The book of Exodus is the second text that integrates the Pentateuchafter the Genesis. The word exodus comes from the Greek ἔξοδος and from Latin exŏdus qhat is meant by output and refers to the central theme of the book which is the departure of the Hebrew people from Egypt, and describes through a myth of religious and cultural character how Israel finds the ethnic, religious and philosophical basis as a nation and stands as the people chosen by God to bring his message of faith and mercy to mankind.
The central figures of the Exodus are the Hebrew people and MosesThe latter represents God's instrument to liberate the Israelites from oppression and slavery, and lead them to the promised land of Canaan. Under the leadership of MosesGod establishes a covenant or alliance with the Hebrew people to live a holy life following the Commandments or Decalogue that he gave them, as well as to take the message of the one true God to the world through his example and virtuesthat is to say, to show themselves as a just, obedient and supportive people consecrated to the true God.
Traditionally the writing of the book of Exodus is attributed to Moses.However, current studies on biblical texts indicate that this book was written by several authors at different times. It is important to emphasize that it has different literary styles: narrative, poetic and epic, and it also contains laws, hymns and prayers that highlight the cultural and religious character, and its importance for the people of Israel.
As a historical reference, the events described in the book of Exodus have not been easily related to a precise time in history due to the lack of archaeological evidence or written records, but certain accounts place the events narrated in the book in the 13th century B.C., during the reign of Ramses II.
In general, the Exodus contains two fundamental historical facts for the people of Israel; the first part begins with the death of Joseph, son Jacob; the establishment of the Hebrews in Egyptian lands and the slavery to which they are subjected by the Egyptians. This section tells how God hears the cry of his people and chooses Moses to free them from oppression; which culminates with the departure of Israel from Egypt after crossing the Red Sea and the celebration of the First Passover or Pesach, giving beginning to the Hebrew liturgy.
The second part narrates the life of the Israelis in the desertThe book also describes the giving of the Commandments on Mount Sinai and God's covenant or Alliance with the Hebrews, which will establish the norms and laws that will govern the life and morals of God's chosen people. Finally, it describes the establishment of the priesthood and the construction of the tabernacle, which contained the tablets of the commandments.
For the Hebrew people the content of the Exodus describes the beginning of the Jewish nation, God's choice and his infinite mercy The first covenant was established and the laws or commandments that would govern the moral behavior and justice of the Jews were established. In addition, the priesthood and the Hebrew liturgy are established. For Christians, it is the proclamation of Jesus Christ as the Lamb of God, the Son of God who with his sacrifice and resurrection frees us from the slavery of the sin and offers us eternal life.