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Exodus 1–18 (The Anchor Yale Bible Commentary | AYBC)


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Exodus is the heart of the Hebrew Bible, the defining moment in Israel’s birth as a people, the dramatic triumph of their God. Yahweh, Pharaoh, Moses, Aaron, the Hebrew slaves, the plagues, the parting of the Red Sea—these larger-than-life characters and epic events capture the imagination of everyone from biblical scholars to film makers. However, the meaning and significance, the beauty and the nuance, of this captivating book are lost unless we have a world-class Scripture scholar to open our eyes to its riches.

In Exodus 1–18, William H. C. Propp translates the original text in all its grandeur, then provides a masterful exploration and analysis of the book’s first 18 chapters. Here the fate of the Hebrew slaves hangs in the balance of the dramatic conflict between the God of Israel and the Pharaoh of Egypt. From the discovery of Moses in a basket made of bulrushes to the story of the burning bush, from the 10 plagues visited upon Egypt by God to water from the rock and quail and manna from the skies, Exodus is filled with the miraculous and the dramatic.

Resource Experts
  • Offers original translations, including alternative translations, annotations, and variants
  • Provides verse-by-verse commentary on the text
  • Presents the reader with historical background, including analysis of authorship and dating
  • Features an extensive bibliography of primary and secondary literature
  • Part I: Israel in Egypt (Exodus 1:1–11:10)
    • As Ever They Oppressed Him, so He Multiplied (1:1–14)
    • If He Is a Son, Kill Him (1:15–21)
    • For I Drew Him from the Waters (1:22–2:10)
    • Who Set You as a Man, Ruler and Judge? (2:11–15a)
    • A Sojourner Was I in a Foreign Land (2:15b–23a)
    • And Deity Remembered His Covenant (2:23b–25)
    • Yahweh the Hebrews’ Deity Happened upon Us (3–4)
    • A Sword in Their Hand to Kill Us (5:1–6:1)
    • I Am Yahweh (6:2–7:7)
    • But Pharaoh’s Heart Was Strong; He Did Not Release Israel’s Sons (7:8–11:10)
  • Part II: Liberation from Egypt (Exodus 12:1–15:21)
    • And You Will Observe This Day as an Eternal Rule (12:1–13:16)
    • But Israel’s Sons Walked on the Dry Land in the Sea’s Midst (13:17–15:21)
  • Part III: Sojourn in the Wilderness (Exodus 15:22–18:27)
    • I, Yahweh, Am Your Healer (15:22–26)
    • Bread from the Heavens (15:27–16:36)
    • Is There Yahweh in Our Midst or Not? (17:1–7)
    • I Will Eradicate, Eradicate the Name Amalek from under the Heavens (17:8–16)
    • Men of Competence, Fearing Deity, Men of Reliability, Hating Gain (18)

Top Highlights

“Throughout the ancient Near East, the shepherd symbolized leadership” (Page 221)

“A greater difficulty is the presence of ostensible reflections upon the Mosaic era from the perspective of a later age. For example, Gen 12:6; 13:7 recall of the Patriarchal period, ‘the Canaanite was then in the land’—whereas, from Moses’ viewpoint, the Canaanites should be still in the land. Similarly, Gen 36:31 tells of ‘kings who reigned in the land of Edom before a king ruled for Israel’s Sons,’ even though Moses supposedly lived centuries before the Israelite monarchy. Deuteronomy repeatedly calls Transjordan ‘the Jordan’s other side,’ although Moses is standing in Transjordan (Deut 1:1, 5; 3:8, 20, 25; 4:41, 46, 47, 49; 11:30). And the Torah narrates Moses’ death and claims that none like him ever arose again, once more betraying the perspective of a later time (Deut 34:5–12).” (Pages 47–48)

“To summarize: Although Yahweh commands Moses to return to Egypt (4:19), he still holds him accountable for the death of the Egyptian. Zipporah sheds the blood of their son and dabs Moses’ penis with it, thereby expiating her husband’s sin. Contrary to the view of almost all exegetes, 4:24–26 is well integrated into the J narrative, as it presupposes 2:11–12. And, as we shall presently see, it also points forward to the mighty deeds of the Exodus.” (Page 238)

“I believe the most important function of the Burning Bush is to signal a change in God’s interaction with Creation” (Page 222)

“It would be more accurate, therefore, to distinguish among three descriptions of the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart: (a) it becomes hard with no indication of agent (7:13, 14, 22; 8:15; 9:7, 35); (b) Pharaoh hardens his own heart (8:11, 28; 9:34 [Syr]); (c) Yahweh hardens Pharaoh’s heart (4:21; 9:12, 34 [MT]; 10:1, 20, 27; 11:10; 14:4, 8, 17). The gradual shift from (a) to (b) to (c) reflects, not a change in the relationship between Yahweh and Pharaoh, but our own deepening understanding of why the king resists (10:7).” (Page 353)

The Anchor Yale Bible Series, previously the Anchor Bible Series, is a renowned publishing program that for more than 50 years has produced books devoted to the latest scholarship on the Bible and biblical topics. Yale University Press, having acquired this prestigious series in 2007, is now proud to offer all previously published Anchor Bible titles as well as new books—more than 115 titles in all. Many more volumes are in progress as the AYB Editorial Board, under the direction of General Editor John J. Collins, vigorously pursues the goal of bringing to a wide audience the most important new ideas, the latest research findings, and the clearest possible analysis of the Bible. Widely recognized as the flagship of American biblical scholarship, the Anchor Yale Bible Series is comprised of:

  • Title: Exodus 1–18: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary
  • Author: William H. C. Propp
  • Series: Anchor Yale Bible
  • Volume: 2
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Print Publication Date: 2008
  • Logos Release Date: 2009
  • Era: era:contemporary
  • Language: English
  • Resources: 1
  • Format: Digital › Logos Research Edition
  • Subject: Bible. O.T. Exodus 1-18 › Commentaries
  • Resource ID: LLS:ANCHOR02AEX
  • Resource Type: Bible Commentary
  • Metadata Last Updated: 2022-10-05T16:32:37Z

With the Logos edition, you can reap the maximum benefit from the Anchor Yale Bible commentaries by getting easier access to the contents of this series—helping you to use these volumes more efficiently for research and sermon preparation. Every word from every book has been indexed and catalogued to help you search the entire series for a particular verse or topic, giving you instant access to cross-references. Additionally, important terms link to your other resources in your digital library, including dictionaries, encyclopedias, commentaries, theology texts, and others. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for because in Logos, your titles will automatically integrate into custom search reports, passage guides, exegetical guides, and the other advanced features of the software. You'll have the tools you need to use your entire digital library effectively and efficiently, searching for verses, finding Scripture references and citations instantly, and performing word studies. With most Logos resources, you can take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps, providing you the most efficient and comprehensive research tools in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

William H. C. Propp is a professor of history and Judaic studies at the University of California, San Diego. He has written on the Hebrew Bible for such respected scholarly journals as the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, the Journal of Biblical Literature, Vetus Testamentum, and Bible Review.


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Print list price: $55.00
Save $5.01 (9%)