St. Irenaeus Ministries
Scripture Studies brought to you by the St. Irenaeus Center.
St. Irenaeus Ministries - a center of orthodox Catholic mission and renewal in Rochester, NY

After the great sin of the golden calf, Moses asks God to see His glory to know His ways. God shows Moses His reflected glory, but shields him from His face. God writes the tablets again, with no changes, to present to the people as a covenant. God instructs the Hebrews to worship Him alone, for He is a jealous god. This jealousy is a desire for an exclusive relationship, as we can see in James 4:5 and 2 Cor 11:2. God also commands that the Hebrews observe the Sabbath and the harvest feasts.

Moses comes back to the people, but shields his face with a veil to prevent the people from seeing God's glory fade. This veil separates the people from God, but Jesus removes that veil, as Jeremiah 31:31ff prophesies.

Direct download: Exodus14.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:04 PM

When Moses delays in coming down from Mt. Sinai, the people demand an idol of gods to go before them. Aaron makes a bull out of the people's gold, in the form of some of the Canaanite gods, and declares it to be the god that brought the Hebrews out of Egypt. God proposes to kill the Hebrews and make a great nation out of Moses, but Moses intercedes for the people. God, through Moses, directs the tribe of Levi to slay those notorious in the production of the golden calf, and for that, the tribe of Levi is ordained for service to the Lord. God tells the people that He will not be among them, for they are a stiff-necked people and He would consume them. He orders the people to take off their ornaments and mourn, and God resides in the tent of meeting outside of the camp.

Direct download: Exodus13_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:04 PM

The law defines the high priest's garments, which includes the twelve tribes of Israel for a remembrance to God. The ordination of priests also includes an ablution which relates to baptism, which can be seen also in Heb 6:1f. God also identifies things that are holy and not for outsiders in the ordination process. There is also a description of the incense altar in the tabernacle.

The people would be taxed for the upkeep of the temple, and this was a way to show the participation of the people in atonement for their sins.

Before the close of the revelation at Sinai, God reiterates the importance of keeping the Sabbath.  The tablets are then completed and given to Moses.

Direct download: Exodus13.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30 AM

The book of Exodus dedicates significant space to the description of the tabernacle of the Lord. This may be difficult to read through, but it is important to the understanding of the worship of God. The Ark of the Covenant points to Mary (as we can see in Luke 1:35 and in the Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth, similar to 2 Samuel 6, and Revelation 12), and the holy place of the tabernacle and the holy of holies are but a shadow, or type, of what exists in Heaven. This description is seen as well in the book of Revelation.

The Ark of the Covenant is overlaid in gold and a cover called the Mercy Seat, where God is enthroned, is over it, with two cherubim, angels with wings and human faces. Inside were the tablets of the ten commandments, Aaron's staff, and a jar of mana. These things reflect the Word of God, the priesthood, and the bread that came down from Heaven, respectively.

The table of the bread of the presence is also described, which is a table that contains 12 loaves of bread, offered to God but also shared by men and a symbol of God's covenant with man. Also in the holy place is a lampstand, which has a figure of budding almonds, a sign of life which may also be reflected in Num 17:8, where budding almonds also show favor from God.

The tabernacle was a tent that was constructed to be erected whenever they were in a place and was designed to be movable. The tabernacle tent is a box decorated by rich curtains, divided into a large holy place separated by a veil from a much smaller cube of the holy of holies.

God wishes to dwell with His people, to sanctify the space where His holy place is, God asks us to give freely to worship Him in the way that He commands us, and that this sacrifice should be a worship of some value. This reverence and value increases as the holy things get closer to the Ark of the Covenant. Unholy worship can be punished, as were Aaron's sons Nadab and Abihu in Leviticus 10.

Direct download: Exodus11.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:24 PM

The laws of God are in many cases very practical and based on the environment that we are in. Strangers should be cared for and not abused by being thrown into the cold without a cloak or placed into debt. The escaped beasts of burden of a stranger should be returned to a stranger's owner as well as it would be for your own. The Hebrews were strangers in Egypt, and they should remember that when dealing with strangers.

