Pentateuch: Exodus 1-4

A study on the book of Exodus

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“Exodus” is a Latin word derived from Greek which means “the way out” or “departure”. Exodus 1:1-5 shows that Exodus is a continuation of Genesis. At this time, Joseph’s generation had passed away and the Israelites became exceedingly numerous. The new Egyptian king felt intimidated by the Israelites. The Israelites were oppressed with forced labour and made to build the store cities of Pithom and Rameses. Although Pharaoh had plans to exterminate the Israelites, God wanted His people to live on. Pharoah’s plans were unsuccessful in two instances, as seen in Exodus 1:11-12, 1:15-21. However, in Exodus 1:22, he instructed that the enslaved people drown their baby boys in the Nile. These were the circumstances surrounding Moses’ birth.

Pre-Video Reading

Read Exodus 1-4.

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Supplementary Reading

The basket that Moses’ mother placed him in was not actually a basket; in original Hebrew, the term used was “teva” {תבה} which means “ark”. This is the same word that had been used for the ark that Noah had built.

There are a number of similarities between Noah’s ark and the ark of the infant Moses. One of the more interesting interpretations suggests that an ark, unlike a ship or a boat, has no ability to determine the way it goes. The inability to navigate or chart a course means an ark is dependent completely on Divine providence to make sure it will reach its true destiny. A more commonly known similarity was that they were both covered in pitch or tar to keep them from sinking. “Pitch” (Hebrew, kopher) was a waterproof glue-like substance. Its covering assisted in protecting the particular occupants of both Arks by keeping the judgment waters outside.

It is interesting that the same word for “pitch” is also translated as “atonement” (see Leviticus 17:11). The blood of Christ seals the believer from the flood of God’s eternal judgment. Eternal atonement is provided by the blood of Jesus, which covers the believer’s sin. This also assists us in understanding these words of Christ a little more clearly: “For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man” (Matthew 24:37). Only those that know (not just “know of”) Christ will be saved in the last day. (References:,

Application Questions

  1. Read Exodus 2:11-15.

    A. Have you ever witnessed an unfair situation and thought about stepping in to ensure justice was served? If you acted on it, what was the result?

    B. What does God say about serving justice in unfair or unjust situations? See Deuteronomy 32:35, Proverbs 20:22, Romans 12:19-21.


  2. Read Exodus 2:24.

    A. What does it mean that God is a “covenantal God”, and one who “remembers His covenant”? (To understand the covenant in reference, go to Genesis 12:1-3, as well as Exodus 3:6.)

    B. Based on your understanding of the word covenant, do you think that God’s promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob continue to apply today? Why, or why not? See Galatians 3:29.


  3. Read Exodus 3:10-4:17.


    A. Have you heard the call of God to fulfil a certain assignment, but hesitated to obey? What are/were some of the hindrances or reasons for your hesitation to go ahead?

    B. As you read through this section, note down Moses’ objections to God and God’s responses to Moses. What does this say about who God is?

    C. How can you apply God’s responses to your own situation?

    D. If there is a particular assignment that God is speaking to you about now, take the next few days or weeks to meditate upon His nature and promises that you have learned through this reading.

Closing Reflection

Today’s session reveals a God who is passionate about His people and delivering them out of bondage and slavery. However, as powerful as God is, He has no interest in carrying out His grand plan of redemption on His own. In fact, He seeks the partnership of His people – weak, limited, and broken ones – to help Him with the task. What’s more, He promises to be with us every step of the way, empowering us to get the job done.

How does that change how you see God and see yourself? What encourages, or challenges you?

Prayer: Connecting with God

Did you respond to God’s call on your life today? Come to Him in prayer with your “Yes”, and ask Him to guide and help you on the next steps.

If you are still feeling hesitant to say Yes to His call, pray for a revelation of His heart in your situation, and for Him to give you the desire to obey with no fear.