Welcome back to week one of our Exodus Bible study. If you haven’t done so already, feel free to jump in and join us. You’ll find everything you need to get started, including a copy of the Bible study guide on our intro post. Click here to go there now.
Please note: If you have trouble keeping up with all of the questions in the study guide, I would suggest that you read a chapter and choose 2 or three questions/day. You don’t have to answer every question, and in fact, you could save those for the next time you go through the study. The questions are designed to help you dig deeper–not overwhelm you. So enjoy yourself and dig into God’s word!
Exodus 1-5 – Questions and Answers
Exodus Chapter 1
What is a Hebrew? What is a Jew? What is an Israelite? Are they all the same?
Hebrews were descendants of Abraham. They were later called Israelites when in Genesis 32, Jacob’s name was changed to Israel. The word “Jew” originates from the Biblical Hebrew word “Yehudi” meaning “from the tribe of Judah.” Today it’s used to describe all of the physical and spiritual (Romans 2:29) descendants of Israel.
Why were the Israelites forced into slavery?
After the death of Joseph, they were fruitful and multiplied. The king who once knew and favored them died, and the new king was threatened by their potential power. He dealt harshly with them, hoping that their oppression would break them down.
The more the Hebrews were afflicted, the more they grew. What can we learn from their affliction?
As God’s people, our source of joy and strength doesn’t come from our surroundings, it comes from the Lord. In 2 Corinthians 4:7, Paul writes, “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” (NIV)
Why and how did the Egyptians make the Hebrew’s lives even more difficult?
Because they were growing in number, the king put slave masters over them and worked them hard. They were forced to build cities with brick and mortar and work in the fields.
What did the king of Egypt instruct the Hebrew midwives to do?
To kill any boys that were born, but to let the girls live.
Why do you suppose the king was more concerned about the male infants than the females?
First of all, he was eliminating any warriors that would rise up against him. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, Satan was using him to destroy the “seed” which would destroy him as prophesied in Genesis 3:15, “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” (KJV)
The midwives feared God more than they feared the king. What are some ways that God blesses people that fear Him? Find scriptures to back up your answers.
By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace. – Hebrews 11:31
By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. – Hebrews 11:8
Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised. – Hebrews 11:11
By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. – Hebrews 11:5
After the midwives disobeyed Pharaoh, what order did he give to all of his people?
And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, Every son that is born ye shall cast into the river, and every daughter ye shall save alive. – Exodus 1:22
What similarities if any do you find between this chapter and Matthew chapter 2?
Herod called the wise men, and Pharaoh called the midwives.
Jesus was hidden in Egypt, Moses was also hidden in Egypt.
The wise men didn’t obey Herod, and the midwives didn’t obey Pharaoh.
Herod gave orders to kill all the infant boys (children in some translations), Pharaoh gave orders to have all of the baby boys killed.
Exodus Chapter 2
What does this chapter teach us about trusting God in difficult situations?
We can rest in the assurance that God is in control at all times. The same God who orchestrated the miracle of protecting Moses and connecting him again with his mother is the same God working in our lives. He makes the impossible possible when we trust Him.
In verse one we see that Moses’ parents are Levites. We later see that God set the Levites apart as priests. Why?
After the incident with the golden calf, the Levites were both repentant and faithful to God.
Moses saw that the people were running wild and that Aaron had let them get out of control and so become a laughingstock to their enemies. So he stood at the entrance to the camp and said, “Whoever is for the Lord, come to me.” And all the Levites rallied to him. – Exodus 32:25-26, NIV
Why did Moses refuse to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter?
He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. – Hebrews 11:26
What else can we learn about his faith from Hebrews 11?
By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible. By faith he kept the Passover and the application of blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel. – Hebrews 11:27-28, NIV
Some say that Moses’ parents were faithful while others say they were cowards because they hid him away for three months. What does Hebrews 11 teach us about their faith?
They were not afraid of the king’s decree and acted on faith:
By faith Moses’ parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict. – Hebrews 11:23
How was Jochebed rewarded for her faithfulness?
Because of her faithfulness, God blessed her. Not only was Moses given back to his mother to nurse, Jochebed was also paid to do so by Pharaoh’s daughter. She was able to care for Moses while he was young.
