1-7: Genesis ended with Joseph and his brothers living in Egypt so they could survive the famine. Jacob’s 12 sons would eventually multiply and become the 12 tribes of Israel.
8-14: After Joseph and the 12 sons died off, a new king arose who didn’t know the story of Joseph’s wisdom and how he brought the Israelites to Egypt. The Egyptians feared the Israelites because they had the potential be a powerful force against them. Pharaoh reacted by harshly enslaving them.
15-22: Despite Pharaoh’s edict to destroy all male Hebrew children, the Midwives were faithful to God for disobeying Pharaoh. God blessed them with offspring because of their obedience. However, the midwives’ deceptive tactic to achieve good raises the question of wether or not God approves of lying. The Bible is clear that lying is a sin (Exodus 20:16), but the midwives were forced into choice between deceiving an evil king, or killing thousands of children. In situations like this, we are obligated to choose the lesser evil. It should be obvious that lying to Pharaoh was the greatest possible good in that situation. This was confirmed when God blessed them for doing the right thing.
1-10: Moses was born from the descendants of Levi, which is significant because he would take the priestly role of mediating between Israel and God. When Pharaoh’s daughter took him in, she named him Moses because it sounds similar to the Hebrew word for "draw out", and she drew him out of the water.
11-25: Moses was tired of the Egyptians abusing his people. When he had to flee, he met his wife in Midian. The people of Israel cried out to God for help. God "remembering his covenant" with Abraham doesn’t mean he forgot, but that he always remembered. "Remembering" something doesn’t entail that you forgot it at some point.
1-22: God answered their prayer by raising Moses as their leader and promised to give them the land of the Canaanites. Moses would lead them out of Egypt and they would "plunder" the Egyptians, by receiving their offer of gold, silver, and jewelry. God also identified himself as "I AM". This title describes his self existent, eternal nature similar to the way he describes himself in Revelation 1:8. Jesus would later use the name "I AM" to identify himself as the Jewish God (John 8:56-59).
1-9: God presented to Moses the signs He would use to validate His message. God used signs throughout scripture to serve the dual purpose of convincing seekers and hardening the hearts of those who reject him.
10-23: God commissioned Moses to lead his people, giving him instructions on how to deal with Pharaoh. He then took his family to Egypt.
24-26: God was going to put Moses to death because he was disobedient in circumcising his son. God took the command of circumcision so seriously because it was a distinguishing feature of his People, to separate them from the world. Given Moses’ position as God’s representative, he was misrepresenting God and should’ve lead by example. Zipporah hastily circumcised their son to save Moses’ life, and God spared Moses. According to the text, Zipporah‘s phrase "bridegroom of blood" had something to do with circumcision. She may have said it because his disobedience lead her to performing the bloody act of circumcision.
27-31: Moses relayed the information to Aaron. He communicated it to the people and they believed.
1-23: Moses and Aaron asked that he let the Israelites go so they could sacrifice to their God in the wilderness. Pharaoh responded by working them harder and abusing them more. Even though God told him this would happen, Moses doubted God because they weren’t released immediately.
1-13: God reiterated exactly how he would deliver Israel and give them the land of Canaan. Moses’ people didn’t believe him because their spirits were crushed from being enslaved and abused.
14-29: Moses doubted the people would even listen to him because they questioned his Jewish heritage. The author provided a Genealogy of Moses and Aaron to address these doubts.
1-25: Moses’ first sign to convince Pharaoh was turning his staff into a serpent. Pharaoh’s sorcerers were able to mimic the miracle. They either did it through clever tricks the way magicians do today, or utilized demonic powers. However, God showed that Moses’ sign was greater by having Moses’ snake swallow the others. His first plague/sign was turning the Nile into blood. This was significant because the Egyptians relied on the Nile to sustain life in a hostile desert region. Again, the sorcerers mimicked the miracle.
1-15: The second plague covered the land with frogs, and the sorcerers were able to mimic the miracle again. God granted Pharaoh’s request for relief from the from the frogs. However, his heart was hardened again. This brought on the third plague of gnats. The sorcerers weren’t able to mimic the miracle, which made them realize it was from God. During the fourth plague of flies, Pharaoh wanted it to end so he promised to let Israel go to the wilderness. His heart was hardened again and he didn’t let them go.
