- Hebrews right to possess the land not the free gift, both parties to the covenant must live
according to specific obligations.
-Hebrew’s legendary ancestors–to Abraham, his son Isaiah and grandson Jacob, as well as Moses to
the all thought of as making covenants with God’s.
- events parallel the ceremonial covenant making of historical figures: Hebrew kings-David, Solomon,
Josiah, and the scribe Ezra. Each have reenacted the covenant between themselves, their people and
-No suggestion of reward after death. Society understands ultimate rewards in concrete terms e.g. easy
death after a long comfortable life, with many descendents.
Moses and the Exodus:
Joseph narrative of Genesis 37–50: send the descendents of Abraham Egypt, from where Moses will
lead them into the promised land.
Chapter 3 of Exodus-tells of an encounter between Moses and God before Moses his people escaped
Egypt. Moses sees a vision of God as a flame in a Bush that burns without being consumed.
-God identifies himself giving his personal name. Represented in Hebrew by the lettersYHWH.
Hebrews working as laborers on Egyptian construction projects in slave labor. The God instructs Moses
to request their release from Pharaoh.
-When request is refused God sends plague to the Egyptians, staring the Hebrews, who escaped across
the Red Sea. Hebrews reach the Baron Sinai Peninsula.
Jewish people came to identify with the Exodus as a metaphor for the transition from slavery to to the
status of people with the destiny and purpose.
Passover festival-commemorates their participation in that historic event.
10 Commandments-in Exodus 20:2–17. Thought to be a covenant that all people not just patriarchal
ancestors make a communal bow to obey.
-Aaron [Moses his brother] becomes the archetypal priest.
-Without the permanent Temple, worship takes place in a tent called the Tabernacle, Within which a
test called the Ark of the covenant is located, serving as the throne of God’s invisible presence.
1)You shall worship no other god but me.
2)You shall not make carvings or images of the heavens or the world below that you worship.
3)You shall not use the Lord’s name in vain.
4) You must keep the Sabbath day as a rest day.
5)Honor your father and mother.
6)You shall not commit murder.
7)You shall not commit adultery.
8)You shall not steal.
9)You shall not give false evidence against your neighbor.
10)You shall not covet your neighbor’s house or his wife, or slaves or anything that belongs to him.