Religion In The Old Testament Essay

1416 words - 6 pages

The Exodus of the Israelites is the equivalent to our present day Fourth of July or Bastille Day to the French. Israelite writers discuss the Exodus the most out of any other event in history. The story of the Exodus is one of the most famous stories of the Old Testament. Three of the most significant aspects of the story of Exodus are the call of Moses, the use of plagues as miracles, and the Passover.
Moses was a Hebrew who was raised with Egyptian upbringing and education. As he grew he either knew that he was an Israelite or simply sympathized with Israelites in bondage. We know this by the action he took when he saw an Egyptian guard beating on a Hebrew slave. Moses interfered, killed ...view middle of the document...

After this calamity, pharaoh had no choice but grant Israel their demands and he even pleaded for blessings from them. This plague destroyed idolatry and showed that life and death are in the hands of God.
The first Passover was a night to remember. In preparation for the tenth and final plague, Moses instructed the people to observe the first Passover. The name Passover refers to the fact that God passed over the houses of the Jews when he was slaying the firstborns of Egypt. There were specific instructions for the Passover. The people were to practice it as a permanent ordinance for all future generations.
It was a meal that consisted of roast lamb with bitter herbs as well as unleavened bread. The Jews were to mark their doorposts with the blood of the lamb so that the angel of death would pass over their homes and spare their firstborns. The Passover meal was symbolic. The roasted lamb with bitter herbs symbolizes the Israelites slavery and at the hand of the Egyptians and the unleavened bread commemorates their hurriedness in leaving Egypt, which can be seen by them not having time to let their bread rise.
Following the Exodus from Egypt, the people of Israel entered into a Covenant agreement with God. The Covenant would bring blessings if it was abided by and cursings if broken. The Israelites were well aware of their responsibilities because Moses had already given them the Commandments. They were continually warned by the prophets about their actions but in spite of all the warnings they broke every covenant rule. The exile was the inevitable result of their disobedient actions. The Exilic period was when the Babylonians captured Jerusalem. They moved major parts of the Israelite population from their homes and resettled them in other parts of the empire that they now controlled as well. Jeremiah had promised that the Lord would be with the exiles and instructed them to serve the Babylonians as best they could until the Lord restored their descendants to the land. Generally the people were free, except to return to their homeland. The Babylonian exile had a profound effect upon the surviving Israelites. They learned that they could pray to and serve God even with no temple. Their religion shifted profoundly in the years of the exile. The major religious problem that they had before the exile was their worship of other gods, but during this time they learned that those other gods were false. The Israelites acquired a new name. They were called Jews, short for Judahites, since survivors of the Babylonian wars were primarily from the tribe of Judah. Hebrew was their native language but at some point in this period they began to speak Aramaic, the language of the Babylonians. The central character of post exilic Jewish religion was the reform, an attempt to...

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