Fr Lester Vas 27.7.08
Intro. To Exodus, Lev, & Numbers.
Exo 1:1-17 Recaps the longer list of the genealogy of Jacob, Gen 46:8-27.
To show that something new is happening.
Vs 6. ‘passed away’ New chapter in the history of Israel. This explains why the book was divided at this place. No such demarcation is seen in Lev & #s. Lev contains cultic orders on ordnances revealed thro Moses, which already began in
To conclude both the divisions à Exo, Lev, #s à was dictated neither by logic or practical consideration or the length of the scroll. Lev is the smallest between the three
As one long book can we read Exo, Lev, & #s as a biography of Moses. Gen 12-50 it focuses on Abraham, (Isaac) Jacob & Joseph. Is Exodus a biography of Moses. The general observation is that the story begins not with Moses
1. But with the suffering new generation under a new ruler of Egypt
2. Therefore it is clear that the role of Moses is subordinate / secondary role of the new generation & their destiny. In the context of the journey narrative a huge disproportionate amount of the Pentateuch ie 1/5th is the Sinai episode Exodus 19
3. Judges 11:14-18, Deu 1:46 many days at Kadesh #s 10:10 (28)
4. It seems reasonable to suggest that the Sinai law & covenant tradition has been superimposed on more ancient Kadesh tradition & this is a massive Sinai pericope Exodus 19, #s 10:10 (28).
Exo 18:27 Moses let his FIL ( father in law) depart.
5. Resumptive technique #s 10:29 ff -----------à Sinai periscope.
Summarizing: Israel in Egypt ---------- Ex 1:1-15 --- 15:21
Israel in the wilderness Ex 15:22 -------18:27; #s 10:11 ----36:13.
Israel at Sinai ----------Ex 19:1 – to #s 10:10
There is an overall pattern with features making, breaking, & remaking the covenant.
When was the text written, which period : Post exilic.
The writer wrote about the history of the Exodus, after the exile. (post exilic)
Conclusion: However the pattern encodes the theological interpretation of the history of Israel. We are therefore invited to think of the extinction of the 2 kingdoms of Israel in the 8th Cen, Judah in the 6th Cen, the deportation that followed & the hope of a new beginning.
1. Situation of Israel in Egypt -----1 & 2.
2. Deliverance from Egypt -------- 3:15-21.
Call of deliverance ---------------- 3; 4.
Call for freedom struggle -------- 5 – 12:36.
Exodus 12:37 -----------------------15:21. Ch 25 – 31; 35 – 40 not Imp.
3. Journey from the Reed sea to Sinai --------- 15:22 – 18:29.
4. The covenant at Sinai ------------------------- 4:19 – 40.
1. Situation of Israel in Egypt -----1 & 2.---- Situation of slavery.
1.1à1:1-7. This corresponds to the period of favour 1650 – 1550. The sons of Jacob & the family driven by famine to migrate to Egypt & settle in the most fertile part in the delta of the Nile in Joshen – the fertile crescent.
1.1.1. Why were the Hebrews prosperous in 1720
The Hykson invaded Egypt & dominated it 1720 – 1580. The Hykson had their semantic roots (shem)
1.1.2. The period when their fortunes changed. 1580 – 1550.
Ahmose I founded the 18th dynasty.
In 1550 – 1306 they retained control.
There was a change brought about in the social & economic situation of the Israelites.
Vs 8. New king Ahmose.
1.2. Period of disfavor begins, privileges are lost
Vs 8-9 The period jumps 2 ½ centuries.
Vs 9. ‘He’ = Seti I, He inaugurates the period of systematic oppression & his son
Remises II begins to continue the oppression.
From favour à disfavour.
1.3.1. Two government policies for oppression. à forced labour, àpopulation control.
Vs 11. To build the cities of Remises & Pithon.
1.4. Moses saved from the jaws of death. Acts 17:17; Heb 11:23-26.
1.4.1.Parents of Moses Amram, Jacobel 6:20. Insight of faith, parents need to have.
à Faith sees , fragile baby, God had a plan
à Faith acts. Heb 11:23.
***à Faith surrenders- risk- basket à Ps 37:5 Pharaoh himself will provide for Moses.
1.4.2. Two episodes & 2 escapes from death Vs 1-10; 11-22.
Ist episode that Moses parents are unnamed, even the Pharaoh daughter is unnamed, this is to high light the name of Moses Ch 2:10.
Ch 2:22 Gershom & Moses both refer to Moses. 2 escapes from death this is to show that God is behind Moses.
Here there are 2 different traditions J & E
2:11ff Gershom à Sign of the person
God tries to kill Moses 4:24 -----------???
How did Moses know that he was Hebrew ?
Would the daughter of of the Pharaoh actually take a Hebrew child, What is more important here is that Moses is in Egypt & that too at the right time.
