Overview of the Book of Exodus (Main Themes)
Exodus (Heb. Shemot) is the book whose principle theme is redemption—Israel’s deliverance from Egypt. Here we learn how YHVH saves his people and we are shown that his people are redeemed in order to worship him.
The Theme of Redemption
Say, therefore, to the sons of Israel, “I am YHVH, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from their bondage. I will also redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. Then I will take you for My people, and I will be your Elohim; and you shall know that I am YHVH your Elohim, who brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. I will bring you to the land which I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and I will give it to you for a possession; I am YHVH.” (Exod 6:6–8, emphasis added)
And he said, “Certainly I will be with you, and this shall be a token unto you, that I have sent you, when you have brought forth the people out of Egypt, you shall serve Elohim upon this mountain.” (Exod 3:12, emphasis added)
And I say unto you, “Let my son go, that he may serve me, and if you refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay your son, even your firstborn.” (Exod 4:23, emphasis added)
And you shall say unto him, “YHVH Elohim of the Hebrews has sent me to you, saying, ‘Let my people go, that they may serve me in the wilderness, and, behold, until now you would not hear.’” (Exod 7:16, emphasis added)
The Basic Outline of Exodus
Chapters 1–6 show us the need for redemption.
Chapters 7–11 show us the power or might of the Redeemer as the ten plagues are poured out upon Egypt.
Chapters 12–18 show us the character of redemption; purchased by blood and emancipated by power.
Chapters 19–24 teaches us the duty of the redeemed.
Chapters 25–40 instructs us about the restoration of the redeemed—provisions are made for the failures of the redeemed when they fall spiritually.
The Metaphors in Exodus
Egypt is a metaphor for the world, the place of sin and bondage where one is held captive before being delivered or redeemed by the power of YHVH and the blood of Yeshua, the Lamb of Elohim. It is interesting to note that although Egypt was the land of science and art, it was simultaneously the land of death in that their religion that is was morbidly fixated with death.
Pharaoh is a metaphor for Satan, a merciless taskmaster who opposes the people of YHVH every step of the way.
Pharaoh’s magicians represents demonic spirits that are active in the world and are doing Pharaoh’s (Satan’s) bidding in opposing Israel, the people of Elohim, and Elohim’s plans.
Moses is a prophetic metaphor for Yeshua (his first coming), the Deliverer of his people from the bondage and power of sin, death and hell, which is the power of the enemy, Satan.
The blood of the lamb on the door posts is a metaphor for Yeshua, the Redeemer, whose death on the cross atoned for man’s sins causing YHVH’s judgment against sin to pass over his people.
The crossing of the Red Sea is a metaphor the saint’s union with Messiah Yeshua in his death and resurrection via the ritual of tevilah (immersion or baptism) at a mikvah (a gathering of waters).
The journey through the wilderness is a metaphor for the trials and testing that occur during the redeemed believer’s spiritual walk through this life with YHVH’s provision to meet every need and his protection from every attack of the adversary.
The giving of the Torah represents one’s spiritual walk after having exited spiritual Egypt, and teaches YHVH’s people the importance of obedience and submission that they owe him for freeing them from Satan and the world. He is now their new Master.
The Tabernacle of Moses with its furnishings is a picture, layout or blueprint of the steps in YHVH’s plan of redemption (salvation) for mankind and the steps in man’s spiritual maturation into intimacy with the Father through Yeshua the Messiah. It is like a giant gospel tract!
Exodus 1:11, Taskmaster…afflict them. Taskmaster literally means “gangs of government officials who exacted or levied tribute or taxes from the Israelites by forcing them to work as serfs.” These government bureaucratic goons forced the Israelites, through affliction, into compulsory service involving government works projects. The Egyptians imposed a fascistic socialistic system upon the Israelites, which was a form of slavery.
Exodus 1:19–21, Midwives said. The righteous, Elohim-fearing midwives (v. 17), chose to obey Elohim rather than to follow government edicts that violated the laws of the Creator. This necessitated them lying to the Egyptians to preserve the lives of the innocent babies. This teaches us that it is not only acceptable to lie, but it is even commendable in YHVH’s eyes, to preserve life (see also Josh 1:17 where Rahab lied to protect the Israelite spies from certain death, and 1 Sam 20:6 where David had Jonathan lie for him to save his life from the murderous Saul). For their work of preserving innocent lives, YHVH blessed the midwives (vv. 20–21). In reality, the midwives were pro-life, anti-abortion activists who were given a place of honor in YHVH’s hall off fame for the righteous.
Exodus 2:16; 3:1 (also 18:1), Priest of Midian. Heb. kohen meaning “priest, principal officer or chief ruler.” In the days prior to the Levitical priesthood, the Bible considers a father to be the priest of his family (see Exod 19:22, 24). Since Torah mentions three times that Jethro was the priest of Midian, evidently he was more than just a spiritual leader to his family; he was likely also a regional leader.