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The Book of Exodus

The Book of Exodus

I.       Introduction:

A.     The Book of Exodus describes how the people of Israel were delivered from slavery in the land of Egypt and how they traveled in the wilderness in preparing to enter the land of Canaan.  Their deliverance signifies the redemption of believers today through the grace of God to depart from the domains of sins and Satan, and to begin the journey to heaven.

B.     The main theme in the book is the deliverance of God.  It was written by Moses and was completed in approximately 1400 B.C.  The book records the suffering of chosen people in Egypt, the exodus of the people from Egypt with the guidance of Moses, the covenant in Mount Sinai, and the establishment of laws and regulation, such as the building of the tabernacle.

C.     Events and itinerary of the people from Egypt, through the wilderness, to the land of Canaan:

D.     Journey begins from Goshen (Ex 12:37) ’ Succoth (13:20) ’ Etham ’ Pi Hahiroth (14:1-2) ’ crossing the Red Sea ’ Wilderness of ShurMarahElim (15:22-27) ’ Wilderness of Sin, people ate quails and manna (16:1) ’ Rephidim, water from the rock, victory over the Amalekites, and the advice of Jethro ’ Mount Sinai, the commandments and the covenant, making the golden calf, building the tabernacle (19:1-2) ’ Wilderness of Paran, Taberah and Kibroth Hattaavah (Num 11:1-3, 34) ’ Hazeroth, Miriam’s leprosy (Num 12:1,10) ’ Kadesh, spies sent into Canaan, Korah’s rebellion, burning of red heifer, and budding of Aaron’s rod (Num 13:25-26; 17:8-9) ’ Wilderness of Zin, death of Miriam, water of Meribah ’ Mount Hor, death of Aaron, fiery serpents ’ going around Edom, defeating two kings ’ Plains of Moab, Balaam, incident in Shittim, the census, Joshua appointed next leader, death of Moses ’ Joshua guided the people over the Jordan ’ enter land of Canaan.

E.     Main contents in the Book of Exodus

1.        Chosen people living in Egypt, they multiplied, and were persecuted (1)

2.        Moses, the deliverer, is born, his training, and God calling (2-5)

3.        Moses fighting for the entire exodus of the people, the ten plagues, and the Passover (6-12)

4.        People crossing the Red Sea (13-15:21)

5.        Training in the wilderness - spiritual food, drink, and warfare (15:22-18, 32)

6.        Covenant of Mount Sinai - receiving the Commandments, laws, and ordinances (19-24)

7.        Instruction for building the tabernacle (25-31)

8.        The golden calf (32-34)

9.        Building of the tabernacle (35-40)

II.    Contents

A.     God’s deliverance (1-18)

1.        Chosen people’s temporary dwelling in Egypt, their increase in numbers, and their enslavement (1)

2.        Preparing for deliverance (2:1-4:26)

 a.      Moses’ birth and training (2:1-22)

 b.      God’s calling (3:1-4:26)

3.        Beginning of leadership (4:27-7:5)

 a.      Help of Aaron (4:27-31)

 b.      Pharaoh’s resistance and ignorance (5:1-23)

 c.      God’s repeats His promise (6:1-7:5)

4.        Ten plagues and final deliverance (7:6-11:10)

 a.      Sign of authority (7:6-13)

 b.      Ten plagues (7:14- ch.11)

5.        The Passover (12:1-28)

6.        The exodus from Egypt (12:29-51)

7.        First-borns are sanctified (13:1-16)

8.        Crossing the Red Sea (13:17-15:21)

9.        Journey to Mount Sinai (15:22-18:27)

 a.      Water in Marah (15:22-18:27)

 b.      Manna and quails (16)

 c.      Water from the rock in Mirabah  (17:1-7)

 d.      Battle against Amalekites (17:8-16)

 e.      Advice of Jethro (18)

B.     The covenant of Sinai (19-24)

1.        God’s decree(19)

2.        Ten commandments (20)

3.        People’s reply (20:18-21)

4.        Laws given to Moses (20:22-23:33)

 a.      Introduction (20:22-26)

 b.      Law of slaves (21:1-11)

 c.      Law of murder (21:12-17)

 d.      Law of injury (21:18-32)

 e.      Law of financial loss (21:33-22:15)

 f.       Law of society (22:16-31)

 g.      Law of justice (23:1-9)

 h.      Law of the feasts (23:10-19)

 i.        Conclusion (23:20-33)

 j.        Effectiveness of the Law ( 24)

