Bible Study: Exodus

This will be the thorough study. Notes here are mainly of my own.

General Outline:
Chapter 1: Enslavement
Chapter 2: Moses from Egypt to Midian
Chapter 3-4: From Burning bush back to Egypt
Chapter 5: Meeting Pharaoh
Chapter 6: God's comfort
Chapter 7: Plague 1: Water turned to blood (nature)
Chapter 8: Plagues 2, 3, 4: Frogs, gnats/lice, flies (animals)
Chapter 9: Plagues 5, 6, 7: Egyptian animal deaths, boils, hail (economy, human physical injuries)
Chapter 10: Plagues 8, 9: Locusts, darkness (ceasing livelihood, no sight which was taken for granted)
Chapter 11-12: Plague 10 & the Passover & Exodus.
Chapter 13: Sanctify firstborns, Unleavened Bread (reminder from C12), Pillars of Cloud and Fire vs. Pharaoh.
Chapter 14: Red Sea crossing
Chapter 15: Song, First wilderness complaint: Bitter water made sweet (from wilderness Shur -> Marah)
Chapter 16: 2nd wilderness complaint: Manna (Elim to wilderness Sin, before Sinai)
Chapter 17: 3rd wilderness complaint: Water from Rock (at waterless Rephidim), defeats Amalek by Moses holding up his hand.
Chapter 18: Jethro's mending of Moses' marriage and advice on government.
Chapter 19: The people meet God - volcanic presence (wilderness Sinai)
Chapter 20: 10 Commandments, this is before the tablets of stones. The Lord spoke to all.
Chapter 21: Laws about slaves, lives and properties (i.e. ox)

Summary notes:
4:24, Moses probably either debated with YHWH, possibly in anthropomorphic figure (thus the second person of the Trinity) regarding the sacrament of circumcision. Calvin thought Moses was succumbing to the Midianites attitude against the ritual. I wonder if it could also have anything to do with the Egyptian Moses killed.
4:25, Zipporah's anger regarding circumcision is usually seen as uncalled for or impious. And possibly the reason of her return to Midian with her 2 children (older: Gershom, younger: Eliezer - who wasn't mentioned until C18)

C7: It's likely that the Israelites received their waters from sources other than the Nile, such as wells. The Egyptians had to dig for water (v.24)

19:15 is interesting. "Do not go near a woman"

19:16-19 Five elements involved: Thunders, lightnings, thick cloud, loud trumpet, smoke+fire (causes trembling).

19:23 Likely due to indolence for perhaps it was a great mount to get down and up again, Moses may felt very well so close to God that He forgot his fear of God.

20:5 Idolatry = hate God, opposite of loving God in this case. A parent's could witness up to 3rd & 4th generations in his lifetime the punishment of such sin. Number in family counts as blessing in this case.

v.11, Warren Wiersbe appears to be in agreement with Stephen Tong, here's an excerpt from his Expository Outlines:
This is not repeated anywhere in the NT for the church to obey today. Keeping the Sabbath is mentioned in Mat_12:1-50, Mar_2:1-28, Luk_6:1-49, and Joh_5:1-47; but these all refer to the people of Israel and not to the church. Col_2:1-23 and Rom. 14-15 teach that believers should not judge one another with reference to holy days or Sabbaths. To say that a person is lost or unspiritual for not keeping the Sabbath is to go beyond the bounds of Scripture.

v.8 & v.12 are the two commandments that do not begin with Thou Shalt Not...

v.21 God can be in Darkness as well. To test the fear of God before us.

v.24-25 Altars can be of earth or stone, but must not be made by tools. No work, only grace.

v.26 No stairs? Probably a slide towards the altar. Thus the walking approach matters.

