11 February 2017 Bible Reading
The events of today’s Bible reading take place at Mount Horeb. It appears to be the same place referred to in Exodus 3 with the account of the burning bush. Exodus 3:5 says the ground of the mountain was holy. Although no one knows where Mount Horeb is, it was certainly located somewhere in the desert of Sinai.
In Exodus 17, the Israelites were in the wilderness without water. Moses struck “the rock at Horeb”, which produced drinking water.
In today’s reading, at Exodus 33:6, Mount Horeb is the location where the Israelites stripped off their ornaments. Deuteronomy mentions Mount Horeb several times during the wanderings of the Israelites in the wilderness: Deuteronomy 1:2, 1:6, 1:19. Moses recalled in Deuteronomy 1:6 that God had said to the Israelites at Horeb, “You have dwelt long enough at this mountain: turn and take your journey”.
The delivery of the Ten Commandments include mentions of Horeb at Deuteronomy 4:10, 4:15, 5:2,9:8, 18:16 and 28:69.
32 When the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people gathered themselves together to Aaron, and said to him, “Come, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we don’t know what has become of him.”
2 Aaron said to them, “Take off the golden rings, which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them to me.”
3 All the people took off the golden rings which were in their ears, and brought them to Aaron. 4 He received what they handed him, and fashioned it with an engraving tool, and made it a molten calf; and they said, “These are your gods, Israel, which brought you up out of the land of Egypt.”
5 When Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made a proclamation, and said, “Tomorrow shall be a feast to Yahweh.”
6 They rose up early on the next day, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.
7 Yahweh spoke to Moses, “Go, get down; for your people, who you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves! 8 They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them. They have made themselves a molten calf, and have worshiped it, and have sacrificed to it, and said, ‘These are your gods, Israel, which brought you up out of the land of Egypt.’”
9 Yahweh said to Moses, “I have seen these people, and behold, they are a stiff-necked people. 10 Now therefore leave me alone, that my wrath may burn hot against them, and that I may consume them; and I will make of you a great nation.”
11 Moses begged Yahweh his God, and said, “Yahweh, why does your wrath burn hot against your people, that you have brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? 12 Why should the Egyptians speak, saying, ‘He brought them out for evil, to kill them in the mountains, and to consume them from the surface of the earth?’ Turn from your fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against your people. 13 Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, your servants, to whom you swore by your own self, and said to them, ‘I will multiply your offspring as the stars of the sky, and all this land that I have spoken of I will give to your offspring, and they shall inherit it forever.’”
14 Yahweh repented of the evil which he said he would do to his people.
15 Moses turned, and went down from the mountain, with the two tablets of the testimony in his hand; tablets that were written on both their sides; on the one side and on the other they were written. 16 The tablets were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, engraved on the tables.
17 When Joshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted, he said to Moses, “There is the noise of war in the camp.”
18 He said, “It isn’t the voice of those who shout for victory. It is not the voice of those who cry for being overcome; but the noise of those who sing that I hear.” 19 As soon as he came near to the camp, he saw the calf and the dancing. Then Moses’ anger grew hot, and he threw the tablets out of his hands, and broke them beneath the mountain. 20 He took the calf which they had made, and burnt it with fire, ground it to powder, and scattered it on the water, and made the children of Israel drink of it.
21 Moses said to Aaron, “What did these people do to you, that you have brought a great sin on them?”
22 Aaron said, “Don’t let the anger of my lord grow hot. You know the people, that they are set on evil. 23 For they said to me, ‘Make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we don’t know what has become of him.’ 24 I said to them, ‘Whoever has any gold, let them take it off:’ so they gave it to me; and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf.”
25 When Moses saw that the people had broken loose, (for Aaron had let them loose for a derision among their enemies), 26 then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, “Whoever is on Yahweh’s side, come to me!”
All the sons of Levi gathered themselves together to him. 27 He said to them, “Yahweh says, the God of Israel, ‘Every man put his sword on his thigh, and go back and forth from gate to gate throughout the camp, and every man kill his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbor.’” 28 The sons of Levi did according to the word of Moses: and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men. 29 Moses said, “Consecrate yourselves today to Yahweh, yes, every man against his son, and against his brother; that he may give you a blessing today.”
30 On the next day, Moses said to the people, “You have sinned a great sin. Now I will go up to Yahweh. Perhaps I shall make atonement for your sin.”
31 Moses returned to Yahweh, and said, “Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made themselves gods of gold. 32 Yet now, if you will, forgive their sin—and if not, please blot me out of your book which you have written.”
33 Yahweh said to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book. 34 Now go, lead the people to the place of which I have spoken to you. Behold, my angel shall go before you. Nevertheless in the day when I punish, I will punish them for their sin.” 35 Yahweh struck the people, because they made the calf, which Aaron made.
33 Yahweh spoke to Moses, “Depart, go up from here, you and the people that you have brought up out of the land of Egypt, to the land of which I swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, saying, ‘I will give it to your offspring.’ 2 I will send an angel before you; and I will drive out the Canaanite, the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite: 3 to a land flowing with milk and honey: for I will not go up among you, for you are a stiff-necked people, lest I consume you on the way.”
