The Literary Art of Exodus

The Literary Art of Exodus

welcome back to the bible's art when the literary artistry of the bible and in this week we're talking about the literary art of the whole book of Exodus the book of Exodus is organized into three sections that follow the Israelites from Egypt through the wilderness to Mount Sinai so the literary structure looks like this Israel and Egypt Israel in the wilderness and Israel at Mount Sinai Exodus is a journey narrative like many of the great stories from the Odyssey to the Aeneid to the Divine Comedy pilgrims progress and the Lord of the Rings and the central idea is that the physical journey symbolizes a moral spiritual intellectual or theological journey where the travelers begin in one moral or spiritual place and move to another in Exodus Israel begins in slavery and journeys to freedom Sabbath rest at Mount Sinai and the symbolic structure works both vertically and horizontally horizontally they moved from Egypt to Mount Sinai one location to another miles away vertically they begin low at sea level and the Nile River and move up to a mountain the Israelites begin as servants to Pharaoh and end as servants to God they begin in Pharaoh's house and end in God's house the tabernacle they begin by listening to Pharaoh and his laws and end by listening to God and His laws they begin by building for Pharaoh remember the storage cities of Pithom and Rameses and conclude by building God's house so the author has written all these symmetries that develop throughout the journey but the structure of the story goes one level deeper but to understand the symbolism of why the author has structured the book into three sections we have to review some of the details of the book of Exodus in Egypt Israel is enslaved and God calls Moses at the burning bush to deliver his people God then sends plagues in all manner of element elements including raining down fire and delivers his people through the sea in the wilderness on the way to Mount Sinai God leads his people in a pillar of fire and cloud that illumines their way israel complains about the food and God provides them with manna bread from heaven and when they arrive at Mount Sinai the fiery glory cloud rests on the mountain and the elders travel up into it to have a meal with God Moses receives the law as well as the instructions for the building of the tabernacle the climax of the book the thing that gets the most space is the tabernacle the detailed instructions and then the actual account of the construction the tabernacle occupies 40% of the book of Exodus 16 out of 40 chapters so why all this attention but not only did Moses spend a lot of time talking about the tabernacle he designed the book to be a literary tabernacle just like the book of Exodus is organized into three sections geographically designed as is Israel journeys from Egypt through the wilderness to Mount Sinai so the tabernacle is organized into three sections through which you major knee the courtyard then the holy place and the Holy of Holies but the numerical connections are only the beginning the events throughout the book correspond to objects in each section of the tabernacle for instance in the courtyard there's an altar for offerings and the bronze basin for washings these correspond to the fire of the burning bush or the plague of fire from heaven and the crossing of the Red Sea moving one section in to the most holy place you have a lamp stand that provides the only light in the dark tent just like God's glory cloud provides light to the Israelites you also have a table with bread on it just like God provides bread from heaven the manna in the wilderness and lastly in the holy of holies you have God's glory cloud resting on the mountain as well as inside the holy of holies the same thing you also had the ark that includes bread just like the meal that the elders ate as well as tablets containing God's Word remember the Ten Commandments just like God giving the law and the Ten Commandments about Sinai and as a literary Tabernacle the reader journeys into the tabernacle throughout the reading of Exodus and this would have been precious to the Israelites because no normal Israelite was allowed in the holy place and only one Israelite the high priest was allowed in the Holy of Holies and only once a year so literary access to the tabernacle was the only access they had but there's more than that you see by incorporating all the aspects of the Israelites journey into God's house all their experiences even the bad ones find their place God's house all these are gathered together into one harmonious architecture adorning the interior of God's home and that my friends is why the Bible is art thank you everyone for checking out the video this week I really appreciate it if you have any questions feel free to leave them below if you'd like to support the channel that would be lovely you can do so at slash the bible is art and i thank you so much and I will see you you

4 thoughts on “The Literary Art of Exodus


  2. The typology and literary genius of the Book of Exodus is pure brilliance, obviously of Divine authorship. Thanks for bringing a little bit of that out. It something most Christians are just not taught.

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