Old Testament: the Law
About this book
The title “Exodus” comes from a Greek word meaning “going out”, and this book tells how the Lord set his people Israel free from slavery and brought them out of Egypt.
The book of Exodus teaches that the Lord is the one true God and the ruler of all creation. And when the Lord decides to do something, no one can stop him.
Exodus can be divided into three parts. Most of the events in the first part (1—13) take place in Egypt, where the people of Israel had been made slaves by the king. The Lord heard their cries for help and chose Moses to set them free. Moses was an Israelite who had been adopted by an Egyptian princess.
When Moses demanded that the Israelites be set free, the king refused. And so the Lord told Moses to bring ten disasters on Egypt. These disasters have often been called “the ten plagues”. Finally, the king let the Israelites leave Egypt.
The second part of the book (14—18) includes events that happened while the people of Israel were on their way to Mount Sinai, God's holy mountain. The king of Egypt quickly changed his mind about setting them free, and he ordered his army to capture them. But the Lord protected Israel and destroyed the Egyptian army. Then, as the Israelites travelled through the desert, the Lord provided food and water for them.
The final part of Exodus (19—40) takes place at Mount Sinai, where the Lord appeared to Moses. The Lord gave him the Ten Commandments, as well as laws for worship, sacrifice, and everyday life, and instructions on making the sacred tent and its furnishings, the altars, and the priestly clothes. But this part also tells how the people made an idol and disobeyed the first of the Ten Commandments:
I am the LORD your God, the one who brought you out of Egypt where you were slaves. Do not worship any god except me.
A quick look at this book
1. The people of Israel become slaves (1.1-22)
2. Moses is born and grows up (2.1-25)
3. God sends Moses to speak to the king of Egypt (3.1—6.30)
4. The first nine disasters (7.1—10.29)
5. The last disaster and the first Passover (11.1—13.22)
6. The people cross the Red Sea (14.1—15.21)
7. Moses leads the people to Mount Sinai (15.22—18.27)
8. The Ten Commandments and other laws (19.1—24.18)
9. Instructions for the sacred tent, its furnishings, and the sacred chest (25.1—27.21)
10. Instructions for the priests, sacrifices, and the Sabbath (28.1—31.18)
11. The people make an idol (32.1-35)
12. The Lord makes promises, renews his agreement, and gives more laws to Israel (33.1—35.3)
13. Offerings and gifts for the sacred tent and the priestly clothes (35.4—36.7)
14. Skilled workers make the sacred tent and its furnishings (36.8—38.31)
15. The priestly clothes are made (39.1-31)
16. The sacred tent is set up (39.32—40.38)
Contemporary English Version (CEV) is copyright © American Bible Society. Psalms and Proverbs © 1991, 1992; New Testament © 1991, 1992, 1995; Old Testament © 1995; translation notes, subject headings for text © 1995; Anglicisations © The British and Foreign Bible Society 1997, 2012.