The second book of Moses, but the first to feature him. As the book opens, the Israelites are in Egypt, and are being oppressed by Egypt’s Pharaoh. Moses is born, and is raised by Pharaoh’s daughter (Exodus 2:3,6). When Moses is grown, God speaks to Moses from a burning bush (Exodus 3:2). God tells Moses to gather his people, but Moses demurs, saying the people will not believe him. God gives Moses a miraculous sign, but still Moses demurs "O my Lord, I am not eloquent" (Exodus 4:10) so God assigns Moses’ older brother Aaron to speak for him. On God’s instructions Aaron and Moses go to Pharaoh and demand the release of the children of Israel, and do the miracle, but Pharaoh refuses (Exodus 5), and instead treats the people harshly.

Then follows a series of plagues. The rivers turn to blood, and the land is smitten with frogs. Pharaoh offers to yield, but recants (Exodus 8). The dust is turned to lice (ugh) followed by a huge swarm of flies. Again Pharaoh yields, but again recants (Exodus 8:32). The cattle of the Egyptians are killed, and the Egyptians are smitten with boils, followed by a storm of hail and fire. Pharaoh cries uncle, but as soon as the plagues are removed, recants once more. Pharaoh’s advisors beg him to relent before Egypt is totally destroyed (Exodus 10:7) but he will not. Pharaoh says the adults can go, but not the children or livestock. Moses: No deal. Next up: a plague of locusts (Exodus 10:14,15). Pharaoh relents, but recants. There follows 3 days of total darkness. Pharaoh yields a bit more: He will let the people go, but no livestock. Moses: No deal.

Finally God instructs the children of Israel to each take in a lamb, and sacrifice it and mark their doors with its blood, and roast and eat it. They do this and God strikes down the firstborn child of every house not so marked. (Exodus 12. This event is marked by Passover.) And finally Pharaoh truly had enough, and said "begone," flocks and all, and so the people head into the wilderness.

But of course Pharaoh changes his mind, and pursues them with chariots. The people were backed against the sea, and under the cover of cloud, God parts the sea and the people cross on dry land. The Egyptians pursue the next day, but God closes the sea on them (Exodus 14). The people flee to Mt. Sinai and are fed (Exodus 16) and watered ( Exodus 17) through miracles.

Finally, at Mt. Sinai, the sermon on the mount occurs, Moses receives the ten commandments (Exodus 20) and the Mosaic laws, but the people turn to worship of the golden calf (Exodus 32) and are punished but forgiven.

Genesis | Leviticus

This is part of a series of original summations of the Old Testament by me, Lord Brawl, prepared on Sundays as a nod toward the faith of my youth.