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A Seminar paper on the Book of Exodus

I. ABBREVIATIONS

B.C. = before Christ

Ch. = Chapter/Chapters

Cor. = Corinthians

Dan. = Daniel

Deut. = Deuteronomy

ESV = English Standard Version

Ex. = Exodus

GNB = Good News Bible

Heb. = Hebrew/Hebrews

Jn. = John

Josh. = Joshua

KJV = King James Version

Lev. = Leviticus

Luk. = Luke

Mal. = Malachi

Matt. = Matthew

Mk. = Mark

NT = New Testament

OT = Old Testament

Ps. = Palms

Rev. = Revelation

vv. = Verses

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A Seminar paper on the Book of Exodus

II. INTRODUCTION

The book of Exodus is second book of the OT known as Torah. God revealed Himself in the
story of Exodus. In this historical event, Israel had experienced God as a God of action who
had chosen them. The book of Exodus provides the theological framework for the rest of the
Bible. There are many critics question rise by the modern scholars to the book of Exodus.
However, this paper will deal briefly on background introduction of the book such as title,
authorship, date and place, purpose, theme, forms of literature, theological importance,
outlines, theological words study and theological paradoxes and its solutions. The aim and
objective of the paper is to lead readers in deeper study and understand the Book. Throughout
the paper the phrase “book of Exodus” would be used in abbreviated form as “BOE.”

1. The Title of the Book

The BOE gives its Title from the opening words Ve-eleh shemoth (“and these are the
name”)1. The title “Exodus” was first applied to the book by the Hellenistic, or Greek-
speaking, Jews, who translated the Hebrew Bible into Greek at Alexandria in the third and
second centuries B.C.2 The title “Exodus” in Greek “ἐμξοδος” means “departure” or
“outgoing,” and was selected as an appropriate name for a work which treats mainly of the
departure of the Children of Israel out of the land of Egypt.3 This title is first found in the
manuscripts of the Septuagint.4 It was adopted by the Vulgate5 and the others Versions, and
so became the title of the book in the English Bible. The BOE was not originally a separate
book. It is merely the second volume into which the Pentateuch or the Jewish Torah or Law,
was divided for the sake of convenience. The same phrase occurs in Gen. 46:8, where it
likewise introduces a list of the names of those Israelites “who went to Egypt with Jacob”
(1:1). Thus Exodus was not intended to exist separately, it cannot stand alone, but was
thought of as a continuation of a narrative that began in Genesis and was completed in
Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.6

1
R.K. Harrison, Introduction To The Old Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing
Company, 1969), 566.
2
Joseph S. Exell, The Pulpit Commentary: Exodus (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing
Company, 1950),1.
3
. Exell, The Pulpit Commentary…, 1
4
W. H. Bennett, The New Century Bible (New York: Oxford University, [n.d.]),18.
5
Vulgate is Latin version of the Bible, translated from Hebrew and Greek.
6
Exodus cannot stand alone in the sense that it would not make much sense without Genesis.

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A Seminar paper on the Book of Exodus

2. The Authorship of the Book


The BOE is one of the first five of the Old Testament, which have traditionally been signed to
Moses as author. Exodus, and indeed the Pentateuch generally has been assigned to Moses by
a unanimous tradition, like among Pharisees and Sadducees, Jews and Samaritans, those who
ascribed a sacred character to the work and those who regarded it as a mere human
production. No other author has ever been put forward as a rival candidate to Moses. But
some scholars insist that “Exodus was compiled by an unknown writer or editor who drew
from several different historical documents.”7 However, their conclusions have not convinced
many scholars. There are two sound reasons why Moses can be accepted without question as
the divinely inspired author of this book: First, Exodus itself speaks of the writing activity of
Moses. In Ex. 34:27 God commands Moses to “write these words”. Another passage tells that
“Moses wrote all the words of the Lord” in obedience to God’s command (Ex. 24:4). It is
reasonable to assume that these verses refer to Moses’ writing of material that appears in the
BOE. Second, Moses either observed or participated in the events described in Exodus. He
was well qualified to write about these experiences, since he had been educated in the
household of the Pharaoh during his early life.
It has been sometime argued that the historical Moses, considering the time when he lived,
and the condition of the world at that period, could not possibly have been the author even of
a single book of the Pentateuch. Some Scholar like De Wette supposed that “alphabetic
writing was not at the time invented, and that if the Egyptian hierogl yphic system was
anterior to Moses, it could not have been employed to embody with any definiteness the
articulate sounds of the Hebrew language.”8 If Moses, therefore, did not possess an alphabetic
system of his own, and was acquainted with the hieroglyphic system, which is not
impossible, since he was bred up at the court, and learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians
he might have written the Pentateuch in that character. Which the Egyptian system of
hieroglyphic writing was also beyond all doubt complete several centuries before Abraham.

