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Book of Exodus


The Book of Exodus or, simply, Exodus (from Ancient Greek: ἔξοδος, éxodos, meaning "going out"; Hebrew: שְׁמוֹת‎, Shəmōṯ, "Names", the second word of the beginning of the text: "These are the names of the sons of Israel" Hebrew: ואלה שמות בני ישראל‎), is the second book of the Torah and the Hebrew Bible (the Old Testament).

The book tells how the Israelites leave slavery in Egypt through the strength of Yahweh, the God who has chosen Israel as his people. Led by their prophet Moses they journey through the wilderness to Mount Sinai, where Yahweh promises them the land of Canaan (the "Promised Land") in return for their faithfulness. Israel enters into a covenant with Yahweh who gives them their laws and instructions to build the Tabernacle, the means by which he will come here from heaven and dwell with them and lead them in a holy war to possess the land, and then give them peace.

Traditionally ascribed to Moses himself, modern scholarship sees the book as initially a product of the Babylonian exile (6th century BCE), based on earlier written and oral traditions, with final revisions in the Persian post-exilic period (5th century BCE).Carol Meyers in her commentary on Exodus suggests that it is arguably the most important book in the Bible, as it presents the defining features of Israel's identity: memories of a past marked by hardship and escape, a binding covenant with God, who chooses Israel, and the establishment of the life of the community and the guidelines for sustaining it.


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