Exodus, Cole says, is 'the centre of the Old Testament'. It recounts the supreme Old Testament example of the saving acts of God, narrates the instituting of Passover and enshrines the giving of God's law. It portrays Moses, the prototype of all Israel's prophets, and Aaron, the first high priest.
The book of Exodus is especially important to Christians because Christ fulfilled its great themes: he accomplished God's greatest act of deliverance; he became the Passover lamb; he sealed a new covenant with his blood. 'No book therefore will more repay careful study, if we wish to understand the central message of the New Testament, than this book.'
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“House means ‘household’, in the early sense of the word, and the thought of ‘wife’ is primary. This is made explicit in Deuteronomy 5:21, where the wife is named first. Ox and ass are the typical wealth of the bronze-age peasant or semi-nomad, for whom the perplexities of developed society have not yet arisen. ‘Slaves’ are the only other form of movable property. Ultimately to desire, and to try to obtain, the property of another is to be dissatisfied with what God has given, and thus to show lack of faith in his love. Further, the envy which this encourages will lead sooner or later to the hurt of one’s neighbour, and this is inconsistent with the primary duty of love.” (Page 169)
“You shall not covet: Hebrew ḥāmad, ‘desire’, is in itself a neutral word. It is only when misdirected to that which belongs to another that such ‘desire’ becomes wrong. It is sometimes claimed that this is the only one of the ten commandments which prohibits an attitude of mind rather than an outward act: but to make this distinction is probably to misunderstand Hebrew thought. As in the case of ‘loving’ and ‘hating’, ‘desiring’ is an activity, almost equivalent to ‘seeking to acquire’.” (Page 169)
“The next three commands are apodeictic law at its tersest. Only two words are used in Hebrew, as blunt as the order ‘no killing’ would be in English. Hebrew rāṣaḥ is a comparatively rare word for ‘kill’, and usually implies violent killing of a personal enemy (Hyatt): ‘murder’ is a good translation (rv, neb). The command is stated in its most general form, but the law clearly distinguished between planned and accidental or unpremeditated killings (Exod. 21:12–14). Certainly this command was never seen by Hebrews as ruling out the death penalty (Exod. 21:15), although this is usually expressed by a verb corresponding to ‘put to death’, not by ‘kill’.” (Page 167)