The Art of the Ten Commandments

Some time ago the philosopher Alain de Botton’s School of Life released a video called “How to Replace the 10 Commandments.” He said that they “maintain an extraordinary hold on our imaginations” but the problem is that they sound “peculiar” today. They were for a particular people and thus they are a bit parochial.

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The Literary Structure of Exodus

The book of Exodus is organized into 3 sections that follow the Israelites from Egypt through the wilderness to Mt. Sinai. So the literary structure looks like this. Israel in Egypt, Israel in the wilderness, and Israel at Mt. Sinai.

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Bread to Meat

I don’t know exactly what to make of this, but here it goes. In the temple bread and wine are more holy than their symbolic parallels in the courtyard: meat and blood. In Numbers, Israel complains about the bread and God gives them meat. They think this this is a greater gift, but it is really a demotion in holiness.

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