Therefore, if then there is no obstacle arising out of the circumstances of the time when
Moses lived, to hinder regarding him as the author of Exodus, and if tradition is unanimous in
assigning it to him then nothing remains but to ask what internal evidence the book itself

7
James Carroll Tollett, a pastor of Liberty Church and an assistant professor of Evangelization of Oral Robert
University, Tulsa, Oklahoma. In his book “Introduction to the Book of Exodus”, brings an argument that Exodus
was compiled by an unknown writer or editor who drew from several different historical documents.
8
De Wette’s argument cited by Joseph S. Exell, The Pulpit Commentary: Exodus (Grand Rapids, Michigan:
William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1950), 5.

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A Seminar paper on the Book of Exodus

offers upon the subject. Does it support, or does it make against, the hypothesis of the Mosaic
authorship? There are several lines of evidence to support Moses authorship of the book.
Norman L. Geisler gives three types of evidence such as: possible evidence, probable
evidence and positive evidence they are as follows.9
2.1. Possible evidence
The evidence which supports the Mosaic authorship of Genesis also applies to Exodus. No
other known person from that period had the time, interest, and ability to compose such a
record. In addition, Moses was an eyewitness of the events in Exodus and as such was
qualified to be the author of the book.
2.2. Probable evidence
Three other lines of evidence support the probability that Moses wrote Exodus.
i) The earliest Jewish teaching ascribes this book, along with the other four books of
the Torah, to Moses.
ii) The account of crossing the Red and the giving of the Law at Sinai strongly
suggest that the author had a first-hand acquaintance with those events. Some of
the conversations and events involved were known directly only by Moses.
iii) The detailed knowledge of the geography of the wilderness (see ch. 14) is
incomprehensible apart from first-hand experience gained from living there for
many years. The same is true of the author’s knowledge of the ancient customs
and practices described in Exodus.
2.3. Positive evidence
That Moses wrote Exodus is supported by positive testimony beginning in his day and
continuing into modern times through an unbroken chain. In Moses’ day, it was record in the
Bible that “Moses’ wrote all the words of the Lord” (Ex. 24:4). And, also the following
passages from both the OT and NT prove that was the book written by Moses, from OT Josh.
1:7; I kings. 2:3; Dan. 9:11; Ezra 6:18 and ends with Malachi’s exhortation, “Remember the
law of my servant Moses” Mal. 4:4, and from NT Jesus quoted of Ex. 20:12 using the
introduction, “For Moses said” (Mk. 7:10; cf. Luk. 20:37), in Rom. 10:5f; Paul quoted Ex.
20:11. Finally, the testimony of both Jewish community and the Christian church throughout
history has been to the effect that Moses wrote the BOE.
3. The Date and Place of writing
Since Moses wrote Exodus, it must dated some time during the wilderness wandering

9
Norman L. Geisler, A Popular Survey of the Old Testament (Michigan: Baker Book House, 1977), 53,54.

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A Seminar paper on the Book of Exodus

between the Exodus from Egypt itself and the conquest of Canaan forty years later.10 The
earliest possible date for the Exodus is more difficult to determine. According to the biblical
record in I Kings 6:1 it states that Solomon began to construct the Temple 480 years after
Israel had exiled Egypt. “The date given for Solomon’s Temple construction are variously
given as between 1012 B.C. by Ussher, 958 B.C. by Albright; 961 by Unger and 966 B.C. By
Payne, and most conservative Bible scholars would occur with a date of somewhere near 965
B.C.”11 Since complications of Solomon’s Temple is 965 B.C. by adding 480 years to this
date makes 1445 B.C for the approximate year of Israel’s deliverance and the date of the
Exodus. Also “some scholars believe that archaeological evidence indicates Pithom and
Rameses, cities Jewish slaves built were finished before1445 B.C .”12

4. Purpose of Writing

The BOE first emphasis is on the history.13 Secondly, the book also emphasis on law14 finally,
Christ is depicted in Exodus in many ways.15 Therefore, there are three purposes revealed in
writing of Exodus. such are: i) historical purpose, ii) doctrinal purpose and iii) Christological
purpose.