C.     Laws of Worship (25-40)

1.        Instruction for building the tabernacle (25-31)

2.        A sinful worship (32-34)

 a.      Golden calf (32:1-29)

 b.      Moses’ prayer of intercession (32:30-35)

 c.      God’s anger and Moses’ prayer (33)

 d.      Remake the tablets of commandments (34)

3.        Building of the tabernacle (35-40)

III. Essential  Teachings

A.     The Chosen People and Egypt

1.        Chosen people (Deut 14:2; Num 23:9)

 a.      In the Old Testament, they are Abraham’s descendants, the circumcised (Ps 105:42-43; Neh 9:7-8; Gen 17:9-14)

 b.      In the New Testament, they are those who have been baptized into Christ (Col 3:12; Rev 5:9-10; Gal 3:26-29)

2.        Egypt, south of Canaan, also named “land of gold” (Gen 15:18; Ps 105:23)

 a.      Filled with sins (Gen 39:7-12; Ref.: Rev 11:8)

 b.      Filled with idols (Ezek 20:7-8; Jer 43:12-13)

 c.      Famous for the pyramid (Ref.: Mt 23:27-28; Eph 2:1-3)

 d.      Persecuted God’s people (Ex 1:8, 14-22)

3.        The chosen people should not go to Egypt

 a.      Consequence of Abraham’s visit to Egypt (Gen 12:10-20; 13:1-13; 16:1-6; 21:8-14)

 b.      Isaac obeyed, did not go to Egypt, and reaped hundred folds (Gen 26:1-13; Ps 66:10-12)

 c.      Jacob’s family temporarily lived in Egypt, but were not buried there (Gen 46:1-7; 47:5-6, 29-31)

 d.      Joseph foresaw the return to Canaan (Gen 50:24-26; Ex 13:19)

 e.      Do not indulge in Egypt (Num 11:4-6, 31-34; 14:4, 26-35; Deut 17:16; Jer 42:13-17; 44:11-14; Ref.: 1 Jn 2:15-17)

B.     Savior of Israelites - Moses

1.        Born in danger (2:1-4)

 a.      Born in the time of Pharaoh’s killing of Jewish infants (1:8-22)

 b.      His parents hide him and nourished him by faith (Heb 11:23)

 c.      Became son of Pharaoh’s daughter by God’s miraculous arrangement (2:5-10)

2.        Education in the palace

 a.      Learned all the knowledge, speech, and skills of Egypt (Acts 7:22)

 b.      Saw the suffering of his people (Acts 7:23-24)

3.        Training in the wilderness

 a.      Wanted to save the people by his own strength (2:14-15)

 b.      Lived in Median for 40 years (2:15, 22)

 c.      Trained in humility, perseverance, and love (Num 12:3; Heb 3:5)

4.        Accepting God’s calling to save the people from Egypt

 a.      Called by God in the burning bush (3:5-4:9)

 b.      Tried to withdraw himself from God’s calling (4:10-13)

 c.      Obeyed God’s instructions

5.        Fighting for the Israelites’ departure from Egypt

 a.      Do not worship God in Egypt (8:25-26; Ref.: 2 Tim 2:19)

 b.      Depart far away Egypt (8:28; 2 Cor 6:14-18)

 c.      All the Israelites must depart from Egypt (10:8-11; Ref.: Gen 7:1; Josh 24:15)

 d.      Nothing will be left behind (10:24-26)

C.     Ten Plagues in Egypt

1.        The purpose

 a.      To punish Pharaoh and the Egyptians (8:19; 10:7)

 b.      For Egyptians and other to know the true God (5:2; 7:5; 14:18)

 c.      To destroy the false gods of Egypt (12:12)

 d.      To spread the name of God and His glory throughout the world (9:15-16; 18:8-11; Josh 2:10; 9:9; 1 Sam 4:8)

 e.      To separate the chosen people (8:22-23; 9:4; 11:7)

 f.       To persuade Pharaoh to let the Israelites leave (7:4)

 g.      For the people to know God better, and remember God’s grace (10:1-2; Ps 71:15-18; 78:4-7)

2.        Contents of the plagues

Water - blood (7 days) 7:14-25 disrupt river gods

Frogs (2 days) 8:1-15 disrupt Egypt’s goddess

Lice (1 day) 8:16-19 disrupt earth gods

Flies (2 days) 8:20-32 separate Israelites

Diseased Livestock’s (2 days)  9:1-7 attack livestock’s

Boils (1 day) 9:8-12 attack humans

Hail (1 day) 9:13-35 harm animals/plants

Locusts (1 day) 10:12-20 consume vegetation

Darkness (3 days) 10:21-29 disrupt sun god

Killing firstborn (1 day) 12:1-36 disrupt all gods

3.        Essence of the ten plagues

 a.      To magnify God’s total authority and power, He is the only one true God (Deut 4:34-35, 39)

 b.      Distinguish Egypt from Goshen, Egyptians from Israelites

 c.      Egyptian magicians can also perform the first two plagues, but they intensity the plagues instead of preventing them, showing their limited powers

 d.      God showed compassion in the plagues - Pharaoh refused the warnings, the plagues came, he repented, the plagues were lifted, but Pharaoh’s heart remain harden, therefore, each plague is intensified (Lk 12:47-48)