1-35: Pharaoh’s heart was still hardened after the next three plagues of dead livestock, boils, and hail. He had a moment of external repentance in order to end the hail, but was quickly hardened again.
1-2: Pharaoh’s heart was hard from the beginning, but God hardened it more by simply displaying His power through plagues and signs. The more miracles Pharaoh saw, the more rebellious and numb to supernatural signs he became. It wasn’t as if God forced Pharaoh to do something he didn’t want to. God’s reason for going through this this long negotiation with Pharaoh was to display his power and judgment. He also wanted Moses’ descendants to know without a doubt that He is Lord. Pharaoh was a "vessel of wrath prepared for destruction" in order to bring God glory, as described in Romans 9:14-23.
3-29: God brought about a plague of locusts and darkness. Pharaoh falsely repented again, and his heart was hardened.
1-3: God promised this would be the final plague before Israel was released. He gave Moses and his people favor in the eyes of the Egyptians so the Egyptians would give them material wealth. They were probably influence by seeing the great power of Israel’s God and the injustice Pharaoh inflicted on them.
4-10: Moses warned Pharaoh, giving him one last chance to repent before the severe plague of the Passover.
1-32: God gave specific instructions to Israel so their sons could be spared from the plague. The Passover, ceremonial rules, and sacrificial lamb foreshadowed the coming sacrificial system and ultimately the coming of Christ. Unleavened bread in the Bible is used to illustrate the separateness of God’s people for the purpose of evangelizing the nations (Genesis 12:2-3). The sacrificial lamb pointed to Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice on the cross for his people. It gave us context to understand what Jesus did for us.
33-42: Israel finally left Egypt with their gifts of silver and gold.
43-51: The Passover meal was restricted to Israelites. Unconverted foreigners weren’t allowed to partake because God only spared Israelite children during the Passover. Furthermore, if foreigners with different religions participated, the symbol would blur the lines between true and false religions. Foreigners and slaves were allowed to partake if they converted through circumcision, which made them part of Israel.
1-2: Since God spared Israel’s firstborn children and beasts, he commanded that they dedicate them to God. Verse 13 says that they should be "redeemed". This probably means they were dedicated to God and would serve in religious duties somehow.
3-16: God instituted the Feast of Unleavened Bread as a reminder that God freed his people out of Egypt. Unleavened bread is a reminder because they left in such a hurry that they didn’t have time to leaven their bread (Exodus 12:34). Leaven is also used throughout the Bible to illustrate the corruption of sin and false religion (Mark 8:15). This is used as an image because leaven is putrefied, fermented dough and even a little bit will permeate fresh dough and changes it’s composition.
17-22: God led the Israelites to the Red Sea with a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.
1-31: God protected the Israelites from Pharaoh’s army by placing the pillar of fire between the two camps. The wind blew all night to part the Red Sea, so Israel could walk through on dry ground. When the Egyptians tried crossing, the sea walls closed on them. When God performed miracles, He usually used the physical elements He created. In this example, God used wind to part the sea rather than make it "magically" split in an instant.
1-21: Moses and Israel praised God with a song about His great miracle. They sung about God being greater than all false deities, and that he brought fear into the surrounding pagan nations because of his judgment on Egypt.
22-27: The Israelites complained about the bitter water at Mirah, but God miraculously purified it with a log. Then God made a rule that if they followed his commands, he would not put any of the diseases on them that he did on the Egyptians.
1-36: The Israelites complained about their situation, and God provided them with manna and quail. He created a system that caused them to trust He would provide more the next day. If they tried stocking up on manna it would rot. God commanded Moses and Aaron to save some manna as a reminder of how he provided for them in the wilderness. This would eventually go inside the Ark of the Covenant.
1-7: The Israelites quarreled with Moses and demanded water when in Horeb. God provided water by telling Moses to strike a rock, which miraculously caused water to come out.
8-16: When Amalek attacked Israel, God intervened and brought them victory. Moses wrote the events in a book and built an altar to commemorate the event for Joshua and Israel.