5. The Theme of the Book

Exodus traces the events from the time Israel entered Egypt as a small group of royally treated
guests until they were eventually delivered from the bondage of slavery. Therefore, theme of
the book can be emphasis by simple term “Redemption.”16 This redemption is revealed in two
ways in Exodus: first, by deliverance from Egypt and then by the duties enjoined upon God’s
people as His redeemed people.

6. Form(s) of Literature

10
Jerry Falwell, Liberty Bible Commentary: Old Testament (Virginia: The Old Time Gospel House, 1982), 118
11
Falwell, Liberty Bible Commentary…, 118
12
Paul R. House, Old Testament Survey (Tennessee: Broadman Press, 1992), 47.
13
Henry Bates, The Books of the Old Testament in Perspective (Ashland: Ashland Theological Seminary, 1955),
12.
14
Bates, The Books of the Old Testament in Perspective, 12.
15
Geisler, A Popular Survey…, 55.
16
Alfred Martin, Survey of the Scriptures: Part I Old Testament History (Chicago: Moody Bible Institute, 1965),
38.

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A Seminar paper on the Book of Exodus

Exodus includes various literature types and genres including poetry, covenant texts, and legal
materials. It is not possible here to examine the entire book and identify the rich variety of
literary expression, so a few passages will have to serve.

One of the great poems of the OT is “The Song of the Sea” (Ex. 15:1-18,21). This piece
celebrates Israel’s exodus deliverance from Egypt through the Red Sea (15:1a). The poem
mixes the traits of a hymn of praise, a coronation song, a litany, and a victory psalm. Its mixed
form suggests that it is multipurpose.17

Even greater benefit has come from the discovery that parts of Exodus, specifically 20:1-23:33,
resemble in both form and content certain covenant texts and law codes from the ancient Near
East. The second main section, Ex. 21:1-23:19, described its purpose to elaborate on the
principles established in the Ten Commandments and to address particular concerns faced by
the community.

7. Theological Importance of the Book

The BOE is the story of two covenant partners - God and Israel. Exodus sets forth in narrative
form how Israel became the people of Yahweh and lays out the covenant terms by which the
nation was to live as God’s people. Exodus defines the character of the faithful, mighty, saving,
holy God who established a covenant with Israel. God’s character is revealed both through
God’s name and God’s acts. The most important of God’s names is the covenant name Yahweh.
Yahweh designates God as the “I AM” who is there for His people and acts on their behalf.
Exodus also reveals God's character through His acts. Exodus also defines the character of
God’s people. Exodus also looks to the future, to the land of promise, for the land was
indispensable to Israel's full nationhood. Exodus stands then at a cross roads between the
promises of the past and their culmination in the future. A theological high point in Exodus
appears in 19:4-6, which outlines Israel's true nature and role within God’s plan.18

In conclusion, the Exodus then is of primary theological significant. From it the doctrine of
revelation springs, the character of God is seen, the election of God’s people is discerned, the
unity of the OT witness is gathered, and the hermeneutical, typological, and the prophetic
witness of the NT is fulfilled.

17
James Carroll Tollett, Introduction to the Book of Exodus (Tulsa, Oklahoma: Oral Roberts University [n.d.]),
10.
18
Tollett, Introduction to the Book of Exodus, 24.

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8. Outline of the Book

1. Prologue (chs. 1–2)


a. Israel Blessed and Oppressed (ch. 1)
b. A Deliverer Prepared (ch. 2)
2. God’s Deliverance of Israel (chs. 3–18)
a. The Deliverer Called (ch. 3)
b. The Deliverer’s Objections and Disqualifications Overcome (ch. 4)
c. Unsuccessful Attempts to Deliver (5:1—6:12)
d. The Deliverers Identified (6:13–27)
e. Judgment of Plagues on Egypt (6:28—11:10)
f. The Passover (12:1–28)
g. The Exodus from Egypt (12:29–51)
h. The Consecration of the Firstborn (13:1–16)
i. Crossing the “Red Sea” (13:17—15:21)
j. Journey to Sinai (15:22—18:27)
3. Covenant at Sinai (chs. 19–24)
a. The Covenant Proposed (ch. 19)
b. The Decalogue (20:1–17)
c. The Reaction of the People to God’s Fiery Presence (20:18–21)
d. The Book of the Covenant (20:22—23:33)
e. Ratification of the Covenant (ch. 24)
4. God’s Royal Tent in Israel (chs. 25–40)
a. Instructions concerning the Royal Tent (chs. 25–31)
b. Rebellion Threatens Withdrawal of God (chs. 32–34)
c. God’s Royal Tent Set Up (chs. 35–40)