D.     The Passover

1.        Origin of the Passover

 a.      Instituted by God before the exodus when He was to kill the firstborn of Egypt (12:1-4)

 b.      On the fourteenth day of the first month

 c.      Slaughter the lamb and place its blood on the doorposts, angels will kill the firstborn of the household without blood on doorposts, Israelites will depart from Egypt while the Egyptians mourn (12:6-7, 23, 29-33)

2.        Meaning of Passover

 a.      God punish Egyptians, and disrupted their false gods (12:12, 29-30)

 b.      To deliver the Israelites from Egypt (12:24-28, 13)

 c.      Beginning of a new life for the chosen people (12:2)

3.        Feast of Passover (12:8)

 a.      The lamb of Passover - roast in fire, not eat it raw or boiled (12:8; Lk 22:19; Jn 6:51-57)

 b.      Unleavened bread - eat for 7 days in Feast of Unleavened Bread (12;15, 19, 20; 1 Cor 5:6-8)

 c.      Bitter herbs - to remember their bitter life of suffering (1:14; 1 Cor 11:23-24, 28)

4.        Method of observing the Passover:  with a belt on the waist, sandals on the feet, and staff in the hand (12:11)

5.        Prefiguration of the Passover

 a.      The lamb prefigures Jesus, a male without blemish, killed on the fourteenth day of first month, roasted, its blood saved the Israelites from death (12:5-13, 46)

 b.      Jesus instituted the Holy Communion on the Passover for us to remember His grace by partaking His flesh and blood (Lk 22:19-20; 1 Cor 10:16-17; 11:23-32)

E.     Crossing the Red Sea

1.        Guidance of pillar of cloud and fire (13:21-22)

 a.      The people began from Rameses with about 600,000 men (12:37, 40-41)

 b.      God guided the people across the Red Sea, in the way of wilderness, not of the Philistines (13:17-18)

 c.      Function of the pillar of cloud and fire (Neh 9:12,19; Ex 14:19-25; Num 12:4-15)

2.        Crossing the Red Sea - a miracle (1 Cor 10:1-2)

 a.      Pharaoh thought the Israelites have lost their way, sent chariots to pursue them (14:1-9; Ref.: Acts 22:16)

 b.      Moses comforted the frightened people, and await God’s grace of salvation (14:13-14; Heb 13:6)

 c.      God parted the waters, the people crossed safely (14:15-22)

 d.      Egyptians chariots perish in the water (14:23, 26-29)

 e.      Israelites escaped the controls of Pharaoh, and proceed towards Canaan (14:30; 1 Cor 10:1-2; Acts 22:16; 26:18; Gal 3:27-29)

 f.       Chosen people experienced God’s deliverance, praises God (15:1-21; Ps 106:11-12; Col 3:16; Eph 5:19; Heb 13:15; Ps 69:30-31)

F.      From Marah to Elim

1.        Israelites traveled three days in the wilderness without finding water; when them came to Marah, they found the water to be bitter, and they complained (15:22-24; Ref.: I Cor 10:10)

2.        Moses prayed to God, and was instructed to cast a tree into the water, and the water became sweet (15:25; Phil 4:6-7; Zech 3:8; 6:12; Jn 2:1-11)

3.        God allowed them to encounter bitter water to test them and train them in leaning to trust in God (15:25-26; Ps 37:25-26; 34:9-10; Rom 5:3; 1 Cor 10:13)

4.        Leaving Marah and arriving at Elim, them found twelve springs of water and seventy palm trees; they camped beside the waters (15:27; Ref.: Jn 7:37-39; Is 44:3; 2 Cor 12:9; Mt 11:28; Jn 16:33; Ps 92:12-14)

5.        The people’s goal is to reach Canaan; the bitterness of Marah and the goodness of Elim will soon pass, they must continue forward towards Canaan (2 Cor 4:17-18; Jn 6:27,68; Phil 3:12-14)

G.     Manna From Heaven - Spiritual Food

1.        From after crossing the Red Sea (on 15th day of 2nd month) until entrance into Canaan, God sent down manna for people to eat (16:13-15, 55; Josh 5:12; Deut 8:3)

