bNotes – Book of Exodus
Author: Moses, written 1450-1410 B.C. (records would indicate between 1450 – 1375)
Exodus time period: 1805 B.C. – 1375 B.C.
400 years has passed since the death of Joseph, and the new pharaoh, who didn’t recognize Joseph‘s contributions, or didn‘t care about them, felt these 2,000,000+ Hebrews were a threat, so he made them slaves.
400 years passed since Joseph, then the Hebrews were enslaved for another 400 years?
Joseph’s descendants flourished as shepherds and nomads in the northwestern area of Egypt called Goshen, given to him by the pharaoh at the time.
Where did the sea parting happen? Pharaoh started to chase Moses and the Hebrews at Baal-zephon, in far north Egypt near Goshen. The Red Sea is due south 50+ miles at the closest. Did the “car chase scene” last for over 50 miles and they crossed the sea at its northernmost tip?
Experts believe the Exodus occurred in the early 13th Century, since the ancient cities of Rameses and Pithom were built in 1290 B.C. – o r – that the pharaoh of the time, Rameses II, actually just renamed the two pre-existing cities to take credit for them and that the Hebrews left Egypt in 1446 B.C.
Pharaoh commanded two midwives, Shiphrah and Puah, two watch for any male babies being born, and to kill them. However, for fear and respect of God, they disobeyed pharaoh.
Since this plan wasn’t working, pharaoh then commanded all of his people to throw every newborn Hebrew into the Nile river.
Moses was born unto a Levite family, Jochebed and Amram. After being hid for the first three months of his life, his mother put him in a basket in the river…luckily near where the princess, pharaoh’s daughter, was bathing. The princess saw this baby and fetched him out of the water. Moses’ sister, Miriam, was watching the whole time and approached the princess, asking her if she should go and find a nurse for her new baby. The princess agreed and sent the girl off, who then returned with her mother – Moses’ mother – who was able to nurse her own son, and get paid for it!
Two schools of thought as to the princess’ identity, thus the identity of Moses’ “adoptive” mother: Hatshepsut, wife of Pharaoh Thutmose II, who was unable to have children, thus an heir, and felt the gods blessed her with baby Moses (matching the earlier Exodus date of around 1290 B.C. ) – or – the daughter of Rameses II (matching the later Exodus date of 1446 B.C.)
After the boy was older, he was officially adopted by the princess, who named him “Moses” which means “to lift out” because she said she “lifted him out of the water.”
When he was older, Moses went out to where the Hebrew slaves where, and saw a man being beaten by an Egyptian guard. He killed the guard, but a day or so later pharaoh heard of this and Moses escaped death and fled to Midian, where he was taken in by Reuel (also called Jethro) and soon married his daughter, Zipporah.
Zipporah had a son and they named him “Gershom” which means “a foreigner there” because Moses said he had “been a foreigner living in a foreign land.”
God appeared as a burning bush on Mt. Sinai before Moses as he tended his flock. He told Moses to lead the nation of Israel out of Egypt. When asked who he should say sent him, God told Moses, “I am who I am.” (Remember this when Jesus is asked about who he is in the New Testament when he also answers, “Before Abraham…I am.”
God also told Moses to tell the Israelites that Yahweh (proper name “YHWH” and sometimes rendered “Jehovah“), the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob had sent him. “This is my eternal name, my name to remember for all generations.”
God showed Moses some of the miracles to perform in front of pharaoh – stick into snake, leprosy and water into blood. When Moses still begged for God to send someone else, God got angry, but allowed for his brother Aaron, a good speaker and a Levite, to be his spokesman.
Was Moses able to convince God to change His mind, slightly alter His plan? But, of course, on the flip side, God already knew Moses was gonna be gun-shy about the thing so He let it play out, possibly letting Moses get comfortable with the idea and have a sense that he got his way so things would run a bit smoother. Either way. God wins.
God appeared before Aaron and told him to meet Moses in the desert. Then the two headed for Egypt where they met with the Israelite leaders/elders and told them of God’s plan.
The plagues of Egypt:
Staff into a serpent, pharaoh’s sorcerers did the same, but Aaron’s snake swallowed up the other snakes showing God’s dominance over Egypt and pharaoh’s gods. This isn’t considered a plague, but I see it as a type of “forward” to the plagues.
1) The staff was tapped into the Nile river and he water turned into blood. The fish died. The water became toxic to drink. Pharaoh’s sorcerers also then turned water into blood. The Egyptians were then forced to dig new canals to find fresh water.
2) Seven days later, frogs everywhere! Again though, pharaoh’s sorcerer’s were able to produce frogs. Pharaoh pled for Moses and Aaron to God to rid them of the frogs and he’d let them go out to the wilderness to pray and offer sacrifices to God. So, Moses asked God to rid them of the frogs and they suddenly all died. They were gathered into large piles and taken out of Egypt, leaving a nasty smell behind. But, as soon as this was done, pharaoh decided not to let the Israelites leave.
