The Exodus

Topics: Moses, The Exodus, Israelites Pages: 6 (2084 words) Published: August 20, 2010
IntroductionThe Greek word, exodus means “departure.” The Exodus is the Israelite departure from Egypt under the leadership of Moses, and the subsequent journey through the Sinai wilderness.[1] The biblical Exodus account has been understood on a number of different levels.[2] Historically, the Exodus represents the process of Israelite's slavery under a Egyptian pharaoh, followed by their freedom flight from Egypt to the promised land, Canaan. Theologically the Exodus implicates important themes: divine promise and fulfillment of it, eternal covenant, human suffering and redemption. Paradigmatically, the Exodus provides the powerful image of "the archetype for all subsequent redemption and liberation experiences, it has become a powerful symbol in Western political thought." [3] This essay chronologically considers the Exodus with its theological meaning. Historical Background of the Exodus: the Late Bronze Age In Western AsiaSeveral hundred years of relative silence separate the end of the story of Joseph in Genesis 37-50 from the beginning of the Book of Exodus where the story is picked up once again.[4]⁠ After Jacob had settled down in Egypt with his family to remain through the rest of the seven-year famine, the next of Scripture supplies no details other than to tell us that a new king "who did not know about Joseph" began to oppress the Israelites (Exod. 1:8). [5] Some scholars argue that the king who did not know about Joseph was Amois (1570-1546 BC), the founder of the Eighteenth Dynasty. Anther scholars suggest that the date of the Exodus is 1447 B.C or thereabouts.[6] There are scholars who argue that a date of 1300-1250 suits the majority of evidence better than other.[7]⁠ However the date is not clearly fixed. What we know is that the events of Egyptian bondage, exodus, and conquest must fall within the heyday of the Egyptian empire (ca. 1550 B.C to 1200 B.C).[8]⁠ This time span coincides roughly within Late Bronze Age in Palestine.[9] During the period⁠, Egypt dominated the ancient middle Asia. According to the Script, sons of Israel went down to Egypt at the time of Joseph (Gen 46:8), and in the four hundred and eightieth year after the Israelite had come out of Egypt. (1 king 6:1) Sons of Israel does not mean the twelve-tribes association. Martin Noth suggests that several tribes migrated in Egypt, and after their leaving Egypt, the tribes were united with the tribes, staying behind in Palestine, and constituted the twelve-tribes association.[10]⁠ The descendants of first settlers were oppressed by new king who did not know about Joseph. Ex 1:9 describes the reason why the new king oppressed Israelites: Look, the Israelite are more numerous and more powerful than we.(NRSV) Three separate pogroms (organized destruction or massacres) were carried out against the Israelites: (1) the slave labour of building the two store cities (Exod. 1:11-12), (2) the order for the midwives to kill all newly born male babies (Exod. 1:15-22), and (3) the order that Israel was to gather its own straw to make bricks while maintaining the same quote as before (Exod. 5:6-23).[11]⁠ The early life of Moses, and his MissionThe Exodus is tied with life of Moses. Early Moses’ life is clearly revealed in the Scripture. Moses parents are the Levitical Couple Amram and his wife Jochebed (Exod. 2:2). When Moses was born, all newly born male babies were to be killed by Pharaoh’s command (Exod. 1:15). Exod. 2:1-10 describes how Moses were saved his life. Moses was raised and educated in the palace of Egypt, thereby gaining one of the finest educations possible in that day.[12] The education might influenced the Moses’ mission. For example, a Egyptian text in the thirteen century, Papyrus Anastaisi I describes the geography of Palestine and Phoenicia. If Moses was introduced to documents or training such as this, it is no wonder that he had such advance understanding of the terrain, peoples, and situations he would...
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