Date: 1450-1410 B.C.
“Exodus” comes from a Greek translation of this book. “Exodus” literally means “way out” and is a principal theme of the book as the Hebrews leave Egypt. Evidence within the book lead to the conclusion that the author was a highly educated man who had been a long-time resident of Egypt and was an eyewitness of the Exodus – i.e. Moses. He was familiar with the crop sequence in Lower Egypt (Ex. 9:31-32); his descriptions accurately conform to known conditions (2:3, 12); and he includes details suitable only to an eyewitness account (15:27).
Date: There are two principle views concerning the date of the Exodus from Egypt.
- During the reign of Amenhotep II (1450-1425 B.C.) – and the Bible gives plenty of evidence for this dating (1 Kings 6:1, Judges 11:26).
- During the reign of Raamses II (1299-1232 B.C.) – principally for the fact that the city mentioned in Exodus 1:11 was named Ramses, but the Pharaoh didn’t reign there until 1299 B.C. However, historical, biblical, and archaeological evidence indicates that the date of the Exodus must have occurred sometime before 1290 B.C.
Contents: The theme of the book is deliverance from Egypt in fulfillment of God’s promise in Genesis 15:13-14. In the book, three major changes are mentioned:
- The birth of the nation of Israel.
- The giving of the Law.
- The origin of ritual worship.
Additionally, the revelation of God is paramount throughout the book:
- He controls history (chp. 1)
- He revels 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 judge of His own people (4:14; 20:5; 32:27-28)
- He is judge of His foes (chps. 7-12)
- He is the transcendent one (33:20)
- He lived among His people (29:45)
Exodus is most remembered for the following stories:
- The birth of Moses (chp. 2)
- The call of Moses (chp. 3-5)
- The 10 plagues of Egypt (chps. 7-11)
- The crossing of the Red Sea (chp. 14)
- The manna story (chp. 16)
- The Ten Commandments (chp. 20)
- The Tabernacle (chps. 25-27)
- The golden calf (chp. 32)
Exodus introduces several themes that are vital to our understanding of OT theology and faith.
- God’s personal name, Yahweh.
God’s name Yahweh is revealed to Moses and is important for several reasons:
- “Yahweh” means “The One Who Is Always Present.”
- His presence was revealed in the plagues and miracles against the Egyptians that caused them to let the Israelites go.
- It was demonstrated in the manna that was given for foo.
- It was expressed in the Law, given by God to structure healthy relationship with God and with other persons.
- And His presence was clear in the Tabernacle, and in the Pillar of Cloud by day, and the Pillar of Fire by night.
- It is good for us to know that God is always present with us too, to protect, provide for, and guide us.