Commentaries on Exodus

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For more great commentaries on Exodus, be sure to check:
Commentaries on the Pentateuch
Commentaries on the Whole Old Testament
& Whole Bible Commentaries

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Order of Contents

The Best Commentaries  7
More Commentaries  12
The Early Church  2
First Half of Exodus  2
Chapters in Exodus  3
Archaeology in Exodus  2
Authenticity of Exodus  4
Special Topics:

Bible Characters
.       Life and Times of Moses  7+
.       Aaron  1

.       Miriam  1
.       Pharaoh  1
The Mosaic Laws
.       The 10 Commandments  42+
.       The Judicial Laws  5
.       The Ceremonial Laws  3
The Exodus & Wilderness
.        Plagues of Egypt  1
.        Journeyings in the Wilderness  9+
.        The Tabernacle  9+

 

 

The Best Commentaries on Exodus

Devotional and Practical

De Graaf, S.G. – ‘Deliverance from Egypt’ & ‘At Mount Sinai’  1977  62 pp. in Promise and Deliverance, vol. 1: From Creation to the Conquest of Canaan, pp. 255-317

De Graff is a Dutch Reformed author who focuses on the unfolding of the Covenant through history.  He writes in an easy to read, but insightful style.

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Medium Level

1800’s

 Jacobus, Melancthon – Notes Critical and Explanatory on the Book of Exodus  1866

Jacobus was a graduate of Princeton seminary, a presbyterian minister and a professor of Biblical literature at Western Theological Seminary in Alleghany, NY.

On his Notes on Genesis:  *** – ‘A very valuable work, in which [Bishop John] Colenso is boldly met and answered [regarding his views on the fallibility of the Pentateuch].  It contains much Gospel teaching, and aids the preacher greatly.  Not easily to be obtained.  It ought to be reprinted.’ – Spurgeon

‘The excellent Commentaries of Dr. Melancthon Jacobus have deservedly attained a high reputation, and their wide circulation proves how well they are adapted to the wants of both ministers and laymen. They present, in a brief compass, the results of extensive erudition, abound in judicious exposition and pertinent illustration, and are, moreover, distinguished by doctrinal soundness, evangelical character, and an eminently devout spirit.’ – Charles Hodge, William H. Green, J.W. Alexander and others from Princeton Seminary

‘…characterized by solid learning, sound doctrine, and lucid statements, a pleasant style, and the most serious spirit of piety.’ – William S. Plumer

MacGregor, James – Exodus, with Introduction, Special Commentary, and Notes, etc., vol. 1: The Redemption: Egypt (1-24), 2: The Consecration (25-40)

MacGregor (1829–1894)was a professor of Systematic Theology in the Free Church of Scotland, who later ministered in New Zealand.  He is known for his commentary on Galatians, his defense of the Sabbath against Norman MacLeod, his refutation of Amyrauldianism and his work on the Headship of Christ.

‘An evangelical work presenting excellent background material.’ – Cyril J. Barber

Murphy, James – A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on Exodus with a New Translation  1866

*** ‘The result of laborious study by a scholar of ripe learning.’ – Spurgeon

‘Is not abreast of the latest archaeological discoveries, but the treatment of the text reveals painstaking exegesis and is helpful to expositors.’ – Cyril J. Barber

1900’s

Pink, A.W. – Gleaninngs in Exodus

Davis, John James – Moses and the Gods of Egypt: Studies in Exodus  Buy  1972

‘A valuable and informative series of studies fully abreast of the most recent archaeological and historical information.  Makes available to Bible students a vast amount of material not normally accessible to pastors and Bible college teachers.’ – Cyril J. Barber

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Advanced

Poole, Matthew – Critical Synopsis of the Bible: Exodus, 2 vols.  Buy

This is different and much larger than Poole’s Annotations on Scripture.  Here Poole gives something of a history of interpretation (from Jewish writers until Christian interpreters of Poole’s own day) on every verse of the Bible.