3) Gnats. Aaron struck the staff on the ground and the dust turned into gnats that covered the people, places and things of Egypt. Pharaoh’s sorcerers tried to duplicate this plague, but they couldn’t this time. They called it “the finger of God.”
4) Flies. They filled the houses and palaces of Egypt, except for the region of Goshen, were the Israelites leaved and where God said he’d make a clear distinction between His people and pharaoh’s, thus proving His power and that He was truly among them even in Egypt. Pharaoh promised to let them leave to go worship God, but as the flies left, he refused again.
5) Death to the livestock. All of Egypt’s livestock was struck dead, but not one single animal died belonging to the Israelites. Pharaoh remained stubborn.
6) Boils. Moses was instructed to take a handful of soot from a brick kiln and toss it into the air. The soot spread throughout the wind and every Egyptian person or animal who was touched by it developed festering boils on their skin. Still, pharaoh refused to let them leave.
7) Hail. Pharaoh was still defiant so God rained down a mega hail storm unlike anyone had ever seen. Thunder and lightning filled the skies as hail demolished everything it came into contact with. Egypt was left in ruin as men, animals and buildings were wiped out if they stood out in the open – all except the land of Goshen where the Israelites lived. Pharaoh promised to let them leave if the hail stopped, but as soon as it did, he once again did not allow them to go.
8 ) Locusts. God told Moses that he had displayed these plagues upon Egypt so he could show his “children and grandchildren about how I made a mockery of the Egyptians and about the signs I displayed among them…”
God said he wanted to make a “mockery” of Egypt. In the Bible, He says not to mock your children. Is this a direct reference to the fact that God did not consider the people of Egypt as his children? That although God made everyone, only those who are born again unto Him are considered His children? Egypt surely did not honor, praise nor recognize God’s authority in the universe.
The locusts were swept in by the east winds and covered the land, devouring what was left of the vegetation in the area. Pharaoh pleaded with Moses and Aaron to ask God to send the locusts away, and they were then swept into the Red Sea (Sea of Reeds.)
9) Darkness. God darkened all of Egypt – except for the land of Goshen – for three days. No one could see anything and “no one moved.” Pharaoh told Moses he could leave with all the people, but not his livestock, but Moses told him that the livestock must go as well. “Not a hoof can be left behind.” Pharaoh refused and told Moses to get away from him with the words: “I’m warning you. Never come back to see me again! The day you see my face, you will die!” And Moses replied, “Very well. I will never see your face again.”
10) Death for Egypt’s firstborn/Passover. Moses warned that God will take the firstborn of every Egyptian. So pharaoh would “know that the Lord makes a distinction between the Egyptians and Israelites.” God instructed Moses and Aaron to tell the Israelites to get a 1 year-old make lamb and smear its blood on their doorframes the night the plague was going to hit so death will “pass over” their homes. The blood of the lamb signified a sacrifice of something pure, a substitute for the person who would have died. This is a direct foreshadow of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, who was sacrificed and died on the cross to save all of us less we be sacrificed. They must also completely roast the lamb and eat it with bitter herbs and unleavened (yeast-free) bread. Additionally, they had to be dressed and ready to go, for they were about to leave Egypt.
God also commanded that Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread was to be a “law for all time” for the Israelites, His chosen people, the Jewish religion. We, the Gentile Christians, are not bound by a Hebrew tradition. We worship and remember the Lord everyday by spreading the message of Jesus Christ.
Every time someone sinned before Jesus, did they have to sacrifice an animal to God in order to be forgiven of that one sin? Luckily, Jesus hooked us up for all the sins we’ll ever do if we accept Him as our Saviour.
There were about 600,000 men “plus all the women and children” and “a rabble of non-Israelites which totaled approximately 2 million people leaving Egypt for the Promised Land with Moses and Aaron.
The pillar of cloud guided them through the wilderness/desert by day, and a pillar of fire guided them through the night.
Theophany – God appearing in physical form. (Example: the pillars of cloud and fire)
Pharaoh and his entire army surrounded Moses and the Israelites near Baal-zephon, on the shores of Pi-hahiroth. This is where Moses parted the sea.
Baal-zephon is in Northernmost Egypt. The Red Sea is south of Egypt. How did this happen or does this give credence to the idea that the Red Sea isn’t what was parted, rather the “sea of reeds” or “Reed Sea” was the actual place that Moses parted the waters? And that the Red Sea and Reed Sea are two different places. Or Baal-zephon is not where scholars believe it may have been, but rather it is south, near the actual Red Sea.
Moses’ “Song of Deliverance” celebrating God’s victory over the Egyptians and His freeing of the Israelites. It may be the oldest recorded song in history.
