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Posts Tagged ‘Exodus’

To enter the world of the Hebrew slaves, finding their way in more sense than just one in the shadow of Mt. Sinai, is to intrude upon an odd world. Even its protagonists—Aaron for example—defy classification. One one hand, he is the spokesman of YHWH’s own prophet. On the other, he responds to the threat of the mob by thinking up some very nice gold bulls to represent YHWH himself before a mob that he might have hoped he could turn into a worshipping congregation. (more…)

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Moses and Miryam each snag space for a song in Exodus 15. Staggering forward from the violent salvation of the Yam Suf (the ‘Sea of Reeds’), the screams of drowning Egyptians still clinging to them like smoke to a survivor’s clothes, the escaped Hebrew slaves sing. (more…)

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Moses’ place in the story of Israel comes long before the establishment of a monarchy and the emergence of prophets as counterweight to the king. Yet the text presents Moses as the prophet par excellence. Patterns are established here that will mark the prophetic trajectory when its moment comes.

One of these patterns is counter-intituitive, at least if we begin from the modern perception of prophets as loud-mouthed, imposing, self-assured verbalists who spoke for God with little self-restraint and loved the perks that came with doing so. (more…)

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Joseph in his maturity is one of the appealing characters of Israel’s patriarchal narratives. We have seen his youthful dreamery and felt a mild revulsion before it. Even the way he toys with his brothers when they come to Egypt in search of grain and do not recognize Joseph in his Egyptian finery leaves one to wonder whether there are still dark demons aflutter in this man’s soul, whether they can ever be tamed now that power’s corrupting agency has joined them there.

Yet in the end Joseph appears to have learned to love and, certainly, to forgive. (more…)

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