Tim Mackie is a Creative writer and director for The Bible Project and an adjunct professor of Old Testament at Western Seminary and host of Exploring My Strange Bible Podcast.
Recent episodes featuring Tim Mackie
Rest for the Land - 7th Day Rest E9
KEY TAKEAWAYS The land is entitled to a Sabbath rest as a part of the Torah commandments.If Israel disobeys the Torah and does not allow the land to rest, they will be punished by God, including being sent into exile.Romans 8 is similar to Leviticus 26. The land (creation) is waiting for its release from bondage, which will occur when humans attain their release from their bondage.QUOTE“What we call the natural world in the biblical story is an existence with humans living at odds with our real nature and our environment. (The Land) is not ours to do what we want with.”SHOW NOTESIn part 1 (0-18:35), Tim and Jon review the conversation so far and quickly go over the Jewish festival calendar year to recap how it reflects the theme of seventh-day rest. They also discuss the Year of Jubilee.In part 2 (18:35-32:40), Tim shares from Leviticus 26 and talks about the “covenant curses” that God pronounces. If Israel disobeys the commands, they will be exiled. Their exile is portrayed an inverted jubilee. Covenant loyalty will result in Eden blessing, freedom, abundance, and security, much like the jubilee.Leviticus 26:3-13“If you walk in my statutes and keep my commandments so as to carry them out, then I shall give you rains in their season, so that the land will yield its produce and the trees of the field will bear their fruit. Indeed, your threshing will last for you until grape gathering, and grape gathering will last until sowing time. You will thus eat your food to the full (Heb. שבע, seven) and live securely in your land.“I shall also grant peace in the land, so that you may lie down with no one making you tremble. I shall also eliminate harmful beasts from the land, and no sword will pass through your land…“So I will turn toward you and make you fruitful and multiply you, and I will confirm my covenant with you. You will eat the old supply and clear out the old because of the new. Moreover, I will make my dwelling among you, and my soul will not reject you. I will also walk among you (cf.  Genesis 3:8) and be your God, and you shall be my people. I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt so that you would not be their slaves, and I broke the bars of your yoke and made you walk erect.”Tim says the takeaway from this passage is that covenant violation will result in seven anti-jubilee curses, slavery, poverty, and oppression, which is also portrayed with symbolic seven imagery.Leviticus 26:14-18, 21, 23-24, 27-28, 33-35“But if you will not listen to me and carry out all these commands, and if you reject my decrees and abhor my laws and fail to carry out all my commands and so violate my covenant, then I will do this to you: I will bring on you sudden terror, wasting diseases and fever that will destroy your sight and sap your strength. You will plant seed in vain, because your enemies will eat it. I will set my face against you so that you will be defeated by your enemies; those who hate you will rule over you, and you will flee even when no one is pursuing you.“If after all this you will not listen to me, I will discipline you for your sins seven times over.“If you remain hostile toward me and refuse to listen to me, I will multiply your afflictions seven times over, as your sins deserve.“If in spite of these things you do not accept my correction but continue to be hostile toward me, I myself will be hostile toward you and will afflict you for your sins seven times over.“If in spite of this you still do not listen to me but continue to be hostile toward me, then in my anger I will be hostile toward you, and I myself will discipline you for your sins seven times over.“I will scatter you among the nations and will draw out my sword and pursue you. Your land will be laid waste, and your cities will lie in ruins. Then the land will enjoy its sabbath years all the time that it lies desolate and you are in the country of your enemies; then the land will rest and enjoy its sabbaths. All the time that it lies desolate, the land will have the rest it did not have during the sabbaths you lived in it.”Jon notes that Western culture allows us to think that we own land. However, owning land in ancient Israel wasn’t reality. Instead, the land would return to the family originally entrusted with it every fifty years. God considers the land to be his, and Israel is tenants upon it.In part 3 (32:40-end), Tim finishes Leviticus 26.Leviticus 26:40-45“If they confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their forefathers, in their unfaithfulness which they committed against me, and also in their acting with hostility against me… or if their uncircumcised heart becomes humbled so that they then make amends for their iniquity, then I will remember my covenant with Jacob, and I will remember also my covenant with Isaac, and my covenant with Abraham as well, and I will remember the land. For the land will be abandoned by them, and will make up for its sabbaths while it is made desolate without them.“Yet in spite of this, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not reject them, nor will I so abhor them as to destroy them, breaking my covenant with them; for I am the Lord their God. But I will remember for them the covenant with their ancestors, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the nations, that I might be their God. I am the Lord.”Tim notes that the same logic that gives the land rest in Leviticus 26 also appears in the New Testament, when Paul writes in Romans 8.Romans 8:19-23“For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God; for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies.”Creation will be liberated from its bondage when humans are liberated from theirs. Show Resources:Hittite King Suppiluliuma (Wikipedia) Show Music:Defender Instrumental by TentsAlways Home by Ian EwingThe Size of Grace by Beautiful Eulogy Show Produced by:Dan Gummel Join the Bible Project!thebibleproject.com/visionPowered and distributed by Simplecast.
