with commentary by Rabbi Tuly Weisz


Location and geography are central to Sefer Shemot. Ancient Egypt and the barren wilderness form the essential backdrop to the drama which unfolds in the second book of the Bible. While all of the events recorded in Sefer Shemot take place outside of the Land of Israel, this does not mean that Eretz Yisrael is unimportant in this book. On the contrary, the Land of Israel is a central theme and primary focus of Sefer Shemot.


The Hebrew name for the Book of Exodus is Sefer Shemot, the ‘Book of Names,’ taken from the opening words of the first verse. Continuing the narrative from the point where Sefer Bereishit ended, it transitions from a family’s individual story to the birth of an entire nation. The opening chapters of Sefer Shemot describe the trials experienced by the Children of Israel in the fiery furnace of slavery. This brutal oppression in a foreign land has been explained by Jewish commentators as a process of national purification, necessary in order to prepare the Israelites for entry into the “land flowing with milk and honey” (Exodus 3:8).


Sefer Shemot goes on to describe the exodus from Egypt and offers timeless insight into God’s loving relationship with humanity as their ultimate Redeemer. From there, we delve into many of the commandments and intricate details of the construction of the Mishkan, which represents the physical manifestation of Hashem’s presence in the world and in our lives.  With each step they take in the wilderness, the Israelites are marching towards, and getting closer to, Eretz Yisrael, which becomes the ultimate ideal for which they strive.


It is no wonder then, that the Book of Shemot has served throughout the ages as an inspiration for those who have longed for Eretz Yisrael. Wandering through the bitter exile, Jews have always seen themselves as following in the footsteps of the ancient Israelites.  In the darkest moments of Jewish history, we have borne the burden of persecution with the knowledge that we are always getting closer to deliverance and redemption, and to Israel. Sefer Shemot causes us to realize that the destiny of the People of Israel always leads towards the Land of Israel.

Rabbi Tuly Weisz

About Rabbi Tuly Weisz

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Rabbi Naphtali “Tuly” Weisz served as a rabbi for five years at the Beth Jacob Congregation in Columbus, Ohio before moving to Israel with his family. He attended Yeshiva University (BA), Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (Rabbinic Ordination) and the Benjamin Cardozo School of Law (JD). He is the founder of Israel365, an organization that promotes the significance of the Land of Israel through a variety of innovative platforms. Rabbi Weisz is the editor of The Israel Bible.

Email: rabbituly@theisraelbible.com

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  • Carl G. Culp

    I am a 87 year old man who, with my wife, has been to Israel twice. My heart was in my mouth most of the time. I am not Jewish but in my heart I search for HIS presence in my life. There seems to be a withdrawing of the hearts of men from HIM. over the years I am drawn to the Hebrew Scriptures in an attempt to stay as close to the truth as possible. I use the "Stone addition" of the Hebrew Scripture.

  • SueJean Heinz

    To me, this is one of the most exciting Books in the Torah. Each year, when we come to this book, I'm so excited to see what Elohim will reveal to HIS people this time around. I've never been disappointed and my heart always delights to hear HIS voice as HE speaks to HIS people from the mountain.
    Someone might wonder why this book holds so much interest and for that person, I want to post this excerpt from a greater teaching that my Torah teacher has been expounding on year after year as his and our understanding of the end time events grow ever greater.
    "Moses, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel specifically prophesied of another exodus at the end of the ages. This exodus will be much greater than the one from Egypt. For those who have never heard of these prophecies, let me review them.

    Moses spoke of a generation coming much later that would see Israel scattered into all of the nations. He then foretold they would be part of an exodus out from all of those nations back to the promised land.

    So it shall be when all of these things have come upon you, the blessing and the curse which I have set before you, and you call them to mind in all nations where the Lord your God has banished you, and you return to the Lord your God and obey Him with all your heart and soul according to all that I command you today, you and your sons, then the Lord your God will restore you from captivity, and have compassion on you, and will gather you again from all the peoples where the Lord your God has scattered you. If your outcasts are at the ends of the earth, from there the Lord your God will gather you, and from there He will bring you back. And the Lord your God will bring you into the land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it; and He will prosper you and multiply you more than your fathers. Moreover the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, in order that you may live. DEU 30:1-6

    Jeremiah referred to this exodus saying that the word exodus would no longer be associated with those who came out of Egypt, but he said instead the word exodus would become associated with God’s people coming from all the nations at the end. He also said that the Messiah would be a part of this exodus.

    “Therefore behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when it will no longer be said, ‘As the Lord lives, who brought up the sons of Israel out of the land of Egypt,’ but, ‘as the Lord lives, who brought up the sons of Israel from the land of the north and from all the countries where He had banished them.’ For I will restore them to their own land which I gave to their fathers.” JER 16:14-15

    Then I Myself shall gather the remnant of My flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and bring them back to their pasture; and they will be fruitful and multiply. JER 23:3

    “Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord, “When I shall raise up for David a righteous Branch; and He will reign as king and act wisely and do justice and righteousness in the land. In His days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely; and this is His name by which He will be called, ‘The Lord our righteousness.’ Therefore behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when they will no longer say, ‘As the Lord lives, who brought up the sons of Israel from the land of Egypt,’ but, ‘As the Lord lives, who brought up and led back the descendants of the household of Israel from the north land and from all the countries where I had driven them.’ Then they will live on their own soil.” JER 23:5-8

    Ezekiel describes us going into the wilderness of the peoples, meaning the uninhabited parts of the various nations where we presently reside. Just like our ancestors were led out of Egypt by God’s hand, we too will be led by the Lord.

    “As I live,” declares the Lord God, “surely with a mighty hand and with an outstretched arm and with wrath poured out, I shall be king over you. I shall bring you out from the peoples and gather you from the lands where you are scattered, with a mighty hand and with an outstretched arm and with wrath poured out; and I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, and there I will enter into judgment with you face to face. As I entered into judgment with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I will enter into judgment with you,” declares the Lord God. “I will make you pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant; and I will purge from you the rebels and those who transgress against Me; I will bring them out of the land where they sojourn, but they will not enter the land of Israel. Thus you will know that I am the Lord.” Ezekiel 20:33-38

    These prophesies say that we will be God’s people coming out of all the nations of the earth on an eventual journey to the promised land – the Messianic Kingdom. Other prophets, including Yeshua, say that this exodus will be part of the Great Tribulation and God’s way of delivering His people in those days." – excerpted from a teaching found here by Monte Judah
    Baruch Hashem.

    • Ryan Herft

      It will be great and blessed days, indeed, when finally all of God's chosen people, scattered around the world, will finally return to Israel – the land God gave to their ancestors – and make it into one truly great and holy nation which all peoples will admire and respect. The time is also nearing when the Jewish people will build a grand and magnificent third Temple.

      Only one gigantic error in the otherwise interesting article above. That is, Yeshua was not a prophet, but the Son of God – Creator of the Universe – the promised Messiah, Savior and Redeemer of the World. Who suffered an agonizing death by scourging crucifixion for the sins of humanity, and He then rose on the third day (as attested to by eyewitnesses, and recorded in the Holy Bible).

      The very same Yeshua who now sits on His Heavenly Throne at the right hand of His Father who will come again, in Awesome Power and Majesty, on the last day of this world to Judge both the Living and the Dead. Yeshua is The True King of all Nations whose Kingdom will never end.

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