Exodus displays the primary biblical imagery for deliverance from bondage. Someone once said that when God wants to change history, he does not start with a battle, he starts with a baby. The book of Exodus opens with a people in bondage and the birth of a baby - Moses.
Exodus declares the doctrines of enslavement, deliverance, judgment, revelation, law, worship, Sabbath, and covenant. The Exodus is the premier symbol of redemption in the Old Testament as the cross is the symbol in the New Testament. Exodus presents the gospel before the law and the Passover tells of the efficacy of the shedding of blood. The book of Exodus centers around three main events and locations: the Passover in Egypt, the crossing through the Red Sea in the wilderness, and the giving of the law on Mount Sinai.
In Exodus, God is glorifying Himself as the Deliverer so that He might demonstrate His superior goodness in the salvation sinners, the damnation of the wicked, and for the preservation of His people for His eternal glory, and their eternal joy.
The clear and consistent teaching of Scripture is that Moses wrote the Pentateuch (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy). For more information on Pentateuchal authorship, see the authorship section for Genesis.
Exodus was written sometime between Israel’s Exodus from Egypt (1445 B.C.) and Moses’ death (1405 B.C.). Exodus records events that took place near the end of Moses’ life, making 1445–1405 B.C. the most likely time of writing.
“I will make a difference between My people and your people. Tomorrow this sign shall be.”
“Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel and said to them, ‘Pick out and take lambs for yourselves according to your families, and kill the Passover lamb. And you shall take a bunch of hyssop, dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin. And none of you shall go out of the door of his house until morning. For the Lord will pass through to strike the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the Lord will pass over the door and not allow the destroyer to come into your houses to strike you.’ ”
“And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so as to go by day and night.”
“Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine.”
“Now the Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed, ‘The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.’ ”
In many ways, Moses is a type of Christ. As infants, both Moses and Jesus were saved from the mass-murder plots of civil leaders. Like Moses, Jesus came to deliver God’s people from slavery. Like Moses, Jesus performed miracles. Like Moses, Jesus acted as a lawgiver. As Moses interceded for Israel, Jesus now intercedes on behalf of the church.
Christ’s death was pictured in the killing of the Passover lamb more than 1,400 years before it took place. According to Paul, Christ is “our Passover” (1 Cor. 5:7). Just as the blood of a lamb saved the firstborn children from death in the plague, so the blood of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, saved His people from God’s wrath. Just as the Lord passed over the houses of the Hebrews, so He also “passed over the sins that were previously committed,” justifying “the one who has faith in Jesus” (Rom. 3:25–26).
What is the theme of the book of Exodus?
What are the three major events that occur in the book of Exodus?
What are the two major sections that divide the book of Exodus, and what is the focus of each?
What are the three primary geographical locations mentioned in the book of Exodus?
What happened when the Egyptians afflicted the children of Israel?
The more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew (Ex. 1:12).
What was the name of Moses’ father-in-law?
Jethro (Ex. 3:1).
How did the midwives disobey Pharaoh?
They refused to kill the male Hebrew children (Ex. 1:15–17).
What did God do to the midwives when they refused to obey Pharaoh?
He dealt well with them (Ex. 1:20).
Why did Moses flee Egypt?
Because Pharaoh wanted to kill him (Ex. 2:11–15).
Where did Moses live after he fled from Egypt?
Midian (Ex. 2:15).
How did God appear to Moses when he was in Horeb?
In a burning bush (Ex. 3:2).
What was the Lord’s response when Moses objected to God’s command by saying he was “slow of speech and slow of tongue”?
“Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the Lord? Now therefore, go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say” (Ex. 4:11–12).
Who did God appoint as a spokesman for Moses?
Aaron, his brother (Ex. 4:14–16).
What did the Lord seek to do to Moses at the encampment?
He sought to kill him (Ex. 4:24).
What did Zipporah (Moses’ wife) do and say to him when she was angry?
She circumcised her son, and said to Moses, “Surely you are a husband of blood to me” (Ex. 4:24–26).
How did Pharaoh make the work harder for the children of Israel?
He stopped giving them straw to make brick, and demanded that they produce the same number of bricks as before (Ex. 5:7–8).
What was Moses and Aaron’s message to Pharaoh?
That he should send the children of Israel out of his land (Ex. 7:2).
What did God say He would do when Moses and Aaron delivered the message to Pharaoh?
He would harden Pharaoh’s heart, and multiply His signs and wonders in the land of Egypt (Ex. 7:3).
How old were Moses and Aaron when they spoke with Pharaoh?
Moses was 80, and Aaron was 83 (Ex. 7:7).
What was the first miracle that Moses and Aaron performed before Pharaoh?
Aaron cast down his rod, and it became a serpent (Ex. 7:10).
What did Pharaoh command his sorcerers and wise men to do in response?