1-27: Moses’ Father in law, the Priest of Midian, taught Moses to delegate his judging responsibilities. Moses put God fearing, trustworthy men in charge of the people. Though Moses was trying to serve God by doing it all himself, it wasn’t good because it was wearing him and the people out.
1-25: God made his covenant with Israel on Mount Sinai, which served an evangelistic purpose. By making a clear distinction between God’s people and the surrounding pagan nations, there would be no mistake that they worshipped a different God. God made them into a "kingdom of priests" to mediate for the rest of the world. This concept would continue in the new covenant (1 Peter 2:9). Anyone who repented and trusted in the God of Israel could be circumcised and become part of Israel. The condition for God’s people to seal the covenant was to "obey his voice and keep his covenant", and the people of Israel agreed to the terms by saying "all that the Lord has spoken we will do".
15: This seems like an odd command to us, but it was extremely important that no one thought the supernatural events to follow were the result of sexual acts. Fertility cults were prominent among their neighboring nations, and there would’ve been temptation for them to believe God was prompted to act because of their sexual acts. Moses wanted to remove all the possibility of confusion with a temporary command for the third day to not even go near a woman. Many of the purity laws of the Old Testament address the problem of confusing the God of Israel with the false religions of the nations. Sex itself obviously isn’t sinful, but many purity laws tried to distance temple worship from sexual acts and reproductivity. That’s why men were considered unclean after a semen emission (Leviticus 15:6).
1-21: After God gave the 10 commandments to Moses, he taught them to Israel. The people were terrified of the supernatural sights and sounds God, so the wanted Moses to mediate for them rather than hear God speak directly.
22-26: God gave Moses instructions on building an altar that doesn’t dishonor him.
1: Various civil laws were given to Israel since they entered into covenant with God. The people willingly agreed to the covenant and laws; no one was forced to become part of God’s people. These laws do not apply to us today because we’re not Israel, and we’re not under the Mosaic covenant. This is clear from the terms of the covenant given two chapters (Exodus 19:3-8). We are under a new covenant, making these laws obsolete (Jeremiah 31:31-34, Hebrews 8:13).
2: The economy of the ancient world relied heavily on slavery. It ranged from indentured servants who simply exchanged labor for material goods, to the barbaric practice of capturing, abusing, and working them to death. God didn’t ban slavery in ancient Israel altogether, but changed what it meant to be a slave by heavily regulating it. For example God didn’t allow human trafficking, abuse, exploitation, or mistreatment of any kind toward slaves. To ensure that slavery was voluntary, God declared that anyone who forced someone into slavery or even bought a kidnapped slave was put to death (Exodus 21:16). The reason God allowed regelated slavery was so poor people who had no other options could have a way to work for material needs without being punished. Leviticus 25:39-40 made it clear to masters that slaves were to be treated as hired servants rather than property to be abused. God allows our flawed economic systems so long as they fit within His moral requirements. For example, we can participate in a capitalistic economy, but he forbids us from exploiting poor people or treating them unfairly. God is focused on reconciling mankind to himself rather than fixing all of our flawed political and economic systems.
Hebrew slaves served 6 year work contracts. If they wanted out early, they (or someone else) would have to purchase their freedom from the contractual agreement. It’s important to note that this didn’t mean they were captive and couldn’t do what they wanted in their free time. It simply meant they weren’t free regarding work. At the end of 6 years, slaves could leave without paying since they fulfilled the contract. At this time, their master had to pay them liberally with material wealth; this was so they could live independently and avoid poverty and falling back into slavery (Deuteronomy 15:12-15).
3-6: If two slaves of the same master got married but had different release dates (6th year), it didn’t’ mean they could both go leave without paying just because one person’s contract was up. Their employer invested a lot of money up front to have them work for 6 full years and the slaves agreed (Exodus 21:2). In the example given, the husband is finished with his term, but his wife may still have had a couple years until release. This meant she had to continue working for their master until her own time of release. As for the children, they were the master’s slaves as well since the parents had no money to support them on their own and the master had to support them. However, this didn’t mean they were captive and separated the way American slaves were. The family could still spend their free time together, but they had to finish out their work contract. The husband would have the option to purchase their freedom to cancel the contract, but it would’ve been extremely expensive and the wife wouldn’t get her 7th year. The same was true of their children.
