• Dr. Mark Gignilliat

  • Choose two themes that feature prominently in the Exodus narrative.

    For each theme, do this:

    1. state how it was anticipated previously in Genesis and
    2. how it unfolds (perhaps differently) in the New Testament.

    It would be helpful if you cite specific Scripture references where your chosen themes appear. Please use the reading and course videos to inform your post.

  • the presence of Yahweh as the central theme of Exodus.

    David S. Dockery, Trent C. Butler, Christopher L. Church, et al., Holman Bible Handbook (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 1992), 137.

  • Theme of Pentateuch is Both/And

    I think, however, that The Theme of the Pentateuch is something of an exception among literary studies in its very strong concentration at the same time upon theology.

    David J. A. Clines, The Theme of the Pentateuch, Second Edition, vol. 10, Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Supplement Series (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2001), 129.

  • What Cline Sees as the Primary Theme of the Pentateuch

    “What I realize now, though I could not have recognized it at the time, is that The Theme of the Pentateuch is a hybrid of rhetorical criticism and biblical theology.

    David J. A. Clines, The Theme of the Pentateuch, Second Edition, vol. 10, Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Supplement Series (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2001), 128.

  • Likewise in ch. 6 the deliverance from Egypt will be an expression of the divine relationship: ‘I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob; I will deliver you, and I will take you for my people, and I will be your God; and you shall know that I am Yahweh your God, who has brought you out …’ (6:3, 6f.). Characteristically, throughout the confrontation with the pharaoh Israel begins to be described by Yahweh as ‘my people’ (7:4, 16; 8:1; cf. 3:10; 4:22), whose future is to lie in their relationship of ‘service’ to Yahweh: ‘Let my people go, that they may serve me’ (7:16; 8:1, 20; 9:1; etc.). And Yahweh begins to describe himself as ‘God of the Hebrews’ (7:16; 9:1; 10:3; cf. 5:3). In short, the whole series of negotiations between Moses and the pharaoh (chs. 5–11) concerns permission for the Hebrews to formalize their relationship with their God by ‘serving’ him cultically with sacrificial offerings. Of what precise nature the offerings are to be they do not know; Moses announces, as if programatically for Leviticus: ‘Our cattle must go with us … for we must take of them to serve Yahweh our God, and we do not know with what we must serve Yahweh until we arrive there’ (10:26).5

    David J. A. Clines, The Theme of the Pentateuch, Second Edition, vol. 10, Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Supplement Series (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2001), 51.

  • How Biblical Theology Got a Bad Rap

    ‘Biblical theology’ has acquired something of a bad name since the 1970s. Even in 1976 James Barr was saying that the biblical theology movement belonged to the past history of biblical studies.4 I find it very hard to see what the problem was, except that many exponents of biblical theology were rather uncritical in drawing no distinction between what the Bible said, or was alleged to have said, and what was reasonable for us in a very different age to believe. Some had urged that modern believers should ‘think biblically’, using the thought categories of ancient Israelites instead of twentieth-century people, as if that were possible, or as if the writing of the Bible in a particular culture validated the thought patterns of that culture for all people of all time. Others had used their own reconstructions of the theology of the Bible to impose certain beliefs upon others as authoritative and divinely inspired. Such views were extreme examples of biblical theology; biblical theology itself seems to me still a perfectly acceptable enterprise if it means an exposition of what the Bible (or parts of it, like the Pentateuch) says on theological matters, or even if it includes a recommendation to people of our time to adopt theological ideas expressed in the Bible.

    David J. A. Clines, The Theme of the Pentateuch, Second Edition, vol. 10, Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Supplement Series (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2001), 129–130.

  • Balancing Biblical Theology

    Today I would take a more quizzical line about the theology of the Bible, as I will say in more detail below. But the process of reading the Bible in order to develop one’s own theological position is a very reasonable one for religious believers of various traditions, so long of course as they do not claim that their readings are normative and beyond challenge.

    David J. A. Clines, The Theme of the Pentateuch, Second Edition, vol. 10, Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Supplement Series (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2001), 130.

  • That was not the case with The Theme of the Pentateuch, I hope; its theological proposals were meant to be suggestive rather than normative.

    David J. A. Clines, The Theme of the Pentateuch, Second Edition, vol. 10, Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Supplement Series (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2001), 130.

  • Brilliant View of Modern and Post-Modern Gravity We All Embrace At Reading

    The Theme of the Pentateuch exemplifies the interests of the modern period, in which texts have unity and determinate meaning, and in which texts are to be viewed as the expression of their author’s consciousness.
    Today, since I think that we have moved into a postmodern age,5 I would be much more careful in speaking of meaning. I would not now be speaking of ‘the meaning’ of the Pentateuch nor claiming that ‘theme encapsulates the meaning of the work’ (p. 24), as if there was only one meaning for the Pentateuch. Nowadays I tend rather to believe that texts do not have meaning in themselves, and that what we call meaning is something that comes into being at the meeting point of text and reader. If that is so, then meaning is reader-dependent and reader-specific, and there are in principle as many meanings as there are readers. This is really no more than what we commonly say when we confess that ‘it doesn’t mean that for me’—allowing that the same words may have different meanings for different readers. But making it into a theory of meaning and integrating it into our interpretational praxis moves us out of the modern world, where texts have meanings, into the postmodern world, where the meaning of meaning is decidedly problematic.

    David J. A. Clines, The Theme of the Pentateuch, Second Edition, vol. 10, Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Supplement Series (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2001), 130–131.

  • Meaning was therefore not a simple graspable object, but something in a certain flux. And the location of meaning was not being sought solely in the text itself, but in an interaction between the reader or interpreter and the text. [Jeff, see Tim Lawson’s explanation of Art].

    David J. A. Clines, The Theme of the Pentateuch, Second Edition, vol. 10, Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Supplement Series (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2001), 131.

  • Obviously, such a statement does not square with the claim implied in the title of this book. I now think that there is more than one way of saying ‘what the Pentateuch is all about’, though I still think that the theme of the fulfilment and non-fulfilment of the threefold promise is one fruitful way of talking about the Pentateuch.

    David J. A. Clines, The Theme of the Pentateuch, Second Edition, vol. 10, Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Supplement Series (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2001), 132.

  • The Inescapable Logic of Post-Modern Reading (Even if I disagree, Cline’s summary is not disagreeable).

    Finally, the postmodern turn has put an end to the ‘modern’ idea that the meaning of a text is the meaning intended by the author. That is no doubt the common-sense understanding of meaning, and it is constantly being reinforced whenever we act as authors, saying what we mean and intending to say what we mean and being annoyed if people hearing or reading us do not get the message we intended to mean. Indeed, for many kinds of everyday communication we can manage quite well on the assumption that words and sentences and texts contain the meanings their authors intended to put into them. But on a more theoretical plane, it becomes more and more evident that texts have a life of their own, regardless of what their authors intended by them, and that—more to the point—if readers are making meaning from the texts they encounter, the idea of responsibility to the author, who is in many cases unknown or even unknowable, and to that author’s intention, of which perhaps the author personally had only a vague knowledge, fades away.

    David J. A. Clines, The Theme of the Pentateuch, Second Edition, vol. 10, Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Supplement Series (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2001), 133.

  • Nine Themes of Exodus

    1. Salvation, Freedom from Bondage (Exod 6:6)

    Exodus is not about liberation, political freedom, or religious freedom; rather, it focuses on deliverance from bad servitude to good servitude. The Israelites served (עבד, ‘bd) Pharaoh, but God called them to serve (עבד, ‘bd) Him instead. However, the term עבד (‘bd) can mean both “serve” and “worship.” Exodus doesn’t simply detail a people needing freedom from the control of a national leader; it records a good, divine national (and universal) leader rescuing His chosen people from a bad, human national leader.
    In Exodus, only God can bring about freedom from bondage. The Israelites are portrayed as having no chance to save themselves. God must make the demands (“Let my people go”); the people on their own, with or without Moses, would never have dared to ask. Moreover, He makes those demands through His chosen representative, Moses, so that the people cannot take credit for having thought up the idea themselves. When the people are confronted again with the possibility of being opposed by the Egyptians, they become afraid. Indeed, later, in the wilderness, when the going becomes hard, some of them rationalize that they were better off in bondage in Egypt (Num 11).
    Exodus reveals God as both savior and lord for Israel and all who will join Israel (as many did upon seeing His mighty acts against the Egyptians; 12:38).

