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An Overview of Exodus

Exodus is the second book written by Moses and makes the second book in the Pentateuch. It is believed that Moses wrote Exodus between 1445 and 1405 B.C. Where the theme of the book of Genesis is beginnings, the theme in Exodus is redemption. Exodus continues the account that began in Genesis and picks up after the death of Joseph and introduces Moses. The children of Israel have grown into a mighty nation, yet they are enslaved in Egypt and in need of a redeemer. Exodus serves two purposes. In one sense, it is the literal need for a savior, and in the second, it is a type and shadow of the coming Messiah that will save all people from their sins. In both purposes, God is viewed as the deliverer and redeemer. Many read Exodus and view Moses as savior, but the account is one that points to God as savior and Moses as the instrument in which he works through.

Though most theologians credit Moses with authoring Exodus, and there are other references in the Bible that point to Moses as the author, some scholars believe Moses did not pen the book. The JEDP theory indicates that some scholars believe that four writers authored the first five books of the Bible or the Pentateuch. The belief stems from the fact that there are different names for God used in the Pentateuch. Other scholars argue that Exodus was written from a firsthand point of view and that there is significant evidence from other references that Moses is the author.

There are 40 chapters in Exodus and those who wish to read the book in one month can do so easily. The book chronicles Moses' role as leader and displays God’s power and glory through a wide array of miraculous encounters. It was in Exodus that Moses was called to lead the children of Israel, saw the burning bush, that the Ten Commandments were given, the Red Sea was parted, and where God delivered the children of Israel out of Egypt. Exodus also illustrates God’s longing to reveal Himself to the children of Israel and He continually displayed His power and glory. Exodus also shows the stubbornness of God's chosen people as they spent 40 years wandering in the wilderness.

One extremely important type and shadow of the Messiah is seen in the tabernacle. Where the first half of Exodus focused on leading the Hebrew nation out of Egypt, the second half focuses on how the children of Israel will behave and worship God. The book of Exodus begins with Israel needing deliverance and it ends with the children of Israel as a free nation, and the assurance of the Promised Land. It also concludes with the completion of the tabernacle that God fills with His glory.

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