The Book of Exodus is the second part of a five-part work, which is made up of the Books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. When Jesus said that ‘everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled’ (Luke 24:44), he was using the Jewish division of the Scriptures into three parts: Law, Prophets and Writings. ‘The Law of Moses’ is the first major section of the Old Testament. Exodus, therefore, must be studied both in the light of what Genesis has already said, and what the rest of the ‘Law of Moses’ says. It begins with a reference to the past (1:1–8) and ends with a reference to the future (40:38).
Exodus begins with the remarkable story of how God protected a little baby named Moses, had him brought up in Pharaohs’ palace, and then called him 80 years later to lead the Israelites to freedom from slavery in Egypt. In delivering the Israelites, God did many miracles through Moses and Aaron, great signs and wonders that brought judgment against their oppressors. In the second half of the book, God established his covenant with the Jewish people at Mount Sinai, a covenant that centered around the national law. At the same time, God formally organized the worship of His people by having the tabernacle built. By instituting a series of sacrifices and by setting priests apart as holy to the Lord.
Exodus in ten words or less (more or less . . . ): A remarkable story about God breaking into the experience of his people, to deliver them from slavery and set them apart as his own.
Exodus shows God in control of history and of the whole world. He is not just a family god, the focus of superstition and nostalgia. He is the One and Only—the Lord.
God has chosen Israel to be his people. He breaks the power of a cruel tyrant, Pharaoh, to set them free. He leads the Israelites through the desert, gives them his law and instructs them in worship. The climax of the exodus is the building and dedication of the tabernacle, the tented enclosure where God dwells among his people.
Exodus is a book about God’s power to rescue his people however desperate their situation. Many oppressed groups have taken courage from this story. God hears the cry of the poor and weak.
BASIC BACKGROUND ON EXODUS
Moses The deliverer, lawgiver, and leader of the Jews during the Exodus. Authorship also ascribed to him.
Aaron The brother of Moses, who was appointed as Israel’s high priest.
Miriam The sister of Moses, a prophetess in her own right.
Pharaoh The arrogant young ruler of Egypt, who fought against God despite crushing miracles of divine judgment.
WHERE THE ACTION TAKES PLACE
The adventure begins in Egypt. There Israelite slaves labor at Pharaoh’s building projects, constructing store cities at Rameses and Pithom. The scene shifts to the Sinai peninsula, where Moses flees after killing an Egyptian. There, near Mt. Sinai, God appears to Moses, and commissions him to rescue His people. After a series of confrontations with Pharaoh, Moses leads the freed Israelites out of Egypt, across the Red (or “Reed”) Sea, and back to Mt. Sinai. While the people camp before the mountain, God gives Moses the Ten
OUTLINE OF EXODUS
1. Israel in Egypt (1:1–11:10)
a. Israel before Moses (1:1–22)
b. Early life of Moses (2:1–25)
c. Meeting with God (3:1–4:31)
d. Confrontation of pharaoh (5:1–11:10)
2. Exodus to Sinai (12:1–18:27)
a. Passover and escape (12:1–13:22)
b. Crossing the Sea of Reeds (14:1–31)
c. The song of triumph (15:1–21)
d. A desert journal (15:22–18:27)
3. Covenant and law (19:1–31:18)
a. Preparation for covenant (19:1–25)
b. The ten words (20:1–17)
c. The book of the covenant (20:18–23:33)
d. The covenant ratified (24:1–18)
e. Covenant worship (25:1–31:18) (cf. 35:1–39:43)
4. Rebellion and renewal (32:1–40:38)
a. Rebellion and atonement (32:1–33:23)
b. The renewed covenant (34:1–35)
c. Execution of God’s commands (35:1–39:43)
d. Consecration of the tent (40:1–38)
 Verbrugge, Verlyn D. The NIV TOPICAL STUDY BIBLE, Zondervan Bible Pub., 1989.