    2. Real Knowledge of God (Exod 6:6–8)

    Through repeating the statement “I am the LORD,” God emphasizes His self-disclosure to His people. Often, the Israelites communicate with God only by intermediaries; for example, Moses interacts with God on behalf of the people. Exodus also shows how the high priest will represent the people in his ritual actions of worship; through the priest, the people can have access to the (limited) presence of God and the benefits of that close proximity. Occasionally in Exodus, God shows His personal interest in His people via more than just one representative. For example, the group of elders confirm the Sinai covenant in His presence (24:9–11). At other times, they are known “by name” to Him, as the ephod’s breastpiece bears before Him their tribal names, symbolic of their membership in His family (28:12). Occasionally, God singles out an individual for service, suggesting that He has a personal knowledge of each of His people.
    Knowing God is not an emotive matter; it is reception into the family whose paterfamilias is God Himself, loving and benefiting the people He has made His own. In the book of Exodus, the Israelites do not become God’s people by their own actions, but because God kindly adopts them to Himself (e.g., Gen 12:7; 13:15–16; 21:12; 22:18; 24:7; 26:4; 28:14).

    3. A Covenant People (Exod 6:7)

    When God demanded that pharaoh allow Israel to leave Egypt, He referred to Israel as “my people” (5:1; 7:16; 8:1, 20, 21; 9:1, 13; 10:3). Yahweh identified Israel as His own people who needed to be closely bound to Him by a covenant. He would put this covenant into effect once He had led them out of harm into His sacred space. In both 6:6–8 and 19:4–6, God reiterates that the Israelites will be His special people who, in distinction from all other peoples of the earth, will belong to Him and accomplish His purposes. Exodus 19:6 describes them as “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” The essence of holiness is belonging to God; by belonging to God, the Israelites became holy, reflecting God’s character and obeying His purposes. No other nation in the ancient world ever claimed Yahweh as its God, and Yahweh never claimed any other nation as His people. This is not to say that He did not love and care for other nations; He simply chose Israel as the focus of His plan of redemption for the world.
    Under this covenant, Israel was the people group that, from the various ethnic groups that gathered at Sinai (12:38), agreed to accept God’s covenant and therefore benefit from His abiding presence among them (24:18–33:12). In Exodus, God’s full covenant with a nation—as opposed to a person or small group—emerges; the language of 6:7, “I will take you as my own people and I will be your God,” predicts the establishment of such a covenant (see Gen 17:7; Lev 26:12; Deut 7:6; 14:2; 27:9; 28:9; 29:13; Jer 11:4; et al).

    4. A Promised Land (Exod 6:8)

    Since the time of the patriarchs, Israel had hoped to occupy a land of its own because God revealed it as His intention and reiterated it to each successive generation (Gen 12:7; 15:7; 15:18; 17:8; 24:7; 26:3; 28:15; 48:3; 50:24). In Exodus, that divine promise forms the basis for the people’s expectation of deliverance from Egypt (3:8). After they are delivered, the whole people with all their possessions begin a journey to occupy that new land, metaphorically described as “flowing with milk and honey” (3:8, 17; 13:5; 33:3).
    In Egypt, the Israelites were noncitizen slaves without any land of their own or any human hope of having any. But God’s promise (2:23–25) meant that He would lead them forth by a mighty hand from the domination of the earth’s greatest superpower to a place of permanent settlement (15:13–17). At Sinai, God ordered the Israelites in advance to prepare to leave; they, in turn, asked Him to accompany them, lest it be a journey without blessing to a place without rest (2:23–25). Thus, it was essential for them to construct the tabernacle. Without the tabernacle they would not have proper housing for the symbols of God’s presence among them or a place to gather for the corporate worship. More than one third of Exodus (Exod 25–40) is constituted by accounts of the tabernacle. The Israelites had to properly construct the tabernacle as a fully portable structure so that it could be broken down and transported as God led His people on each new leg of their journey. Likewise, it had to be simple enough to set up that they could use it for worship promptly upon arriving at a stopping place. The tabernacle was therefore a tent—not a temple.
    The Israelites knew that they would eventually be given a land that they did not deserve in a place where none of them had ever lived. Only their distant ancestors had viewed the land that God designed to be their home. To occupy it, they would have to dispossess the people currently living there—which would only be possible if God should take the task upon Himself. This is exactly what He promises to do (2:25–32). Until the validity of that promise is absolutely certain via reiteration after the great covenant-breaking sin of Exod 32, the Israelites are afraid to seek to invade the promised land. It makes sense to go there only if it is also Yahweh’s land, where He will abide in their midst.

    5. The Limited Presence of God in Israel’s Midst

    Exodus carefully presents the concept of the presence of God as a limited presence. God shows Himself to His covenant people by symbols (e.g., a visible brilliance associated with His glory; the gold-surfaced ark of the covenant) behind barriers that keep His people from direct access Him (e.g., 3:5; 19:12; 28:43), such as:

    • Distance—God normally comes to the top of Mount Sinai while the people are strictly forbidden to go anywhere above the base of the mountain.
    • Darkness—God usually “appears” within a thick, dark, cloud that conceals most of His glory and through which no human eyes can penetrate.
    • The tabernacle itself—it had layers of thick curtains and animal hide covers and a special floor-to-ceiling curtain shielding the ark from the view of everyone, even priests.

    When the Israelites disassembled the tabernacle and carried its component parts, they wrapped the ark in its shielding curtain so that no one could see it (Exod 40:3). With the exception of the high priest annually (Heb 9:25), no Israelite ever saw the ark once it had been constructed and placed in the tabernacle. They took on faith that the ark existed: what they saw carried as they traveled was something wrapped up in layers of curtain and hide, out of which poles protruded; they never saw the ark or its contents. God symbolized His presence by that most holy object, the ark, but kept it hidden from His people at all times by barriers.

    6. Idols vs. a Covenant God (Exod 25:21–22)

    Idolatry tried to solve the challenge of believing in an unseen god by creating statues and other depictions that represented a god or goddess. Yet when worshipers reduce God to a manufactured object, they limit His greatness. Invisibility does not place limits on God’s greatness—it prohibits even the depiction of limitation of Him by forbidding any likeness at all. If God is omnipresent, He should not be given a shape that can be thought to confine Him or concentrate Him somewhere. Thus, the ark of the covenant is a place above which God may be met, but not a place to which God is limited.
    If God is omnipotent, He should not be depicted as smaller than any part of His creation. No idol can be as large as God is, and therefore any idol must automatically suggest something of a smallness in God—a limitation of some sort to His stature. Recovered ancient Near Eastern statues are usually smaller than a typical human. For polytheistic pagans, the size of idols was not a problem. Pagans didn’t think of their gods as bigger than creation, or anywhere near that size. They believed that a large number of gods and goddesses occupied only parts of the earth and sky—no single god dominated all things. Depicting a god or goddess on a small scale corresponded to the belief that all gods were smaller than the world as a whole.
    God is aware of all events, and He should not be portrayed as having only one set of eyes or ears, or one mouth to speak in one direction to one group of people. When Zechariah (Zech 3:9; 4:10) and John (Rev 5:6) speak of God’s many eyes, they symbolize that God’s omniscience means that He cannot be depicted accurately or helpfully by a typical idol. His easy awareness of all things at once makes Him a subject for which idolatry is inappropriate. If God is the only wise God, He should not be shown in the same manner that the other gods and goddesses are shown in pagan idolatry. Exodus helps readers understand how God can be symbolized, though never idolized.
    The ark, like the tabernacle itself, was a container. It was not a likeness but a place for keeping the tablets, manna, and Aaron’s staff—items that represented not a single person, but a relationship between God and His people. This was signified primarily by the two tablets of the testimony or covenant—thus the term “the ark of the covenant.” The word, which was inside the ark, revealed God to His people. Cross argues that covenants are not mere contracts but arrangements that bring the parties into virtual kinship relationships—which includes the obligations and arrangements that families have (see Cross, “Kinship and Covenant in Ancient Israel”; compare Ackerman, “The Personal is Political,” 437–58). Humans know God through His revealed truth, which, if believed and kept, has the power to solidify a relationship that will last forever.

    7. The Necessity of Law (Exod 19:5; 20:20)

    God provided the written law as an objective means of guidance. Human law teaches people how to live peacefully and productively within a community. Divine law expands on this by teaching people how to be holy within a covenant (kinship) relationship with a holy God. Those who follow divine law will gain an eternal relationship with God. This relationship leads the individual away from simply temporal pleasures and guides them toward eternal life in a setting where the noblest desires of life are actually provided. Following the law allows a person to become part of the family of God.
    Ancients were attracted to pagan idolatry partly because it did not require ethical living; it merely demanded frequent, generous sacrifices. In contrast, Yahweh insisted that the Israelites constantly obey His law—predominately, His Ten Commandments (Exod 20). No Israelite could draw near to God without agreeing to live according to the standard of ethics in the law. The law by itself, however, could not save—it merely provided the standards by which someone who was saved by faith should respond to Yahweh (compare Rom 2:27–29).
    Exodus provides divine law in a covenant framework; it starts with the Ten Words that summarize everything, followed by the Covenant Code (Exod 21–23), which gives details and examples of how the Israelites were to perform and enforce the Law. Exodus then devotes the greatest amount of its “legal content” to worship, the basic, and ongoing responsibility of the covenant people. It provides instructions for the design, manufacture, and erection of the tabernacle (Exod 25–40). The Law extends into the remainder of the Pentateuch; Leviticus and Numbers complete the “Sinai” part of the Mosaic covenant, while Deuteronomy completes the rest via renewal of the covenant for a new generation.
    Israel had to obey the covenant that begins in Exod 20 if they wished to enjoy God’s favor. The law was not optional; all the people were required to assent, even in advance (19:8; 24:3, 7). Exodus thus demonstrates that God does not relate to His people without expecting them to prove their loyalty by keeping His commands. His people are real citizens of a divine kingdom that has laws that must be kept. They are vassals of a great sovereign who has required obedience of them for their benefit. The laws of Exodus spell out both the obligations and the benefits.

