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

Moses asks Pharaoh to let the Hebrews go to sacrifice to God, but Pharaoh instead makes their work harder, as slaves are not to petition Pharaoh. The overseers see that the workload is too much but Pharaoh calls the workers idle, as they are asking for time to spend worshipping God.

When Pharaoh refuses, God hardens Pharaoh's heart initially to show His great power, but soon Pharaoh hardens his own heart. God provides the sign of a rod that turns into a snake, similar to a trick that the Egyptian magicians would do, but God's miracle proves that it is no trick. When Pharaoh is not moved, God turns the river red, and then sends a plague of frogs and then gnats. Even the magicians are convinced that this is not a trick at this point, but Pharaoh is unmoved. After a plague of flies, Pharaoh offers to allow the Hebrews to worship in Egypt, but Moses knows that this will merely anger the Egyptians. Pharaoh then allows Moses to sacrifice outside of Egypt, but would not let the Hebrews go.

Direct download: Exodus3.mp3
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Moses sees a bush that is burning but not consumed. He hears a voice telling him to take off his shoes because it is a holy place. This is not because it is inherently holy, but because God is in this place. God tells Moses that He has seen His people's suffering and that He will uses Moses to deliver them from Egypt.

Moses protests, asking why God has chosen him. God explains that He will give Moses the words to say. God also gives Moses the name YHWH, meaning "I am who I am," to give to the Hebrews as the name of the God of their ancestors.  This name was already given in Genesis, but it may have fallen into disuse while in Egypt. This name tells us something about who God is. He is eternal, is self-existent, and the source and sustainer of all that exists.

God turns Moses' rod into a snake and back into a rod, and shows him other signs that show that He is the Lord of over life and death, and over sickness and healing. He is the Lord of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, which indicates that He continues to be their god, implying that there is life after death.

Moses protests that he is not eloquent, but God will use Aaron to speak for Moses. God will harden Pharaoh's heart, though there are many times when Pharaoh will harden his own heart, and Moses tells Pharaoh that if he does not let the Hebrews go, He will take Pharaoh's firstborn.

Upon returning, God tries to kill Moses for not circumcising his sons, but Moses' wife Zipporah circumcises their children and saves his life.

Direct download: Exodus2.mp3
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Exodus is named after the Greek phrase for the road out, which is an appropriate term for the events of the book. Ex 12:40 states that the time in Egypt was 430 years, but the precise dating of the events lends to two possibilities. The events can be dated in 1 Kings 6:1 to 480 years before the fourth year of the reign of Solomon, which suggests the 15th century BC. Ex 1:11 suggests that the Exodus occurred during the reign of Rameses II in the 13th century.

In Gen 17:7-8, God makes a covenant to be Abraham's god, and it is through Moses in Exodus that there is a mediator to this old covenant. Ex 19:6 describes the people of God to be a kingdom of priests and to mediate God's grace to the world, a fact that 1 Peter reminds us of.

The family of Jacob remained in Egypt, but a new regime comes to power and agitates against the Hebrews, saying that there are too many of them. The Hebrews were put to hard labor, and midwives were told to kill the male children, but the midwives feared God and did not kill them. Pharaoh demanded that the boys be cast in the Nile. Possibly for this reason, pharaoh's name is not mentioned in Exodus but the midwives, Shiphrah and Puah, are.

Moses is born to a Hebrew woman, who hides him and places him in a basket in the reeds beside the river. Pharaoh's daughter draws Moses out and names him for the word for drawing out, a Hebrew word, but one that sounds like an Egyptian name.

When Moses sees an Egyptian abusing a Hebrew, he kills the Egyptian, but this is discovered, and Moses flees, and helps a Midianite family. For this kindness, the father gives Moses his daughter Zipporah.

Direct download: Exodus1.mp3
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Pope Benedict, in The Door of Faith, gives several practical methods for growing in faith, which can be summarized by cultivating, professing, intensifying celebration of, living, and rediscovering the faith. Benedict asks us to profess our faith publicly during the year of faith.

The year of faith also provides an opportunity for love, as faith requires charity.

