About EXODUS: the Book of A People Called Out

Exodus: from the Greek ex, “out,” and hodos, “way,” “a going out”

Whereas Genesis is the book of origins, Exodus is the book of redemption. Delivered out of Egyptian bondage, the newly constituted nation is endowed with the law, priesthood, and sacrificial system, providing for the worship and regulation of a redeemed people.

Notes and Audio Lessons


Exodus is the second book of the Pentateuch. It means “departure” or “outgoing.” This name was adopted in the Latin translation, and then passed into other languages. The ancient Hebrews, in accordance with their practice of designating the holy books from one or more of the opening words, called it “we ’elleh shemot” (“and these are the names”), or simply “shemot”, (“names” i.e., “and these are the names”; Exodus 19:1; Hebrews 11:22).


The Book of Exodus contains:

1. An account of the increase and growth of the Israelites in Egypt (Exodus 1).
2. Preparations for their departure out of Egypt (Exodus 2:1-12:36).
3. Their journeyings from Egypt to Sinai (Exodus 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” (Exodus 19:3; Exodus 40:1-38).

Time Period

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 (Exodus 12:40) are to be computed from the time of the promises made to Abraham (Galatians 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.


Whereas Genesis is the book of origins, Exodus is the book of redemption. Delivered out of Egyptian bondage, the newly constituted nation is endowed with the law, priesthood, and sacrificial system, providing for the worship and regulation of a redeemed people.

Christian Application

The book of Exodus deals with the great event of the redemption from Egypt. It typifies our redemption and traces the constitution of Jacob’s descendants as a theocratic nation at Mount Sinai. God, who until this time had been related to the Israelites only through the Abrahamic covenant, now brings Himself in relationship to them nationally through redemption. As a people selected to bring forth the promised Redeemer, they are put under the Mosaic covenant. The divine Presence resides among them under the cloud of glory. The constitution, Tabernacle, priesthood, and sacrificial system are minutely typical of the Person and work of Christ (note the message of the book of Hebrews). Exodus is preeminently the book of redemption.

Critical View

As in the case with Genesis and the rest of the Pentateuch, higher critics deny the Mosaic authorship and authenticity of Exodus, claiming that the book is a compilation of J, E, and P sources. This partitionist theory, however, is constructed upon shaky presuppositions involving false literary criteria and philosophic hypotheses, notably the erroneous notion that the development of Israel and Israel’s institutions were in no way different from the progressive, evolutionary development of other peoples. Sound views of inspiration must reject the essential claims of this so-called Graf-Keunen-Wellhausen theory of pentateuchal criticism as being incompatible with the claims of the Pentateuch itself and its foundational place in the whole scheme of divine revelation and redemptive history.

Conservative View

The book of Exodus is historical and from the time of Moses, who is its author. As with the other books of the Pentateuch, the great lawgiver may have used ancient sources, oral or written, but the Pentateuch bears the unmistakable hand of a one-author unity and bears the impress everywhere—in miracle, prophecy, type, and symbol—of divine inspiration, historicity, and authenticity.

Information Sources:

  • Illustrated Bible Dictionary
  • The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary

Notes and Audio Lessons

Click on the links below to access notes and audio lessons on the book of Exodus.


Lesson Notes: Exodus notes

  • Ex. 1:1-22
  • Ex. 2:1-10
  • Ex. 2:11-25
  • Exodus 3: God Commissions Moses" href="http://servantsclass.org/2011/08/29/exodus-3-god-commissions-moses/">Ex. 3:1-22
  • Exodus 4: Moses Objects to God’s Call" href="http://servantsclass.org/2011/08/30/ex-4-moses-objects-to-gods-call/">Ex. 4:1-31
  • Exodus 5: Moses Confronts Pharoah" href="http://servantsclass.org/2011/08/31/ex-5-moses-confronts-pharoah/">Ex. 5:1-23
  • Exodus 6: God Answers Moses’ Prayer" href="http://servantsclass.org/2011/09/01/ex-6-god-answers-moses-prayer/">Ex. 6:1-30
  • Exodus 7: Moses Returns to Pharoah" href="http://servantsclass.org/2011/09/02/ex-7-moses-returns-to-pharoah/">Ex. 7:1-25
  • Exodus 8: The Plagues Continue" href="http://servantsclass.org/2011/09/05/exodus-8-the-plagues-continue/">Ex. 8:1-32
  • Exodus 9: Three More Plagues" href="http://servantsclass.org/2011/09/06/exodus-9-three-more-plagues/">Ex. 9:1-35
  • Exodus 10: Locusts and Darkness" href="http://servantsclass.org/2011/09/07/exodus-10-locusts-and-darkness/">Ex. 10:1-29
  • Exodus 11-12a: The Passover" href="http://servantsclass.org/2011/09/08/exodus-11-12a-the-passover/">Ex. 11:1-12:8
  • Exodus 12b: Exodus From Egypt" href="http://servantsclass.org/2011/09/09/exodus-12b-exodus-from-egypt/">Ex. 12:9-51
  • Exodus 13: Into the Wilderness" href="http://servantsclass.org/2011/09/12/exodus-13-out-of-slavery-into-the-wilderness/">Ex. 13:1-22
  • Exodus 14: Pharaoh Pursues Israelites" href="http://servantsclass.org/2011/09/13/exodus-14-pharaoh-pursues-israelites/">Ex. 14:1-31
  • Ex. 15:1-27
  • Ex. 16:1-36
  • Ex. 17:1-16
  • Exodus 18: Jethro’s Advice to Moses" href="http://servantsclass.org/2011/09/19/exodus-18-jethros-advice-to-moses/">Ex. 18:1-27
  • Exodus 19: God’s Law at Mount Sinai" href="http://servantsclass.org/2011/09/20/exodus-19-gods-law-at-mount-sinai/">Ex. 19:1-25
  • Exodus 20a: The Ten Commandments" href="http://servantsclass.org/2011/09/21/exodus-20a-ten-commandments/">Ex. 20:1-7
  • Exodus 20b: Commandments Continued" href="http://servantsclass.org/2011/09/22/exodus-20b-commandments-continued/">Ex. 20:8-26
  • Exodus 21-22: Social Legislation" href="http://servantsclass.org/2011/09/23/exodus-21-22-social-legislation/">Ex. 21:1-25
  • Exodus 21-22: Social Legislation" href="http://servantsclass.org/2011/09/23/exodus-21-22-social-legislation/">Ex. 22:1-25
  • Ex. 23:1-33
  • Ex. 24:1-18
  • Ex. 25:1-22
  • Ex. 25:22-40
  • Ex. 26:1-27:21
  • Ex. 28:1-43
  • Ex. 29:1-30:6
  • Ex. 30:7-38
  • Ex. 31:1-17
  • Ex. 32:1-35
  • Ex. 33:1-23
  • Ex. 34:1-35:35
  • Ex. 36:1-37:29
  • Ex. 38:1-27
  • Ex. 39:1-40:38

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