Encountering the Old Testament, 3rd Edition

A Christian Survey

series: Encountering Biblical Studies


6. Exodus: A Miraculous Escape

Chapter Intro Video

Chapter Objectives

  • Contrast the emphasis on beginnings in Exodus with those in Genesis
  • Outline the basic content of Exodus
  • Give examples of how God saved Israel
  • Define casuistic law as found in Exodus
  • Explain the purpose of the covenant
  • Identify the three major historical problems of the exodus
  • Discuss the theological significance of the exodus

Chapter Summary

  1. The Book of Exodus describes how God led Israel from Egypt through the desert to Mount Sinai.
  2. The Passover was God’s method of commemorating the release of the Israelites from Egyptian bondage.
  3. The Ten Commandments were the foundation of the Sinai covenant.
  4. The tabernacle was the place where God dwelt in the midst of his people.
  5. Scholars find three major historical problems with the book of Exodus: the historicity of the exodus, the date of the exodus, and the route of the exodus.
  6. The date of the exodus is placed by some scholars in the thirteenth century BC and by others in the fifteenth century BC.
  7. There are three possible routes for the exodus: the northern, central, and southern routes.
  8. The life, death, and resurrection of Christ is a parallel event of salvation to the exodus of Israel.
  9. The book of Exodus is important theologically in terms of the way deliverance, covenant, and God’s presence are presented.

Study Questions

  1. What are the two main events in the book of Exodus? What “beginning” is established in the book? What is the arrangement of the book?
  2. What was the point of collision between God and Moses?
  3. What was the permanent commemoration of the Israelites’ release from captivity?
  4. What were the two intended purposes of the plagues?
  5. What was the anchor of the new Sinai covenant?
  6. What was the purpose of the desert tabernacle?
  7. What are the possible dates of the exodus? What is the evidence for each date?
  8. What is the best estimate of the route followed by the Israelites after leaving Egypt?
  9. What are the theological themes of the book of Exodus? What other emphasis runs throughout the book?