At Marah, which means “bitter,” God showed Moses a piece of wood that he was to place in the water and make the water drinkable.
The people continue to complain about hunger, thirst, etc so God sent quail that covered the camps for meat. The next morning, and every morning after except every 7th day, the Sabbath day, a flaky substance covered the ground that the people collected. They called it “Manna” which means “what is it?” It was white and tasted like honey wafers and they made pancakes out of it.
God wanted the people to place some manna in a jar to preserve it for all future generations to see and know what He had done for the Israelites in the wilderness. Aaron later placed the jar in the Ark of the Covenant. God knew he would do this. People have been searching for the Ark for a long time. Does this mean, since God wanted us to see the manna, that the Ark is supposed to be found. Some theories suggest that the Ark is no longer on earth, but how could this jar of manna serve as a reminder if it cannot be seen? Unless it is supposed to be less of a physical remembrance and more of a spiritual one.
“A friend of Amalek” was an insult in the Israelite culture. The Amalekites, descendents of Amalek, a grandson of Esau, where a fierce nomadic tribe known for murder ring and plundering. They seem like little more than focused savages.
Moses commanded Joshua, leader of the Israelite “army,” to meet the attack of the Amalekites with resistance. Meanwhile, Moses stood on a nearby hill overlooking the battle. As long as he held up his staff in the air, the Israelites would be winning the battle. However, he became tired and Aaron and Hur had to help Moses hold up his arms, because when the staff was lowered, the Amalekites would gain the advantage. In the end, Joshua and the Israelite slaves – with the obvious help of the Lord – won the battle.
Yahweh-nissi (“The Lord is my banner”)
Jethro, Moses’ father-n-law, saw that he was handling every dispute, large or small, that the Israelites had. He saw the weight in brought down upon Moses and suggested that he delegate the minute day-to-day disputes to leaders he felt would be honest and trustworthy. Jethro told him to teach these people the ways of God so that they can be effective leaders to their people of “one thousand, one hundred, fifty and ten.”
Right after Jethro’s speech of the need for Moses to tell the people the ways of God, the decrees and instructions, it seems convenient, or maybe just timely, that Moses is given the Ten Commandments.
Moses went up Mt. Sinai and spoke to God who told him that He would make a special covenant with the people of Israel and make them a “kingdom of priests” and His “holy nation” and His “special treasure” if they agreed to obey and follow Him. Moses went back down the mountain and told the people who responded by saying, “We will do everything the Lord has commanded.“ So Moses went back up the mountain to tell God the good news.
God then told Moses to tell the people that He would come in the form of a cloud and that all would hear his voice to know that Moses was telling the truth. He told Moses to tell them to prepare for His arrival by consecrating themselves “today and tomorrow” and wash their clothing, and that on the third day He “will come down on Mt. Sinai as all the people watch.” He warned Moses to mark a boundary around the base of the mountain and that any person or animal who crossed the line would have to be killed. Moses took this information back to the Israelites and told them to wash up, abstain from sex and get ready for the third day.
Does consecrate mean “abstain from sex?” If not, where did Moses come up with that part?
Consecrated in this sense meant to forego any sin, carnal pleasure or daily routine that took away from them getting “right with God” so to prepare spiritually to meet Him.
On the third day, a fire and smoke came down the mountain accompanied by thunder and lightning. The people were scared as Moses was called up the mountain. After which, God also told him to bring Aaron and they were given the Ten Commandments.
Why is Aaron never mentioned in the movies or rarely in the stories told? He obviously played a huge part in the life of Moses, yet he’s second fiddle to most.
God freed the Israelites from slavery just to then give them regulations on how to treat their own slaves?
The Old Testament teaches ‘and eye for an eye” while the New Testament teaches “turn the other cheek.” Why the stark contrast? It is said that Jesus coming to earth, living a sinless life and dying on the cross for all our sins erased the OT ways of thinking, but why did God not teach peace over revenge back then as well?
Scholars say the “eye for an eye” was a tool for the judges to use when deciding just punishment, not for the individual to exact revenge.
Why were slaves – even if followers of God and, hence, His people – still not treated as fairly as the Israelites?
Is “chosen people” that much better than “follower” or ‘worshiper?”
After telling the people about God’s laws, Moses once again ascended Mt. Sinai to receive “tablets of stone” from God. Fire and smoke surrounded the mountain and Moses went up, where he was gone for 40 days and 40 nights.
When God is mentioning how to build the Ark of the Covenant, he mentions that the cover must have “two cherubim from hammered gold…with their wings spread above it…” This is the first time in the Bible any sort of angel description is mentioned.
This implies the people would know what a “cherubim” was and looked like. How?
Looking back, the Bible never calls the snake/serpent that tempted Eve “Satan.” It just says the thing is “shrewd” and whatnot. Of course everyone takes that as being Lucifer, but why?
