Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Exodus-Part 24

Now, let’s go to Exo 3, where we know that Moses has been sent back to the people so he can lead them out of Egypt to Mount Sinai. Sinai is called “Kodesh Adamat” in Hebrew, meaning “holy ground.” This is only the second time something is called “kodesh” (holy) in the Tanak. This will be the first time Moses is called a “shaliach” (3.10) or “sent one.” He is told to bring Israel to Mount Sinai. We have the plagues and how Moses must deal with Pharaoh. When they leave Egypt, they were only allowed to go for a period of three days, and we are told this three times (3.18, 5.3, 8.27).

They will leave Egypt on the 15th of Nisan, 430 years from the Covenant between the Halves in Gen 15 (Exo 12.41). They then begin their journey from a place called Sukkot, which is in the Faiyum and called “Succos” anciently. It is known as Harawa today. The Labyrinth is there and it has been shown to be a huge granary and mortuary temple.

Many in the Messianic, Sacred Name and Two House Movement today believe Israel crossed the Gulf of Aqaba. We have shown that this is impossible. We know this because they could only go three days into the wilderness, and we also know that is what they did because of the three camps mentioned in Exo 13.20-14.2). So, they had to have crossed the Gulf of Suez.

There may have been more than one “path” through the see as alluded to in Psa 77.19 and Psa 136.13. This would have allowed the tribes to pass through the sea quickly. Pharaoh dies in the sea, leaving no successor and Israel is free (Psa 136.15, 106.6-11, 74.13-14). The last Pharaoh of the 13th Dynasty was Dudimoses. He was the Pharaoh of the Exodus according to some scholars (“Pharaohs and Kings” by David Rohl). A Third Century BC Egyptian named Manetho described God (in the singular) smiting the Egyptians in the reign of Tutimaos (Greek for Dudimoses). He said, “This left the Egyptians powerless so that foreigners could take over Egypt without bloodshed.” The only time this happened was with the Hyksos at the end of the Middle Kingdom and the beginning of the Second Intermediate Period (1649-1539 BC).

When this dynasty fell, there was a tremendous vacuum. That is usually not the case when one Pharaoh dies and another takes his place. However, if Dudimoses was the Pharaoh, his demise and the demise of his army would explain the chaos. In addition, Egypt has also been devastated by the plagues. That would explain why Manetho said it was the work of God and why the 13th Dynasty ended abruptly.

We are told that Israel came out of Egypt along the path to the Gulf of Suez. Once across on the other side, they took a road leading up to the Derek Seir (Way to Seir) that cut across the northern end of the Sinai Peninsula to the northern tip of the Gulf of Aqaba. It is in this area that they are met by the Amalekites. A battle with the Amalekites is described in Exo 17 and it happened in the area around this northern tip of the Gulf of Aqaba, and before they got to Mount Sinai.

Edom is north of this area (Seir) and he had a descendant named Amalek. They became such a large group they were separate from the Edomites. They were to be a very war-like people and they were to be the perpetual enemy of Israel. The name “Amalekite” became a name for every enemy of the Jews, including Nazi Germany. We are told in Josephus that the Amalekites lived in the area of Petra. Some scholars like David Rohl suggest that the Amalekites were the Hyksos. We know from Scripture that news of the defeat of Egypt and the plagues spread abroad and the peoples of the region knew about the death of Pharaoh and the destruction of the chariot army. The Amalekites certainly would have known and they may have been moving to a vulnerable Egypt when they confronted Israel on their way to Sinai. The Amalekites were headed west and Israel was headed east.

At Sinai they were given the Torah, but Exo 18.16 says that Moses was teaching the statutes and laws before they were given the Torah at Sinai. In Josephus, Antiquities, Book 3, Chapter 5.8, it says that in addition to receiving the Torah and a government, they would also receive instruction about building a Mishkan. The Mishkan made it possible for the kedusha (“kodesh adamat” in Exo 3.5) that was on Mount Sinai to travel with the people in the Mishkan. That meant that they did not need to travel back down to Mount Sinai. Once they had the place for the Temple and it was built during the time of Solomon, the kedusha would move from the Mishkan to the Temple. Another name for the Temple was the “Beit Ha Mikdash” meaning “House of Kedusha.”

