Exodus Old and New (Essential Studies in Biblical Theology), L. Michael Morales. Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2020.
Summary: A study of the Exodus theme from its anticipation with Abraham, to the exodus from Egypt, the prophesied second exodus and the new exodus of Jesus the Messiah.
The story of the exodus of Israel from Egypt has been an inspiration for three millenia. L. Michael Morales also shows how the exodus is one of the most significant themes running through scripture. Allusions to the exodus may be found from Genesis to Revelation. In fact the themes of both exile and exodus are evident in Genesis, in the life of Abraham who comes up out of Egypt, and Jacob and his family going down into exile in Egypt.
In Part 1, he develops the exodus theme in Israel’s deliverance from Egypt. The hardening of Pharoah’s heart lead to the glorification of God above all. The great serpent is defeated, first in the signs, and then the passage through the Red Sea. The Passover leads to the deliverance of the first born sons of Israel from a plague that otherwise would strike then down. Moses serves as the pattern of the servant who leads God’s people out of exile. He also traces the cultic pattern of expiation, consecration, and fellowship in the offerings at the tabernacle. His discussion of angels and the day of Atonement was illuminating: the entry into the Holy of Holy between the two angels on the atonement cover, dealing with the sin of Eden, the exile from which involved passage between two angels guarding Eden. Likewise he notes the two angels at the empty tomb of Jesus.
Redemption from Egypt, consecration at Sinai, and the consummation of the fellowship between God and Israel on Mount Zion with the building of the temple is followed by apostasy, and eventually exile. The prophets who spoke during this period spoke of a second exodus leading to a renewed consecration and a renewed relationship with God. The return from Babylon fulfills this in part. But there is the mysterious character of the servant, sometimes identified as Israel, sometimes as Israel personified in a person, one who would suffer, and redeem.
Part Three explores the identity and work of the Servant, who is revealed to be Jesus. He is the Passover lamb. He passes through the water of baptism to forty days in the wilderness. His death is referred to as an “exodus.” In his resurrection, he leads his new people, formed by his Spirit into a new holy temple, into the new creation.
Morales does a wonderful service of showing the coherence of scripture as a single, unfolding story. The diagrams in the book crystallize the patterns to which he calls attention. One marvels that Israel’s exodus points to ours and Moses the servant points to Jesus our servant, and that the lamb slain on Passover points to the final Passover Lamb. Morales builds up these patterns throughout the book until we see how all of them answer in Christ.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.