After the death of Joseph, who had sent for his father’s house into Egypt, the children of Israel exceedingly multiplied, notwithstanding Pharaoh’s cruel oppressing of them; from under which God, hearing their cry, brought them with a strong hand. Wherefore this book is called by the Greeks Exodus, that is, a going forth; containing an historical account of passages for about one hundred and forty years; with the wonderful raising up of Moses, who, together with Aaron, were to be instruments of their deliverance; and accordingly, after the inflicting ten dreadful plagues upon Pharaoh, brought them into the wilderness through the Red Sea, wherein Pharaoh (his heart being hardened under all these plagues) and all his host pursuing of them were drowned; God having first instituted the passover, as an abiding sacrament to bring to their remembrance in after-times this great deliverance.
In their conduct through the wilderness, God gave them the signal mark of his presence in the pillar of a cloud, and the pillar of fire; who, notwithstanding their great and reiterated murmurings, gave them food, both bread and flesh from heaven, and drink out of the rock; and when they were come to Mount Sinai, he there gave them the moral law, beside other both politic and ecclesiastical ordinances. Afterwards, the breaking of the tables being occasioned by the idolatry of the golden calf, God graciously renewed his covenant with them. There being also a tabernacle, and ark, and other things to be made by God’s command, the bounty of the people, in order to the making and furnishing thereof, is here set down; which, being finished, the tabernacle is anointed, and filled with the glory of God.