Exodus comes from the words “Exo” meaning “out” or “outside” and “hodos” meaning “way” or “road.” This compound verb means “the way out” or “the road out.” This name was given to us through the Greek translation of the Old Testament called the Septuagint. In the original Hebrew, there is no title “Exodus.” The Hebrew title comes from the first verse of the book (as with all other books in the Pentateuch or the “five books of Moses.”) It is “Shemot” meaning “names.” The translators of the Septuagint must have decided this title “Exodus” because of the central story of the book: God’s deliverance of His people from slavery in Egypt; that is, His providence of a “way out” of slavery. In order for God to be able to bring His people out of Egypt, plagues needed to be executed so that Pharaoh would allow them to go.
In the sixth century before Christ, the Israelites were taken captive by the Babylonians and brought to Babylon in exile. They were discouraged, sad, helpless, and hopeless. The people of God were waiting for Him to deliver them. Now, in Isaiah 47, we see the activity of God to free His people from their chains and set them free from their captivity in Babylon. In a very similar way to His work in the Exodus, He had to act on the Babylonians in such a way that they would allow the Israelites to leave. God had to humiliate Babylon and reduce her power:
“Come down and sit in the dust,
virgin daughter Babylon!
Sit on the ground without a throne,
For you shall no more be called
tender and delicate” (Isaiah 47:1, NRSV).
God was now, again, seen as the Redeemer and Liberator (v. 4.) Just as God provided the “way out” the first time, He provided for the second time another “way out.” We see that God always redeems His children. We can learn from Isaiah 47 that God is the supreme Deliverer. It makes sense that God is the ultimate Redeemer. He freed us from the power of sin by His sacrifice on the cross and this was the universal exodus. Let’s remember the actions of God in our history and in our lives and we can have assurance of safety and salvation.
The Scripture quotations contained herein are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989. All rights reserved.