This commentary on the book of Exodus is the product of historical-grammatical-theological exegesis of the text for sermon preparations over a three year period from 1994-1996. Therefore, this commentary does not contain the numerous resources employed during its preparation, to which this writer is deeply indebted.
In his first letter to the Corinthians saints, the Apostle Paul connected the Exodus experience of Israel to the Christian’s experience.
For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers, that our forefathers were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ. Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered over the desert.
Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did. Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: “The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in pagan revelry.” We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did–and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died. We should not test the Lord, as some of them did—and were killed by snakes. And do not grumble, as some of them did–and were killed by the destroying angel.
These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come. So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it (1 Corinthians 10:1-13).
In many ways, I have discovered the book of Exodus to be a more profound presentation of the Gospel than contained in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Exodus is filled with typology—a foreshadowing of Christ, salvation and the Christian life with its temptations, testings and triumphs.
I believe with Paul that the books of Exodus and Numbers are indispensable if the Christian is going to stand firm in the testings of God and be victorious over the temptations of the world, the flesh and the devil.
I have attempted to draw the parallels between Israel’s experience, during the Exodus and its yearlong encampment at Mt. Sinai, with the Christian’s experience. In addition, my commentary Numbers: In the Desert—A Journey of Apostasy and Faith continues to illustrate these parallels. Hence, the readers should find in both commentaries theological answers and practical applications to their experiences. In addition, Yahweh God of the Pentateuch by this writer provides the divine perspective of the period.
Two generations are portrayed in Exodus and Numbers—the older generation and the younger generation.
The first apostatizes and their bodies are scattered over the desert and the latter goes forward with Yahweh to be the most faithful generation of Israel’s checkered history. May this commentary be helpful in avoiding the perils of the older generation, while joining the younger generation in the victorious life.
Robert P. Conway