Exodus 35-40 is highly repetitive with the content of Exodus 25-31. However, the order of the material presented is quite different. This episode explores how scholars have thought about the similarities and differences. Scholars have discovered literary patterns and theological messaging in comparing and contrasting these sections of Exodus. This episode reminds us to consider the intentionality of repetition and other patterns on the part of the writers / editors so that we don’t fall prey to the temptation to judge their work incorrectly.
Exodus 33:12-23 constitute the famous passage where Moses’ asks to see the Glory of God. In return, he receives a deflective answer and yet experiences God in human form on Mount Sinai. After having delved into this passage in the previous episode of the podcast, this episode returns to this passage and carries the content into Exodus 34. These chapters give us insight into how the anthropomorphized Yahweh links to the Angel of the Presence (Exod 23:20-23) who accompanied Israel into the Promised Land.
This episode of the podcast returns to parts of Exodus 32 that dovetail with the content of Exodus 33. The exchanges between God and Moses in these chapters produce points of confusion: If God really decided not to destroy Israel for the golden calf incident, then why does he still judge them? Why does Moses plead for God to turn away his anger and then demand that the perpetrators of the calf’s sacrilege be killed? In Chapter 33 God tells Moses that he will no longer be going with them to the Promised Land, but will still send “an angel” to guide them—a statement that confuses Moses. How is this consistent with God’s earlier promises in Exodus that he would take Israel to the Land and the identification of Angel of Exodus 23, who was the visible manifestation of Yahweh?