Moses returns to the people and recites the law and then writes it down. The ratification of the law is done through blood, as noted by Hebrews 9:18. The people say that they will obey the law and the people feast as part if the ratification.

Direct download: Exodus10.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:04 AM

Exodus 21-23 forms what is known as the Book of the Covenant. This continues after the Ten Commandments with a discussion of the laws regarding slavery, as the Hebrews were just recently delivered from slavery. Slavery here should not be confused with the racial slavery that was common in Europe later. The laws on slavery describe the practice of this institution as well as the ways in which a slave may be freed.

Those who have committed violent acts may flee to a sanctuary city, but if the act is premeditated, the person will be put to death, even if that person clings to the altar of God.

The law delivered at Sinai also limits the amount of punishment to the extent of the injury, "life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth," known as the lex talionis.

Direct download: Exodus9.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:40 PM

Moses' father-in-law Jethro hears that he has led the Israelites to freedom and seeks him out. Moses and Aaron eat a sacrificial meal with Jethro, a Midianite who offers sacrifice. This was before the Law was given. Jethro tells Moses to intercede for the people, to bring their cases to God, and to bring the law to them. Jethro tells Moses to appoint people to oversee the people and to delegate administration to them.

Moses then visits Sinai and receives the law from God. Moses forbids the people from approaching the mountain while he is receiving the law. The Ten Commandments have various divisions in different traditions, though these are not necessarily all commands, as some, such as, ``I am the Lord your God.''

Direct download: Exodus8.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:58 PM

* Taking a short break from the regular Exodus series, this week's podcast is a recent talk on the Holy Spirit.

Holy Spirit Talk

The Holy Spirit is not a force of God, He is God Himself, and one ofthe three persons of God. The Holy Spirit is referred to as early as Gen 1:2, but is not clearly revealed until Jesus' ministry. It is the Holy Spirit who prompts us to holiness and floods our hearts with love (Rom 5:5) and thus we should cooperate with the Holy Spirit, listen to His promptings, and cultivate the fruits of the Holy Spirit given in Galatians 5. We may cultivate our relationship with Him through prayer and through prayerful study of the scriptures. 

Direct download: Holy_Spirit_Talk.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:04 PM

The Hebrews have passed the Red Sea but they need water. When they happen upon a watering place, the water is bitter, and the people murmur. God shows Moses a tree, much as God shows the people the law, and the water becomes sweet. God uses this to test the people to see if they will now walk in His ways.

Later, the people are hungry and murmur again. This time God provides them with mana and quail, but instructs the people to take only what they need for that day because God will provide. Those who stored up more than they needed for that day found that their food spoiled. Paul comments on this in 2 Corinthians 8:14.

The people murmured again desiring water, and Moses, fearing for his life, sought out the Lord, who told Moses to strike a rock with his rod in the presence of the elders, to bring forth water.

The Hebrews encounter the Amalekites, and fight them. Moses raises his hands in persistent prayer and the people help him to hold his hands up. Because of this, the Hebrews win in battle. God promises to blot out the Amalekites, and the people are called to remember this in Deuteronomy 25:17-19. This is further recalled in 1 Sam 15, and in Esther, Haman, the descendant of King Agag of the Amalekites plots against the Jews.

Direct download: Exodus7.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:01 AM

The Hebrews leave Egypt and the Lord is with them with a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. After the Hebrews leave Egypt, the Egyptians reflect on the fact that they have lost millions of people from the land, and pursue the Hebrews. They reach a sea, which is translated as the Red Sea in Greek but may have originally been the sea of reeds in Hebrew, and possibly connected to a phrase meaning the sea at the end.

God parts the sea for the Hebrews to show His power, but closes the waters and drowns the Egyptians to save His people.

Direct download: Exodus6.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:51 PM