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Portion Shemot (שמות “Names”)
Date 06 Jan 2018 / 19 Tevet 5778
Torah Exodus 1:1-6:1
Haftarah Isaiah 27:6-28:13, 29:22-23
Brit Hadasha Acts 7:17-35; 1 Corinthians 14:18-25

Shemot | שמות | “Names”


Shemot (שמות) is both the title for the second book from the scroll of the Torah and the title of the first Torah portion therein. Shemot means “names.” The English-speaking world calls this book Exodus. The Hebrew title for the book comes from the opening phrase of the book: “Now these are the names (shemot) of the sons of Israel who came to Egypt with Jacob” (Exodus 1:1).

The English name Exodus comes from the Septuagint (LXX), the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible. The Greek title for the book is Exodus Aigyptou, which translates as “Departure from Egypt.” The name Exodus is an abbreviated form of that title. Exodus means “departure.” The book of Exodus tells the story of the children of Israel enslaved in Egypt and their miraculous redemption through the hand of Moses, the story of the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai, the construction of the golden calf and the construction of the Tabernacle.

As we study the first week’s reading from the book of Exodus, we find the children of Israel in slavery. It seems at first that the God of their forefathers has forgotten them. But God has not forgotten His promises. He remembers His promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and brings a Redeemer to their children’s children, for the sake of His name, with love.[1]

Daily Torah Readings

The weekly Torah Portion is further broken down into daily readings. Sunday being day 1, Monday 2, etc.

  1. First reading — Exodus 1:1–17
  2. Second reading — Exodus 1:18–2:10
  3. Third reading — Exodus 2:11–25
  4. Fourth reading — Exodus 3:1–15
  5. Fifth reading — Exodus 3:16–4:17
  6. Sixth reading — Exodus 4:18–31
  7. Seventh reading — Exodus 5:1–6:1



  • Exodus 1:1 – Introduction
  • Exodus 1:8 – The Israelites Are Oppressed
  • Exodus 2:1 – Birth and Youth of Moses
  • Exodus 2:11 – Moses Flees to Midian
  • Exodus 3:1 – Moses at the Burning Bush
  • Exodus 3:13 – The Divine Name Revealed
  • Exodus 4:1 – Moses’ Miraculous Power
  • Exodus 4:18 – Moses Returns to Egypt
  • Exodus 5:1 – Bricks without Straw
  • Exodus 6:1 – Israel’s Deliverance Assured


  • Isaiah 26:1 – Judah’s Song of Victory
  • Isaiah 27:1 – Israel’s Redemption
  • Isaiah 28:1 – Judgment on Corrupt Rulers, Priests, and Prophets

Brit Hadasha

  • Acts 7:17-35 – The promise God had sworn to Abraham
  • 1 Corinthians 14:18-25 – Brothers and sisters, stop being children in your thinking

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