The Roots of
Our Faith

Part II

~ Slavery and Exodus ~

         For those who are new to the faith or simply desiring an introduction to the Scriptures, The Roots of Our Faith has been written to briefly tell the story, from the beginning, of how God created and populated the earth, and how he chose His people.

~ The Israelites Are Taken Into Slavery ~

         “A new king arose over Egypt who did not know Joseph. And he said to his people, ‘Look, the Israelite people are much too numerous for us. Let us deal shrewdly with them, so that they may not increase; otherwise in the event of war they may join our enemies in fighting against us and rise from the ground.’ So they set taskmasters over them to oppress them with forced labor; and they built garrison cities for Pharaoh: Pithom and Raamses. But the more they were oppressed, the more they increased and spread out, so that the [Egyptians] came to dread the Israelites.”
(Exodus 1:8-12)

         “A long time after that, the king of Egypt died. The Israelites were groaning under the bondage and cried out; and their cry for help from the bondage rose up to God. God heard their moaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob. God looked upon the Israelites, and God took notice of them.”
(Exodus 2:23-25)

         “God spoke to Moses and said to him, ‘I am the LORD, I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as El Shaddai, but I did not make myself known to them by My name YHVH. I also established My covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land in which they lived as sojourners. I have now heard the moaning of the Israelites because the Egyptians are holding them in bondage, and I have remembered My covenant. Say therefore, to the Israelite people: I am the LORD, I will free you from the labors of the Egyptians and deliver you from their bondage. I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and through extraordinary chastisements. And I will take you to be My people, and I will be your God. And you shall know that I, the LORD, am your God who freed you from the labors of the Egyptians. I will bring you into the land which I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and I will give it to you for a possession, I the LORD.’”
(Exodus 6:2-8)

~ God Frees His People ~

         “The LORD replied to Moses, ‘See, I place you in the role of God to Pharaoh, with your brother Aaron as your prophet. You shall repeat all that I command you, and your brother Aaron shall speak to Pharaoh to let the Israelites depart from his land. But I will harden Pharaoh's heart, that I may multiply My signs and marvels in the land of Egypt When Pharaoh does not heed you, I will lay My hand upon Egypt and deliver My ranks, My people the Israelites, from the land of Egypt with extraordinary chastisements. And the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I stretch out my hand over Egypt and bring out the Israelites from their midst.’ This Moses and Aaron did; as the LORD commanded them, so they did. Moses was eighty years old and Aaron eighty-three, when they made their demand on Pharaoh.”
(Exodus 7:1-7)

         “And the LORD said to Moses, ‘Pharaoh is stubborn; he refuses to let the people go. Go to Pharaoh in the morning... And say to him, “The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, sent me to you to say, Let My people go that they may worship Me in the wilderness...”’”
(Exodus 7:14-16)

         “Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, ‘Go and sacrifice to your God within the land.’ But Moses replied, ‘It would not be right to do this, for what we sacrifice to the LORD our God is untouchable to the Egyptians. If we sacrifice that which is untouchable to the Egyptians before their very eyes, will they not stone us! So we must go a distance of three days into the wilderness and sacrifice to the LORD our God as He may command us.’”
(Exodus 8:21-23)

         “Pharaoh then summoned Moses and said. ‘Go, worship the LORD! Only your flocks and your herds shall be left behind; even your children may go with you.’ But Moses said, ‘You yourself must provide us with sacrifices and burnt offerings to offer up to the LORD our God; our own livestock, too, shall go along with us--not a hoof shall remain behind: for we must select from it for the worship of the LORD our God; and we shall not know with what we are to worship the LORD until we arrive there.’ But the LORD stiffened Pharaoh's heart and he would not agree to let them go. Pharaoh said to him, ‘Be gone from me! Take care not to see me again, for the moment you look upon my face you shall die.’ And Moses replied, ‘You have spoken rightly. I shall not see your face again!’

         “And the LORD said to Moses, ‘I will bring but one more plague upon Pharaoh and upon Egypt; after that he shall let you go from here; indeed, when he lets you go, he will drive you out of here one and all. Tell the people to borrow, each man from his neighbor and each woman from hers, objects of silver and gold.’ The LORD disposed the Egyptians favorably toward the people. Moreover, Moses himself was much esteemed in the land of Egypt, among Pharaoh’s courtiers and among the people.

