Chapter 7: The Exodus - Midwest Theological Forum

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Chapter 7: The Exodus
UNDERSTANDING THE SCRIPTURES
1. The Call of Moses (pp. 128–133)
ANTICIPATORY SET
Have a student read aloud about the oppression of the Hebrews and
Moses’ early years (Ex 1:1—2:10).
1. The Call of Moses (pp. 128–133)
BASIC QUESTIONS
How did Moses escape the fate of many male Hebrews?
Why did Moses flee Egypt?
What did God reveal to Moses in the burning bush?
KEY IDEAS
The Hebrews became slaves in Egypt; all male Israelite children were
ordered to be killed at birth; Moses escaped this fate and was brought
up in Pharaoh’s court.
Moses fled Egypt after he had killed an Egyptian taskmaster who
was abusing a Hebrew slave.
In the form of a burning bush, God revealed to Moses his
compassion toward his people and his name, “I AM WHO I AM”;
Moses was told to tell Pharaoh to allow the Hebrews to go into the
desert to offer sacrifices.
1. The Call of Moses (pp. 128–133)
FOCUS QUESTIONS
What does the Sacred Author of Exodus mean when he referred to
the new Pharaoh “who did not know Joseph”?
Unlike his predecessors, this Pharaoh refused to have good relations with
the people of Israel, perhaps because he did not know about Joseph’s
saving deeds centuries earlier.
Why were the Egyptians in dread of the people of Israel?
The Israelites’ numbers were growing rapidly.
What argument did Pharaoh use to justify having oppressed the
Hebrews?
If the Hebrews were allowed to continue to multiply and there came a war,
they might join Egypt’s enemies.
1. The Call of Moses (pp. 128–133)
GUIDED EXERCISE
Conduct a think / pair / share using the following question:
Why did Pharaoh decide to kill only the male children of Israel?
GUIDED EXERCISE
Conduct a think / pair / share using the following question:
How is Moses’ escape from death a type of Baptism?
1. The Call of Moses (pp. 128–133)
FOCUS QUESTIONS
How was Moses raised?
He was raised by Pharaoh’s daughter with all the benefits of a prince of
Egypt, though his Hebrew mother secretly taught him the faith of the
Israelites.
What did Moses begin to notice as he grew into manhood?
He saw Egyptians treating his people badly.
Why did Moses commit murder?
Enraged at his abuse of a Hebrew slave, Moses killed the Egyptian
taskmaster.
1. The Call of Moses (pp. 128–133)
FOCUS QUESTIONS
What did Moses do when he saw two Hebrews fighting?
He tried to break up the fight.
What was the accusation against Moses by the Hebrew who had
started the fight?
He asked Moses, “Who made you a prince and a judge over us?” He
accused Moses of trying to rule over the Hebrews.
Why did Moses flee into Midian?
Since the Hebrews knew he had killed the Egyptian, he reasoned, the
Egyptians would find out as well. If Pharaoh were to learn what he had
done, his life would not be safe.
1. The Call of Moses (pp. 128–133)
FOCUS QUESTIONS
How did God appear to Moses?
He appeared in a bush that burned but was not consumed by the flames.
What was Moses’ reaction to having heard God’s voice?
He was terrified, “afraid to look at God” (Ex 3: 6).
Why did God identify himself as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and
Jacob?
God was being specific and personal. He was saying he was not the God
of all the descendants of Abraham, not the God of all the descendants of
his son Isaac, but specifically the God of the descendants of Jacob: the
Twelve Tribes of Israel, who comprised Moses’ people.
1. The Call of Moses (pp. 128–133)
FOCUS QUESTIONS
What did God reveal to Moses as his intention?
He would bring his people to the land he had promised Abraham.
What name did God reveal to Moses?
“I AM WHO I AM.”
Extension: This name is usually rendered in English as Yahweh. It is called the
Tetragrammaton (“four letters”: YHWH), the first letter of each Hebrew word.
Out of respect, Jews neither uttered nor wrote it.
According to the Catechism, no. 204, what was the fundamental
Revelation from God at the burning bush?
The fundamental Revelation was the divine name.
