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Showing posts from February, 2010

Exodus - Commandments, Applications and Provisions

9: What if… principals and rules create a people?

The Ten Commandments:
The 10 commandments are mentioned in Exodus 20:2-17, Deuteronomy 5:6-21 & Exodus 34:28
How do we count them? Surprisingly, there are different ways in different Christian traditions:
1. Honor only one God
2. Respect him, in image and in name
3. Give one day of the week to him
4. Respect for parents
5. Respect for life
6. Respect for relationships
7. Respect for property
8. Truth in relationships
9. Relational jealousy forbidden
10. Envy of property forbidden
This version lists 3 God-centered commandments and 7 describing God’s plan for us. Symbolically 3 represents God, 7 His plan and 10 something counted by man. In the New Testament, Jesus points out the principals displayed in the commandments; in the Old Testament, God tells Moses how those principals translate into immediate practice.

Explanations and Civil Law:
Exodus 20:22-26: Idols and Altars: practical application of spiritual issues
Exodus 21:1-9: Treatment of servan…

Exodus - Beyond the Ten Commandments

8: What if… the Ten Commandments were just the short form?

Moses goes back up the mountain to plead for the people in Exodus 32:31-35, and although the Levites have already killed some of the wrongdoers, God claims that punishment is his own domain. He gives the order to Moses to lead the people onward in their journey (Exodus 32:33, 33:1-6) but then He makes them wait. There’s more than “just” the Ten Commandments to be given on Sinai.

What if… stories are told from different points of view?
Exodus 33:7-11 says the Lord speaks to Moses face to face, but 18-23 says no one can see God’s face. The first description may come from Joshua’s point of view, and the second from Moses’. Whatever if meant, the people see smoke and know Moses is meeting God in a much more real sense than they can. But Moses is aware of how much he is missing. Later, when he interacts more closely with God on the mountain, his face is described as radiant (29), from the heat perhaps, and also from “seeing God.” Nota…

Exodus - Mount Sinai and the Ten Commandments

7: What if… Mount Sinai was a volcano?
Exodus 19:16-25. The mountain does have lots of the characteristics of a volcano and we know God has control over nature.
1. fire (Deuteronomy 4:11, Exodus 19:18)
2. explosions, thunder (Exodus 19:16)
3. trumpets (a real but lesser known sound effect due to expanding gasses) (Exodus 19:19)
4. lightening (Exodus 19:16)
5. earthquakes (Exodus 19:18)
6. smoke and clouds over the summit (Exodus 19:16,18)
7. lava (Judges 5:5 mentions even Sinai melting before the Lord).
Deuteronomy 1:2 gives more information about the location and Colin Humphreys’ book explains many reasons why Mount Sinai might in fact be Mount Bedr, in Arabia. A large pasture at its base would provide good camping and the river would allow the Israelites to wash their clothes (Exodus 19:10). A tradition that no one should touch the mountain is preserved by the Bedouin to this day (19:11).

What if… Moses went up the mountain several times?
It’s not clear how far up the mountain Moses initiall…

Exodus - Road to the Mountain

6: What if… rocks drip water and trees drip dew?

The Exodus story is retold in Numbers, again with those small variations that help confirm and shed light on what happened. Colin Humphreys has researched the descriptions and locations and provides a fascinating account of the most likely journey in his book.

Numbers 33:8-15 lists the Israelites as stopping at the Desert of Etham, Marah, Elim, the Red Sea, the Desert of Sin, Dophkah, Alush, Rephidim, and the Desert of Sinai. Combining this list with the account in Exodus helps us come up with a possible map.

What if… there really was no water on the road through the Desert of Shur?
Exodus 15:22-25. The word Shur means wall, suggesting a rift wall or rift valley.
The Bible says the Israelites found no water for 3 days as they walked in this desert. (Note, they are on days 8, 9 and 10 of their journey here, and Arabian tradition says Moses took 9 days to reach Madian.) The trade route south from the Gulf of Aqaba fits the description fairly w…