         “Moses said. (to Pharaoh) ‘Thus says the LORD: Toward midnight I will go forth among the Egyptians, and every first-born in the land of Egypt shall die; from the first-born of Pharaoh who sits on his throne to the firstborn of the slave girl who is behind the millstones; and all the first-born of the cattle. And there shall be a loud cry in all the land of Egypt, such as has never been or will ever be again; but not a dog shall snarl at any of the Israelites, at man or beast--in order that you may know that the LORD makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel. Then all these courtiers of yours shall come down to me and bow low to me, saying, “Depart, you and all the people who follow you!” After that I will depart.’ And he left Pharaoh’s presence in hot anger.”
(Exodus 10:24-11:8)

         “The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt: ‘This month shall mark for you the beginning of the months; it shall be the first of the months of the year for you. Speak to the whole community of Israel and say that on the tenth of this month each of them shall take a lamb to a family, a lamb to a household. But if the household is too small for a lamb, let him share one with a neighbor who dwells nearby, in proportion to the number of persons: you shall contribute for the lamb according to what each household will eat. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a yearling male; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats. You shall keep watch over it until the fourteenth day of this month; and all the assem~ bled congregation of the Israelites shall slaughter it at twilight. They shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they are to eat it. They shall eat the flesh that same night; they shall eat it roasted over the fire, with unleavened bread and with bitter herbs.’”
(Exodus 12:1-8)

         “This is how you shall eat it: your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand and you shall eat it hurriedly: it is a passover offering to the LORD. For that night I will go through the land of Egypt and strike down every first-born in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and I will mete out punishments to all the gods of Egypt, I the LORD. And the blood on the houses where you are staying shall be a sign for you: when I see the blood I will pass over you, so that no plague will destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.
         “This day shall be to you one of remembrance: you shall celebrate it as a festival to the LORD throughout the ages; you shall celebrate it as an institution for all time.”
(Exodus 12:11-14)

         “You shall observe the [Feast of] Unleavened Bread, for on this very day I brought your ranks out of the land of Egypt; you shall observe this day throughout the ages as an institution for all time.”
(Exodus 12:17)

         “In the middle of the night the LORD struck down all the first-born in the land of Egypt, from the first-born of Pharaoh who sat on the throne to the first-born of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the first-born of the cattle. And Pharaoh arose in the night, with all his courtiers and all the Egyptians--because there was a loud cry in Egypt; for there was no house where there was not someone dead. He summoned Moses and Aaron in the night and said, ‘Up, depart from among my people. you and the Israelites with you! Go, worship the LORD as you said! Take also your flocks and your herds, as you said, and begone! And may you bring a blessing upon me also!’
         “The Egyptians urged the people on, impatient to have them leave the country, for they said, ‘We shall all be dead.’ So the people took their dough before it was leavened, their kneading bowls wrapped in their cloaks upon their shoulders. The Israelites had done Moses’ bidding and borrowed from the Egyptians objects of silver and gold, and clothing. And the LORD had disposed the Egyptians favorably toward the people. and they' let them have their request; thus they stripped the Egyptians.”
(Exodus 12:29-36)

         “The Israelites journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand men on foot, aside from children. Moreover, a mixed multitude went up with them, and very much livestock, both flocks and herds. And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough that they had taken out of Egypt, for it was not leavened, since they had been driven out of Egypt and could not delay; nor had they prepared any provisions for them selves.”
(Exodus 12:37-39)

         “That very day the LORD freed the Israelites from the land of Egypt, troop by troop.”
(Exodus 12:51)

~ Pharaoh Pursues ~

         “Now when Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although it was nearer; for God said, ‘The people may have a change of heart when they see war, and return to Egypt.’ So God led the people roundabout, by way of the wilderness at the Sea of Reeds.”
(Exodus 13:17-18)

         “When the king of Egypt was told that the people had fled, Pharaoh and his courtiers had a change of heart about the people and said, ‘What is this we have done, releasing Israel from our service?’ He ordered his chariot and took his men with him; he took six hundred of his picked chariots, and the rest of the chariots of Egypt, with officers in all of them. The LORD stiffened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he gave chase to the Israelites. As the Israelites were departing defiantly the Egyptians gave chase to them, and all the chariot horses of Pharaoh, his horsemen, and his warriors overtook them encamped by the sea, near Pi-hahiroth, before Baal-zephon..
         “As Pharaoh drew near, the Israelites caught sight of the Egyptians advancing upon them. Greatly frightened, the Israelites cried out to the LORD. And they said to Moses, ‘Was it for want of graves in Egypt that you brought us to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us, taking us out of Egypt? Is this not the very thing we told you in Egypt, saying, “Let us be, and we will serve the Egyptians. for it is better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness?”’ But Moses said to the people, ‘Have no fear! Stand by, and witness the deliverance which the LORD will work for you today; for the Egyptians whom you see today you will never see again. The LORD will battle for you; you hold your peace!’

         “The LORD said to Moses, ‘Why do you cry out to Me? Tell the Israelites to go forward. And you lift up your rod and hold out your arm over the sea and split it, so that the Israelites may march into the sea on dry ground. And I will stiffen the hearts of the Egyptians so that they go in after them; and I will gain glory through Pharaoh and all his warriors, his chariots and his horsemen. Let the Egyptians know that I am LORD, when I gain glory through Pharaoh, his chariots, and his horsemen.’

