What was the orgininal definition of holy(qadosh)?
How did the word “holy” come to mean moral excellence in the OT?
- • The word originally meant “separated to a god.” In an immoral pagan context, e.g., the Canaanite temple, cult prostitutes were separated to their gods’ use by bringing men into union with them through sexual relations.
- • ANE people faced a problem: how could their gods visit them without detrimental effects? Non-Israelite people built a barrier (sanctuary) to protect the people. The Israelites built a sanctuary to protect the people from God’s wrath, i.e., to protect the profane from the Holy.
- • In Hebrew worship, “holy” meant “to be separated to God for relationship and for his use.” Holy became associated with God’s character, and therefore associated with moral excellence.
Recognize thee two questions that flow naturally from humankind’s relationship with a holy God. Recognize God’s corresponding provisions for these questions.
How might sinful people become holy?
God’s provision – Sacrifice and atonement
How can people maintain the holiness essential to fellowship with a holy God? (Lev 17-27)
God’s provision – Instructions for holy living: Torah
Recognize three areas of life in which our behavior is governed by God’s holiness.
- 1.Sexual relations
- 2.Loving your neighbor
List (in 1 sentence each) the three things that the wilderness wanderings in Numbers teach us about the presence of God.
- 1. God’s presence dwelt with them at the Tabernacle
- 2. God’s presence led them through the wilderness
- 3. God’s presence visibly appeared to his people
Recognize how the stories in Numbers exemplify the providence and patience of God: Murmuring against Moses
(Num 11:1-12:16) Aaron and Miriam’s presumption and sedition is overcome by God exonerating Moses.
Recognize how the stories in Numbers exemplify the providence and patience of God:Spying the land
- (Num 13 & 14) Unbelief and the bad report of the spies, coupled with the near mutiny of Israel, are met with God’s judgment of that generation so he can fulfill his promises to the next generation.
- • Only Joshua and Caleb had faith, so they were the only ones allowed to enter the Promised Land
Recognize how the stories in Numbers exemplify the providence and patience of God:Brazen serpent
- (Num 21:4-9) Israel’s rebellion is met with God’s discipline.
- • Because of Israel’s disobedience, God sent poisonous serpents. God told Moses to make a brazen (bronze) serpent on a crossbar; anyone bitten could look at it and live. This is a type that finds its fulfillment in Jesus on the Cross. A type is a person or thing (in the Old Testament) that foreshadows another greater person or thing (occurring later in Scripture, e.g., OT types fulfilled in the NT).
Recognize how the stories in Numbers exemplify the providence and patience of God:Balaam and Balak
(Num 22:2-24; 25) Moab’s spiritual attack and sexual seduction is overcome by God’s intervention through an unwilling diviner and the holiness of a zealous priest
Recognize how Deuteronomy’s four-part structure parallels the ANE Suzerain-Vassal treaty.
- First address: God’s past dealings with Israel reviewed and interpreted (Dt 1:6-4:43)
- After a brief introduction (1:1-5), Moses gives his first address on the acts of Yahweh (1:6-4:43). This matches the Hittite Suzerain-Vassal treaty’s historical prologue.
- Moses’ second address on the Law of Yahweh (Dt 4:44-26:19)
- Moses interprets the Sinai covenant for the people and exhorts them to love and obey Yahweh in their new homeland. This matches the Suzerain-Vassal treaty’s stipulations.
- General Stipulations (4:44-11:32) – the heart of which is the “Ten Words” (5:1-21)
- Specific Stipulations (12:1-26:19)
- Ceremony at Shechem (Dt 27:1-28:68)
- This section is a recital of blessings for treaty keeping and curses for treaty breaking.
- Third address: a call to covenant (renewal) (Dt 29:1-30:20)
- This parallels the Hittite practice of calling covenant witnesses and placing the covenant requirements in the sanctuaries of the participants (30:19). The provision for public reading, frequently under the previous section, occurs in 31:10-13. This section of Deuteronomy is followed by Moses’ closing words (31; 32:44-33:29), his song (32:1-43), and his death (ch 34).
- SUMMARY: Each discrete speech has direct parallels with the ancient Hittite Suzerain-Vassal Treaty outline; and the examination of each parallel section reveals specific details about the God who makes covenant with his elect people.