1.4.3. Literary character of Moses Birth.
à Medium ---------Story of Moses birth à Moses was in Egypt
à Message -------- God is in control, Providence of God, God protects Moses
We have many Parallels in folk lore the closest is Sarjon of Akkad, Birth of Cyrus.
1.5 Moses brilliant education in Egyptian court. Moses landed in Egypt, God was with him. He was exposed to the best of Egyptian world, because of this Act 7:22 he became mighty in wisdom, words & deeds. In spite of ones training one has to be at the disposal to God, it finally matters how we allow God to use us.
1.6 So in spite of his training Moses never forgot his roots.
2:11 He refused to be called as the son of pharaoh’s daughter, he refused to be the leader of Egypt. He chose to be the leader of the slaves. Therefore this led to his instinctive reaction when he saw one of his ‘flocks’ being ill-treated.
1.7 Why did Moses fail – He experiences his first failure.
à He was running ahead of God. Ecclesiastes 3:1 There is a time & sense for everything (KAIROS) for everything.
à He was running ahead of himself, he was a leader, yet he had to learn some basic truths, in the wilderness at Midan & that power had to cone only from God.
à His method was not chosen by God Zec 4:6; Eph 1:19; Is 55:8-9 (my ways are not your ways)
à He was running ahead of people, Moses has to learn in Gods seminary.
à Now that the pot was broken, the divine potter could melt & fill him with his spirit.
Acts 7:23; 17:30.
à B L Moody: Moses spent 40 yrs of his life in Egypt thinking he was somebody till God took him to Midan & showed him he was nobody (40 yrs), He spent the last 40 yrs of his life learning still what God could do with a nobody.
1.8 A new king in Egypt 2:23-25.
II Delivery from Egyptà 3:1 – 15:21.
2.1 Call of the deliverer (3-4)
2.2 The freedom struggle (5 -12 : 36)
2.3 The Exodus (12:37 – 15:22)
II DILIVERANCE FROM EGYPT 3:1 – 15:21.
2.1 Call of the deliverer (Ch. 3-4)
3:1 Intro for 40 yrs Moses was learning to be scholar, soldier, a statesman, servant, shepherd.
** Moses being the shepherd might have learnt so much from his sheep.
à There are sheep that help bind, divide, the Judas sheep, lead the sheep to the promised land.
Now he spent the next 40 yrs , He was learning to be a spokesman.
2.1.1 Burning bush Ex 3:2, not a special bush
I would like to be a bush like that thro which God spoke, Because thro the bush it because important.
2.1.2 The real test for Moses. Why Moses was not thrilled , the hardest thing to do is to return back to the place of failure.. Earlier he was doing things on his own. Now he goes under the power of God. He was earlier not commissioned to do.
2.1.3 Moses 4 Excuses : List of Excusesà I’ll be with you always à Mt 28:20.
a. Lack of apability 3:11-12 Who am I
b. Lack of message 3:13-21 What am I going to tell them.
c. Lack of authority 4:1-9. He was not chosen to be a leader.
d. Lack of eloquence. God sends Aaron God tells him I will be with you till the end of time.
2.1.4 Yahweh : e o a
Y H W H = Lord
I am who I am
2.1.5 Moses had to learn several lessons. He had to focus on God & his weaknesses.
2.2 The freedom struggle (5 - 12 : 36)
2.2.1 Pharaoh’s initial victory. Ex 5:1-27. There is a initial setback.
2.2.2 10 Plagues Ch 7-11
Some of the plagues (J) source God communicated directly to Moses
Some of the plagues (P) source were communicated thro Aaron & Moses.
Plagues 2, 6 are exclusively (P) frogs & boils
Plagues 4, 5 there is no trace of (P) style
There are 2 Psalms neither had 10 plagues, they have 7 & 10 plagues Ps 105, Ps 78.
2.2.3 The significance of the plagues.. the plagues are a sign of Gods power, they are not a series of natural events. In the significance of the plague in the life of destitutes, God has a preferential option for the poor.
2.2.4 The rejection of every compromise to full freedom. Let my people go that they may serve me. You are freed to do something 4:22
Compromise 1 .8:25 ‘Go’ within the land. The land is a symbol of Egypt’s bondage, oppression. Not free to leave Egypt.
Compromise 2. 8:28 Go to the wilderness, not to go far away, not to break up your ties completely.
Compromise 3. 10:11 Go the men among you, offering freedom only to the section of society, confident that they will return soon
Compromise 4 10:24 Go but let your flocks & the heard remain
Moses rejects everyone of the compromises, he will settle for only complete freedom.
Gal 5:1 for freedom Christ has set you free.
à Final Go 12:31-32. Go & bless me 12:35-36. Despoiled the Egypt, did they plunder Ez 1:6.
