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Outline of Exodus


  1. THE EXODUS (chapters 1-18)


    PROJECTED THROUGH MOSES (chapters 1-4)


    How necessitated—

  1. Israel’s expansion in Egypt (1:1-12).
  2. Israel’s oppression by Egypt (1:13-22).

How anticipated—

  1. Moses’ preparation in Egypt (2:1-15).
  2. Moses’ preparation in Midian (2:16-25).

How precipitated—

  1. The New Message from YAHWEH (3:1-4:17)
  2. The New Mission of Moses (4:18-31.


OBSTRUCTED BY PHARAOH (chapters 5-11).


  1. The 8 requests – 5:1-3; 7:10; 7:15-18; 8:1-4; 8:20-23; 9:1-4; 9:13-19; 10:1-6.
  2. The 8 refusals – 5:2; 7:13; 7:22-23; 8:15,19; 8:32; 9:7,12; 9:34-35; 10:11,20,27.
  3. The 10 requitals – 7:20; 8:6; 8:16; 8:24; 9:3; 9:10; 9:22; 10:12; 10:21; 11:5.


EFFECTED BY YAHWEH (Chapters 12-18)


Goshen to the Sea of Reeds

  1. The Passover and memorials (12:1-13:16).
  2. The leading out of Israel (13:17-22).

Through the Sea of Reeds

  1. Egyption pursuit of Israel (14:1-12)
  2. Israel saved: pursuers dead (14:13-31).

Sea of Reeds to Sinai

  1. One month: to Desert (15:1-16:1).
  2. 2 weeks: To Sinai (16:1-18:27).


II THE LAW (Chapters 19-24)


Governing Moral Life (chapters 19-20).


  1. The Terms of the Sinai Covenant Submitted (19:3-6).
  2. The Terms of the Sinai Covenant Accepted (19:7-8).
  3. The 2 parties to the Covenant meet (1.) Israel (19:9-17).
  4. The 2 parties to the Covenant meet (2.) YAHWEH (19:18-25)
  5. The 10 commands – the Preamble to the Covenant (20:1-17).
  6. The alter of soil – outward symbol of Covenant (20:18-26).


Governing Social Life (Chapters 21-23).


  1. Concerning Masters, slaves, and servants (21:1-11).
  2. Concerning physical injuries (21:12-36).
  3. Concerning property rights (22:1-15).
  4. Concerning various wicked practices (22:16-23:9)
  5. Concerning Sabbaths and Feasts (festivals) (23:10-19).
  6. Concerning national relationships (23:20-33).


Governing Religious Life (Chapter 24)


III The Tabernacle (Chapters 25-40)


DESIGNED (Chapters 25-31)


  1. Ark—table—menorah (Chapter 25)
  2. Curtains—boards—veils (chapter26)
  3. Alter—hangings—oil (Chapter 27)
  4. Priests’ garments and consecration (Chapters 28-29)
  5. Incense alter—laver—anointing oil (Chapter 30)
  6. The workmen—the Sabbath sign (Chapter 31)


DELAYED (Chapters 32-34)


  1. Israel’s lapse into idolatry (Ex.32:1-14)
  2. Corrective judgment (Ex.32:15-29)
  3. Intercession of Moses (Ex.32:30-35)
  4. Israel rebuked and tested (Ex.33:1-11)
  5. Moses reassured (EX.32:12-23)
  6. The further 40 days in the Mountain (Chapter 34)


COMPLETED (Chapters 35-40)


  1. The materials used (Chapter 35)

  2. The framework and hangings (Chapter 36)

  3. The Tabernacle furniture (Chapters 37-38)

  4. The priesthood garments (Ex.39:1-32)

  5. Work finished: Tabernacle erected (Ex.39:32-40:33)

  6. The Tabernacle filled with Divine presence (Ex.40:34-38)



    Note on the name Sea of Reeds:


    The translation of this name as "Red Sea" comes from the sea's Greek name in the Septuagint (LXX) and elsewhere. The Red Sea on today's maps is farther south, below the Sinai Peninsula. But the title Red Sea in ancient times may very well have covered both the Gulf of Suez and the Gulf of Aqaba (see Deu.1:1; 1Ki.9:26). The name "Sea of Reeds" in the UVB and various English versions (usually in the form of a marginal note) and commentaries reflects the meaning of the Hebrew word סוּף a word for reedy water plants (Exo.2:3; Exo.2:5; Isa.19:6; Jon.2:6 [Eng. Exo.13:5]) that may have a connection with an Egyptian word used for papyrus and other marsh plants. On this basis some have taken the term Yam Suph as perhaps referring to Lake Menzaleh or Lake Ballah, which have abundant reeds, north of the extension of the Red Sea on the western side of Sinai. Whatever exact body of water is meant, it was not merely a marshy swamp that the people waded through, but a body of water large enough to make passage impossible without divine intervention, and deep enough to drown the Egyptian army. Lake Menzaleh has always been deep enough to preclude passage on foot (E. H. Merrill, Government of Priests, 66). Among the many sources dealing with the geography, see B. F. Batto, "The Reed Sea: Requiescat in Pace," JBL 102 (1983): 27-35; M. Waxman, "I Miss the Red Sea," Conservative Judaism 18 (1963): 35-44; G. Coats, "The Sea Tradition in the Wilderness Theme: A Review," JSOT 12 (1979): 2-8; and K. A. Kitchen, On the Reliability of the Old Testament, 261-63.

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