17 Sep The Big Book–Cover to Cover: Exodus
It may be a surprise when we realize that technically only about two chapters of Exodus (Exodus 13:17-Exodus 15:21) deal with the “Exodus proper.”
Like Genesis, the name of the book in the Hebrew Bible isn’t what we’re used to. The Hebrew name of the book of Exodus directly translates to “These are the Names” –– Technically, “And These are the Names”
Doesn’t roll off the tongue quite as well if I were to say, “Turn to chapter 14 of And These Are The Names-”
This title signals a connection to Genesis 46:8-27, indicating that this is a sequel, if you will––a continuation of the salvation-history of God’s chosen people.
Our English title, Exodus, is a transliteration from the Septuagint meaning roughly “a going out.”
Scholars will endlessly debate who wrote what portions of the Pentateuch in general. As we noted last week in Genesis, I believe Moses is the author.
This is, in addition to authorship, a fascinating study. Distilled for time, there is a so-called “early” or “late” dating. Early dating puts the book written in about 1445 BC, and if we take the 40 year wilderness wandering, the time covered takes us to 1405 BC.
If the date of the Exodus is 1445 B.C. then other “time-stamps” in the Bible give us framework. Exodus covers a period from Jacob’s moving to Egypt in 1875 BC to the building of the tabernacle complex 431 years later in the wilderness, i.e. 1445.
Exodus: Redemption from slavery, consecration for worship.
Exodus Chapter 1 begins with a record of God’s blessings and prosperity to Israel and how this becomes a threat to Egypt. The Israelites are doing very well even though they are in captivity, and Pharaoh is threatened by the numerical population of the Hebrews.
Chapter 1 is essentially a summary of the entire book, a perfect outline of what’s to follow.
This redemption from slavery is important in two contexts:
Redemption from a literal slavery, oppression, affliction––but there is a subtext: they are in slavery to sin, just as we are.
Consecrated for worship:
Israel will be redeemed from slavery and led out of Egypt so they can worship God His way, with His tabernacle, with His priests, with His sacrificial system.
**Aside: I like the NASB because it translates consistently.For example, “God” in NASB is always Elohim translated. LORD (where the ORD is small capital letters is YHWH. Lord (lower case ord) is Adoni.
Redemption will be seen a number of ways, beginning with Moses being lifted out of the water––what Elohim would do for Israel.
Exodus 6:6 Redemption will be seen in the Exodus proper.
Redemption will be memorialized in the final plague and the establishment of the Passover, the blood sacrifice of the lambs and the judgment of those not under the blood.
We also have the issue of the aspect of blood. Redemption requires blood. The blood of the lamb, and the blood of The Lamb, Jesus Christ.
Ken Boa and Bruce Wilkinson argue that “the climax of the entire Old Testament is recorded in [Exodus] chapters 12-14: the salvation of Israel through the blood (the Passover) and through the power (the Red Sea). The exodus is the central event of the Old Testament as the Cross is of the New Testament.” -Bruce Wiklinson and Ken Boa, Talk Thru The Bible
The Abrahamic Covenant:
God chose Abraham, and we don’t know why.
He didn’t choose him because he was the best, He chose him because He chose him.
The covenant promise He made was unilateral and unconditional. God’s promised it and He’s going to do it, we might say, whether man cooperates or not.
Genesis 12, 15, 17, 19, and repeated in Exodus 6:3 and Exodus 6:8
There are a lot of Christians today who hold replacement theology: that the Christian Church and Israel have become one or the church has replaced Israel.
I disagree, the unilateral covenant has not been abrogated. It wasn’t an if-then covenant, so I hold to the fact that covenant is still in place and God is working in ways we wont fully understand.
Christ in Exodus:
The study of messianic prophecies and types is wide-ranging. Sometimes the Bible is really clear about a type of Christ, sometimes it’s not. The careful reader of Exodus will notice:
- Moses is likened to Christ. They were both endangered as infants and escaped. Moses institutes this thing called Passover, which is repeatedly re-stated and becomes a perpetual memorial about the Lamb of God.
- Come to the New Testament, what’s the Lord’s Supper? A reminder of the perpetual memorial that was pertinent to the Jew. We remember it as the Lamb of God that was slain.
- Christ and the Holy Spirit: daily provision of manna, critical provision of water, constant presence of the cloud. The focus on the water and bread are impossible to ignore.
We are commanded to remember in the practice of the Lord’s Supper, the “New Covenant Passover” of sorts, that we do not need a sacrificial lamb––Jesus accomplished this. All we need is the bread and the cup – the body and blood of Jesus.
The tabernacle complex (Hb. Ohel) – the portable worship facility for Israel, in the wilderness.
- Prosperity and growth of the Jews
- Pharaoh’s intent to murder Hebrew boys
- Moses lifted from the Nile which gives imagery of God lifting Israel up out of slavery
- Moses – the reluctant leader.
- God’s choice of Moses (Exodus 3-4).
- The Q&A between God and Moses is remarkable:
- Who am I? (Exodus 3:11)
- Who are You? (Exodus 3:12)
- What if they don’t believe me? (Exodus 4:1)
- Not Me! (Exodus 4:10)
- Please send someone else! (Exodus 4:13)
- The Q&A between God and Moses is remarkable:
These questions are an outline for the believer. How are you a witness for Christ in the world around you?
Moses v. Pharaoh’s encounter mirrors basically the same questions. Who is God? (Exodus 7:3-5)
And then we begin the Polemic, it’s a literary piece of war.
The Plagues demonstrated God’s attack on false gods. Man-made gods and constructs are nothing to the sovereign God. The Nile is not the source of life, it’s a bloody river of death. The Sun is not the great Amon-Ra. YHWH Elohim can turn him off like a switch.
Last plague: the Passover established. The Firstborn would die.
The significance here is that the Egyptians believed that pharaoh’s firstborn son was a god––and, ultimately, God’s Son is sacrificed and resurrected for our redemption.
- Israel exisists because God delivered them out of Egypt.
- There is no God but YHWH Elohim. Many will say, “I could never worship a god who ________ (and then they’ll state illnesses, natural disasters, etc.)” they’ve just made god in their image. There are no gods before Him and the plagues are boldfaced reminders of proof: was Pharaoh god or is YHWH Elohim God? No less than 10 times we have the reminder: they well know that I AM the Lord.
- The Abrahamic Covenant is unilateral and irrevocable. Exodus 3:6, Exodus 3:16, Exodus 4:5
- The sinful human nature persists; everyone needs redemption. We’ll see in Deuteronomy a re-emphasis of teaching our children because we forget the works of God.
The ultimate goal of Exodus is the consecration for worship: the complete Tabernacle overwhelmed by the glory of God.
The Lord’s Supper becomes the outworking of Passover
Read Exodus 3:18 & Exodus 15:22
Did you hear it? They asked to go three days’ journey into the wilderness to worship God.
On the third day they’ve found no water–and the day they are meant to worship, they’re found grumbling.
Three things will be with Israel in their wanderings: water, manna, and the cloud; God Himself.