Discussion in 'Bible Study' started by Ghid, Oct 9, 2014.

  1. Exodus 1-

    Joseph served a Pharaoh. That Pharaoh died. Exodus calls Jacob’s family Hebrews. The next Pharaoh enslaved the Hebrews. The Pharaoh used their labor to build two cities, which suggests the Hebrews were a large population. Pharaoh's fear of them as a military force also suggests a large group. One wonders how the Pharoah’s action did not result in a civil war.

    The Hebrews had two midwives. That suggests a small population of Hebrews.

    Pharaoh ordered Egyptians to kill male Hebrew boys. One wonders what the Hebrews, other than Moses's family did to protect their children.

    Exodus 2

    A daughter of Pharaoh raised a Hebrew by, Moses, who left Egypt because he killed a man. He lived in Midian, and he married Midianite woman.

    Exodus 3

    God sends a reluctant Moses to Pharaoh

    God says, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you:

    I have no clue about the nature of the sign. However there is a list later in the text.

    Moses wanted to know God’s name, and God says that his name is “I am.” This verse could be the most important verse in Exodus.

    God says he will help to convince the king, oddly not Pharaoh, to let the Hebrews leave Egypt with plunder.

    Exodus 4

    A reluctant Moses does not want to go to Egypt. God answers Moses’ objection.

    In Exodus 3:7, I imagine there must have been a long pause after God finished his sales pitch while God, like any good salesman, waited for Moses' objections and Moses summoned the courage to object.

    Genesis 4 says that at “a lodging place on the way, the Lord met Moses and was about to kill him. ... "

    That does seem a bit counterproductive.

    Aaron, Moses, and the Hebrew elders met. One might guess they planned what to do, but Exodus does not say.

    Exodus 5

    Moses and Aaron tell Pharaoh that God wants Pharaoh to ‘Let my people go, ...”

    The fact that Pharaoh had time to talk to Moses and Aaron suggests to me that the Hebrews held some kind of political power in Egypt even though they were like Polish people in Detroit, Indians in New Mexico, or Japanese people in California during the early part of the twentieth century.

    Pharaoh refused to allow the Hebrews to leave. The Hebrews made adobe bricks. Maybe for Egyptian air conditioners. Wet adbobe is said to be a good air conditioner.
  2. Probably real drift but I can't resist a bit of Paul Robeson at this point.

  3. I love listening to Robeson, and the song seems appropriate to Exodus.

    Here is another that fits, but it is the wrong river. Maybe it fits because the Nile ambles along slower than the Mississippi.

    boltardy likes this.
  4. Exodus 5

    Moses and Aaron tell Pharaoh that God wants Pharaoh to ‘Let my people go, ...”

    Pharaoh refuses to allow the Hebrews to leave. I suppose that is because he needs their labor to make adobe bricks, but in his anger, and he insists that the Hebrews provide their own straw to make the bricks. The seems a bit counter productive.

    Exodus 6

    God changes his name to I am the Lord.

    Exodus 7

    Again, God tells Moses to ask Pharaoh to allow the Hebrews to leave. The text also calls the Hebrews, Israelites. God also says he will “harden Pharaoh’s heart,” so Pharaoh will not let the Hebrews leave.

    It reminds me somewhat of Stalin playing both sides in the Spanish Civil War. Later chapters explain that God wants to demonstrate his power. God wants to engage Pharaoh in a pissing contest.

    God demonstrates his power by turning the Nile and all the water in Egypt to blood, which raises a terrible stink and kills all the fish.

    Exodus 8

    God sends a plague of frogs to Egypt, and Pharaoh inititialy decides to let the Hebrews leave. However, Pharaoh changes his mind, and God sends a plague of gnats.

    Pharaoh refused to allow the Hebrews to leave, so God sends a plague of flies. When the flies disappears, Pharaoh still will not let the Hebrews leave.

    Exodus 9

    God sends a plague that makes the Egyptian animals sick, and then God gives the Egyptians boils on their skin.

    Next God says that he “will send the worst hailstorm that has ever fallen on Egypt from the day it was founded till now.”

