Exodus 1:1-14 The generous welcome given to Jacob and his family faded under the later pharaohs of Egypt who watched the growth of the Israelite population with alarm. The Egyptians instituted slave labor as a way of controlling and exploiting the Israelites. (CCC 2237, 2432, 2434, 2448, 2454-2455)
Ch 1:15-22 The order to kill male newborns is a type (TYPOLOGY!!) of, or prefigures, the slaying of the Holy Innocents ordered by Herod following the Birth of Christ (cf. Mt 2:16). Ironically, on the latter occasion, Mary and Joseph fled with Jesus into Egypt for safety. (CCC 530, 2270-2271)
Ch 2:1-3 Basket: The Sacred Author used the same Hegrew word, tevah, for Noah’s “Ark”. As God saved Noah from the waters of the Flood by means of the Ark, so did he preserve Moses from the waters of the Nile by means of a basket (CCC 845)
Ch 2:11-25 Moses was moved by the plight of the Hebrews and sought justice long before he was called by God. The Hebrews, who knew him only as an Egyptian prince, did not trust him. (CCC 2575).
Leviticus 1:1 This book, whose name derives from the priestly tribe of Levi, is almost entirely a book of laws and rituals governing the worship prescribed to the Israelites by God. Its five main sections include the rituals of SACRIFICE (Ch 1-7), the rite of ORDINATION OF PRIESTS (Ch 8-10), laws of PURITY (Ch 11-16), directives for HOLINESS (Ch 17-26), and the redemption of OFFERINGS (Ch 27). (CCC 613, 1334, 1541, 2099-2100)
Ch 1:2-17 Burnt offering, or “holocaust,” is derived from the Greek holos and kaustos, which mean “whole” and “burned”; it required complete destruction of the victim as a symbol of God’s dominion over creation since God can both CREATE and ANNIHILATE. Generally, it was used to offer thanksgiving to God. The animal offering had to be UNBLEMISHED because the faithful had to offer THEIR VERY BEST to God. Such offerings date to the earliest days of existence: jealousy over the offerings of Abel led Cain to kill his brother (cf. Gn 4:3-8), and, testing Abraham, God had the patriarch prepare a holocaust that would offer his son Isaac as the victim (cf. Gn 22:1-14). (CCC 2569, 2572)
Psalm 44 The words of this psalm accuse God of abandoning his people and his covenant with them. This psalm claims that, in spite of Israel’s fidelity, they were punished as if they had been unfaithful. These words of righteous indignation do not imply powerful and consistent resentment so much as an emotional plea for divine assistance: the people were very much aware of God’s steadfast love given the history of his intervention in the affairs of Israel. This, they simply wanted him to intervene now as he had done before. Why do you hide your face?: To see God’s face is to sense his presence and his solicitous love. These sentiments give assurances of his special predilection for the people of Israel. (CCC 272)
(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)