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A Seminar paper on the Book of Exodus

9. Important Theological Words Study

There are numbers of theological important words in BOE, but the following few selected word
shall be focus in this topic.
9.1. “I am Who I am”
Ex 3:14 the phrase “I am Who I am” is generally assumed that this is given to Moses as the full
name of God. But perhaps it is rather a deep and mysterious statement of His nature. “The idea
expressed by the name is explained, that of absolute, perfect, unconditioned, independent
existence, unchanging and eternal Being of God.”19 I am who I am signifies the real being of
God, His self-existence, and that he is the Being of beings; as also it denotes His eternity and
immutability, and His constancy and faithfulness in fulfilling his promises, for it includes all
time, past, present, and to come; and the sense is, not only I am who I am at present, but I am
who I have been, and I am who that I shall be, and shall be what I am.20
9.2. Tabernacle
The Tabernacle was the tent of Jehovah, called by the same name, as the tents of the people,
in the midst of which it stood. It was also called, the sanctuary and the Tabernacle of the
congregation.21 The tabernacle is not just a building. It is a piece of heaven on earth. It is to
be an earthly representation of a heavenly reality.22 Its materials at Tabernacle were: (a)
Metals: gold, silver and brass; (b) Textile fabrics: blue, purple, scarlet and fine (white) linen;
(c) Skins: of the ram, dyed red, and of the badger; (d) Wood: the shittim wood, the timber of
the wild acacia of the desert itself, the tree of the burning bush; (e) Oil, spices and incense for
anointing the priests, and burning in the Tabernacle. (f) Gems: onyx stones and the precious
stones for the breastplate of the high priest.23 Its structure were to comprise three main parts,
was an oblong rectangular structure, 30 cubits in length by 10 cubits in width, (45 feet by 15
feet), and 10 cubits in height; the interior being divided into two chambers, the first or outer,
of 20 cubits in length, the inner, of 10 cubits, and consequently and exact cube.24

19
Cassuto, Umberto. A Commentary on the Book of Exodus. Translated by Israel Abrahams (Jerusalem: Magnes
Press, 1967), 263.
20
Childs, Brevard S. The Book of Exodus: A Critical, Theological Commentary (Philadelphia: The Westminster
Press, 1974), 52.
21
De Vaux, Ronald. Ancient Israel: Its Life and Institutions (London: Darton, Longman & Todd Ltd., 1961), 83.
22
Gispen, Willem Hendrik. Exodus: Bible Student’s Commentary (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan
Publishing House, 1982), 27.
23
Hyatt, J. Philip. Commentary on Exodus. New Century Bible (London: Oliphants, 1971), 73.
24
Noth, Martin. Exodus: A Commentary (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1962), 51.

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A Seminar paper on the Book of Exodus

9.3. Covenant
Throughout the OT God made covenant with individuals such as Noah, Abraham, Moses,
David. It was the book of Covenant, which was read by Moses at the ratification of the divine
agreement.25 Each expressed God’s grace toward humanity and centered on delivering them
from the results of sin. “With the fall in Gen. 3:1ff, sin entered the world, and God prepared
the way for human salvation.”26 In the Ex. 24:6-8 since a covenant involved a sacrifice to seal
and bind both parties together, the price was the blood of Christ (Mk. 14:24).27 The new
covenant achieved what the Mosaic covenant could not; the old covenant, which was also the
law pointed to a way of life. Ex. 24:3-7 “Book of the Covenant” technically was everything
that Moses read to the Israelites at the foot of Mount Sinai, including the Ten Commandment.
9.4. Sabbath
“The Sabbath is declared to be a sign between God and the Israelites.”28 It was to be a memorial
to future generations that Jehovah had made a covenant with the nation, and had sanctified
them to himself. But its very selection for this purpose was a tribute to its importance. The
reason of the selection could only be that the Sabbath was in itself a boon of the highest kind
to Israel, and had important bearings on the state of morals and religion.29 If this prohibition to
work upon the Sabbath is introduced, as probably it is, lest the people, in their zeal for the
service of the sanctuary, should be tempted to infringe upon the holy day, it has certain obvious
sides of instruction turned towards ourselves.30 This implies its great importance. It shows that,
in God’s esteem, the observance of the Sabbath was intimately bound up with the best interests
of Israel.
9.5. Anointing
In Ex. 29:7; 25:6; 30:30; 40:15 deals on anointing oil, “the high priest was consecrated in his
office by having his head anointed with oil.31” In Ex. 30:30 and 40:15 Aaron and his two sons
were anointed. Anointing oil is common in the OT, when the king is being appointed it must
to anoint with oil to their heads. Saul was anointed to be the first king of Isreal, later David was
too. The anointing of oil “symbolize the gift of God to the people and the responsibilities now
laid on their leaders through this ceremony. In Israelite practice anointing was sign of election