So, we have the Torah, the government and the Mishkan. The third time “kodesh” is used in the Scriptures is in Exo 19.6, when the Lord says, “And you shall be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” Israel is becoming a nation, not just a collection of tribes. Israel is being commissioned to lead the world to and understanding of God and the redemption. That is why Israel is called the “first born” in Exo 4.22. Peter reiterates this commission in 1 Pet 2.8-9.

In Gen 2.8 it says that the Lord planted a garden “toward the east in Eden.” East of where? The answer is found in Jer 17.12 where it says, “A glorious throne on high from the beginning is the place of our sanctuary.” This alludes back to Eden. The Garden was “east” of his throne on earth. Where it says, “from the beginning” it means from the beginning of time (“rishon”). So, the Mishkan and later the Temple, will be seen as Gan Eden. But it is more than that, it is Mount Sinai (holy ground).

Man was created in the image of God and he originally had a kedusha. When Adam sinned, man lost that kedusha and as a result, the world does not understand this concept. The commission of Israel will be to take the concept of kedusha to the rest of the world, among other things. Israel will live out the commandments which also have a kedusha (Rom 7.12). That is why when a believer keeps the Sabbath, he is telling the world that there is a kedusha of time. When he does not forbidden food he is testifying about kedusha. The world can look at Israel and a believer living out their lives before the Lord and see and have an understanding of kedusha (Deut 4.1-8, 11.1-32).

Now we are going to go to Exo 15.1-18 and see what is called the “Shirat Ha Yam” or “Song at the Sea.” This song is very eschatological. Exo 15.2 is translated “I will build him a sanctuary (habitation)” in the KJV, and it follows the Targum Onkelos, Rashi and Ibn Ezra. In the Stone Edition of the Chumash, Mesorah Publications, p. 317, it says, “And I will build him a sanctuary (lit., I will glorify him. Onkelos, Rashi, Ibn Ezra). All three agree that this is the primary interpretation, from “naveh”, home. It expresses Israel’s longing to build a Temple as the resting place of God’s presence. R’Mendel of Kotzak and R’Hirsch expand on this, rendering, I will make myself a sanctuary for him, for the greatest of all sanctuaries is the human being who makes himself holy.” The Hertz Pentateuch says, “And I will glorify him.” The rendering, ‘I will prepare him a habitation’ (KJV) follows Onkelos and the Rabbis, who translate, ‘I shall build thee a sanctuary.'”

We have always taught that we do not have the building of the Mishkan till Exo 25.8-9. There was a rabbinical discussion as to whether the Mishkan or Mikdash was built as a result of Exo 32, the Golden Calf incident. The answer to that discussion is “No.” However, it seems by Exo 15 and the Song at the Sea that they already had the concept of building a Mishkan and Mikdash. Onkelos, Rashi and Ibn Ezra all agree that Exo 15.2 gives the message of a Temple.

This is very important to understand as we talk about Mount Sinai. We know that the festival of Shavuot commemorates the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai. We know the basic story of what happened on Mount Sinai. They arrive and the Lord comes down and speaks. The people actually hear the voice of God and it is divided into seventy tongues. Moses goes up on the mountain and receives the tablets of stone. We also have the Golden Calf incident and Moses destroys the Two Tablets with the Ten Commandments written on them. Moses makes the people choose who they are going to follow. The Tribe of Levi stands with the Lord and three thousand people are slain. Then Moses goes back up the mountain. As you know, when the Holy Spirit was given at Shavuot in Acts 2, we have God speaking an various tongues, wind, fire and three thousand people were saved (Acts 2.1-41). That is not a coincidence.

In Part 25 we will pick up here.

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Questions, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Understanding the New Testament

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