Out of Egypt by Warren Henderson; published by Gospel Folio Press; available from John Ritchie Ltd; 458 pages; price £16.99. (9781926765075)
The Publishers describe Out of Egypt as "a devotional study of Exodus". Certainly the author in his Preface suggests that there are in this volume 100 brief devotions; he adds that they can be "a reference source for deeper studies", with which view the reviewer is pleased to concur. Out of Egypt would be a good starting point for any reader seeking to grasp the lessons of Exodus. The author sets out clearly the teaching of Exodus relating to Israels deliverance from Egypt and the nations first year in the wilderness. He deals clearly with the key events and their significance for Israel and the lessons they contain for Christians today.
Out of Egypt provides a commentary on the 40 chapters of Exodus, so the exposition does not deal with every verse in detail. Its purpose is not to consider minutely the laws Israel were to keep, the liturgy that would mark the Tabernacle which was to be the focal point of their religious observances, or the materials and construction of the Tabernacle itself. He follows the advice of another author writing on another book: " we must not attempt to allegorise every detail here: that would involve us in hopeless difficulty". However, the author does deal with intriguing matters such as the Book of Life, or of the Living (Ex 32.32), and the Tabernacle pitched outside the camp (Ex 33.7).
Warren Henderson quotes much from Mackintosh, F W Grant, William Kelly, J N Darby, J B Bellett, and other authors of a past day as well as authors of the present day such as William MacDonald and Warren Wiersbe. He does not cite John Ritchie with whose Egypt to Canaan many readers of this Magazine will be familiar.
Egypt to Canaan by Robert Surgenor; published by Gospel Folio Press; available from John Ritchie Ltd; 754 pages; price £13.99. (9781926765068)
Egypt to Canaan is sub-titled "A Comprehensive Study" of the 40-year journey that took Israel from slavery in Egypt to the land of milk and honey God graciously gave them. The Study is comprehensive in that it deals with the books of Exodus and Numbers and the early chapters of Joshua. The author states clearly in his Preface that his intention is to deal with the journey from Egypt to Canaan "more thoroughly than other books dealing with the same subject" and to avoid "intellectual coldness". He adds that his approach is "warm, personal and faithful".
Robert Surgenors looks to find applications to the issues of todays assemblies and the saints who fellowship there, often illustrated by interesting personal experiences. He keeps the Lord Jesus before the readers eye, not only as he deals with the Passover or the manna or the red heifer offering, but as he applies the lessons arising from the eventful journey to Canaan.
The authors approach is further evidenced in how he treats the Tabernacle. He does not deal with the curtains and their dimensions, or the various pieces of furniture, but concentrates on willing hearts, their liberal giving, and the gifted individuals whose labours produced the Sanctuary in which God was pleased to dwell. His particular focus is the role of women in the context of making that Sanctuary (Ex 25.8), whose example leads him to other godly women and their role in their day.
Egypt to Canaan is written in very accessible English. Its sections are relatively brief, enabling even a busy person to read its 754 pages in a relatively short time. Younger readers would find it helpful and the authors experiences encouraging and challenging. They will not be stumbled by a level of detail provided, although occasionally they may ask for a little more information, for example when Robert Surgenor speaks of Moses sister as a fifteen-year-old when "the babe wept" at the edge of the Nile.