    8. The Necessity of Following God (Exod 40:36–38)

    The final words of the book of Exodus (40:36–38) close a long story of following God. Exodus begins with a review of the way that Israel originally arrived in Egypt (the result of God’s provision through Joseph’s invitation to his family, Gen 45:8–9; 18). Four centuries later, the greatly expanded nation of Israel listened to another call to emigrate to an entirely new land. Moses, and then the Israelite elders, had to follow God’s call to lead the Israelites out of Egypt in spite of Egyptian oppression (4:29–31; 5:6–23).
    The people followed Moses, who followed God’s commands. They followed God directly, too, as He led them via His glory cloud (13:21–22; 14:9, 20, 24; 16:10). They also followed Him by following His instructions (16:4). Once they had broken His covenant by reverting to the idolatry of their past (Exod 32), they feared that they would no longer be able to follow Him. They came to realize that if God Himself would not go with them, they had better not go at all (33:15).
    Exodus demonstrates that it can never be advisable to take one’s own direction if God is available to lead. In Exodus, Israel learns that their proper role before God is that of follower. Following a divine leader would provide the highest good for the followers. Although Moses was Israel’s proximate leader, God was their supreme leader.
    The Israelites struggled to follow Moses consistently, especially when they couldn’t discern how a dangerous circumstance or inhospitable location could benefit them (15:24; 16:2–12; 17:3). However, God provided them with a path of reward and blessing and a chance to learn His own character and glory. Exodus 33:12–23 demonstrates that God is not merely present with His people to provide accurate directions and a safe trip. Rather, His presence allows them to:

    • know Him personally (33:11);
    • know His favor (33:12);
    • understand His character and will (33:13);
    • be certain of His establishment as a people in their own land (33:14);
    • know His special election (33:16);
    • be aware of His personal interest and favor (33:13, 17);
    • sense His glory (33:18);
    • experience the goodness, mercy, and compassion associated with His glorious presence (33:19).

    The Israelites made it to Sinai by following God. Likewise, they could only leave Sinai (33:1) and get to the promised land by following God. Only He could make them—a vulnerable, newly formed people—into a great nation in their own land, living lives centered on the only true God.

    9. Only One God Has Any Real Power (Exod 12:12)

    The Egyptians, like virtually all ancients, were polytheists, pantheists, and syncretists (see Wilson, “Egypt” in Frankfort, Before Philosophy). They believed in many different gods, that all aspects of nature partook of the divine and were in some sense coterminous with it, and that exclusivism in religion was foolish; the wise person tried to understand and benefit from all the worship he could manage of as many gods as he could get to know.
    At the time of the exodus, the Israelites had lived in the Egyptian culture for more than four centuries. It would have been very difficult for them to abandon such a long-term immersion in this culture and instead serve only one God. It would certainly seem impossible that such a huge conversion could happen quickly. Yet, Yahweh intended to show His chosen people that all other gods were false, that He alone was real, and that He held all the power that they had been attributing to the various gods and goddesses. He visibly showed them His absolute sovereignty so that they would be able to convert to the truth, leave Egypt, and become His covenant people at Sinai within months.
    In the book of Exodus, Yahweh demonstrates that the gods of Egypt—the greatest political and military power of the time—were empty nothings. He demonstrates His total control over all the aspects of the physical world that the Egyptians thought were the province of “the gods of Egypt.” He shows that the supposed gods of the Nile, sun, and wind have no real power (compare Zevit, “Three Ways to Look at the Ten Plagues”; Silverman, “Divinities and Deities in Ancient Egypt”). The Egyptian gods couldn’t even help the Egyptians prevail against slaves, and they couldn’t control the aspects of nature they were supposed to be connected with.
    As part of their religion, the Egyptians maintained a superior view of themselves and their land (Greenberg, Understanding Exodus, 20), and they hated foreigners. For example, the Egyptian queen Hatshepsut describes her driving out the Asiatic Hyksos: “I have made distant those whom the gods abominate” (ANET 231 a). Likewise, Pharaoh Kamose, in planning to attack the Hyksos, said, “… [Here] I sit associated with an Asiatic and a Nubian,” and “My wish is to save Egypt and smite the Asiatics” (ANET 232). Egyptians considered themselves the greatest of all peoples, and they considered their country to be the greatest place on the earth. To them, no place on earth had the advantages of their country. They had the best and the most powerful gods; their faithfulness to these gods had resulted in their prosperity, military might, and superior culture.
    Yahweh, a God previously unknown to the Egyptians (5:2), overturned all that. By the end of the plagues, the Egyptians—including Pharaoh himself—begged and bribed the Israelites to leave Egypt (10:7; 12:31–33). Their gods had failed in the face of the only real power in Egypt or anywhere else: the God of the Hebrews. Yahweh brought His people to Mount Sinai, where He gave them a covenant relationship with Himself and promised to dwell in their midst. No other god surfaces in Exodus. Even the golden calf of Exod 32 was intended to be a depiction of Yahweh. The book closes with a description of the way that God reminded the Israelites by day and by night of His glory (40:35–38).

    Douglas Stuart, “Exodus, Book of,” ed. John D. Barry et al., The Lexham Bible Dictionary (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015).

  • And when the men had come to [Jesus], they said, “John the Baptist has sent us to you, saying, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?’” And he answered them, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard.”

    The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Lk 7:20 & 22.

  • By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God.

    The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Heb 11:5.

  •  68       “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, 
     for he has visited and redeemed his people 
           69       and has raised up a horn of salvation for us 
     in the house of his servant David, 

    as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old, that we should be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us; to show the mercy promised to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant,the oath that he swore to our father Abraham, to grant us that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies,might serve him without fear,
    in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.

    The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Lk 1:68–75.

  • to remember his holy covenant, the oath that he swore to our father Abraham, to grant us that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.

    The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Lk 1:72–75.

  • I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh. And the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh.

    The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Ge 9:15.

  • Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him, “Behold, I establish my covenant with you and your offspring after you.”

    The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Ge 9:8–9.

  • Everything that is on the earth shall die.But I will establish my covenant with you,

    The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Ge 6:17–18.

  • PRE-THEME or Foundational Theme

    God’s encouragement continues in verses 5–8, and, as in 2:24, mention is made of his “remembering” the covenant with Abraham which means that God is about to take action. This is followed by a series of promises to Israel: “I will bring you out… I will free you… I will redeem you with an outstretched arm… I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God… I will bring you to the land.” In these statements the three major theological themes of Exodus—deliverance, the covenant, and the land of promise—are stressed.

    Walter A. Elwell, Evangelical Commentary on the Bible, vol. 3, Baker Reference Library (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1995), Ex 6:1.

    [See also Cline who seems to have invented this?]

  • Video 18

    Durham, in his commentary of Exodus, notes this theological underpinning: “God’s descendants in Israel has meaning for the whole family of humankind.”

  • Video 18 These are three themes we are seeing from Genesis:

    1. Descendants
    2. Relationship with God Established
    3. The Land

    Mark Gignilliat

  • Video 19 WHY IS THE LAW GIVEN

    “The purpose of the Law (the Torah/Law) is the formation of a priestly people; the Law is gracious in its character, a gracious gift to the people of God for the maintaining of the special relationship that God has established between God and His people Israel. “And Now I am going to give you the Law, a display people to show what it is like to be a people living for God.”As a kingdom of priests, they are missional. (See the Great Commission). Tell people the character of God.”

  • THEME 1: God Remembers His Covenant with Abraham, Isaac, & Jacob

  • The book of Exodus explicitly connects the creation with the sabbath as a sign of the perpetual covenant between God and the people of Israel (31:12ff.; cf. 20:8ff).

    Brevard S. Childs, Old Testament Theology in a Canonical Context (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1989), 36.

  • Through Leviticus God instructs His people in how He is to be worshiped. Leviticus continues a major theme of Exodus—that God is holy and His people are to be holy. This manual of worship is highly detailed but makes clear that details are important to God.