2.2.5 The Passover & the 10 plagues 12:1-28.
The account of the Passover serves 2 purposes delay & strengthens to impact of mass death. It was a meal that the Hebrews ate at the eve of the flight to Egypt. This commemorates & celebrates Gods deliverance freedom under Moses. Father House is translated from
bet –a bot this form of social organization. This term comes from post exilic Israel.
Anachronism à we were born in Bombay which is now Mumbai. We have the Passover meal. Which became one of the greatest meals à the Eucharist. Jesus Christ leads out of Bondage. 12:29-36. First born.
2.3 The Exodus 12:37 – 15:21.
From Remises to Succoth 12:37 – 50.
Deuteronomic Additions (Deut 15:19 – 16:8)
- consecration of the first born (13:1-2, 11 -16) and
- Unleavened bread (13:3-10)
Deliverance at the Reed sea.
- Through the desert – Not Philistine land (13:17-22)
- The great escape Ch 14.
- The song of praise & thanksgiving Ch 15.
2.3.1 Through the desert – Not Philistine Land.
Amalet is that person who doe snot allow you to reach your promised land. Although that was near – by the way of wilderness – lest they go back to Egypt. God wanted them to experience the desert experience.
2.3.2 Two accounts of the crossing – The prose account & the (P) account 14:1-31.
Moses had to encourage his people as a leader, they were trapped between
a. The pharaoh army behind them & the
b. Natural Yam Suph
Moses had to rely on God, Sea of reeds
14:13 -14. Summarizes what Moses has to say.
”God will fight you will have to remain still”
Here we come across 2 difficulties of crossing.
Major Palmer 19th cen describes a similar experience in lake Sibornis
Miracle it is not in the actual way it happened but by the timing that the miracle took place
à .Kairos à of how & when it happened. & this is by divine design.
2.3.3 Song beside the sea. 15:20-21 Deut in origin.
The Song of Miriam is Deut in origin. It is not the title of the proceeding poem but a refrain, part of the story. Reminiscence of the Enthronement Ps.
2.2.4. 6 stage journey to the promised land
1. Reed sea to Sinai Ex 15:33 – 18:27.
2. At Mt Sinai Ex 19:1 - #s 10:28.
3. Mt Sinai to Kadesh #s 10:33 – 12:16.
4. At Kadesh 3s 13:1 – 20:21.
5. Kadesh to Moab 3s 20:22 – 21:35.
6. On the plain of Moab #s 22:12 – 36:13
III JOURNEY FROM THE REEDSEA TO Mt.SINAI Ch 15:22 – 18:27.
Journey thro. The wilderness Ex 15:22 – 18:27 & #s 10:29 – 36:13.
3.1 General Intro: Reed sea to Sinai
The wilderness evoked powerful emotional response à 2 images.
a. It is a great & terrible wilderness, it summarizes Deut 8:5. It is the abode of demons
Is 34:13 – 14. Lk 11:24. A place that tests the body & tempts the soul.
b. Place of intimacy with God, an utopia that came to an end. When Israel succumbed to the corrupting influence of the fertile land Hos 2:14 – 17, Jer 2:1-3.
c. Place where you get courage 1 Kings 19 Elijah.
d. The Qumran community found courage & solitude in God & the community.
3.2 The wilderness route 3s 33:1 -49 (P) #s 21:10-20 Deut 10:6 – 9.
3.3 God feeds & cares for his flock through Moses, 10/08/08
3.3.1. Bitter waters of Marah. Exo 15:22.
Lord showed him a piece of wood. People lacking in water, unpalatable water, they had Moses with them, Moses for 40 yrs was looking after his sheep, He certainly knew the herbs that could cleanse the water & make the bitter water sweet.. Purely a natural phenomena. God showed him the tree / wood. It is not thee tree there fore the shadowing of the Cross of Jesus which Gods saving love threw into the world for the healing of the bitterness of human existence ie the cross of Christian help us drink the bitter waters without being bitter ourselves.
3.3.2. Manna & Quail Ex 16:1-36. #s 11:4-35.. à Some thing to eat
How do you explain Manna & Quail.
Manna is a sticky substance that seeps out of a Tamarisk tree. Hardens in to a white substance & melts with the Suns heat. Arabs still use it as jam for their bread.
Quails migrate from Europe in Sept – Oct. fly over the Mediterranean sea, they get exhausted hungry & fall down. Moses says you shall see the Glory of God. Attributing these natural phenomena to God #s 11:20. God gave them so much that they were literally sick.
Gal 5:16-24. NT Parallel.
Laws of the flesh are subjected to Laws of diminishing returns. Opposed to the laws of the spirit which are laws of increasing returns.
3.3.3. Water from the Rock. Ex 17:1-7. #s 20:1-13.
Parallel accounts of the same incident.
This is significant for mans restlessness & unquenchable thirst & this can be satisfied only by Christ. Christ is the Rock who is the Rock of all ages. 1 Cor 10:1-4, Jn 4:13-14. rev 22:17.