‘…you will find in Poole’s Synopsis a marvelous collection of all the wisdom and folly of the critics.  It is a large cyclopedia worthy of the days when theologians could be cyclopean, and had not shrunk from folios to octavos.  Query—a query for which I will not demand an answer—has one of you beaten the dust from the venerable copy of Poole which loads our library shelves?  Yet as Poole spent no less than ten years in compiling it, it should be worthy of your frequent notice—ten years, let me add, spent in Amsterdam in exile for the truth’s sake from his native land.  His work is based on an earlier compilation entitled Critic Sacri, containing the concentrated light of a constellation of learned men who have never been excelled in any age or country.’ – Spurgeon

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More Commentaries on Exodus

Devotional and Practical

Anonymous – Cottage Readings on the Book of Exodus  1867

**  “Not at all a student’s book; yet many preachers might learn from it how to put things plainly.  There is a similar volume on Genesis.” – Spurgeon

Blunt, Henry – Family Exposition of the Pentateuch, vol. 2 (Exodus)  1844

**  “Profitable for household and private reading: not very striking.” – Spurgeon

Cumming, John – Sabbath Morning Readings on the Old Testament: Book of Exodus  1854  390 pp.

**  “Dr. Cumming’s style is a model, but his matter seldom verges upon originality.  He always gives you the gospel when he is not prophesying.” – Spurgeon

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Medium Level

Puritans

Babington, Gervase – Certain Plain, Brief and Comfortable Notes upon Exodus & Leviticus  also in Works, d. 1610

Lightfoot, John – An Handful of Gleanings out of the Book of Exodus  26 pp. in his two volume works, vol. 1, p. 699-725

Willet, Andrew – A Sixfold Commentary upon the two first Books of Moses, being Genesis and Exodus  d. 1621

Willet (1562–1621)

** – ‘This work is called by its author [1562-1621] a Hexapla, because he treats his subject under six heads, giving ‘a sixfold use of every chapter, showing:

1. The method of argument;
2. The diverse readings;
3. The explanation of difficult questions and doubtful places;  
4. The places of doctrine;  
5. Places of confutation;  
6. Moral observations.’

Willet is tedious reading; his method hampers him.  In all his Commentaries he lumbers along in his six-wheeled wagon.’  ‘Full, exhaustive, and exhausting.’ – Spurgeon

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More

1800’s

Bush, George 

Notes, Critical and Practical on: Exodus, 2 vols. in 1

Bush was a Biblical scholar, a professor of oriental literature in New York City University, and initially a presbyterian minister.

On Exodus: ** – ‘Of considerable value.  We do not know that it is a plagiarism [as was his work on Genesis].’

Questions and Notes, Critical and Practical upon: Exodus

ed. Excel, Joseph – Preacher’s Homiletic Commentary on Exodus

**‘It excels so far as we have seen.’

Mackintosh, Charles – Notes on the Book of Exodus  1858

***‘Not free from Plymouth errors, yet remarkably suggestive.’ – Spurgeon

Parker, Samuel – Bibliotheca Biblica: being a commentary upon all the books of the Old and New Testament gathered out of the genuine writings of fathers,  ecclesiastical historians and acts of councils down to the year of our Lord 451, vol. 2, Exodus  1722

Parker was an Anglican.

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1900’s

Wilson-Haffenden, D.J. – Operation Exodus  Buy  1957

‘By a major-general in the British Army, responsible for maintaining supplies to British troops in the Middle East during World War II.  A comparison of his own efforts with those of Moses at the time of the Exodus makes interesting reading.  Special emphasis on the qualities of character of those whom God chooses to lead his people.’ – Cyril J. Barber

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Advanced

Cassuto, Umberto – A Commentary on the Book of Exodus  Buy  1967

‘A critical commentary by a recognized Jewish scholar.  Can be read with profit even by those whose knowledge of Hebrew has grown dim with the passing of time.’ – Cyril J. Barber

Driver, Samuel R. – The Book of Exodus in the Revised Version, with Introduction and Notes  1911  550 pp.  in Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges

 Driver was a liberal.

