Daily Bible Reading for March 31, 2014, with Commentary: Exodus 1-4
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Date: Exodus takes place approximately 350 years after the final events of Genesis and covers 140 years of Moses life.
Context: Exodus is a continuation of Genesis, similar to starting a new book in a series. The first chapter sets the scene for the entire book. Exodus is a book of God's deliverance. The Israelites are in a foreign land, with rulers who have enslaved them. Who else can save them but God? The first chapter fulfills what God says to Abram in Genesis 15. Moses was born to Levite parents. To spare him, his mother set him adrift on the Nile River, where he was discovered and adopted the daughter of the Pharaoh, ensuring his survival. Moses was raised as an Egyptian and later mistaken for one. All of his training could not prepare him for the role God had planned for him: to deliver the Israelites out of Egypt. Moses is cast out of Egypt for killing a man and takes a Gentile bride during his banishment. God communicates with Moses and tells him His plan for the salvation of Israel. Moses is no longer the man who slew the Egyptian to avenge one of his brethren. He now cowers at the thought of saving God's people, which means he is ready for God to use. God shows Moses that He will work through him. Moses however, still cowers. God allows Aaron to speak for Moses, but, as we see later, a divided command has its problems. Scholars do not agree on the interpretation of events at the lodge as Moses made his way back to Egypt. If Moses was to speak for the Lord, then he and his family must obey the Lord's covenant and circumcise themselves.
World History: How could a pharaoh arise who did not know Joseph? Perhaps he was ignorant of history. Another possibility is that the line of pharaohs who ruled when Joseph held power was overthrown and a new line had come into power. Such a large group of non-Egyptians would give cause for concern for a new ruling power attempting to solidify their power. Killing the male children would prevent the Israelites from being able to raise an army. Contrary to what the popular movie The Ten Commandments depicts, the Israelites did not build the Great Pyramids while they were enslaved, as they were built shortly after