* Jn 7:37-39.
3.3.4. Battle with the Amalekites Ex 17:8-16.
Earlier it was nature that was against them but now it was Amalekite. Gen 36:12
The Amalekites were distantly related to the Israelites & yet they were constantly fighting right up to 1 Sam 30. where they were subdued by David. They were thorns in the flesh of Israel. Moses faced the enemy with action & prayer.
Action à Go & fight
Prayer à Jesus arms outstretched Jn 12:32.
3.3.5. Jetro’s visit Ex 18:1-27. à Importance of subdeligation.
THE COVENENT AT Mt. SINAI Ch 19 – 40.
4.1. The Covenant Ch 19 – 24.
Massive Sinai Pericope
4.1.1. The Importance of the Sinai Covenant.
The covenant is the central event of the Pentateuch.. This chapter describes the single stay after the covenant is made.
4.1.2. We see the J & E traditions speaking of the covenant, renewed with Isaac. ( Abraham Gen 15; Isaac Gen 26, Jacob 28) Sealed with Moses & the people
Ex 24. Ex 3. But P source emphasis the covenant more fully. It sees Gods action in the world as a series of blessings & promises & the entire series leads up to its fulfillment to Sinai..
Creation with Adam & eve Gen 1:1
Renews his blessing with Noah Gen 9.
Further promises made to Abraham then with Moses.
All this later books of the OT will look back to the Sinai covenant.
Deut is written in the covenant language. The theme is echoed in Joshua Ch 23,24. In 2 Kings the reformed programmed of Josiah the prophet. Amos & Hosea reflects on the covenant ideal.
Jeremiah & Ez constantly refer to the covenant.
Ezra in 450 – 400 BC He will center his entire reforms on the covenant renewals
4.1.3. Covenant Theology.
1. We cannot under estimate the importance of the Sinai covenant in the Biblical narrative
2. All of the biblical history may be called a theology of the covenant.
3. It is not just a moment, it provides a framework of understanding Gods promises to Noah. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob.
4. Covenant Theology becomes a standard for judging Israel successes or failure under Joshua & Judges. Evaluating each king.
If the king lost the battle it was because he broke the covenant
If the king won the battle it was because he kept the covenant
This shaped Deut. thoughts.
4.1.4. Berit =. Love mercy compassion
The term so rich it captures Israel religious belief Ex 34: 6-7.
Ex 34:6 à God merciful / gracious this is one of he richest expression of Israel understanding of what the covenant with Yahweh meant.
It has been inserted by some one who has summed up the best J E & P traditions the prophetic traditions of Deut & Ez & the thoughts of Deut, concept of social sin.
4.1.5. Ancient Covenant forms à two major types.
Parity treaty equal / vassal treaty unequal.
1. Preamble. Reason for the covenant Ex 19:3 - 6
2. Historical prologue. à Relation between the two. Ch 20:2; 20:3-17.
3. Stipulation / Demands. à What was expected of the lesser à 10 Commandments & the covenant law code Ch 20-23
4. Deposit of treaty à Duplicate of the treaty was deposited before the Sun goddess arena. à Use of stone tablets
5. Witness of Gods. à God of both witnesses. à Ex 19:16-19.
6. Curses & Blessing. à Deut 27-28.
4.1.6. Exodus 19-24 & 32-34 Two tradition of the same event
4.1.7. Books of the covenant. Ch 20-23.
4.2. Yahweh’s instruction regarding the dwelling Ch 25-31.
4.4. Yahweh’s instruction regarding the dwelling carried out (symbol of God’s presence
Ch 35 – 40.
4.2 & 4.4 are symbols of Gods presence, God is with them right through the journey.
Ch 25-31. Details of the building of the ark. Ancient & ways of giving emphasis to an important project. Not only does God instruct exactly how these 2 shrines are to be built but every details is given. The Ark disappears with the fall of Jerusalem in the Babylonian captivity. In 586 BC. Jesus is the new Ark.
4.3. Sin of forgiveness Ch 32-34. They include the violation of the covenant & the calf. The calf was a mother image. Mother image were forbidden by the Law of Moses. It was forbidden to depict God in any forbidden form.
There are 3 types of people.
1. Rabble. They are the ones who easily forget God & his kindness, & they revert back to their evil ways, they want a God who they can feel & touch, so that they can manipulate him. They want to fashion a God in their image & likeness reverting Gen 1:26.
2. Aaron represents weak leaders who give into popular clamor
3. Moses. Anger against sin, compassionate against sinners 11-14; 32; 34:1-28. Moses prayed his people from slavery to freedom. Each particular incident this full cycle follows. Sin à people. Judgment by God, Intercession by Moses.
Punishment of the sinner
Repentance by the people.
Forgiveness by God.