To cause their rods to become serpents, like Aaron’s rod (Ex. 7:11–12).
What did Aaron’s serpent do to the other serpents?
It swallowed them (Ex. 7:12).
How many plagues did God send upon Egypt?
What were the ten plagues?
Where was blood found during the first plague?
Throughout all the land of Egypt, even in buckets and pitchers (Ex. 7:19).
Where were the frogs found during the second plague?
In Pharaoh’s house, in his bedroom, on his bed, in the houses of his servants, on his people, in his ovens, and in his kneading bowls (Ex. 8:3–4).
Where did the lice come from for the third plague?
God formed them from the dust of the land (Ex. 8:17).
Where did the flies infest during the fourth plague?
Pharaoh’s house, his servants’ houses, and all the land of Egypt (Ex. 8:24).
What happened to the livestock of Egypt during the fifth plague?
All of them died (Ex. 9:6).
What happened to the livestock of the children of Israel during the fifth plague?
Not one died (Ex. 9:6).
What happened to the people and animals of Egypt during the sixth plague?
They broke out in boils (Ex. 9:10).
What did God send on the land of Egypt for the seventh plague?
Thunder, hail, and fire (Ex. 9:23–25).
What did the servants of Pharaoh who feared the Lord do when they heard that God would send hail on the land?
They made their servants and livestock flee to the houses (Ex. 9:20).
Was there any hail where the children of Israel lived?
No (Ex. 9:26).
Why did God continue to harden Pharaoh’s heart when he heard about the tenth plague?
To show His power, and declare His name in all the earth (Ex. 9:16).
What did the locusts do to the land of Egypt during the eighth plague?
They covered the face of the whole land, and ate everything green which had survived the hail (Ex. 10:14–15).
What happened when darkness came upon the land of Egypt?
The Egyptians could not see one another, nor did anyone rise from his place (Ex. 10:22–23).
During the plague of darkness, what was different about the place where the children of Israel lived?
They all had light in their dwellings (Ex. 10:23).
What was the last plague that God placed upon Egypt?
He struck all the firstborn in the land of Egypt (Ex. 12:29).
Why did God continue to harden Pharaoh’s heart when he was informed of the tenth plague?
To multiply His wonders in the land of Egypt (Ex. 11:9).
How were the Israelites supposed to dress and act when they ate the Passover meal?
Each person was to eat the Passover with a belt on his waist, his sandals on his feet, and his staff in his hand (Ex. 12:11).
How did God command the Israelites to celebrate the Passover?
He commanded the Hebrews and their children to observe it as an ordinance forever, to remind them of their deliverance from Egypt (Ex. 12:24–27).
What kinds of animal could the children of Israel use for the Passover?
Either a sheep or a goat (Ex. 12:5).
What did the Hebrews do with the blood of the lambs?
They put it on the doorposts and lintel of their houses (Ex. 12:7, 22).
What happened when the Lord saw the blood on the houses of the children of Israel?
He passed over them, and did not kill their firstborn (Ex. 12:13).
What was the extent of the death of the firstborn during the tenth plague?
There was not a house without someone dead (Ex. 12:29–30).
How many Hebrews left Egypt with Moses?
600,000 men, besides women and children (Ex. 12:37).
How many of Jacob’s descendants came to Egypt originally?
Seventy persons (Ex. 1:5).
Why did God lead the children of Israel around the land of the Philistines?
He knew they would change their minds when they saw war, and return to Egypt (Ex. 13:17).
How did God lead the children of Israel in the way they were supposed to go?
He went before them in a pillar of cloud by day, and a pillar of fire by night (Ex. 13:21–22).
Why did God harden Pharaoh’s heart after the children of Israel left Egypt?
To gain honor over Pharaoh and his army, so the Egyptians would know that He is the Lord (Ex. 14:4).
What did the children of Israel say to Moses when they saw Pharaoh and his army drawing near to them?
They accused him of leading them into the wilderness to die (Ex. 14:10–12).
What did Moses say to the Israelites when Pharaoh and his army were drawing near?
He told them to stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord (Ex. 14:13–14).
What did God command Moses to do to the Red Sea?
To divide the sea with his rod (Ex. 14:16).
Why did God cause the Egyptians to pursue the children of Israel through the Red Sea?
To gain honor over Pharaoh and his army, so the Egyptians would know that He is the Lord (Ex. 14:17–18).
What did God do to the Egyptian chariots as they pursued the children of Israel?
He took off their wheels (Ex. 14:25).
How did the children of Israel respond after the crossing of the Red Sea, and the traumatic death of Pharaoh and the Egyptian army?
They feared the Lord, and believed Him and His servant Moses (Ex. 14:31).
What did Moses and the Israelites do after the crossing of the Red Sea?
