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Exodus

See also Pentateuch

A book written by Moses in the Old Testament that describes the departure of the Israelites out of Egypt. The early history of Israel as recorded in Exodus can be divided into three parts: (1) the people’s slavery to Egypt, (2) their departure from Egypt under Moses’ leadership, and (3) their dedication to God’s service in their religious life and their political life.

The first portion, chapters 1–15, explains the oppression of Israel in Egypt; the early history and call of Moses; the Exodus and the institution of the Passover; and the march to the Red Sea, the destruction of Pharaoh’s army, and Moses’ song of victory.

The second portion, chapters 15–18, tells of Israel’s redemption and the events on the journey from the Red Sea to Sinai; the bitter waters of Marah, the giving of quails and manna, the observance of the Sabbath, the miraculous gift of water at Rephidim, and the battle there with the Amalekites; the arrival of Jethro in the camp and his advice about the civil government of the people.

The third portion, chapters 19–40, deals with Israel’s consecration to God’s service during the solemn events at Sinai. The Lord set the people apart as a kingdom of priests and a holy nation; he gave the Ten Commandments; and he gave instructions about the tabernacle, its furniture, and worship therein. Then follows the account of the people’s sin in worshiping a golden calf, and finally the account of the construction of the tabernacle and provision for its services.