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Series Theme: Why Read books of the Bible: Exodus




Why Read Exodus: Once out of Genesis and the accounts of the Patriarchs, the record of the book of Exodus is possibly THE source for the reason for the existence of the nation of Israel. The overall content had been given in a prophecy from the Lord to Abraham:

“Know for certain that for four hundred years your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own and that they will be enslaved and mistreated there. But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions.” (Gen 15:13,14)

Israel, who we left at the end of Genesis as a large family who had settled in Egypt, grew and grew and became a threat to their Egyptian hosts who eventually made them slaves. It was from this condition that God determined to deliver them, using Moses as His mouthpiece. Because the Egyptian Pharaoh (king) was so proud and stubborn he refused all of Moses' overtures for his people to be released. God thus uses this as the opportunity to reveal His greatness, to now move against the country, totally saturated by occult and superstitious idolatry, in the form of ten increasingly harsh plagues. Eventually Israel are released in what becomes the most famous act of their existence – the Exodus from Egypt. The accounts follow Israel on a relatively short journey from Egypt to Mount Sinai where they enter into a covenant with God whereby,

“if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation,' (Ex 19: 5,6)

later added to by, 

“I am making a covenant with you. Before all your people I will do wonders never before done in any nation in all the world. The people you live among will see how awesome is the work that I, the Lord , will do for you. Obey what I command you today.” (Ex 34:10,11)

At Sinai,

•  a large part of the Law is given, together with instructions of how to build the Tabernacle,

•  there is a disastrous example of idolatry,

•  there is a restoring of relationship and Israel get ready to leave Sinai,

•  the Tabernacle is built and the glory of the Lord fills it.

Ahead of them are the accounts, in the remaining three books of the Pentateuch, of their travels across the desert from Sinai and all the events that will eventually lead to them entering the Promised Land of Canaan (in the book of Joshua). For understanding the nature of mankind as encapsulated in Israel, and understanding how they get to Canaan, this is essential reading. Of course it is also an amazing revelation of God – His grace, His mercy and His judgments and power. As we say, essential reading.


Why are Israel so important? Because God will use them in the centuries ahead

•  to reveal the sinfulness of mankind and our need for a saviour,

•  to reveal His goodness, His love, His grace, mercy and power,

•  to create a ‘God-focused environment' of this nation into which He will eventually bring His Son to save the world.

The first two of those things start being seen in this book.



Overall Contents


PART ONE: Ch.1-4: Moses' Call & Preparation

PART TWO: Ch.5-12: Confrontations & Judgments on Egypt

PART THREE: Ch.13-19: From Egypt to Sinai

PART FOUR: Ch.20-24: The Covenant & Giving of the Law

PART FIVE: Ch.25-31: Plans for the Tabernacle

PART SIX: Ch.32-34: Failure & Restoration

PART SEVEN: Ch.35-40: Building & Establishing the Tabernacle


Chapter Contents


[The aim is to give the reader a quick overview of all that takes place. If you wish to go directly to a chapter, simply click on the chapter number]


PART ONE: Ch.1-4: Moses' Call & Preparation


Ch.1 The Israelites Oppressed

v.1-5 The Family of Israel who went to Egypt

v.6-8 Changing Circumstances

v.9-14 The Egyptians make the Israelites slaves

v.15-17 The King tells the midwives to kill new baby boys

v.20-22 God blesses the midwives who disobey Pharaoh


Ch.2 Moses, Prince of Egypt & Midianite Shepherd 

v.1-4 The Birth of Moses who is hidden in the bullrushes

v.5-10 Pharaoh's Daughter finds and raises Moses

v.11-14 Moses help for his people goes wrong

v.15-20 Moses flees to Midian where he is welcomed

v.21-25 Moses settles in Midian

v.23-25 Israel's Plight in Egypt Worsens


Ch.3 Moses with God at the Burning Bush

v.1-3 Moses sees a burning bush

v.4-10 God tells Moses who He is, and that He is sending Moses

v.11-12 Moses FIRST question about this call & God's answer [about himself]

v.13-16 Moses SECOND question about this call & God's answer [about God]

v.17-22 God explains to Moses what will happen (1)


Ch.4 More at the burning bush and Moses' return

v.1-9 Moses THIRD  question  about this call & God's answer [about Israel]

v.10-12 Moses'  Objection  & God's answers [own ability]

v.13-17 Moses'  Request  & God's Answer

v.18-20 Moses starts off for Egypt

v.21-23 The Lord tells Moses what will happen (2)