25
Harrison, Introduction To The Old Testament, 582.
26
Cecil B. Murphey, The Dictonary of Biblical Literature (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1989), 241.
27
Martin. Exodus: A Commentary. 67
28
Hendrik. Exodus: Bible Student’s Commentary, 20
29
Ronald. Ancient Israel: Its Life and Institutions, 24.
30
Falwell, Liberty Bible Commentary: Old Testament, 73.
31
John H. Walton, Victory H. Matthews and Mark W. Chavalas, The VIP Bible Background Commentary: Old
Testament (Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 2000), 111.

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A Seminar paper on the Book of Exodus

and was often closely related to endowment by the spirit.”32 In Ex. 25:6 the spies were to be
used for anointing purposes were myrrt, cinnamon, cane and cassia. Their purpose was to
remove all trace of secular odors and to transform the interior of the Tabernacle into sanctuary
suitable for worship and God’s presence. In Ex. 30:22-23, the anointing oil was use at
Tabernacle and all of its pieces as well as Aaron and his sons.33
9.6. Mountain of God
Ex. 3:1; and 18:5 mention the “mountain of God” is designated Horeb and elsewhere Sinai. “In
the ancient and classical world deities normally places on mountains.”34 This is the mountain
where Moses arrived and is refer to “Mount Sinai.”35 In Ex. 18:27 “mountain of God” describes
Mount Sinai. The event record took place when they set up camp on the foot of the mountain.36

10. Theological Paradoxes and its Solutions


10.1. Ex. 6:26-27 and 16:33-36 “Does not these passages indicate a biographer
of Moses then Moses himself?

Ex. 6:26-27 says “These are the Aaron and Moses to whom the Lord said: ‘Bring out the
people of Israel from the land of Egypt by their hosts.’ It was they who spoke to Pharaoh king
of Egypt about bringing out the people of Israel from Egypt, this Moses and this Aaron.” This
record comments certainly sound like those of historian rather than the personal records of
Moses himself.

To specialists in the field of comparative literature, however, an author’s use of the third
person singular when writing of his own deeds is entirely a matter of established literary
resolution, depending on the genre involved.37 In some genre, such as the personal
autobiography, it was quite “customary to refer to one’s self in the first person singular.”38
Somehow, in the case of a major historical account, it was more usual to refer to actors in the
third person rather than in the first. As for Ex. 16:33-34, the same obtains. Therefore, any
normal historian, especially one who was not a boastful person of Egypt or Mesopotamia,
would record actions in which he was personally involved in an objective style of speech just

32
Walton, Victory H. Matthews and Mark W. Chavalas, The VIP Bible…, 111.
33
ESV Study Bible, (Illinois: Crossway Bibles,2008), 192.
34
Walton, Victory H. Matthews and Mark W. Chavalas, The VIP Bible…,79.
35
ESV Study Bible, (Illinois: Crossway Bibles,2008), 147.
36
Walton, Victory H. Matthews and Mark W. Chavalas, The VIP Bible…,93.
37
Gleason L. Archer, Encyclopaedia of Bible Difficulties (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House,
1982 ), 112.
38
Cole, R. Alan. Exodus: An Introduction and Commentary, Tyndale Old Testament Commentary series
(Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1973), 63.

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like this. Moreover, Moses was writing an official record for the benefit of the entire nation,
not of his self-exalting personal account.

10.2. Ex. 13:18 “Why Red Sea, Not Sea of Reeds”

Ex. 10:19; 13:18; 15:4, 22; and 23:31 in all these passages it is translated as “Red Sea” where
as the root word in Heb. is “yamsuph” which should be translated as “ Sea of Reeds.”

However, the root word does not in itself mean red, but “Some have supposed that it was
called red from the appearance of the mountains on the western coast, others from the red
colour given to the water by the presence of zoophytes, or red coral, or some species of
seaweed. Others still, with considerable probability, suppose that the name originated in the
red or copper colour of the inhabitants of the bordering Arabian Peninsula.”39 But the name
yam-suph, though applied to the whole sea, was especially used with reference to the northern
part, which is alone mentioned in the Bible, and to the Gulfs of Suez. The Gulf of Suez was
not known for having reeds.40
10.3. Ex. 20:8 “How can Sunday replace Saturday under the fourth
commandment?”

