I got really behind in my reading and my posting. So I'm going to do a quick rundown of Exodus today. Two weeks ago I adopted a dog and he sort of took over my life. I got out of my morning routine of reading my daily passages. I'll have to get into a new routine.
The Book of Exodus is broken down into four parts:
1. The Israelites in Egypt (1-12, 36)The Israelites in Egypt:
2. The Exodus from Egypt and the Journey to Sinai (12, 37-18)
3. The Covenant at Mount Sinai (19-24)
4. The Dwellings and Its Furnishings (25-38)
We start out by getting another brief recap of the linage so show how much time has passed since Joseph has brought his people to Egypt. As with many historical stories as time passes and power changes hand, those who thought they were safe are no longer so and find themselves enslaved or greatly mistreated.
The new Pharaoh, demands that all males born to them are killed at birth. The midwives are horrified and defy him. This decree causes Moses mother to try to save him by sending him down the river in a basket. He is found by the Pharaoh's daughter and she raises him as her own child. He his raised to know that he isn't Egyptian but Hebrew. This knowledge directs his actions as an adult which will then bring the exodus of the Israelites out of Egypt.
Moses tries to help his kinsmen and ends up having to flee the city and ends up running to Midian. He helps some shepherdess whose father is grateful and gives Moses one of his daughters as a wife. Things are going good and then Moses comes across a flaming bush and an angel who tells Moses he's got to go back and free his people.
Moses is very reluctant about his mission. He's an introvert and the thought of having to go be the voice of the people is freaking him out. God comes up with a way to make it all work. Moses will go get his brother Aaron and will relay God's message through Aaron who has no problem speaking in public. Things don't start off smoothly and Moses is all why me?
Moses again had recourse to the Lord and said, "Lord, why do you treat this people so badly? And why did you send me on such a mission? Ever since I went to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has maltreated his people of yours, and you have done nothing to rescue them." (Ex 6, 22-23)God pretty much tells Moses to just trust him, he has a plan and it's going all workout. Moses is like if you say so but I'm not holding my breath on this one. So Aaron and Moses go back to Pharaoh, Pharaoh is like nope not doing it, so Moses tells him okay well God is angry and he's going to turn all the water into blood. And so starts the plagues. This is followed by frogs, gnats, flies, pestilence, boils, hail, locusts, darkness and finally the death o the first-born.
Through all o this Pharaoh is like nope, well maybe, no never mind. What bothered me about all of this was that God was like you know what because Pharaoh won't let my people leave I'm going to punish everyone. Then you get to the 8th Plague and you read:
Then the Lord said to Moses, "Go to Pharaoh, for I have made him and his servants obdurate in order that I may perform these signs of mine among them and that you may recount to your son and grandson how ruthlessly I dealt with the Egyptians and what signs I wrought among them, so that you may know that I am the Lord. (Ex 10, 1-2)Um okay, is this your big plan? I guess so.
In chapters, 11-12,1-36 is the story and history of Passover. The final plague is the death of the first-born. In order to save his people, God passes on a ritual that must happen in each household in order for them to be passed over when he comes at midnight. This ritual has come down through the ages and today Passover is celebrated with lamb and unleavened bread, along with the retelling of the story of Passover.
The Exodus From Egypt and the Journey to Sinai
At this point, Pharaoh says that the Israelites can leave. So everyone packs up and God leads the way out of the area. As they start to near the Red Sea, Pharaoh decides that nope he doesn't want to let them go and sends his army after them. God keeps his promise to his people and parts the Red Sea for them to cross, then as the army follows he takes them all out by releasing the water back.
As they are walking the people are singing. We get the text of the song they are singing and that Miriam, Aaron's sister is leading the other women in singing this song. She is referred to as a prophetess and discussed in a very position manner. This was nice to read since women are portrayed in a negative light in most of what we've read up to this point.
Miriam can only do so much to keep morale up. The Israelites start to complain and Moses asks God to send a sign to the people. So He does this thing with the dew in the morning and provides the people with manna and rice. As with everything He does there are rules to be followed. There are other signs like striking a rock and getting water.
The Covenant at Mount Sinai
So they get to Mount Sinai and make camp. Moses gathers the elders and they head up, with the elders stopped midway so Moses can continue on his own. Once up there God gives Moses the Ten Commandments. These are the big rules, but now God has laws about all kinds of things:
Law Regarding Slaves, Personal Injury, Property Damage, Trusts and Loans, Social Laws, Religious Laws. These sections just discuss things like, if someone does this then they must do this to make amends. But if they do this and they don't have this then they must do this.
In the next section things get crazy (Golden Calf) and Moses has to go back up the Mountain and gets the Ten Commandments inscribed on the stone tablets.
The Dwelling and Its Furnishings
This part was really boring to read. God gives Moses specific instructions for building an altar and the tent and all the stuff that goes along with it. Then we get the really detailed description of them building everything. It really read like when you have a word count you need to reach for a paper and started to really describe everything to meet that word count.
You shall also make a table of acacia wood, two cubits long, a cubit wide, and a cubit and a half high. Plate it with pure gold and make a molding of gold around it.
What the people did:
The table was made of acacia wood, two cubits long, one cubit wide, and one and a half cubes high. It was plated with pure gold and a molding of gold was put around it.