    Ted Cabal, Chad Owen Brand, E. Ray Clendenen, et al., The Apologetics Study Bible: Real Questions, Straight Answers, Stronger Faith (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2007), 151.

  • F. L. Cross. Cross argued that 1 Pet. 1:3–4:11 constituted the celebrant’s portion of a baptismal rite, and that the actual initiation takes place after 1:21. Cross’s view has not been widely accepted, due to forced exegesis and examples drawn from a later date (e.g., the Apostolic Tradition of Hippolytus). But his focus on the theme of exodus and Passover as a major emphasis in the letter has not been sufficiently explored. The paschal references in 1 Pet. 1 need to be placed in the context of developing Jewish exegesis of this most important text (Exod. 12) and event in the story of God’s people.

    Kevin J. Vanhoozer, Craig G. Bartholomew, Daniel J. Treier, et al., eds., Dictionary for Theological Interpretation of the Bible (London; Grand Rapids, MI: SPCK; Baker Academic, 2005), 581.

  • Whereas the Pentateuch and the Prophets—and, for that matter, many of the other books found in the Writings—focus on the key themes of exodus and salvation history, temple and cultus, and the covenant between Yahweh and his people, none of these are prominent themes in the Wisdom literature.

    J. A. Grant, “Wisdom and Covenant,” ed. Tremper Longman III and Peter Enns, Dictionary of the Old Testament: Wisdom, Poetry & Writings (Downers Grove, IL; Nottingham, England: IVP Academic; Inter-Varsity Press, 2008), 858–859.

  • A Covenant People (Exod 6:7)
    When God demanded that pharaoh allow Israel to leave Egypt, He referred to Israel as “my people” (5:1; 7:16; 8:1, 20, 21; 9:1, 13; 10:3). Yahweh identified Israel as His own people who needed to be closely bound to Him by a covenant. He would put this covenant into effect once He had led them out of harm into His sacred space. In both 6:6–8 and 19:4–6, God reiterates that the Israelites will be His special people who, in distinction from all other peoples of the earth, will belong to Him and accomplish His purposes. Exodus 19:6 describes them as “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” The essence of holiness is belonging to God; by belonging to God, the Israelites became holy, reflecting God’s character and obeying His purposes. No other nation in the ancient world ever claimed Yahweh as its God, and Yahweh never claimed any other nation as His people. This is not to say that He did not love and care for other nations; He simply chose Israel as the focus of His plan of redemption for the world.
    Under this covenant, Israel was the people group that, from the various ethnic groups that gathered at Sinai (12:38), agreed to accept God’s covenant and therefore benefit from His abiding presence among them (24:18–33:12). In Exodus, God’s full covenant with a nation—as opposed to a person or small group—emerges; the language of 6:7, “I will take you as my own people and I will be your God,” predicts the establishment of such a covenant (see Gen 17:7; Lev 26:12; Deut 7:6; 14:2; 27:9; 28:9; 29:13; Jer 11:4; et al).

    Douglas Stuart, “Exodus, Book of,” ed. John D. Barry et al., The Lexham Bible Dictionary (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015).

  • THEME 2: Divine Self-Disclosure (Answer the question, What is Your Name, God? Or, Who are you, God?)

  • Week 5 Notes from Video

    Summary of Video 18, Mark __

    Who is God? Who are you God? “I am a God who will be who I will be. You will know my name, you will see who I am, you will know the fullness of my name in my redemptive acts towards my people, both in the Exodus when I released them from slavery and bring them into the Promised Land, and preserve and guide them, and you will also know my identity and my name in the fullness of time when I pour out all things on my Son Jesus as He redeems Humanity for the sake of My own Glory!

    One of the DRIVING theological questions in the book of Exodus is, “God, who are you?” What kind of God are you?

  • True Israel knows it exists as a pilgrim people until the consummation of God’s oath. In the interim they also experience God’s blessings that encourage their faith. Human hope normally depends on poverty and uncertainty, but the hope of God’s people is also based on God’s track record and his triumphs, especially in the resurrection of Christ from the dead. The church’s witness to God’s victory in the future is based on a victory already achieved in history.

    Bruce K. Waltke and Charles Yu, An Old Testament Theology: An Exegetical, Canonical, and Thematic Approach (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2007), 316.

  • 2. Real Knowledge of God (Exod 6:6–8)

    Through repeating the statement “I am the LORD,” God emphasizes His self-disclosure to His people. Often, the Israelites communicate with God only by intermediaries; for example, Moses interacts with God on behalf of the people. Exodus also shows how the high priest will represent the people in his ritual actions of worship; through the priest, the people can have access to the (limited) presence of God and the benefits of that close proximity. Occasionally in Exodus, God shows His personal interest in His people via more than just one representative. For example, the group of elders confirm the Sinai covenant in His presence (24:9–11). At other times, they are known “by name” to Him, as the ephod’s breastpiece bears before Him their tribal names, symbolic of their membership in His family (28:12). Occasionally, God singles out an individual for service, suggesting that He has a personal knowledge of each of His people.
    Knowing God is not an emotive matter; it is reception into the family whose paterfamilias is God Himself, loving and benefiting the people He has made His own. In the book of Exodus, the Israelites do not become God’s people by their own actions, but because God kindly adopts them to Himself (e.g., Gen 12:7; 13:15–16; 21:12; 22:18; 24:7; 26:4; 28:14).

    Douglas Stuart, “Exodus, Book of,” ed. John D. Barry et al., The Lexham Bible Dictionary (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015).

