The Old Testament | The Books of Moses


Things to know
Where does the book begin?

Exodus begins in the land of Egypt 400 years after the end of Genesis. The people of God were slaves there.

Where does the book end?

Exodus ends with God moving into the tent in the middle of Israel’s camp.

People to know


Places to go

God called Moses.
Exodus 1-3

The people had the Passover supper.
Exodus 11-12

God’s people escaped through the Red Sea.
Exodus 14

God gave the law to Moses.
Exodus 19-20

God moved into his sacred* tent.
Exodus 40

The Story of Exodus

The book of Exodus begins four hundred years after the end of Genesis.[1] God’s people were still in Egypt. But they were not guests of the king of Egypt. Abraham’s family were slaves. When they cried out to God, God listened. He heard the cry of his people. He remembered the promises he made to them. Exodus is the story of how God rescued them.

How did God do this? First, God chose a man named Moses. He saved his life as a baby. And God prepared him for this task.[2]  God spoke to Moses from a burning bush. He told Moses what he was going to do. But Moses was afraid at first. The job seemed too big for him. God was not only going to deliver his people from Egypt. God would do it in a way that would show the nations how great and powerful he is.

After God spoke to him, Moses did go to the people in Egypt. When he told them that God sent him, they believed him. In a few days, Moses went to Pharaoh (Pharaoh was the name for a king of Egypt). He told Pharaoh what God told him. Pharaoh,’ he said, You must let God’s people go free’.

But Pharaoh said, No’.

So God decided to bother Egypt with many troubles. He sent ten ‘signs’ of his power to cause Pharaoh to change his mind. The rivers in Egypt turned to blood. Insects filled the land. The cows became sick. Insects ate the crops. Each time, Pharaoh refused to obey God and let the people go. Each time, God showed his great power again. He showed that he was more powerful than the gods in Egypt.

Moses gave the king a last warning. If he did not let the people go, every first-born son in the land would die. That night, every family in Israel* killed a young sheep. They took the blood and put that blood on the doors of their houses. God promised that if they did this, their sons would not die. People would always remember that night as ‘the Passover*’. [3] 

God saved his people that night. They started their journey to the land that God gave to Abraham. But, to get to that land, they had to travel through a desert. God did many wonderful things to help the people through the desert. God led them. God sent them food for them to eat [4]  and water to drink.[5] 

One day, God told Moses to meet him on a mountain. On that mountain, God gave him the laws he wanted Israel* to obey. God wanted them to worship* him alone. God wanted them to keep away from false gods. He wanted them to be different from all of the other nations. God’s directions to the people were clear. These laws would protect them. And God would bless* them if they obeyed. He did not want his people to live any part of their lives without him. He wanted them to remember that they were his people. He was their God.

These new laws were part of God’s covenant* with the family of Abraham. The people all agreed. They promised to obey God and follow him always. But, even before Moses had finished writing the commands, the people made an idol*. God did punish the people for their sin*. But he did not forget his promise to them. He told them to make a tent where they could come to worship*. He told them how to build it. He even told them what kind of furniture to put inside. He gave them priests to pray for them. The priests would help them know how to follow God. He even promised to come and live in their camp with them. And when Moses finished all that God had told him to do, God moved in.

  • [1] Gen. 15:13
  • [2] Exodus 2-4
  • [3] Exodus 12-13
  • [4] Exodus 16
  • [5] Exodus 17

The Old Testament | The Books of Moses