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Exodus and the Law

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The three major themes in Exodus are Israel's deliverance from Egypt, establishment of the Covenant and the Tabernacle. Other themes are how name repetition in a sentence is significant throughout Scripture, and how humility in the Jewish culture affects the actions and responses of many biblical characters. Exodus contains both apodictic and casuistic laws. There are also paradigmatic laws which are designed to give broad guidance for specific situations that arise. The first part of Exodus is mostly stories, and the second part is mostly a record of the laws which are the basis for how they interact with God and other people.


Origins:  Exodus

I.  Orienting Data for Exodus

A.  Content

1.  Israel's Deliverance from Egypt

2.  Establishment of the Covenant

3.  Tabernacle

B.  Human Author:  Moses

C.  Date of Composition:  1400 or 1220 BC

D.  Historical Coverage:  From the death of Joseph (ca. 1500 BC) to the encampment of the Israelites at Mount Sinai in the Sinai Peninsula (either 1440 BC or 1260 BC)

E.  Emphases

1.  The development of Egyptian oppression

2.  God's miraculous deliverance of his people from Egypt via Moses

3.  The reception of the covenant at Mount Sinai, including the Ten Commandments and the "Book of Worship"

4.  The establishment of proper worship, including the priesthood and a central sanctuary

5.  The early tendency of the people to rebel against the covenant

II.  Name Repetition

A.  Examples

1.  Exodus 3:4

2.  1 Samuel 3:4, 10

3.  2 Samuel 18:33; 19:4

4.  Matthew 27:46

5.  Acts 9:4; 22:7; 26:14

6.  Matthew 7:21, 22

7.  Luke 6:46

B.  Repetition of Endearment

III.  Semitic Humility

A.  Abraham

B.  Moses

C.  Saul

D.  David

E.  Solomon

F.  Isaiah

G.  Jeremiah

H.  Paul


The Law

I.  Two Types of Law

A.  Apodictic Law

B.  Casuistic Law

C.  Laws of the Pentateuch

II.  Israelite Judges

A.  Exodus 18

B.  Moses = Supreme Court

C.  Other Judges = Lower Courts

III.  Paradigmatic Laws

A.  Extrapolation from Particular to General

B.  Examples

1.  Exodus 21:33

2.  Exodus 22:18

C.  Compared to Modern Law

IV.  Bifid Structure of Exodus

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