Old Testament Survey

Lesson 3 w/answersExodus, Leviticus and Numbers

Now that we have a basic understanding of the major Old Testament Biblical events and dates (a chronology) that begins with Adam and Eve in Genesis and ends with Christ’s Second Coming in Revelation, we are now ready to look at the books of Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers.


As you will recall from our previous lessons, we looked at the descendants of Abraham and the lineage of God’s chosen people through Isaac, Jacob and Joseph. When we left the story, Joseph had welcomed his father into Egypt and God's people enjoyed a time of great prosperity. After Joseph’s death, the Jews fell out of favor and, as time passed, the Egyptians forgot all that Joseph had done. They began to see the Jews and their rapid growth as a threat, and eventually enslaved all of the Jews for a period of 400 years.

With that as a backdrop then, review the books of Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers in preparation for this lesson’s study.

Here’s the assignment for this lesson:

  1. Who were the parents of Moses, of what tribe were they, and what other natural relationship did Amram have to his wife?
    1. ANSWER: In Exodus 6:20, we see that Amram and Jochebed are identified as Moses’ parents; and in Exodus 2:1 we note that they were of the tribe of Levi. We also see that Moses had an older sister, and an older brother Aaron, who was three years older then Moses. He killed an Egyptian in approximately 1526 BC based on Acts 7:23-24. We also learn from Exodus 6:20 that Amram’s wife was also his aunt, as he married "his father's sister." And finally we see that Moses lived in Midian for 40 years before he saw the burning bush, and therefore, at that time, he was 80 and Aaron was 83.
  2. Describe the change in Moses that took place during the forty years he spent in Midian (Exodus 7:7, for example).
    1. ANSWER: We see that during his stay in Midian, he loses his self confidence and becomes a humble servant depending only on God. He has gone then from being a confident leader in Egypt who believed that there wasn’t' anything he couldn’t do, to a person who doubted and who lacked confidence in his own abilities—a man with whom God can now work.
  3. What were the ten plagues in Egypt?
    1. ANSWERS:
      1. Blood
      2. Frogs
      3. Gnats
      4. Flies
      5. Pestilence
      6. Boils
      7. Hail
      8. Locusts
      9. Darkness
      10. The Death Angel
  4. Consider the crossing of the Red Sea. What are some of the remarkable things we can see from studying this?
    1. ANSWER: Led by a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night, some 600,000 Jewish men crossed on "dry land" when God separated, or divided, the Red Sea. This would mean that, including women and children, approximately 2,000,000 people crossed the river in one evening. To envision the physical size of this endeavor, consider that a column of 15 people wide (no wagons, belongings, supplies, etc.—just people) with 3 feet separation between each row, would form a column 400,000 feet long, stretching approximately 75 miles; and that's with no wagons, animals or supplies. It would be virtually impossible for a column that long to cross the Red Sea in one night, given that the best pace that they could reasonably do was to walk two to three miles per hour. From the size of the population and a reasonable estimate of their supplies and animals, the division of the Red Sea would have needed to be at least one mile wide in order for all to cross in a single night. This rules out natural separation of the water the mechanism for this feat, as does the fact that we are told that they crossed on "dry land." What a miracle!
  5. What happened at the battle with the Amalekites in Exodus Chapter 17?
    1. ANSWER: As recounted in recounted in Exodus 17, the Amalikites picked on the weak at the back of the line by sneaking around from the sides an attacking from the rear. Joshua mounted an attack against them and was victorious. Because of the Amalekites’ attacks on His people, God cursed them (Deut 25:17-19).
  6. Describe the events surrounding the two trips Moses made up to Mt Sinai. What was different between the two, and what was similar?
    1. ANSWER: Described in Exodus 19:16 through 21:24, we see that for the first trip, both the Elders and Moses are invited up the mount. Moses is there 40 days, the same amount of days that he will also stay for his second visit. He is given instructions for building the tabernacle and is then told by God that the people have sinned greatly. Note that He does not say anything about Satan causing it, or being at fault; the people are responsible for their own actions. Exodus 33:6 describes the beginnings of a period of national repentance, and Chapter 34 describes Moses’ second trip up Sinai after reconstructing the tablets. He is there again forty days, and Chapter 35 tells us that an offering is taken for the building of the Tabernacle and its contents.