    The author of Exodus says, “The flax and barley were destroyed, since the barley had headed and the flax was in bloom. The wheat and spelt, however, were not destroyed, because they ripen later.” Spelt is a kind of wheat, and a misspelled word, which spellcheck might not find.

    Exodus 10 and 11

    God sent a plague of locusts. Next God sent a plague of darkness, and he kills all of the Egyptian’s first born children and cattle. That seems a bit extreme.

    Moses and Aaron have an interesting conversation with Pharaoh.

    “... Moses and Aaron were brought back to Pharaoh.

    “`Go, worship the Lord your God,’ [Pharaoh] said. “But tell me who will be going.

    “Moses answered, ‘We will go with our young and our old, with our sons and our daughters, and with our flocks and herds because we are to celebrate a festival to the Lord.’”

    So the Hebrews want to get out of Dodge, so the can get down and boogie.

    Since when do slaves, which are the personal property of other people, have property themselves. Maybe the Hebrews had maxed out their credit cards.

    Exodus 12

    The text says that Passover is supposed to mark the first month of the year. Somewhere along the line that custom changed.

    Seems to me the story of Moses and Pharaoh has two possible meanings. One version says that God does whatever he wants like in his celestial cocktail parties.

    God and the angels
    Make merry and mess with man
    Morning, noon, and night.

    Or the world is what it is, something like I am that I am.

    God’s garden given
    For roaming, sowing, growing,
    Even destroying.
  5. Exodus 12

    God tells the Hebrews how to survive The Passover, and he says that it will be a celebration in the future.

    Hyssop is a plant used as an antiseptic, cough medicine, or expectorant.

    Exodus 13

    600,000 Hebrew men and their women, children, and livestock got out of Dodge after living in Egypt for 430 years.

    God tells the Hebrews, “Consecrate to [him] every first born male. The first offspring of every womb among the Israelites belongs to [him], whether human or animal.”

    God also says, “ … you are to give over to the Lord the first offspring of every womb. All the firstborn males of your livestock belong to the Lord. Redeem with a lamb every firstborn donkey, but if you do not redeem it, break its neck. Redeem every firstborn among your sons.”

    And God said, “In days to come, when your son asks you, ‘What does this mean?’ say to him, ‘With a mighty hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. ... the Lord killed the firstborn of both people and animals in Egypt. This is why I sacrifice to the Lord the first male offspring of every womb and redeem each of my firstborn sons.’ ”

    This is so totally bizarre, like holy moly, red rider, cowabungaly bizarre.

    The Hebrews left Egypt ready for battle, but they avoided the Philistine territory.

    Exodus 14

    So the Hebrews leave Egypt, and God decides that “I will harden Pharaoh’s heart,” so that Pharaoh will pursue the Hebrews, and God will gain glory for himself “through Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know” that God is the Lord.”

    One must wonder how the omnipotent God has so much trouble “gain[ing] glory for [himself] through Pharaoh.

    So the Hebrews leave, and Pharaoh chases after them.

    When the Hebrews arrived at the sea “the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided, and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left.”

    Then “the water flowed back and covered the chariots and horsemen—the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed the Israelites into the sea. Not one of them survived.”

    And God gained glory for himself, like maybe he had too much testosterone.

    At this point the narrative changes from Mickey Mouse to rodent.

    Exodus 15

    Exodus 15 calls the sea, The Red Sea. The Hebrews had trouble finding water near Elim.

    Exodus 16

    God provides bread, which the Hebrews called manna, and quail for food.

    omer -- one-tenth of an ephah or 72 logs, which is a mina like in the Code of Hammurabi. (per Wikipedia)

    coriander -- aka cilantro

    The Hebrews “ate manna until they reached the border of Canaan.”
  6. Remember Moses had been raised as the princess' adopted son. Moses and Pharaoh would have known each other personally and may have been raised together, even played together as children. That is why Pharaoh put up with Moses for as long as he did.
    Major and Ghid say Amen and like this.

  7. That's very clever.
  8. Your comments really struck me. What a situation God is in! Soooooooo many pray that God would show himself and do miraculous feats in their lives. Then when He does, He gets called a show off.
    Major and Ghid say Amen and like this.
  9. Exodus 17

    Again the Hebrews need water, and God provides the water.