5: If the family loved working for their master, they had the option of working for him or her permanently, and sealed their contract by piercing their ear. This may seem like a bad option, but it would’ve provided security and provision from a master they love, rather than trying to make it on their own in the wilderness. It’s not as if they had unemployment and welfare programs; they were a group of nomads living in the wilderness. Provision of essential needs was extremely valuable since they don’t have the abundance of goods we have today.
7-8: In cases of extreme poverty, parents had the option to sell their children as slaves. This wasn’t ideal, but it would’ve been better than starving. It also doesn’t mean that they couldn’t see their children anymore; they lived in the same community and children could spend time with their parents when they weren’t working. The phrase "she shall not go out as male slaves do" is cleared up in verse 8, which says her master can’t sell her to a foreign people, who had harsh slave practices. When male slaves broke contract ("went out") and couldn’t afford their freedom, their master could sell them, creating a new slave/master contract with someone else. When a man wanted to marry his slave (”designate her for himself"), but decided not to, he had to let her be remarried (redeemed) by someone else and she could be released without having to pay for her freedom since he broke faith with her. Also, it’s not as if the purchased slave had no choice in the marriage. She and her father had the freedom to decline the marriage proposal. "Not pleasing her master" obviously isn’t talking about sexual acts fornication is forbidden elsewhere in the Bible (1 Corinthians 6:9). The text simply talks about pleasing him as a potential mate.
9: If the master arranged a marriage with his female slave and son, he had to treat her as a daughter rather than a slave or employee. Again, the Father and daughter had the ability to decline the marriage. It would be no different than other arranged marriages.
10-11: If the master and slave got married and he sinned by marrying another woman, he couldn’t neglect providing for her. As a wife, she would still have full marital rights. If he neglected her in this way, she was able to leave without paying for her freedom.
12-14: These verses address the different penalties for premeditated murder and manslaughter. The murderer received capitol punishment, and the man who accidentally killed someone in a fight were sentenced to a city of refuge. This was both a punishment and a way to protect him from people who wanted revenge (Numbers 35:24-28).
15: Israel was held to a high moral standard since they were the people of God and were directly guided by him. If a person became rebellious enough to attack their own father or mother, they received capitol punishment.
16: Kidnapping and forcing people into slavery was punishable by death; even the person who purchased the slave would be killed. Slavery had to be voluntary in Israel. The only exception was prisoners of war, but even they had to be treated with dignity and respect since they were made in God’s image.
26-27: If slaves were physically abused, they could break contract and leave freely, without having to work the rest of the 6 years their master paid for. Hebrew slaves sold themselves, meaning they received the money for their work (Deuteronomy 15:12).
28-32: These situational laws held owners responsible for their violent oxen. If an ox gored someone to death, the owner had to kill the ox to prevent future violence. However, if someone neglected to kill their violent ox and it killed another person, they could receive the death penalty. The victim’s family or master had the option to spare the guilty ox owner’s life and make him pay a ransom. This was allowed since it was manslaughter and not murder. In the case of a slave, the ransom was limited to 30 pieces of silver to the master. This limitation was probably to take incentive away from evil people seeking profit from the death of their slaves. The slave labor would be more valuable than the ransom, so it wouldn’t make sense for a greedy, evil person to exploit slaves in this way. Some have misread this section as saying slaves lives weren’t as valuable as everyone else. However, the ransom clause was to protect slaves, and verse 29 doesn’t exclude slave men and women.
33-36: These laws taught Israelites how to treat neighbors justly in the event of accidentally killing their neighbor’s animal. In the case of the pit and the violent ox, the guilty party paid for the other man’s dead animal. In the case of two oxen getting in a fight, they split the assets since no one was at fault.
1: The double offense of theft and destroying the animal resulted in repaying the victim 4 to 5 times what they stole. According to verse 4, theft alone is a repayment of 2 times.
4-6: The Hebrews were held responsible if they, or their animals destroyed their neighbor’s possessions.
