Biblical Hebrew


The Hebrew name for the Book of Exodus contains the first two words in the Masoretic Text (MT) of the book namely, "we-eilleh shemot"
וְאֵלֶּה שְׁמוֹת
which means, "And these are the names of..."

The Greek Septuagint and the Latin Vulgate do not have the Hebrew word meaning "And these are" and so in Hebrew the book is often called simply,
"The names of."


  The Book of Exodus is the second book of the Torah and of the Old Testament. Starting with the deliverance of Moses by Pharaoh's daughter, it recounts the revelation at the Burning bush where he was called by Yahweh to deliver the Israelites from Egyptian slavery. After Pharaoh rejected his and Aaron's demands, according to the book, the Almighty inflicted ten Plagues on Egypt resulting in the Exodus. The Mosaic covenant was made at the biblical Mount Sinai, and subsequently the Tabernacle, with a 
"divine indwelling" of God with Israel.

Exodus was traditionally ascribed to Moses himself, 
but modern scholars see its initial composition as 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).

The consensus among scholars is that the story in the Book of Exodus is best understood as a myth, and does not accurately describe historical events.
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.

In approximate round dates, the process which produced Exodus and the Pentateuch probably began around 600 BCE when existing oral and written traditions were brought together to form books recognisable as those we know, reaching their final form as unchangeable sacred texts around 400 BCE.

There is no unanimous agreement among scholars on the structure of Exodus. One strong possibility is that it is a diptych (i.e., divided into two parts), 
with the division between parts 1 and 2 at the crossing of the Red Sea or at the beginning of the theophany (appearance of God) in chapter 19. 
On this plan, 
the first part tells of God's rescue of his people from Egypt and their journey under his care to Sinai (chapters 1–19) 
and the second tells of the covenant between them (chapters 20–40).

The rest of this comprehensive Wikipedia article on the book can be read here.

Exodus 13:18a
(An extract from BHFA Volume 5.)

                                      דֶּרֶךְ     הַמִּדְבָּר      יַם־    סוּף
                                     reed    sea of      the desert      way of

KJB   through the way of the wilderness of the Red sea:
ISV   way of the desert toward the Reed Sea.
NLT    through the wilderness toward the Red Sea.
NIV   the desert road toward the Red Sea.

The route that the Hebrews took when leaving Egypt has been studied and debated for centuries. The MT mentions locations that are no longer known.
The location where the parting of an expanse of water by Moses took place is of particular interest.
The Greek LXX has ερυθράν, and the Latin Vulgate has mare Rubrum, which in both cases means, "red sea." Almost all English translations have followed these two sources.

After the first Passover and the 10th plague (Ex 12:29-30), Israel headed southeast from Rameses in the region of Goshen. Rameses has been identified by archaeologists with Tell ed-Daba, a site located 62 miles northeast of Cairo.

The on the first night, the Israelites made camp at Succoth (12:37), whose location is uncertain.
God intended for them to not travel to the Canaan directly, but by a detour in the direction of the Sea of Reeds (13:18).They went on to spend the next night at Etham (13:20), a fort near the eastern edge of the Nile Delta. It was here at Etham that God told Moses to change the direction Israel would take to Canaan.

 They turned back and on the third night camped near Pi-hahiroth (14:2). This location is uncertain. The area located west of the modern-day Suez Canal near the Bitter Lakes on the western shores of the Reed Sea has been suggested.
To this day, the narrow mountain valley through which Israel approached the Bitter Lakes is called by the locals, 
"Tiah ben Israel," or "the way of the children of Israel."

Therefore, the exact location of  יַם־סוּף is still now debated by historians.
Some theories speculate it could be a reference to the Gulf of Eliat, which is also mentioned in the Book of Kings.
Another theory suggests that it is the Lake of Tanis near the coast of Egypt.
The Ten Commandments is a 1956 film with Charlton Heston in the role of Moses, and Yul Brynner as the Pharaoh Rameses II


Exodus 34:29c
(An extract from BHFA Volume 5.)
Why does Moses have horns ?

was sculpted in 1513–1515 
by the Italian artist 
Michelangelo Buonarroti.

Today it is housed in the church of San Pietro in Vincoli in Rome.

"Moses and the Law"
Daniel Moritz Oppenheim, 1818

The answer lies in Ex 34:29c

לֹא־      יָדַע        כִּי       קָרַן        עוֹר        פָּנָיו

                his face    the skin of      shine         that      he knew       not 

(Remember to read from right to left)

KJB         Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone
NASB Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone
ESV         Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone
NLT         he wasn’t aware that his face had become radiant
NIV         he was not aware that his face was radiant 
The Hebrew word  קָרַן that is translated here as "shine" ("radiating light") 
also means "which has horns" (see Ps 69:31).

When Jerome translated the Hebrew Bible into Latin (the Vulgate) (400 C.E.)
he used the Latin word cornuta ("horned").
He later explained that he meant it as a metaphor for "glorified."

In Medieval times (500-1500 C.E.), and even into the Renaissance (1500-1700)
artists followed the Vulgate and depicted Moses with horns.

The same word is also found in Ex 34:30, 35.