Jubilee: The Radical Year of Release - 7th Day Rest E8
QUOTE“Since it occurred usually only once a lifetime, an impoverished Israelite would spend most of his life anticipating this event of restoration. So when we get to Jesus and the Jesus movement, it was a jubilee movement. Jesus started his mission by reading from Isaiah 61. He said it’s the favorable year of the Lord, the year of release.”KEY TAKEAWAYSThe Year of Jubilee in Leviticus 25 is one of the most radical ideas in the Bible. Every 50 years, every Israelite was supposed to return to their original piece of allotted land.The jubilee would have effectively prevented cycles of intergenerational poverty and create a social and economic parity that would make Israel unique among all nations.Jesus announced that he was enacting the Year of Jubilee when he launched his public ministry.SHOW NOTESIn part 1 (0-7:30), the guys quickly review the conversation so far.In part 2 (7:30-21:30), Tim dives into Leviticus 24.Leviticus 24:1-4“The Lord said to Moses, ‘Command the Israelites to bring you clear oil of pressed olives for the light so that the lamps may be kept burning continually. Outside the curtain that shields the ark of the covenant law in the tent of meeting, Aaron is to tend the lamps before the Lord from evening till morning, continually. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come. The lamps on the pure gold lampstand before the Lord must be tended continually.’”Tim shares a quote from Jacob Milgrom.“There are three kinds of oil. The first when the olives are pounded in order and put into a basket, and the oil oozes out. Rabbi Judah says, ‘Around the basket and around the sides, the oil that runs out of the basket, this gives the first oil…. The first oil is fit for lampstands.’”Tim and Jon observe that the first oil would be the safest, least likely to smoke. This would keep the soot for accumulating in the rooms where it is burning.Tim makes several observations about the lamp from Leviticus 24.The lamp (מאור / ma’or) is attended to every evening so that its light burns perpetually (“from evening to evening,” borrowing language from Genesis 1).The lamp is described with the vocabulary of the sun, moon, and stars in Genesis 1. They are symbols of the divine glory and markers “for signs and for seasons”—that is, for the appointed feasts (Gen. 1:14-16).The lamp is a symbol of the divine light that perpetually shines upon Israel, who is represented by the bread. Numbers 8:1-4 tells us that the light of the menorah “will give light in the front of the lampstand” (v. 2), shining in the direction of the bread.Leviticus 24:5-9 says that the bread is to be placed directly across from the light. Just as new bread is baked every Sabbath, so Israel is “recreated” every Sabbath. This bread is called “an eternal covenant” (Lev. 24:8), meaning it’s a symbol of the eternal relationship between God and Israel.Tim shares this quote from Michael Morales:“The menorah lampstand contains the same seven-fold structure, symbolizing the entire seven-part structure of time provided by the heavenly lights…. Just as the cosmos was created for humanity’s Sabbath communion and fellowship with God, so too tabernacle was established for Israel’s Sabbath communion and fellowship with God “every day of the Sabbath” (Lev 24:8). This ritual drama of the lights and the bread, symbolizes the ideal Sabbath, the tribes of Israel basking in the divine light, being renewed in God’s presence Sabbath by Sabbath.”(Michael Morales, Who Shall Ascend the Mountain of the Lord, 189-190 [with embedded quote by Vern Poythress].)In part 3 (21:30-36:00), Tim dives into Leviticus 25 and the practice of jubilee.Leviticus 25:1-55“The Lord said to Moses at Mount Sinai, ‘Speak to the Israelites and say to them: “When you enter the land I am going to give you, the land itself must observe a sabbath to the Lord. For six years sow your fields, and for six years prune your vineyards and gather their crops. But in the seventh year the land is to have a year of sabbath rest, a sabbath to the Lord. Do not sow your fields or prune your vineyards. Do not reap what grows of itself or harvest the grapes of your untended vines. The land is to have a year of rest. Whatever the land yields during the sabbath year will be food for you—for yourself, your male and female servants, and the hired worker and temporary resident who live among you, as well as for your livestock and the wild animals in your land. Whatever the land produces may be eaten.‘“Count off seven sabbath years—seven times seven years—so that the seven sabbath years amount to a period of forty-nine years. Then have the trumpet sounded everywhere on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the Day of Atonement sound the trumpet throughout your land. Consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you; each of you is to return to your family property and to your own clan. The fiftieth year shall be a jubilee for you; do not sow and do not reap what grows of itself or harvest the untended vines. For it is a jubilee and is to be holy for you; eat only what is taken directly from the fields.