Tag Archives: Hebrews

Leviticus 26-27:

The Abrahamic Covenant of the Land:
The Abrahamic Covenant is tied to the land.  The Israelites can choose a blessing or a curse dependent upon if they are obedient and loyal or disobedient and not loyal.  It is a conditional Covenant.  This is a traditional Near Eastern Suzerainty Lord-Vassal Covenant, full of blessings and curses.  If they remain loyal to Yahweh and reject other gods, then they will obey the rules of the Covenant.  It is their freewill choice to obey or not to obey.  Yet, even if they disobey, various “reset buttons” are built into the system, such as the various offerings, the Day of Atonement, the Sabbatical Year, the Year of Jubilee.  Disloyalty will (and did) result in exile from the land.  Humility, penance and confession of their iniquities could (and did) lead to Restoration.  Then, Yahweh “will remember the Covenant” and the land.

St. Paul and the Restoration:
St. Paul interprets the Restoration with the coming of the New Covenant and the embrace of the Gospel to Israel and all the nations.  Rom. 2:28 says a Jew is one inwardly by heart and spirit. Similarly, Gal. 3 speaks of the new Israel as the Church, “Abraham’s seed.”  The Church fulfills the promise to Israel.  St. Paul actually quotes Lev. 26:12 saying “I will live in them and move among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” (2 Cor. 6:16)  St. Paul says this is fulfilled in the fact that Christians are a “temple of the living God.”  The Gentile Christians have the Holy Spirit dwelling inside of them.  After the Exile, only two tribes of Israel returned. Not all 12 tribes returned to Israel. The Restoration is fulfilled in the coming of the Gospel to all Jews and Gentile nations.  The Exile ends with the Cross and Crucifixion.  The Church fulfills the Abrahamic Covenant of faith. Yet, there will be another fulfillment and Restoration too to Israel at the Second Coming.  Multifaceted levels of fulfillment are going on in prophecy and the Restoration.

Communion of the People with God:
Leviticus is all about the communion of God with His people through the lifestyle necessary to maintain that communion.  It was a type of liturgical worship.  In the living tradition of the Church, the liturgical holiness and cleanliness and worship of God developed in Leviticus was absorbed into the Church.  However, the great bulk of the law was added after the transgression of the Golden Calf Incident.  As St. Paul alludes, the law was added because of sin.  But, as St. Thomas Aquinas taught (ST, I-II, 98-105), there were delineations in various laws that the Israelites adopted: (1) Civil laws; (2) Ceremonial laws; and (3) Moral laws.  The civil law was applicable only to Israel’s culture and time; the ceremonial laws were foreshadows and types of Christ, and so, fulfilled in Christ. And, the moral laws alone were authoritative and so, continued into the New Testament and in perpetuity.  Morality does not change.

New Testament Dependence upon Leviticus:
Jesus quoted Leviticus and called one of its scriptures the second greatest commandment: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Lev. 19:18) The New Covenant is replete with Levitical quotes and is completely dependent upon the Old Testament and the inheritance of Leviticus.  Much of our vocabulary is directly from Leviticus.  For example: Jesus Christ is our “High Priest” who makes “atonement” for “sins” by the paschal “sacrifice” of Himself, by the result of the “blood of His sacrifice” we are “cleansed.”  Christ’s “blood” “consecrates” us, and the “priests” in His Church to convey His “holiness” onto us.  As the Book of Hebrews states as a matter of fact: “ buy Pregabalin Lyrica uk v  He entered once for all into the Holy Place, takingnot the blood of goats and calves but His own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.” (Heb. 11:12)

