In Part 1 of our study of Exodus 24 we looked at the covenant ratification ceremony (Exodus 24:1-8). This ceremony led up to the communal meal with Yahweh that is the centerpiece (vv. 9-11) of the rest of the chapter (Exodus 24:9-18). In this episode of the podcast we look at the interpretive difficulties and implications of beholding the God of Israel and celebrating his presence with a meal. How can anyone see God and live? Does this meal with God have precedent? Does it foreshadow any New Testament events and themes?
Exodus 24 is the culmination of the Sinai scene that began in Exodus 19. The first eight verses detail the covenant ratification ceremony. Burnt offerings and, significantly, peace offerings of fellowship, are sacrificed by the Israelites to certify their relationship with Yahweh and role as a kingdom of priests in his service. The ceremony is unusual in comparison with other Israelite rituals because of the way the blood is handled, how it is applied to the people, and the role of the 12 pillars (standing stones) that were part of the ritual. This episode of the podcast (Part 1 of Exodus 24) discusses the covenant ceremony, its meaning, and its implications leading up to the communal meal with Yahweh (vv. 9-11) that will be the focus of Part 2.
This episode wraps up the remainder of Exodus 23 (vv. 20-33). There are a number of interesting items in these remaining verses, beginning with the Angel in whom the Name (the presence) of God dwelt. That figure is part of the Old Testament Godhead language behind ancient Judaism’s (former) theological teaching about two powers in heaven (two Yahweh figures) that Dr. Heiser discussed at length in his book, The Unseen Realm. Other issues touched on in this episode are the “hornets” of v. 28, the dimensions of the land and the terminology for its pre-Israelite inhabitants (vv. 30-33).