Introduction to Exodus

Traditional Judaism and Christianity have maintained for thousands of years that Moses is the human author of Exodus. It was written between 1440 and 1400 BC. Skeptics in the nineteenth century rejected Mosaic authorship, believing that Semitic writing did not exist during Moses’ lifetime. However, archaeologists have since discovered Semitic inscriptions in the Sinai Desert dating at least 100 years earlier than Moses.

The word “exodus” means departure. Exodus is sometimes referred to as “the central book of the Old Testament”. HCSB introduction to Exodus states, “Indeed its pages contain some of Scripture’s greatest treasures, including the Ten Commandments, the primary accounts of the ten plagues, Israel’s exodus from Egypt into freedom, God’s establishment of a covenant with His people at Mount Sinai, and the construction of the tabernacle along with its sacred furnishings.” “Its laws established the outlines of Israel’s social life and provide authoritative basis for the religious practices that informed Israelite culture for more than a thousand years.”

Though there is debate as to when the Exodus actually occurred, most agree that the event falls somewhere between 1450 and 1250 BC. During this time, Egypt was arguably the greatest military and cultural power in the world. Egypt was staunchly polytheistic, but during this time Amon-Re appears to have been the dominantly worshiped deity. NLT Illustrated Study Bible’s introduction to Exodus notes, “God did not sneak His people out during a time of Egyptian weakness; He led them forth when Egyptian strength was at its height.”

“The numerous sacrifices required of the Israelites were a picture of the ultimate sacrifice, the Passover Lamb of God, Jesus Christ…Among the symbolic presentations of Christ in the book of Exodus is the story of water from the rock in Exodus 17:6. Just as Moses struck the rock to provide life giving water for the people to drink, so did God strike the Rock of our salvation, crucifying Him for our sin, and from the Rock came the gift of living water (John 4:10). The provision of manna in the wilderness is a perfect picture of Christ, the Bread of Llife (John 6:48), provided by God to give us life.”


Exodus Survey from

HCSB Introduction to Exodus

NLT Illustrated Study Bible Introduction to Exodus