The Baptism of the Gentiles:
As St. Peter in his vision in the Book of Acts realized that the Food Laws were no longer binding and that the Gospel should be preached to the Gentiles too.  St. Peter’s vision is directed at the Food Laws of Leviticus: http://faithfamilyandtechnology.com/music/song-review-forever-country/  “In it were all kinds of animals and reptiles and birds of the air. And there came a voice to him, “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.” But Peter said, “No, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean.” And the voice came to him again a second time, “What God has cleansed, you must not call common.” This happened three times, and the thing was taken up at once to heaven.” (Acts 10:12-16) St. Peter then realized that the Gentiles were not to be excluded from the Gospel.  Originally the Church was only preached and spread among the Jews, but after this vision it incorporated all of humanity.  St. Peter said: “In truth, I see that God show no partiality.  Rather, in every nation whoever fears Him and acts uprightly is acceptable to Him.” (Acts 10:34-35)  Then, later: “The circumcised believers who had accompanied Peter were astounded that the gift of the Holy Spirit should have been poured out on the Gentiles also, for they could hear them speaking in tongues and glorifying God.  Then Peter responded, ‘Can anyone withhold the water for baptizing these people, who have received the Holy Spirit even as we have?’  He ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.” (Acts 10:45-48) The New Testament undoes the Levitical prohibitions against the Gentiles, and begins to draw back in the exiled nations of the Tower of Babel. God expands “His portion” from just Israel to the whole portion of the whole world. It will be a universal redemption.

Exodus 7- 11:

Yahweh is Greater than Nature:
The God of Israel then confronts and conquers Pharaoh and Egypt, and all the gods of nature that the Egyptians worship.  God will get Pharaoh to release Israel by smiting Egypt with ten plagues.  One of the primary purposes of Genesis and Exodus is God disassociating Himself from nature, that He is outside of nature and greater than nature.  Man is no longer to worship nature or the things of nature.  God is outside of nature.  He existed before nature and the universe.  He is the very Creator of the whole cosmos, not confined to it.  Additionally, Yahweh is judging and showing His superiority to the pantheon of Egyptian deities. Yahweh is discrediting Egyptian polytheism.

Yahweh’s Plague Judgments of Egyptian Deities:
Yahweh is revealing Himself, His name, and seeks to, in effect, destroy the competition of idolatrous so-called deities through ten plagues. Speaking of the plagues on Egypt, the Book of Numbers says, “The Lord had also executed judgments on their gods.” (Num. 33:4) Similarly, the Book of Wisdom says, “For they went far astray on the paths of error, accepting as gods those animals that even their enemies despised; they were deceived like foolish infants. Therefore, as though to children who cannot reason, you sent your judgment to mock them.” (Wis. 12:24-25) The pseudepigraphical Book of Jubilees also highlights this point: And the Lord executed a great vengeance on them for Israel’s sake, and smote them through (the plagues of) blood and frogs, lice and dog-flies, and malignant boils breaking forth in blains; and their cattle by death; and by hail-stones, thereby He destroyed everything that grew for them; and by locusts which devoured the residue which had been left by the hail, and by darkness; and of the first-born of men and animals, and on all their idols the Lord took vengeance and burned them with fire.” (Jubilees 48:5) One can imagine the consternation and disbelief of Pharaoh and the Egyptians as their gods fail them in each successive plague:

 (1) First http://sullivanbrospainting.com/ plague of Nile water turned into blood is against Hapi, god of the Nile and flooding, and Khnum, guardian of the Nile;

(2) Second cardizem 60 mg bula plague of frogs is against the frog goddess Heket, depicted as a frog, who represented fertility and the flooding of the Nile;

(3) Third plague of gnats (or lice) is against the earth god, Geb/Seb;

(4) Fourth plague of flies and insects is against Uatchit, the god manifested as Ichneuman fly; and Kheper, god of beetles and flies;

(5) Fifth plague of diseased cattle is against Apis, the bull god, and Hathor, the cow goddess; and Amon, god associated with bulls;

(6) Sixth plague of boils and sores is against Shekhmet, the goddess of disease control, Imhotep, god of medicine, and Serapis, god of healing;

(7) Seventh plague of hail is against Nut, the goddess of the sky, and Shu, god of the atmosphere;

(8) Eighth plague of locusts is against Senehem, the god of pest control; Seth, protector of crops, and Isis, the goddess of life;

(9) Ninth plague of darkness is against Ra, Aten, Atum, and Horace, all gods of light and the sun; and Thoth, the moon god;

(10) Tenth plague of firstborns’ deaths is against Osiris, the god of life and patron of the so-called divine Pharaoh himself.