{"cards":[{"_id":"690ab01ebbc880fda3000091","treeId":"69077e8dbbc880fda3000075","seq":7538720,"position":0.5,"parentId":null,"content":"Dr. Mark Gignilliat"},{"_id":"69077f7ebbc880fda3000078","treeId":"69077e8dbbc880fda3000075","seq":7537374,"position":1,"parentId":null,"content":"## Choose two themes that feature prominently in the Exodus narrative. \n\nFor each theme, do this:\n1. state how it was anticipated previously in Genesis and \n2. how it unfolds (perhaps differently) in the New Testament. \n\nIt would be helpful if you cite specific Scripture references where your chosen themes appear. Please use the reading and course videos to inform your post."},{"_id":"690fac62bbc880fda30000ef","treeId":"69077e8dbbc880fda3000075","seq":7541435,"position":0.00390625,"parentId":"69077f7ebbc880fda3000078","content":"And when the men had come to [Jesus], they said, “John the Baptist has sent us to you, saying, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?’” And he answered them, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard.\"\n\n\nThe Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Lk 7:20 & 22."},{"_id":"690fa6fdbbc880fda30000ee","treeId":"69077e8dbbc880fda3000075","seq":7541428,"position":0.0078125,"parentId":"69077f7ebbc880fda3000078","content":"By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God.\n\nThe Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Heb 11:5."},{"_id":"690ed509bbc880fda30000ed","treeId":"69077e8dbbc880fda3000075","seq":7541426,"position":0.015625,"parentId":"69077f7ebbc880fda3000078","content":" 68 “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, \n for he has visited and redeemed his people \n 69 and has raised up a horn of salvation for us \n in the house of his servant David, \nas he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old, that we should be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us; to show the mercy promised to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant,the oath that he swore to our father Abraham, to grant us that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies,might serve him without fear, \nin holiness and righteousness before him all our days. \n\n\nThe Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Lk 1:68–75."},{"_id":"690ebe7cbbc880fda30000ec","treeId":"69077e8dbbc880fda3000075","seq":7541081,"position":0.03125,"parentId":"69077f7ebbc880fda3000078","content":"to remember his holy covenant, the oath that he swore to our father Abraham, to grant us that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him all our days. \n\n\nThe Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Lk 1:72–75."},{"_id":"690e96cebbc880fda30000eb","treeId":"69077e8dbbc880fda3000075","seq":7541055,"position":0.0625,"parentId":"69077f7ebbc880fda3000078","content":"I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh. And the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh.\n\nThe Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Ge 9:15."},{"_id":"690e8739bbc880fda30000ea","treeId":"69077e8dbbc880fda3000075","seq":7541003,"position":0.125,"parentId":"69077f7ebbc880fda3000078","content":"Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him, “Behold, I establish my covenant with you and your offspring after you.\" \n\n\nThe Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Ge 9:8–9."},{"_id":"690e3932bbc880fda30000e9","treeId":"69077e8dbbc880fda3000075","seq":7540987,"position":0.25,"parentId":"69077f7ebbc880fda3000078","content":"Everything that is on the earth shall die.But I will establish my covenant with you,\n\n\nThe Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Ge 6:17–18."},{"_id":"690aa786bbc880fda300008f","treeId":"69077e8dbbc880fda3000075","seq":7538700,"position":0.5,"parentId":"69077f7ebbc880fda3000078","content":"## PRE-THEME or Foundational Theme\nGod’s encouragement continues in verses 5–8, and, as in 2:24, mention is made of his “remembering” the covenant with Abraham which means that God is about to take action. This is followed by a series of promises to Israel: “I will bring you out... I will free you... I will redeem you with an outstretched arm... I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God... I will bring you to the land.” In these statements the three major theological themes of Exodus—deliverance, the covenant, and the land of promise—are stressed.\n\nWalter A. Elwell, Evangelical Commentary on the Bible, vol. 3, Baker Reference Library (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1995), Ex 6:1.\n\n[See also Cline who seems to have invented this?]\n"},{"_id":"690d7561bbc880fda3000093","treeId":"69077e8dbbc880fda3000075","seq":7540671,"position":0.5625,"parentId":"69077f7ebbc880fda3000078","content":"# Video 18\n\nDurham, in his commentary of Exodus, notes this theological underpinning: “God’s descendants in Israel has meaning for the whole family of humankind.” "},{"_id":"690ab49fbbc880fda3000092","treeId":"69077e8dbbc880fda3000075","seq":7538738,"position":0.625,"parentId":"69077f7ebbc880fda3000078","content":"## Video 18 These are three themes we are seeing from Genesis:\n1. Descendants\n2. Relationship with God Established\n3. The Land\n\nMark Gignilliat\n"},{"_id":"690aae48bbc880fda3000090","treeId":"69077e8dbbc880fda3000075","seq":7538719,"position":0.75,"parentId":"69077f7ebbc880fda3000078","content":"## Video 19 WHY IS THE LAW GIVEN\n\n\"The purpose of the Law (the Torah/Law) is the formation of a priestly people; the Law is gracious in its character, a gracious gift to the people of God for the maintaining of the special relationship that God has established between God and His people Israel. “And Now I am going to give you the Law, a display people to show what it is like to be a people living for God.”As a kingdom of priests, they are missional. (See the Great Commission). Tell people the character of God.\"\n"},{"_id":"6907815bbbc880fda3000079","treeId":"69077e8dbbc880fda3000075","seq":7538704,"position":1,"parentId":"69077f7ebbc880fda3000078","content":"## THEME 1: God Remembers His Covenant with Abraham, Isaac, & Jacob"},{"_id":"690781cfbbc880fda300007a","treeId":"69077e8dbbc880fda3000075","seq":7537520,"position":1,"parentId":"6907815bbbc880fda3000079","content":"## THEME 2: Divine Self-Disclosure (Answer the question, What is Your Name, God? Or, Who are you, God?)"},{"_id":"690a3837bbc880fda3000087","treeId":"69077e8dbbc880fda3000075","seq":7541344,"position":2,"parentId":"6907815bbbc880fda3000079","content":"## Week 5 Notes from Video\n\n### Summary of Video 18, Mark ____\n\nWho is God? Who are you God? “I am a God who will be who I will be. You will know my name, you will see who I am, you will know the fullness of my name in my redemptive acts towards my people, both in the Exodus when I released them from slavery and bring them into the Promised Land, and preserve and guide them, and you will also know my identity and my name in the fullness of time when I pour out all things on my Son Jesus as He redeems Humanity for the sake of My own Glory!\n\nOne of the DRIVING theological questions in the book of Exodus is, “God, who are you?” What kind of God are you?"},{"_id":"690a9579bbc880fda300008b","treeId":"69077e8dbbc880fda3000075","seq":7538665,"position":3,"parentId":"6907815bbbc880fda3000079","content":"True Israel knows it exists as a pilgrim people until the consummation of God’s oath. In the interim they also experience God’s blessings that encourage their faith. Human hope normally depends on poverty and uncertainty, but the hope of God’s people is also based on God’s track record and his triumphs, especially in the resurrection of Christ from the dead. The church’s witness to God’s victory in the future is based on a victory already achieved in history.\n\nBruce K. Waltke and Charles Yu, An Old Testament Theology: An Exegetical, Canonical, and Thematic Approach (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2007), 316."},{"_id":"690aa226bbc880fda300008d","treeId":"69077e8dbbc880fda3000075","seq":7538697,"position":4,"parentId":"6907815bbbc880fda3000079","content":"## 2. Real Knowledge of God (Exod 6:6–8)\nThrough repeating the statement “I am the LORD,” God emphasizes His self-disclosure to His people. Often, the Israelites communicate with God only by intermediaries; for example, Moses interacts with God on behalf of the people. Exodus also shows how the high priest will represent the people in his ritual actions of worship; through the priest, the people can have access to the (limited) presence of God and the benefits of that close proximity. Occasionally in Exodus, God shows His personal interest in His people via more than just one representative. For example, the group of elders confirm the Sinai covenant in His presence (24:9–11). At other times, they are known “by name” to Him, as the ephod’s breastpiece bears before Him their tribal names, symbolic of their membership in His family (28:12). Occasionally, God singles out an individual for service, suggesting that He has a personal knowledge of each of His people.\nKnowing God is not an emotive matter; it is reception into the family whose paterfamilias is God Himself, loving and benefiting the people He has made His own. In the book of Exodus, the Israelites do not become God’s people by their own actions, but because God kindly adopts them to Himself (e.g., Gen 12:7; 13:15–16; 21:12; 22:18; 24:7; 26:4; 28:14).\n\n\nDouglas Stuart, “Exodus, Book of,” ed. John D. Barry et al., The Lexham Bible Dictionary (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015)."},{"_id":"690a347cbbc880fda3000085","treeId":"69077e8dbbc880fda3000075","seq":7537517,"position":2,"parentId":"69077f7ebbc880fda3000078","content":"The book of Exodus explicitly connects the creation with the sabbath as a sign of the perpetual covenant between God and the people of Israel (31:12ff.; cf. 20:8ff).\n\nBrevard S. Childs, Old Testament Theology in a Canonical Context (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1989), 36."},{"_id":"690a852cbbc880fda3000088","treeId":"69077e8dbbc880fda3000075","seq":7538171,"position":3,"parentId":"69077f7ebbc880fda3000078","content":"Through Leviticus God instructs His people in how He is to be worshiped. Leviticus continues a major theme of Exodus—that God is holy and His people are to be holy. This manual of worship is highly detailed but makes clear that details are important to God.\n\nTed Cabal, Chad Owen Brand, E. Ray Clendenen, et al., The Apologetics Study Bible: Real Questions, Straight Answers, Stronger Faith (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2007), 151."},{"_id":"690a86fbbbc880fda3000089","treeId":"69077e8dbbc880fda3000075","seq":7538174,"position":4,"parentId":"69077f7ebbc880fda3000078","content":"F. L. Cross. Cross argued that 1 Pet. 1:3–4:11 constituted the celebrant’s portion of a baptismal rite, and that the actual initiation takes place after 1:21. Cross’s view has not been widely accepted, due to forced exegesis and examples drawn from a later date (e.g., the Apostolic Tradition of Hippolytus). But his focus on the theme of exodus and Passover as a major emphasis in the letter has not been sufficiently explored. The paschal references in 1 Pet. 1 need to be placed in the context of developing Jewish exegesis of this most important text (Exod. 12) and event in the story of God’s people.