v.24-26 Moses Life is threatened for his disobedience

v.27-31 Aaron is sent to meet Moses and together they speak to their people


PART TWO: Ch.5-12 Confrontations & Judgments on Egypt


Ch.5 First Challenge & Retribution

v.1-5 Moses Challenges Pharaoh for the first time

v.6-9 In Retribution Pharaoh orders the work be made more difficult

v.10-19 The Pressure is put on the Israelites

v.20-23 Moses & Aaron are blamed and they question the Lord


Ch.6 The Call is Clarified

v.1-5 The Lord reiterates to Moses who He is and what He has done

v.6-9 God instructs Moses what to tell the Israelites

v.10-13 God tells Moses to challenge Pharaoh but Moses questions it

v.14-27 Family Record of Moses and Aaron

v.26-30 Moses & Aaron, the ones called to deliver Israel


Ch.7 The Conflict Begins: a Predicted Miracle & the First Plague

v.1-7 God Gives Moses Marching Orders to begin the Conflict

v.8-13 A Miraculous Sign: Aaron's Staff Becomes a Snake

v.14-25 FIRST PLAGUE: The Plague of Blood


Ch.8 Plagues Two to Four

v.1-15 SECOND PLAGUE: The Plague of Frogs

v.16-19 THIRD PLAGUE: The Plague of Gnats

v.20-32 FOURTH PLAGUE: The Plague of Flies


Ch.9 Fifth to Seventh Plagues

v.1-7 FIFTH PLAGUE: Plague on Livestock

v.8-12 SIXTH PLAGUE: Plague of Boils

v.13-35 SEVENTH PLAGUE: Plague of Hail


Ch.10 Eighth & Nine Plagues

v.1-20 EIGHTH PLAGUE: Locusts

v.21-29 NINTH PLAGUE: Plague of Darkness


Ch.11 Warning of the TENTH Plague

v.1-3 The Final Plan

v.4-10 Warning of the Last Plague given


Ch.12 The Passover & the Festival of Unleavened Bread

v.1-6 Preparation Instructions for Israel

v.7-11 Instructions for the Night

v.12-13 What the Lord will do

v.14-20 Instructions for Future Commemoration

v.21-23 Instructions for Now & Why

v.24-29 When to do it in the future and why

v.29,30 The Passover – the Tenth Plague

v.31-42 The Exodus

v.43-51 Passover Regulations & Restrictions


PART THREE: Ch.13-19: From Egypt to Sinai


Ch.13 Establishing Future Procedures

v.1,2 Consecration of the Firstborn

v.3-10 Don't forget the Feast of unleavened Bread

v.11-13 Redeem the Firstborn

v.14-16 Tell the Next Generation

v.17-22 Led by the Lord


Ch.14 Escaping Egypt

v.1,2 The Lord Leads

v.3-9 Pharaoh Pursues

v.10-12 In Fear the People berate Moses

v.13,14 Moses Reassures them

v.15-18 The Lord lays out His strategy

v.19,20 The Lord Protects Israel

v.21-25 The Lord Parts the Waters & Egypt follow Israel

v.26-31 Pharaoh is Destroyed & Israel delivered


Ch.15 A Song & a Testing

v.1-21 The Song of Moses and Miriam

v.22,23 The Waters of Marah are bitter

v.24-27 The Lord gives Moses wisdom; they arrive at Elim


Ch.16 Manna and Quail

v.1-3 Israel grumble because of lack of food

v.4-7 Bread from Heaven promised

v.8-10 Grumbling & Glory

v.11,12 Meat & Bread Promised

v.13-15 Quail and Manna Appear

v.16-27 Instructions & Disobedience in respect of the Manna

v.28-31 Keeping the Sabbath

v.32-36 Saving some Manna


Ch.17 Testing & Conflict

v.1-7 Water From the Rock (THIRD Test)

v.8-16 Conflict: The Amalekites Attack and are Defeated


Ch.18 Jethro Visits Moses

v.1-7 Jethro comes to visit Moses

v.8-12 Jethro rejoices when he hears what has happened

v.13-16 Jethro watches Moses at work & questions him

v.17-23 Jethro suggests a better approach

v.24-27 Moses applies Jethro's advice & Jethro returns home


Ch.19 At Mount Sinai

v.1,2 Israel arrive at Mount Sinai

v.3-6 Moses FIRST trip up the Mountain

v.7,8 Israel commit to the Lord

v.9-13 The Lord's Instructions for the People

v.14-19 Preparation of the Nation to Meet God

v.20-25 Moses' further trip up the Mountain


PART FOUR: Ch.20-24 The Covenant & Giving of the Law


Ch.20 Ten Commandments

v.1-17 The Ten Commandments

v.18-21 The People Fear

v.22-26 NO Idols and Prescribed Altars


Ch.21 Laws of the Covenant (1)