“Angel of God” refers to God in a physical manifestation or “thephany.” Obviously He also came to earth in the physical form of His Son Jesus Christ, too.
God really made the Hebrews earn their title of “God’s Chosen” with the Tabernacle building and precise instructions for worship that had to be followed down to the last exact detail. Had to be very painstaking and nerve-wracking.
Was God having the people use up all their precious metals and fine linens – perhaps the ones taken from the Egyptians – to build the Tabernacle and other sacred objects to humble them, teaching against being materialistic and selfish? Showing that only God Himself should be worshiped?
Aaron, Moses’ brother, was Israel’s first high priest. A robe was designed for him that when he went before God, he would not die.
A solid gold medallion engraved with “Holy to the Lord” hung from Aaron’s turban that took on the sins of the people that he wished to have God forgive.
Moses was to “anoint and ordain” his brother Aaron and his sons so they could serve as God’s priests.
Aaron and his sons also had to wear undergarments beneath their tunics when they went before God so they would “not incur guilt and die.”
When Moses and Aaron were offering animals to God in the ceremony to makes priests of Aaron and his sons, the ram was sacrificed and the Lord said, “it is a pleasing aroma, a special gift presented to the Lord.”
He must’ve been there then, because He smelt the cooking ram.
All this slaughtering must have gotten a ton of blood on those new robes and priest garb. How did they get the blood out?
A “ransom” was to be paid via a census of the people of Israel to God so “then no plague will strike the people as you count them.” People 20 years-old and over had to pay a half-shekel (silver piece.)
God told Moses the importance of keeping the 7th day, the Sabbath day, holy by saying “for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, but on the seventh day he stopped working and was refreshed.”
The Israelites were getting restless so Aaron built them a cow out of gold and they began to worship it, make offerings and dance around like a bunch of pagans. God was about to wipe them all out when Moses CHANGE HIS MIND. He convinced God that the Egyptians would think the Hebrew God only saved them from slavery to then slaughter them in the desert. He also spoke about the promise God made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. God relented.
Did God really change His mind or did he allow Moses to just feel good about himself? Perhaps God wasn’t really gonna smite all those people in the first place.
An example of God’s mercy.
Moses came down from the mountain and saw the Israelites celebrating around the calf statue. He smashed the two stone tablets – The Ten Commandments – on the ground in anger.
Moses told the people that the Lord commanded them to pick up their swords and “go back and forth from one end of camp to the other…kill everyone – even your brothers, friends and neighbors.” About 3,000 people died. The Levites were the once who listened, therefore they were ordained as priests that day.
God decided to not live among them for awhile as they traveled in the desert because they were “a stubborn and rebellious people” and if He did He “would surely destroy” them along the way.
The Tabernacle was still built apparently, but God didn’t live in it, rather He visited and spoke with Moses “face to face, as one speaks to a friend.” Joshua remained in the Tabernacle at all times.
Moses went back up Mt. Sinai to inscribe a second set of stone tablets with the Ten Commandments. There, God revealed Himself to Moses, but did not show His face.
God said to Moses concerning making treaties with pagan nations and succumbing to their idols: “You must worship no other gods, for the Lord, whose very name is Jealous, is a God who is jealous about his relationship with you.”
Does Yahweh, YHWH, Jehovah…any of those also mean “jealous.” What about in another language? Interesting. And, does this mean that being jealous is an okay thing to be sometimes?
“As you harvest your crops, bring the very best of the first harvest to the house of the Lord your God.” (See Exodus 34:26) This a foreshadowing of a pre-Tribulation rapture?
Moses remained on the mountain this time for 40 days and for 40 nights – and he fasted the whole time! I’m sensing a pattern, still searching for the significance to tie everything in.
Moses came back down from the mountain and his face was glowing from being in the presence with God. He actually starting wearing a veil because it freaked the people out so much. He only removed the veil when speaking with God in the Tabernacle.
Bezalel and Oholiab were filled with the Holy Spirit of God and given master craftsmen and designer skills so to build the Tabernacle and teach others.
The “Inventory of Material” section telling of the collected and used goods for the Tabernacle is very interesting, and thorough as to make a disbeliever think: “If the Bible was fake, why add this?” And it doesn’t seem like the figures were made up in some sort of reverse psychology effort either. It is actually a detailed set of figures too precise to ignore.
Aaron’s descendants were set apart for the priesthood “forever, from generation to generation.”
When the Tabernacle was finished, a cloud descended down upon the Tabernacle meaning God was inside. Moses was no longer able to enter. At night, a fire glowed in the cloud for all of Israel to see and know God was with them.
Earlier is mentioned that Moses had talks with God in the Tabernacle, hence the glowing face and veil. It says at the end of Exodus that he was no longer allowed inside. Or was it just when the cloud was there, because it mentions that when it lifted, the people moved, when it was there, they remained in place.