Exodus


Part of Chronological Bible Study more Here if you wish to follow along 
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These are the names of the sons of Israel (that is, Jacob) who moved to Egypt with their father, each with his family:  Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, 
Zebulun, Benjamin,  Dan, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher.  In all, Jacob had seventy descendants in Egypt, including Joseph, who was already there.  In time, Joseph and all of his brothers died, ending that entire generation.  But their descendants, the Israelites, had many children and grandchildren. In fact, they multiplied so greatly that they became extremely powerful and filled the land.

Summary of the Book of Exodus~~

The Israelites prosper in Egypt.  When Joseph dies, a new Pharaoh sees the Hebrews as a threat and makes them all slaves.  God hears the Israelites' groanings and raises up Moses as their deliverer. God speaks through a burning bush and Moses reluctantly agrees to demand the Israelites' release from Pharaoh.  God breaks Pharaohs will by sending 10 plagues on Egypt, ending with death of every firstborn child of the Egyptians. Pharaoh finally allows the Israelites to leave, God parts the Red Sea for the people in pursuit. At Mount Sinai, God delivers the Ten Commandments, rules for worship and the Laws to change the family into a nation.
When Moses delays on the mountain, the people begin to worship a golden calf, bringing a plague upon themselves.  Moses returns to restore order. The Book ends with Gods people continuing their journey to the 'promised land' of Canann, with God following by day 'pillar of cloud' and night 'pillar of fire'.

What does God teach in The book of Exodus?

The story of redemption is clear as God rescues His people from their slavery in Egypt.  In the same way, Jesus breaks our bonds of Sin. (Heb 2:14-15)
Moses revealed God’s methods of providing salvation in Exodus.
His method of dealing with the whole human race was to create a pattern in the nation of Israel of how glorious it can be to live under the government of the LORD. His method of dealing with Israel was by revealing Himself in power and glory. God intended this revelation to produce the reaction of obedience  and worship in the Israelites. God’s method of dealing with individuals was by providing opportunities to obey and experience blessing or to disobey and experience chastisement.
God’s purposes as revealed in Exodus are continually moving forward. People’s actions such as disobedience, apostasy, and rebellion affect God’s purposes, but they never frustrate them.  Man’s actions in Exodus fail apart from God’s grace. This fact demonstrates that in both his nature and practice man is a congenital sinner.
God’s grace in choosing Israel and blessing her with deliverance, adoption, and His abiding presence stands out clearly in Exodus, especially in view of Israel’s ingratitude and rebelliousness.
The central idea is that God faithfully fulfills His covenant promises in spite of severe and life-threatening opposition. Even Pharaoh, the most powerful man on earth could do nothing to thwart God’s purpose. In fact, God actually used Pharaoh’s opposition as a means of carrying out His promises. It is interesting to note that the author has placed two quite similar narratives on either side of his lengthy treatment of the Exodus and wilderness wanderings.
The two narratives are Exodus 1—2, the Egyptian king’s attempt to suppress Israel, and Numbers 22—24, the Moabite king’s attempt to suppress Israel. Both narratives focus on the futility of the nations’ attempts to thwart God’s plan to bless the seed of Abraham ...


Details of the Book of Exodus

The more the Egyptians oppressed them, the more the Israelites multiplied and spread, and the more alarmed the Egyptians became. So the Egyptians worked the people of Israel without mercy. They made their lives bitter, forcing them to mix mortar and make bricks and do all the work in the fields. They were ruthless in all their demands. Then Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, gave this order to the Hebrew midwives, “When you help the Hebrew women as they give birth, watch as they deliver. If the baby is a boy, kill him; if it is a girl, let her live.” 
But because the midwives feared God, they refused to obey the king’s orders. They allowed the boys to live, too.
God was good to the midwives, and the Israelites continued to multiply, growing more and more powerful. And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families of their own.
Then Pharaoh gave this order to all his people: “Throw every newborn Hebrew boy into the Nile River. But you may let the girls live.”

