Exodus 1:1 These are the names of the sons of Israel who came to Egypt with Jacob, each with his household: 2 Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah, 3 Is′sachar, Zeb′ulun, and Benjamin, 4 Dan and Naph′tali, Gad and Asher. 5 All the offspring of Jacob were seventy persons; Joseph was already in Egypt. 6 Then Joseph died, and all his brothers, and all that generation. 7 But the descendants of Israel were fruitful and increased greatly; they multiplied and grew exceedingly strong; so that the land was filled with them. 8 Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph. 9 And he said to his people, “Behold, the people of Israel are too many and too mighty for us. 10 Come, let us deal shrewdly with them, lest they multiply, and, if war befall us, they join our enemies and fight against us and escape from the land”…12 But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and the more they spread abroad. And the Egyptians were in dread of the people of Israel. RSV
Exodus literally means “the road out.” The word itself was adopted into English (via Latin) combining the Greek prefix ex- (meaning “out of”) and hodos, “road” or “way.” This book is the way Moses’s story unfolds. The facts of the story are yet another episode of the struggle of men [the generic pronoun] determined to control their circumstances. History has erased the Egyptians memory. They’ve forgotten, over time, that their salvation came through a family of blue-collar farming and shepherding immigrants and a man who’s wisdom saved their nation and their people from starvation and ruin: Joseph, who???
The Egyptians are now consumed by their “dread of the people of Israel” and their need to maintain control even if it means enslavement and genocide of those same people. God has made sure that family will be remembered by name as the foundation of Moses’s story continues to unfold. The title of the Book, Exodus, is more than the history of the promises for God’s people, then. Exodus is going to be like a contemporary mystery story where “in the beginning” we know the “who done it” and now It’s going to ask us to remember what has been forgotten in between – the circumstances, people, choices and time – and watch how the “exodus” then, has become the “way” to our deliverance, now.
“I am the way, and the truth, and the life;
no one comes to the Father, but by me.“