We begin Exodus with God absent from the people. By the end, God is very much present. We start in slavery. We end in freedom, in service to God.
The great 13th century sage, Nachmanides (Ramban), memorializes this journey beautifully in the conclusion to his commentary on the book:
- “Thus is completed the Book of Redemption,
- In which the Eternal, the God of Israel, hath entered
- Even for the children of Israel, a people near unto Him.
- He saved him from the hand of him that hated him,
- And redeemed him from the hand of his enemy.
- And blessed be God
- Who delighted in the peace of His servant,
- Who has helped him to come thus far,
- Who renews his youth in his old age,
- Who satisfies his hunger with His Torah,
- And He made him to suck honey and the fat thereof.
- For he set his whole heart (to seek God),
- And to His Name he offers blessings morning and evening.
- Blessed be He of Whose bounty we have partaken,
- And through Whose goodness we live.”