Weeks 16 & 17: The Desert, the Ark, and the Golden Calf

Reading

Exodus 25–40 (Wandering in the desert; the Ten Commandments; the Golden Calf)

Questions

  • How do you know if something is a false idol?  
  • Why a golden calf?

KEY PASSAGE

Exodus 32:9–10

“Yahweh said to Moses, ‘I have seen these people, and
behold, they are a stiff-necked people. Now therefore
leave me alone, that my wrath may burn hot against
them, and that I may consume them; and I will make of
you a great nation.’”

Disclaimer: Lucifer was on vacation for these weeks, so the discussions will remain ephemeral evermore because he didn’t take real notes! Oops!

With this, however, we are taking a huge leap… to the New Testament!

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Week 15: The Ten Commandments

Reading

Exodus 18–24 (The Ten Commandments)

Questions

  • Are there Ten Commandments? If not, how many are there?
  • What is Law?

Hard to believe that before this in the Bible, there were no commandments! Well, actually, that’s not true. There were a few. Don’t shed human blood — that’s part of the Noahic covenant. But this week, we got treated to the first of a few of God’s tablet ceremonies.

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Week 14: The Parting of the Re(e)d Sea

Reading

Exodus 13–17 (Leaving Egypt; the parting of the Re(e)d Sea)

Questions

  • Who is Yahweh trying to impress?  
  • What is up with the worms in the manna?

KEY PASSAGE

Exodus 15:1–18

“Then Moses and the children of Israel sang this song to Yahweh…”

The Israelites are OUT! This week we saw one of the Hebrew Bible’s most impressive set-pieces: the parting of the seas by Yahweh and the subsequent drowning of tons of Egyptian charioteers. This is epic stuff, but its cinematic magnificence also foregrounds some interesting interplay between literal and figurative language…plus the idea of manna as a metaphor for God’s providence, but also a literal foodstuff that will go bad in 24 hours.

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Week 13: The Ten Plagues of Egypt

Reading

Exodus 5–12 (The Ten Plagues of Egypt)

Questions

  • Why does Pharaoh not just let the Israelites go? Why does God have to harden his heart? 
  • What is plague?

KEY PASSAGE

Exodus 10:1–2

Yahweh said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the hearts of his officials so that I may perform these signs of mine among them that you may tell your children and grandchildren how I dealt harshly with the Egyptians and how I performed my signs among them, and that you may know that I am the Lord.”

This week was not fun for the Egyptians. It was a will-they, won’t-they situation, where they were the Israelites and Yahweh was both bae and not bae. He kept hardening the Pharaoh’s heart, mostly to make Himself look good (?). Meanwhile, there were ten plagues, culminating with the death of the firstborn (son) in every Egyptian household. YIKES.

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Week 12: Meet Moses

Reading

Exodus 1–4 (The finding of Moses; the burning bush)

Questions

  • A lot has happened for the Israelites since last season. How are they coping?
  • What does Moses know about God? Is he an Israelite or not?

KEY PASSAGE

Exodus 3:15–17

“Moses said to God, ‘When I come to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is His name?’ what shall I say to them?” And God said to Moses, “Ehyeh-Asher-Ehyeh.’…”

Spoiler alert: 400 years have gone by since we last checked in on the Israelites at the end of Genesis. And a lot has changed. The Egyptians have enslaved them; the Pharaoh is set on murdering all of the infant boys; and a little baby named Moses is placed into the river to be found by the Pharaoh’s daughter…

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