‘A highly critical work of value only as it aids in a technical study of the text.’ – Cyril J. Barber

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The Early Church on Exodus

Compilation

Lienhard, Joseph – Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture: Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy  Buy

Individual Father

Origen – Homilies on Genesis and Exodus  Buy

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The First Half of Exodus

Puritan

Hughes, George – An Analytical Exposition of the Whole First Book of Moses, called Genesis, and of 23 chapters of his second book, called Exodus…  ToC  1672

Hughes (1603-1667) was a puritan.

** – ‘The deductions which Hughes draws from the text are of the nature of homiletical hints, and for this reason he will be a treasure to the minister.  He belongs to the noble army of Puritans.’ – Spurgeon

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More

Alford, Henry – The Book of Genesis and part of the Book of Exodus [chs. 1-25]: a revised version with Commentary  1872

Alford (1810-1871) was of the Church of England and the Dean of Canterbury.

*** – ‘The works of this eminent scholar are too well known and appreciated to need even a word from us.’ – Spurgeon

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Exodus 1-11

Jackson, Thomas – Paraphrase on the Eleven First Chapters of Exodus, with Annotations, etc. in Works, vol. 9, p. 384 ff. d. 1640  Thomas Jackson (to be distinguished from Arthur Jackson) was an Arminian Anglican.

* – ‘George Herbert set great store by Dr. Jackson’s writings, for he said, ‘I bless God for the confirmation Dr. Jackson has given me in the Christian religion, against the Atheist, Jew and Socinian, and in the Protestant against Rome.’  It would hardly repay a student to purchase three folio volumes to obtain the small portion allotted to his Paraphrase.  So far as commenting is concerned it is not important.’ – Spurgeon

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Exodus 15

Proto-Reformer

Wycliff, John – ‘The Song of Moses and the Children of Israel’  in Select English Works of John Wycliff, vol. 3, part 1, p. 18-24

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Exodus 28

Pierce, Samuel – Christ the Priest and Sacrifice of his People, being an Exposition of Ex. 28 and Lev. 16

Pierce (1746-1829) was an English Reformed Baptist.

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Archeology and Exodus

1800’s

Osburn, William – Israel in Egypt; or the Books of Genesis and Exodus Illustrated by Existing Monuments  1856

**  “Not a Commentary; but a volume full of interest, which should be studied by all who would understand this portion of history. – Spurgeon

Early 1900’s

Kyle, Melvin G. – Moses and the Monuments: Light from Archaeology on Pentateuchal Times  1920

“Originally presented as the 1919 Stone Lectures at Princeton Theological Seminary.  Covers a wide variety of philological, historical, cultural, and eschatological themes, all of which have been enriched by archaeological discoveries.  Dated.” – Cyril J. Barber

Contemporary

See Hoffmeier’s works below in the Genuineness of Exodus

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The Genuineness of Exodus

See also works on the Authenticity of the Pentateuch.

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1800’s

Birks, T.R. – The Exodus of Israel; its Difficulties Explained and its Truth Confirmed with a Reply to Recent Objections  1863

**  “A reply to Dr. Colenso’s famous assault upon the Pentateuch.  The great abilities of the author are known to all.” – Spurgeon

Colenso’s The Pentateuch and Joshua Critically Examined argued ‘the unhistorical character, the later origin, and the compound authorship of the five books usually attributed to Moses.’

Vos, Geerhardus – ‘Internal Evidence of the Mosaic Origin of the Laws in Exodus-Numbers’  1886  12 pp. being ch. 16 of The Mosaic Origin of the Pentateuchal Codes

Vos (1862-1949) was one of the last conservative theologians at Old Princeton, and is known as the father of reformed Biblical Theology.

Contemporary

Hoffmeier, James

Israel in Egypt: The Evidence for the Authenticity of the Exodus Tradition  Buy  1999

Hoffmeier is Professor of Bible Studies and Archaeology at Wheaton College, Illinois.  See the ‘Buy’ link for a description.

