On Reading Exodus: Four Approaches with Various Resources

sincerely-media-PH7TOStghPA-unsplashAs we move from Genesis to Exodus in Track 1 of the Via Emmaus Reading Plan, here are resources for the second book of Moses. If you missed the first month’s resources for Genesis, you can look here. Below is a recap on the Via Emmaus Reading Plan and a number of helps for reading Exodus.

The Via Emmaus Reading Plan

Reading Exodus two, four, or five chapters at a time

This approach is self-explanatory and the easiest way (mathematically-speaking) to split up the book. Two chapters will get you through the book in 20 days, with eight days to spare in this shorter month of February. Four chapters a day will permit you to read Exodus in ten days and twice in the month. And five chapters a day will result in reading the book three times, or twice with 12 days to do some focused study. That study could include doing some personal reflection or reading / listening to some of the resources below.

Reading Exodus according to its biblical structure 

Another way to read Exodus is to recognize the structure of the book and to set your reading calendar by it. To give you a brief introduction, the book can be divided into three parts. It begins with God’s deliverance of Israel from Egypt in chapters 1–18; it continues with God’s covenant with Israel in chapters 19–24; and it concludes with the building of the tabernacle in chapters 25–40. Here is an introductory overview that outlines these three sections: Redemption, Covenant, and Dwelling: Seeing the Three-Fold Pattern of Salvation in the Book of Exodus. With this outline in mind, you might divide your reading into fifteen days that looks like this.

Exodus 1–18: God’s Deliverance of Israel from Egypt

  • Exodus 1–3
  • Exodus 4–6
  • Exodus 7–10
  • Exodus 11–13
  • Exodus 14–15
  • Exodus 16–18

Exodus 19–24: God’s Covenant with Israel at Sinai

  • Exodus 19–20
  • Exodus 21–23
  • Exodus 24

Exodus 25–40: God’s Dwelling Place Given to Israel

  • Exodus 25–27
  • Exodus 28–29
  • Exodus 30–31
  • Exodus 32–34
  • Exodus 35–37
  • Exodus 38–40

Reading Exodus with Crossway’s Knowing the Bible Study Guide

A third approach would be reading Exodus with Crossway’s Knowing the Bible 12-week study guide. You can buy a hard copy of the study guide or follow along online. In either case, you can Exodus according to the outline given below.

  1. Israel’s Oppression and Moses’s Early Life (1:1–2:25)
  2. Moses’ Call and Preparation (3:1–7:7)
  3. The Plagues against Egypt (7:8–11:10)
  4. Passover and Exodus (12:1–13:16)
  5. Deliverance at the Red Sea (13:17–15:21)
  6. Journey to Sinai (15:22–18:27)
  7. Covenant Law at Sinai (19:1–24:18)
  8. Instructions for Building the Tabernacle (25:1–31:18)
  9. Covenant Violation, Intercession, and Renewal (32:1–34:35)
  10. Construction of the Tabernacle (35:1–40:38)

If you use this study guide, you will also find questions and reflections to help you better understand the book. Keep in mind, if you use this study guide it is designed for 12 weeks, not one month. But depending on your reading schedule, it could be a helpful resource.

Reading Exodus Theologically

The last way you might read Exodus is to read it as much as you can and whenever you can with the goal of understanding it with the help of various theological articles. While some treat theology as an esoteric discipline reserved for a select group of Christians, theology is a basic reality of humanity. Because God made us in his image (Gen. 1:26–28), we cannot deny God without denying ourselves. To say it differently, everyone has a theology. The question is: What kind of theology do you have?

When it comes to reading the Bible, a theological approach to reading is one that strives to know and understand and love the God of Scripture. Instead of just learning facts, dates, people, and places, a theological reading strives to know all of the above and these historical and literary realities reveal the living God. In truth, we should always be reading theologically. Whether you are a pastor or a new believer, knowing God, i.e., theology, is what Scripture is for. And in this month, to help you read Exodus theologically, I am listing a number of articles and audio resources.

These articles (and a few audio links) are culled from two places: (1) The Gospel Coalition, which continues to put out excellent biblical content, and (2) Via Emmaus. If you have written or read other good articles, please put them in the comments. I will read them and add them.

Articles

  1. Redemption, Covenant, and Dwelling: Seeing the Three-Fold Pattern of Salvation in the Book of Exodus (David Schrock)
  2. Why Divine Sovereignty Secures Human Responsibility: A Theological Reading of Exodus (David Schrock)
  3. God’s People Aren’t Impressive. Just Look at Moses’s Family Tree (Ryan Welsh)
  4. Moving on with God: Key motifs in Exodus 13–20 (Deryck Sheriffs)
  5. Rightly Dividing the Red Sea (Alistair Roberts)
  6. Seeing Exodus 19:1–8: A Literary Structure
  7. Reading the Transfiguration on Mount Sinai: A Comparison Between Exodus 24 and Mark 9 (David Schrock)
  8. The Exodus-to-Temple Pattern (David Schrock)
  9. Learning to Pray With Moses (Exodus 33:12-15) (David Schrock)
  10. Where Grace and Justice Meet: A Canonical Reading of Exodus 34:6–7 (David Schrock)
  11. Echoes of Exodus: Tracing Themes of Redemption through Scripture (A Review by Geoffrey Harper)
  12. 4 Huge Theological Challenges (and How the Exodus Story Helps) (Andrew Wilson)
  13. 5 Ways Exodus Confronts Our Secular Age (Kevin Halloran)
  14. From Genesis to Exodus to Jesus: What Biblical Typology Might Say about Modern Day Israel (David Schrock)

Audio Resources

All in all, Exodus is a powerful book that displays the glory of God in the salvation of Israel. Even more, it gives us a pattern of salvation that continues to help us know and understand what God has done for us in Christ. For those beginning the Via Emmaus Reading Plan or any other reading plan, I pray these four approaches to reading Exodus might be helpful!

Soli Deo Gloria, ds

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