Book of Exodus


Exodus (ĕk´sədəs), book of the Bible, 2d of the 5 books of the Law (the Pentateuch or Torah) ascribed by tradition to Moses. The book continues the story of the ancestors of Israel in Egypt, now grown in number to a large landless population enslaved by the pharaoh. Although the book describes all 12 tribes, it is much more likely that the book is based on the traditions of a group of nomadic Hebrews whose sojourn in Egypt became one of oppression and slavery. Grouped around Moses, they were freed from bondage at the Red Sea. Their saga and their Mosaic religion became the determinative feature of the great national epic that is enshrined in the Pentateuch and the historical books of the Hebrew Bible. The religious and 12-tribe political establishment of the later Temple period is read back into the Exodus narrative. The events of the book may be outlined as follows: first, the bondage in Egypt, from which God prepares liberation through the agency of Moses, including Moses' early career and vocation, and the first nine plagues of Egypt; second, the exodus proper, with the plague of the first-born and the institution of the Passover and the dry crossing through the Red Sea; third, the first divine legislation at Mt. Sinai. The last portion includes the Ten Commandments, a law code, directions for a tabernacle and worship, the designation of Aaron as high priest, the first national apostasy in worshiping the golden calf, a brief restatement of the code, and the institution of the tabernacle.

See studies by N. M. Sarna (1986), J. Durham (1987), and T. E. Fretheim (1991).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Book of Exodus: Selected full-text books and articles

The Parting of the Sea: How Volcanoes, Earthquakes, and Plagues Shaped the Story of Exodus
Barbara J. Sivertsen.
Princeton University Press, 2009
Exodus 1-18
George W. Coats; Rolf P. Knierim; Gene M. Tucker.
W.B. Eerdmans, 1999
Out of the Desert? Archaeology and the Exodus/Conquest Narratives
William H. Stiebing Jr.
Prometheus Books, 1989
The Exodus in the Christian Bible: The Case for "Figural" Reading
Clifford, Richard J.
Theological Studies, Vol. 63, No. 2, June 2002
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Exodus and Revolution
Michael Walzer.
Basic Books, 1985
God at War: Power in the Exodus Tradition
Thomas B. Dozeman.
Oxford University Press, 1996
Homilies on Genesis and Exodus
Origen; Ronald E. Heine.
Catholic University of America Press, 1982
God and His People: Covenant and Theology in the Old Testament
Ernest W. Nicholson.
Clarendon Press, 1986
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 5 "'They Saw God and Ate and Drank' - A Covenant Meal at Sinai? (Exodus 24:1-2, 9-11)," Chap. 6 "Apostasy and Renewal of the Covenant at Sinai (Exodus 34:10-28)," and Chap. 8 "The Covenant Ritual at Sinai (Exodus 19:3b-8 and 24:3-8)"
A Law Book for the Diaspora: Revision in the Study of the Covenant Code
John Van Seters.
Oxford University Press, 2003
The Oxford History of the Biblical World
Michael D. Coogan.
Oxford University Press, 2001
Librarian’s tip: Chap. Two "Bitter Lives: Israel in and out of Egypt"
The Bible in History: How the Texts Have Shaped the Times
David W. Kling.
Oxford University Press, 2004
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 6 "'Let My People Go': Exodus in the African American Experience"
Ancient Israel in Sinai: The Evidence for the Authenticity of the Wilderness Tradition
James K. Hoffmeier.
Oxford University Press, 2005
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