Exodus Book of The Bible

The Book of Exodus

Book of Exodus

photo by Brendan Biele

The second among the 24 Hebrew Bible Tanakh books, Exodus focuses on the exile of the Israelites led by the great Moses. Apart from the biblical story that has attracted readers of almost all religious sects; the Exodus occupies a special position because of the prophecies and preaching of the great messiah. The word “Exodus” is derived from a Greek word that means “going out”. The book holds significance because of the Mosaic Covenant that it conveys. It is an important part of the Old Testament and a much coveted religious book for both the Christians and the Jews.

The author of the book is not known although many think that Moses had written it. Like any religious book, the records or the events as narrated in the book has no historical evidence but is definitely guided by a Divine Providence. The book reverberates with themes of salvation where Moses after being rescued accidentally by the Egyptian Queen seeks salvation for the cursed Israelite race from the hands of the Egyptians after many years. Consequently the book echoes with the theme of Theophany or the divine manifestation where the great Moses encounters the father of Israelites that is Abraham in the Mount Sinai. After meeting God, he delivers the coveted “Sinaitic Covenant”, which is referred as the Old Covenant by the Christians. Finally Exodus expounds the theory of “Election of Israel” which proclaims the Israelites as the first descendants of God.

Despite being a very revered biblical book, the ideas brought forth in Exodus have often been criticized as being biased. There have also been doubts about the huge exodus of the Israelites led by Moses through the huge Red Sea. Whatever said, the book of Exodus has enthralled not only biblical researchers and historians but also writers and filmmakers. In fact, the novel Exodus written by Leon Uris also builds up on the same biblical theme where the Jewish Israelites face displacement.

The book has a diptych structure where the story is broken into two major parts. The first part centers round the birth and youth of Moses and his consequent emergence as the Messiah much like Christ. The second part is about the covenants that he lays down for his disciples often referred to as the “Ten Commandments’.

The story begins with Egypt’s Pharaoh fearful of the growing Israelite population that could outnumber his race, orders that all newborn boys be thrown into the Nile. A Levite woman then saves her baby by setting him free on the river Nile in an ark, Moses is thus saved by the Pharaoh’s daughter and Moses unaware of his origins grows up as a Prince. But as prophecy would prove, he comes to know about his past. After marrying Jethros daughter he seeks out for the freedom of his people and finding God in a burning bush. Moses then asks God his name at which point God replies with: “I AM that I AM.” God then tells Moses to return to Egypt and lead the Hebrews into Canaan, the Promised Land that God had promised to Abraham.

Although, he peacefully seeks freedom and justice for his people, the Pharaoh denies it. As Exodus narrates, Egypt is befallen with omens like a river of blood, a lot of frogs, and the death of first-born sons. But the Pharaoh remains undeterred and he chases the Israelites led by Moses with his army. It is at this juncture that Red Sea parts to make way for the messiah and his disciples. Finally Moses relieves his people from slavery and guides him on the path of God.