  7. In Leviticus, God tells the Jews what form of worship will take place and how they are to conduct themselves (see Chapter 8, for example). In verse 9:24, we see that God’s acceptance of both the offering and this form of worship is validated. Chapter 10 records the loss of Aaron’s sons; and in Leviticus 10:6, God instructs Aaron not to rend his garment. Why was Aaron told not to rend his garment, and how is that relevant in our understanding of Christ as our High Priest? (Exodus 28:32, Matthew 26:64-65 and Matthew 27:51)
    1. ANSWER: Aaron was consecrated as the High Priest; so his garments were likewise Holy and were to be treated as such. We see in Matthew that the High Priest confronting Christ ignored that commandment and tore his garments. This ended the Jewish Priesthood. With the rending of the Temple curtain, Christ becomes the High Priest.
  8. How does Leviticus chapter 20 and what follows set the stage for God’s future judgments on Israel? By comparing this with the book of Hebrews, what can we observe?
    1. ANSWER 1: Fifty days later can be compared with, or is equal to, The Pentecost. (Leviticus 23:16)
    2. ANSWER 2: The two loaves of show bread represent the Jews and the Gentiles. (Ephesians Chapter 2 and Acts Chapter 2)
    3. ANSWER 3: The 1st Weave Sheaf parallels Christ (Leviticus 23:17-18)
    4. ANSWER 4: In Leviticus Chapter 26 we see the "if/but" principle described in detail and that God’s prophecy that will occur in 516 B.C. From the time of the giving of the Law, then these principles apply for the next 800 years.
  9. What are the three divisions in the book of Numbers?
    1. ANSWER 1: Numbers 1:1-10:10; Preparation for the march from Sinai.
    2. ANSWER 2: Numbers 10:11-20:10; The "wanderings" history.
    3. ANSWER 3: Numbers 20:11-36; Activities east of Jordan in the Trans-Jordan area.
  10. Why is it important that the Levites are not part of the "numbered men"? (Numbers 1:47)
    1. ANSWER: The "numbered men" would all die during the 40 year period of the wandering in the wilderness, but not the Levites. Had they been counted, the Priestly Tribe would have died off before entering the Promised Land.
  11. Describe the report the twelve spies gave to the Israelites after returning from the land of Canaan.
    1. ANSWER: This report begins in Numbers 13:23. It was a "land of milk and honey," but giants also lived there, so they advised against attacking them. This was the report of 10 of the 12 spies; but Caleb and Joshua thought they should go into the land. According to Numbers 14:1-4, the crowd believes the report of the 10 and ignores Joshua, Caleb—and God.
  12. Describe the judgment God placed on the nation of Israel when they failed to enter the land at the encouragement of Caleb and Joshua.
    1. ANSWER: In Numbers 14:10, God appears just as the crowd is about to stone Joshua and Caleb. In verse 17, Moses intercedes on behalf of Israel, and in verse 22 the people are punished when God tells them they will never see the land. In verse 29 they are told that all those who are twenty years old and older will have their corpses fall in the wilderness. Therefore, in order for 600,000 men to die over the next 38.5 years, 2 men would die each and every hour of each and every day (45 men per day). Add to this the women and children (about 175 people each day) for the next 38.5 years. In Numbers 15:1, the beginning of the wanderings period is described.

In this lesson, we see that God is purposeful. In other words, He has a specific plan, and He expects that plan to be carried out exactly with no deviation. God created a unique family or people through Abraham, whose lineage goes all the way back to Noah, whose lineage goes all the way back to Adam and Eve. In this passages that we studied in this lesson, God is calling His people to worship and to live a holy and separated life. In the years ahead, He will continue organizing, instructing and disciplining them so that they can become the Holy Nation He desires.

Today we have the honor, privilege and great blessing to be adopted into His family through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We should live a life that is Holy, just as God called the Jews to do. As we reflect on this lesson, let’s also consider how awesome, fearsome, and jealous that God is. He wants us to be totally committed to living a life pleasing to Him.

Thanks for studying with us.

In Christ,



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