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Literary structure (chiasmus, chiasm) of Book of Exodus

Chiasmus and Concentric Structure of whole text

The center of the longest concentric structure within Exodus is "The Pursuers Drowned" (no. 25, Ex. 14:19-31). The drowned Egyptian army signifies release from the Paraoh, and this pericope is literal climax in this book. After "The Pursuers Drowned", Hebrew people change from servants of Pharaoh to servants of the LORD.


1-1

1 Introduction (1:1-7)
  2 Construction of Cities (1:8-14)
    3 Command to Kill Boys (1:15-22)
      4 Birth and Youth of Moses (2:1-10)
        5 Moses flees to Midian (2:11-15)
          6 Marriage of Moses (2:16-22)
            7 The LORD's Mercy for Israel (2:23-25)
              8 Moses at the Burning Bush (3:1-4:17)
                9 Moses Returns to Egypt (4:18-31)
                  10 Bricks without Straw (5:1-23)
                    11 Israel's Deliverance Assured (6:1-12)
                      12 The Genealogy of Moses and Aaron (6:13-27)
                        13 Moses and Aaron obey Commands of God (6:28-7:7)
                          14 Ten Miracles (7:8-10:29)
                            15 Warning of the Final Plague (11:1-10)
                              16 The First Passover Instituted (12:1-28)
                                17 The Tenth Plague (12:29-32)
                                  18 The Exodus (12:33-41)
                                    19 Directions for the Passover (12:42-51)
                                      20 The Consecration of the First-born (13:1-2)
                                        21 The Festival of Unleavened Bread (13:3-10)
                                          22 The Consecration of the First-born (13:11-16)
                                            23 The Pillars of Cloud and Fire (13:17-22)
                                              24 Crossing the Red Sea (14:1-18)
                                                25 The Pursuers Drowned (14:19-31)
                                              26 The Song of Moses (15:1-19)
                                            27 The Song of Miriam (15:20-21)
                                          28 Bitter Water Made Sweet (15:22-27)
                                        29 Bread from Heaven (16:1-36)
                                      30 Water from the Rock (17:1-7)
                                    31 Amalek Attacks Israel and Is Defeated (17:8-16)
                                  32 Jethro's Advice (18:1-27)
                                33 The Israelites Reach Mount Sinai (19:1-9)
                              34 The LORD Comes Down upon Mount Sinai (19:10-19)
                            35 Moses goes up to Mount Sinai (19:20-25)
                          36 The Ten Commandments (20:1-21)
                        37 The Book of the Covenant (20:22-23:33)
                      38 The Blood of the Covenant (24:1-18)
                    39 The Command to Make the Tabernacle (25:1-31:12)
                  40 Sabbath Regulations (31:12-18)
                41 The Golden Calf (32:1-33:6)
              42 The Tent Outside the Camp (33:7-11)
            43 The LORD goes with Israelites (33:12-17)
          44 The Glory of God (33:18-23)
        45 The Covenant Renewed (34:1-28)
      46 The shining face of Moses (34:29-35)
    47 Preparation for Constructing the Tabernacle (35:1-39:43)
  48 Construction of the Tabernacle (40:1-33)
49 The Cloud and the Glory (40:34-38)
Former halfRelationLatter half
1 Introduction (1:1-7)
1:1 These are the names of the sons of Israel who, accompanied by their households, migrated with Jacob into Egypt:
Journey of Israelites49 The Cloud and the Glory (40:34-38)
40:36Whenever the cloud rose from the Dwelling, the Israelites would set out on their journey.
2 Construction of Cities (1:8-14)
1:11 Thus they had to build for Pharaoh the supply cities of Pithom and Raamses.
Construction48 Construction of the Tabernacle (40:1-33)
Making the Tabernacle
3 Command to Kill Boys (1:15-22)
1:17 The midwives, however, feared God; they did not do as the king of Egypt had ordered them, but let the boys live. (1:17)
Faith of women47 Preparation for Constructing the Tabernacle (35:1-39:43)