Other Symbolism:
Moses is now 80 years old. There are traditionally three 40-year divisions of Moses’ life.  Pharaoh’s royal headpiece featured a cobra representing the serpent goddess Wadjet. When the occultist magicians throw down their staffs they become serpents, representing Egyptian power. However, Moses’ wooden staff represents a sign of the Cross.  When Aaron throws it down before Pharaoh, it too became a serpent and swallowed up the serpent-rods of Pharaoh’s sorcerers.  This anticipates the “swallowing up” later of Pharaoh and the Egyptian army that chases the Israelites into the Red Sea.  And, later symbolism is reflected in the Cross of Christ swallowing up sin and death.  After the third plague of gnats, though “the magicians tried to bring forth gnats by their magic arts, they could not do so.” This is a turning point in the plagues.  The magicians finally confess that Yahweh’s power exceeds their own dark occult powers. They declare to Pharaoh, “This is the finger of God.” (Ex. 8:15)  This finger of God is revealed in the third plague because it is the power of the Holy Spirit as the Third Person of the Trinity.

Moses as Mediator: 
Moses as mediator and intercessor is a constant theme throughout Exodus.  Moses pleads to Yahweh on behalf of the Egyptians and the Hebrews throughout Exodus. After the plague of frogs, Moses “cried to the Lord” to relieve the plague of frogs on the Egyptians. Moses as a type of Christ also foreshadows Christ as mediator and intercessor for his people.  Moses is depicted throughout Exodus praying efficaciously to Yahweh on behalf of his people, “and the Lord did as Moses had asked.” Jesus is the new Moses leading the new exodus to the promised land; just as Moses’ first miracle was changing the waters to blood, so too, Christ’s first miracle at Cana was changing the water to wine.

Three Cycles of the Plagues:
The plagues are grouped into three cycles of occurrences (ie, 1-3, 4-6, 7-9), with the tenth plague (10) as the climax.  In the first cycle of each plague (1, 4, 7th or blood, insects, and hail), Moses is instructed by God to go to Pharaoh “early in the morning” and wait for him, then issue the warning.  God is giving Pharaoh time to convert.  Before the second cycle of each plague (2, 5, 8th or frogs, pestilence, and locusts), God tells Moses to “go to Pharaoh” directly in his palace and forcefully confront him there.  In the third cycle of each plague (3, 6, 9th or gnats/lice, boils, and darkness), these are inflicted without any forewarning from God or Moses.  So, there are three cycles of plagues that go from a warning to confrontation to punishment without warning.  The three cycles also increase in severity and intensity from one cycle to the next. The three cycles of plagues climaxes with the worst plague of all, which is the 10th plague, the killing of all the first-borns.  The plagues also represent a reversal of the order of creation of life found Genesis 1: The Lord makes darkness prevail over light; waters become foul and unable to support life; He destroys plants, trees and fruits; He brings death to fish, frogs and cattle; and ultimately kills some human lives.  There is a play on words here too for Pharaoh to choose.  God tells Pharaoh to “send” His people, or He will “send” another plague upon him.

Apocalyptic Nature of the Plagues:
The apocalyptic prophet Joel wrote that, “The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.” (Joel 2:31) These are events depicting the end of the world.  However, the plagues of the Exodus foreshadow these events. The first plague is the Nile turning to blood, and the ninth plague is the three days of the sun turning to darkness.

The Three Days of Darkness:
The three days of darkness has long been in the apocalyptic mind.  Yahweh set a plague of three days of darkness over Egypt in order to set Israel free.  Jesus remained in the tomb for three days; as the light of the world died, the world remained in darkness for three days from Good Friday to Holy Saturday till the morning of Easter Sunday.  In the Book of Revelation, darkness also overtakes the sinful world of the antichrist, although three days is not specifically mentioned.  After the fourth trumpet, “a third of the sun, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars were struck, so that a third of them became dark.  The day lost its light for a third of the time, as did the night.” (Rev. 8:12) Similarly, after the fifth bowl is poured out on the antichrist’s kingdom, “Its kingdom was plunged into darkness.” (Rev. 16: 10)  Various mystics through the centuries have also prophesied about a three days of darkness shortly before the end of the world.