The deliverer birth and education (Moses)
A woman became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She saw that he was a special baby and kept him hidden for three months. But when she could no longer hide him, she got a basket made of papyrus reeds and waterproofed it with tar and pitch. She put the baby in the basket and laid it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile River.  5 Soon Pharaoh’s daughter came down to bathe in the river, and her attendants walked along the riverbank. When the princess saw the basket among the reeds, she sent her maid to get it for her. When the princess opened it, she saw the baby. The little boy was crying, and she felt sorry for him.
“This must be one of the Hebrew children,” she said.  Then the baby’s sister approached the princess. “Should I go and find one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?” she asked. “Yes, do!” the princess replied. So the girl went and called the baby’s mother. “Take this baby and nurse him for me,” the princess told the baby’s mother. “I will pay you for your help.” So the woman took her baby home and nursed him.
 Later, when the boy was older, his mother brought him back to Pharaoh’s daughter, who adopted him as her own son. The princess named him Moses, for she explained, “I lifted him out of the water.” Moses was then raised in the Pharaohs' Palace.

Moses Escapes to Midian
Many years later, when Moses had grown up, he went out to visit his own people, the Hebrews, and he saw how hard they were forced to work. During his visit, he saw an Egyptian beating one of his fellow Hebrews. After looking in all directions to make sure no one was watching, Moses killed the Egyptian and hid the body in the sand.
Moses’ desire to help his brethren was admirable, but his methods were unacceptable.  He trusted in his own ability to liberate the Israelites and sought to bring this about by natural means. He even resorted to sinful means rather than waiting for God to bestow it on him.
“. . . there is in the [Hebrew] text no suggestion that Moses meant to kill the Egyptian, any more than that the Egyptian or the Hebrew man was attempting to kill his adversary.”
God had to teach Moses that he must not trust in his own ability but rely on God’s strategy and strength and obey His commands. God drove Moses out of Egypt to the desert of Midian where He proceeded to teach His servant these lessons.

God commands all who trust Him to separate from the world system that opposes and excludes Him (Rom. 12:2)This may or may not involve physical separation, depending on God’s will. For Moses it involved physical separation, but for Joseph and Daniel it did not. The will of God is not the same for everyone in this respect.

While in the desert of Midian, Moses is sitting by the well, here come Reuel's seven daughters to water their flocks. Under the Semitic system, the men did not water their flocks. That was woman's work. Children lead the flocks around and the women did the watering. Now Moses is a man. He is a Semite, and he is an Egyptian to whom shepherds are "loathsome" is the word in the Hebrew.
How badly does he want acceptance? When shepherds come out and chase away Reuel's daughters, out steps this heavily armed, well trained Egyptian warrior who has proven himself in battle, and he chases those shepherds up one side of the Sinai and down the other. Then what does the great prince of Egypt do? Woman's work. He wants to be accepted so badly that he not only does the work of a loathsome shepherd but also "woman's work." He pours out the water. All his life he has had this prejudice built into him, and now here he is doing shepherd's work, woman's work.
At this point he will do anything to be accepted. He is pretty low. That is where God wants him, and that is where God can use him. So when Reuel invites him to come and eat, he does.
In time, Reuel gave Moses his daughter Zipporah to be his wife.
Years passed, and the king of Egypt died. But the Israelites continued to groan under their burden of slavery. They cried out for help, and their cry rose up to God. God heard their groaning, and he remembered his covenant promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He looked down on the people of Israel and knew it was time to act.
This is another of the many references in Scripture that indicate that prayer affects some of God’s actions. God graciously and sovereignty used Moses’ sin to bring ultimate blessing for His chosen people (cf. Rom. 5:20). This is important to observe as we seek to understand God’s ways.