35:25 All the women who were expert spinners brought hand-spun violet, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen thread. (35:25)
4 Birth and Youth of Moses (2:1-10)
2:2 who conceived and bore a son. Seeing that he was a goodly child, she hid him for three months. 2:3 When she could hide him no longer, she took a papyrus basket, daubed it with bitumen and pitch, and putting the child in it, placed it among the reeds on the river bank.
Moses is concealed and revealed46 The shining face of Moses (34:29-35)
34:33 When he finished speaking with them, he put a veil over his face. 34:34 Whenever Moses entered the presence of the LORD to converse with him, he removed the veil until he came out again. On coming out, he would tell the Israelites all that had been commanded.
5 Moses flees to Midian (2:11-15)
2:15 Pharaoh, too, heard of the affair and sought to put him to death. But Moses fled from him and stayed in the land of Midian. As he was seated there by a well, (2:15)
Exodus45 The Covenant Renewed (34:1-28)
34:18 you are to eat unleavened bread, as I commanded you; for in the month of Abib you came out of Egypt.(34:18)
6 Marriage of Moses (2:16-22)
2:22 She bore him a son, whom he named Gershom
The name44 The Glory of God (33:18-23)
33:19 I will pronounce my name, 'LORD'
7 The LORD's Mercy for Israel (2:23-25)
2:25 He saw the Israelites and knew. . . .(2:25)
The LORDs Mercy for Israel43 The LORD goes with Israelites (33:12-17)
33:12 Moses said to the LORD, "You, indeed, are telling me to lead this people on; but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. Yet you have said, You are my intimate friend, and also, You have found favor with me.(33:12)
8 Moses at the Burning Bush (3:1-4:17)
4:15I will assist both you and him in speaking and will teach the two of you what you are to do.
The LORD speaks to Moses directly42 The Tent Outside the Camp (33:7-11)
33:11The LORD used to speak to Moses face to face, as one man speaks to another.
9 Moses Returns to Egypt (4:18-31)
4:24On the journey, at a place where they spent the night, the Lord came upon Moses and would have killed him.
The Lord would have killed his people41 The Golden Calf (32:1-33:6)
33:5Were I to go up in your company even for a moment, I would exterminate you.
10 Bricks without Straw (5:1-23)
5:3 They replied, "The God of the Hebrews has sent us word. Let us go a three days' journey in the desert, that we may offer sacrifice to the LORD, our God; otherwise he will punish us with pestilence or the sword." (5:3)
Person who doesn't keep the commandments, will be killed 40 Sabbath Regulations (31:12-18)
31:14 Therefore, you must keep the sabbath as something sacred. Whoever desecrates it shall be put to death. If anyone does work on that day, he must be rooted out of his people. (31:14)
11 Israel's Deliverance Assured (6:1-12)
6:11 "Go and tell Pharaoh, king of Egypt, to let the Israelites leave his land."(6:11)
The commands of the LORD39 The Command to Make the Tabernacle (25:1-31:12)
The Command to Make the Tabernacle
12 The Genealogy of Moses and Aaron (6:13-27)
The genealogy of Moses and Aaron
Lineage of Aaron38 The Blood of the Covenant (24:1-18)
24:1 Moses himself was told, "Come up to the LORD, you and Aaron, with Nadab, Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel. You shall all worship at some distance, (24:1)
13 Moses and Aaron obey Commands of God (6:28-7:7)
6:30 But Moses protested to the LORD, "Since I am a poor speaker, how can it be that Pharaoh will listen to me?"(6:30)
Not listening to / listening to the messenger of the LORD37 The Book of the Covenant (20:22-23:33)
23:21 Be attentive to him and heed his voice. Do not rebel against him, for he will not forgive your sin. My authority resides in him.(23:21)
14 Ten Miracles (7:8-10:29)
The ten miracles
Ten36 The Ten Commandments (20:1-21)
The ten commandments
15 Warning of the Final Plague (11:1-10)
11:5Every first-born in this land shall die, from the first-born of Pharaoh on the throne to the first-born of the slave-girl at the handmill, as well as all the first-born of the animals.
Death by the Lord35 Moses goes up to Mount Sinai (19:20-25)
19:21Then the LORD told Moses, "Go down and warn the people not to break through toward the LORD in order to see him; otherwise many of them will be struck down.