2.        Each morning, each person collect according to his/her own needs (16:15-20)

3.        On the sixth day (Friday), collect double portion, because there is no manna on Sabbath (16:21-30)

4.        Manna is shaped like white coriander seed and like a pearl (16:31; Num 11:7); also like small round frosted substance (16:14); it tasted like wafers made with honey (16:31)

5.        When the people complained about manna, they suffer tribulations (Num 21:4-6)

6.        Manna prefigures Christ as the bread of life, coming from heaven (Mk 4:41; Mt 21:10; Jn 6:35, 48-51), and also prefigures the truth (Jn 1:14,17; 6:63)

H.    Water From the Rocks - Spiritual Drink

1.        Arriving in Rephidim, the people have no water to drink, they murmured against Moses and tempted God (17:1-3; Ref.: Lk 16:23-24; Jn 19:28; 4:13; Amos 8:13; Eccl 5:10-12)

2.        God commanded Moses to strike the rock to bring forth water for the people (17:6)

3.        The rock prefigures Jesus (1 Cor 10:4; Ps 18:2), He was stricken for our sake to bring forth the fountain of life - Holy Spirit, whoever partake of it will never thirst again (Jn 4:13-14, 7:37-39; Is 44:3; 55:1-3; Rev 22:17)

4.        Should not strike the rock twice, should not re-crucify Jesus (Num 20:10-13; Heb 6:4-8; Eph 4:30)

I.       Victory Over the Amalekites - Spiritual Warfare

1.        Amalekites are a great enemy of Israelites (Gen 14:7; Exod 17:8-16; Deut 25:17-18; Num 14:45; Judg 3:13; 6:3,33; 1 Sam 15:1-9, 18-20; 2 Sam 8:12; 1 Chr 4:43)

2.        Joshua led the people in battle (17:8-9, 13; Ref.: Jas 4:7; Rom 8:13; 1 Cor 9:27)

3.        Moses raised his hands in prayer on the hill top for the people to be victorious (17:9-12; Rom 7:25; Gal 5:16, 24-25; 2 Cor 12:9; Eph 6:18-19; Phil 4:13)

4.        They battled with the Amalekites throughout generations to come (17:16; Eph 4:26-27; 1 Jn 2:16-17; Jas 4:4, 7-8)

5.        After the victory, they built an altar named Yhwh-Nissi (17:15), giving thanks to God for His power and abidance (1 Thess 5:18; Col 3:17)

J.      The Offering of Jethro

1.        Jethro

 a.      Priest of Midian (3:1; 18:1)

 b.      Moses’ father-in-law (2:16-18; 3:1)

 c.      Related to Hobab and Reuel (2:16,18; Judg 4:11; Num 10:29)

2.        Jethro came to the wilderness to see Moses

 a.      Brought Moses’ wife & children (18:3-4; 2:21-22; Acts 7:29)

 b.      Rejoiced and praised God for delivering the people (18:8-11)

 c.      Offered a burnt offering and sacrifices to God (18:12)

 d.      Sat and ate with the people

3.        Jethro’s advice

 a.      Seeing Moses judge the people from morning until evening, advised him that it is not good (18:17-18)

 b.      Recommended that the people be organized, select capable men to help rule over the people

·         For important matters, bring the difficulties to God and teach the people the statues and the laws (19-20)

·         For other matters, select from among the people rulers of thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens to judge the people and bring difficulties to Moses (21-22)

·         Criteria of selecting rulers:  able men, fearing God, men of truth, hating covetousness (21)

·         If this is good and God so commands, then carry it out (23)

 c.      Moses willingly heeded to the advice (24-25; Deut 1:9-17)

·         Good leaders must be humble and receptive to opinions

·         Select rulers and appoint duties, train more workers

K.    The Ten Commandments

1.        Three months after leaving Egypt, the people came to the foot of Mount Sinai and stayed there for eleven months and twenty days to receive the commandments, establish a covenant with God, and build the tabernacle (19:1-2; Num 20:11)

2.        God promised the Israelites that if they keep His covenant, they shall be God’s people and a holy nation (19:5-6)

3.        The people were determined to obey God, sanctified themselves for three day to prepare for God coming on Mount Sinai to deliver the Ten Commandments

4.        Importance of the Ten Commandments

 a.      Spoken directly by God (20:1; Deut 5:4, 24-27; 4:33)

 b.      Written by God’s fingers (31:18; 24:12)

 c.      Placed in ark of covenant in the Holiest of All (Heb 9:4)

 d.      Jesus said that to receive eternal life, one must keep the commandments (Mt 19:17)

