• Keith Mathison

Exodus Old and New

I should probably recuse myself from reviewing any books by Michael Morales. He and I worked and taught together for a number of years at Reformation Bible College before he took a position at Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. He remains a very dear friend. I worked with him day in and day out for years, and I can testify without hesitation that he exemplifies a deep love for the Lord, a brilliant scholarly mind, and true humility. Every student at RBC who took one or more of his classes would stand in line to say the same.

He and I have had many opportunities over the years to discuss biblical and theological topics, so I have been abundantly blessed to benefit from his wisdom and insight into Scripture. I am thankful that he is writings books that are helping many around the world who cannot attend his lectures. In addition to his academic articles and monographs, in 2015 he published Who Shall Ascend the Mountain of the Lord? A Biblical Theology of the Book of Leviticus. If you have ever started reading through the Bible only to become bogged down in Leviticus, and then skipped over it, then you most definitely need to read this because you are missing the heart of the Pentateuch, which is the heart of the Old Testament, and which is necessary to understand fully the Person and Work of Jesus.

Now, my friend has published a new book titled Exodus Old and New: A Biblical Theology of Redemption. I have been eagerly awaiting this one for some time, and I was not disappointed. The exodus event is the paradigmatic redemptive event in the Old Testament, shaping the way the biblical authors talk about redemption throughout Scripture. It is this theme that Morales's new book addresses.

There are a number of ways this could be done. Rather than trace allusions to the exodus theme from Genesis to Revelation as several other recent works have done, Morales states that his approach "has been to cover the three major exodus movements in Scripture: (1) the historical exodus out of Egypt, (2) the prophesied second exodus, and (3) the new exodus accomplished by Jesus Christ" (p. xii). After an introduction containing some brilliant insights on Dante's Divine Comedy and how it relates to the theme of exodus and an introductory chapter looking at the way in which exile and exodus themes appear in the book of Genesis, the book is divided into three major parts corresponding to the three "exodus movements." In chapters 27, Morales carefully examines the first exodus from Egypt. Chapters 8–11 are devoted to a discussion of the prophesied second exodus. Finally, chapters 12–14 cover the new exodus accomplished by Jesus Christ.

Reading one of Morales's books on Scripture is like going on a walk with a friend down a forest path that you've travelled many times and having that friend more than once point to something and say, "Did you ever notice this?" You look and realize that although you may have seen it out of the corner of your eye as you walked by it dozens of times in the past, you never really stopped and looked at it. Having a friend with that special gift of observation is a treat on a walk through a forest. It is an invaluable blessing when reading Scripture.

In sum, if you want to have a better grasp of the entire Bible, you have to have a grasp of its theme of redemption, described throughout in terms of the exodus. I cannot think of a book that will do a better job than this one of helping you acquire such a grasp.