Friday, February 22, 2013

Slowing Down at Sinai

Dempster on the significance of Sinai:
After the exodus narrative the Israelites move to Mount Sinai. Mount Sinai stands in the way of Canaan, the land of their inheritance, but it is certainly no diversion, nor is it incidental. The centrality of this mountain is shown by a number of narrative signals. First and most obvious is the virtual suspension of narrative pace. Israel stays at Sinai for eleven months in real time (Exod. 19:1—Num. 10:11) and fifty-seven chapters in narrative time. This is important given the fact that sixty-eight chapters precede Sinai and fifty-nine chapters follow it. Sinai is central to the Torah.
—Stephen G. Dempster, Dominion and Dynasty: A Theology of the Hebrew Bible (Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2003), 100.

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