7-15: When someone agrees to watch his neighbor’s possessions and they allow the possession to be stolen or destroyed, they had to repay since they were responsible for them. Since the Hebrews were directly ruled by God, they had the advantage of bringing certain cases before Him to know without a doubt if someone was lying or not. This was likely mediated through the men Moses appointed as judges.
16-17: This law was to prevent men from using women for casual sex. Doing so would be an extremely costly sin since they would have to either commit to the woman for life or pay a bride price. The woman and her father had the right to reject him as a husband but still accept the bride price money. Some have mistakingly said this verse refers to rape, but the text is clear that it refers to seduction—not forced sex. Seducing someone into doing something is much different than forcing them do it. A seduced person agrees to something because they have been convinced it’s desireagle. The text also makes it clear that seduction is wrong, since a punishment is prescribed.
18-20: Sorcery, beastiality, and sacrificing to false Gods was punishable by death under the old covenant in Israel. Israel represented God and were the world’s only hope of knowing the one true God. That’s why they were held to such a high standard. Furthermore, just because these punishments aren’t in the new covenant, doesn’t mean these sins are any less severe today. Sexual immorality, sorcery, and idolatry are all forbidden in the New Testament. The difference is that we’re not under a theocracy or the old covenant that Israel entered into with God. Our judgement comes after death.
1-8: These various civil laws were designed to keep integrity in the judicial process. Verses 4 and 5 address loving your enemy by helping them when they’re in need. Jesus would later expand on this concept (Matthew 5:43-48).
9: Israel was to treat foreigners with respect and not oppress them. They knew what it was like to be sojourners abused in Egypt and should’ve had a strong basis for empathy.
10-12: Sabbatical laws served the secondary purpose of providing food and rest for the poor, servants, foreigners, and animals.
13: This is a command to distance themselves from the false religions that lead people to do horrible things like child sacrifice and beastiality.
14-18: Various laws regarding feast ceremonies.
19: Deuteronomy 14:1-21 gives insight on this verse and concludes with the same command about not boiling a young goat. The purpose of the strange purity and dietary laws was to contradict the practices of surrounding nations, so God’s people could be separate. The purpose was to draw a clear line between the one true God and the many false gods. Furthermore, the Messiah was promised to come through Abraham’s "chosen" lineage. The restriction on boiling goats in milk was because surrounding pagan nations did this to appease false fertility gods.
20-33: As part of the Mosaic Covenant, God promised to bless Israel by giving them the land of Canaan and defeating their enemies. He stressed that they must not make a covenant with the people or worship their false gods. This would break the first commandment, along with their covenant with God. Driving out and destroying the Canaanites may seem harsh to us, but they were exceedingly wicked, and the just judge of creation decided to put an end to it. In God’s omniscience, he knew that sparing the Canaanites would lead to his people into serving false Gods and compromising the only way for the nations to know the one true God.
1-8: Moses and Israel sealed their covenant with God with a blood sacrifice, and the people agreed to God’s law and covenant. The temple Moses built symbolized Israel’s 12 tribes. Since Levitical priests hadn’t been commissioned yet, young men from the tribes prepared the sacrifice.
9-11: The altar and peace offering made it possible for the elders to come up the mountain and have the feast of the covenant with God. God didn’t judge and kill them for their sins ("lay his hand on them") because they had a blood sacrifice to purify them. Animal blood itself cannot purify us of sin (Hebrews 10:4), but the sacrificial system was a symbol in which Israel could put their faith. Jesus’ sacrifice would one day fulfill and validate all of the Old Testament sacrifices (Hebrews 9:15).
12-18: God gave Moses the tablets with the 10 commandments written on them. During Moses’ 40 days on the mountain with God, he was given much of the information about the Law and wrote it down.
