Defining Israelite Tradition
A look at the importance of the book of “Exodus” in understanding Israelite history.
A look at how “Exodus” records the critical elements of Israelite political and religious tradition and clearly defines the Israelite?s obligation to God, defines God, and defines Israel as a nation.
“Exodus records the seminal experiences of the Israelite tradition. Although Genesis commences the literal Biblical history narrative, the Genesis events merely anticipate the critical and purposive events of Exodus. Indeed, the Yahwist author stylistically anticipates Exodus by using the personal name of God, as revealed to Moses through the burning bush, before God’s name is revealed in the narrative. Similarly, Genesis? thematic focus on sin, forgiveness, and blessing anticipates God’s final covenant, the Mosaic covenant. Whereas some Biblical traditions, such as the flood story and the monarchy, are at least corroborated or paralleled by other texts, the Bible remains virtually the sole source for investigating the Exodus events. Consequently, many consider the Exodus, magical and fantastical elements aside, to be of dubious historical validity. However, concluding that central elements of the Exodus, are not, in fact, historic, would significantly assault the integrity of the Israelite tradition, because Exodus records the critical elements of Israelite political and religious tradition. Exodus clearly defines the Israelite’s obligation to God, defines God, and defines Israel as a nation.”