Day 74 (March 15): Moses reviews Ten Commandments, time on mountain with God, Moses urges to love and obey God, God orders places for worship in each tribe

Welcome to BibleBum where we are exploring the entire Bible in one year to better learn how to follow God’s instructions and discover the purpose for our lives.  The BibleBum blog uses The One Year Chronological Bible, the New Living Translation version.  At the end of each day’s reading, Rob, a cultural history aficionado and seminary graduate, answers questions from Leigh An, the blogger host, about the daily scripture.  To start from the beginning, click on “Index” and select Day 1.  Take the challenge.  You won’t regret it.

Deuteronomy 10-12

Questions & Observations

Q. (Deuteronomy 10:17): What does it mean here when it says “For the Lord your God is the God of gods and Lord of lords?”  I remember talking about other gods in Egypt when Pharaoh’s magicians came out to try to replicate Moses’ and Aaron’s miracles in the answers on the reading of Day 33 (Feb. 2).  Here, Moses implies that there are other powers.  We know God created the Earth, so He would have had to create these other powers also?  Help, Rob!

A. The traditional Christian understanding of these other “gods” is that they are demonic powers.  That is, they were angelic beings created perfectly by God to serve Him, but they chose to rebel with their master Satan, sometime before the creation of people.  That’s the best guess we can reach from the imperfect record of scripture, which frankly has little interest in telling us the origin story of these other powers that are described in scripture.  The primary thing to remember is that God is above them all!

Q. Why is most of this repeating scripture we have already read, almost verbatim.  Did Moses write the same thing down twice, knowing it would all go into one book?

A. Don’t forget that repetition in an ancient text was a form of emphasis.   Moses appears really determined to make sure his points are coming across clearly, so there is no reason to assume that he didn’t intentionally repeat himself in order to make the people clearly understand his point.  It will continue this way.  We will, for example, come back to the choice between blessing and curse again.  That’s the way it goes with this text.

Q. (12:15): God is cutting them some slack here?  They don’t have to be ceremonially clean or they are not directed to a certain place to eat the meat.  Why the change?  Is this because they are at Canaan and are defeating people and will have no longer have anyone from whom to be “set apart”?

A. I am not completely sure (my notes didn’t say much about this section), but I think what God is saying here is that the people were free to butcher their own animals, for the purpose of eating, in their own hometowns.  It’s not saying that the rules for sacrifices were changed; it is simply providing some guidance for the people to keep, and eat, from their own herds.  They didn’t have to bring animals to the Tabernacle if they were simply going to eat it, rather than kill it to make a sacrifice.  This doesn’t make any changes to the sacrifice system.

O. (12:23): Here is the blood discussion again.  We have talked about this in the answers on Day 49 (Feb. 18).  It’s a good discussion.

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