v.1-11 Rights in respect of Hebrew Servants

v.12-14 Accidental & Deliberate Personal Injuries

v.15-17 Death Penalty Personal Crimes

v.18-27 Different Severities of Personal Injuries caused

v.28-36 The Law of ‘Strict Liability' for Dangerous Animals & Workings


Ch.22 Property Laws & Behavioural Relationship Laws

v.1-15 Protection of Property

v.16-21 Social Responsibility


Ch.23 Other Laws

v.1-9 Laws of Justice and Mercy

v.10-13 Sabbath Laws

v.14-19 The Three Annual Festivals

v.20-26 God's Angel to Prepare the Way

v.27-33 The Lord's Strategy for Taking the Land


Ch.24 The People agree the Covenant

v.1-2 The Lord invites elders onto the mountain

v.3-6 Moses tells the People God's words, they accept it, he writes it down

v.7,8 He reads the now written covenant & seals it with blood

v.9-11 The Leaders ‘See' God

v.12-18 Moses goes further up wait on God


PART FIVE: Ch.25-31 Plans for the Tabernacle


Ch.25 For Inside the Tabernacle

v.1-9 Offerings for the Tabernacle

v.10-16 The Ark

v.17-22 The Atonement Cover

v.23-30 The Table

v.31-40 The Lampstand


Ch.26 The Tabernacle itself

v.1-3 The Tent Curtains

v.4-6 The Curtain Fixings

v.7-9 The Tabernacle Covering Curtains

v.10-13 The Covering Curtain Fixings & Hanging

v.14 A Further Protective Covering

v.15–29 The Framework of the Tabernacle

v.30-33 The Cross Wall

v.34,35 Locations for the ark, table & lampstand

v.36,37 The Entrance


Ch.27 Bronze Altar etc.

v.1-8 The Altar of Burnt Offering

v.9-19 The Courtyard

v.20-21 Oil for the Lampstand

Ch.28 Priests Clothes & Uses

v.1-5 The Priestly Garments

v.6-14 The Ephod

v.15-30 The Breast-piece

v.31-35 Aaron's Robe

v.36-38 Aaron's Turban

v.39-43 Materials Used and clothes made


Ch.29 Consecration of the Priests

v.1-4 Preparations

v.5-9 Appropriately Dressed

v.9-14 A Bull as a Sin Offering

v.15-18 A Ram as a Burnt Offering

v.19-22 One Ram to consecrate

v.23-25 Bread as a Wave offering & Burnt Offering

v.26-28 Further use of a Ram

v.29,30 Garments

v.31-34 Eating the Ram

v.35-41 The Offerings to be for this first week of consecration

v.42-43 Thereafter, a ‘burnt offering' for every day

v.44-46 This is the means for the consecration of the Tabernacle and its use.


Ch.30 Altar of Incense etc.

v.1-10 The Altar of Incense

v.11-16 Atonement Money

v.17-21 Basin for Washing

v.22-33 The Anointing Oil

v.34-38 Incense


Ch.31 Preparing to Make the Tabernacle

v.1-6 The Two Main Workers: Bezalel and Oholiab

v.6-11 The things to be made

v.12-18 Observing the Sabbath


PART SIX: Ch.32-34: Failure & Restoration


Ch.32 The golden calf

v.1 Thinking goes Astray

v.2-5 Aaron makes it worse

v.6,7 Idolatry & Revelry

v.7-10 The Lord threatens to destroy the people

v.11-13 Moses Intercedes for them

v.14-18 God relents, Moses goes down

v.19,20 Moses' Actions

v.21-24 Aaron makes excuses

v.25-28 Moses brings judgment on the revellers

v.29-32 Again Moses Intercedes for the People

v.33-35 The Lord brings Judgment


Ch.33 Instructions & Petitions

v.1-3 The Lord instructs Moses to move on from Sinai

v.4-6 The People are chastised

v.7-11 Moses at the Tent of Meeting

v.12-16 Moses petitions the Lord

v.17-23 Moses asks to see the Lord's Glory


Ch.34 Building the Covenant

v.1-4 The new stone tablets

v.5-8 The Lord Declares His Nature

v.9-11 Moses' Third Petition & God's Covenant Answer

v.12-17 Remain Distinct from the Canaanites

v.18-23 Remain the Redeemed Covenant Celebrating People of God

v.24-26 Promise of Protection & Guidance on right offerings

v.27-28 Moses writes the covenant

v.29-35 The radiant face of Moses


PART SEVEN: Ch.35-40: Building & Establishing the Tabernacle


Ch.35 Materials, Work & Craftsmen

v.1-3 Sabbath regulations

v.4-9 Materials for the tabernacle

v.10-19 The Work for the Skilled Craftsmen

v.20-29 The People bring their Contributions

v.30-35 Bezalel and Oholiab


Ch.36 The Work & the Giving

v.1-3 The Skilled Craftsmen get under way

v.4-7 The People have to be stopped giving

v.8-38 The Tabernacle Work


Ch.37 Manufacturing the Tabernacle (1 )

v.1-9 The Ark

v.10-16 The Table

v.17-24 The Lampstand

v.25-29 The Altar of Incense


Ch.38 Manufacturing the Tabernacle (2)

v.1-7 The Altar of Burnt Offering

v.8 The Basin for Washing

v.9-20 The Courtyard

v.21-31 The Materials Used


Ch.39 Construction & Manufacturing finished & approved

v.1 The Priestly Garments made

v.2-7 The Ephod made

v.8-27 The Breast-piece made

v.22-31 Other Priestly Garments made

v.32-43 Moses Inspects & Approves the Tabernacle


Ch.40 Completions & Glory

v.1-8 Setting Up the Tabernacle, its furniture & courtyard

v.9-11 Everything is anointed with oil

v.12-15 Aaron & his sons dressed and anointed

v.16-33 Moses sets up everything of the Tabernacle as instructed

v.34-38 The Glory of the Lord fills the Tabernacle