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English Bible Dictionary

Exodus

 

(that is, going out [of Egypt]), the second book of the law or Pentateuch. Its author was Moses. It was written probably during the forty-years wanderings in the wilderness, between B.C. 1491 and 1451. It may be divided into two principal parts:

  • Historical, chs. (Exodus 1:1-18; 27:1)... and

  • Legislative, chs. (Exodus 19:40; 38:1)

  • The first part contains an account of the following particulars: the great increase of Jacob's posterity in the land of Egypt, and their oppression under a new dynasty, which occupied the throne after the death of Joseph; the birth, education, flight and return of Moses; the ineffectual attempts to prevail upon Pharaoh to let the Israelites go; the successive signs and wonders, ending in the death of the first-born, by means of which the deliverance of Israel from the land of bondage is at length accomplished, and the institution of the Passover; finally the departure out of Egypt and the arrival of the Israelites at Mount Sinai.

  • This part gives a sketch of the early history of Israel as a nation; and the history has three clearly-marked stages. First we see a nation enslaved; next a nation redeemed; lastly a nation set apart, and through the blending of its religious and political life consecrated to the service of God.

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