1. The Call of Moses (pp. 128–133)
GRAPHIC ORGANIZER
Complete the following table to understand the content of the
Catechism, no. 203.
CCC 203
How did God reveal himself
to his people Israel?
What does a person’s name express?
God has a name.What does this fact reveal?
What is the meaning
of disclosing one’s name?
What does “I AM WHO I AM ” express?
1. The Call of Moses (pp. 128–133)
How did God reveal himself
to his people Israel?
What does a person’s name express?
CCC 203
By making his name known to them.
A person’s essence and identity and the
meaning of his or her life.
God has a name.What does this fact reveal? That he is not an anonymous force but a
person.
What is the meaning
It is a way of handing one self to another,
of disclosing one’s name?
of making one self accessible, capable of
being known and addressed personally.
What does “I AM WHO I AM ” express?
That God is pure being, pure existence.
1. The Call of Moses (pp. 128–133)
GUIDED EXERCISE
Work in your assigned group of three or four to complete Practical Exercise 1
(p. 147).
Share your responses with the class, and then take part in a class discussion
using the following question:
Why does God choose those who are weak and have few apparent skills to
do his work?
GUIDED EXERCISE
Write a paragraph summarizing the meaning of God’s message for
Pharaoh, “Israel is my first-born son,” and God’s demand, “Let my people
go.”
1. The Call of Moses (pp. 128–133)
CLOSURE
Write a paragraph about God’s revelation to Moses.
Each paragraph should include these ideas:
What God revealed about his relationship to the Hebrews
What God revealed about his inner nature
1. The Call of Moses (pp. 128–133)
HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT
Study Questions 1–9 (p. 147)
Practical Exercise 1 (p. 147)
Workbook Questions 1–18
Read “The Plagues” through “Escape from Egypt” (pp. 134–139)
1. The Call of Moses (pp. 128–133)
ALTERNATIVE ASSESSMENT
In light of the name God revealed in the burning bush, discuss how the
Jews of Jesus’ time would have reacted to the following statement:
“Jesus said to [the Jews], ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham
was, I am’” (Jn 8:58).
2. The Passover and the Exodus (pp. 134–139)
ANTICIPATORY SET
Read the institution of the Passover (cf. Ex 12: 1–28).
2. The Passover and the Exodus (pp. 134–139)
BASIC QUESTIONS
What is the relationship among Israel’s animal sacrifice, the Egyptians’ pagan
worship, and the plagues?
What is the Passover?
How were the Hebrews saved from the Egyptian army?
KEY IDEAS
God commanded Israel to sacrifice animals the Egyptians worshiped as gods;
the plagues, which resulted from Pharaoh’s refusal to allow the Hebrews to go
out into the wilderness, were judgments against Egypt’s gods.
Pharaoh released the Hebrews from bondage after the last plague had killed
every firstborn Egyptian male.
The Hebrews were spared through the blood of a lamb; the Passover meal
was to be a perennial memorial; and the lamb is a type of Christ.
God saved the Hebrews from the Egyptian army by parting the Red Sea,
which is a type of Baptism.
2. The Passover and the Exodus (pp. 134–139)
FOCUS QUESTIONS
What did Moses demand of Pharaoh?
He demanded the Hebrews be allowed to make a three-day journey into
the wilderness to make sacrifices to the Lord.
How did Pharaoh respond to Moses’ request?
He assigned the Hebrews even more work so they would have no time to
think about leaving to make sacrifices.
How might the first nine plagues be arranged to aid understanding?
They may be arranged in three cycles of three each, with warnings before
the first two in each cycle and no warning for the third.
2. The Passover and the Exodus (pp. 134–139)
FOCUS QUESTIONS
Why did God ask Israel to sacrifice cattle, sheep, and goats?
The Egyptians worshiped these animals as gods. Israel was thus taught to give up
any attachment to the Egyptian’s false gods and worship the one true God.
How were the plagues judgments on the Egyptian gods?
Some of the plagues directly affected Egyptian worship. God turned the waters of
the Nile, which the Egyptians worshiped as the god Hapi, into blood. God
brought a plague on cattle, a male of which (bull) they worshiped. God sent a
plague of frogs; they worshiped a frog. Thus, they were left to wade through piles
of stinking, dead Egyptian “gods.”