The Ten Plagues of Exodus and the Plagues of the End of the World:
There seem to be a lot of overlap and comparisons in the plagues against Pharaoh and the Egyptians in the Exodus and the plagues against the Antichrist and his kingdom, referred to as the trumpet blasts and bowls in the Book of Revelation. The judgment upon Pharaoh and the kingdom of Egypt is a type and forerunner to the judgment and punishment leveled against the antichrist and his followers.  The dramatic intervention in Exodus by God with miracles and wonders and judgment to extricate the chosen people from slavery under a tyrannical antichrist figure and bring them to the promised land is but an echo and foreshadowing of the dramatic events of the end of the world.  Here are the plague similarities between Exodus and the Book of Revelation:

1st Exodus plague, Nile’s Water turn to Blood:
Revelation 2nd Trumpet: “something like a large burning mountain was hurled into the sea.”  “A third of the sea turned to blood, a third of the creatures living in the sea died.” (Rev. 8:8-9)
Revelation 3rd Trumpet: “a large star burning like a torch fell from the sky.” “It fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water.”  And, “a third of all the water turned to wormwood.”(Rev. 8:10-11)
Revelation 2nd Bowl: “The sea turned to blood. . . every creature living in the sea died.” (Rev. 16:3)
Revelation 3rd Bowl: “on the rivers and springs of water.  These also turned to blood.” (Rev. 16:4)

2nd Exodus plague, Frog Infestation:
Revelation 6th Bowl: “I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come from the mouth of the dragon, from the mouth of the beast, and from the mouth of the false prophet. These were demonic spirits who performed signs.” (Rev. 16:13)  Just as Yahweh sent a plague upon Egypt of a frog infestation, so too, at the end of the world will the demonic frog spirits come forth from the Beast, antichrist and false prophet.  God condemns them just as He did the demonic frog deity Heket of Egypt, whose magicians also performed false “signs.”

3rd Exodus plague, Gnats/Lice: 
Revelation 1st Trumpet: “A third of the land was burned up, along with a third of the trees and all the grass.” (Rev. 8:7) The land is burned up in Revelation, similar to how Yahweh had Aaron “strike the dust of the earth” in order to turn it into gnats/lice.  In both plagues, the land of the earth and its inhabitants are stricken.

4th Exodus plague, Flies:
Revelation 5th Trumpet: “The sun and the air were darkened by the smoke from the passage.  Locusts came out of the smoke onto the land, and they were given the same power as scorpions of the earth.” (Rev. 9:2-3)  This does not equate exactly to “flies” but the idea of a swarm of flies darkening the air and other insects like locusts and scorpions are analogized.

5th Exodus plague, Death of Livestock:
1st Trumpet, again the land of the earth is struck killing lots of plants and animals.  This is the only equivalence to this plague.

6th Exodus plague, Festering Boils and Sores:
1st Bowl “Festering and ugly sores broke out on those who had the mark of the beast or worshiped its image.” (Rev. 16:2)
4th Bowl: the sun “was given power to burn people with fire.  People were burned by the scorching heat.” (Rev. 16:8)

7th Exodus plague, Fiery Hailstorm:
1st Trumpet, “there came hail and fire mixed with blood, which was hurled down to the earth.” (Rev. 8:7)
7th Bowl: “Large hailstones like huge weights came down from the sky on people, and they blasphemed God for the plague of hail because this plague was so severe.” (Rev. 16:21)

8th Exodus plague, Locusts:
5th Trumpet: “Locusts came out of the smoke onto the land, and they were given the same power as scorpions of the earth. They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any plant or any tree, but only those people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads.” (Rev. 9:3-4) Just like the locusts of Exodus only affected the Egyptians and Pharaoh, and not the Hebrews, so too, the locust-demons of Revelation will only torment those who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads (i.e., Christians) and follow the antichrist.

