Exodus: A Diocesan Big Read

On Sunday, August 27, the Diocese of Southern Ohio begins an eight-month initiative, encouraging everyone to read and reflect on the book of Exodus.  Please see the diocesan “Big Read” web site, http://adsobigread.org/, and the article in the Autumn 2017 issue of our quarterly parish newsletter, The Lion’s Tale, for a more complete description and pertinent information.  For those who might want to read the book on their own, here are some suggestions. 


First, what is the book about?  Rabbi Everett Fox (The Five Books of Moses, p. 244) suggests this outline for understanding Exodus:

The Deliverance Narrative (1:1 – 15:21)

In the Wilderness (15:22 – 18:27)

Covenant and Law (Chaps. 19-24)

The Blueprints for the Tabernacle and Its Service (Chaps. 25-31)

Infidelity and Reconciliation (Chaps. 32-34)

The Building of the Tabernacle (Chaps. 35-40).


Second, how can I read it over a period of time?  As for a reading plan, the diocesan “Big Read” web site, on its “For Individuals” page, gives two suggested reading schedules, with cross-references to some useful commentaries (I recommended the Terence Fretheim and Carol Meyers commentaries and would be happy to show them to you).  If you are not an Internet user and would like any of the web site material, please contact the church office so that we may provide you with a copy.


Third, is all of it important (i.e. are there some parts that I can skip)?  The entire book of Exodus is about 50-60 pages long, depending on which edition you use.  While all of it is very worthwhile, there are two sections that you might find a little less interesting than the rest.  Chapter 25 through Chapter 31:17 provides the blueprints for the building of the tabernacle and the specifications for its service, while Chapter 35 through Chapter 40:15 describes the building of the tabernacle in accordance with those requirements.  Together, they account for over 20 pages, making the rest of the book even more “readable” for everyone.


Our Sunday morning Adult Forum sessions will focus on the Exodus readings that we will be hearing each week from August 27 through October 22.  Please join us (9:30-10:10 in the Lounge) to learn about and reflect on them together.  Also, please let me know if there is any other way that I can help you in your reading and reflecting on this magnificent book.