In Ex. 20:8, God’s people are commanded: “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.”
The seventh day of the week is to remember the completion of God’s work of creation.

It seems to be no suggestion in the NT that the Ten Commandment are not binding on the
conscience of Christian believes. In the absence of any divine instruction to the contrary, it
can assume that the fourth commandment is still binding on us.41

But the real question at the issue is whether the sanction of the seventh day Sabbath has been
by the NT transferred to the first day of the week, which the Christian church generally
honours as the Lord’s day, otherwise known as the Christian Sabbath.

There are NT evidence for Sunday Worship,42 even though no direct suggestion that the Ten
Commandment are not binding on the Christian believe. The resurrection of Jesus Christ took
place on the first day of the week that is Sunday (Matt. 16:2; Luk. 24:1; Mk. 16:2; Jn. 20:1),

39
Norman L. Geisler and William E. Nix, A General Introduction to the Bible: Revised and Expanded (Chicago:
Moody Press, 1986), 63.
40
Norman L. Geisler and Thomas Howe, When Critics Ask: A Popular Handbook on Bible Difficulties, (Canada:
Victor Books, 1992), 76.
41
Alexander, John F. "Sabbath Rest." The Other Side 146 (November 1983)8-9.
42
Archer, Encyclopaedia of Bible Difficulties, 116.

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which was God’s certification to the world that the saviour of the humankind had paid a valid
and sufficient price for sinners. One week later, on a Sunday night, Jesus again appeared to
His disciples. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the church took place on Pentecost.43
“This feast was held the fiftieth day after offering the first sheaf of barley harvest (Lev.
23:15-16).”44 After Pentecost, it seems that the Christian community continue to celebrate the
seventh day as before, as it was customary of the Jews. But there is also no demonstration
refers to Christian community gathering on Sabbath to celebrate the Lord’s Supper, as a Jews
even though they went to Synagogue worship on Sabbath.45 The following passages are
further evidences of Sunday worship (I Cor. 16:2; Acts 20:5-12; Rev. 1:10). In the time of
Constantine the Great 308-337, Sunday has been recognised by the Christian as a day of
worship and a day of rest.

10.4. Exodus 24:9-11 “Did Moses and the elders see God?”

According to Ex. 24:9 the Lord invited the seventy appointed elders of the Twelve tribes to
accompany Moses, Aaron, and his two sons to go up the holy mountain to worship from alter.
In vv. 9-11 it states, “Then Moses and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of
Israel went up, and they saw the God of Israel… God did not harm these leading men of
Israel… they ate and drank together.” However, Ex. 19:12-13 says that the people could not
even touch the base of the mountain without being put to death. And in Ex. 33:20 God says
that no one can see Him and live. The question is ‘how could these people go up the
mountain and see God and yet live? What are we to believe? Did some see God who is spirit
and without form, or did they not? These passages surely look as if they contradict each
other.
First, it should be noted that God invited them to see Him. In Ex. 19:12-13, neither man nor
animal was permitted even to touch or set foot on the holy mountain, under the penalty of
death. However, God specifically invited these people to go up to the mountain in order to
bless them for the service to which they are appointed, and to seal the covenant, which had
been established between God and the nation of Israel.

43
Since the Crucifixion took place on Friday, the offering of the wave-sheaf, then the resurrection typically fell
on Sunday. Yet it states in Acts that on the Fiftieth day the day of Pentecost would come. This Fiftieth day fell
on Sunday.
44
George H Sandison, 1000 Difficult Bible Questions Answered: Old Testament Subjects (Grand Rapids,
Michigan: Baker Book House, 1958), 58, 59.
45
Aldrich, Roy L. "The Mosaic Ten Commandments Compared to Their Restatements in the New Testament."
Bibliotheca Sacra 118:471 (July-September 1961):251-58.

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Second, normally it was impossible for mortal man to look on the glorious presence of God
directly. It is clear from the description and from other passage of Scripture (Ex. 33:19-20;
Num. 12:8; Jn. 1:18), that what these people saw was not the essence of God, but rather a
visual representation “Theophany”46 of the glory of God. Even when Moses asked to see
God’s glory in Ex.33:18-23. 12:8 it was only likeness of God which Moses saw (Num. 12:8
where the Heb. Word “temunah” “from,” “likeness” is used), and not the very essence of
God.

