Ex’odus (that is, going out [of Egypt]), the second book of the law or Pentateuch. Its author was Moses. It was written probably during the forty-years wanderings in the wilderness, between b.c. 1491 and 1451. It may be divided into two principal parts:
1. The first part contains an account of the following particulars: The great increase of Jacob’s posterity in the land of Egypt, and their oppression under a new dynasty, which occupied the throne after the death of Joseph; the birth, education, flight, and return of Moses; the ineffectual attempts to prevail upon Pharaoh to let the Israelites go; the successive signs and wonders, ending in the death of the first-born, by means of which the deliverance of Israel from the land of bondage is at length accomplished, and the institution of the Passover; finally the departure out of Egypt and the arrival of the Israelites at Mount Sinai.
2. This part gives a sketch of the early history of Israel as a nation; and the history has three clearly-marked stages. First we see a nation enslaved; next a nation redeemed; lastly a nation set apart, and through the blending of its religious and political life consecrated to the service of God.