Study Guide

Book of Exodus Allusions

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Literary and Philosophical References

Sigmund Freud, Moses & Monotheism
Freud used psychoanalysis to try to understand who Moses was and what he was working toward. But you know what? Sometimes a Moses is just a Moses.

Leon Uris, Exodus
Many modern authors have used the founding of the State of Israel (1948) as an impetus to return to the Exodus story. American novelist Leon Uris uses the themes of the biblical story his account of the 20th-century struggle.

Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason
In one of his famous Revolutionary-era pamphlets, Thomas Paine asserted that Americans had to move past using the Bible as a means of governing life. He even commented specifically on Exodus: "they are no other than an attempted history of the life of Moses, and of the times in which he is said to have lived, and also of the times prior thereto, written by some very ignorant and stupid pretenders to authorship, several hundred years after the death of Moses, as men now write histories of things that happened, or are supposed to have happened, several hundred or several thousand years ago" (source). Well, that's sure to cause some controversy.

Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land
The title of this super-famous sci-fi book is taken straight from Exodus. Check out what we have to say about it in our learning guide for the book.

Pop Culture References

Bob Marley, "Exodus"
Reggae musicians often draw inspiration from Biblical stories. In his 1977 album Exodus, Marley explores his feelings after fleeing an assassination attempt in native Jamaica.

Gandhi, "An Eye for an Eye"
The famous "eye for an eye" passage comes straight from Exodus, and not everyone is down with it. It is said that Gandhi commented on this passage: "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind."

Debbie Freidman, "Miriam's Song"
Popular Jewish composer Debbie Friedman wrote this song about Miriam and the Exodus moment. Where my girls at?

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