Book of Exodus

Thomas B. Dozeman

in Biblical Studies

ISBN: 9780195393361
Published online September 2010 | | DOI:
Book of Exodus


Exodus is the second book in the Torah, or Pentateuch, of the Hebrew Bible. It follows the story of the Israelite ancestors in Genesis, which concludes with the migration of Jacob’s family to Egypt during a time of famine. Exodus opens with the Israelites’ change of status from guests to slaves in the land of Egypt (Exodus 1–2), which sets the stage for the divine rescue of the Israelites from Egyptian slavery through the leadership of Moses (Exodus 3–15), their initial journey into the wilderness to the divine mountain (Exodus 16–18), and the divine revelation of law, the formation of a covenant, and the construction of a portable sanctuary at Mount Sinai (Exodus 19–40), before the story continues with the formation of the sacrificial cultic system in Leviticus, the formation of the wilderness camp in Numbers 1–10, and the second stage of the wilderness journey in Numbers 11–36. Exodus contains the core story of salvation for ancient Israel, the biography of the liberator and lawgiver, Moses, and the central religious rituals for celebrating salvation, including Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, Torah observance, and the guidelines for building the proper sanctuary for worship. The Book of Exodus contains a series of interpretations of these central themes, which has resulted in a complex history of composition, prompting a variety of questions about authorship, genre, historicity, and theology.

Article.  11612 words. 

Subjects: Biblical Studies

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