~ God Delivers ~

         “The angel of God, who had been going ahead of the Israelite army, now moved and followed behind them, and the pillar of cloud shifted from in front of them and took up a place behind them, and it came between the army of the Egyptians and the army of Israel. Thus there was the cloud with the darkness, and it cast a spell upon the night, so that the one could not come near the other all through the night.
         “Then Moses held out his arm over the sea and the LORD drove back the sea with a strong east wind all that night, and turned the sea into dry ground. The waters were split, and the Israelites went into the sea on dry ground, the waters forming a wall for them on their right and on their left. The Egyptians came in pursuit after them into the sea, all of Pharaoh’s horses, chariots, and horsemen. At the morning watch, the LORD looked down upon the Egyptian army from a pillar of fire and cloud, and threw the Egyptian army into panic. He locked the wheels of their chariots so that they moved forward with difficulty. And the Egyptians said, ‘Let us flee from the Israelites, for the LORD is fighting for them against Egypt.’
         “Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Hold out your arm over the sea, that the waters may come back upon the Egyptians and upon their chariots and upon their horsemen.’ Moses held out his arm over the sea, and at daybreak the sea returned to its normal state, and the Egyptians fled at its approach. but the LORD hurled the Egyptians into the sea. The waters turned back and covered the chariots and the horsemen -- Pharaoh's entire army that followed them into the sea; not one of them remained. but the Israelites had marched through the sea on dry ground, the waters forming a wall for them on their right and on their left.
         “Thus the LORD delivered Israel that day from the Egyptians. Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the shore of the sea. And when Israel saw the wondrous power which the LORD had wielded against the Egyptians, the people feared the LORD; they had faith in the LORD and His servant Moses”
(Exodus 14:5-31)

~ God Provides ~

         “Setting out from Elim, the whole Israelite community came to the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departure from the land of Egypt. In the wilderness, the whole Israelite community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The Israelites said to them, ‘if only we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the fleshpots, when we ate our fill of bread! For you have brought us out into this wilderness to starve this whole congregation to death.
         “And the LORD said to Moses, ‘I will rain down bread for you from the sky, and the people shall go out and gather each day that day’s portion --that I may thus test them, to see whether they will follow My instruction or not. But on the sixth day, when they apportion what they have brought in, it shall prove to be double the amount they gather each day.’ So Moses and Aaron said to all the Israelites, ‘By evening you shall know it was the LORD who brought you out from the land of Egypt. and in the morning you shall behold the Presence of the LORD, because He has heard your grumblings against the LORD for who are we that you should grumble against us? Since it is the LORD,’ Moses continued, ‘who will give you flesh to eat in the evening and bread in the morning to the full, because the LORD has heard the grumblings you utter against Him, what is our part? Your grumbling is not against us, but against the LORD!’
         “Then Moses said to Aaron, ‘Say to the whole Israelite community; Advance toward the LORD, for He has heard your grumbling.’ And as Aaron spoke to the whole Israelite community, they turned toward the wilderness, and there, in a cloud, appeared the Presence of the LORD.
         “The LORD spoke to Moses: ‘I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites. Speak to them and say: By evening you shall eat flesh, and in the morning you shall have your fill of bread; and you shall know that I the LORD am your God.’
         “In the evening quail appeared and covered the camp; in the morning there was a fall of dew about the camp. When the fall of dew lifted, there, over the surface of the wilderness, lay a fine and flaky substance, as fine as frost on the ground. When the Israelites saw it, they said to one another, ‘What is it?’ --for they did not know what it was. And Moses said to them, ‘That is the bread which the LORD has given you to eat. This is what the LORD has commanded: Gather as much of it as each of you requires to eat, an omer to a person for as many of you as there are; each of you shall fetch for those in his tent.’
         “The Israelites did so, sonic gathering much, some little, But when they measured it by the omer, he who had gathered much had no excess, and he who had gathered little had no deficiency: they had gathered as much as they needed to eat. And Moses said to them, ‘Let no one leave any of it over until morning.’ But they paid no attention to Moses; some of them left of it until morning and it became infested with maggots and stank. And Moses was angry with them.
         “So they gathered it every morning, each as much as he needed to eat; for when the sun grew hot, it would melt. On the sixth day they gathered double the amount of food, two omers for each; and when all the chieftains of the community came and told Moses, lie said to them, ‘This is what the LORD meant: Tomorrow is a day of rest, a holy sabbath of the LORD. Bake what you would bake and boil what you would boil; and all that is left put aside to be kept until morning.’ So they put it aside until morning, as Moses had ordered; and it did not turn foul, and there were no maggots in it. Then Moses said, ‘Eat it today, for today is a sabbath of the LORD; you will not find it today on the plain. Six days you shall gather it; on the seventh day. the sabbath, there will be none.’
         “Yet some of the people went out on the seventh day to gather, but they found nothing. And the LORD said to Moses, ‘How long will you men refuse to obey My commandments and My teachings? Mark that the LORD has given you the sabbath; therefore He gives you two days’ food on the sixth day. Let everyone remain where he is: let no one leave his place on the seventh day.’ So the people remained inactive on the seventh day.
         “The house of Israel named it manna; it was like coriander seed, white, and it tasted like wafers in honey.”
(Exodus 16:1-31)

         “And the Israelites ate manna forty years, until they came to a settled land; they ate the manna until they came to the border of the land of Canaan.”
(Exodus 16:35)