Exodus begins with a depiction of Israel’s servitude in Egypt and God’s selection of Moses to move Israel out of that servitude. Pharaoh contests this intention of God, and God responds by sending plagues on Egypt that culminate with the death of the firstborn and deliverance at the sea. Israel prepares for this deliverance by founding the Passover and responds with triumphant singing after the deliverance.
Israel journeys to Sinai, murmuring along the way. At Sinai, Israel receives the Ten Commandments and the covenant relationship is established. While Moses is receiving additional instructions from God on Sinai-notably the designs for the tabernacle-Israel rebels by building the golden calf. Moses intercedes successfully for Israel, and God relents and recommits to the covenant. Israel then builds the tabernacle as instructed.