Exodus Faith Change and Learning Research Paper

Download this Research Paper in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

Excerpt from Research Paper:

The setting is perhaps one of the most famous in the entire Biblical narrative: the side of the Red Sea, a crowd of fleeing Hebrew salves anxiously looking over their shoulders at the approaching army of the Pharaoh. According to rabbinical commentary, however, Moses doesn't just simply the raise his staff and part the waters -- more has to happen first, and the more that happens is hugely influential in shaping the new relationship that the Hebrews are forming with God, and the new role for man that this creates.

The Biblical narrative as it currently stands tells the story in the following manner: the people, trapped between the sea and the approaching army, begin complaining to Moses, "What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? Didn't we say to you in Egypt, "Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians"? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!'" (Exodus 14: 11-2). Moses tells them to trust in God, "Then the Lord said to Moses, 'Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground'" (Exodus 14: 15-6). The text certainly suggest an exasperation on God's part, and a desire that Moses and the people try to do something to help themselves instead of solely and automatically turning to God.

This sense of God's desire for man's more active involvement in shaping his future is borne out by rabbinical commentary, which states that a man named Naschon ben Aminadav, hearing the bickering all around of him of who was to test the crossing first by taking an ultimate leap of faith into the waters of the sea, jumped in and began to sink. It is at this point that God tells Moses to stop praying and to see what is going on, and it is not until Naschon ben Aminadav is "up to his nostrils that the water was actually parted" (Peretz, par. 6). God was unwilling to help until man helped himself, and until man showed a proactive faith in assistance rather than a reactive faith of retribution. Naschon ben Aminadav did not act out of a fear of punishment, that is, but rather out of a hope of redemption.

The story of Exodus as a whole is, of course, one of redemption, as the Hebrews are taken from a foreign land where they have been slaves for generations and returned to their homeland where, for a time at least, they can live life freely and under their own religious and political rule. This story is in many ways the beginning of the true redemption that appears in the Book of Exodus, as up until now pretty much everything the Hebrews have endured has been a hardship, not the least of which was leaving the vast majority of their possessions and the only homes most (if not all) of them had ever known so hastily that they did not even have time to bake bread for the journey. It is when a man is willing to act for himself with the confidence that God will act to assist him in his endeavor that God shows this willingness, and seems to indicate through his exasperation that it has been an expectation all along.

There are many other scenes throughout Exodus that have a definite impact on the relationship between man and God, and the way in which God is perceived by the Hebrew people. The last chapter of the book is itself largely indicative of the changes that take place throughout the rest of the journey through the wilderness, however, and makes an excellent closing case for this analysis. Like much of Exodus, the fortieth and final chapter is largely concerned with details of laws and procedures -- in this case, the building of the Tabernacle. When completed, "the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle" and "the cloud of the LORD was over the tabernacle by day, and fire was in the cloud by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel during all their travels" (Exodus 40:34, 38). Instead of a removed source of fear, God has become a more benevolent (though admittedly still feared) force hat dwells amongst the people, instructing them when to move forward and when to settle in one place for awhile, guiding them in their completion of righteous acts and not simply punishing them for failures in this regard. Though not quite the emblem of endless compassion and love that the New Testament puts forth, this God is not wholly focused on retribution.


The view of God held by the Hebrew people in the Hebrew Scriptures or "Old Testament" is not as static nor as entirely fear-based as if often thought. Though there is a basis for this generalization, it does not persist throughout the entirety of these scriptures, nor even through the entirety of a single book. Exodus provides an excellent example of the transitions of faith and perspectives on God that are travelled through by the Hebrew people.


Binz, Stephen. The God of Freedom and Life. Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 1993.

Exodus. New International Version Bible. Accessed 27 September 2010. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus&version=NIV

Fretheim, Terence. Exodus. Louisville, KY: John Knox Press, 1991.

Peretz, Rabbi Cheryl. "Miracle of Miracles: Exodus 13:17-17:16."…[continue]

Cite This Research Paper:

"Exodus Faith Change And Learning" (2010, September 28) Retrieved October 25, 2016, from http://www.paperdue.com/essay/exodus-faith-change-and-learning-8192

"Exodus Faith Change And Learning" 28 September 2010. Web.25 October. 2016. <http://www.paperdue.com/essay/exodus-faith-change-and-learning-8192>

"Exodus Faith Change And Learning", 28 September 2010, Accessed.25 October. 2016, http://www.paperdue.com/essay/exodus-faith-change-and-learning-8192

Other Documents Pertaining To This Topic

  • Exodus Catastrophes Have Been Present

    Fortunately for them, Joseph, who is Jacob's son, invites them into that land and he was a man who had been sold off earlier to an Egyptian person by his jealous brothers earlier. Joseph, being possessed of the extremely uncanny ability to read and interpret dreams, is recognized for that very fact, and is soon promoted into being a prestigious member of the Egyptian Courts. However, one thing must

  • Comparing and Contrasting Genesis 1 And Exodus 20 of the Old Testament...

    Genesis 1 (in the Old Testament) and the pronouncement of the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20 (of the Old Testament). Be sure to include the purpose of Exodus 20 and how it is related to Genesis 1. Comparing and contrasting Genesis 1 and Exodus 20 of the Old Testament The story of creation [Primeval story] in the Book of Genesis is one of the most read stories of all times. It

  • Heroism in the Epic of

    There must be a significant act that they perform in order for them to be deemed heroic. That is not always the case, but it seems to be among the most common ways people are considered for heroism. Because Moses and Krishna were not heroes in the traditional sense, however, does not in any way negate the value they had to their respective time periods and the information that was

  • School Choice Debate The Writer

    The case snowballed and grew until the nation viewed Zelmanv Simmons-Harris as the test case to try the legal boundary between church and state. It was also looked to for the purpose of redefining the meaning and scope of public education in America. Enacted by the Ohio legislature in 1995, the Cleveland Scholarship and Tutoring Program allows 4,000 low-income children to attend private religious and secular schools with up to $2,250

  • Applying Servant Leadership Within a

    Initially, I had to point out when people were saying things that would indicate a connection between group members. However, once those connections were established, the group members moved rather rapidly towards directly relating with one another. Another result of the group meetings is that the group members initially appeared very focused on the past. Small groups tend to do postmortems of old failures, archaeologizing (digging in the past for

  • Use of the Old Testament in Romans by Paul

    Paul's Use Of The Old Testament In The Book Of Romans Paul's main intention in writing the letter to the Romans was to emphasize that it was essential for society to comprehend that Jesus was the promised Jewish Messiah. He considered that the Old Testament predicted the Messiah's coming and that he needed to relate to this document in order to provide more information concerning the importance of Jewish traditions. Much

  • World Religions Report Judaism Judaism Introduction Worship

    World Religions Report JUDAISM Judaism (Introduction, Worship Site Review, Interview, Comparison/Contrast with Christianity) This report explores one of the most important Abrahamic religions, Judaism. In this report, a detailed introduction of Judaism has been given in the first part. Judaism is one of the oldest religions with distinct and unique holy texts. Despite the less number of followers, it has been divided into several branches. This report also contains a description of its branches;

Read Full Research Paper
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved