The Pivotal Moments in the Old Testament Series helps readers see Scripture with new eyes, highlighting short, key texts—“pivotal moments”—that shift our expectations and invite us to turn toward another reality transformed by God’s purposes and action.
The book of Exodus brims with dramatic stories familiar to most of us: the burning bush, Moses’ ringing proclamation to Pharaoh to “Let my people go,” the parting of the Red Sea. These signs of God’s liberating agency have sustained oppressed people seeking deliverance over the ages. But Exodus is also a complex book. Reading the text firsthand, one encounters multilayered narratives: about entrenched socioeconomic systems that exploit the vulnerable, the mysterious action of the divine, and the giving of a new law meant to set the people of Israel apart. How does a contemporary reader make sense of it all? And what does Exodus have to say about our own systems of domination and economic excess?
In Delivered out of Empire, Walter Brueggemann offers a guide to the first half of Exodus, drawing out “pivotal moments” in the text to help readers untangle it. Throughout, Brueggemann shows how Exodus consistently reveals a God in radical solidarity with the powerless.
“Brueggemann sets out to create not ‘another commentary on Exodus,’ but rather ‘a reader’s guide.’ He has done exactly that. The fantastic thing is that he has done it in such a way that the content is accessible to casual readers as well as to those more familiar with the academic approach to exposition and exegesis—even those who already have a grasp on the linguistic and cultural nuances.”
—The Presbyterian Outlook
"Brueggemann's challenge here is for readers to question their own communities and the commitments of their churches. To what extent do we and our churches subvert unjust authority and to what extend do we, instead, surrender to temptations to become that authority?"
—The Englewood Review of Books