Therefore, God cannot be seen directly in this life. Jn. 1:18 states, “No one has ever seen
God. The only Son, who is the same as God and is at the Father's side, he has made him
known.” Thus in Jn. 14:9 Jesus could say, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father.”

10.5. Ex. 31:18 “Does God have fingers?”

Ex. 31:18 says that the Ten Commandment were “written with the finger of God” but,
elsewhere the Bible insists, “God is spirit” (Jn. 4:24) and that spirit do not have “flash and
bones” (Luk. 24:39) how can God have fingers?

It may not be biblical solution but the best one to say the statement in this passage might be
“figures of speech known as synecdoche”47 indication God’s direct involvement in producing
the Ten Commandments. It is called an “anthropomorphism”48 which means speaking of God
in human terms. There are many figures of speech in biblical passages such as in Deut. 7:19
“arm,” in Ps. 91:4 “wings,” and in Heb. 4:13 “eyes” referring to God. But none of these
should be taken literally, though all of them depict something that is literally true of God.

10.6. Ex. 32:14 “Does God change His mind?”

Exodus 32:14 states, “So the Lord changed his mind and did not bring on his people the
disaster he had threatened.” (GNB), “repented” (KJB) and “relented” (ESV). Again in Ex.
33:3 states, “I will not go with you myself…” yet in Josh. 1-11 later God did go with them in
a mighty and victorious way. These implies that God did change His mind. However, in I
Sam. 15:29 God says that “He is not a man that He should change His mind, ” also in Mal.

46
“Theophany” is a personal manifestation of God to a person, in many of the Old Testament passages God
revealed to humankind in the form of “Theophany,” such one is Exodus 3:2-4 were theophany of God came as
at the burning bush but not in human form. Trent C. Butler, Holman Bible Dictionary (Nashville, Tennessee:
Holman Bible Publishers, 1991), 1339.
47
Walter C. Kaiser Jr., and others, Hard Sayings of the Bible (Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 1996),
79.
48
A description of our Lord in terms of human emotions and passions, Kaiser Jr., Peter H. Davids, F.F. Bruce
and Manfred T. Brauch, Hard Sayings of the Bible, 79

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A Seminar paper on the Book of Exodus

3:6 God says, “For I the Lord do not change” again in Heb. 6:17 God demonstrated the
immutability of His counsel” by swearing an oath. Therefore, does God change His mind or
does not He?

The Hebrew root behind all the words variously translated as “relent,” “repent,” “be sorry”
and “grieve” is the root that reflected the idea of breathing or sighing deeply. It suggests a
physical display of one’s feelings sorrow, compassion or comfort.49

It may be right to say God does no change His mind. if anyone were to change his mind, it
must be because new information has come to light that was not previously known, or the
circumstances have changed that require a different kind of attitude or action. Now if God
change His mind, it cannot be because of new information that He did not have previously
know, for God is omniscient. Therefore, it must be circumstances have changed that require a
different attitude or action. If circumstances have changed, it is not that God has change His
mind. It may be simply the case that, since the circumstances have changed, God’s
relationship to the new circumstances are different because they have changed not God.50

In the case of Ex. 32:14 God did not change. Rather, the circumstances changed. The
language used in this passage is called “anthropomorphic” or man-centered, language.
Therefore, when Moses said that God has change His mind, it was a figurative way of
describing that Moses’ intercession successfully changed the relationship of the people to
God.51

In Malachi 3:6 God affirms, “I the Lord do not change.” This is why Christian doctrine
teaches that God is immutable—that is, unchangeable. The promise of this constancy and
permanence in the nature and character of God has been deeply reassuring to many believers
down through the ages. When everything else changes, we can remember the living God
never fails or vacillates from anything that he is or that he has promised.52
In regards to Ex. 33:3 and Josh. 1-11 the passages refers to different times. The first
addressed the first generation of rebellious Israelites, and the second speaks about the second
generation who believed God and followed Joshua into the land.

49
Kaiser Jr., and others, Hard Sayings of the Bible, 127.
50
Archer, Encyclopaedia of Bible Difficulties, 118.
51
Geisler and Thomas Howe, When Critics Ask…, 86.
52
Kaiser Jr., and others, Hard Sayings of the Bible, 78.

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11. Massage for Todays


The first concept that stands out in the BOE is that God blesses those who remain within the
covenant. He is their God and they become his holy people. Second, God explains with great
detail what is acceptable to Him. Third, God frees those who find themselves in servitude.
The liberation may not arrive immediately, but reaches those who expect it and are prepared
for when it happens. This liberation is based on obedience to God’s expressed will and
moving out when he ordains it. The children of Israel had to wait until the Passover meal and
until the angel of death had passed; afterward, God gave them the order to march. We should
also wait, but be ready to move when God orders it.

