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

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: 9:40am EST

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: 9:58am EST

* 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: 9:04am EST

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: 1:01am EST