Monday, March 26, 2007

The Covenant

This passage (Exod. 19:1–9) describes the making of the covenant between the Hebrews and their God that forms the basis of the Jewish religion and the concept of the Jews as a chosen people.
On the third new moon after the Israelites had gone out of the land of Egypt, on that very day, they came into the wilderness of Sinai.. . . Israelcamped there in front of the mountain. Then Moses went up to God, the LORD called to him from the mountain, saying, “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the Israelites: You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagle’s wings and brought you to myself. Now, therefore, if you obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession out of all the peoples. Indeed, the whole earth is mine, but you shall be for me a priestly kingdom and a holy nation. These are the words that you shall speak to the Israelites.” So Moses came, summoned the elders of the people, and set before them all these words that the LORD had commanded him. The people all answered as one: “Everything that the LORD has spoken we will do.” Moses reported the words of the people to the LORD. Then the LORD said to Moses, “I am going to come to you in a dense cloud, in order that the people may hear when I speak to you and so trust you ever after.
From the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA. Used by permis­sion. All rights reserved.
Greeks would write it, it remains the first attempt to provide a coherent account of past events.
The primary expression of Yahweh’s will is found, however, in the Ten Commandments and in the subse­quent elaboration of the Mosaic Law. The Ten Com­mandments, brought down by Moses from Mt. Sinai and delivered to the people of Israel before their entry into Canaan, formed the basis of an elaborate legal and moral code that governed virtually every aspect of life and conduct. Like the concept of God, the law evolved over time. Refined and amplified by generations of

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