III. CONCLUSION

Interpreters who accept the traditional authorship of Exodus hold that Moses put it in its
present form as early as the sojourn at Sinai (about 1445 B.C.), but scholar who holds on
liberal views had criticised and suggested others possibility of the account. Throughout
Exodus the readers would see God who is the Lord of history and the Redeemer of His
people. These themes, repeated throughout the rest of the Bible, make Exodus one of the
foundational books of the Scriptures. The book was seems to be written in different form of
literature and genre as suggested by scholars and can be determine within the book itself.
However, the book has its theological significant insight. The act of God, His character and
His Personalities is reveal in the book. Christ was depict in the book, and most of the
Christian worship practices and its belief has taken under consideration that with
modification from the Tabernacle and wilderness wandering events, it is being practice today.
It was from the OT that anointing of oil is exercise signifying the divine presence and act of
God. In Exodus anointing of oil also symbolically represents the Holy Spirit. It was the
method of election in the OT, which is also applied today by many churches.

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IV. BIBLIOGRAPHY

Books:

Bennett, W. H. The New Century Bible. New York: Oxford University, [n.d.].

Geisler, Norman L. A Popular Survey of the Old Testament. Michigan: Baker Book House,
1977.

Geisler, Norman L. and William E. Nix, A General Introduction to the Bible: Revised and
Expanded (Chicago: Moody Press, 1986), 63
Geisler, Norman L. and Thomas Howe, When Critics Ask: A Popular Handbook on Bible
Difficulties. Canada: Victor Books, 1992.

Harrison, R.K. Introduction To The Old Testament. Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B.
Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1969.

Henry Bates, The Books of the Old Testament in Perspective. Ashland: Ashland Theological
Seminary, 1955.

Kaiser Jr., Walter C. Peter H. Davids, F.F. Bruce and Manfred T. Brauch, Hard Sayings of
the Bible. Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 1996.

Martin, Alfred Survey of the Scriptures: Part I Old Testament History. Chicago: Moody
Bible Institute, 1965.

Paul R. House, Old Testament Survey. Tennessee: Broadman Press, 1992.

Ronald, De Vaux. Ancient Israel: Its Life and Institutions. London: Darton, Longman &
Todd Ltd., 1961.

Sandison, George H. 1000 Difficult Bible Questions Answered: Old Testament Subjects.
Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House, 1958.

Tollett, James Carroll “Introduction to the Book of Exodus”. Tulsa, Oklahoma : Oral Robert
University, [n.d.].

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Commentaries:
Alan, Cole, R. Exodus: An Introduction and Commentary, Tyndale Old Testament
Commentary series. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1973.
Exell, Joseph S. The Pulpit Commentary: Exodus. Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B.
Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1950.
Falwell, Jerry Liberty Bible Commentary: Old Testament. Virginia: The Old Time Gospel
House, 1982.
Hendrik, Gispen, Willem. Exodus: Bible Student’s Commentary. Grand Rapids, Michigan:
Zondervan Publishing House, 1982.
Martin, Noth. Exodus: A Commentary. Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1962.
Philip, Hyatt, J. Commentary on Exodus: New Century Bible. London: Oliphants, 1971.
S., Childs, Brevard The Book of Exodus: A Critical, Theological Commentary. Philadelphia:
The Westminster Press, 1974.
Umberto, Cassuto, A Commentary on the Book of Exodus. Translated by Israel Abrahams.
Jerusalem: Magnes Press, 1967.
Walton, John H. Victory H. Matthews and Mark W. Chavalas, The VIP Bible Background
Commentary: Old Testament. Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 2000.

Dictionaries and Encyclopaedia:


Archer, Gleason L. Encyclopaedia of Bible Difficulties. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan
Publishing House, 1982.
Butler, Trent C. Holman Bible Dictionary. Nashville, Tennessee: Holman Bible Publishers,
1991.
Murphey, Cecil B. The Dictionary of Biblical Literature. Nashville: Thomas Nelson
Publishers, 1989.

Journals:

F., Alexander, John “Sabbath Rest.” The Other Side 146 (November 1983)8-9.

L. Aldrich, Roy “The Mosaic Ten Commandments Compared to Their Restatements in the
New Testament.” Bibliotheca Sacra 118:471 (July-September 1961):251-58.

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