9th Exodus plague, Three Days of Darkness:
4th Trumpet: “a third of the sun, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars were struck, so that a third of them became dark. The day lost its light for a third of the time, as did the night.” (Rev. 8:12)
5th Bowl: the Beast’s “kingdom was plunged into darkness, and the people bit their tongues in pain.” (Rev. 16:10)

10th Exodus plague, Death of Firstborns:
6th Trumpet: “a third of the human race was killed” by fire, smoke and sulfur. (Rev. 9:18)  “The rest of the human race, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, to give up the worship of demons and idols made from gold, silver, bronze, stone, and wood, which cannot see or hear or walk.” (Rev. 9:20)  There is not an exact match for the killing of the firstborns, but a general plague killing a third of the human race.

Exodus and Revelation’s Parallels:
It is interesting too that Revelation calls “‘Egypt’ where indeed their Lord was crucified” referring to end-times Jerusalem. (Rev. 11:8) The parallels from Exodus’ plagues to Revelation’s end-of-the-world plagues are unmistakable: from the waters turning into blood and the life forms in them dying; to the infestation of demonic “frog” spirits; to the striking of the land and its creatures; to infestation of flies and demonic locusts; to festering boils and sores; to fierce fire and hail storms; to the three days of darkness; and to the mass killing of human life.  The plagues of Exodus are a sign and foreshadowing to the plagues of the end-of-the-world.  Just as the Hebrews were separated and singled out by Yahweh for special protection, so too, those Christians sealed with the Holy Spirit on their foreheads will be saved by God in the end.

The Seventh Trumpet:
The 7th Trumpet is never revealed, but St. John is told to “seal it up” till the proper time when the “mysterious plan of God” is revealed.  In the end, amid lightning, and rumbles of thunder, and earthquakes that will lay waste the entire earth, on the last day, as sin and suffering and death are, at last, vanquished and our eternal existence begins, God will say, in the same final words of Jesus on the Cross, “It is done.” (Rev.16:17)

Sacrifice, Idolatry and Abomination:
At one point after the plague of flies, Pharaoh agrees to permit Moses to go “in this land” to offer sacrifice to Yahweh. But Moses protests saying, “It is not right to do so, for the sacrifices we offer to the Lord, our God, are an abomination to the Egyptians.  If before their very eyes we offer sacrifices which are an abomination to them, will not the Egyptians stone us?” (Ex. 8:22)  Slaughtering flocks and herds of these animals was unthinkable to the Egyptians, who worshipped these animals’ representations as their gods, such as Apis and Mnevis the bull gods; Hathor the cow goddess, and Amun and Khnum the ram gods.  The Hebrews sacrifice the Egyptian gods as an offering to the one true and eternal God, Yahweh.  Hence, Moses insisted on offering the sacrifices to Yahweh at a three days journey into the wilderness.  Yahweh probably ordained the sacrifice as a means to disassociate the Hebrews from the idolatrous animal gods of the Egyptians.  For the Hebrews had been enslaved in Egypt for over 400 years and had become undoubtedly attached and tainted in some manner and form to the Egyptian idol worship.

Silver and Gold:
In fact, before the 10th plague, when the Lord knows Pharaoh will finally capitulate and release the Israelites, He tells Moses, “Instruct your people that every man is to ask his neighbor, and every woman her neighbor, for silver and gold articles and for clothing.” (Ex. 11:2) The Egyptians, after the ten plagues, were undoubtedly well disposed, to get rid of the Israelites with anything they sought.  Yahweh tells them they will be very agreeable to give them whatever they want at that point. The Israelites then leave Egypt finally, not as slaves poor and sullen, but as a conquering army, filled with “gold and silver” from their oppressors.  Unfortunately, that idolatrous religion from Egypt persisted with the Israelites.  Some time later, in the desert wilderness for 40 years, it will probably be this same “gold and silver” from the Egyptians that Aaron and the Israelites will meltdown into the “golden calf” to worship at the base of Mount Sinai. (Ex. 32:2-4)

