology that God gives Moses include His: Self revelation (:13), Eternal existence (:14), Compassionate nature (:7-9,16), Omnipotence (:17,20), Holiness (:18), Omniscience (:19), and Benevolence (:21).
For information on the names and descriptions of God in the Bible see:
For a 30-Day Prayer Guide based on the names and descriptions of God see:
Prayer: Father, like Moses, I often fail to remember that it is not who I am that matters…but, Who You are. Please teach me about You…Your nature and character. Help me to know You better and better…and as a result to trust You more and more.