christine's bible study

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever. Isa 40:8

exodus 33:12-34:26, parashah chol ha’moed pesach (weekdays of the festival of passover)

I study the Torah every year using the teaching tools of Scripture. (Why?)

Today is the 26th Sabbath of the annual Torah cycle. Today, the first sabbath of the counting of the seven sabbaths toward the Feast of Weeks, we are having a special Torah reading because of the Feast of Unleavened Bread which has just concluded. It is Exo 33:12-34:26, taken from parashah ki tisa (when you take).

The paragraph divisions are as follows:

Exo 33:12-16 p Moses intercedes for the Lord’s presence also + the Lord agrees
Exo 33:17-23 p Moses asks to see the Lord’s glory + the Lord agrees
Exo 34:1-26 p Moses makes new tablets + Moses sees the Lord’s glory + Commandments renewed (Covenant renewed)

These paragraphs are part of a larger chiastic structure. However, the individual strong paragraphs also make up chaistic structures themselves:

Exo 33:12-16 p
1a) Exo 33:12-13, Bring up this people + grace + knowing + the Lord’s people:
1) Exo 33:12a, You say to me, ‘Bring up this people,’ but who will You send with me?;
2) Exo 33:12b-13a, If I have found grace in Your sight, show me Your way that I may know You;
3) Exo 33:13b, This nation is Your people;
central axis) Exo 33:14, And He said, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest;”
2a) Exo 33:15-16, Do not bring up this people + grace + knowing + Your separate people:
1) Exo 33:15, If Your presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here;
2) Exo 33:16a, How will it be known that we have found grace in Your sight, except You go with us?;
3) Exo 33:16b, This nation — Your people — is separate from all the people who are upon the face of the earth.

Furthermore, the 2nd point of the 1a element above forms its own chiastic structure:

Exo 33:12b-13a:
1a) Yet You have said, I know you by name;
1b) You have also found grace in My sight;
central axis) Now therefore, I pray;
2b) If I have found grace in Your sight;
2a) Show me now Your way that I may know You.

Exo 33:17-23 p is made up of two chaistic structures:

Exo 33:17-19
1a) Exo 33:17a, For you have found grace in My sight;
1b) Exo 33:17b, And I know you by name;
central axis) Exo 33:18, And Moses said, “Please, show me Your glory;”
2b) Exo 33:19a, My goodness will pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before you;
2a) Exo 33:19b, I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.

Exo 33:20-23
1a) Exo 33:20, You cannot see My face;
1b) Exo 33:21, Here is a place by Me, and you shall stand upon the rock;
central axis) Exo 33:22a, So it shall be, while My glory passes by;
2b) Exo 33:22b, I will put you in the cleft of the rock and cover you with My hand;
2a) Exo 33:23, You shall see My back, but My face shall not be seen.

I am posting this now rather than waiting until tomorrow when it will be completely finished. I will add to this post tomorrow to finish it. But I am learning so much just by the instruction of the central axis’ and matching pairs, I did not want anyone else to miss out!

Updated sunday 15 apr 2012: The final strong paragraph in this parashah cannot, that I can see, make a single chiastic structure on its own. But it does form these chiastic structures:

Exo 33:12-34:9
1a) Exo 33:12-17, Moses’ intercession: grace in YHVH’s sight + YHVH’s Presence come up with us;
1b) Exo 33:18-23, Moses to see YHVH’s glory + YHVH will proclaim His name;
1c) Exo 34:1-2, Cut two tablets like the first and come up in the morning;
central axis) Exo 34:3, “And no man shall come up with you, and let no man be seen throughout all the mountain; let neither flocks nor herds feed before that mountain;”
2c) Exo 34:4, Moses cut two tablets like the first and went up in the morning;
2b) Exo 34:5-8, YHVH showed Moses His glory + proclaimed His name;
2a) Exo 34:9, Moses’ intercession: grace in YHVH’s sight + YHVH come up with us.

Exo 34:10-27
1a)Exo 34:10, Behold I make a covenant;
1b) Exo 34:11a, Observe My commandments;
central axis) Exo 34:11b-16, I am driving out the Canaanites before you + do not mix with them!
2b) Exo 34:17-26, The commandments;
2a) Exo 34:27, Write the words of the covenant I have made.

The first structure, Exo 33:12-34:9, has as its central axis, that no man shall go up with Moses on the mountain. Moses is a type of Messiah and the mediator of the covenant. Just as Moses is the only mediator of the covenant between God and man, and no man is allowed with him on the mountain, so also Yeshua is the only mediator of the covenant between God and man (1 Tim 2:5), and no man is with Him or can effect his own salvation. The central axis is a Messianic prophecy.

The central axis of the second structure, Exo 34:10-27, is the admonition not to mix with the Canaanites or partake in their ways or idolatry. Keeping our hearts pure in single devotion to the LORD God, keeping ourselves a separate people from the world and its ways, is a protection for us, in keeping His commands. Exo 33:16 furthermore teaches us, that the separation flows from the journey through life in company with His Presence. He is the spring and source for the sanctification, not the other way around. So,

His Presence –> separation from the world –> obedience to commandments.

Obedience is not the cause, but the effect. Obedience is not sin! The definition of sin, is disobedience! Obedience only becomes a stumbling block, when man tries to make it the cause and the covenant the result, and not the other way around.

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