The 10th Plague and the Killing of the Firstborn Sons:
Yahweh tells Moses that: “Every firstborn in this land shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh on the throne to the firstborn of the slave-girl at the handmill, as well as all the firstborn animals.” (Ex. 11:5)  This is probably an answer in-part to the bloodthirsty call by Pharaoh earlier to, “Throw into the river every boy that is born to the Hebrews.” (Ex. 1:22)  Just as the Hebrew slaves had been unable to protect their children, now the powerful Egyptians could do nothing to protect their children.  This echoes Yahweh’s earlier call to Moses and warning to Pharaoh: “Thus says the Lord: Israel is my son, my first-born. Hence I tell you: Let My son go, that he may serve me. If you refuse to let him go, I warn you, I will kill your son, your first-born.” (Ex. 4:22-23)  Israel is, in fact, the chosen nation and people that Yahweh will reveal Himself and His laws to the world.  Israel is Yahweh’s firstborn nation, and Jesus Christ born of the Jews will be God’s firstborn Son.  Again, the type and foreshadowing hold true; just as the Egyptians tried to kill the sons of the Hebrews and Moses, so too later, Herod will try to kill all the firstborn Jewish sons of Bethlehem and the baby Jesus.

Exodus 1-6:

Exodus Overview:
The book of Exodus is broken up into two halves: the first – the liberation of the Hebrews from Egypt; and the second – the establishment of the Covenant at Mount Sinai. The Israelites leave Egypt not as slaves or refugees but as a plundering army with gold and silver, dramatically attesting to the power of God’s deed. From there, they cross the Red Sea and enter into the slower drama of the wilderness experience in the Sinai Desert. There are four main themes associated with the book of Exodus: (1) Revelation (God reveals to Moses and Israel His name, YHWH); (2) Salvation (from Egypt and through the Sea and in the desert); (3) Covenant (the 10 Commandments at Mt. Sinai); and (4) Glory (YHWH comes to dwell with the Israelites in the Meeting Tent, Tabernacle and Mercy Seat on the Ark of the Covenant.)

The Sons of Israel in Egypt:
Joseph and all his brothers eventually died, and “a new king, who knew nothing of Joseph, came to power in Egypt.” The Israelites were “fruitful and increased,” and “became so numerous and strong that the land was filled with them.” Jewish scholars have pointed out that “fruitful and increased” echoes the story of Creation when God told Adam and Eve to be “fruitful and multiply” (Gen. 1:28). This implies a type of “Second Creation” with the forming of the Jewish nation. God charged this specific group of people, the Israelites, with spreading monotheism to the whole world and a universal ethical and moral code. In short, they would make the one true God known to the world. The Jews would become God’s people who would prepare the way, and eventually, give birth to the Messiah.

The Midwives and the Hebrew Boys:
The Pharaoh and the Egyptians, however, grew fearful of them as a foreign people and a foreign bloodline in their country. So, set taskmasters over them, and “reduced them to cruel slavery.” “Thus they had to build for Pharaoh the supply cities of Pithom and Raamses.” The King of Egypt then orders the midwives working for the Hebrews “if it is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, she may live.” (Ex. 1:16) “The midwives, however, feared God; they did not do as the king of Egypt had ordered them, but let the boys live.” (Ex. 1:17) After the king confronted the midwives, the Pharaoh then orders all his subjects to: “Throw into the river every boy that is born to the Hebrews, but you may let all the girls life.” (Ex. 1:22)

The Slaughter of the Innocence:
This, of course, is a foreshadowing centuries later of King Herod’s decree to slaughter all the first-born males in Bethlehem, the slaughter of the innocence. Evil feeds off the blood of the most innocent, like the practice of infant sacrifice to Molech. King Herod was troubled by the Magi’s prediction of a male Savior born at the time, so in a jealous rage he tried to kill him, by killing all the young male babies. “Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, was in a furious rage, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under..” (Mt. 2:16) Here too the Egyptians seek to snuff out the life of the Israelites by slaughtering all the newborn males. One source from the Midrash actually relates that Pharaoh was warned by his sorcerers and astrologers that a male savior of the Israelites was about to be born. This would explain why he sought to kill all the young male infants. This would be repeated again in the time of Jesus’ birth. Pharaoh was a type and forerunner to Herod, just as Moses was a type and forerunner to Jesus. Jesus is, in fact, the “new Moses.”

