The fragment of the book of Exodus shown below was taken from the international edition of the Bible , and it includes:
The Israelites Oppressed
1 These are the names of the sons of Israel who went to Egypt with Jacob, each with his family: 2Reuben, Simeon,Levi and Judah; 3Issachar, Zebulun and Benjamin; 4Dan and Naphtali; Gad and Asher. 5The descendants of Jacob numbered seventya in all; Joseph was already in Egypt. 6Now Joseph and all his brothers and all that generation died, 7but the Israelites were fruitful and multiplied greatly and became exceedingly numerous, so that the land was filled with them. 8Then a new king, who did not know about Joseph, came to power in Egypt. 9“Look,” he said to his people, “the Israelites have become much too numerous for us. 10Come, we must deal shrewdly with them or they will become even more
The Birth of Moses
2 Now a man of the house of Levi married a Levite woman, 2and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. When she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him for three months. 3But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile. 4His sister stood at a distance to see what would happen to him. 5Then Pharaoh’s daughter went down to the Nile to bathe, and her attendants were walking along the river bank. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her slave girl to get it. 6She opened it and saw the baby. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. “This is one of the Hebrew babies,” she said.
a5 Masoretic Text (see also Gen. 46:27); Dead Sea Scrolls and Septuagint (see also Acts 7:14 and note at Gen. 46:27) seventy–five b22 Masoretic Text; Samaritan Pentateuch, Septuagint and Targums born to the Hebrews
On this page there are visible headings („Exodus”, „The Israelites Oppressed”, „The Birth of Moses”) and indents of text (at the beginning of verses: in the first chapter: 6, 8, 11, 15, 19, 20, 22; in the second chapter: 5).
These headings and indents are to help the reader to quickly know the main problems of the text contained between them. One ought to notice that they simultaneously:
Every reader should know, however, that contemporary editors are not always able to perform the task set for by themselves to accurately express the idea of the hagiographer / editor working under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, editor of the final text of the book, written in Hebrew ages ago (it is supposed that the final editing occurred about the sixth century before Christ – when Israel was in captivity in Babylon.)
It is necessary yet to notice that in quite a few cases the many years of exegetic research of the Hebrew text is needed to find: 1. what literary structure for the text gave the last editor–hagiographer working under the God′s inspiration , and 2. who is the main character in his counsel.
Having observed particular headings from the international edition of the Bible one can notice that – according to the contemporary international editorial staff – it is Israel and her leader, Moses, who are together the main character of the Book of Exodus.
Does the answer for the question of the main character, being read from headings, correspond to the intention of the Hebrew hagiographer–editor of the final version of the inspired text? – it is the key–question for the analysis which will be conducted here. Equally important is the second question: Does the literary structure of the Book of Exodus 1–18, being read from headings and indents, is a structure given to the Book by this inspired hagiographer–editor?