Reading through the Bible: day 31

Congratulations, you have managed the first month, I hope it is going well, let me know if there are any issues or just how it’s going by using the comments option below.

Exodus 4 – 6:27

God sought to kill Moses

In Exodus 4:24 God sought to kill Moses, which seems a bit odd since an omnipotent being would surely succeed in such an endeavour.

While some think that Moses had a similar experience to Joseph at Peniel (Genesis 32:24-32), this seems problematic for a number of reasons. Firstly Moses was not alone. Secondly, it was an act by His wife that saved him, not him wrestling or contending with God.

A better explanation is that Moses was attacked for failing to have his child circumcised as part of the Abrahamic covenant. This has the support of the fact that it was upon the child’s circumcision that Moses was left alone.

The name of Yahweh

According to Exodus 6:3 the patriarchs did not know the name of Yahweh (translated as The Lord), but Abraham knew the name since he used it in Genesis 22:14.

Consider the wording in the King James Version:

“And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name Jehovah was I not known to them.”

Now consider the same text like this:

And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name Jehovah was I not known to them?

This makes the text a little ambiguous, since if it is a rhetorical question, then there is no contradiction, since then it is almost a statement that they did know the name.

Another explanation is based on the fact that the Hebrews felt names revealed something of someone’s character. This tells us that while they may have known the name, there were characteristics in the name that had not yet been revealed and that God was to reveal at that stage.

Either explanation would be good enough to prevent a contradiction, but they aren’t mutually exclusive. If we assume both explanations to be correct, then, again, there isn’t cause for calling it into question.

What are your thoughts?

Please give the reading through the Bible page a look if you haven’t already, there are some background posts and the index to this reading plan. Share it with others who you think can benefit from Reading through the Bible.


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