    “The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. … Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword. … the Lord will be at war against the Amalekites from generation to generation.”

    That must be something like the Seminole Indians being at War with the United States.

    Exodus 18

    Moses told his father about the Exodus, and Jethro said, “ … Now I know that the Lord is greater than all other gods, for he did this to those who had treated Israel arrogantly.” Then Jethro, Aaron, and the elders of Israel barbequed in the presence of God.

    The next day Moses and Jethro decided that the Hebrews needed civil procedure and courts to settle disputes. One might wonder if this was the origin of the Ten Commandments. Maybe they decided they needed a way to decide if someone took the Lord’s name in vain, or did they fail to perform for a good reason.

    Exodust 19

    God tells the Hebrews that they will be a holy nation, and he puts on a show, something like ome might suspect would be normal for the times. “ … there was thunder and lightning, with a thick cloud over the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast. Everyone in the camp trembled. .. Moses led the people out of the camp to meet with God, … .“ The mountain “was covered with smoke, because the Lord descended on it in fire.” Something like in Hunger Games? “The smoke billowed up from it like smoke from a furnace, and the whole mountain trembled violently. As the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke and the voice of God answered him.

    Exodus 20

    Moses meets God, and God recites a list of imperatives, sometimes called commandments.

    God instructs Moses about alters, The Hebrews may “not make any gods to be alongside” God. Alars for God should not be made with “dressed stones.” That one seems a bit odd.

    Exodus 21

    Exodus 21 has rules that today could be called family law or civil procedure.

    The first part is about how to deal with slaves. Today we have bankruptcy, but then people who maxed out their credit cards became slaves. Exodus 21 has rules for dealing with slaves. A slave is normally the personal property and the master. Apparently, a man’s daughters were his personal property. I read a translation that uses the word, servant, instead of the word, slave, but clearly servant in this case means slave because the text also talks about buying and selling the servants.

    The next part deals with what today we would call criminal procedure. For example “Anyone who strikes a person with a fatal blow is to be put to death.” Or “ … if people are fighting and hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely ... if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, eye for eye, … “

    That has a familiar ring to it.

    Exodus 22 has civil procedure. For example, “If anyone borrows an animal from their neighbor and it is injured or dies while the owner is not present, they must make restitution.”

    The rest could be called the eleventh through the twenty-second commandments one of which is: Put a witch to death. I have heard that the Greek word for witch could also be drug dealer.
  10. I had not thought of that, but that does make sense.

    Now that I think about it, I do have miracles. My miracles have no thunder, lightning, trupets, fire, or smoke. :) But I live in the United States. I have parents, oye they can be obsinate :), but they love me. We have clean water. I need not carry it on a stick. I need not earn my food with a flower drum. I bet I have One Hundred Million Miracles.

    Big Moose likes this.
  11. Exodus 23

    Rules about testimony in civil trials, treatment of foreigners, treatment of the poor, the sabbath, and annual festivals.

    God will send an angel to guide the Hebrews through the desert.

    I suspect that Jewish radicals might quote this line about the borders of Israel. “I will establish your borders from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea, and from the desert to the Euphrates River.

    Exodus 24

    Moses built altars and made sacrifices. He sprinkled blood on the people. That sounds a bit gross.

    Moses, three assistants, and seventy elders saw God, and they ate and drank. I suppose they had a barbeque.

    And Moses stayed on the mountain with God for 40 days.

    Exodus 25, 26, 27 and 28

    God asks for offerings. a box, a table, a lampstand, a tabernacle, which must be a tent, an altar, a courtyard, oil for the lampstand, robs, a breast plate, and an ephod, which is some kind of complex garment.
  12. Makes you wonder, before all these laws, did they have respect for anyone or anything? Must have been scary to be a young female living in those times. Shows how much Christianity has civilized mankind. Even in Jesus' day, they were horrible barbarians.
    Ghid likes this.
  13. Yes, that is likely correct, (fore example, Dinah in Genesis 34) but tribes did have rules. I read in National Geographic about an African aboriginal tribe. One of their rules requires that a man must bring a woman four dead baboons before he can marry her. I know that for them it is a serious matter. Killing the baboons must be dangerous and require skill, but I can't say it without laughing. :) The tribe members are illiterate. They can't count the days in the month. There is no way they have written laws.