What else do we learn about Moses from Acts 7:22?
Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in speech and action. – Acts 7:22, NIV
How old was Moses when he left Egypt the first time?
He was 40.
Compare Exodus 2:14-15 to Hebrews 11:27. What difference do we discover in the character of Moses?
In Exodus 2, Moses was afraid. He thought that the Pharaoh might kill him and so he fled to Midian. This same man came back 40 years later to boldly lead God’s people out of Egypt. In Hebrews 11:27, we see a faithful and brave man who was walking by faith, “By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible.” (NIV)
Exodus Chapter 3
How long had Moses been in the land of Midian? And, how old was he when God appeared to him in a burning bush? (See Acts 7:23-30)
He was 40 years old when he went to Midian and he stayed there 40 years. Therefore he was 80 when God appeared to him in a burning bush.
The Hebrews were in bondage for 400 years. What can this teach us about God’s timetable and patiently waiting on Him?
We see that God’s timetable is different than ours, but we also see that those who patiently wait on God are greatly rewarded.
In Genesis 17, God made a covenant with Abraham that He would bless his descendants, that they would be countless, and that He would give them a land of their own. After hundreds of years, they were finally seeing God’s plan unfold as Moses was ready to lead.
What compelled Moses to approach the bush?
He saw that the bush was on fire, but it was not burning up.
What does this chapter have in common with Genesis 15 and Exodus 13:21? (Note this should be Exodus 12:36 not 13:21, sorry!)
In Genesis 15 God tells Abraham, “Know for certain that for four hundred years your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own and that they will be enslaved and mistreated there. But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions.” (v. 13-14)
The mission God revealed to Moses in this chapter was promised in Genesis chapter 15. We later see in Exodus 12:36 that they came out of slavery with great possessions:
“The LORD had made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people, and they gave them what they asked for; so they plundered the Egyptians.” – Exodus 12:36, NIV
What human metaphors does God use in verses 7,8, and 9?
He saw them. He heard them. He was concerned about them. He came down to rescue them.
What was God’s two-fold mission according to verse 8? How does this parallel God’s work in the life of a believer?
To rescue them from slavery and to bring them to a new land.
Those who put their faith in Jesus are no longer slaves to the sin we once served. We are forgiven and everything we were is left behind. But there’s also a new life before us as we wait for the final redemption of our bodies when we will leave this earth to be with our Father in heaven.
Why was it important for Moses to tell the Hebrews that the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob had sent him?
Because the promise was made to their forefathers and passed down to them. This wasn’t merely any other god (they were exposed to many false gods in Egypt), this was the ONE TRUE GOD that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had worshipped.
What does Moses’ hesitation and God’s response teach us about stepping out in faith?
At first, Moses said, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” (NIV)
We cannot accomplish the impossible on our own strength. Moses knew that, but God assured him (as we’ll see in the next chapter) that He would be working in and through him.
Verse 11-12 of chapter 4 is key to leaning on God’s wisdom and strength, “The Lord said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.” (NIV)
What unique mission did God give the Hebrew women in this story?
To ask the Egyptians for silver and gold and articles of clothing to bring on their journey. As we see later on, God gave these women favor in the sight of the Egyptians so that they left Egypt with great wealth.
Exodus Chapter 4
What excuses did Moses offer God and what promises did God give in return?
He was afraid that they might not listen to him. Therefore, God gave Moses signs and wonders to prove he was from God.
Moses was concerned that he wasn’t eloquent enough. Therefore, God said he would help him speak. Moses was still concerned about his weakness, and so God appointed Aaron to be his spokesman.
What roles were given to Moses and Aaron and how did these roles work together?
God would give Moses the words and Aaron would speak them for him. God also told Moses to take his staff by which Moses would perform signs and wonders.
What can this teach us about our gifts working together in the church? Can you think of a Bible verse for this answer?
“If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.” – 1 Corinthians 12:17-20, NIV
There are many gifts within the body of Christ. When we work together for one purpose we can accomplish much for His glory and honor.
What two signs did God give Moses to prove that he was sent by the authority of God?
His rod turned into a snake when he threw it on the ground. His hand was leprous when he put it inside his coat, and when Moses took it out again, he was healed.
