How to Study Exodus

General Instructions:

    1. As Genesis come to close, the children of Israel are living in Egypt rather than in Canaan, the land of promise. The book that began with the creation of man in Eden and with the children of Israel looking into a coffin in Egypt-but not without a promise that someday they would leave Egypt. Read Genesis 50:22-26 and Exodus 1:17 and notice how the book of Exodus relates chronologically to the book of Genesis.

    2. Exodus can be divided into three segments according to the location of the children of Israel. In Exodus 1 through 12 they are in Egypt. In Exodus 13 through 18 they journey to Sinai, and then in Exodus 19 through 40 they camp at Sinai. Record this information on the Structure of Exodus chat on the firsts line of the segment divisions. This division will be the basis of some of your instructions.

    3. Read through Exodus one chapter at a time. As you read do the following:

        1. Remember that you are reading a historical account. As you read, ask the "5 W's and an H": Who? What? When? Where? Why? and How? Ask questions such as: Who are the main characters in this chapter? What is happening? When and where is it happening? What were the consequences of their actions? How and why did this occur?

        2. Mark key repeated words: slave (s) (bondage), cry, deliver (delivered), Mount Sinai (Horeb, Mountain of God) , die (death), holy, the Lord commanded, covenant, cloud, test (ed), law, tabernacle (tent, tent of meeting). Remember that other words will be predominant in specific chapters. Don't miss these. Write the key words on an index card cad use it as a bookmark.

        3. List insights you glean from the repeated use of a key world.

        4. Mark references to time with a clock. Geographical locations are very important in the Old Testament. Do not forget to double-underline them in green.

        5. List the main points or events covered in a chapter or group of chapters. This will give you a concise analysis of the content of the chapter. For example, Exodus 2 gives an account of Moses from his birth to the birth of his first son. In the margin you could list the major events in this chapter: Moses' birth, Moses' adoption by Pharaoh's daughter, Moses kills Egyptian, Moses flees to Midian, etc.

    4. When you finish reading a chapter, record the main theme or subject of the chapter on Structure of Exodus under "Chapter Themes."

Chapters 1-12

    1. As you study these chapters, add Pharaoh, heart, staff, and sign (miracle) your your list of key words. Mark these words and their synonyms in a distinctive way.

    2. You can gain insights into God's character, power, and dealing with mankind from these chapters. As you read each chapter, in the margin note what you learn about God. You may want to put a distinguishing mark such as this ∆ in the margin and then color it yellow so you can easily recognize it.

    3. There are lessons to be learned from Moses' life in these chapters. Note these lessons in the margins.

    4. As you read chapters 7 through 12, in the margin of your Bible list the plagues as they appear in the text, numbering each one in the order in which they appear.

    5. When you come to Exodus 12, mark Passover lamb. Then list what you learn by asking the "5 W's and an H."

Chapters 13-18

    1. As you read:

        1. Watch for the key words, including those you marked in the first segment. Add first-born, test, and grumble, along with their synonyms. In the margin note what the tests were and why the people grumbled. Also continue your list of insights on Pharaoh and Moses' staff.

        2. Mark references to time with a symbol and note where events occur. Locate these places on a map.

    2. Note what God is called in 15:26 and 17:15 and the circumstance in which these names are revealed.

    3. In chapter 16, mark bread and manna. Make a list of all you learn from the text about manna and why it was given. When you finish you might compare this with Deuteronomy 8:1-3. Add sabbath (seventh day) to your list of key words.

    4. In chapter 17 note the conditions under which Moses strikes the rock. Compare this with 1 Corinthians 10:14 and John 7:37-39

Chapters 19-40

    1. In chapters 19 through 24 God gives Moses the law. Watch for and mark key words.

        1. Chapter 20 presents the ten commandments. Number these within text.

        2. In chapters 21-23, list the various ordinances in the margin for easy references. Note what is to be done if these are violated.

        3. Chapter 24 is very important because it deals with the inauguration of the law, the old covenant. In the margin note the circumstances and procedure connected with its inauguration and how the people respond.

    2. In chapters, 25 through 31 God gives the pattern for the tabernacle and all that is necessary for the priests.

        1. Note in the margin the main points of these chapters.

        2. Watch for other key words that are predominant in specific chapters. Mark them.

        3. In chapter 31 list everything you learn about the sabbath from the text. Compare Exodus 35:1-3 with Numbers 15:32-36.

    1. Chapters 32-34 are very significant. Mark every reference to the calf (god).

        1. Note how Moses deals with this situation.

        2. Read 2 Corinthians 3:12-18 for additional insights regarding the veil over Moses' face.

    1. Chapters 35 through 40 are an account of the construction of the tabernacle and the making of the priests' garments. As you read, highlight or mark in a distinguishable way the first reference to each piece of furniture.

    2. After you have recorded all the chapter themes on Structure of Exodus, see if any of the chapters can be grouped according to main events. Record these segments divisions on the appropriate line next to the chapter themes. Then record the theme of Exodus on the chart.

Key doctrines in Exodus

  1. Covenant promises - God's promise to Abraham to preserve his heritage forever (12:1-3, 7, 31-42; Gen 17:19; Lev 26:45; Judg 2:20; Ps 105:38; Acts 3:25)

  2. The nature of God - human beings cannot understand God completely but can come to know Him personally (3:7; 8:19; 34:6, 7; 2 Sam 22:31; Job 36:26; Matt 5:48; Luke 1:49, 50)

  3. The Ten Commandments - the basic truths of GOd (20:1-17; 23:12; Lev 19:4, 12; Deut 6:14; 7:8, 9; Neh 13:16-19; Is 44:15; Matt 5:27; 19:18; Mark 10:19; Luke 13:14; Rom 13:9; Eph 5:3, 5)

Key Words in the NIV and KJV


Studies on Exodus