Subject/Purpose of the Book of Exodus

Jason Dulle

Subject: Israel's redemption from Egypt by YHWH's great power, through Moses, God's appointed deliverer. The book recounts Israel's beginning as the covenant people of God through the Mosaic Law, and the establishment of the tabernacle as the theocratic center of worship, and Israel's meeting place with YHWH.

Moses recalls the deliverance of the children of Israel from the land of Egypt, accomplished only by God's divine power, motivated by His love and election of Israel. Great detail is given to the call of Moses as deliverer, the ten plagues whereby YHWH demonstrated His power over Pharaoh and his gods, and the events of the wilderness wandering. The latter includes the receiving of the Decalogue, various laws of the covenant, Israel's idolatry, and God's gracious provision of manna. The latter half of the book is a detailed description of the tabernacle, the central meeting and worship center of the Israelites, and the ordination of the sons of Levi as the priests and caretakers of the tabernacle services. Moses recounts YHWH's instructions for its construction, the people's participation in its construction, and its completion.

Purpose: To detail the establishment of the theocracy beginning with the demonstration of YHWH's supremacy over all anti-Yahwistic forces, followed by His covenant with Israel as a holy people, and the establishment of a central place of worship wherein God would meet with His redeemed people.

By recounting the early events of their wilderness wandering Moses was provoking the Israelites to faithful covenant obedience, showing how YHWH had been faithful to them from the beginning. The Exodus illustrated Israel's election by God as His covenant people who would mediate the blessings of God to the rest of the world who were yet in spiritual bondage. YHWH was faithful to that election as evidenced by His deliverance of Israel from Egyptian bondage. Because of YHWH's loving redemption they were to render to YHWH the love and obedience due Him, through obedience to the covenant and the sacrificial system. Israel's failures in idolatry and covenant disobedience (as witnessed by the golden calf incident) would not be tolerated.

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