Old Testament thoughts is a weekly post where we’ll be looking at some interesting aspects of some Scripture from the Hebrew Bible (what Christians call the Old Testament). Right now, we are looking at the first two chapters of Exodus.
After finishing up Jonah, I have been agonizing over what Scripture to talk about next. There are so many things to choose from and I don’t really want to get bogged down with too many technical details of the text. So I landed on the first 2 chapters of Exodus, just up to the Burning Bush. I have already posted several of these on the other blog where I am a regular contributer ( Encounter blog ) so today I will just post all them successively to get caught up on this blog.
First up today, the first evidence of “creation language” in the first chapter of Exodus…
As we’ll see throughout this series, the writer of Exodus 1-2 uses a lot of images and language that was also used in the creation narrative (Genesis 1-3) up through even the pre-Abraham narrative in Genesis 11. So when I say “creation language” I only mean that the writer of Exodus 1-2 seems to be consciously using images and language that was used in Genesis 1-11. The writer probably has a theological reason for doing this, namely, that the story of Exodus 1-15 is the story of the creation of God’s people, the Israelites (see Ex. 4:22). Adam has failed as God’s representative on the earth, so Israel has now been given the task.
For my post today I am only going to give one example, to further explain what I mean by “creation language.”
In Exodus 1:7, the beginning of the story after the genealogical introduction, we have this: “The Israelites were fruitful and multiplied and became extremely numerous, so that the land was filled with them.” Sound familiar? What do we have in Genesis 1:28 following on the heels of the creation of humankind?
“God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth…”*
So Israel is fulfilling the duty God gave to the first couples.
*N.B.: I will be using my own translations in all of these posts, as I did with the Jonah posts. If you have any questions about why I translate something the way I do, let me know, I’d be happy to explain it. Otherwise, just know that I will oftentimes translate in a way that emphasizes the connections being made in Hebrew (something most mass produced translations do not do) but I will never translate anything in a way deemed “unacceptable” by scholars.