1-9: Moses collected materials to build the temple. Many willingly contributed large amounts of of Gold, silver, and other goods they received from the Egyptians. The sanctuary (tabernacle), was a physical place where God could display his presence and provide atonement for the sins of the people. Mount Sinai was unapproachable because God is holy and man is sinful, but the tabernacle provided a temporary way for mankind to be reconciled. The tabernacle and sacrificial system were a crude replica of heavenly realities (Hebrews 8:5) and foreshadowed Christ, who validated all of their sacrifices by dying on the cross. If he didn’t, their sacrifices would’ve meant nothing, and they would die in their sins. By trusting in God’s sacrificial system, they put their trust in the perfect sacrifice to come (Jesus). In other words, they were saved on "credit" until Christ could pay their sin debt (Hebrews 9:15).
10-30: God gave Moses specific instructions on how to make important pieces in the temple. The ark was constructed in such a way that it didn’t have to be touched to move. Poles held it up by rings. The mercy seat and table for the bread of the presence were also described.
1-37: This chapter describes the construction of the tabernacle. It’s frame was covered in multiple layers of ram and goat skins. It was divided by a curtain into two sections: the Holy place, where the bread, lamp stand, and incense altar stood, and the Most Holy place, where the ark of the covenant and seat of mercy stood. Sinful man couldn’t go into the Most Holy Place because it was where the unapproachable, Holy God manifested himself (1 Timothy 6:16). Only the high priest could enter once a year to make atonement for the people. The New Testament explains that this curtain dividing the temple was a symbol of Jesus (Hebrews 10:19-20). As long as the temple stood, it signified that the old covenant was still in effect and man could not directly approach God (Hebrews 9:8-9). However, When Jesus died for our sins the temple curtain was torn in two (Matthew 27:50-51). This symbolized the present age; that we now have direct access to God since Jesus dealt with our sin that separated us from him, and credited us with his righteousness so we can directly access God without an earthly priest. Jesus is now our high priest.
1-21: This chapter describes the outer court of the temple where worshippers would gather and animals were sacrificed on the altar. Only priests could enter the temple. Aaron and his descendants were to be priests and perpetually tend the temple duties. Their duties were a statute forever, but there was a change in the priesthood and Jesus now carries out their duties by mediating for us.
1-43: God called Aaron, his brother, and his sons to be priests. He filled people with a spirit of skill to make priestly garments. The garments were rich in symbolism; the onyx shoulder stones and 12 chest stones represented the 12 tribes of Israel. They were a reminder that the priest wearing them mediated for the tribes. Aaron and is sons bore the judgment of Israel daily though sacrifices (verse 30).
1-46: God commanded that Aaron and his sons go through a 7 day ceremony to consecrate themselves and the temple. Placing hands on the head of a sacrificial bull was a symbolic way of transferring their sins onto the bull. All of the specific rituals mentioned needed to be carried out so God could dwell among his people in a visual, powerful way. The constant transferring of sins onto sacrificial animals gave the people a vivid picture of God’s judgment for sin and his grace for providing a sacrifice. This would help them understand Jesus’ work when he came.
1-10: The altar of incense is where God met with priests. It was in front of the veil and mercy seat. Incense are used in the Bible as a symbol for prayer, which is exactly what happened at the altar (Psalm 141:2).
11-16: The census offering was a way for each person to be represented in the atonement of the temple. The phrase "that it may bring the people of Israel to remembrance" is an anthropomorphism to help us understand theology. It was another way of saying God would include them when sin was atoned for. God obviously didn’t need reminders of who he was being sacrificed for since he is omniscient.
17-21: The basin washing was a symbol of repentance and moral purity. If they didn’t go through this important step, they would die.
22-38: God commanded a specific blend to make anointing oil and incense. This oil was used to anoint the tabernacle and the priests. One of the primary ingredients was Myrrh, which was given to Jesus by the Maji and used to anoint Jesus’ Body for burial.
1-11: God filled Bezalel with the the Holy Spirit, giving him the artistic abilities and intelligence he needed to make objects in the tabernacle and the priests’ clothing. God worked through him and the information he gave to Moses to make them exactly the way he wanted.