God Calls Moses
Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb.  And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.  And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I.
God was calling him to service.  He wanted Moses to be the leader of the Israelites and take them away from being slaves in Egypt to serve God in the Promised Land.  Moses made excuse after excuse but finally he realized he could not turn down God's call to serve him.
The LORD showed him in many ways the miracle to show his people and they shall believe Moses, turning his rod into a snake , turning his hand white as snow then back to flesh again
 And it shall come to pass, if they will not believe thee, neither hearken to the voice of the first sign, that they will believe the voice of the latter sign. And it shall come to pass, if they will not believe also these two signs, neither hearken unto thy voice, that thou shalt take of the water of the river, and pour it upon the dry land: and the water which thou takest out of the river shall become blood upon the dry land.
 As one last effort to make an excuse, he asked God what his name was so he could tell the children of Israel who it was that called him.  God answered with a word we now call Jehovah (from YAHWEH), which means I AM THAT I AM.  This name means that God has lived forever; he is God because he is God and that's it. 

As Christians we are called to serve God also.  We can make excuses and disappoint God, or we can do all we can to serve Him.  Some Christians are called into special areas of work for God and become pastors or missionaries.  But what I'm speaking about right now is not that. I'm speaking about EVERY Christian. Every Christian is called by God to serve him at school, work, or play.  We can serve God no matter where he places us.

As one last effort to make an excuse, he asked God what his name was so he could tell the children of Israel who it was that called him.  God answered with a word we now call Jehovah (from YAHWEH), which means I AM THAT I AM.  This name means that God has lived forever; he is God because he is God and that's it. 
  Note: “I am that I am” means “God will reveal Himself in His actions through history.” "I am who is". "To be'", "Supreme Being".
Other translations are, “I will be what I will be,” “I am the existing One,” and “I cause to be what comes to pass.” One writer paraphrased God’s answer, “It is I who am with you.” 
“The answer Moses receives is not, by any stretch of the imagination, a name. It is an assertion of authority, a confession of an essential reality, and thus an entirely appropriate response to the question Moses poses.”
Moses had asked, “Who am I?” implying his complete inadequacy for his calling. God replied, “I am who I am!” implying His complete adequacy. The issue was not who Moses was but who God is.  Later, Pharaoh would say, “Who is the LORD?", and God’s response was, “I am the LORD!”

Now the LORD had said to Aaron, “Go out into the wilderness to meet Moses.” So Aaron went and met Moses at the mountain of God, and he embraced him.  Moses then told Aaron everything the LORD had commanded him to say. And he told him about the miraculous signs the LORD had commanded him to perform. Then Moses and Aaron returned to Egypt and called all the elders of Israel together.  Aaron told them everything the LORD had told Moses, and Moses performed the miraculous signs as they watched. 
Then the people of Israel were convinced that the LORD had sent Moses and Aaron. When they heard that the LORD was concerned about them and had seen their misery, they bowed down and worshiped.

Afterward Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said, “Thus says the Lord,  the God of Israel, ‘Release my people so that they may hold a pilgrim feast  to me in the desert.’” (5:2) But Pharaoh said, “Who is the LORD that  I should obey him by releasing Israel? I do not know the LORD, and I will not release Israel!” (5:3) And they said, “The God of the Hebrews has met with us. Let us go a three-day journey into the desert so that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God, so that he does not strike us with plague or the sword.” (5:4) The king of Egypt said to them, “Moses and Aaron, why do you cause the people to refrain from their work? Return to your labor!” (5:5) Pharaoh was thinking, “The people of the land are now many, and you are giving them rest from their labor.” 
Pharaoh then punished those by not providing the straw for working and increased the work load.
Then Moses went back to the Lord and protested, “Why have you brought all this trouble on your own people, Lord? Why did you send me? Ever since I came to Pharaoh as your spokesman, he has been even more brutal to your people. And you have done nothing to rescue them!”
(6:1) Then the LORD said to Moses, “Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh, for compelled by my strong hand he will release them, and by my strong hand he will drive them out of his land.” 

