McGuiggan Commentary: Exodus
A unique study of the book of Exodus in 104 short lessons, divided up under three headings:
I. RESCUE UNDER YAHWEH – Chapters 1-18
II. COVENANT UNDER YAHWEH – Chapters 19-24
III. WORSHIP IN THE PRESENCE OF YAHWEH – Chapters 25-40
"The problem with incredible books like Exodus is that they are so rich that it’s surely impossible to fully grasp their purpose. It isn’t difficult to read the book and summarize the contents but that isn’t the same as determining the purpose. Since it deals with ancient history you might say its purpose is to give us a history lesson. Hardly! While it offers historical information, its purpose goes beyond expanding our stock of historical knowledge.
The book of Exodus can’t be understood independent of the other four books of the “Pentateuch” (five rolls). It is immediately and inextricably linked to Genesis, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. It has its own peculiar thrusts, of course, but it has no themes that are completely independent of the other four books.
It tells its own part of the story of God’s creative and redemptive work on behalf of the whole of mankind. In Exodus this work of God centers in the Hebrew nation. It is Act two of a drama in five Acts. Because this is so it takes from, adds to, shapes and enriches, is shaped and enriched by the other four books. To take our cue from John Bright, to see Acts 1, 3, 4 and 5 without Act 2 is to miss much of the meaning of all five Acts. So, whatever we say about the purpose of Exodus must be understood in that light.
And though what we think a writer’s purpose is must be drawn from what the writer actually says it is possible for a writer to be revealing more than he knows. He may pass on words and laws that are richer than he understands or he may tell us of events that can only be appreciated fully at some later date and another perspective. (Haven’t we all had experiences which, at the time of their happening, didn’t appear to be significant, but which in later years we recognized as profoundly significant?) And if we have reason to believe that there is a divine hand at work, one who’s superintending the record as well as the general course of events we’ll be slow to think we have exhausted the purpose or purposes of the book." – Jim McGuiggan