16 The First Passover Instituted (12:1-28)
12:27 you shall reply, 'This is the Passover sacrifice of the LORD, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt; when he struck down the Egyptians, he spared our houses.'" Then the people bowed down in worship,
Regualtions for rituals34 The LORD Comes Down upon Mount Sinai (19:10-19)
19:10the LORD added, "Go to the people and have them sanctify themselves today and tomorrow. Make them wash their garments 19:11and be ready for the third day; for on the third day the LORD will come down on Mount Sinai before the eyes of all the people. 19:12Set limits for the people all around the mountain, and tell them: Take care not to go up the mountain, or even to touch its base. If anyone touches the mountain, he must be put to death. 19:13No hand shall touch him; he must be stoned to death or killed with arrows. Such a one, man or beast, must not be allowed to live. Only when the ram's horn resounds may they go up to the mountain."
17 The Tenth Plague (12:29-32)
12:29At midnight the LORD slew every first-born in the land of Egypt, from the first-born of Pharaoh on the throne to the first-born of the prisoner in the dungeon, as well as all the first-born of the animals.
Miracles for escaping33 The Israelites Reach Mount Sinai (19:1-9)
19:4tell the Israelites: You have seen for yourselves how I treated the Egyptians and how I bore you up on eagle wings and brought you here to myself.
18 The Exodus (12:33-41)
12:38A crowd of mixed ancestry also went up with them
Foreigner in Israelites32 Jethro's Advice (18:1-27)
18:2So his father-in-law Jethro took along Zipporah, Moses' wife, whom Moses had sent back to him, 18:3and her two sons.
18 The Exodus (12:33-41)
12:37The Israelites set out from Rameses for Succoth, about six hundred thousand men on foot, not counting the children.
Many crowds32 Jethro's Advice (18:1-27)
18:21But you should also look among all the people for able and God-fearing men, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain, and set them as officers over groups of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens. 18:22Let these men render decisions for the people in all ordinary cases. More important cases they should refer to you, but all the lesser cases they can settle themselves. Thus, your burden will be lightened, since they will bear it with you.
19 Directions for the Passover (12:42-51)
12:43No foreigner may partake of it.
Excluding foreigners31 Amalek Attacks Israel and Is Defeated (17:8-16)
17:14I will completely blot out the memory of Amalek from under the heavens.
20 The Consecration of the First-born (13:1-2)
13:2"Consecrate to me every first-born that opens the womb among the Israelites, both of man and beast, for it belongs to me."
Children and cattle30 Water from the Rock (17:1-7)
17:3Was it just to have us die here of thirst with our children and our livestock?
21 The Festival of Unleavened Bread (13:3-10)
13:6For seven days you shall eat unleavened bread,
Bread29 Bread from Heaven (16:1-36)
16:4I will now rain down bread from heaven for you.
22 The Consecration of the First-born (13:11-16)
13:16Let this, then, be as a sign on your hand and as a pendant on your forehead:
Memorize commandment28 Bitter Water Made Sweet (15:22-27)
15:26"If you really listen to the voice of the LORD, your God," he told them, "and do what is right in his eyes: if you heed his commandments and keep all his precepts, I will not afflict you with any of the diseases with which I afflicted the Egyptians;
23 The Pillars of Cloud and Fire (13:17-22)
13:21The LORD preceded them, in the daytime by means of a column of cloud to show them the way, and at night by means of a column of fire to give them light.
Preceding27 The Song of Miriam (15:20-21)
15:20The prophetess Miriam, Aaron's sister, took a tambourine in her hand, while all the women went out after her with tambourines, dancing;
24 Crossing the Red Sea (14:1-18)
14:4Then I will receive glory through Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD.
Glory of the LORD26 The Song of Moses (15:1-19)
15:1for he is gloriously triumphant; horse and chariot he has cast into the sea.

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