\n\nKevin J. Vanhoozer, Craig G. Bartholomew, Daniel J. Treier, et al., eds., Dictionary for Theological Interpretation of the Bible (London; Grand Rapids, MI: SPCK; Baker Academic, 2005), 581."},{"_id":"690a88c6bbc880fda300008a","treeId":"69077e8dbbc880fda3000075","seq":7538175,"position":5,"parentId":"69077f7ebbc880fda3000078","content":"Whereas the Pentateuch and the Prophets—and, for that matter, many of the other books found in the Writings—focus on the key themes of exodus and salvation history, temple and cultus, and the covenant between Yahweh and his people, none of these are prominent themes in the Wisdom literature.\n\nJ. A. Grant, “Wisdom and Covenant,” ed. Tremper Longman III and Peter Enns, Dictionary of the Old Testament: Wisdom, Poetry & Writings (Downers Grove, IL; Nottingham, England: IVP Academic; Inter-Varsity Press, 2008), 858–859."},{"_id":"690aa3b9bbc880fda300008e","treeId":"69077e8dbbc880fda3000075","seq":7538684,"position":6,"parentId":"69077f7ebbc880fda3000078","content":"\nA Covenant People (Exod 6:7)\nWhen God demanded that pharaoh allow Israel to leave Egypt, He referred to Israel as “my people” (5:1; 7:16; 8:1, 20, 21; 9:1, 13; 10:3). Yahweh identified Israel as His own people who needed to be closely bound to Him by a covenant. He would put this covenant into effect once He had led them out of harm into His sacred space. In both 6:6–8 and 19:4–6, God reiterates that the Israelites will be His special people who, in distinction from all other peoples of the earth, will belong to Him and accomplish His purposes. Exodus 19:6 describes them as “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” The essence of holiness is belonging to God; by belonging to God, the Israelites became holy, reflecting God’s character and obeying His purposes. No other nation in the ancient world ever claimed Yahweh as its God, and Yahweh never claimed any other nation as His people. This is not to say that He did not love and care for other nations; He simply chose Israel as the focus of His plan of redemption for the world.\nUnder this covenant, Israel was the people group that, from the various ethnic groups that gathered at Sinai (12:38), agreed to accept God’s covenant and therefore benefit from His abiding presence among them (24:18–33:12). In Exodus, God’s full covenant with a nation—as opposed to a person or small group—emerges; the language of 6:7, “I will take you as my own people and I will be your God,” predicts the establishment of such a covenant (see Gen 17:7; Lev 26:12; Deut 7:6; 14:2; 27:9; 28:9; 29:13; Jer 11:4; et al).\n\n\nDouglas Stuart, “Exodus, Book of,” ed. John D. Barry et al., The Lexham Bible Dictionary (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015)."},{"_id":"690da187bbc880fda30000e8","treeId":"69077e8dbbc880fda3000075","seq":7540716,"position":1.5,"parentId":null,"content":"the presence of Yahweh as the central theme of Exodus.\n\nDavid S. Dockery, Trent C. Butler, Christopher L. Church, et al., Holman Bible Handbook (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 1992), 137."},{"_id":"6909e9dabbc880fda300007d","treeId":"69077e8dbbc880fda3000075","seq":7537376,"position":2,"parentId":null,"content":"## Theme of Pentateuch is Both/And\n\nI think, however, that The Theme of the Pentateuch is something of an exception among literary studies in its very strong concentration at the same time upon theology.\n\nDavid J. A. Clines, The Theme of the Pentateuch, Second Edition, vol. 10, Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Supplement Series (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2001), 129."},{"_id":"6909dac8bbc880fda300007c","treeId":"69077e8dbbc880fda3000075","seq":7537373,"position":3,"parentId":null,"content":"## What Cline Sees as the Primary Theme of the Pentateuch\n\n\"What I realize now, though I could not have recognized it at the time, is that The Theme of the Pentateuch is a hybrid of rhetorical criticism and biblical theology.\n\nDavid J. A. Clines, The Theme of the Pentateuch, Second Edition, vol. 10, Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Supplement Series (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2001), 128."},{"_id":"69078b9dbbc880fda300007b","treeId":"69077e8dbbc880fda3000075","seq":7537346,"position":4,"parentId":null,"content":"Likewise in ch. 6 the deliverance from Egypt will be an expression of the divine relationship: ‘I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob; I will deliver you, and I will take you for my people, and I will be your God; and you shall know that I am Yahweh your God, who has brought you out …’ (6:3, 6f.). Characteristically, throughout the confrontation with the pharaoh Israel begins to be described by Yahweh as ‘my people’ (7:4, 16; 8:1; cf. 3:10; 4:22), whose future is to lie in their relationship of ‘service’ to Yahweh: ‘Let my people go, that they may serve me’ (7:16; 8:1, 20; 9:1; etc.). And Yahweh begins to describe himself as ‘God of the Hebrews’ (7:16; 9:1; 10:3; cf. 5:3). In short, the whole series of negotiations between Moses and the pharaoh (chs. 5–11) concerns permission for the Hebrews to formalize their relationship with their God by ‘serving’ him cultically with sacrificial offerings. Of what precise nature the offerings are to be they do not know; Moses announces, as if programatically for Leviticus: ‘Our cattle must go with us … for we must take of them to serve Yahweh our God, and we do not know with what we must serve Yahweh until we arrive there’ (10:26).5\n\nDavid J. A. Clines, The Theme of the Pentateuch, Second Edition, vol. 10, Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Supplement Series (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2001), 51."},{"_id":"6909f9c1bbc880fda300007e","treeId":"69077e8dbbc880fda3000075","seq":7537366,"position":5,"parentId":null,"content":"## How Biblical Theology Got a Bad Rap\n\n‘Biblical theology’ has acquired something of a bad name since the 1970s. Even in 1976 James Barr was saying that the biblical theology movement belonged to the past history of biblical studies.4 I find it very hard to see what the problem was, except that many exponents of biblical theology were rather uncritical in drawing no distinction between what the Bible said, or was alleged to have said, and what was reasonable for us in a very different age to believe. Some had urged that modern believers should ‘think biblically’, using the thought categories of ancient Israelites instead of twentieth-century people, as if that were possible, or as if the writing of the Bible in a particular culture validated the thought patterns of that culture for all people of all time. Others had used their own reconstructions of the theology of the Bible to impose certain beliefs upon others as authoritative and divinely inspired. Such views were extreme examples of biblical theology; biblical theology itself seems to me still a perfectly acceptable enterprise if it means an exposition of what the Bible (or parts of it, like the Pentateuch) says on theological matters, or even if it includes a recommendation to people of our time to adopt theological ideas expressed in the Bible.\n\nDavid J. A. Clines, The Theme of the Pentateuch, Second Edition, vol. 10, Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Supplement Series (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2001), 129–130."},{"_id":"6909fc1fbbc880fda300007f","treeId":"69077e8dbbc880fda3000075","seq":7537363,"position":6,"parentId":null,"content":"## Balancing Biblical Theology\n\nToday I would take a more quizzical line about the theology of the Bible, as I will say in more detail below. But the process of reading the Bible in order to develop one’s own theological position is a very reasonable one for religious believers of various traditions, so long of course as they do not claim that their readings are normative and beyond challenge.\n\nDavid J. A. Clines, The Theme of the Pentateuch, Second Edition, vol. 10, Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Supplement Series (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2001), 130."},{"_id":"6909fd01bbc880fda3000080","treeId":"69077e8dbbc880fda3000075","seq":7537360,"position":7,"parentId":null,"content":"That was not the case with The Theme of the Pentateuch, I hope; its theological proposals were meant to be suggestive rather than normative.\n\nDavid J. A. Clines, The Theme of the Pentateuch, Second Edition, vol. 10, Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Supplement Series (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2001), 130."},{"_id":"690a015abbc880fda3000081","treeId":"69077e8dbbc880fda3000075","seq":7537361,"position":8,"parentId":null,"content":"## Brilliant View of Modern and Post-Modern Gravity We All Embrace At Reading\n\n\nThe Theme of the Pentateuch exemplifies the interests of the modern period, in which texts have unity and determinate meaning, and in which texts are to be viewed as the expression of their author’s consciousness.\nToday, since I think that we have moved into a postmodern age,5 I would be much more careful in speaking of meaning. I would not now be speaking of ‘the meaning’ of the Pentateuch nor claiming that ‘theme encapsulates the meaning of the work’ (p. 24), as if there was only one meaning for the Pentateuch. Nowadays I tend rather to believe that texts do not have meaning in themselves, and that what we call meaning is something that comes into being at the meeting point of text and reader. If that is so, then meaning is reader-dependent and reader-specific, and there are in principle as many meanings as there are readers. This is really no more than what we commonly say when we confess that ‘it doesn’t mean that for me’—allowing that the same words may have different meanings for different readers. But making it into a theory of meaning and integrating it into our interpretational praxis moves us out of the modern world, where texts have meanings, into the postmodern world, where the meaning of meaning is decidedly problematic.\n\n\nDavid J. A. Clines, The Theme of the Pentateuch, Second Edition, vol. 10, Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Supplement Series (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2001), 130–131."},{"_id":"690a09abbbc880fda3000082","treeId":"69077e8dbbc880fda3000075","seq":7537393,"position":9,"parentId":null,"content":"Meaning was therefore not a simple graspable object, but something in a certain flux. And the location of meaning was not being sought solely in the text itself, but in an interaction between the reader or interpreter and the text. [Jeff, see Tim Lawson's explanation of Art].