10 Plagues in Egypt
1. Water to Blood
7:19 And the LORD spake unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Take thy rod, and stretch out thine hand upon the waters of Egypt, upon their streams, upon their rivers, and upon their ponds, and upon all their pools of water, that they may become blood; and that there may be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, both in vessels of wood, and in vessels of stone.
2. Frogs
8:2 And if thou refuse to let them go, behold, I will smite all thy borders with frogs: 8:3 And the river shall bring forth frogs abundantly, which shall go up and come into thine house, and into thy bedchamber, and upon thy bed, and into the house of thy servants, and upon thy people, and into thine ovens, and into thy kneading troughs: 8:4 And the frogs shall come up both on thee, and upon thy people, and upon all thy servants.
3. Gnats or Lice
8:16 And the LORD said unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Stretch out thy rod, and smite the dust of the land, that it may become lice throughout all the land of Egypt.
4. Flies
8:21 Else, if thou wilt not let my people go, behold, I will send swarms of flies upon thee, and upon thy servants, and upon thy people, and into thy houses: and the houses of the Egyptians shall be full of swarms of flies, and also the ground whereon they are.
5. Livestock Diseased
9:3 Behold, the hand of the LORD is upon thy cattle which is in the field, upon the horses, upon the asses, upon the camels, upon the oxen, and upon the sheep: there shall be a very grievous murrain.
6. Boils
9:8 And the LORD said unto Moses and unto Aaron, Take to you handfuls of ashes of the furnace, and let Moses sprinkle it toward the heaven in the sight of Pharaoh. 9:9 And it shall become small dust in all the land of Egypt, and shall be a boil breaking forth with blains upon man, and upon beast, throughout all the land of Egypt.
7. Thunder and Hail
9:18 Behold, to morrow about this time I will cause it to rain a very grievous hail, such as hath not been in Egypt since the foundation thereof even until now.
8. Locusts
10:4 Else, if thou refuse to let my people go, behold, tomorrow will I bring the locusts into thy coast:10:5 And they shall cover the face of the earth, that one cannot be able to see the earth: and they shall eat the residue of that which is escaped, which remaineth unto you from the hail, and shall eat every tree which groweth for you out of the field.
9. Darkness
10:21 And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even darkness which may be felt. 10:22 And Moses stretched forth his hand toward heaven; and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days
10. Death of the Firstborn
11:4 And Moses said, Thus saith the LORD, About midnight will I go out into the midst of Egypt: 11:5 And all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the first born of Pharaoh that sitteth upon his throne, even unto the firstborn of the maidservant that is behind the mill; and all the firstborn of beasts.

Note: Chapter 12 details the culmination of the ten plagues on Egypt and the beginning of the actual deliverance from bondage. Moreover, the celebration of this festival of Passover was to become a central part of the holy calendar of Israel.

The First Passover
In order to encourage the Pharaoh to free the Israelites, God intended to kill the first-born of both man and beast. To protect themselves, the Israelites were told to mark their dwellings with lamb's blood so that God could identify and "pass over" their homes The Pharaoh was unconvinced and refused to free the Jewish slaves until the last plague
When the Pharaoh finally agreed to freedom, the Israelites fled. The LORD gives instructions for the Passover sacrifices and what one should wear, Etc..
 While the Israelites were still in the land of Egypt, the Lord gave the following instructions to Moses and Aaron: From now on, this month will be the first month of the year for you. Announce to the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each family must choose a lamb or a young goat for a sacrifice, one animal for each household. The animal you select must be a one-year-old male, either a sheep or a goat, with no defects.
Take special care of this chosen animal until the evening of the fourteenth day of this first month. Then the whole assembly of the community of Israel must slaughter their lamb or young goat at twilight. “These are your instructions for eating this meal: Be fully dressed, wear your sandals, and carry your walking stick in your hand. Eat the meal with urgency, for this is the Lord’s Passover.  On that night I will pass through the land of Egypt and strike down every firstborn son and firstborn male animal in the land of Egypt. I will execute judgment against all the gods of Egypt, for I am the Lord! But the blood on your doorposts will serve as a sign, marking he houses where you are staying. When I see the blood, I will pass over you. This plague of death will not touch you when I strike the land of Egypt.
 This is a day to remember. Each year, from generation to generation, you must celebrate it as a special festival to the Lord. This is a law for all time. For seven days the bread you eat must be made without yeast. On the first day of the festival, remove every trace of yeast from your homes. Anyone who eats bread made with yeast during the seven days of the festival will be cut off from the community of Israel. On the first day of the festival and again on the seventh day, all the people must observe an official day for holy assembly. No work of any kind may be done on these days except in the preparation of food. Celebrate this Festival of Unleavened Bread, for it will remind you that I brought your forces out of the land of Egypt on this very day. This festival will be a permanent law for you; celebrate this day from generation to generation.