What interpretation does the Book of Wisdom give to the plagues of
Egypt?
The Book of Wisdom reveals that the foolish wickedness of the Egyptians led
them to worship irrational creatures. Therefore, God sent irrational creatures to
punish them, to teach them one is punished by the things with which he or she
sins.
2. The Passover and the Exodus (pp. 134–139)
GUIDED EXERCISE
Moses was a man who spoke with God.
One definition of prayer is speaking with God.
Consider the amount of time you spend each day in prayer. Contrast
your prayer time with the time you spend in recreation.
For your eyes only, write three personal suggestions to increase daily
prayer time.
2. The Passover and the Exodus (pp. 134–139)
FOCUS QUESTIONS
What did the last, or tenth, plague kill?
Every firstborn male in Egypt, both man and beast, was killed (cf.
Ex 12:29; Ps 135:8).
How were the Israelites spared from the last, or tenth, plague?
They spread the blood of a sacrificed lamb over the doorposts of their
homes as a sign for the Angel of Death to pass over, sparing the firstborn
males therein.
What was the Passover meal?
It was a ceremonial feast wherein God ordered the Hebrews to eat the
meat of the sacrificed lamb. This meal, filled with symbolism, was to be
repeated every year for the rest of time.
2. The Passover and the Exodus (pp. 134–139)
FOCUS QUESTIONS
What does passover mean?
The Angel of Death would pass through Egypt. Wherever a house was
sprinkled with the blood of the lamb, the angel would not enter but pass over
that house.
From a Jewish perspective, why did the Jews celebrate the Passover year
after year?
God wanted the Jews to remember the Lord’s powerful deliverance of the
Chosen People from slavery.
2. The Passover and the Exodus (pp. 134–139)
FOCUS QUESTIONS
From a Christian perspective, why did the Jews celebrate the Passover
year after year?
This Passover remembrance and meal, in addition to the previous answer, was
to prepare the Jews to understand the Death of the Lamb of God, Jesus
Christ.
How is the Passover lamb a type of Christ?
The sacrifice of the innocent, male lamb without blemish and the sprinkling
of its blood saved the firstborn sons of Israel from immediate death and led
to the freedom of the Hebrews from slavery to the Egyptians. St. John the
Baptist called Christ the Lamb of God (cf. Jn 1:29). The sacrifice of the
innocent Lamb of God on the Cross freed all people from slavery to sin and
eternal death. St. Paul identified Christ with the Passover lamb: “Christ, our
paschal lamb, has been sacrificed” (1 Cor 5:7; pascha is Greek for passover).
2. The Passover and the Exodus (pp. 134–139)
GUIDED EXERCISE
 Work with a partner to explain passing through the Red Sea as a
type of Baptism.
2. The Passover and the Exodus (pp. 134–139)
FOCUS QUESTIONS
Why did Pharaoh decide to pursue the Israelites?
He repented of having released such cheap labor and wanted to reclaim
them.
How did the Israelites soon feel about the Exodus?
They complained Moses had led them out of Egypt only to die in the
wilderness.
What does the word exodus mean?
Greek for going out, it refers to Israel’s release and flight from Egypt.
Extension: This word also applies to Christ’s Passion, Death, and
Resurrection as the Redemption of all people from slavery to sin and
eternal death.
2. The Passover and the Exodus (pp. 134–139)
CLOSURE
Write a paragraph about the relationship among the animal sacrifice
the Hebrews were required to make, the plagues the Egyptians
suffered, and the Egyptians’ false gods.
2. The Passover and the Exodus (pp. 134–139)
HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT
Study Questions 10–18 (p. 147)
Workbook Questions 19–35
Read “Spiritual Food In The Wilderness” through “The Temple In
Heaven And On Earth” (pp. 140–144)
2. The Passover and the Exodus (pp. 134–139)
ALTERNATIVE ASSESSMENT
Free write for five minutes explaining the Passover meal as a type of
the Mass.
3. The Mosaic Covenant (pp. 140–144)
ANTICIPATORY SET
A closed-book pop quiz.