‘“In this Year of Jubilee everyone is to return to their own property. If you sell land to any of your own people or buy land from them, do not take advantage of each other. You are to buy from your own people on the basis of the number of years since the Jubilee. And they are to sell to you on the basis of the number of years left for harvesting crops. When the years are many, you are to increase the price, and when the years are few, you are to decrease the price, because what is really being sold to you is the number of crops. Do not take advantage of each other, but fear your God. I am the Lord your God.‘“Follow my decrees and be careful to obey my laws, and you will live safely in the land. Then the land will yield its fruit, and you will eat your fill and live there in safety. You may ask, ‘What will we eat in the seventh year if we do not plant or harvest our crops?’ I will send you such a blessing in the sixth year that the land will yield enough for three years. While you plant during the eighth year, you will eat from the old crop and will continue to eat from it until the harvest of the ninth year comes in.‘“The land must not be sold permanently, because the land is mine and you reside in my land as foreigners and strangers. Throughout the land that you hold as a possession, you must provide for the redemption of the land.‘“If one of your fellow Israelites becomes poor and sells some of their property, their nearest relative is to come and redeem what they have sold. If, however, there is no one to redeem it for them but later on they prosper and acquire sufficient means to redeem it themselves, they are to determine the value for the years since they sold it and refund the balance to the one to whom they sold it; they can then go back to their own property. But if they do not acquire the means to repay, what was sold will remain in the possession of the buyer until the Year of Jubilee. It will be returned in the Jubilee, and they can then go back to their property.‘“Anyone who sells a house in a walled city retains the right of redemption a full year after its sale. During that time the seller may redeem it. If it is not redeemed before a full year has passed, the house in the walled city shall belong permanently to the buyer and the buyer’s descendants. It is not to be returned in the Jubilee. But houses in villages without walls around them are to be considered as belonging to the open country. They can be redeemed, and they are to be returned in the Jubilee.‘“The Levites always have the right to redeem their houses in the Levitical towns, which they possess. So the property of the Levites is redeemable—that is, a house sold in any town they hold—and is to be returned in the Jubilee, because the houses in the towns of the Levites are their property among the Israelites. But the pastureland belonging to their towns must not be sold; it is their permanent possession.‘“If any of your fellow Israelites become poor and are unable to support themselves among you, help them as you would a foreigner and stranger, so they can continue to live among you. Do not take interest or any profit from them, but fear your God, so that they may continue to live among you. You must not lend them money at interest or sell them food at a profit. I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt to give you the land of Canaan and to be your God.‘“If any of your fellow Israelites become poor and sell themselves to you, do not make them work as slaves. They are to be treated as hired workers or temporary residents among you; they are to work for you until the Year of Jubilee. Then they and their children are to be released, and they will go back to their own clans and to the property of their ancestors. Because the Israelites are my servants, whom I brought out of Egypt, they must not be sold as slaves. Do not rule over them ruthlessly, but fear your God.‘“Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.‘“If a foreigner residing among you becomes rich and any of your fellow Israelites become poor and sell themselves to the foreigner or to a member of the foreigner’s clan, they retain the right of redemption after they have sold themselves. One of their relatives may redeem them: An uncle or a cousin or any blood relative in their clan may redeem them. Or if they prosper, they may redeem themselves. They and their buyer are to count the time from the year they sold themselves up to the Year of Jubilee. The price for their release is to be based on the rate paid to a hired worker for that number of years. If many years remain, they must pay for their redemption a larger share of the price paid for them. If only a few years remain until the Year of Jubilee, they are to compute that and pay for their redemption accordingly. They are to be treated as workers hired from year to year; you must see to it that those to whom they owe service do not rule over them ruthlessly.