5.        Contents of the Commandments

First - You shall have no other gods before Me (20:3)

Second - You shall not make for yourself any carved image; you shall not bow down to them (20:4-6)

Third - You shall not take the name of the Lord in vain (20:7)

Fourth - Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy (20:8-11)

Fifth - Honor your father and your mother (20:12)

Sixth - You shall not murder (20:13)

Seventh - You shall not commit adultery (20:14)

Eighth - You shall not steal (20:15)

Ninth - You shall not bear false witness against neighbor (20:16)

Tenth - You shall not covet your neighbor’s possessions (20:17)

6.        Spirit of keeping the commandments

 a.      Keep the commandments from the heart (Mt 5:21-22, 27-32)

 b.      Jesus summarized the commandments into two:  love God with all you heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind; and to love your neighbor as yourself (Mt 22:37-40)

 c.      Keep all the commandments, by breaking one, we are guilty of all (Jas 2:8-11)

L.     Covenant Between God and the People

1.        Purpose of the covenant - to become God’s people, a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation (19:5-6)

2.        Method of establishing the covenant

 a.      Build an altar to offer a burnt offering and a sacrifice of peace (24:4-5)

 b.      Moses hold half the blood in basin and sprinkle the other half on the altar (24:6)

 c.      Read the Book of Covenant (20:1-23:33) to the people, and they agreed to abide by its teachings (24:7)

 d.      Moses sprinkle the blood on the people as the proof of the covenant (24:8)

3.        Feast of the covenant (24:9-11)

·         Moses and the seventy elders went up to the mount to eat and drink before God ; they saw God but were not harmed, because by the blood of the covenant they have been drawn near to God (Ref.: 19:12-13, 21-25; 24:1-2; Ps 24:3-4)

4.        Essential contents of the Book of Covenants

 a.      Ten Commandments (20:1-17)

 b.      Laws, ordinances, civil laws, and laws of judgment

·         Laws concerning servants (21:1-11)

·         Laws of violence and punishment by death (21:12-25)

·         Laws of repayment for masters of animals (21:26-36)

·         Laws of responsibility for animal and property (22:1-17)

·         Moral and ceremonial principles (22:18-31)

·         Laws dispute and justice (23:1-9)

·         Laws of Sabbaths and annual feasts (23:10-19)

M.   People Worshipping the Golden Calf

1.        Making the golden calf

 a.      People became unrestrained, and Aaron did not stop them (32:25, 1-6)

 b.      People violated the commandments and conformed to the rituals of Gentile idol worshipping (32:6,19)

2.        The consequence of sin

 a.      God was greatly angered and was determined to destroy them (32:7-10)

 b.      Moses was angered to break the tablets of stone, burned the calf and ground it to powder, and force the people to drink it to show that it is not God (32:19-20)

 c.      Sons of Levi kill about 3,000 who did not repent (32:26-28)

 d.      God refused to continue guiding the people (32:34; 33:1-3)

3.        The prayer of Moses

 a.      God’s anger wanted to destroy the people, but Moses pleaded with God to turn back His anger (32:11-14)

 b.      Moses went atop the mountain for another forty days and nights with food and drink to repent for the people’s sin (32:30-34; Deut 9:18)

 c.      Moses interceded for Aaron (Deut 9:20)

 d.      He stop God fierce anger (Ps 106:19-23), God listed to his prayer, forgave the people, and abided with them (33:14)

 e.      Moses became closer to God, his face was shining with glory coming down from the mountain (34:29-35)

N.     Building the Tabernacle

1.        Purpose

 a.      For God to abide with men (25:8; 29:43)

 b.      To transmit God’s message (25:22; 29:42)

 c.      For men to meet with God (29:42-43; Num 17:4)

 d.      For God to magnify His glory (40:34-38)

2.        Elements of the tabernacle

 a.      Outer court, gate, inner court, altar, and wash basin

 b.      Holy place, vial, table and bread, lampstand, incense

 c.      Holy of holy, inner vial, and the ark of covenant

3.        Method of construction

 a.      People offered for the construction work (35:4-9)

 b.      People who were skillful contributed to the work (35:10)

 c.      People called by God to work (35:30-35), they were filled with Spirit of God, wisdom, and knowledge

 d.      Everything was done according to God’s will (25:40; 28:2-5; 35:29; 36:1)

4.        Completion of the tabernacle

 a.      The tabernacle was raised on the first day of first month of the second year (40:17,1,2,16)

 b.      The glory of God filled the tabernacle (40:34-35)

 c.      As the Israelites continued the journey, the Levites were given the task of moving and rebuilding the tabernacle