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Posted on July 27th, 2012, by

Introduction

The Bible is a unique document telling us historical events in such manner that other generations could be educated with them. One of the most important examples of historical perspective intertwined with the story of forming Peculiar People from an enslaved nation is the transformation of Hebrew people developed in the Exodus. This essay is dedicated to discussing the steps which God took to transform the Hebrew people into a selected nation.

1. The Exodus

The children of Israel stayed under Egypt ruling for 430 years, and the 12 children who came to Egypt while trying to escape from famine turned into a nation of enslaved people (Life Application Study Bible NIV, 2005). Pharaoh oppressed the Hebrew people in different ways, and the cruelest thing was when the baby boys were killed at birth (1:16f). However, Moses, who left the area after killing an Egyptian, returns to save his nation from slavery, led by the vision of  burning bush.

God’s intention to liberate people and make Hebrew his chosen nation in reflected in the 10 plagues that Egypt experienced when Pharaoh started to hinder the exodus of Hebrew people. Also, God shows the supremacy over numerous Egyptian gods, since he keeps the covenants with his nation.

2. The Covenant agreement

A covenant means a solemn agreement between God and people. Mosaic covenant. The main points of the Covenant were the following (Merrill, 1991):

  • Hebrew people will be special among other nations if they obey God and comply with God’s  rules
  • Children of the Israel will become a cradle of priests and holy people
  • Sabbath tradition should be kept in order to remind people about the Covenant

The wonders that God shows to his people are the sign of God’s love and a manifestation of the Covenant: when the children of Israel escape Egypt, they cross the Sea of Reeds and witness the wonder; when there’s nothing to eat, God shows another wonder and gives manna to people. He gives strong evidence of his constant presence to inspire the Hebrew people in their journey to independence.

3. The Code of Laws and the Tabernacle

In three months, the children of Israel come to the Mount Sinai, where Moses ascends the mountain for taking the other part of the covenant to receive law instructions in the form of the Decalogue. However, while Moses was at Sinai, the Hebrews build a golden idol and started worshiping other gods. God decides to wipe the people out, but Moses persuades Him not to do this. The repenting Hebrews construct the Tabernacle and worship God’s power. The events clearly show that God always values those people who want to turn to Him more than those who forget the covenant, and though there might be many of those who sin, the word of several righteous men is always stronger.

Conclusion

The history of transformation of Hebrew nation from an enslaved group of aliens in Egypt into God’s Particular People shows how God step by step was transforming the belief and life of these people, both with wonders and inspiration and with strict keeping of the covenant, as well as with the help of the Code of Laws and the Tabernacle.

Indeed, the rules listed in these documents provide the stability for individual life and for the society in general; it’s remarkable that they worked for Hebrew nation in ancient times, but they can be equally easily applied to modern society.

Literature

  1. Life Application Study Bible NIV (2005). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers
  2. Merrill, Eugene, H. (1991) An Historical Survey of the Old Testament; Grand Rapids, MI. Baker Book House Company.

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