Ancient Israel in Sinai: The Evidence for the Authenticity of the Wilderness Tradition  Buy  2011

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Life of Moses

“Diverse as they are in many respects, I know no man more Johannean than Moses.  His meekness is closely allied to Johannean love.”

John ‘Rabbi’ Duncan

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Blaikie, William G. – ‘Life of Moses’  1894  187 pp.  being Part 3 of Heroes of Israel: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph & Moses, pp. 288-475  1894

Blaikie (1820–1899) was of the Free Church of Scotland.

Hamilton, James – Moses, the Man of God  1867

*** ‘Beautiful as a poem, like everything that fell from Dr. Hamilton’s pen.  It would be impossible to study it without profit.’ -Spurgeon

Meyer, F.B. – Moses, the Servant of God  n.d.  200 pp.

Meyer (1847–1929) was an English, baptist pastor who wrote numerous, very good devotional works.

Rawlinson, George – Moses: his Life and Times  1887

“Although dated historically and archaeologically, the abiding value of these studies lies in the writer’s ability to combine Scripture with Scripture and draw upon his knowledge of history to illuminate the Biblical text.” – Cyril J. Barber

Smith, Thornley – History of Moses; viewed in connection with Egyptian Antiquities, and the times in which he lived  1862

*** ‘As the same class as Kitto’s Daily Readings: well executed.’ – Spurgeon

Taylor, William – Moses the Law-Giver  1879  500 pp.

Taylor (1829–1895) was a Scottish Presbyterian who later ministered in America at Broadway Tabernacle Congregationalist Church in New York.

“These rich and edifying expositions reflect the author’s familiarity with the original text of Scripture, but manifest a tendency to accept the LXX [Septuagint] over the MT [Massoretic Text].” – Cyril J. Barber

van Oosterzee, J.J. – Moses: a Biblical Study  1876

Oosterzee (1817 – 1882) was an orthodox Dutch professor of systematic theology at the University of Utrecht.  He also wrote a systematic theology: Christian Dogmatics, vols. 1, 2

**Spurgeon

Whyte, Alexander – Moses & Moses the Type of Christ  in Bible Characters, vol. 1  d. 1921

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“His faith reposed in God not only for what God would do for him, but for what God would graciously… fit him to do.”

“I have often pitied Moses, for he had a stiff rebellious race to manage.”

John ‘Rabbi’ Duncan

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Aaron

Whyte, Alexander – Aaron  in Bible Characters, vol. 1  d. 1921

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Miriam

Whyte, Alexander – Miriam  in Bible Characters, vol. 1  d. 1921

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Pharaoh

Whyte, Alexander – Pharaoh in Bible Characters, vol. 1  d. 1921

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Ex. 20, The Ten Commandments

Expositions of the Ten Commandments  42+


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The Judicial Laws  (5)

Quote

Edward Leigh, System or Body of Divinity (1654) p. 110-111

The means to be used for the attaining of that end, by the minister, is diligent study and humble prayer


Fourthly, They should likewise be expert in all the liberal arts…  All the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hid in the Scriptures: the treasures of natural philosophy in Genesis, of moral philosophy in Exodus, Deuteronomy and Ecclesiastes; of the politics in the Judicials of Moses, and the Proverbs of Solomon; of poetry in the Psalms; of History in the books of Chronicles, Judges and Kings; the mathematics in the dimensions of the Ark, of the Temple; of the metaphysics in the books of the Prophets and Apocalypse.

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1600’s, Covenanter

Weemes, John – An Explication of the Judicial Laws of Moses  1632  260 pp.

Weemes (1579-1636) was an early Scottish covenanter and prolific Hebrew scholar.

