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Like beautifully layered rock formations lining the walls of a desert canyon, so is the Biblical text. Story is piled upon story until the foundations are invisible. Those foundations tell a different story—one that only a trained geologist can tease from the rock; one that only a Biblical philologist, trained in the dissection of literature, can find in the text. In this earliest version of Exodus account that our literary geology will isolate, the Israelites were not enslaved, only prevented from leaving; there were not ten plagues, only three; and the firstborn Egyptians weren’t killed because the Israelites left after the plague of darkness. In this and many other respects, the story of Israel’s sojourn in Egypt is very different from what those familiar with the canonical text may recall. Moses’ Mission traces the development of this uniquely divergent account into the canonical text we have today.