Walk Through The Bible Wulff and Baillou Hill Roads Nassau, New Providence, The Bahamas Monday 2nd September 2013 The Book of Exodus Summary Introduction
The Book of Exodus is the Second Book of the Bible and the Second Book of the Pentateuch Authors: •
J or Yahwist Writers from the 9th Century B.C.
E or the Elohist Writers from the Northern Kingdom during the 7 th Century B.C.
P or Priestly Writers who wrote and edited during the exile in Babylon in the 6 th Century B.C.
Theme: How a mixed group of People became God’s People. There are basically two types of Law that we encounter in the Book of Exodus: 1. Apodictic laws –which are absolute laws given without a reason or explanation e.g. you
shall....You shall not.... 2. Casuistic Laws—those that are a response to various situations e.g. “If you......then such
and such ought to follow.....” If we were to take a serious look at both types of Law, one is to be considered as absolute, while the others grow out of consequences from a community undergoing construction or already established. Both may have developed as a result of what the other communities around them were doing. Regardless of how they may have come into being, the people were expected to be obedient.
1. Exodus 21:1-36 Introduction to the Casuistic Laws a. 1-11 Laws concerning Slavery-The first section of the law deals with male slaves. If they
are Hebrews, then they can only serve for six years-the seventh year they are to be freed from the debt-both he and his wife where applicable. If however the master provided a wife for him while he was a slave, the children shall belong to the master. The slave has a choice to remain with the master, his wife and his children. In the second half of the commandment a woman is not to be treated in the same way. If she is taken as a concubine or taken or given as a wife, her status as a wife must be maintained. If however they do not want her, her father can redeem her back from the owner(s). b. 12-36 Capital Offences Against Persons•
Premeditated murderers are to be put to death-accidental killers must go and stay in the city of refuge (12-14)
Disrespect to parents should not be tolerated (15-17)
Compensation is to be given to those who have been injured (18-19)
Causing the death of a slave must be punished (20-21)
If people who are fighting injure a pregnant woman and cause a miscarriage, then her husband must demand compensation. If further lost occurs, then the injury must equal the lost (22-25)
Injury done to slaves will result in their freedom. (26-27)
Unruly animals that kill shall be destroyed. If the owner had been previously warned, then the owner is to be put to death. If a child or slave is killed by the animal then compensation is to be made and the animal must be put to death. (28-32)
Causing harm to an animal by an open unmarked pit requires compensation (33-34)
Clashes between animals that result in death requires that the animals left alive must be sold and the proceeds shared between each owner. If the owner knew that his animals were capable of doing such harm, compensation is to be made to the owner whose animals were killed (35-36).
2. Exodus 22:1-31 Paying Back for Losses
a. 1 Those who slaughter stolen animals must replace them; and if they cannot, they are to be sold into slavery. If the animals are found alive in the presence of the thief then they must pay double for what they have stolen.
b. 2-3 If a thief breaks in and is killed, no blood guilt is incurred. But if it happens in daylight, blood guilt is incurred.
c. 5-6 Compensation must be made for the lost of crop and/or animals.
d. 7-9 The lack of Banks meant that large sums of money were kept in peopleâ€™s homes. The thief, if caught, must replace the money. If the thief was not caught, then the one entrusted with the money must undergo investigation.
e. 10-13 When animals are left in the care of others and something happens to them, then compensation should be made. If there is some uncertainty about what happened, then the one to whom the animal were entrusted must take an oath before the priest or provide the ravaged body of the animal.
14-15 Borrowed animals which are killed must be paid for in full. If the owner was present then no restitution is to be made.
g. 16-17 The seduction of a virgin that has not been engaged requires that the offender takes the young virgin for his bride and pays her father the dowry.
h. 18 Those who dabble in black magic must be put to death.
19 Bestiality is not to be tolerated-both the person and the animal are to be put to death.
20 Worship of any other god(s) must be put to death.
k. 21-24 The rights of aliens, widows and orphans are protected.
25-27 Interest is not to be paid on money loaned to another Jew. Clothing taken in pledges must be returned before sunset.
m. 28 Disrespect of oneâ€™s leaders is not to be tolerated.
n. 29a Give to God what is rightly what id due to Him.
o. 29b-30 Give God what belongs to Him.
p. 31 Meat that has been killed by dogs or wild animals are not to be eaten-it must be thrown out.