3. The Mosaic Covenant (pp. 140–144)
BASIC QUESTIONS
 How did God feed the Israelites in the desert?
 What was the covenant God made with Israel?
 What is the Decalogue?
KEY IDEAS
 In the desert, God miraculously sent the Israelites food and water,
manna being a type of the Eucharist.
 Through the mediation of Moses, God made a covenant with the
people of Israel, giving them the Decalogue and promising to make
them a nation of priests.
 The Decalogue is a privileged expression of the natural law.
3. The Mosaic Covenant (pp. 140–144)
FOCUS QUESTIONS
Why did the Hebrews regret having left Egypt?
They were hungry and remembered “when we sat by the fleshpots and ate bread to
the full” (Gn 16: 3).
What is manna?
Hebrew for “what is it?” manna was a flourlike substance God sent from Heaven;
the Israelites used it to make bread.
How is manna a type of the Eucharist?
People of Christ’s time said Moses gave the Israelites in the desert a sign—bread
from Heaven—which they ate in the wilderness; they asked Christ what sign he
would give them. “Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you... my Father gives you
the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down from
heaven, and gives life to the world’” (Jn 6: 32–33). The Eucharist is truly the Body
and Blood of Christ, the daily bread of the faithful that sustains the spiritual life.
3. The Mosaic Covenant (pp. 140–144)
GUIDED EXERCISE
Read silently Exodus 17:1–7 and 1 Corinthians 10:1–4.
Write about the rock at Massah and Meribah as a type of Christ.
3. The Mosaic Covenant (pp. 140–144)
FOCUS QUESTIONS
Where did God reveal his covenant with the people Israel?
He revealed it on Mt. Sinai, upon the foot of which he had revealed
his name to Moses from the burning bush.
What did God promise the people of Israel?
If they would obey his covenant, God promised they would belong to
him in a special way and be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.
How did the Israelites respond to the offer of a covenant?
They agreed to it.
3. The Mosaic Covenant (pp. 140–144)
FOCUS QUESTIONS
What is prohibited in the First Commandment?
God prohibits making graven images as idols to worship or serve.
How did God promise to treat those who hate him and those who
love him?
God promised to punish those who hate him to the third and fourth
generation. He promised to bless those who love him through thousands
of generations.
What did God require on to the seventh day?
God required the Chosen People, their servants, their sojourners, and even
their animals to rest on the Sabbath day.
3. The Mosaic Covenant (pp. 140–144)
GUIDED EXERCISE
Write a paragraph explaining what it means to be a nation of priests,
relating this to God’s promise to Abraham that all people would be
blessed through him.
3. The Mosaic Covenant (pp. 140–144)
FOCUS QUESTIONS
What is the blood of the Mosaic Covenant?
The blood of the sacrificial victim ratified the covenant; half was thrown
against the altar and half was sprinkled on the people.
What is the Decalogue?
Literally the ten words, or ten statements; God gave Moses these ten
Commandments by which the Chosen People were to live within the
covenant.
How does the Decalogue bring religious and social life into harmony?
The first Three Commandments govern our relationship with God; the next
seven govern our relationship with each other. Christ summed up the
Decalogue in the two Great Commandments: love of God and love of
neighbor (cf. Mt 22:37–39).
3. The Mosaic Covenant (pp. 140–144)
FOCUS QUESTIONS
What is the natural law?
The natural law refers to those rules of moral behavior that can be known
by reason.
How is the Decalogue a privileged expression of the natural law?
It makes the natural law known to people completely and with certainty by
Revelation.
What was the Ark of the Covenant?
It was the ornate container that held sacred objects, including the two
tablets on which the Decalogue was written.
3. The Mosaic Covenant (pp. 140–144)
CLOSURE
Write a paragraph about the extent to which the Abrahamic covenant
was fulfilled in the Mosaic Covenant.
3. The Mosaic Covenant (pp. 140–144)
HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT
Study Questions 19–23 (p. 147)
Practical Exercise 2 (p. 147)
Workbook Questions 36–51
3. The Mosaic Covenant (pp. 140–144)
ALTERNATIVE ASSESSMENT
Have each student develop a Graphic Organizer about the various types
of New Testament antitypes found in this chapter.
The End

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