Water and the Birth of Moses:
Moses was born to ordinary Levi parents. However, “When she could hide him no longer, she took a papyrus basket, daubed it with bitumen and pitch, and putting the child in it, placed it among the reeds on the river bank.” (Ex. 2:3) Pharaoh’s daughter came down the Nile River bank and saw the basket among the reeds had her handmaid fetch it. She was “moved with pity” upon seeing the baby Hebrew boy, and decided to have one of the Hebrew women (his own mother) nurse him. Later, after “the child grew” Pharaoh’s daughter adopted him as her son, and called him Moses because “I drew him out of the water.” This is meant as a direct allusion to Noah’s Ark. The Hebrew word tevah is used for both Noah’s Ark and Moses’ wicker basket. Just as God had established a new world with the Flood and saving Noah from the waters in the Ark, YHWH would now establish another creation of the Jewish nation by pulling Moses from the waters. These are, of course, forerunners and a typology for Jesus, who makes us new creations through the waters of Baptism. The precursor creations of Noah and Moses give way to the truly new creation brought about by Jesus Christ the Messiah.

Moses Flight from Egypt:
After Moses had grown up, he witnessed an Egyptian striking a fellow Hebrew, and so, Moses slew him. Soon, the affair was known and Moses became afraid that Pharaoh would try to kill him. Moses fled to the land of Midian in the Arabian Peninsula. There, Moses is invited into the House of Jethro who has seven daughters. He marries his daughter Zipporah and have a son, Gershom.

The Burning Bush:
While tending his flock near the mountain of God, Mount Horeb, “an angel of the Lord appeared to him in fire flaming out of a bush.” (Ex. 3:2) “As he looked on, he was surprised to see that the bush, though on fire, was not consumed. So Moses decided, ‘I must go over to look at this remarkable sight, and see why the bush is not burned.'” (Ex. 3:3) God called out to him from the bush “Moses! Moses!” He answered, “Here I am.” God tells Moses He is the God of his father, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He has heard the cry of his people in affliction in Egypt. “Therefore I have come down to rescue them from the hands of the Egyptians and lead them out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey..”(Ex. 3:8) God then tells Moses that He is sending him to Pharaoh and to lead His people the Israelites out of Egypt. Moses responds, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and lead the Israelites out of Egypt?” God answers him, “I will be with you.”

I AM:
Then, Moses asks God if the Israelites ask him what is the name of God that sent him. “God replied, ‘I Am Who Am.’ Then He added: ‘This is what you shall tell the Israelites: I AM sent me to you.'” (Ex. 3:14) God tells Moses that His name is the verb “to be.” God is existence itself. God essence is being itself. “I Am Who Am” forms the letters YHWH, or with the Hebrew vowels, Yahweh. Yahweh is “Being,” “I Am,” or simply “Is.” The Hebrews considered the name of God too holy so subsequently through the Torah God is referred to simply as “Adonai” or “Lord.”

Jesus and I AM:
This is why Jesus’ proclamation centuries later that He is I AM is so shocking and the Jews were so scandalized. John chapter 8 has an incredible dialogue between Jesus and some of the Jewish hierarchy. They claim that Abraham is their ancestor and father. But, Jesus tells them: “‘Abraham your father rejoiced to see my day; he saw it and was glad.’ So the Jews said to him, ‘You are not yet fifty years old and you have seen Abraham?’ Jesus said to them, ‘Amen, amen, I say to you, before Abraham came to be, I AM.’ So they picked up stones to throw at him.” (John 8: 56-59) Jesus claims the name of God, and so, claims equality with God. Jesus and I AM are one.

