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The Endangerment of Moses: Towards a New Reading of Exodus 4:24-26

The Endangerment of Moses: Towards a New Reading of Exodus 4:24-26 <jats:sec><jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:p>Moses’ endangerment in Exodus 4:24-26 in which Yahweh sought to kill him has perplexed scholarship as to its rationale: why kill Moses, the one chosen to deliver Israel out of slavery? Scholarly responses to this pericope tend to identify causality for Moses’ endangerment that is both Moses’ doing and external to the call and journey. The following article suggests that Moses’ endangerment is a formalized rite of passage which is part of a wider, literary unit. As such, Moses is endangered precisely because he has undertaken this journey and for no other reason; his jeopardy is both internal to the narrative and a functional component of his mission. The paper proposes that this wider, literary unit is also the framework around which the story of Balaam’s journey in Numbers 22 is built. As such, Exodus 4 and Numbers 22 are read, and best understood, in conversation with one another.</jats:p> </jats:sec> http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Vetus Testamentum Brill

The Endangerment of Moses: Towards a New Reading of Exodus 4:24-26

Vetus Testamentum , Volume 60 (2): 177 – Jan 1, 2010

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© 2010 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
0042-4935
eISSN
1568-5330
DOI
10.1163/156853310X489070
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

<jats:sec><jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:p>Moses’ endangerment in Exodus 4:24-26 in which Yahweh sought to kill him has perplexed scholarship as to its rationale: why kill Moses, the one chosen to deliver Israel out of slavery? Scholarly responses to this pericope tend to identify causality for Moses’ endangerment that is both Moses’ doing and external to the call and journey. The following article suggests that Moses’ endangerment is a formalized rite of passage which is part of a wider, literary unit. As such, Moses is endangered precisely because he has undertaken this journey and for no other reason; his jeopardy is both internal to the narrative and a functional component of his mission. The paper proposes that this wider, literary unit is also the framework around which the story of Balaam’s journey in Numbers 22 is built. As such, Exodus 4 and Numbers 22 are read, and best understood, in conversation with one another.</jats:p> </jats:sec>

Journal

Vetus TestamentumBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2010

Keywords: Balaam; Moses; Exodus 4; Bridegroom of Blood

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