Experiencing Exodus

Exodus might inform my worldview more than any other book in Scripture… liberation, adoption, midwives, ┬ámothers, daily manna and stone tablets are all packed in there. We walk near the Great Nile River and cross the Sea of Reeds, we stand in awe at Sinai and wander the wilderness before catching a glimpse of the Promised Land. We study Moses and Miriam, we remember Pharaoh. We learn that God hears the cries of the oppressed, God acts, God delivers. We hear the freedom song…

Here are some favorite resources I’ve learned from over the years:

Commentary on the Book of Exodus by Umberto Cassuto

This might be the most over-looked resource on Exodus, but the most rich source of exegesis. Cassuto, and Italian Jew, catches the nuance and complexity of the Hebrew language and highlights the very rhythm of the text. This is always my first stop…


Exodus WB
The New Interpreters Bible, Volume 1

Within this hefty volume is a commentary on Exodus by Walter Brueggemann. This is the man who taught me the story of Exodus. You can’t do better than listening to him teach through this liberation narrative from start to finish.


Exodus Meyers
Exodus by Carol Meyers

The more I turn to this commentary, the more I learn about the ins and outs of Exodus. I especially appreciate her excursuses with more detail on various points that I don’t hear elsewhere. She also has a great ear for the women of the story, which is a bonus (or a necessity).


Exodus Zornberg
The Particulars of Rapture: Reflections on Exodus by Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg

I first learned of Zornberg while listening to an episode of On Being with Krista Tippett. I was drawn in by this amazing woman and gifted scholar. This volume introduced me to layers of commentary and interpretation from the Jewish tradition that cracked open new vistas of imagination.


Exodus Walzer
Exodus and Revolution by Michael Walzer

I found this small volume in a Brueggemann footnote – and I’m glad I did! Walzer explores the political aspects of Exodus. It is another lens, another vantage point that allows us to see more.


Exodus Brenner,ed.
Exodus to Deuteronomy edited by Athalya Brenner

This is another book I discovered in a footnote. This is a collection of essays, some on Exodus and some on Deuteronomy, written by feminist scholars. I don’t agree with each conclusion, but I’ve learned something from each one nonetheless.

Moses Hurston
Moses, Man of the Mountain by Zora Neale Hurston

This novel was written in 1939 by an African American woman who was, as far as I can tell, fearless. This work is “…a humorous retelling of the biblical Exodus narrative…and takes on US white racism and economic injustice, as well as American complacency at the rise of antisemitism and the Third Reich abroad.” You see Exodus in new ways – as well as our own US history.


And next on my list…

Moses Buber
Moses: The Revelation and the Covenant by Martin Buber

I’ve heard this mentioned in many a footnote (can you see a theme here!) and figured it must be my next Exodus exploration. I’ll report back once I’ve read it…

Here are a couple other things I’ve written about Exodus…

500 words: Exodus

Exodus Strong (for Rachel Held Evans)

Miriam’s Drum (for Deeper Story)

ShePonders: Midwives (for SheLoves Magazine)



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One thought on “Experiencing Exodus”

  1. Diana Trautwein
     ·  Reply

    A great list – most of them new to me. I love Zornberg – have her big volume on Genesis and use it whenever I’m in that book. I think this one is getting a bookmark.

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