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25 Responses to Bible Study: Exodus

  1. timlyg says:

    Chapter 1

  2. timlyg says:

    Chapter 2

  3. timlyg says:

    Chapter 3

  4. timlyg says:

    Chapter 4

  5. timlyg says:

    Chapter 5

  6. timlyg says:

    Chapter 6

  7. timlyg says:

    Chapter 7

  8. timlyg says:

    Chapter 8

  9. timlyg says:

    Chapter 9

  10. timlyg says:

    Chapter 10

  11. timlyg says:

    Chapter 11

  12. timlyg says:

    Chapter 12

  13. timlyg says:

    Chapter 13

  14. timlyg says:

    Chapter 14

  15. timlyg says:

    Chapter 15

  16. timlyg says:

    Chapter 16

  17. timlyg says:

    Chapter 17

  18. timlyg says:

    Chapter 18

  19. timlyg says:

    Chapter 19

  20. timlyg says:

    Chapter 20

  21. timlyg says:

    Chapter 21

  22. timlyg says:

    Chapter 22
    (I must say that this chapter is never ending. There are truths behind truths. Because of time, in my Bible reading, I would at some point move one to the next chapter but knowing that I'm not done with this chapter. David's 1st Psalm resonates here: meditate God's law day and night)

    I believe though this chapter speaks of the legality against theft, abuse of trust, etc. It is ultimately revealing God's order for human to human's inter-relationship. Therefore, these laws are not meant to be analyzed to a point where it becomes foolproof, but to meditate upon for a deeper meaning on God's justice and human relationship.

    The chapter deals with theft of all kinds: Living animals, non-living objects, humans.

    v2-3: The penalty for theft is not death, unless the theft is done with the suspicion of mortal violence. Meditate on "If the sun has risen on him..." as if God's presence is undeniably before the man whose goal should not be for vengeance nor hate but to love human life, even sinful ones.
    v1: Theft on living animals that cannot be retuned (killed, sold). The cost is x5 for ox, x4 for sheep. It would be interesting to compare ox to sheep.
    v4: Theft on living animals that can be returned. But the cost is doubled, which is less than v1. case. Constitutes a lesser sin on those who did not fully take advantage like those in v1.
    When Zacchaeus not only offered to give half to the poor, he confessed to count himself the worst thieve, paying back fourfold.

    v5-6: On non-living harms caused by carelessness. Cost is the same as the loss, assuming the cost of carelessness.
    v5: A sense of responsibility is emphasized here. One cannot simply say "oh, it's the beasts, out of my control". We must own the action of those under us (children, staffs, etc.), even to beasts.

    v7-11: Here lies a proof to discredit intellectual property law of today's Western world. For the "lost thing" a copyright holder could claim would be some kind of revenue he "could have" gained. But "could have" is not valid in a free market. Otherwise, it can be done so:
    A: B stole my design
    B: A still has his design and I didn't break into anything for it. The design was publicly available out there and I entered no contractual agreement that consents me otherwise.
    A: I lost my profit because of that
    B: I profit from the same design I COPIED from you (name credit), because I knew how (my intellectual property) to better sell it, I worked hard (labor) for it as well. If you were to be part of my profit, you would need to pay for my Intellectual property as well as my labor. Also current copyright law is actually breaking Psalms 15, which is not just about interest rate in money (v5). By claiming intellectual rights in such manner, one has no fear of God (v4), and presume such unrighteous work to gain profit (v2).
    A: This law is good for innovative motivations.
    B: Monetary incentive is only methodological, not a law. But I will not prove my right further. Since worldly matter has no hold on me, I shall abide this unrighteous law and may what is deemed by the judges, but know that if you judge so, you owe me as well in the same manner despite your denial, hence, the unrighteous judgment.

    v.9: "Lost things". This shows that the idea that intellectual properties are actually properties is false, for they cannot be lost when stolen. Only the potential of lost monetary gain, potential nonetheless.

    v.10: The fault is on the beast, not on the man.

    v.12: If it is stolen, it implicates either a lack of responsibility or that the identity of the thief is known and thus, the penalty could come from the thief's restitution/servitude.

    v.7-13 vs. v.14-15: Keep Safe/entrust vs. borrow/hire. These two are treated differently. It is more lenient in keep safe than if one borrows it and lost it.

    v.21: This is bad on American immigration policy that forbids immigrants to work without permit. There's no difference between being allowed in the land and being allowed to work in the land, and the Americans build the line between the two for their own sake. This is not treating everyone equally, like Israel today, the Prime Minister Netanyahu claims that only Jews are welcome to Israel freely but inside the country, everyone's treated equally - not so, work permit is required for non-citizen. Work is as essential as food and drink, to deny work to someone is to deny them food and drink.

