Exodus, Book of

Exodus; Exodus 16; 1 Peter 4:1; Romans 5:3-8; Exodus 17; Deuteronomy 25:18; Exodus 18; Exodus 19-24; Exodus 24; Exodus 25-31; Exodus 32; Exodus 33; Hebrews 13:12-13; Romans 9:14-15; Exodus 34; Deuteronomy 10:1-3; Psalm 135:13-14; Psalm 136; Exodus 35-40
This book occupies the period from the death of Joseph to the setting up of the Tabernacle. Under the headings of ISRAEL IN EGYPT, the PLAGUES OF EGYPT, and the EXODUS these subjects are considered, which embrace the first fifteen chapters.
Exodus 16. After the song at the Red Sea the Israelites were led into the wilderness of Shur, and their faith was put to the test by the bitter waters of Marah; but they were afterward refreshed by the living waters and shelter at Elim: both are types of wilderness experience. Marah answers in the first place to the experience of 1 Peter 4:11Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; (1 Peter 4:1); then, the cross being accepted, Romans 5:3-83And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 4And patience, experience; and experience, hope: 5And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. 6For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. 8But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:3‑8) becomes the happy experience of the soul. This is followed by Elim—the ministry of grace. God gave them bread from heaven, typical of the heavenly grace in Christ, the bread of life, to sustain the believer in life to God, during the wilderness. The manna was to be gathered daily. He sent them also quails to eat.
Exodus 17. Moses smote the rock and there came water out of the rock—type of the Holy Spirit—and this was followed by conflict: they fought with Amalek (type of Satan seeking to act upon the weak flesh of the believer: Compare Deuteronomy 25:1818How he met thee by the way, and smote the hindmost of thee, even all that were feeble behind thee, when thou wast faint and weary; and he feared not God. (Deuteronomy 25:18). Power is not in the flesh, but in the Spirit): with Amalek there was to be continued conflict, because they touched the rights of God in His people.
Exodus 18. Jethro brought to Moses his wife and his two sons: sacrifices were offered by Jethro, a Gentile, who ate with Israel. Judges were appointed that there might be order and righteous judgment among the people: type of the millennium.
Exodus 19-24. Here there was a change: up to this all had been grace, but now the people were put under law, and not knowing themselves they said, “All that the Lord hath spoken we will do.” The ten commandments and various laws followed until Exodus 24 when the covenant was ratified by blood and inaugurated. On it being read the people again said, “All that the Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient.” The people were sprinkled with blood, then Moses, Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders ascended the mount; “they saw God, and did eat and drink.” They thus entered into relationship with God. The glory of Jehovah was like devouring fire.
Exodus 25-31. During these chapters Moses was in the mount: he remained there forty days, and received from God the pattern of the tabernacle, and all its accompaniments. See TABERNACLE.
Exodus 32. While Moses was in the mount the people, under the plea of not knowing what had become of Moses, requested Aaron to make them “gods to go before” them, and the golden calf was made. God threatened to destroy the people, but Moses pleaded for them, and asked God to remember Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. When Moses saw the calf he broke the two tables of the law; the people had already broken the law. The calf was destroyed and the idolaters slain.
Exodus 33. God said He would send an angel, and not go Himself with Israel, for they were a stiff-necked people. Moses took the tabernacle and pitched it outside the camp, and those that sought the Lord went there to it (compare Heb. 13:12-1312Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. 13Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach. (Hebrews 13:12‑13)). (This “tent of meeting” was probably a provisional one, for the tabernacle had not been made.) Moses continued to plead for Israel, and became their mediator. All being ruined, God would now act in His sovereignty, and show mercy to whom He would—a sovereignty which extends mercy to Gentiles as well as Jews (compare Rom. 9:14-1514What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. 15For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. (Romans 9:14‑15)). God promised to be gracious, so that now mercy was added to law.
Exodus 34. The two tables were renewed, but were to be placed in an ark (compare Deut. 10:1-31At that time the Lord said unto me, Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first, and come up unto me into the mount, and make thee an ark of wood. 2And I will write on the tables the words that were in the first tables which thou brakest, and thou shalt put them in the ark. 3And I made an ark of shittim wood, and hewed two tables of stone like unto the first, and went up into the mount, having the two tables in mine hand. (Deuteronomy 10:1‑3)), and God proclaimed Himself as “Jehovah, Jehovah God”—His name with Israel, but adding the characteristics of mercy and holy government. Moses was again in the mount for forty days, and when he came down his face shone. The sabbath was again rehearsed before them, as the token of this fresh covenant of mercy and holy government; but mercy will in the end rejoice over judgment (Psa. 135:13-1413Thy name, O Lord, endureth for ever; and thy memorial, O Lord, throughout all generations. 14For the Lord will judge his people, and he will repent himself concerning his servants. (Psalm 135:13‑14); Psa. 136).
Exodus 35-40. The freewill offerings of the people were accepted for the tabernacle, and God gave skill to some for the work. The tabernacle was made and reared: the priests were sanctified and clothed, and all was finished. “Then the cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.” Moses was unable to enter the tent of the congregation because of the cloud. The cloud became their signal for movement: when it moved, they journeyed; and when it rested they abode in their tents. Thus the Israelites had God with them as Jehovah. How blessed would they have been, had they been able to keep the covenant under which God had put them, and which on their part they had promised to do, not, alas, knowing what their fallen nature really was: it was a trial of man under law.
In short, the Book of Exodus shows the redemption of the Israelites from slavery; their being brought into relationship with God, with a priesthood to maintain that relationship; and God leading and dwelling among them.