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The book of Exodus is in some sense the most important part of the Pentateuch, for it contains the ten commandments, which more than any other portion of The Law, seem to have come down to us from the days of Moses himself. Thus the veneration of extreme old age combines with the glory of divine inspiration in shedding honor on the book of Exodus. The name by which it is now known comes from the Greek and signifies the "going out" from Egypt. In Hebrew the book is called "Shemoth" or "the names" from the chief noun of its opening sentence.
Exodus contains two main themes, the one historical, the great migration of the Hebrew race, the other didactic, the proclaiming of the Law. The first chapter deals with the rapid increase of the children of Israel, telling how the twelve sons of Jacob became a nation during the centuries of the Egyptian sojourn. Then for seventeen chapters the story is of the departure from Egypt, which occurred about twelve and a half centuries before Christ. The remainder of the book presents the laws proclaimed by God from Sinai, and describes the reception given to His word among the Israelites.
The remarkable body of laws thus handed down may be separated into four sections. First, chapter 20, come the ten commandments, the great "Decalogue", the center around which the entire Old Testament is grouped. In the same chapter with the Decalogue begins the "Book of the Covenant", so called in Holy Writ itself. The title probably refers to the section which extends through chapter twenty-three and consists of a series of ceremonial rules, a religious ritual, telling the Hebrews how to worship God, and promising them His protection in return.
Closely connected with this, though perhaps not belonging to the original book, are the additional laws which extend through chapter thirty-one. A third and sharply separate section set down in the midst of this "covenant" is the code of social law, a series of civil and criminal ordinances regulating the intercourse of man with man. This notable code, chapters 21-23, conceived in a high spirit of religious and ethical morality, is often spoken of as "the Book of Judgments."
Finally in chapters thirty-four and thirty-five, after Israel's folly, God again delivers the law to Moses, and the latter repeats its general outline to the people. Then the book of Exodus closes with the Israelites' acceptance of the covenant with the Lord, and the building of His tabernacle in the wilderness.
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"Now therefore, if you will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then you shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people, for all the earth is mine.
And you shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shall speak unto the children of Israel."
Exodus Chapter 1
The need for redemption from Egypt, Israel rapidly multiplies, Israel's affliction, The planned extinction of Israel.
Exodus Chapter 2
Moses is born and redeemed from murder. Moses slays Egyptian. Israel cries out for God.
Exodus Chapter 3
God appears to Moses in burning bush. God calls Moses to deliver Israel. The Name of God. His message to Israel.
Exodus Chapter 4
Moses' rod turns into serpent. Aaron is appointed to assist Moses. Moses returns to Egypt. Israel accepts the call of Moses as deliverer.
Exodus Chapter 5
Pharaoh rejects Moses. Pharaoh increases Israel's work by not supplying straw for bricks. Israel rejects Moses. Moses questions God's plan.
Exodus Chapter 6
God renews His promise by His name Jehovah.
Exodus Chapter 7
Moses encouraged to go to Pharaoh. Aaron's rod swallows Pharaoh's rod. Pharaoh's heart is hardened. First plague. River is turned to blood.
Exodus Chapter 8
Second Plague. Frogs. Third plague. Lice. Fourth plague. Flies. Pharaoh hardens his heart.
Exodus Chapter 9
Fifth plague: disease on the beasts. Sixth plague: boils on man and beast. Seventh plague: hail. Pharaoh hardens his heart.
Exodus Chapter 10
Eighth plague: locusts. Ninth plague: darkness. God hardens Pharaoh's heart.
Exodus Chapter 11
Tenth Plague. Death of the firstborn of Egypt announced.
Exodus Chapter 12
Beginning of the year changed. Instructions for Passover. Firstborn are slain. Israelites driven out of land. Ordinance of the Passover.
Exodus Chapter 13
Firstborn are sanctified to God. God leads Israelites out of Egypt. Guided by pillar of cloud, pillar of fire.
Exodus Chapter 14
Pharaoh follows Israel. Parting of the Red Sea
Exodus Chapter 15
Israel praises God.
Exodus Chapter 16
Israelites murmur for bread. Manna from heaven.
Exodus Chapter 17
Saved again from thirst. Saved from defeat by Moses holding hands up.
Exodus Chapter 18
Saved from chaos.
Exodus Chapter 19
The people come to Sinai. Purpose of the Covenant. Israel accepts the covenant. Presence of God upon the mount.
Exodus Chapter 20
The Ten Commandments. Commandments relating to God. Commandments relating to man. Provision for approaching God.
Exodus Chapter 21
Rights of persons. Laws of property.
Exodus Chapter 22
Laws of theft and other offences. Laws of proper conduct. Laws of first fruits.
Exodus Chapter 23
Laws against falsehood and injustice 1-9, the year of rest, the Sabbath, the three festivals 10-19, God promises to conduct the Israelites to Canaan 20-33.
Exodus Chapter 24
Moses is called up to the mountain, the people promise obedience 1-8, the glory of the Lord appears 9-11, Moses goes up into the mountain 12-18.
Exodus Chapter 25
What the Israelites were to offer for making the tabernacle 1-9. The ark 10-22, The table with its furniture 23-30. The candlestick 31-40.
Exodus Chapter 26
The curtains of the tabernacle 1-6. The curtains of goats' hair 7-14. The boards, sockets, and bars 15-30. The vail of the holy of holies, and for the entrance 31-37.
Exodus Chapter 27
The altar of burnt offerings 1-8, The court of the tabernacle 9-19, The oil for the lamps 20-21.
Exodus Chapter 28
The ephod 6-14, The Urim and Thummim 15-30. The robe of the ephod, The plate of the mitre 31-39. The garments for Aaron's sons 40-43.
Exodus Chapter 29
The sacrifice and ceremony for the consecration of the priests 1-37. The continual burnt-offerings, God's promise to dwell among Israel 38-46.
Exodus Chapter 30
The altar of incense 1-10. The ransom of souls 11-16. The brazen laver 17-21. The holy anointing oil, the perfume 22-38.
Exodus Chapter 31
Bezaleel and Aholiab are appointed and qualified for the work of the tabernacle 1-11. The observance of the Sabbath 12-17. Moses receives the tables of the law 18.
Exodus Chapter 32
The people cause Aaron to make a golden calf . Displeasure of God and the intercession of Moses. Moses breaks the tables of the law, He destroys the golden calf. The idolaters slain. Moses prays for the people 1-35.
Exodus Chapter 33
The Lord refuses to go with Israel 1-6. The tabernacle of Moses removed without the camp 7-11. Moses desires to see the glory of God 12-23.
Exodus Chapter 34
The tables of the law renewed 1-4. The name of the Lord proclaimed, the entreaty of Moses 5-9. God's covenant 10-17. The festivals 18-27. The vail of Moses 28-35.
Exodus Chapter 35
The Sabbath to be observed 1-3. The free gifts for the tabernacle 4-19. The readiness of the people in general 20-29. Bezaleel and Aholiab called to the work 30-35.
Exodus Chapter 36
The making of the tabernacle. The liberality of the people restrained.
Exodus Chapter 37
The making of the ark, and the furniture of the tabernacle.
Exodus Chapter 38
The brazen altar and laver 1-8. The court 9-20. The offerings of the people 21-31.
Exodus Chapter 39
The priestly garments 1-31. The tabernacle completed 32-43.
Exodus Chapter 40
The tabernacle is to be set up, Aaron and his sons to be sanctified 1-15. Moses performs all as directed 16-33. The glory of the Lord fills the Tabernacle 34-38.
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