    v.22-24: Not really focusing on the sinners who are completely ignorant of others even his own children or wife. But in this case, the treatment of God is towards those who view their own better than that of others: their own selves and wives and children should gain more in pride because of their perfect status in comparison to widows and fatherless children. God will cause a penalty as serious as death by the sword. Though I must warn myself against the ordinances of Western culture today, for their care of women and children is of a different worldview, one that perhaps is an abuse of a good inheritance from Christian values and Christian wealth. With children they look at cuteness and innocence, with women they look at feminism. God does not look at these. At the very least, a Christian see a child having great potential from the least to the glory of God, and a woman as having the same essence as man in the important integral part of a family. Therefore we treat these widows and fatherless children as misfortune, a result of our curse, and we bring ourselves before God in full humility, that we may be of any use to fix this misfortune for them, that we may not be satisfied not because of ourselves, but because we would pass the misfortune to see the return of God's glory. The unregenerated do not see nor understand this glory, they can only support the cause for the sake of their own satisfaction.

    v.29-30: The notion of first fruit offering is to remember to give credit to God. Nothing to do with God needing the best.

  23. timlyg says:

    Chapter 23
    Seems to be a teaching for those in the judging seat in the first half of the chapter to dealing with idols of enemies with Christ "the angel" as the center figure hinted.
    This whole chapter is on an active role on how to treat others.
    Verses 1-9 deal with favoritism. Against tribalism, against a self-justified determined group without righteousness.
    Verses 10-12 On something more than charity. As commanded by God. Our charity is not only simply out of our mercy to the poor as God's mercy, but as His creatures, we submit ourselves to the necessity of a giving ritual.
    Verses 13-19: Be a living testimony before the LORD. 3 times of reflections in a year.
    Verses 20-24: Christ as the guide that all should kiss, lest He be angry.
    Verses 25-33: God's blessings upon His people amidst all challenges. How God's people stand and how the enemies fall.

    v.3 Interesting where here it warns against in such scenario showing pity or mercy upon a poor man. Perhaps not to underestimate a person. Or do not judge according to your sight or emotion. Someone being poor may be shown grace, when judged rightly.

    v.4-5 Still showing love from "hate" or towards your enemies. Though love is not used here, it is definitely a didactic instruction towards it.

    v.13 even names of idols should not be heard from your lips. As if speaking of these would somehow corrupt the curious mind towards witchcraft or sort.

    v.14-16 3 Feasts:
    - Feast of Unleavened Bread: Lasts a week long.
    - Feast of the Firstfruits/Harvest/Weeks/Pentecost 50th day after Passover.
    - Sukkot – also known as the Feast of Tabernacles, Feast of Booths, Feast of Ingathering, or simply “The Feast” – always begins on the fifteenth day of the seventh month of the Jewish calendar (Tishrei). Lasts a week long.

    v.18 "You shall not offer the blood of my sacrifice with anything leavened..." Blood = the substitution, leavened = our suffering, our labor, our work. Do not mix our work with God's gracious sacrifice. First His sacrifice, then the suffering work for the Lord.

    v.19 "...You shall not boil a young goat in its mother's milk." Do not mix death and life. Or Life giving thing with death causing one ~ Clement of Alexandria.

    v.20 This Angel, as well as on many occasions where the term is used in singular, Exo 32:34, 33:2, Num 20:16, etc. is an important reference to the pre-Incarnate Mediator, Jesus Christ. The Jews could only refer this to Joshua, which is false, according to Calvin. A strong NT testimony is in 1Co 10:9. Though appears to be vague yet unmistakable in OT, the elusive mention of Christ gave an indication of His future mission ~ Calvin.

    v.21 "my name is in him" who else none other than the Christ.

    v.25 serving God connected to sickness prevention/cure.

  24. timlyg says:

    Chapter 24
    v.10: Sapphire stone pavement => Ezekiel 1:26 likeness of sapphire throne => Rev.4:6 "sea of glass"

    v.11: Theophany. I do wonder if this is a case of Christophany. Since all throne revealed in Revelation points to Christ's throne. Such manifestation for creaturely sight, certainly does not fall short of Christophany in that all theophanies were Christophany. However, many commentators have omitted mention of Christ in this, so perhaps they found no need to make such emphasis based on context, after all, we don't want to be christomonic. The commentators do however, remind us of Exo 33:20, and Calvin stressed the distinction of true fear of and boldness in God in obedience against overconfidence in pride and self-righteousness or worst, timidity, which leads us to distrust God, such distinction makes the exception to Exo. 33:20.

