The book of Genesis introduced us to God, what He’s like, and provided a history of human beings and the formation of His chosen people—the people of Israel.  We were also introduced to a number of promises made by God—to rectify the problem of sin in the world and to provide land, seed, and blessing to the line of Abraham.

Exodus focuses on the account of God bringing Israel out of slavery in Egypt and the beginning of the journey to the land He promised to Abraham.  Along the way God demonstrates His power, reveals more about who He is and what He desires from His people, and shows that His name is glorified through His use of the unlikeliest of people.  The person focused on in Exodus is Moses, who also happens to be the author of the first 5 books of the Bible. It is interesting to see that Exodus documents the great ways that God used Moses as well as Moses’ own failings.

Like Genesis, this book can easily be broken into sections.  The sections of Exodus focus on the location of the people of Israel—in Egypt (chapters 1-10), as they travel from Egypt to God’s mountain in the desert (chapters 11-18), and the events that unfold at God’s mountain (chapters 19-40).

The accounts in Exodus are perhaps some of the best-known events in the Bible due to the number of movies that have been based off of them.  And while Exodus documents over 400 years of history, most of the book is spent describing the events in the year prior to the exodus of Israel and the year after the exodus and continues explaining the formation of the nation of Israel by detailing the three necessary parts of a nation—people (the descendants of Israel), a legal basis for governing (the 10 Commandments), and land (Canaan—the land promised to Abraham).

Quick Facts

Author: Moses

Audience: The people of Israel (to encourage them as they traveled to the promised land by retelling the events of God’s deliverance of Israel).

Date Written: 1525-1405 B.C. (during the life of Moses)

Style: Epic Narrative

Time Period Covered: about 1876-1445 BC. The events range from the arrival of Jacob’s family in Egypt until the building of the tabernacle.

Other Facts: This is the most cited book in the Old Testament and the third-most cited book in the New Testament—only the book of Psalms and Isaiah are cited more.

The Israelites lived in Egypt for about 430 years before the exodus and in Genesis 15:13 God told Abraham that the length of his descendants’ oppression in Egypt would be around 400 years.