Division of the Book of Exodus
into fundamental literary units
according to the thought of its final writer-redactor.
Presentation of the research method sequence.

PhD dissertation: Chapter I (pp. 53-198)
Abstract and table of contents with links

Wojciech Kosek

This paper was published here on 26 February 2020.

It was published first in PDF form on 25 January 2020
on academia.edu website.

DOI of the version of the paper on academia.edu:

This paper is the translation of chapter I of the doctoral dissertation:

Wojciech Kosek, Pierwotny ryt Paschy w świetle schematu literackiego Księgi Wyjścia 1-18,

[The original rite of the Passover in the light of the literary scheme of the Book of Exodus 1-18],

Kraków 2008, p. 53-198.

On academia.edu, see also the other parts of this dissertation:


The present paper shows subsequent methodological steps to discover the division of the Book of Exodus into basic literary units according to the thought of its final writer-redactor, the one who arranged the text under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit of God.

In the first step, one ought to make a list of the more essential means of dividing this book, which occurred from the very beginning to our times. It concerns, of course, the version in the Hebrew language, and also its translations into different languages, including the Greek Septuagint and Latin Vulgate. One must take into account also the contribution of the contemporary biblicists done through their translations and scientific discussions and analyses resulting in books or articles in specialized magazines.

The comparative material collected in this way will answer the question about the criterion for the division of the text: is there visible an original logic in the contemporary editions of the Bible according to which the last editor-writer finally shaped this holy text? What is this original logic? Can this be discovered with scientific credibility?

The second step of the methodological looking for the original division of the Book of Exodus will be a through-out reading of the Hebrew text.

For providing the fulfillment of the requirement to read the text profoundly, one will involve the principle of theocentrism as the essential criterion for this task. Namely, to understand the sacred text, one should look especially for those places where God of Israel – יְהוָה – appears as the subject (dynamic center) of acts and simultaneously the grammatical subject of the biblical sentence.

As a result of such reading, one will discover the six-element literary structure of Ex 1-18 as the first main part of the Book of Exodus; its second part – Ex 19-40 – will not be analyzed in the present publication.

Table of contents:

1.2.Presentation of previously discovered means of dividing the Book of Exodus.
 1.2.1.Division of Ex 1-18 in Hebrew Bible, Septuagint, and Biblia Tysiąclecia.
 1.2.2.Editorial titles dividing the text Ex 1-18 in contemporary editions of Holy Scripture and modern commentaries.
1.3.Looking for a new criterion of dividing the Book of Exodus 1-18.
 1.3.2.Exegesis of Ex 3:19.
 1.3.3.Exegesis of Ex 4:21. of various translations of Ex 4:21. of the meaning of the word רְאֵה of the meaning of the sequence: (infinitivus constructus + ל) + (suffix + infinitivus constructus + ב) of Ex 4:21 studies.
 1.3.4.Exegesis of the Book of Exodus 1:1-7:7. first part of God’s revelation outside Egypt: at Horeb (3:1-4:17). second part of God’s revelation outside Egypt: in Midian (4:19-23). third part of God’s revelation outside Egypt: on the way to Egypt (4:24-26). execution of the first two stages of God’s plan revealed near Horeb (4:27-31 and 5:1-6:1). first (6:2-9) and the second (6:10-12) parts of God’s revelation in Egypt. of Moses and Aaron (6:13-27) and the third part of God’s revelation in Egypt (6:28-7:5). fundamental conclusions from the analyses of Ex 1:1-7:7.
1.4.Looking for the main pericopes in Ex 1-18.
 1.4.1.Ex 11:9-10 as an editorial summary of the miracle stage and the entire pericope 6:2-11:10. 11:9. 11:10. analyses. Summary of analyses.
 1.4.2.Ex 12:1-13:16 as the third pericope. of sentences with לַיהוָה of the words-predecessors in the emphatic sequence of the הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה type. of sentences containing legislative vocabulary. structure and fundamental vocabulary of the haggadah about starting the way out (12:29-42) in light of the vocabulary of the pericope 12:1-13:16. of the pericope 12:1-13:16. Summary of the study of the pericope 12:1-13:16.
 1.4.3.Ex 13:17-14:31 as the fourth pericope.
 1.4.4.Ex 15:1-21 as the fifth pericope.
 1.4.5.Ex 15:22-18:27 as the sixth pericope. of the sixth pericope into smaller units. unity of pericope 15:22-18:27.
1.5.List of main pericopes in Ex 1-18.
 1.5.1.The first and last pericope as a literary inclusion for Ex 1-18.
 1.5.2.יְהוָה reveals Himself – the basic message of the second pericope.יְהוָה reveals Himself through the sequence אֲנִי יְהוָה revelation of יְהוָה through sequences ending the descriptions of miracles.יְהוָה reveals Himself by showing His power over the place and time of the sign.יְהוָה reveals Himself as the ruler-guardian of Israel.
 1.5.3.The third, fourth, and fifth pericopes in Ex 1-18. third pericope (12:1-13:16). fourth pericope (13:16-14:31). fifth pericope (15:1-22).
1.6.The summary of the first chapter of the dissertation.