  25. timlyg says:

    Chapter 25

    The building of the Ark and Tabernacle/Sanctuary Begins.

    The hebrew for the Ark ארוֹן (aron, masculine noun: chest, box) of the testimony is distinguished from the Ark תָּבה (tebah, feminine noun: floating box/basket) that Noah built. While in Greek, the word Ark κιβωτός (kibotos, feminine noun: a box) is the same for both meaning.

    This chapter sets up the Ark (v10-16), the Mercy Seat (v17-22), Table of the Bread of the Presence (v23-30), Lampstand (v31-v39). The lampstand (Menorah) is 7 branch. The 8 ( branch Menorah is called Hanukkah, used after the Maccabean Revolt against Antiochus IV Epiphanes. The Talmud states that it is prohibited to use a seven-lamp menorah outside of the Temple but one may fashion 5 or 6 or 8 branches for the candelabrum ~ Menachot 28b11. And there's definitely quite some talks about almond blossom in regards to the candlestick.

    v.2: "...whose heart moves him..." voluntary offering.

    v.8: The purpose of the tabernacle/temple...that God may "dwell" in their midst. Presence of God, God with us, Emmanuel.

    v.9, 40: They are made according to how God showed Moses first in the mount. The prototype was only seen by Moses: pattern of the tabernacle, all the instruments.

    v.12-14 Here indicates that the ark shall stand above men's head when being carried.

    v.14-15, since the poles are meant to be used to carry the ark, they signify the communion between man and God. The fact that they are not to be taken out of the rings, shows to me that there's something permanent, a mediating medium on God's side between God and His children or the ones carrying the ark, His presence, His covenant, His promise, which is not losing salvation for the true elects.

    v.17-19: Unlike the ark the mercy seat כּפּרת (kapporeth) is pure gold and in one piece with the cherubim. Kapporeth also became to mean lid, propitiation of God. Mercy, atonement, related to Yom Kippur. So the only way to make it is either with a mold or by hammering, not by parts joining. Seems to be signifying God's mercy is the key essence of God's presence before us.

    v. 19-20 I would think the Cherubim would have to be all the way to the edges and their wings bigger to cover the mercy seat, unlike most illustrations I've seen.

    v. 22 The meeting place with God.

    v.23-24: The Table of the Bread of the Presence's build is similar as the ark - acacia wood overlaid with gold, and molding/crowns of gold around it. It's size is just half a cubit shorter than the ark on length and breadth, but same height (with the ark's mercy seat): Perhaps indicating that the mercy of God is a hidden one (hinted by the shewbread), consecrated to the special few at first, to be revealed fully when the veil is torn.

    v.25-27: Unlike the Ark, the Table is to have a hand breadth border around it, which also has a golden crown to the border around it. So the table has two rounds of golden crown. The rings and the poles are made near this border, thus assuming to be above the feet, they are therefore unlike the Ark's rings and poles which were fixed to the bottom corners.

    v.28: There's no rule against removing the poles of the table, unlike the Ark.

    v.29: 4 pure golden wares: dishes (bread), spoons (cups, for frankincense), covers (pitcher, large cup for pouring wine out before the Lord every Sabbath), bowls (sieves that cleanses the wheat used for bread). John Gill thinks these last two were used to cover the bread and frankincense respectively though he was aware of the different view of the Jews viz. Jarchi: that the first type is to separate the breads by layers to prevent moulding, the second type is basically a frame to hold the breads ensuring they do not press down on each other. Though Gill also recognize that the Septuagint view these covers and bowls as vessels for wine or oil used in libations. So these wares, especially the last two, are vague in functions to me at the moment.

    v.30: Edible thing: shewbread. 12 loaves of bread representing 12 tribes of Israel (Leviticus 24:5–7).

    v.31: The lampstand is interesting in that the perceived image of it with the flowers varies as nobody seems to know what was shown to Moses on the mount. v.40.
    The popular image is that the flowers are aligned parallelly within the branches, or that the flowers are just turned into bulges on the branches. But there are also versions that show the flowers budding out from the side of the branches:

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