Overview to the Book of Exodus
Exodus is the record of Israel’s birth as a nation. Within the protective “womb” of Egypt, Jacob’s (Israel’s) family of seventy rapidly multiplies. At the right time, accompanied with severe “birth pains,” an infant nation, numbering between two and three million people, is brought into the world where it is divinely protected, fed, and nurtured.
The Hebrew title, We’elleh Shemoth, “Now These Are the Names,” comes from the first phrase in Exodus 1:1. Exodus begins with “Now” to show it as a continuation of Genesis. The Greek title is Exodus, a word meaning “exit,” “departure,” or “going out.” The Septuagint uses this word to describe the book by its key event (see Exodus 19: 1, “gone out”).
In Luke 9:31 and in 2 Peter 1:15, the word exodus speaks of physical death (Jesus and Peter). This embodies Exodus’s theme of redemption, because redemption is accomplished only through death. The Latin title is Liber Exodus, “Book of Departure,” taken from the Greek title.