christine's bible study

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

exodus 6:2-9:35, va’era “and I appeared” chiastic structure

Read Exodus 6:2-9:35 at Bible Gateway.

And Elohiym spoke to Moses and said: "I am Yehovah the Lord. I will take you as My people, and I will be your God."

The hebrew paragraph divisions are posted here. (I found a transcription error in my notes with the hebrew paragraph divisions, and have made all the appropriate corrections.) Torah portion va’era (“and I appeared”) forms its own chiastic structure:

Exo 6:2-9:35 va’era
1a) Exo 6:2-9 {p} YHVH to reveal the meaning of His name by an outstretched arm + great judgments:
— 1a) Exo 6:2a, Elohiym spoke to Moses and said to him;
— 1b) Exo 6:2b, “I am Yehovah;”
— 1c) Exo 6:3-5, “I established My covenant with Abraham + Isaac + Jacob to give them the land/ I remembered My covenant;
— 1d) Exo 6:6, “I am Yehovah; I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians with great judgments;”
— central axis) Exo 6:7a, “I will take you as My people, and I will be your Elohiym;”
— 2d) Exo 6:7b, “You shall know that I am Yehovah your Elohiym who brings you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians;”
— 2c) Exo 6:8a, “I will bring you into the land which I swore to Abraham + Isaac + Jacob/ I will give it to you as a heritage;”
— 2b) Exo 6:8b, “I am Yehovah;”
— 2a) Exo 6:9 {p} Moses spoke to the children of Israel; but they did not heed him because of anguish + cruel bondage.
1b) Exo 6:10-11, Moses to tell Pharaoh to let Israel go + the children of Israel have not heeded Moses;
1c) Exo 6:12a, “How shall Pharaoh heed me;”
1d) Exo 6:12b {p} “I am of uncircumcised lips;”
1e) Exo 6:13 {s} YHVH gave Moses + Aaron a command for Pharaoh, to bring the children of Israel out;
1f) Exo 6:14-15, Heads of the fathers’ houses of Reuben + Simeon;
central axis) Exo 6:16-25a, The seed of Levi;
2f) Exo 6:25b, Heads of the fathers houses’ of Levi;
2e) Exo 6:26-28 {s}, The same Moses + Aaron to whom the Lord said, Speak to Pharaoh to bring Israel out;
— 1a) Exo 6:26a, These are the same Aaron and Moses to whom the Lord said;
— 1b) Exo 6:26b, “Bring out the children of Israel from the land of Egypt according to their armies;”
 — central axis) Exo 6:27a, These are the ones who spoke to Pharaoh king of Egypt;
— 2b) Exo 6:27b, To bring out the children of Israel from Egypt;
— 2a) Exo 6:27c-28 {s} These are the same Moses and Aaron + on the day the Lord spoke to Moses in the land of Egypt.
2d) Exo 6:29-30a, Moses of uncircumcised lips;
2c) Exo 6:30b {p} “How shall Pharaoh heed me?”
2b) Exo 7:1-7 {p} Moses to tell Pharaoh to let Israel go + Pharaoh will not heed Moses;
2a) Exo 7:8-9:35 {s+s+p+s+s+p+p+s+p+p} Miraculous signs + seven plagues.

The amazing way the seven plagues reveal the meaning of “I am YHVH” is discussed here. That the strong themes begin to reveal the God who performs His word is discussed here. How God multiplies His wonders through the plagues, and how the plagues reveal YHVH as the God who extends mercy in the midst of judgment, is discussed here and here. The A pair of the chiastic structure shows us that it is through the plagues that God teaches both Pharaoh and Israel what “I am YHVH” means … and contrary to what we might have been taught, “I am YHVH” does NOT mean, “I am vengeful, wrathful, angry, and judgmental.” There is no emotion of wrath or anger expressed in the plagues, but the teaching tools of Scripture reveal instead, that through the plagues, YHVH is teaching those who do not know Him, by patient increments, that He is the great God, greater than the false gods they have been taught to believe in, who extends mercy … even to Egyptians.


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