what happened at mount sinai in the bible

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Why should anyone who is not present when the deity speaks to the prophet believe that he did? The J, or Yahwistic, narrative could well be called “The Appearances of YHWH on Mount Sinai.” Here the Sinai events are essentially visual, primarily concerned with the question of who may behold the countenance of YHWH (“the Lord”) and under what conditions. The full story—what I call the canonical account—of the giving of the law begins with the Israelites’ arrival at the foot of Mount Sinai (Exodus 19). What happened at Mount Sinai? At the end of his career (Deuteronomy 19–28), Moses reminds the Israelites that after the Decalogue was pronounced, he stayed alone with God on the mountaintop to receive the remaining laws. Thus the story of J’s covenant, as well as J’s brief law code, became part of the calf cycle; henceforth, J’s covenant took on the appearance of a “covenant renewal”—though it is never referred to that way. We rely on the support of readers like you. Background Reading: The Israelis Reach Mount Sinai. Here the mountain is called Sinai. There is no prophetic Moses as in E. Here Moses merely receives divine commands and conveys them to the people. Israel came to Mount Sinai after being redeemed, heard the law, and assented to … The people are charged to stand back and watch; they witness fire, smoke and the trembling of the mountain, but they are not to attempt to gaze at YHWH. 8. Perhaps—but it seems more likely that the story of Moses’ lone ascent to Sinai is part of another episode in J, one in which some terrible sin has been committed and the pressing need for atonement and forgiveness is the central theme (Exodus 32:25–29, 33:1–6). The Bible presents the lawgiving not as a single dramatic event but as a lengthy process that begins on Sinai but does not end until 40 years later. (36) (Thenceforth, whenever the cloud would lift from the tabernacle, the Israelites would set out on their various journeys; (37) but if the cloud did not lift, they would not set out until such time as it did lift. It abounds in difficulties—at times appearing so disrupted and inconsistent, so contradictory and repetitive, that it is difficult to read as a continuous whole. Third, since both P and E speak of Moses receiving some object from God on the mountain, it stood to reason that the two refer to the same object. Moses would then put the veil back over his face until the next time he went in to speak with Him). What happened at Mount Sinai? [1] The Ten Words are not the laws themselves, but rather a sampling of divine pronouncements, offered so that the people may hear the divine voice speak to a prophet (Exodus 19:9–20:14).[2]. Then, as promised, God concludes the session by presenting Moses with a testimony, to be deposited in the Tabernacle ark, and dismisses him. The Bible itself states in Deuteronomy 4:33 that this never happened any place else. In fact, each account ignores the existence of the others. Thus, they merged the E and J stories into one, combining the visual (J) with the auditory (E)—the descent of YHWH on the mountain (J) with the voice heard from the heavens (E). Moses descends Sinai not once but eight times, and more and more laws keep coming all the time. What Happened at Mount Sinai in the Bible? The complete story covers three and a half of the first five books of the Bible, known as the Torah, a full 60 percent of the 187 chapters. 185–198, and Menahem Haran, Temples and Temple-Service in Ancient Israel (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1978; reprint, Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1985), pp. God’s fiery majesty enters the Tabernacle, and Moses is summoned to begin to receive the laws, which God conveys to him there (Exodus 40:34-Leviticus 1:1). (6) Moses took half the blood and put it in basins, and the other half he dashed against the altar. Most of the events that the book of Exodus describes as happening at Mount Sinai are located at Mount Horeb in the book of Deuteronomy. One after another, the laws are conveyed to Moses in a long speech (Exodus 20:19–23:19), ending with words of promise and exhortation (Exodus 23:20–33). (38) For a cloud of the LORD rested over the tabernacle by day, and fire would appear in it by night, in the view of all the house of Israel throughout their journeys.) He then commits to writing the whole text of his oration, referred to as “this torah,” or this teaching. Mount Horeb, also called Mount Sinai and the Mountain of God in the Bible, is where God appeared a number of times. Second, this event must have taken place as soon as the Israelites arrived at Sinai. Interested in how academic biblical scholarship and traditional Jewish belief and observance co-exist... 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