Underlying Exodus in its priestly redaction is a pilgrimage. Smith's new book starts by reviewing pilgrimage shrines, feasts and practices in ancient Israel. Next, it examines the two pilgrimage journeys in Exodus. In Exodus 1-15, Moses' journeys to Mount Sinai, experiences God and receives his commission. In Exodus 16–40, Moses and the people together journey to Mount Sinai for the people's experience of God and their commission. Between lies Exodus 15, the fulcrum of the book: verses 1–12 look back and verses 13-18 look forward to Israel's journey to Sinai. Finally, the different meanings of Torah in the book of Exodus are contrasted, and the book concludes with a consideration of Exodus's larger place in the Pentateuch.
Mark S. Smith is Professor of Theology, Saint Joseph's University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.