\n\nDavid J. A. Clines, The Theme of the Pentateuch, Second Edition, vol. 10, Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Supplement Series (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2001), 131."},{"_id":"690a0eabbbc880fda3000083","treeId":"69077e8dbbc880fda3000075","seq":7537395,"position":10,"parentId":null,"content":"Obviously, such a statement does not square with the claim implied in the title of this book. I now think that there is more than one way of saying ‘what the Pentateuch is all about’, though I still think that the theme of the fulfilment and non-fulfilment of the threefold promise is one fruitful way of talking about the Pentateuch.\n\nDavid J. A. Clines, The Theme of the Pentateuch, Second Edition, vol. 10, Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Supplement Series (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2001), 132.\n"},{"_id":"690a1582bbc880fda3000084","treeId":"69077e8dbbc880fda3000075","seq":7537457,"position":11,"parentId":null,"content":"## The Inescapable Logic of Post-Modern Reading (Even if I disagree, Cline's summary is not disagreeable).\n\nFinally, the postmodern turn has put an end to the ‘modern’ idea that the meaning of a text is the meaning intended by the author. That is no doubt the common-sense understanding of meaning, and it is constantly being reinforced whenever we act as authors, saying what we mean and intending to say what we mean and being annoyed if people hearing or reading us do not get the message we intended to mean. Indeed, for many kinds of everyday communication we can manage quite well on the assumption that words and sentences and texts contain the meanings their authors intended to put into them. But on a more theoretical plane, it becomes more and more evident that texts have a life of their own, regardless of what their authors intended by them, and that—more to the point—if readers are making meaning from the texts they encounter, the idea of responsibility to the author, who is in many cases unknown or even unknowable, and to that author’s intention, of which perhaps the author personally had only a vague knowledge, fades away.\n\nDavid J. A. Clines, The Theme of the Pentateuch, Second Edition, vol. 10, Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Supplement Series (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2001), 133."},{"_id":"690a9b50bbc880fda300008c","treeId":"69077e8dbbc880fda3000075","seq":7538682,"position":12,"parentId":null,"content":"# Nine Themes of Exodus\n\n## 1. Salvation, Freedom from Bondage (Exod 6:6)\nExodus is not about liberation, political freedom, or religious freedom; rather, it focuses on deliverance from bad servitude to good servitude. The Israelites served (עבד, 'bd) Pharaoh, but God called them to serve (עבד, 'bd) Him instead. However, the term עבד ('bd) can mean both “serve” and “worship.” Exodus doesn’t simply detail a people needing freedom from the control of a national leader; it records a good, divine national (and universal) leader rescuing His chosen people from a bad, human national leader.\nIn Exodus, only God can bring about freedom from bondage. The Israelites are portrayed as having no chance to save themselves. God must make the demands (“Let my people go”); the people on their own, with or without Moses, would never have dared to ask. Moreover, He makes those demands through His chosen representative, Moses, so that the people cannot take credit for having thought up the idea themselves. When the people are confronted again with the possibility of being opposed by the Egyptians, they become afraid. Indeed, later, in the wilderness, when the going becomes hard, some of them rationalize that they were better off in bondage in Egypt (Num 11).\nExodus reveals God as both savior and lord for Israel and all who will join Israel (as many did upon seeing His mighty acts against the Egyptians; 12:38).\n\n## 2. Real Knowledge of God (Exod 6:6–8)\nThrough repeating the statement “I am the LORD,” God emphasizes His self-disclosure to His people. Often, the Israelites communicate with God only by intermediaries; for example, Moses interacts with God on behalf of the people. Exodus also shows how the high priest will represent the people in his ritual actions of worship; through the priest, the people can have access to the (limited) presence of God and the benefits of that close proximity. Occasionally in Exodus, God shows His personal interest in His people via more than just one representative. For example, the group of elders confirm the Sinai covenant in His presence (24:9–11). At other times, they are known “by name” to Him, as the ephod’s breastpiece bears before Him their tribal names, symbolic of their membership in His family (28:12). Occasionally, God singles out an individual for service, suggesting that He has a personal knowledge of each of His people.\nKnowing God is not an emotive matter; it is reception into the family whose paterfamilias is God Himself, loving and benefiting the people He has made His own. In the book of Exodus, the Israelites do not become God’s people by their own actions, but because God kindly adopts them to Himself (e.g., Gen 12:7; 13:15–16; 21:12; 22:18; 24:7; 26:4; 28:14).\n\n## 3. A Covenant People (Exod 6:7)\nWhen God demanded that pharaoh allow Israel to leave Egypt, He referred to Israel as “my people” (5:1; 7:16; 8:1, 20, 21; 9:1, 13; 10:3). Yahweh identified Israel as His own people who needed to be closely bound to Him by a covenant. He would put this covenant into effect once He had led them out of harm into His sacred space. In both 6:6–8 and 19:4–6, God reiterates that the Israelites will be His special people who, in distinction from all other peoples of the earth, will belong to Him and accomplish His purposes. Exodus 19:6 describes them as “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” The essence of holiness is belonging to God; by belonging to God, the Israelites became holy, reflecting God’s character and obeying His purposes. No other nation in the ancient world ever claimed Yahweh as its God, and Yahweh never claimed any other nation as His people. This is not to say that He did not love and care for other nations; He simply chose Israel as the focus of His plan of redemption for the world.\nUnder this covenant, Israel was the people group that, from the various ethnic groups that gathered at Sinai (12:38), agreed to accept God’s covenant and therefore benefit from His abiding presence among them (24:18–33:12). In Exodus, God’s full covenant with a nation—as opposed to a person or small group—emerges; the language of 6:7, “I will take you as my own people and I will be your God,” predicts the establishment of such a covenant (see Gen 17:7; Lev 26:12; Deut 7:6; 14:2; 27:9; 28:9; 29:13; Jer 11:4; et al).\n\n## 4. A Promised Land (Exod 6:8)\nSince the time of the patriarchs, Israel had hoped to occupy a land of its own because God revealed it as His intention and reiterated it to each successive generation (Gen 12:7; 15:7; 15:18; 17:8; 24:7; 26:3; 28:15; 48:3; 50:24). In Exodus, that divine promise forms the basis for the people’s expectation of deliverance from Egypt (3:8). After they are delivered, the whole people with all their possessions begin a journey to occupy that new land, metaphorically described as “flowing with milk and honey” (3:8, 17; 13:5; 33:3).\nIn Egypt, the Israelites were noncitizen slaves without any land of their own or any human hope of having any. But God’s promise (2:23–25) meant that He would lead them forth by a mighty hand from the domination of the earth’s greatest superpower to a place of permanent settlement (15:13–17). At Sinai, God ordered the Israelites in advance to prepare to leave; they, in turn, asked Him to accompany them, lest it be a journey without blessing to a place without rest (2:23–25). Thus, it was essential for them to construct the tabernacle. Without the tabernacle they would not have proper housing for the symbols of God’s presence among them or a place to gather for the corporate worship. More than one third of Exodus (Exod 25–40) is constituted by accounts of the tabernacle. The Israelites had to properly construct the tabernacle as a fully portable structure so that it could be broken down and transported as God led His people on each new leg of their journey. Likewise, it had to be simple enough to set up that they could use it for worship promptly upon arriving at a stopping place. The tabernacle was therefore a tent—not a temple.\nThe Israelites knew that they would eventually be given a land that they did not deserve in a place where none of them had ever lived. Only their distant ancestors had viewed the land that God designed to be their home. To occupy it, they would have to dispossess the people currently living there—which would only be possible if God should take the task upon Himself. This is exactly what He promises to do (2:25–32). Until the validity of that promise is absolutely certain via reiteration after the great covenant-breaking sin of Exod 32, the Israelites are afraid to seek to invade the promised land. It makes sense to go there only if it is also Yahweh’s land, where He will abide in their midst.\n\n## 5. The Limited Presence of God in Israel’s Midst\nExodus carefully presents the concept of the presence of God as a limited presence. God shows Himself to His covenant people by symbols (e.g., a visible brilliance associated with His glory; the gold-surfaced ark of the covenant) behind barriers that keep His people from direct access Him (e.g., 3:5; 19:12; 28:43), such as:\n\n • Distance—God normally comes to the top of Mount Sinai while the people are strictly forbidden to go anywhere above the base of the mountain.\n • Darkness—God usually “appears” within a thick, dark, cloud that conceals most of His glory and through which no human eyes can penetrate.\n • The tabernacle itself—it had layers of thick curtains and animal hide covers and a special floor-to-ceiling curtain shielding the ark from the view of everyone, even priests.\n\nWhen the Israelites disassembled the tabernacle and carried its component parts, they wrapped the ark in its shielding curtain so that no one could see it (Exod 40:3). With the exception of the high priest annually (Heb 9:25), no Israelite ever saw the ark once it had been constructed and placed in the tabernacle. They took on faith that the ark existed: what they saw carried as they traveled was something wrapped up in layers of curtain and hide, out of which poles protruded; they never saw the ark or its contents. God symbolized His presence by that most holy object, the ark, but kept it hidden from His people at all times by barriers.\n\n## 6. Idols vs. a Covenant God (Exod 25:21–22)\nIdolatry tried to solve the challenge of believing in an unseen god by creating statues and other depictions that represented a god or goddess. Yet when worshipers reduce God to a manufactured object, they limit His greatness. Invisibility does not place limits on God’s greatness—it prohibits even the depiction of limitation of Him by forbidding any likeness at all. If God is omnipresent, He should not be given a shape that can be thought to confine Him or concentrate Him somewhere. Thus, the ark of the covenant is a place above which God may be met, but not a place to which God is limited.