Time to dig! What are the miracles found in scripture where God commanded Moses to use his rod?
These are the miracles performed with the rod. It’s unclear as to whether Aaron had a separate rod in every instance or if he used Moses’ rod. In some scriptures, it would seem that it was Moses’ rod.
The rod turns into a snake – Exodus 7:10
The water turns to blood – Exodus 7:20
The plague of the frogs – Exodus 8:5
The plague of gnats – Exodus 8:17
The plague of hail – Exodus 9:23
The plague of locust – Exodus 10:13
The parting of the Red Sea – Exodus 14:16
Water from a rock – Exodus 17:5-7
The Amalekites defeated – Exodus 17:11
What do you suppose the rod might be symbolic of?
To me, the “rod” represents authority and guidance. As a shepherd uses a rod to guide his sheep, so the Lord uses discipline and authority to guide us. What started out as a simple staff in Exodus chapter 4 was dubbed the “rod of God,” as Moses returned to Egypt to free God’s people. And so by the rod, the Red Sea was divided, and by the rod, water poured from a rock.
Why was it important for Moses’ son to be circumcised? See Genesis 17:10-14.
Circumcision was a sign of the covenant that God made with Abraham. God promised Abraham that He would make him the father of many nations and that through him they would be blessed. That was God’s part of the covenant, Abraham’s part, however, was that every male would be circumcised. If Moses’ were to lead God’s people they too had to be faithful to that covenant.
How is spiritual circumcision a part of the new covenant between Christ and His church? Also see Romans 2:28-29.
In Romans 2, Paul talks about circumcision of the heart. This is our part of the covenant as believers through Jesus Christ.
Galatians 5:24 says, “And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.”
This means that we put aside (crucify) our old sinful desires to follow Christ. We obey his commandments as we follow God’s will.
Baptism is a symbol of this circumcision as we die to ourselves and are risen again with Christ.
Exodus Chapter 5
Look up the word “mudbrick” on Wikipedia. What can you learn about the way that bricks were made in ancient Egypt?
From Wikipedia: “In Ancient Egypt, workers gathered mud from the Nile river, and then dug a pit and poured the mud into the pit. Workers then tramped on the mud while straw was added to solidify the mold.”
What did Pharaoh do to intensify their labor?
He instructed the slave drivers to stop supplying the straw the slaves needed to make the bricks. Instead they would have to gather their own straw while still producing the same amount of bricks. Of course, they couldn’t meet their quota and so the slave drivers beat the overseers.
Why did Pharaoh make the Hebrew’s labor more difficult than it was before? And why were the officers beaten?
The officers were beaten because they couldn’t meet the quota. Pharaoh accused them of being lazy and thought that increasing their labor would take their minds away from following Moses and leaving Egypt.
What purpose would this serve Pharaoh?
He hoped that the people would fear him more than they feared God. That they would choose an easier path instead of choosing right one.
In the same way, Satan makes our lives difficult in hopes that we will take our eyes off of the Lord. Those who are weak will often choose an easy path instead of choosing the right one.
The Bible tells us that we will have trouble in this world, but we’re also reminded time and again that there is a greater hope that lies ahead for those who persevere. In the same way, there was hope ahead for the Hebrews who put their trust in God.
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” – Galatians 6:9, NIV
When the officers confronted Aaron and Moses what did Moses immediately do?
He immediately went to the Lord with his burden.
What might this teach us about God’s wisdom and timing?
Sometimes we feel like God isn’t listening, like He’s not in control, or that our prayers aren’t being heard. Through this story we see that God’s timing was everything, and that His wisdom excelled man’s at every turn. Yes, life was difficult for a season, but He had greater things in store for those who were willing to put their trust in Him.
In the same way, we need to trust that God is in control, that He is listening and that His wisdom excels ours. Life may be difficult for a season, and in fact it may even get worse before it gets better, but the very same God who was at work in the Exodus story is at work in our lives.
What can this teach us about difficult situations?
To trust in Him in both good times and difficult times. It can also teach us that Satan is trying to discourage us and take our eyes off of the Lord. We must keep our eyes focused on Him regardless of how difficult our situation might be, and especially if we’re struggling.
Paul sums it up beautifully in 2 Corinthians 4, “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” – 2 Corinthians 4:17-18, KJV