Moses’ Mission:
Yahweh gives Moses his mission. “I am concerned about you and about the way you are being treated in Egypt; so I have decided to lead you up out of the misery of Egypt into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites, a land flowing with milk and honey.” (Ex. 3:17) Yahweh then tells Moses to assemble the elders of Israel and go to the Pharaoh to “permit us” to go three days journey into the desert to offer sacrifice to the Lord. God tells Moses beforehand that Pharaoh will not permit it but will force God to work “wondrous deeds.”

Moses’ Objections:
Moses objects to God, “suppose they will not believe me, nor listen to my plea?” God then changes Moses staff into a serpent. Then, He commanded Moses to take hold of the serpent, and when he did, it became his staff again. God then tests Moses again by turning his hand leprous, and back to normal again. Moses complains to the Lord again, “If you please, Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past, nor recently, nor now that you have spoken to your servant; but I am slow of speech and tongue.” (Ex. 4:10) The Lord losing patience with Moses commands him: “Go, then!” Yet, Moses persisted “If you please, Lord, send someone else!” Then the Lord became angry with Moses and said, ‘Have you not your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know that he is an eloquent speaker. . . He shall speak to the people for you.”

Moses’ Staff of God:
God commands him to take his shepherding staff with him by which Yahweh will work miracles. Moses remains a shepherd, but now he is the shepherd of the Israelites. This is also reminiscent of the humble David and his sling defeating the giant Goliath. Moses and his shepherd’s staff defeats the military might of Pharaoh and the Egyptian army.

God’s First-Born Son:
The Lord instructed Moses, “‘So you shall say to Pharaoh: ‘Thus says the Lord: Israel is my son, my first-born.'” Israel is God’s firstborn who He called out of Egypt. Israel is a foreshadowing again of Jesus, who is God’s firstborn and only Son. He too is also called out of Egypt.

Pharaoh’s Obduracy:
After Moses and Aaron make the request of Pharaoh to let the Israelites go for three days, even using the word “please” (“nah” in Hebrew) he refuses. Moses was essentially asking Pharaoh to allow the Israelites to offer animal sacrifices to Yahweh, but the Egyptians worshiped animals. The Israelites would in essence be sacrificing the gods of Egypt. Instead, Pharaoh tells the Hebrews, and their taskmasters and foreman, that they shall now have to gather their own straw and make the same amount of bricks for “They are lazy.” “Off to work, then!” Moses then bitterly complained to the Lord, “you have done nothing to rescue them.” (Ex. 5:23)

God’s Response:
Yahweh answers Moses, “I am the Lord. I will free you from the forced labor of the Egyptians and will deliver you from their slavery. I will rescue you by my outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. I will take you as My own people, and you shall have Me as your God. You will know that I, the Lord, am your God when I free you from the labor of the Egyptians and bring you into the land which I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I will give it to you as your own possession – I, the Lord!” (Ex. 6:7-8)

The Four Promises and Four Cups:
These are the traditional verses why Jews drink four cups of wine at the Passover Seder. Each cup represents a divine promise: (1) “I will free you.. ” (2) “I will deliver you.. ” (3) “I will rescue/redeem you.. ” (4) “I will take you to be My people.. ” These are the same four cups of wine that Jesus and the Apostles celebrated at the Last Supper – the first Mass and Eucharist – and the next day at the crucifixion. Jesus frees us, delivers us, redeems us, and makes us His people. “And I will take you to be My people” is reminiscent of the ancient Jewish marriage contract (ketubah) in which a woman accepts a marriage proposal from a man and the man takes a wife. Israel and God are often shown metaphorically to be in a marriage relationship and covenant. This foreshadows the true Bridegroom and Bride, Jesus Christ and His Church. With Jesus’ Holy Communion and Crucifixion, He seals the marriage of Himself with His Church. Jesus and His followers are one, just as husband and wife become “one flesh.” The faithful of the Church are the bride to the Messianic groom Christ. In Heaven to come, as depicted in Revelation, the Church is at the “wedding feast of the Lamb.” The Bridegroom and Bride are united forever in the marriage of God and man.