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Exegetical Assignment: Observations & Chart of Literary Elements

This assignment is worth 70 points. The assigned passage is Exodus 3:1-12.

Part 1 (40 points)

2. Pray: If you feel comfortable doing so, invite God to help you read and understand the passage.

3. Commit to living with the text: Reflect on the text over multiple days of reading and re-reading.

4. Make observations (single-spaced, bullet points) on the approved text (1-2 pages total).

The goal is to notice what the text says and how it says it. Here is an explanation of the sort of observations that are expected for this assignment. (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. Observations should reflect at least four readings of the passage. For example, the structure of your observations can be as follows:

First Reading:

  • Observation
  • Observation
  • Observation (etc)

Second Reading:

  • Observation
  • Observation
  • Observation (etc.)

Third Reading:

  • Observation
  • Observation
  • Observation (etc.)

Fourth Reading:

    • Observation
    • Observation
    • Observation (etc.)

Part 2 (30 points) See the chart below. Fill in as many of the literary elements you can find.


List all the characters present in the passage.


To whom does it appear that the authors are addressing their writing?


Who is doing the “talking” in the text?


What is the genre or literary category? Some sample genres are: 1) speech; 2) narrative; 3) hymn; 4) parable; 5) dialogue; 6) pronouncement story.


Where is the passage set? What is the geographic location?


Is there a season of the year in the text? What time of day? Is there a Jewish holy day involved?

Key Word(s), Phrase(s), or Theme(s)

List any key words, phrases, or themes. Key words, phrases, or themes are words, phrases, or themes that: 1) are repeated; or 2) are significant for meaning.

Historical Background

Are there references to historical background that will be necessary to understand the text?


How does this pericope relate to the material before it? What is happening PRIOR to the text? How does this pericope relate to the material after it? What is happening AFTER the text?


Describe the structure of the passage. How many main parts are there? How long are the parts in relation to one another? How detailed is each part?


What do you think the passage MEANS? What might it show an ancient audience? (Hint: Look for the theology that is on display. How does this passage portray God? Does this passage critique something in the audience’s life or mindset?)


Write a paragraph on how the text impacts your life? Does it make a difference? How?

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