4 When the people heard this evil news, they mourned: and no one put on his jewelry.
5 Yahweh said to Moses, “Tell the children of Israel, ‘You are a stiff-necked people. If I were to go up into the middle of you for one moment, I would consume you. Therefore now take off your jewelry from you, that I may know what to do to you.’”
6 The children of Israel stripped themselves of their jewelry from Mount Horeb onward.
7 Now Moses used to take the tent and to pitch it outside the camp, far away from the camp, and he called it “The Tent of Meeting.” Everyone who sought Yahweh went out to the Tent of Meeting, which was outside the camp. 8 When Moses went out to the Tent, that all the people rose up, and stood, everyone at their tent door, and watched Moses, until he had gone into the Tent. 9 When Moses entered into the Tent, the pillar of cloud descended, stood at the door of the Tent, and spoke with Moses. 10 All the people saw the pillar of cloud stand at the door of the Tent, and all the people rose up and worshiped, everyone at their tent door. 11 Yahweh spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. He turned again into the camp, but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, didn’t depart from the Tent.
12 Moses said to Yahweh, “Behold, you tell me, ‘Bring up this people:’ and you haven’t let me know whom you will send with me. Yet you have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found favor in my sight.’ 13 Now therefore, if I have found favor in your sight, please show me now your way, that I may know you, so that I may find favor in your sight: and consider that this nation is your people.”
14 He said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
15 He said to him, “If your presence doesn’t go with me, don’t carry us up from here. 16 For how would people know that I have found favor in your sight, I and your people? Isn’t it that you go with us, so that we are separated, I and your people, from all the people who are on the surface of the earth?”
17 Yahweh said to Moses, “I will do this thing also that you have spoken; for you have found favor in my sight, and I know you by name.”
18 He said, “Please show me your glory.”
19 He said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you, and will proclaim Yahweh’s name before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.” 20 He said, “You cannot see my face, for man may not see me and live.” 21 Yahweh also said, “Behold, there is a place by me, and you shall stand on the rock. 22 It will happen, while my glory passes by, that I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and will cover you with my hand until I have passed by; 23 then I will take away my hand, and you will see my back; but my face shall not be seen.”
69 Now Peter was sitting outside in the court, and a maid came to him, saying, “You were also with Jesus, the Galilean!”
70 But he denied it before them all, saying, “I don’t know what you are talking about.”
71 When he had gone out onto the porch, someone else saw him, and said to those who were there, “This man also was with Jesus of Nazareth.”
72 Again he denied it with an oath, “I don’t know the man.”
73 After a little while those who stood by came and said to Peter, “Surely you are also one of them, for your speech makes you known.”
74 Then he began to curse and to swear, “I don’t know the man!”
Immediately the rooster crowed. 75 Peter remembered the word which Jesus had said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” He went out and wept bitterly.
27 Now when morning had come, all the chief priests and the elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death: 2 and they bound him, and led him away, and delivered him up to Pontius Pilate, the governor. 3 Then Judas, who betrayed him, when he saw that Jesus was condemned, felt remorse, and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, 4 saying, “I have sinned in that I betrayed innocent blood.”
But they said, “What is that to us? You see to it.”
5 He threw down the pieces of silver in the sanctuary, and departed. He went away and hanged himself. 6 The chief priests took the pieces of silver, and said, “It’s not lawful to put them into the treasury, since it is the price of blood.” 7 They took counsel, and bought the potter’s field with them, to bury strangers in. 8 Therefore that field was called “The Field of Blood” to this day. 9 Then that which was spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled, saying,
“They took the thirty pieces of silver,
the price of him upon whom a price had been set,
whom some of the children of Israel priced,
10 and they gave them for the potter’s field,
as the Lord commanded me.”
11 Now Jesus stood before the governor: and the governor asked him, saying, “Are you the King of the Jews?”
Jesus said to him, “So you say.”
12 When he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he answered nothing. 13 Then Pilate said to him, “Don’t you hear how many things they testify against you?”
14 He gave him no answer, not even one word, so that the governor marveled greatly.
33 Rejoice in Yahweh, you righteous!
Praise is fitting for the upright.
2 Give thanks to Yahweh with the lyre.
Sing praises to him with the harp of ten strings.
3 Sing to him a new song.
Play skillfully with a shout of joy!
4 For Yahweh’s word is right.
All his work is done in faithfulness.
5 He loves righteousness and justice.
The earth is full of the loving kindness of Yahweh.
6 By Yahweh’s word, the heavens were made;
all their army by the breath of his mouth.
7 He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap.
He lays up the deeps in storehouses.
8 Let all the earth fear Yahweh.
Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him.
9 For he spoke, and it was done.
He commanded, and it stood firm.
10 Yahweh brings the counsel of the nations to nothing.
He makes the thoughts of the peoples to be of no effect.
11 The counsel of Yahweh stands fast forever,
the thoughts of his heart to all generations.
33 Hear instruction, and be wise.
Don’t refuse it.
34 Blessed is the man who hears me,
watching daily at my gates,
waiting at my door posts.
35 For whoever finds me, finds life,
and will obtain favor from Yahweh.
36 But he who sins against me wrongs his own soul.
All those who hate me love death.”