Wednesday, June 23

Disciple Bible Study: Week 7

I’m participating in Disciple Bible Study, a 34 week intensive. For five days, we have different readings.  I have decided to document my initial noticings from a close reading of the scripture. Well, an attempt at a close reading.

Week 7 Theme:  Atonement

Readings (For the NRSV readings, visit Oremus Bible Browser):

  • Exodus 24-27
  • Exodus 34:29-36:1, Exodus 40, Psalm 81
  • Leviticus 1-5
  • Leviticus 6-7
  • Leviticus 16-17, Deuteronomy 16, Leviticus 23


  • Exodus 24
    • v. 8: eww! dashing the blood on the people.  Automatically makes everybody "unclean" or טָמֵא, taw-may (per Strong's Hebrew)
    • v. 9:  Moses, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and 70 elders went up and saw the G*d of Israel.  Note--that's a lo0t of people seeing G*d!
    • v. 12: G*d gives Moses the tablets of stone that has the 10 commandments that G*d gave in Chapter 20
  • Exodus 25
    • There is a lot here about making the ark of the covenant and other things.  I am just left wondering about what an idol is and isn't.
    • v. 30:  The Bread of the Presence - this seems to me something we can trace Eucharist to directly
  • Exodus 26
    • The Tabernacle and all those details!
  • Exodus 27
    • v. 2: The altar of burnt offering which has horns.  Seems to be a tie to the worship of the golden calf that they got in trouble for and which is prevalent in the culture of the time
    • v. 21: I like the idea of the perpetual light.
  • Exodus 34:29-36:1
    • Making the tabernacle again.  Really want to get this information through, don't they!
  • Exodus 40
    • v. 16-33 - this seems to me to be a litany from a liturgy with the repetition of the phrase, "as the LORD had commanded Moses."  See v. 19, 21, 23, 25, 27, 32
  • Psalm 81
    • Read as a festival liturgy, this Psalm has a different appeal.  Giving us the memory of the Exodus.
  • Leviticus 1-5
    • v. 2:11 - you must not turn any leaven or honey into smoke...why??
    • Chapter 3 - talks about fat a lot; seems to me a good, healthy move to be forbidden to eat fat!
    • Chapter 4 - sin offerings - note that these are all for UNINTENTIONAL sins
    • Chapter 5 - I love that there is a way for the poor to be part of the system of forgiveness
    • I am still left wondering about intentional sin.
  • Leviticus 6-7
    • v. 6:5 - Restitution is the price of the damage (principal) plus 20%.  I wonder what our legal system would be like if we just implemented this.  You're wrong?  Pay 120%.
    • Chapter 7 - is the guilt offering the intentional sin?
      • v. 7:6 - what is the significance of eating sin?
  • Leviticus 16-17
    • v. 17:11 - no eating blood.  Does this mean that meat must be well-done?
  • Deuteronomy 16
    • Review of festivals:  Passover, Festival of Weeks, Festival of Booths
    • v. 21 & 22 - why would G*d be upset with a tree as a "sacred pole" or a stone pillar (which, by the way, pillars are created in Exodus 24:4 to represent the 12 tribes of Israel)
  • Leviticus 23
    • Review of festivals again plus offerings:  Sabbath, Passover, Festival of the Unleavened Bread, Festival of Weeks, Festival of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, Festival of Booths

Also, a lot of this is about worship, altars, tabernacles, etc.  How the early Jewish community did, as me, a Christian, would say "church."  I am including a link to a paper I wrote on altars for a class on Exodus.

But the main point, I think, is -- what is necessary for you to worship?  what is necessary for G*d?  can this meet somewhere?  does it need to be mediated?


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