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Lecture Five Book of Exodus

Lecture Five Book of Exodus

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Lecture Five Book of Exodus

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  1. Lecture Five Book of Exodus Lecturer: Wu Shiyu

  2. Outline • I. The Bhagavad Gita still speaks to mankind today. • A. Three words summarize a good part of its message. 1. The word om is the sacred word of God. It is the word with which a person should begin every day and every task that is undertaken simply because it is that person’s work, that person’s task, and that person’s karma. 2. The word tat means a task being fulfilled without any thought of gain or profit. 3. The word sat is the perfect conclusion of a work done for God.

  3. B. The Bhagavad Gita, the sacred work of the Hindu religion, is still read by millions every day. • C. The life of Gandhi, who believed that one must stand fast in the truth, epitomizes the way in which the Bhagavad Gita changed history. • D. The lessons of the Bhagavad Gita are eternal, but the date that the Bhagavad Gita was written is unknown. • E. The ideas in the Bhagavad Gita enlightened Buddha in the 5th and 6th centuries B.C., and Buddhism subsequently shaped the civilizations of China, Korea, Tibet, and Nepal.

  4. II. The biblical Book of Exodus is the most influential book ever written. It shaped Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. • A. Tradition indicates that Moses was the author. • B. The Bhagavad Gita and the Iliad are tributes to polytheism. In them, God has fashioned many roads to the truth. In the Book of Exodus—as in the Gospel of Mark and the Koran—only one path to the truth exists. God will allow no other gods to be worshiped

  5. III. Moses was an actual historical figure, and a true historical context exists for the Book of Exodus. • A. Egypt was the great power of the Middle East. Ramses II, who reigned from 1279 to 1213, sought to consolidate and centralize the imperial power. Ramses II may be “the pharaoh who knew not Joseph,” that is, the pharaoh in the Book of Exodus. • B. Biblical stories have some historical grounding. Wandering tribes did come in from the deserts, famines did occur, and foreigners rose to positions of power.

  6. C. The name Moses is actually an Egyptian name. One way to read the familiar story that Moses was raised as an Egyptian is that he really was an Egyptian and that this tale was a way of making him a Hebrew after the fact.

  7. D. In the Book of Exodus, Moses killed an Egyptian and fled into exile. 1. In exile, God found Moses and gave him his calling. When Moses, a shepherd, saw the burning bush, he asked what it was, and God answered, “I am who I am.” 2. God told Moses that he was to lead the Hebrews from Egypt. 3. Moses, a reluctant prophet, did not want to lead the Hebrews, but he found meaning for his life in absolute submission to the will of God.

  8. E. On a divine level, the Book of Exodus is a story of God and about the acts of God in history; on a personal level, however, it is about a man who was called to a great task and who gained fame and enduring meaning through acceptance of this calling. • F. Moses returned to Egypt to request that pharaoh allow the Hebrews to leave. The details in this story speak of history, including the description that the work of the Israelites involved gathering straw to make bricks for the city.

  9. G. Because the pharaoh refused to let the Hebrews leave, God sent the plagues. Although contemporary historians can find practical explanations for these events, they were considered miracles by the Israelites and proofs of God’s power. • H. Following the most terrible of the afflictions, the slaying of the firstborn, the Israelites fled Egypt under the guidance of Moses.

  10. I. When the Israelites came to the Red Sea, the sea parted, and they miraculously escaped their Egyptian pursuers. This historic event is commemorated in the biblical song of rejoicing: “The horse and his rider He has thrown into the sea. The Lord has triumphed. Blessed be his name.” That kernel represents real history and deliverance from a historical danger.

  11. J. The Israelites may have been an assortment of peoples who came together under a charismatic leader, who in turn, brought them to a new land and gave them a history. The tradition that Moses composed the first five books of the Bible may rest on the realization that a people need a common history and common rites that separate them from others. Such Jewish traditions as ritual circumcision and avoidance of pork may represent a legacy of the time that the Israelites spent in Egypt.

  12. K. The Israelites made their way from Egypt and began wandering in search of the holy land that God had promised to them.

  13. IV. After wandering through the desert, Moses brought the Israelites to Mount Sinai, where God spoke to Moses and gave him the law under which the Israelites were to make their absolute submission to God.

  14. A. These Ten Commandments have shaped history through our own day. • B. The Ten Commandments reflect what we know about treaties in the Middle East at the time that the Book of Exodus was written (in approximately the 13th century B.C.). In these treaties, an absolute ruler or king makes an agreement to protect a people if they accept his complete domination. Such an agreement reflects the Middle Eastern (Mesopotamian) definition of freedom as rights and privileges granted by an absolute ruler that the ruler can take away at any time if his will is disobeyed.

  15. 1. God’s first stipulation is “I am the Lord thy God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of bondage.” Thus, the story of the Israelites begins with freedom from the slavery of Egypt and the boon that “I am” has bestowed. 2. “You will have no other gods besides me” represents monotheism in its most extreme form. This grant of freedom depends on the Israelites worshiping God and God alone.

  16. 3. The statement “You will make no graven images” is a second stipulation. It prohibits the worship of false gods. 4. “You will not take my name in vain” means that the people should swear no oaths that they will break. This God of absolute truth requires that the truth must not be breached in any way. 5. God next required the Israelites to show obedience by keeping one day, the Sabbath, holy.

  17. 6. The next commandment, to honor one’s father and mother, is a bridge from commandments dealing with man’s relationship to God to how individuals should deal with others. 7. The remaining commandments reflect absolute prohibitions. The Israelites were enjoined from killing others, committing adultery, stealing, bearing false witness, and being jealous of others. These absolute truths could not be disobeyed.

  18. C. Following the Ten Commandments would lead to salvation and freedom; breaking them would lead to destruction and enslavement.

  19. V. The Book of Exodus is a book of social justice. It elaborates the Ten Commandments and sets up a social system, balancing the need for justice with compassion. The God of the Book of Exodus is a God who is vengeful and stern but also forgiving and compassionate.

  20. A. As soon as the people received the commandments, including the commandment prohibiting graven images, they made a golden calf. • B. Moses kept interceding for his people. God relented and forgave them many times and treated them with compassion.

  21. VI. Moses, the great prophet, never saw the Promised Land. • VII. The Israelites moved on and took Canaan by fire and sword, which is also validated by the archaeological record.

  22. VIII. The origin of monotheism appears to have its roots in Egypt. • A. The pharaoh Akhenaton, who ruled from 1352 B.C. to 1336 B.C., tried to foster a religion of only one god, Aten, whose beauty was shown in the sun itself. This god was seen as an all-powerful being under which the universe prospered. Akhenaton wrote poetry about Aten and built temples to him.

  23. B. Although Akhenaton could not impose his will on his Egyptian contemporaries, who favored polytheism, this seed of monotheism may have lived on and found an enduring form in the prophet Moses and his mission.

  24. IX. The Book of Exodus made history and can still arouse controversy today in a society that really does not want commandments.

  25. 谢 谢!