Direct download: Porta_Fidei_2.mp3
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Porta Fidei - Introduction

The study of the Bible is part of the faith that we are asked to cultivate in the year of faith that the Pope has asked us to celebrate
in the letter titled The Door of Faith. It is through this faith that we are brought into life, and through the proclamation of the word of God that we discover this faith. This must be faith in the God of Love, as Galatians 5:6 describes Faith working through Love.

Paul VI also published a letter, The Credo of the People of God, that complements the letter The Door of Faith.

Direct download: PortaFidei1.mp3
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Jacob dies and Joseph embalms him and buries him in Caanan. Joseph's brothers beg him to forgive them, stating that they are the servants of God, and Joseph forgives them. Joseph dies and is embalmed and buried in Egypt. During the Exodus, his body will be returned to the land of Israel.

Direct download: Genesis22.mp3
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Jacob, nearing his death, begins to bless his sons. Jacob claims Joseph's Egyptian-born sons as his own, incorporating them into his heritage. This doubles Joseph's tribal allotment. Jacob also blesses Ephraim, the secondborn, more than Manasseh, the firstborn. Jacob also gives Joseph a mountain slope, and all the blessings on Joseph's children will be remembered in Heb 11:21.

Jacob remembers Reuben as powerful and unruly, and because he took up with Bilhah, he is no longer given preeminence. Simeon and Levi are divided, and their tribes will be scattered, because they are weapons of violence. Levi is not given a region in the tribal allotment, and Simeon is given a region entirely surrounded by Judah.

Judah will be praised, and rulers will come from him, and we look to the eventual coming of Christ through this. Zebulun is given the crossroads from the trade coming over the sea. Issachar is also given an area of trade, but will have to labor for it. Dan is given his portion, but will eventually be dispossessed from it. Joseph is given many blessings.

After all of this, Jacob dies.

Direct download: Genesis21.mp3
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Israel goes to Egypt and sees Joseph, his son once again. When he meets with phararoh, Israel identifies himself as a shepherd, which means that the Egyptians will set them apart in the land. Joseph buys all the land in Egypt for pharaoh in exchange for feeding the people, and the people are grateful.

Israel begins to prepare for his death and makes Joseph promise to bury him outside of Egypt and in the land of his forefathers.

Direct download: Genesis20.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:55am EST

Jacob sends his sons (except Benjamin) to Egypt to buy grain during the famine. Joseph is shocked to see his brothers and accuses them of being spies as part of a plan to test them. Joseph consents to give his brothers grain, but keeps Simeon to ensure that they prove that they are not spies.  Joseph gives them their grain but secrets the money that they paid into the sacks of grain.


When they return to Jacob, they discover the money and fear the retribution of Joseph for the appearance of theft. Reuben rashly promises to return Simeon over the lives of his own sons, but Judah takes the lead and convinces them to return together, with Benjamin.

Joseph contrives to implicate Benjamin in a theft, this time of his silver cup. When he threatens to carry Benjamin off to slavery, Judah and his brothers do not abandon Benjamin, as they did with Joseph. When Joseph sees this, he reveals himself and together the brothers make plans for the family's future.

Direct download: Genesis19.mp3
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Joseph was purchased by Potipher, but God was with Joseph. Joseph was entrusted with the matters of Potipher's house, and Potipher's wife attempts to seduce Joseph, but he refuses because it is wicked. When he refuses, she falsely accuses him and Potipher throws him into prison.

When he is in prison, Pharaoh's butler comes to Joseph and asks him to interpret a dream. Joseph tells the butler that interpretation of dreams come from God, and gives him a very positive interpretation, asking the butler to remember him when he comes into power. When the baker hears this, the baker asks him to interpret a dream, but this is a dream that foretells that baker's death.

These things come to pass, but the baker does not remember Joseph to Pharaoh until Pharaoh has a dream, and then Joseph tells Pharaoh that his dream indicates years of prosperity followed by years of famine and that they should take from their prosperity to prepare for the years of famine.

For this, Pharaoh sets Joseph over his house and all of Egypt. Joseph assimilates into the culture, takes a wife, Asenath, and has the children Manasseh, for forgetting his hardships in his father's house, and Ephraim, for the fruitfulness that God has given Joseph.


Direct download: Genesis18.mp3
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