‘“Even if someone is not redeemed in any of these ways, they and their children are to be released in the Year of Jubilee, for the Israelites belong to me as servants. They are my servants, whom I brought out of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.”’”Tim makes a few observations about the practice of jubilee and the Year of Jubilee. Giving people back their ancestral land would prevent the formation of monopolies and land owner dynasties. It would be a consistent (about once a lifetime) check to level the economic playing field of ancient Israel.Tim also notes that there are no narrative stories about Israel actually observing this Year of Jubilee. This causes some scholars to wonder whether the jubilee ever happened, or whether it was set up as an ideal to aspire to.Tim says that jubilee anticipates a future restoration. He shares a quote from scholar John Bergsma.“There is something inherently ‘eschatological’ about the jubilee, long before it was seen as a symbol of the eschaton by later writers. Since it recurred usually only once in a lifetime, the impoverished Israelite—or at least the one projected by the text—would spend most of his life in anticipation of this event of restoration. Also, from the perspective of the entire Pentateuch, the conquest and settlement of Canaan was a kind of ‘realized eschatology’—the fulfillment of the promise of the land of Canaan originally made to Abraham. Leviticus 25—in its present position in the Pentateuch—looks forward to the time when the ‘eschatological’ condition of Israel dwelling within her own land will be realized, and enacts measures to ensure that periodically this utopian, ‘eschatological’ state of Israel will be renewed and restored.”(John Bergsma, The Jubilee from Leviticus to Qumran: A History of Interpretation, 81)In part 4 (36:00-end), Tim and Jon talk about how the jubilee crosses into social, economic, and political views. Tim notes that Jesus launched his movement by declaring that the Year of Jubilee had arrived.Thank you to all our supporters!Show Resources:John Bergsma, The Jubilee from Leviticus to Qumran: A History of InterpretationMichael Morales, Who Shall Ascend the Mountain of the Lord? A Biblical Theology of the Book of LeviticusJacob Milgrom, Leviticus, Anchor Yale Bible CommentaryShow Music:Defender Instrumental: TentsShow produced by Dan GummelHave a question? Send it to us info@jointhebibleproject.com.Powered and distributed by Simplecast.
7th Day Rest Q&R #1 - 7th Day Rest E7
7th Day Q+R 1Sam from Ohio (1:55): “I've heard you use the phrase that the Hebrew authors are in conversation with their Canaanite neighbors. In the creation narratives, when the Hebrew authors use the word avodah—for slave labor or work—are they saying something significant to their Canaanite neighbors, who in some of their creation accounts claim that the gods created humans to be their slaves? Is the word avodah tied to a unique claim that the Hebrew authors are trying to make about the relationship between God, work, and rest?”Laura from Missouri (11:46): “As you were talking about sacred time built into the fabric of creation—particularly how the sun, moon, and stars are indented to mark the days and times for seasons and feasts—would these things still have been the case if the fall did not occur? Were these intended to be part of the people of God regardless of the fall? And if so, what would they be looking back to or forward to?”Mike from South Africa (22:20): “Is the number seven a divine construct imported into the Israelite thinking? Or is it (or was it) an already established cultural idea that God just adopted to teach something that they would have understood if you spoke in their language?”Brianna from Wisconsin (32:35): “I have a question about the flood narrative, and what’s going on there with all the uses of time and sevens that keep getting repeated. I’m wondering if all the references to time are supposed to get mapped onto Israel’s calendar and the feast days? And if so, does that somehow tie into Noah and his name meaning “rest?” What are we meant to see there with all the reference to time and sevens and the idea that Noah is rest and bringing rest into the world.”John from Virginia (43:27): “You mention that the Exodus story participates with days one, two, and three of the creation account. I was wondering if there was anything following that that maps onto days four, five, and six that maps onto the new Eden.”Show musicDefender Instrumental by TentsShow Produced by Dan GummelPowered and Distributed by Simplecast.
