Moses and Israel, Genealogy and Geography

Dominion and Dynasty: A Study in Old Testament Theology (New Studies in Biblical Theology) I’ve been thoroughly impressed with Stephen Dempster’s Dominion and Dynasty: A Theology of the Hebrew Bible.  If I have time later on I’ll give it a fuller review here.  For now, I do want to note that it is an excellent OT biblical-theological resource.  To give our readers a snapshot, here is an insightful paragraph on Dempster’s comparison of Moses to Israel as found in the Exodus story.

“…The narrative focus [in Exodus] narrows from a stress on births (Israelite seed in general) and persecution, to a particular birth (Israelite seed in particular) – Moses, who narrowly escapes disaster by being placed in an ark in the River Nile (Exod. 2:1-10).  Moses’ salvation from the water echoes backwards and forwards in the text; backwards to the salvation of humanity from the judgment of the flood by Noah (Gen. 6-8), and forwards  to the Israelites’ future escape from the waters of the Reed Sea (Exod. 14).”

“Significantly, as Fox (1997: 253) shows, the figure of of Moses, this child born as a type of savior figure, not only saves Israel but embodies Israel at times.  His rescue from the water prefigures the nation’s salvation from the water; his escape after the death of an Egyptian (Exod. 2:11-15) is a prelude to the Israelites’ flight after the death of many Egyptians (Exod. 12:29-39); his experience of being in the desert for forty years (Exod. 12:29-39) foreshadows the same for Israel (Num. 14:33); his divine encounter before the burning bush (Exod. 3) anticipates Israel before the fire at Sinai (Exod. 19-24).  As was the case with Joseph, another significant Israelite, this member of the tribe of Levi gives greater significance to the understanding of divine dominion in the world” (p. 94).

Stephen Dempster, Dominion and Dynasty (Nottingham: Apollos/InterVarsity Press, 2003).

shane lems

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