Ex 33.14: And He said, “My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest.”

Jer 6.16: Thus says the Lord, “Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, Where the good way is, and walk in it; And you shall find rest for your souls.

Ezek 34.15: “I will feed My flock and I will lead them to rest,” declares the Lord God.

2 Sam 7.11: and I will give you rest from all your enemies.

Deut 5.33: “according to all the way which the Lord your God commanded thee to walk in it, that he may give thee rest...” (LXX)

Jer 31.25: For I satisfy the weary ones and refresh everyone who languishes.

I begin research for a paper on the Sabbath. I am not to look at Genesis but Exodus and Deuteronomy instead and whilst I am interested in the theology and pastoral application of the Sabbath, I have a feeling that much of the paper requires a technical approach. The question for the most part is 'What does the development of the Sabbath laws in Exodus and Deuteronomy suggest about the way OT law functions in comparison to Ancient Near Eastern law codes?'

I think therefore I have to look at progressions/changes between the Exodus and the Deuteronomistic Sabbath descriptions and somehow use this as an example of  how the OT law functions in comparison to Ancient Near Eastern law codes. So far I am suspecting that the Biblical laws differ in that very often they are ethical imperatives for living a life in response to God and ones neighbour in a way that the Ancient Near Eastern laws are not. The Ancient Near Eastern laws are probably more prohibitions. They probably have one envisage the law court before the state of the heart and are addressed to those wanting to stay on the right side of the law rather than live in harmony/shalom with those around them.

I hope I can 'get into' the study. It might be a bit of a stretch.

The last part of the question grips me more immediately and is where I am able to offer reflections in response to whether the Christian practice of Sunday provides a model for the re-use of OT law in a Christian context.

Any tips for books and articles greatly appreciated. 


David Ould said...

Rachel, I would have thought the the most striking "development" is that in the rationale for Sabbath rest.
ie in Exo 20 we see a clear referent to the 6 days of Creation whereas in Dt 5 the referent is the saving action of God in rescuing His people from Egypt - a REcreation perhaps?

both are "work" of God that, somehow, teach us how to both work and rest.

Rachel said...

Indeed - however the technical nature of the question is requiring my analysis of how developments are presented, less theology more redaction and source analysis - oh well :-|


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A little background reading so we might mutually flourish when there are different opinions