The Cathedral in Time - 7th Day Rest E5
QUOTE"The Sabbath is to time what the tabernacle and temple are to space: a cathedral in time. On the seventh day, we experience in time what the temple and tabernacle represented in spaces, which is eternal life with God in a complete creation."KEY TAKEAWAYSThe building of the tabernacle in Exodus 40 has deep connections with the theme of seventh-day rest and the creation account in Genesis.The tabernacle is presented as a mini cosmos, brought into being by the seven acts of divine speech by God. When Moses builds this symbolic mini cosmos, seven times over he obeys the divine command.SHOW NOTES:In part 1 (0-8:30), Tim and Jon recap their conversation so far. They go over the story of the Passover and review how it reflects the creation account in Genesis.In part 2 (8:30-22:30), Tim transitions to the story of Israel collecting manna in the wilderness in Exodus 16.Exodus 16:4-35Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I am about to rain bread from heaven for you, and the people shall go out and gather a day's portion every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in my law or not. On the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather daily.” So Moses and Aaron said to all the people of Israel, “At evening you shall know that it was the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt, and in the morning you shall see the glory of the Lord, because he has heard your grumbling against the Lord. For what are we, that you grumble against us?” And Moses said, “When the Lord gives you in the evening meat to eat and in the morning bread to the full, because the Lord has heard your grumbling that you grumble against him—what are we? Your grumbling is not against us but against the Lord.”Then Moses said to Aaron, “Say to the whole congregation of the people of Israel, ‘Come near before the Lord, for he has heard your grumbling.’” And as soon as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the people of Israel, they looked toward the wilderness, and behold, the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud. And the Lord said to Moses, “I have heard the grumbling of the people of Israel. Say to them, ‘At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread. Then you shall know that I am the Lord your God.’”In the evening quail came up and covered the camp, and in the morning dew lay around the camp. And when the dew had gone up, there was on the face of the wilderness a fine, flake-like thing, fine as frost on the ground. When the people of Israel saw it, they said to one another, “What is it? For they did not know what it was. And Moses said to them, “It is the bread that the Lord has given you to eat. This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Gather of it, each one of you, as much as he can eat. You shall each take an omer, according to the number of the persons that each of you has in his tent.’” And the people of Israel did so. They gathered, some more, some less. But when they measured it with an omer, whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack. Each of them gathered as much as he could eat. And Moses said to them, “Let no one leave any of it over till the morning.” But they did not listen to Moses. Some left part of it till the morning, and it bred worms and stank. And Moses was angry with them. Morning by morning they gathered it, each as much as he could eat; but when the sun grew hot, it melted.On the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers each. And when all the leaders of the congregation came and told Moses, he said to them, “This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Tomorrow is a day of solemn rest, a holy Sabbath to the Lord; bake what you will bake and boil what you will boil, and all that is left over lay aside to be kept till the morning.’” So they laid it aside till the morning, as Moses commanded them, and it did not stink, and there were no worms in it. Moses said, “Eat it today, for today is a Sabbath to the Lord; today you will not find it in the field. Six days you shall gather it, but on the seventh day, which is a Sabbath, there will be none.”On the seventh day some of the people went out to gather, but they found none. And the Lord said to Moses, “How long will you refuse to keep my commandments and my laws? See! The Lord has given you the Sabbath; therefore on the sixth day he gives you bread for two days. Remain each of you in his place; let no one go out of his place on the seventh day.” So the people rested on the seventh day.Now the house of Israel called its name manna. It was like coriander seed, white, and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey. Moses said, “This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Let an omer of it be kept throughout your generations, so that they may see the bread with which I fed you in the wilderness, when I brought you out of the land of Egypt.’” And Moses said to Aaron, “Take a jar, and put an omer of manna in it, and place it before the Lord to be kept throughout your generations.” As the Lord commanded Moses, so Aaron placed it before the testimony to be kept. The people of Israel ate the manna forty years, till they came to a habitable land. They ate the manna till they came to the border of the land of Canaan.Tim notes that manna was supposed to be a little taste of the new creation. Manna was a new work of creation that violated normal creation while also fitting within God’s ideal purpose for creation (i.e., within the seven-day scheme). Manna was a divine gift that came from proximity to the divine glory (Ex 16:9-10). This miraculous provision didn’t behave like normal food, and there was more than enough each day, no matter how much was gathered.Tim also shares that the rhythms of