    The Hebrews and the Amorites, (if Hammurabi was an Amorite) must have been the first to have written laws. Our textbook says that Judaism along with the Greeks, the Romans, and the Christians in Europe form a line of bus stops on the way to democracy. In our multicultural world, I'm somewhat surprised that our textbook would not find a way to include non-western culture.
  14. It speaks to Christianity being the cause of the growth of democracy. The non-non-western countries :) were not democracies or republics until Christianity came along. Yes, the idea of democracy had started prior, but was not realized until the Christian culture brought the idea of true freedom. Non-western countries did not have a god who promoted freedom. Their cultures promote order and control of society thru harsh measures. Much could be said of what causes made a difference in western culture.
  15. Exodus 29

    More rules about priests.

    Exodus 30

    More religious procedures

    Exodus 31

    Temple craftsmanship and Sabbath rules

    Exodus 32

    While Moses received the previous instructions for God, the Hebrews built and worshiped a golden calf, and “the Lord struck the people with a plague because of what they did with the calf Aaron had made.”

    This is very similar to a chapter in the Iliad in which Apollo gets annoyed with the Greeks, and he sends a plague, which leads the Greeks to hold a council, which causes Achilles’ anger, the basis of the Iliad’s plot.

    Exodus 33

    So when the Hebrew realized how angry God had become, they celebrated a no jewelry day. There is some information about tents and clouds near tents. God tells Moses the no one may see Gods face. So Moses can eat and drink with God, but not see his face.
  16. Exodus 34

    God summon Moses. Among other things, God says that he punishes children for the sins of the great grandparents. That would be the case if God counts from one. If he counts from zero, then it is great great grandparents. His attitude has changed by three or four generations since the story of Cain.

    God repeats that he will drive out the Amorites, Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. He insists on no treaties with them and he wants to “wreak down their altars, smash their sacred stones and cut down their Asherah poles.”

    God repeats that the firstborn males “belong” to him. He repeats some of the rules about festivals.

    The narrator refers to the words on the tablets as commandments.

    Exodus 35

    God repeats sabbath rules. Working on the sabbath is a capital crime. More discussion of building the tabernacle.

    Exodus 36 - 38 more about tabernacle

    Exodus 39 creation of tabernacle completed

    Exodu 40 assembly of tabernacle begun for the first time.

    Chapters 34-39 seem repetitive and tedious. I must wonder why the Bible includes information about how to build a tabernacle.
  17. The last part of Exodus has repetitive descriptions of the tabernacle, which the Hebrews used as a portable church on their way to the promised land.

    The text has a kind of opulent and gaudy ring. It remind me of older church buildings here in California. Modern Church buildings seem less opulent to me. Protestant church buildings sometimes have only chairs and a table for the collection plate. The Protestants like their building’s extreme simplicity, and they dislike the gaudy (their word) appearance of Catholic buildings almost like simplicity is the Eleventh Commandment. Of course, I realize that some Catholic decorations appear to some people to violate the First, or depending on how one counts, the Second Commandment. S

    Seems to me after having reading Exodus and its description of the tabernacle, we at least have permission to have decorations.
  18. A verse in Exodus, 3:14, is one basis for the idea that God is self-existing, which must be one of the most important ideas about God. According to Genesis, God is the Creator, and according to Exodus, Nothing created God. I think I would not have thought of that iif I had not been told

    Anyway, God does not need any other being for his existence. It is sort of like He dah man, except in this case He dah God.

    I am who am. (Exodus 3:14)
    Big Moose likes this.
  19. I hope you are not planning to go thru Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. But I would be very interested in your cliff notes/outline of Judges.
    Ghid likes this.
  20. Well, that is the plan, but so much of Exodus reads like an IBM technical manual. Maybe I could be persuaded to read Judges first. What would a nice gentleman like yourself want with a ditzy teenager’s opinion of Judges.

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