12-18: The sabbath rest was so important that God said "above all you should keep my sabbaths", and Israelites who broke it were even put to death. It was so important because of what it communicated about God. The Sabbath rest was a sign that Israel’s holiness (sanctification) and salvation came from the Lord rather than their own works. Understanding this is central to understanding the Gospel, which brought salvation to the world throughout all time. Had this idea not been preserved, no one would be saved. It also reminded them of how God created the all things and rested on the seventh day. This might seem silly to us, but object lessons were very important during God’s covenant with Israel—these key theological concepts were new and they couldn’t just read the Bible the way we can today. Even today we have object lessons in the form of sacraments (baptism and communion). The Sabbath was a covenant between God and Israel forever, but has been fulfilled by Jesus. This means that the Sabbath object lesson and regulations became obsolete when the New Covenant was instituted (Hebrews 8:13), but the concept of Sabbath lives on through Christ. Hebrews 4:1-11 explains how obeying the sabbath in the new covenant means resting in the works of Jesus (resting from trying to earn salvation).
1-25: The people of Israel already broke their covenant with God by committing idolatry and making a graven image. The phrase "rose up to play" is probably a euphemism for sinful pagan practices such as "worship" orgies. God told Moses he would destroy the people and continue his promise through Moses alone. God would’ve been justified in doing so, but Moses mediated for the people by pleading for mercy. God granted his request by not completely wiping them out, but they would still face judgment.
26-29: Moses gave the guilty people an opportunity to step forward in repentance, and all the sons of Levi stood by him. Since they were priests who interacted with God in the tabernacle on s regular basis, they likely had a greater fear and respect for God. More people from other tribes may have stepped out, but they’re not mentioned. Moses commanded them to execute their brothers and neighbors who were guilty of worshipping the calf. Moses was justified in commanding this because idolatry was punishable by death (Deuteronomy 13:6-12).
30-35: Moses mediated for the remaining guilty people, saying he would rather die than have God destroy them. However, God told him he was still going to carry out justice by sending a plague on them.
1-6: God kept his promise to Abraham of giving Israel the land, but Israel broke the Mosaic covenant so he said he would no longer be with them—only Moses.
7-23: Moses mediated for the people again, pointing out that God’s people were only distinct from everyone else because God was with them. God granted his request and promised He would go with them to the promised land. Moses immediately requested to see God’s glory the way he had in the tent of meeting in the past. However, God wouldn’t let Moses fellowship with him in the same way. Instead, God passed by while Moses was in the cleft of a rock, only seeing the "back" of God. These obviously weren’t actually body parts off God since God is spirit send doesn’t have physical features (John 4:24). What Moses saw was God’s "glory". It’s not revealed in the text exactly what this form of God was or looked like.
1-35: God graciously renewed the His Covenant with the people. He commanded Moses to make new tablets to replace the broken ones. The tablets were a strong visual symbol of the broken covenant and it’s renewal. God promised to work through the Jewish nation and give them the land. However, the people were still required to keep their end of the covenant by obeying God’s laws. Moses’ face glowing was a supernatural anomaly that happened when he spoke with God. It was a reflection of God’s glory that resulted from being in His presence. Paul later used it as an illustration when speaking about the transition from the Old covenant to the new (2 Corinthians 3;13).
1-3: Moses reminded the people of Sabbath regulations.
4-38: Shortly after God filled Bezalel with the Holy Spirit, Israel had broke the covenant by worshipping the golden calf. Now that the covenant was renewed, it was time to build the tabernacle. Israel generously contributed materials to build the tent and the objects within. God filled more men with the Spirit, giving them the skill, knowledge, and artistic ability to create the tabernacle.
1-38: This chapter gives a detailed description of how the tent was constructed according to the designs God gave Moses.
1-29: Bezalel created the Ark of the Covenant, the table, lamp stand, and altar of incense according to God’s designs.
1-31: Bezalel also created the Altar for burnt offerings, the bronze basin, and the court where the people could enter and worship. The author recorded the total amount of materials required to make the tabernacle.
1-43: After designing the tabernacle, they designed priestly garments for Aaron and his descendants. The people had done all that the Lord commanded and finished creating the pieces of the Tabernacle.
1-33: God commanded Moses and he set up all the pieces of the tabernacle.
34-38: God’s glory filled the Tabernacle in the form of smoke by day and fire by night. The base of the pillar rested on the ark and mercy seat. This was a visual reminder to God’s people that he was with them and guiding them.