“He was well acquainted with the original Scriptures, with Jewish manners and antiquities, and with the best mode of interpreting the Bible.  The style is quaint, but always intelligible.” – Orme

*  “This contains many useful and curious things, together with fancies and rabbinical trifles.  Weemse may generally be bought very cheap, and we should think his work is very little read or cared for.” – Spurgeon

1700’s Liberal Scholar

Michaelis, John David – Commentaries on the Laws of Moses, vols. 1, 2, 3, 4  1814  d. 1791

*  “However much of learning there may be here, we are not prepared to recommend a work which treats so sacred a subject with levity and coarseness.” – Spurgeon

1800’s

Wines, Enoch Cobb – Commentaries on the Laws of the Ancient Hebrews, with an Introductory Essay on Civil Society and Government  1853  Presbyterian Board of Publication

Wines (1806–1879) was an American congregationalist minister.

Fairbairn, Patrick – ‘Judicial Statutes and Directions’  1869  40 pp.  from The Revelation of Law in Scripture, pp. 94-134 

Fairbairn was a professor of the Free Church of Scotland.

1900’s

Clark, H.B. – Biblical Law, being a Text of the Statutes, Ordinances and Judgments Established in the Holy Bible, with many allusions to secular laws, Ancient, Medieval and Modern, Documented to the Scriptures…  2nd ed. 1943


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The Ceremonial Laws

Guild, William – Moses Unveiled: or Those Figures which Served unto the Pattern and shadow of heavenly things, pointing out the Messiah Christ Jesus, briefly explained; Whereunto is added the harmony of all the prophets, breathing with one mouth the mystery of his coming, and of that redemption which by his death He was to accomplish  1620  62 pp.

Michaelis, John David – Commentaries on the Laws of Moses, vols. 1, 2, 3, 4  1814  d. 1791

*  “However much of learning there may be here, we are not prepared to recommend a work which treats so sacred a subject with levity and coarseness.” – Spurgeon

Weemes, John – An Explanation of the Ceremonial Laws of Moses  1632  300 pp.

“He was well acquainted with the original Scriptures, with Jewish manners and antiquities, and with the best mode of interpreting the Bible.  The style is quaint, but always intelligible.” – Orme

*  “This contains many useful and curious things, together with fancies and rabbinical trifles.  Weemse may generally be bought very cheap, and we should think his work is very little read or cared for.” – Spurgeon

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The Plagues of Egypt

 1800’s

Millington, Thomas – Signs and Wonders in the Land of Ham, a Description of the Ten Plagues of Egypt with Ancient and Modern Parallels and Illustrations  1873

Millington was of the Church of England and the author of this (very unique and great) commentary on the whole Bible.

***‘It has been an intellectual treat to read this interesting work.  On the same subject there is an old work by James Bryant [1715-1804], 1794; but Millington is enough.’ – Spurgeon

 


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Journeyings of the Children of Israel in the Wilderness

The Best

Seaton, W. – Church in the Wilderness, 2 vols.  1821

***‘Of the thoroughly evangelical school, fraught with much experimental truth and sound doctrine soberly discussed.’ – Spurgeon

Wagner, George – The Wanderings of the Children of Israel  1862

***‘A book which we have read with great pleasure and profit, and very heartily recommend[ed]’ – Spurgeon

More

Buddicom, R.P. – The Christian Exodus, or the Deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt, Practically Considered, in a Series of Discourses, vol. 1, 2 (Lev-Josh)  1826

**  “Able discourses, using the Exodus spiritually and wisely.” – Spurgeon

Cardall, William – Israel’s Journeys and Stations in the Wilderness, Considered as Illustrative of the Christian Pilgrimage  1848

*  “Twenty evangelical lectures manifesting respectable ability.” – Spurgeon

Forster, Charles – Israel in the Wilderness, or Gleanings from the Scenes of the Wanderings, with an Essay on the True Date of Korah’s Rebellion  1865

**  “If the author’s renderings of the desert inscriptions are indeed correct, this is a wonderful book.  That, however, is a question for the learned, and they have pronounced against him.” – Spurgeon

Krummacher, Gottfried D. – Israel’s Wanderings, vols. 1, 2 

G.D. Krummacher (1774-1837)

**‘Written by the uncle of the author of Elijah the Tishbite [1865, Frederick W. Krummacher].  A good, thought-breeding work.’ – Spurgeon