gathering and not gathering on the Sabbath is an imitation of God’s own patterns of work and rest in Genesis 1. Similarly, God announced “good” days one through six and “very good” on day seven. This parallels with Israel collecting manna on days one through six and “double manna” on day seven. Furthermore, on the seventh day God “rested” (took up residence in his temple), and on the seventh day Israel “rests” and Moses “rested” a perpetual sample of manna “before Yahweh” and “before the testimony.”Tim cites scholar Stephen Geller:“... manna is presented as a new work of creation that disrupts the established order of creation. In fact, there is a clear parallelism between the creation account in Gen 1-2:4 and Exod 16. In both passages there is a dichotomy between the first six days and the seventh day. In Gen 1, the work of each day is stated by God to be "good," a term that marks its completion. But on the sixth day the phrase "very good" marks the completion not just of the acts of creation on that day, but of the first six days as a whole. Genesis 2:1 states explicitly that "the heaven and earth were completed." Yet, to the perplex­ity of exegesis, the very next verse says that "God completed on the seventh day the work he did and ceased on the seventh day all work he did." The second of these two statements must be viewed as an explanation of the first: God completed his work by ceasing.”(Stephen Geller, “Exodus 16: A Literary and Theological Reading,” Interpretation vol. (2005), p. 13.)In part 3 (22:30-36:30), the guys dive into the actual Sabbath command as part of the Ten Commandments, which is given in seven Hebrew sentences. The Sabbath command in Exodus 20:8-11 is expressed in seven statements arranged in a chiastic symmetry. Tim says this is another fascinating layer of the theme of seventh-day rest in the Bible.Exodus 20:8-11A – Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.B – Six days you will laborC – and do all your work,D – but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God;C’ – you shall not do any work,you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant,or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you.B’ – For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth,the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day;A’ – therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.Tim cites scholar Leigh Trevaskis to make his point:“The sabbatical rest seems to remind Israel of her covenant obligations as YHWH’s new creation. Though this rest is more immediately connected to the exodus in these chapters, it has its roots in the creation story (Gen 2:1-3; cf. Exod 20:11) and by connecting Israel’s remembrance of her redemption from Egypt with the sabbatical rest, the exodus becomes infused with further theological significance: just as Gods seventh day rest in the creation story marks the emergence of his new creation, so does Israel’s sabbatical rest attest to her emergence as YHWH’s new creation through his act of redemption. And since her identity as a new creation is tied up with the covenant (cf. Exod 15:1-19; 19:4-5), Israel’s sabbatical rests… presumably recall her obligation to remain faithful to this covenant, encouraging her to live according to the Creators will.” (Leigh Trevaskis, “The Purpose of Leviticus 24 within its Literary Context,” 298-299.)Tim then walks through Exodus 24, which is the start of God giving the tabernacle instructions to Moses. This story is a crucial layer to understanding how the building of the tabernacle (the “tent of meeting”) weaves into the theme of seventh-day rest.Exodus 24:1-11Then he said to Moses, “Come up to the Lord, you and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, and worship from afar. Moses alone shall come near to the Lord, but the others shall not come near, and the people shall not come up with him.”Moses came and told the people all the words of the Lord and all the rules. And all the people answered with one voice and said, “All the words that the Lord has spoken we will do.” And Moses wrote down all the words of the Lord. He rose early in the morning and built an altar at the foot of the mountain, and twelve pillars, according to the twelve tribes of Israel. And he sent young men of the people of Israel, who offered burnt offerings and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen to the Lord. And Moses took half of the blood and put it in basins, and half of the blood he threw against the altar. Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it in the hearing of the people. And they said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient.” And Moses took the blood and threw it on the people and said, “Behold the blood of the covenant that the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words.”Then Moses and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up, and they saw the God of Israel. There was under his feet as it were a pavement of sapphire stone, like the very heaven for clearness. And he did not lay his hand on the chief men of the people of Israel; they beheld God, and ate and drank.In part 4 (36:30-49:50), Tim continues the story in Exodus 24.Exodus 24:12-18The Lord said to Moses, “Come up to me on the mountain and wait there, that I may give you the tablets of stone, with the law and the commandment, which I have written for their instruction.” So Moses rose with his assistant Joshua, and Moses went up into the mountain of God. And he said to the elders, “Wait here for us until we return to you. And behold, Aaron and Hur are with you. Whoever has a dispute, let him go to them.” Then Moses went up on the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain. The glory of the Lord dwelt on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days. And on the seventh day he called to Moses out of the midst of the cloud. Now the appearance of the glory of the Lord was like a devouring fire on the top of the mountain in the sight of the people of Israel. Moses entered the cloud and went up on the mountain. And Moses was on the mountain forty days and forty nights.Tim notes that the theme of sixth and seventh day is now clearly established. God appears to Moses on the seventh day.Here in Exodus 25-31, God presents Moses with the plans for the tabernacle. These plans are dispensed in seven speeches by God.