‘These are the commandments that the Lord gave Moses for the Israelite people on Mount Sinai’. That’s it. That’s all she wrote. Is that simply a historicist assertion?
We’ve played in our discussions with timelines, placing these traditions back in the prehistory of nomadic folks, through periods storied as exodus from Egypt to promised land, and in turn first temple, Assyrian and Babylonian and Persian empire, second temple, and Greek, Hasmonean and Maccabbean and Roman organization. When people in each period said ‘God told Moses’, it’s a claim of authority among moral norms.
Do you follow the social norms of the people around you? Who sets the moral norms of our community? Says who? As we merge the cultures and leaderships of amalgamating churches, it’s often like merging Cohens and Levites, with competing priesthoods of Aaronic (not ironic) leaders. Why not appeal to something older and more basic?
Appealing to Moses at Sinai is like appealing to Jesus with the disciples. Did anybody have a videotape or audio or autograph version? What did Jesus really make of the Leviticus norms? Says who?
These texts have survived for millennia. The church refused to ditch them, and used the concepts of Sabbath and sacrifice freely to understand our own religious and charitable trusts. Synagogue Judaism reinvented the rules of kosher living in varying contexts and cultures over the same millennia. We are not dealing with Moses’ literal words in reference, or even his distinctions in difference, but in far more complex signification of the ultimate spiritual realities signified by these cultic signifiers.
Can you make better use of citing any of this stuff at the end of October than the beginning of September? I hope so.
34 These are the commandments that the LORD gave to Moses for the people of Israel on Mount Sinai.