Osburn, William – Israel in Egypt; or the Books of Genesis and Exodus Illustrated by Existing Monuments  1856

** “Not a commentary; but a volume full of interest, which should be studied by all who would understand this portion of history.” – Spurgeon

For the Young

Anonymous – Journeyings of the Children of Israel, and their Settlement in the Promised Land  1832

*  “Useful to the young, but the engravings are of almost Pre-Adamite antiquity, and nearly as ugly as the profoundest master of the ridiculous could have made them.” – Spurgeon

A Poem

Rolleston, Matthew – Moses Under the Direction of Divine Providence, Conducting the Children of Israel from Egypt to the Promised Land, a Prize Poem  1807

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The Tabernacle

The  Best

Brown, William – The Tabernacle and its Services in relation to Christ and the Church  1874  280 pp.

**‘An instructive interpretation of the types of the Tabernacle.’ – Spurgeon

Soltau, H.W.  1805-1875

The Holy Vessels and Furniture of the Tabernacle of Israel  148 pp.

** ‘A series of sumptuous pictures, executed in the best style of art, impressing the mind far more vividly than any letter-press [book without pictures] could do.’ -Spurgeon

The Tabernacle, the Priestly Garments and the Priesthood  n.d.  490 pp.

***‘Richly suggestive.  Exceedingly well worked out in details; but not so wire-drawn as to prevent thought on the reader’s part.’ – Spurgeon

Stuart, Alexander Moody

The Tree of Promise: Mosaic Economy  1864  373 pp.

Stewart (1809-98)  was one of the original minsters of the Free Church of Scotland, “who was regarded as the finest preacher in the Church.”  At the Disruption of 1843 and the first General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, Free, Stewart was called upon to preach to the Assembly, and did so from Ex. 20:2, “I am the Lord thy God, which have brought the out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.”

The Mosaic Sacrifices: being Notes of Lectures  1883

“In 1883 his close friend from University days in Glasgow, Alexander Beith, published The Mosaic Sacrifices.  This book partially covers the same ground as the earlier volume, and was compiled from the notes of a lady in the congregation who committed Stewart’s sermons to writing from memory.”

More

ed. Holder, Arthur – Bede: on the Tabernacle  Buy  in Translated Texts for Historians by Liverpool University

Bede (672/3 –735) was a Medieval English monk and historian.

Dolman, Dirk H. – Simple Talks on the Tabernacle  Reprinted by Klock & Klock

Fairbairn, Patrick – ‘The Religious Truths and Principles embodied in the Symbolical Institutions and Services of the Mosaic Dispensation, and viewed in their Typical reference to the better things to come’  being ch. 3, of vol. 2 of The Typology of Scripture  1876

Fairbairn (1805–1874) was a renowned professor in the Free Church of Scotland.

Garratt, S. – Scripture Symbolism, or Tabernacle Architecture  1848

**  “Most unexceptionable in doctrine and style.  It deals mainly with the sacred vessels.” – Spurgeon

Kitto, John – The Tabernacle and its Furniture  Buy  1849

**  “Artistic illustrations with a little letter-press.  Soltau well supplies the place of this rare work.” – Spurgeon

Moorehead, William – Studies in the Mosaic Institutes  1895  276

“An edifying study by one of the great evangelical scholars of the past century.” – Cyril J. Barber

Mudge, William – The Tabernacle of Testimony in the Wilderness in 16 Discourses  1861

**  “The writer, a thoroughly evangelical second-advent clergyman, makes some very admirable remarks in these Lectures, which were delivered in his parish church.  Our copy is in the third edition.  We are not surprised to find the work thus popular.” – Spurgeon

Rainsford, Marcus – The Tabernacle in the Wilderness, and the Gospel according to Leviticus  Buy  1897  294 pp.  Reprinted by Klock & Klock

White, Frank – Christ in the Tabernacle, with some Remarks on the Offerings  1873

**  “Written for the private Christian.  Full of instruction and devotion.” – Spurgeon

 

 

 

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