[1] “And YHWH spoke to Moses, saying…” [Exodus 25:1][2] “And YHWH spoke to Moses, saying…” [Exodus 30:11][3] “And YHWH spoke to Moses, saying…” [Exodus 30:17][4] “And YHWH spoke to Moses, saying…” [Exodus 30:22][5] “And YHWH spoke to Moses, saying…” [Exodus 30:34][6] “And YHWH spoke to Moses, saying…” [Exodus 31:1][7] “And YHWH spoke to Moses, saying…” [Exodus 31:12]The seventh and final act of speech covers the Sabbath.After this, in Exodus 40, the completion of the tabernacle is given with seven statements of Moses completing the work God commanded him.Exodus 40:17-18aAnd it came about in the beginning month, in the second year, on the first of the month, the tabernacle was set up (הוקם), and Moses set up (ותקם) the tabernacle…[1] “…just as Yahweh commanded Moses” [Exodus 40:19][2] “…just as Yahweh commanded Moses” [Exodus 40:21][3] “…just as Yahweh commanded Moses” [Exodus 40:23][4] “…just as Yahweh commanded Moses” [Exodus 40:25][5] “…just as Yahweh commanded Moses” [Exodus 40:27][6] “…just as Yahweh commanded Moses” [Exodus 40:29][7] “…just as Yahweh commanded Moses” [Exodus 40:32]“And Moses completed (ויכל) the work (המלאכה)” [Exodus 40:33b]Tim cites scholar Howard Wallace to make the following point:“The structuring of the narrative in Exodus 25-40 binds the Sabbath observance closely with the construction of the sanctuary. Both are tightly connected with the question of the presence of Yahweh with his people…. The Sabbath is a significant element in the celebration of the presence of Yahweh with his people. Just as the tabernacle was built along lines specified by divine decree, so too in the sequence is the human sabbath institution modeled on the divine pattern. Since the tabernacle, which is patterned on the divine plan, reveals the presence and shares in the role of the heavenly temple to proclaim the sovereignty of Israel’s God, so the Sabbath shares in the proclamation of the sovereignty of Yahweh.”(Howard Wallace, “Creation and Sabbath in Genesis 2:1-3,” 246.)Tim also shares a quote from Rabbi Abraham Heschel.“The sabbath is to time what the temple and tabernacle are to space. The sabbath is a cathedral in time. On the seventh day we experience in time what the tabernacle and temple represented as spaces which is eternal life, God in the complete creation.”(The Sabbath, Abraham Joshua Heschel)In part 5 (49:50-end), the guys finish up their conversation. Tim notes that the cliffhanger at the end of Exodus is that Moses and all of Israel have successfully built the tabernacle (or the tent of meeting) and God then comes to dwell in it, to meet with Israel. But when he does, his presence is too intense, and Moses is unable to go in. So what will happen? Find out next week when we turn to Numbers and Leviticus.Thank you to all our supporters! Show Resources:Howard Wallace, “Creation and Sabbath in Genesis 2:1-3”Abraham Joshua Heschel, The SabbathLeigh Trevaskis, “The Purpose of Leviticus 24 within its Literary Context”Stephen Geller, “Exodus 16: A Literary and Theological Reading” Find all our resources at www.thebibleproject.comShow Music:The Hymn of the Cherubim by TchaikovskyNature by KVFeather by WaywellSolace by Nomyn Show Produced by:Dan Gummel Powered and distributed by Simplecast.
Sacred Time & The Feast of Flight - 7th Day Rest E4
QUOTE"Another layer of Genesis is that the first, the middle, and last day are all designed to show God creating structures of time. In the timing of the middle fourth day, God appoints the sun, moon and stars to rule over day and night, and they are to mark the moadim, the sacred feasts, the annual sacred feasts. So the whole sacred calendar of Israel that you’ll meet in Exodus and Leviticus is already baked into the story at the beginning of Genesis. (This is) sacred time."KEY TAKEAWAYSThe Jewish sacred feasts are an integral and overlooked theme in the Bible. They are built into the fabric of the original creation story in Genesis 1:14.Passover is considered to be the most important Jewish holiday. Many biblical themes flow into and out of the idea of the Passover.SHOW NOTESWelcome to our fourth episode discussing the theme of the seventh-day rest in the Bible. In this episode, Tim and Jon look at the Passover and Exodus stories and talk about their importance to the development of this theme.In part 1 (0-12:30), the guys quickly go over the conversation so far. Tim briefly covers the days of creation and notes how God sets up structures of time on days one, four, and seven. These structures are reflected in the Hebrew calendar.In part 2 (12:30-19:30), Tim begins to share broadly about the Hebrew sacred calendar. Tim notes that the Jewish calendar is designed to heavily reflect symbolic “seven” imagery.In part 3 (19:30-37:30), Tim briefly recaps the calling of Abraham that was discussed in the previous episode. Tim notes that Abraham believed that God would bring about an ultimate seventh day. A brief conversation follows about fasting in Christianity as well as a brief discussion on the differences between “hope” and “optimism.” Tim cites scholar Cornel West about the differences between optimism and Christian hope.In part 4 (37:30-43:00), Tim starts to talk about Passover, which originates in the book of Exodus. Tim says that Passover is the most important feast on the Jewish calendar. The Exodus story is presented in cosmic terms on analogy with the Creation story of Genesis 1.In part 5 (43:00-56:20), Tim explains the story of the Exodus and how it maps onto the Genesis story. The powers of evil destroy Israel (i.e. new humanity) through slavery (lit. “working” in Hebrew, עבדה), and through the waters of death. But God acts and rescues Israel. The famous story of the ten plagues are inversions of the ten creative words of God in Genesis 1. All of the plagues “de-create” Egypt back into chaotic darkness.Consider these examples:The Plague of Darkness