3. Exodus 23:1-33 Rules Concerning Justice
a. 1-3 These verses give us a better understanding of the commandment dealing with giving false testimony against a neighbour. Persons are not allowed to create prejudice by spreading rumours; joining hands with the wicked to commit perjury; siding with the majority despite oneâ€™s true convictions; and in showing partiality to the poor out of pity.
5 b. 4-5 These are laws concerned with looking out for property belonging to those whom they may not like (enemy). There is no room for spitefulness; they must assist wherever and whenever needed.
c. 6-9 Like the opening verses of this chapter, these verses are concerned with matters of justice. The poor cannot be denied their rights; there can be no room for false charges; the innocent and the right ought to be protected otherwise God will hold them guiltless who harm them. Bribes are not to be taken because they blind officials when it comes to matters of justice. Even aliens are to be treated fairly.
d. 10-11 In the seventh year the field is to be left fallow so that the poor and the wild animals may feed themselves from its produce.
e. 12-13 The Sabbath here is concerned with the well-being of humans and animals and the need for rest and refreshment. Coupled with this command is the forbidding of the use of the names of other gods.
14-17 These verses are concerned with the three major festivals to the major sanctuary which are The Feast of Unleavened Bread (v.15); The Feast of Shavuot, Pentecost, or The Feast of Weeks (which was a harvest festival) (v.16); The Feast of the Ingathering or The Feast of Sukkot or The Feast of Booths which is held in the autumn. All males were required to make the pilgrimage to the major sanctuary to attend these feasts.
g. 18-19 Various laws concerning the use of leavened bread in offerings, allowing the fat of the sacrifice to remain until the next day, offering the best to the Lord, and making sure that the kid is not boiled in milk.
h. 20-33 Words of assurance and warning. God tells His people that He is placing them under divine protection-but they must heed the voice of the angel. He will prosper their journey, remove their enemies, and they are to be faithful to Him by destroying anything that promotes the other gods in the land. They are to set out to do this gradually. Like Abraham, the boundaries are once again set.
4. Exodus 24:1-18 The Making of the Covenant
a. 1-11 These verses combine two ceremonies in order to ratify the Covenant. In the first ceremony there is a ritual with blood for all of Israel (v.3-8); the blood is dashed on the altar representing the presence of God among His people and the blood is also sprinkled on the people. The second ceremony involves a theophany and a sacred meal (communion meal) in the presence of God (vs.9-11) by Moses, Aaron, and the Elders.
b. 12-18 Moses goes up the mountain to meet God for forty days and nights. The priestly writer is probably responsible for this section since the chapters that follow are concerned with the Tent of Meeting, Vestments and rituals which are to be performed.
Exodus 25:1-27:21 is concerned with the building of the Tabernacle and its furnishings. This was intended to be a portable shrine since they were still on their journey into the Promised Land. Like Mount Sinai, the Tabernacle was to have three zones of descending holiness. The metals used were intended to mark the levels of holiness. Chapter 25 is concerned with the Ark, the Table for the Shew Bread, and the Lampstand.
5. Exodus 25:1-40 The Tabernacle
a. 1-9 The people are to make a free-will offering (as in the rebuilding of the Temple after
the Exile in Ezra 1:4; 2:68-69). In other words it was to be a voluntary offering by the people to God which Moses was supposed to collect.
b. 10-22 Instructions on the construction of the Ark. The Ark was considered the un-
occupied seat of God. The Israelites used it to guide them through the wilderness, and later on to lead them into battle. The winged Cherubim were intended to symbolize that
God was not stationary but mobile. The Mercy Seat became the meeting place between God and man particularly on the Day of Atonement.
c. 23-30 The Table was for the sacred Bread and the holy vessels. Twelve loaves of bread
were placed on the Table as an offering every Sabbath and was only to be eaten by the priests. The twelve loaves symbolized Godâ€™s presence among His people.
d. 31-40 The Seven Branched Lampstand (Menorah) or the Lamp of the Presence was a
burning symbol of Godâ€™s presence among His people. It provided light for the sanctuary.