Parting of the Red Sea
When Pharaoh released the people, God did not lead them by the way to the land of the Philistines. God brought the people around by the way of the desert to the Red Sea, and the Israelites went up from the land of Egypt prepared for battle.
As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the LORD. Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.Then the LORD said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground… The Egyptians will know that I am the LORD when I gain glory through Pharaoh, his chariots and his horsemen.”  Then the angel of God, who had been traveling in front of Israel’s army, withdrew and went behind them. The pillar of cloud also moved from in front and stood behind them, coming between the armies of Egypt and Israel. Throughout the night the cloud brought darkness to the one side and light to the other side; so neither went near the other all night long.  Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the LORD drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided, and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left.
The Egyptians pursued them, and all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots and horsemen followed them into the sea. During the last watch of the night the LORD looked down from the pillar of fire and cloud at the Egyptian army and threw it into confusion. Then the LORD said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea so that the waters may flow back over the Egyptians and their chariots and horsemen.” The Egyptians were fleeing toward it, and the LORD swept them into the sea. The water flowed back and covered the chariots and horsemen—the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed the Israelites into the sea. Not one of them survived. That day the LORD saved Israel from the hands of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians lying dead on the shore. And when the Israelites saw the great power the LORD displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the LORD and put their trust in him and in Moses his servant.
Every evening God caused a huge flock of birds called quail to fly just above the ground.  The people could catch them and eat them.  In the morning after the dew was gone, small white things covered the ground.  The people did not know what it was so they called it “manna.”  In their language “Manna” means “what is it?”  The manna was like bread. God used the quail and manna to feed the Jews for many years.

Now begins the most sublime section in the whole Book. The theme of this section is supremely significant, playing a role of decisive importance in the history of Israel and of humanity as a whole. At Sinai, Israel received the law and the tabernacle. The law facilitated the obedience of God’s redeemed people, and the tabernacle facilitated their worship. Thus the law and the tabernacle deal with the two major expressions of the faith of the people redeemed by the grace and power of God: obedience and worship.


Israel at Sinai and the Ten Commandments
God’s promise to Israel here goes beyond what He had promised Abraham. If Israel would be obedient to God, He would do three things for the nation . Israel would become God’s special treasure  Israel would become a kingdom of priests  Israel would become a holy nation. In short, Israel could have become a testimony to the whole world of how glorious it can be to live under the government of God. The people experienced these blessings only partially because their obedience was partial.


And God spake all these words, saying,

I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity (sin) of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
 Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it. (it is Holy)
 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
 Thou shalt not kill.
 Thou shalt not commit adultery.
 Thou shalt not steal.
 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house; thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, or his manservant, or his maidservant, or his ox, or his ass, or any thing that is thy neighbor’s.



Further laws regarding servants, liability, personal protection,  justice and personal property, festivals, and specific instructions on how the tabernacle should be constructed & with what materials were given. The LORD also gave instructions on the making of the Ark of the Covenant. Offerings and sacrifices.
God did not just condemn forms of worship that were inappropriate, but He instructed the Israelites positively how they were to worship Him. Those who worship this holy God must preserve holiness in the way they worship—they worship where he permits, in the manner he prescribes, and with the blessings he promises.
Finally God was dwelling among His people. His redemption of them was now complete. He had liberated them from bondage in Egypt and adopted them as His special treasure. He had made a covenant with them and now blessed them with His presence. He would guide them from then on “throughout all their journeys".  The descent of God to take up residence in the midst of His people is therefore a fitting climax with which this book closes.

Many Blessings to you,
Tracy

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