\nIf God is omnipotent, He should not be depicted as smaller than any part of His creation. No idol can be as large as God is, and therefore any idol must automatically suggest something of a smallness in God—a limitation of some sort to His stature. Recovered ancient Near Eastern statues are usually smaller than a typical human. For polytheistic pagans, the size of idols was not a problem. Pagans didn’t think of their gods as bigger than creation, or anywhere near that size. They believed that a large number of gods and goddesses occupied only parts of the earth and sky—no single god dominated all things. Depicting a god or goddess on a small scale corresponded to the belief that all gods were smaller than the world as a whole.\nGod is aware of all events, and He should not be portrayed as having only one set of eyes or ears, or one mouth to speak in one direction to one group of people. When Zechariah (Zech 3:9; 4:10) and John (Rev 5:6) speak of God’s many eyes, they symbolize that God’s omniscience means that He cannot be depicted accurately or helpfully by a typical idol. His easy awareness of all things at once makes Him a subject for which idolatry is inappropriate. If God is the only wise God, He should not be shown in the same manner that the other gods and goddesses are shown in pagan idolatry. Exodus helps readers understand how God can be symbolized, though never idolized.\nThe ark, like the tabernacle itself, was a container. It was not a likeness but a place for keeping the tablets, manna, and Aaron’s staff—items that represented not a single person, but a relationship between God and His people. This was signified primarily by the two tablets of the testimony or covenant—thus the term “the ark of the covenant.” The word, which was inside the ark, revealed God to His people. Cross argues that covenants are not mere contracts but arrangements that bring the parties into virtual kinship relationships—which includes the obligations and arrangements that families have (see Cross, “Kinship and Covenant in Ancient Israel”; compare Ackerman, “The Personal is Political,” 437–58). Humans know God through His revealed truth, which, if believed and kept, has the power to solidify a relationship that will last forever.\n\n## 7. The Necessity of Law (Exod 19:5; 20:20)\nGod provided the written law as an objective means of guidance. Human law teaches people how to live peacefully and productively within a community. Divine law expands on this by teaching people how to be holy within a covenant (kinship) relationship with a holy God. Those who follow divine law will gain an eternal relationship with God. This relationship leads the individual away from simply temporal pleasures and guides them toward eternal life in a setting where the noblest desires of life are actually provided. Following the law allows a person to become part of the family of God.\nAncients were attracted to pagan idolatry partly because it did not require ethical living; it merely demanded frequent, generous sacrifices. In contrast, Yahweh insisted that the Israelites constantly obey His law—predominately, His Ten Commandments (Exod 20). No Israelite could draw near to God without agreeing to live according to the standard of ethics in the law. The law by itself, however, could not save—it merely provided the standards by which someone who was saved by faith should respond to Yahweh (compare Rom 2:27–29).\nExodus provides divine law in a covenant framework; it starts with the Ten Words that summarize everything, followed by the Covenant Code (Exod 21–23), which gives details and examples of how the Israelites were to perform and enforce the Law. Exodus then devotes the greatest amount of its “legal content” to worship, the basic, and ongoing responsibility of the covenant people. It provides instructions for the design, manufacture, and erection of the tabernacle (Exod 25–40). The Law extends into the remainder of the Pentateuch; Leviticus and Numbers complete the “Sinai” part of the Mosaic covenant, while Deuteronomy completes the rest via renewal of the covenant for a new generation.\nIsrael had to obey the covenant that begins in Exod 20 if they wished to enjoy God’s favor. The law was not optional; all the people were required to assent, even in advance (19:8; 24:3, 7). Exodus thus demonstrates that God does not relate to His people without expecting them to prove their loyalty by keeping His commands. His people are real citizens of a divine kingdom that has laws that must be kept. They are vassals of a great sovereign who has required obedience of them for their benefit. The laws of Exodus spell out both the obligations and the benefits.\n\n## 8. The Necessity of Following God (Exod 40:36–38)\nThe final words of the book of Exodus (40:36–38) close a long story of following God. Exodus begins with a review of the way that Israel originally arrived in Egypt (the result of God’s provision through Joseph’s invitation to his family, Gen 45:8–9; 18). Four centuries later, the greatly expanded nation of Israel listened to another call to emigrate to an entirely new land. Moses, and then the Israelite elders, had to follow God’s call to lead the Israelites out of Egypt in spite of Egyptian oppression (4:29–31; 5:6–23).\nThe people followed Moses, who followed God’s commands. They followed God directly, too, as He led them via His glory cloud (13:21–22; 14:9, 20, 24; 16:10). They also followed Him by following His instructions (16:4). Once they had broken His covenant by reverting to the idolatry of their past (Exod 32), they feared that they would no longer be able to follow Him. They came to realize that if God Himself would not go with them, they had better not go at all (33:15).\nExodus demonstrates that it can never be advisable to take one’s own direction if God is available to lead. In Exodus, Israel learns that their proper role before God is that of follower. Following a divine leader would provide the highest good for the followers. Although Moses was Israel’s proximate leader, God was their supreme leader.\nThe Israelites struggled to follow Moses consistently, especially when they couldn’t discern how a dangerous circumstance or inhospitable location could benefit them (15:24; 16:2–12; 17:3). However, God provided them with a path of reward and blessing and a chance to learn His own character and glory. Exodus 33:12–23 demonstrates that God is not merely present with His people to provide accurate directions and a safe trip. Rather, His presence allows them to:\n\n • know Him personally (33:11);\n • know His favor (33:12);\n • understand His character and will (33:13);\n • be certain of His establishment as a people in their own land (33:14);\n • know His special election (33:16);\n • be aware of His personal interest and favor (33:13, 17);\n • sense His glory (33:18);\n • experience the goodness, mercy, and compassion associated with His glorious presence (33:19).\n\nThe Israelites made it to Sinai by following God. Likewise, they could only leave Sinai (33:1) and get to the promised land by following God. Only He could make them—a vulnerable, newly formed people—into a great nation in their own land, living lives centered on the only true God.\n\n## 9. Only One God Has Any Real Power (Exod 12:12)\nThe Egyptians, like virtually all ancients, were polytheists, pantheists, and syncretists (see Wilson, “Egypt” in Frankfort, Before Philosophy). They believed in many different gods, that all aspects of nature partook of the divine and were in some sense coterminous with it, and that exclusivism in religion was foolish; the wise person tried to understand and benefit from all the worship he could manage of as many gods as he could get to know.\nAt the time of the exodus, the Israelites had lived in the Egyptian culture for more than four centuries. It would have been very difficult for them to abandon such a long-term immersion in this culture and instead serve only one God. It would certainly seem impossible that such a huge conversion could happen quickly. Yet, Yahweh intended to show His chosen people that all other gods were false, that He alone was real, and that He held all the power that they had been attributing to the various gods and goddesses. He visibly showed them His absolute sovereignty so that they would be able to convert to the truth, leave Egypt, and become His covenant people at Sinai within months.\nIn the book of Exodus, Yahweh demonstrates that the gods of Egypt—the greatest political and military power of the time—were empty nothings. He demonstrates His total control over all the aspects of the physical world that the Egyptians thought were the province of “the gods of Egypt.” He shows that the supposed gods of the Nile, sun, and wind have no real power (compare Zevit, “Three Ways to Look at the Ten Plagues”; Silverman, “Divinities and Deities in Ancient Egypt”). The Egyptian gods couldn’t even help the Egyptians prevail against slaves, and they couldn’t control the aspects of nature they were supposed to be connected with.\nAs part of their religion, the Egyptians maintained a superior view of themselves and their land (Greenberg, Understanding Exodus, 20), and they hated foreigners. For example, the Egyptian queen Hatshepsut describes her driving out the Asiatic Hyksos: “I have made distant those whom the gods abominate” (ANET 231 a). Likewise, Pharaoh Kamose, in planning to attack the Hyksos, said, “… [Here] I sit associated with an Asiatic and a Nubian,” and “My wish is to save Egypt and smite the Asiatics” (ANET 232). Egyptians considered themselves the greatest of all peoples, and they considered their country to be the greatest place on the earth. To them, no place on earth had the advantages of their country. They had the best and the most powerful gods; their faithfulness to these gods had resulted in their prosperity, military might, and superior culture.\nYahweh, a God previously unknown to the Egyptians (5:2), overturned all that. By the end of the plagues, the Egyptians—including Pharaoh himself—begged and bribed the Israelites to leave Egypt (10:7; 12:31–33). Their gods had failed in the face of the only real power in Egypt or anywhere else: the God of the Hebrews. Yahweh brought His people to Mount Sinai, where He gave them a covenant relationship with Himself and promised to dwell in their midst. No other god surfaces in Exodus. Even the golden calf of Exod 32 was intended to be a depiction of Yahweh. The book closes with a description of the way that God reminded the Israelites by day and by night of His glory (40:35–38).\n\n\nDouglas Stuart, “Exodus, Book of,” ed. John D. Barry et al., The Lexham Bible Dictionary (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015)."}],"tree":{"_id":"69077e8dbbc880fda3000075","name":"OT1 DF POST #2_Themes in Exodus","publicUrl":"69077e8dbbc880fda3000075"}}