Exodus is an exciting story that describes how God led and guided his people from slavery in Egypt to Canaan. The name “Exodus” is transliteration of the Greek word meaning “going out”, referring to the departure of Israel from Egypt. This title of the book comes from The Septuagint (Greek Old Testament) translators. The word “Exodus” means “exit” or “departure”, and occurs in Exodus 19: 1, and in Greek New Testament in Luke 9: 31.
Exodus is an account of how a family of 70 immigrants which began with Abraham (Genesis 12) grew into a race of slaves that endured slavery and oppression (1: 13) in contrast to favourable conditions enjoyed under Joseph in Genesis.
Four hundred years had passed since Joseph moved his family to Egypt. These Hebrews (descendants of Abraham, foreigners in Egypt) who had now grown to over two million became a threat to Egypt’s new Pharaoh. He decided to make them slaves in an attempt to suppress them to ensure that his power stays balanced.
In the process of pains of slavery, the Israelites cried to God who answers prayers. A Hebrew boy called Moses was born as an answer to people’s prayers. He became a prince in Pharaoh’s palace, and then an outcast in a desert land. God visited him in the burning bush when he was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, and called him to deliver Israel from Egyptian bondage (3: 1-10).
After some discussions with God, Moses agreed to return to Egypt to lead Israel out of slavery. Through subsequent demonstrations of God’s power, a series of ten plagues (7: 6- 11: 10), and promises made and broken by Pharaoh, Israel was ultimately torn from the grips of Egypt. All these culminated in the exodus.
Protected and guided by the pillar of fire by night and a cloud by day, these millions of Hebrews marched out of Egypt through the Red Sea into the desert under the leadership of Moses (13:17-15:21) and settled in the environs of Mount Sinai for approximately one year. It was at Mount Sinai where God established a covenant with Israel (Chapters 19 to 24).