They sang a song to the Lord (Ex. 15:1–21).
What difficulty did the Israelites face when they entered the Wilderness of Shur and Marah?
They couldn’t find any fresh water to drink (Ex. 15:22–23).
What does the name, “Marah” mean?
“Bitter” (Ex. 15:23).
What did the Lord do at Marah to make the water drinkable?
He showed Moses a tree, which he cast into the waters, and made them sweet (Ex. 15:25).
What was God’s promise to the children of Israel concerning the plagues He had brought upon Egypt?
If they obeyed Him, He would put none of those diseases on them (Ex. 15:26).
What was the manna like that God gave to the children of Israel?
It was a small round substance, as fine as frost on the ground (Ex. 16:14). It was like white coriander seed, and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey (Ex. 16:31).
Why did God give the children of Israel manna?
To test them, to see whether they would walk in His law or not (Ex. 16:4).
What other food source did God give the children of Israel?
Quails (Ex. 16:13).
How many days per week did God provide the manna?
Six days a week (Ex. 16:26).
What happened to the manna if it was left overnight?
It bred worms and stank (Ex. 16:20).
How long did God provide the manna?
Forty years, until the Israelites came to the land of Canaan (Ex. 16:35).
What happened at the place that became known as Massah and Meribah?
The people complained because there was no water to drink, so Moses struck the rock in Horeb, which caused water to flow from it (Ex. 17:1–7).
What did Moses do that determined whether Israel or Amalek prevailed?
When he held up his hand, Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed (Ex. 17:11–12).
What advice did Jethro give to Moses when he saw his heavy responsibility?
He told Moses to judge the great matters himself, and appoint able men to judge the small matters (Ex. 18:21–22).
What did God promise the Israelites at Mt. Sinai on the condition that they obeyed Him?
They would be a special treasure to Him above all people (Ex. 19:5).
What was Israel’s response to God?
“All that the Lord has spoken we will do” (Ex. 19:8).
Which chapter records the first giving of the Ten Commandments?
What are the Ten Commandments, in order?
What kind of altar did God command the Israelites to build?
An altar of either earth or stone, but not hewn stone (Ex. 20:24–25).
What effect does a bribe have on people?
It blinds the discerning and perverts the words of the righteous (Ex. 23:8).
Who did God appoint to minister as priests?
Aaron and his sons: Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar (Ex. 28:1).
What was engraved on the golden plate fastened to Aaron’s turban?
“Holiness to the Lord” (Ex. 28:36–38).
Why was Bezalel such a skilled craftsman?
Because he was filled with the Spirit of God (Ex. 31:2–5).
Why did the children of Israel ask Aaron to make gods for them?
Because they saw that Moses was delayed in coming down from the mountain (Ex. 32:1).
Who led the effort to make the golden calf?
Aaron did (Ex. 32:2–4).
How did Aaron make the golden calf?
He told all the people to give him their golden earrings, which he melted down and molded into a calf (Ex. 32:2–4).
What did Aaron say about the golden calf he created?
“This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt” (Ex. 32:4).
What was the Lord’s response when the children of Israel turned to idolatry?
He told Moses that He would consume the people, and make a great nation of him instead (Ex. 32:7–10).
What was Moses’ plea to God?
He begged Him to spare the people, and remember the oath that He had sworn to Abraham, Isaac, and Israel (Ex. 32:11–13).
What was the Lord’s response after Moses pleaded with Him?
He relented from the harm which He said He would do to His people (Ex. 32:14).
What were the Ten Commandments written on?
Two tablets of stone (Ex. 32:15; 34:4, 28).
Who wrote the Ten Commandments?
God did (Ex. 32:16).
What was Moses’ response when he saw the golden calf and the people dancing?
He became angry, and broke the two tablets of stone (Ex. 32:19).
What was the name of the tent that God commanded Moses to set up outside the camp?
The tabernacle of meeting (Ex. 33:7).
What happened when Moses entered the tabernacle?
The pillar of cloud descended and stood at the door of the tabernacle, and the Lord talked with Moses (Ex. 33:9).
What did God say about His character when Moses went up on Mt. Sinai the second time?
“The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation” (Ex. 34:6–7).
What did God say when Moses asked to see His glory?
He told Moses that he could see His back, but not His face (Ex. 33:19–23).
How did the people respond when Moses came down from Mt. Sinai with the new tablets?
They were afraid to come near him, because the skin of his face shone (Ex. 34:29–30).
What did Moses do to his face when he spoke with the people?
He put a veil over it (Ex. 34:33–35).
Who were the master craftsmen chosen by God to build the tabernacle?
Bezalel the son of Uri, and Aholiab the son of Ahisamach (Ex. 35:30–35).
What happened when the cloud that covered the tabernacle was taken up?
The children of Israel would travel onward (Ex. 40:36).