The title of this scroll is Sh'mot in Hebrew. It means "Names" not "Exodus". The title is taken from the first few words of the first verse. "These are the names of the sons of Israel..."
Before we start our study in Sh'mot I must mention the fact that although we associate each chapter to the corresponding letter in the Hebrew Aleph-Beit we must also realize that each scroll has a corresponding letter. The Hebrew letter corresponding to B'resheet (Genesis) is the letter Aleph. That is one reason we see so much of the Messiah in Genesis. Aleph has to do with G-d and who He is in His many facets and attributes such as head, creator, king, our future king and a bull appointed for sacrifice, etc. In our little minds we still cannot fully comprehend who He truly is to the fullest. With the B'rit Hadashah we are given new light through His Word and the actions of the Messiah on who He is and His agenda for us and our planet. This agenda is sometimes beyond our comfort zones and can be hard for our flesh to comprehend. Man or the evil one, however, cannot hinder His agenda. It will reach those that are open to the truth about our Creator. We get a picture of His love for us and His perfect plan for those that love Him and are willing to be lead by Ruach HaKodesh (the Holy Spirit) and continue in this love.
We now come to Sh'mot (Exodus). Keep in mind that we will continue to see how the Hebrew letters fit into the theme of each chapter but also we must note the fact that the overall theme of this scroll is also the second Hebrew letter -Beit. We will see evidence of this generally in each chapter. We will see duality as in husband and wife; division between good and evil, etc. We will also see that Moshe's life will also point us to the Messiah and he is also another type. This should not be surprise us in the fact that Moshe himself mentioned to watch for one that would be like him.
D'varim (Deuteronomy) 18:18 'I will raise up a prophet from among their countrymen like you, and I will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him.
We now know in actuality many in the Tanakh were and are like Him. Our lives are to be like His also. This is not only our goal but also the Father's that we would be like His Son. Sometimes this includes suffering before we receive blessing. Suffering is never popular or very desirable in others. People don't like to hear about it or feel good about going through it. Sometimes we have to ask why there is suffering.
James 1:2-4 Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
Romans 5:3-6 And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of G-d has been poured out within our hearts through Ruach HaKodesh (the Holy Spirit) who was given to us.
We also know from scripture that many things that happen G-d allows for a reason and usually good comes from it and it becomes a growing process of believing in Him and remaining steady no matter the circumstances. Be Strong in the L-rd is an easy thing to say when things are going good but what about when things are going bad. Suffering makes us more Messiah-like which is the agenda of the Father.
Romans 8:16-17 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of G-d, and if children, heirs also, heirs of G-d and fellow heirs with Messiah, if indeed we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him.
Romans 8:28-30 And we know that G-d causes all things to work together for good to those who love G-d, to those who are called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brothers; and whom He predestined, these He also called; and whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. NAS
The Bible is not a fairy tale of perfect people in a perfect world. The Bible shows us an imperfect people in an imperfect world. Our character is something that G-d has to deal with. We all are sometimes rebellious to G-d in our lives. We all fail in our walk from time to time and we all don't do the things we should. The Bible tells it like it was, is, and will be in the future. It tells us of people who are human and have faults. It tells us of people who make a decision to follow HaShem and those that decide not to. This was true then and is still true today. The fact that the Bible reveals these weaknesses in others should not be a reason to down a certain people or certain person. We must still however address the facts and hopefully learn from these facts in other people's lives. They can be an example to others. In contrast we have a perfect Messiah. HaShem promises to continue to work on us until we become more and more like Him. The facts reveal to us that even though we fail from time to time HaShem is still faithful and will continue to finish the work He set out to do in us.
Philippians 1:6-7 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Yeshua HaMashiach. NAS
The Word can also restore our faith in the fact that HaShem does come through for us in the end and we can take His Word as truth. Again we see people with real strengths...people with real weaknesses...just like us. WE ALL FAIL from time to time. This does not mean we are failures. WE are only failures if we do not get up again or if we quit trying to follow HaShem or continue not to listen to His complete W-rd and His leading. He has a plan for each one and every one of us. His plan is not to harm us in the end but to bless us.
Yirmeyahu (Jeremiah) 29:11-14 For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the L-RD,' plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. 'Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 'And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. NAS
Our walk should be in the end a walk conformed to the same walk as the Messiah; people walking the walk of the Son, who followed the Father.
John 5:19-24 Yeshua therefore answered and was saying to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. "For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; and greater works than these will He show Him, that you may marvel. "For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes. "For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, in order that all may honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him. NAS
This walk is impossible in our own strength and without Him to help us through we can do nothing.
John 15:5-6"I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing. NAS
Sh'mot 1:1-7 Now these are the names of the sons of Israel who came to Egypt with Ya'akov; they came each one with his household: Re'uven (Reuben), Shim'on (Simeon), Levi and Y'hudah (Judah); Yissakhar (Issachar), Z'vulun (Zebulun) and Binyamin (Benjamin); Dan and Naftali (Naphtali), Gad and Asher. And all the persons who came from the loins of Ya'akov were seventy in number, but Yosef was already in Egypt. And Yosef died, and all his brothers and all that generation. But the sons of Israel were fruitful and increased greatly, and multiplied, and became exceedingly mighty, so that the land was filled with them.
Time has passed 350 years to be exact. How do we know this? The Israelites were in Egypt for 430 years.
Sh'mot 12:40-41 Now the time that the sons of Israel lived in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years. And it came about at the end of four hundred and thirty years, to the very day, that all the hosts of the L-RD went out from the land of Egypt.
Moshe was 80 years old when he led the people out of Egypt.
Sh'mot 7:7 And Moshe was eighty years old and Aaron eighty-three, when they spoke to Pharaoh.
So subtracting 80 from 430 we learn that 350 years had passed.
Seventy - From a handful to a multitude.
They were no longer a small tribe; they are now a nation.
D'varim (Deuteronomy) 10:22 Your fathers went down to Egypt seventy persons in all, and now the L-RD your G-d has made you as numerous as the stars of heaven.
This is the beginning of the prophecy given to Avraham.
B'resheet (Genesis) 12:2-3 And I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and so you shall be a blessing; and I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed."
Sh'mot 1:8-9 Now a new king arose over Egypt, who did not know Yosef. And he said to his people, "Look, the people of the sons of Israel are more and mightier than we.
More and mightier - Wow... the Israelites were more numerous and stronger. Up until this new Pharaoh they must have enjoyed freedom to do as they pleased.