Transformation of Hebrews to a Nation Essay

 

 

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The transformation of Hebrew slaves into God’s most precious possession

 

The transformation of Hebrew slaves into God’s most precious possession

Before an in-depth discussion occurs about how the Jews went from being slaves to an independent community, it is imperative to understand the significance of the Exodus.  Most people who have any knowledge about the bible understand Exodus to be the second book in the bible.  In reality, it is more than just the second book of the Bible (exodus, 2008).  The definition of Exodus, in Biblical terms, is the movement of many people (exodus, 2008; exodus, n.d.; Net Ministries, Inc, 2001).  In the Book of Exodus, the Hebrew slaves are taken out of slavery marched through deserts for approximately 480 year and eventually make it to the land of Canaan and Jerusalem (Butterick, Bowie, Shrerer, Knox, Terriern, Harmon, 1952; Humphreys, 2003).  However, during this journey, God gave Moses the laws, codes, and necessary information for the Hebrews to become a nation of their own.

The exodus based on Passover

Passover was and is significant in the Jewish first, then the Christian religions followed suit.  The Pharaoh of Egypt was tired of being hounded with the plagues descending on his family and his people.  When the next plague was to come, the Hebrew slaves were told by God to chose one year old male lamb and care for the lamb.  On the fifteenth day, the Hebrew people were told to fire roast the lamb and catch the lamb’s blood in a bowl.  The blood was to mark and christen the doorways of the Hebrew slaves to ensure they were not included in the plague in which all of the first born of Egyptians died - Transformation of Hebrews to a Nation Essay introduction.  The rest of the lamb was to be eaten right away, and what ever was left was burned the next morning (Butterick, Bowie, Shrerer, Knox, Terriern, Harmon, 1952; Barker, Burdick, Stek, Wessel, Youngblood, 2002). Jewish and Christian believers continue to follow Passover in remembrance of the fact that God lead their ancestors from slavery and into His Holy Land of Canaan as well as His favor in saving them from the plague avoid the Hebrew people.  The best part is that this ritual is only part of the making the Hebrew slaves into God’s community (Barker, Burdick, Stek, Wessel, Youngblood, 2002; Butterick, Bowie, Shrerer, Knox, Terriern, Harmon, 1952; Humphreys, 2003).

The Covenant at Release of Captivity

The Covenant is an thought of as an entry into a contract with another person, organization, or business, but in this case of the transforming of Hebrew slaves the meaning of covenant is the promise of keeping the contract of faithfulness, discipline, and laws (covenant, n.d.; covenant, 2008, Barker, Burdick, Stek, Wessel, Youngblood, 2002; Butterick, Bowie, Shrerer, Knox, Terriern, Harmon, 1952; Humphreys, 2003).  The covenant occurred on the 6th day of the third month after leaving Egypt and was based on the treaties of ancient Suzerainty Vassal Treaties (Butterick, Bowie, Shrerer, Knox, Terriern, Harmon, 1952).  When God gave his Covenant to Hebrews, he associated it as the amending of the Covenant with Abraham.  He promised the Hebrews would have the land but only once they could take possession.  Until that time, God promised to slowly force the enemies of the Hebrew people out of Canaan (Barker, Burdick, Stek, Wessel, Youngblood, 2002; Butterick, Bowie, Shrerer, Knox, Terriern, Harmon, 1952; Humphreys, 2003). Hence, God protected His chosen and eventually lead the Hebrew/Israelites into the Holy Land.

Decalogue and Code of Laws

The Decalogue is a set of rules to be followed.  In the Biblical sense, it is known as the Ten Commandments (Barker, Burdick, Stek, Wessel, Youngblood, 2002; Butterick, Bowie, Shrerer, Knox, Terriern, Harmon, 1952; decalogue, n.d.; decalogue, 2008; Humphreys, 2003).  The Decalogue was given to Moses on Mount Sinai on two slabs of stone.  Moses was to instruct the Israelites about the laws, which he eventually did after rebuking them for the golden calf.  The Ten Commandments are part of the Code of Laws which were given to the Hebrews to prepare to them for entry into Canaan and to become the nation of Israelites.  However, the Code of Laws include the instructions in regard to the relationship between God and humanity and the faith of the human’s and in particular the Hebrews.  Through the obedience and faithfulness of the Hebrew people to the covenant, the group is granted God’s grace (Barker, Burdick, Stek, Wessel, Youngblood, 2002; Butterick, Bowie, Shrerer, Knox, Terriern, Harmon, 1952; Humphreys, 2003).  This code will be the basis of the laws that the Hebrews will use to construct their own community and nation.

Tabernacle and priesthood

The tabernacle and priesthood are the final touches God felt needed to be recreated by Him and as a good way to keep the Ten Commandments and the Code of Law.  Perfect instructions of what was expected of the tabernacle were given to Moses on the mountain.  The length of 100 cubits and width of 45 cubits, the types and colors are given, and the furniture too.  The detailed information about the holy of holy place was given as well.  While Moses knew what was expected, the Lord had proclaimed that Aaron was the High Priest, and only he was allowed in that sacred part of the tabernacle.  The priesthood was in charge of deciding cases brought to them as well as instructing all people in the way of the Commandments and the Laws.  They were God’s people on Earth to ensure people followed the Law and retained a wonderful relationship with God (Barker, Burdick, Stek, Wessel, Youngblood, 2002; Butterick, Bowie, Shrerer, Knox, Terriern, Harmon, 1952; Humphreys, 2003).

Conclusion

By looking at the times right before the release of the Hebrews from Egypt until they begin to truly understand what is expected of God by evaluating the steps God took to teach them to be a nation of peoples.  This was no quick or easy task.  In fact, the journey took approximately 480 years to prepare the Hebrews enough that God believed they would be able to take the nation and establish the heart of Christianity in Jerusalem (Barker, Burdick, Stek, Wessel, Youngblood, 2002; Butterick, Bowie, Shrerer, Knox, Terriern, Harmon, 1952; Humphreys, 2003).  While the Hebrew people eventually were allowed into the country, and they have made mistakes as a community, and yet God still loves them as he does all people.  As mistakes are made the memory of God considering the Hebrews as treasures and all the actions He did to help them should stay in the forefront of current Christians and guide their actions.

 

References

 

Barker, K. L., Burdick, D. W., Stek, J.H, Wessel, W. W., Youngblood, R. (2002). NIV Study Bible.  Zonderavan: Grandrapids, Michigan.

Butterick, G. A., Bowie, W. R., Scherer, P., Knox, J., Terrien, S., & Harmon, N. B., (Eds).

(1952). The Interpreter’s Bible. Abingdon-Cokesbury Press: New York.

covenant.  (n.d.). In Easton’s Bible Dictionary.  Retrieved on November 15, 2008, from

http://eastonsbibledictionary.com/covenant.htm

covenant. (2008). In Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. Retrieved November 15, 2008, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/covenant

exodus. (2008). In Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.  Retrieved November 15, 2008, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exodus.

exodus. (n.d.). In Easton’s Bible Dictionary.  Retrieved on November 15, 2008, from http://eastonsbibledictionary.com/exodus.htm

Humphreys, C. J. (2003). The Miracles of Exodus. Harper Collins Publishers: San Francisco

Net Ministries, Inc. (2001) Bible Basics: Exodus. Retrieved November 15, 2008, from http://netministries.org/bbasics/bbasics.html

passover. (n.d.). In Easton’s Bible Dictionary.  Retrieved on November 15, 2008, from

http://eastonsbibledictionary.com/search–passover

 

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