Moses also wrote this Book, Exodus. The theme centers around God's response to the enslaved Israelite people's prayers and suffering in Egypt. The Israelites (also known as Hebrews) are the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
As a Hebrew himself, Exodus chronicles the life of Moses and the Israelite's journey. The book is divided into two main sections. In the first half, God elected Moses to rescue His people from Egypt and lead them into the Promised Land. The second half of the book introduces the 10 Commandments and marks the 40 year period in which the Israelite's wandered in the Desert.
The opening Chapters discuss the social climate of Egypt and Moses' life as an infant. The book begins 280 years after the generational death of Joseph and his brothers. After thriving in Egypt for 430 years, a new Pharaoh came into power. One who did not know of Joseph's contributions to Egypt. The Pharaoh feared he could one day lose his Kingdom to the Hebrew people's growing population. Therefore, Pharaoh decreed that all male babies be thrown into the Nile River. Moses was one of the children to be sacrificed, so his mother hid him for three months. When she could no longer keep Moses' secret, she placed the baby in a basket and floated Moses down the Nile River. Guarded under his sister's watchful eye, Miriam told their mother Moses was spared from death. Pharaoh's daughter drew him from the river and raised Moses as her son.
Bred as royalty, Moses would one day rescue Israel from their enslavement. Aware of his true identity as an Israelite, Moses witnessed the beating of a Hebrew slave one day. In his anger, he killed the Egyptian Taskmaster, who committed the assault. When the murder became known, Moses was exiled from Egypt. He fled to Midian, married a lady named Zipporah, and lived there 40 years before he encountered God's presence in the form of a burning bush. Moses noticed that the bush was not consumed by fire. When he went to observe the bush, God called him by name. The Lord informed Moses of his commission to save the Israelites, but Moses lacked the confidence to perform the task alone. God permitted his brother Arron to accompany Moses as the spokesman. Still, God mentally and physically equipped Moses with the boldness to challenge Pharaoh.
Exodus reveals shocking details about Pharaoh's defiance against God. It resulted in 10 devastating plagues upon Egypt. God had Moses approach Pharaoh and petitioned the release of His people from bondage. The initial request was for them to worship the Highest God in the desert for three days. The ultimate goal was for the Israelites to leave Egypt permanently and reside in Canaan, where God has prepared a place for them. Moses asked Pharaoh to release all of the Hebrews. It included Men, women, children, and livestock. God inclined the Egyptians to favor the Hebrews and provide them with the treasured possessions needed to make sacrifices to God.
At first, Pharaoh agreed only to permit the men to go and worship, but God did not seek compromise. The Lord had witnessed the hardship against His people and heard their cry. Considering himself a god, Pharaoh stood firmly against Moses' unyielding request and the plagues that accompanied them. God used Pharaoh's anger against him and hardened his heart even more. Some of the plagues brought against Egypt were: the Nile River turning into blood, festering skin boils, hail storms, pestilence, and livestock death. There was an infestation of frogs, Locust, and other curses. Yet the ultimate plague came from Pharaoh's own lips. He declared a massive killing among the firstborn sons of all the Hebrew people, but God spared their children. Consequently, the firstborn's plague fell upon Pharaoh's son, the Egyptian community, and even their livestock, as Moses proclaimed it to be. There were great mourning and distress in the land.
The Passover Festival played a significant role in the life-saving blessing of the firstborn Hebrew males. Before the ceremony, God informed Moses and Arron to instruct the Israelites on how to plan for the Passover Supper. The families were told to prepare a meal, roasting a male lamb or goat. They were instructed to paint the door frame of their houses with the animal's blood on the eve of Passover. The Most High God would pass through the land that night and strike down the firstborn males in the houses not marked by blood. This Passover was an early foreshadowing of Jesus Christ, who served as the sacrificial Lamb for humanity. The Passover Supper was deemed a memorial ceremony by God, and it is still commemorated today.
The Lord knew the temperament of the Egyptian slaves and sought to establish Himself as the One and Only True God. He hardened Pharaoh's heart by using the Ruler's anger against him. After Pharaoh released the Israelites from bondage, He soon realized there was no servitude for his country. Therefore, Pharaoh rescinded his degree and sent forth the Egyptian Army to pursue the Slaves. In his attempt to capture the Israelites, Moses executed his biggest miracle yet. God instructed Moses to stretch out his hand to divide the Red Sea. Staff in hand, Moses obeyed, and the Lord made a pathway of dry land. The Israelites hastened across while Pharaoh and his Army followed and drowned in the Sea.
God's ultimate plan was to reclaim His people from Egyptian slavery. He intends to bring glory unto Himself through the demise of Pharaoh and his army. Through praise and worship, the Israelites expressed great joy for the Lord with songs and tambourines. For the first time, they worshipped God with adoration as they traveled toward the Promised land. The ultimate purpose of God was to gain honor and acknowledgment for being the one true God. The people respected and feared both God and Moses. He led the Hebrews out of Egypt to Mount Sinai's foothill, where God's presence awaited to invite the Israelites into a covenant relationship.