Waiting for the Land: The Story Line of the Pentateuch is a book by Arie C. Leder that was published in 2010. Primarily, the book aims at analyzing each part of the Pentateuch to identify the bigger picture. Through the book, Leder analyzes all parts of the five books and implements insights of different scholars yet maintaining an evangelical strategy. It can be identified that the author unravels the narrative power and incorporates a critical analysis of the Pentateuch's books. Leder uses the book to argue that the Pentateuch was a final cliff-hanger. He continues to affirm that its final editors were aware of the ultimate ending. However, they deny the reader the advantage of seeing it. The purpose of this paper is to provide a thorough book review of Waiting for the Land: The Story Line of the Pentateuch. In this case, the article offers a review of each chapter of the book to identify the main idea of the author and his arguments.
In this chapter, Leder introduced his book by focusing on the individual books of the Pentateuch. In this case, he analyzes their contributions to the overall theme: Waiting for the land. In the first chapter, Leder aims at assisting the reader to understand the five books of the Pentateuch. He advises readers to implement the narrative methodology when reading them for easier understanding. It is pertinent to mention that Leder's main idea is to illustrate how the Pentateuch has an unsatisfying end and incomplete events in this chapter. For this reason, there is the need to find a solution that would enhance the satisfaction of the books' chronicle (Leder, 2010). In essence, both devotional and homiletically activities do not emphasize on the story line. Primarily, they concentrate on the smaller units without paying attention the actual context. For this reason, they enhance the fragmental reading of this biblical text hence assuming the knowledge of the story line. Leder also uses this chapter to give various examples of Pentateuch events that show the importance of the post-reformation commentary literature.
Leder discusses the plot, scope, and structure of the Pentateuch. He mentions that methodology enables the reader to acquire knowledge of the context. Moreover, he claims that the incorporation of the argument and scope of the content helps the reader to identify a central meaning. Through the contemporary biblical research in the post-modern mode, the universal truth has been denied among the readers. Ideally, there are no right interpretations, only those accepted by interested communities. Leder shows that it is the role of the commentator to enable the reader to acknowledge the scope of the scripture. He continues to describe the story line of the Pentateuch while defining its scope in both the Old and New Testaments. In the first instance, Leder uses the narrative's vocabulary to create the primary story line. On the other hand, he implements the typical vocabulary used by the church to read the scripture (Leder, 2010).
In the following chapter, Leder analyzes the narrative organization of the Pentateuch. The primary problem of the narrative is that Israel refused the divine instruction and was exiled. As a result, the message of the five books addresses the Jewish people after the exile. Leder asserts that the whole structure of the Pentateuch is just a large chiasm.
He points that Genesis is opposed to Deuteronomy while addressing the separation of Israel from the nations among other events. The people just see the land, but they do not permanently dwell in it. On the other hand, Exodus and Numbers chronicle the desert Journeys of Israel, apostasy, and plagues. It also includes the dedication of the first-borns and Levites to God. The Leviticus acts as the root as it deals with sacrifices, cleanliness, and holiness. The central idea of the book is the Day of Atonement. Leder affirms that the whole of the Pentateuch is concerned with living a life in God's presence in the Promised Land. Ideally, it is about the role of fellowship with God and development of projects (Leder, 2010).
The chapter elaborates how God created the world to be a
Leder focuses on Leviticus and the divine presence and the Promised Land in the subsequent chapter. In this case, he claims that God's presence is the defining factor of the Promised Land. However, the notions are forgotten during discussions pertaining the nature of the Promised Land. He continues to assert that everyone should consider the church as God's desert people in the present day. With the ordainment of Aaron, the Israelites are made to appreciate the importance of living a clean and holy life. With the impending ungodliness of Israel, the author shows various instances where the Lord called Moses to speak to the people. Leviticus is shown as an avenue where Israel was to be cleansed of the previous mistakes through redemption and following the Divine Torah (Leder, 2010).
Leder analyzes the book of numbers. He asserts that Israel represents the body of Christ as God's temple in which every member is alive, and it is a priestly army of the Lord. It is worth identifying that the 'desert' does have not only a geographical significance but also a theological reality. The affirmation acts as a pertinent tool that teaches Israel that no worldly things can produce the fruit of righteousness. Finally, it can be identified that Jesus completed the desert journey for his children. It is because of his action that people were brought into the intimate presence of God. Leder continues to address the matter of replacement theology. According to his perspective, the church should be viewed as the final fulfillment of believing Israel but not its replacement. Ideally, the notion is connected and relates to the context. Analytically, the New Testament argues about God's presence and the church (Leder, 2010).
In this chapter, Leder considers the Torah of mosses in the book of Deuteronomy. He points out that the Pentateuch was more concerned with God's presence than just mere land. For this reason, the church is considered as an outgrowth of the native Old Testament concern. It evident from this chapter that there is a missing link in narration between Numbers and Deuteronomy although the geographical link cannot be ignored. While going through his chapter, we can appreciate the stipulations, the clauses, and the blessings/curses detailed in chapters 5 to 28. With Moses as the main speaker, the treaties being recognizable, and the death of Moses, the Israelites were made to appreciate the fact that even the man of God can fail.
Leder uses this chapter to consider waiting for the land today. The main idea of the author is to enable the reader to understand why the ancient chronicle of the Pentateuch is connected to the redemption process. Therefore, Leder continues to elaborate how this is relevant in designing both the human life and conduct in the current society. However, he also continues to criticize how the modern church reads the Pentateuch. He argues that since Jesus Christ is the fullness of revelation, Christians have to hear about him in all scriptures. It is important to affirm that when the church addresses the Pentateuch in such manner, it fails to neglect the historical context of the book. The notion means that before the coming of Jesus, these words were directed to Abraham's descendants. The author's main objective is to explain how Christian readings assume that the biblical text shapes an interpretive community. Ultimately, the author illustrates how God redirected both Abram and Sarai to go to the Promised Land. However, neither they nor their descendants enter the land in the Pentateuch. Lender asserts that the fact that God brought them into his presence solves a major problem of the exile from God. More so, it changes the structure of waiting of the Promised Land because they wait in the presence of God. Leder's final chapter focuses on how people wait for the land in God's presence in the modern world. In this case, he considers various practices that Christians execute to achieve the fundamental righteousness (Leder, 2010).
Evidently, Leder has developed positive reflections and sensible arguments in this book. First, the foreshadowing of Jesus Christ in the Old Testament is among the well-argued claims. Leder…
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