Genesis 1:2-3 …and darkness (חשך) was over the surface of the deep…. Then God said, “let there be light (יהי אור)….”Exodus 10:21, 23 …that there may be darkness (ויהי חשך) over the land of Egypt… but for all the sons of Israel, there was light (היה אור) in their dwellings.The Plague of FrogsExodus 7:28And the Nile will swarm (ושרץ) with frogs…Genesis 1:20 …let the waters swarm (שרץ) with every swarming (שרץ) creature…The Plague of LocustsExodus 10:5 [the locusts] will eat every tree (עץ) which sprouts (צמח) for you from the field (השדה).Exodus 10:15 …fruit of the tree…all vegetation in the tree and green thing (ירק) in the field…Genesis 1:29-30 I have given to you for food all vegetation… all the tree which has the fruit of the tree… every green thing (ירק)….Genesis 2:9 …and Yahweh sprouted (צמח) from the ground every tree (עץ)…
Pharaoh sends Israel out of Egypt at night (Exod 12:29, 31, 42) and Israel flees to the edge of the Reed Sea where Pharaoh’s army chases them for a night showdown (Exod 14:20). It’s at night that God parts the waters (Exod 14:21), and during the last watch of the night (Exod 14:24), the Egyptians falter in the midst of the sea, and at sunrise (Exod 14:27) the waters destroy the Egyptians while the Israelites flourish on dry land.Tim says that this story maps directly onto the creation narrative. The passage through the Reed Sea is all days 1-3 together in Genesis.In part 6 (56:20-end), Tim goes to Exodus 15 to discuss the first “worship song” in the Bible.Exodus 15:10-13, 17-18
You blew with your wind, the sea covered them;
They sank like lead in the mighty waters.
Who is like you among the gods, O Lord?
Who is like you, majestic in holiness,
Awesome in praises, working wonders?
You stretched out your right hand,
The earth swallowed them.
In your lovingkindness you have led the people whom you have redeemed;
In your strength you have guided them to your holy habitation.You will bring them and plant them in the mountain of your inheritance,
The place of your dwelling (שבתך / shibteka / Sabbath!), which you have made,
The sanctuary, O Lord, which your hands have established.
The Lord shall reign forever and ever.Tim notes that the English word “dwelling” in verse 17 is a wordplay on the word “sabbath,” because it is composed of the same letters.Tim then discusses more details about the Passover and why its importance in the Bible. The Passover is on the 14th (2 x 7) and is followed by a seven day festival of unleavened bread (15th – 21st), that begins and ends with a “super sabbath” rest.In Exodus 12:1-2, the new beginning given by God as he says, “beginning of the months, the beginning it is for you,” parallels with Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning….” Passover is compared to creation as a seven-day ritual the restarts the calendar, like a new creation.Tim then dives back into Exodus 12:14-16, 34, 39.Now this day will be a memorial to you, and you shall celebrate it as a feast to the Lord; throughout your generations you are to celebrate it as a permanent ordinance. Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, but on the first day you shall remove leaven from your houses; for whoever eats anything leavened from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel. On the first day you shall have a holy assembly, and another holy assembly on the seventh day; no work at all shall be done on them, except what must be eaten by every person, that alone may be prepared by you.So the people took their dough before it was leavened, with their kneading bowls bound up in the clothes on their shoulders.They baked the dough which they had brought out of Egypt into cakes of unleavened bread. For it had not become leavened, since they were driven out of Egypt and could not delay, nor had they prepared any provisions for themselves.Tim makes the following observations:12:15 – “For seven days you are to put to rest (תשביתו) all leaven (שאר) from your houses.” For the resonance of “leaven” שאר with “remnant” שאר, continue reading for the comparison of Passover and the flood.12:16 – “on the first day it is a holy convocation, and on the seventh day it is a holy convocation… all work should not be done on them.” This parallels Genesis 2:1-4. The seventh day is holy, for God finished his work.13:6-7 – “Seven days you will eat unleavened bread (מצת) and on the seventh day it is a feast for YHWH; unleavened bread will be eaten (יאכל) for seven days, and leaven will not be seen for you for seven days.” This parallels with Genesis 1-3: There is a certain food provided (מן כל העך), and a certain food that is forbidden (the tree of knowing good and bad).Here's a quote Tim cites in his notes for this verse: “But why require eating unleavened bread as the special focus of the exodus memorial meal, the Passover? The answer is that unleavened bread was the unique food of the original exodus, the event God wanted his people to be sure not to forget. People everywhere normally eat leavened bread. It tastes better, is more pleasant to eat, is more filling. Leavened bread was the normal choice of the Israelites in Egypt too. But on the night they ran, there was no time for the usual niceties—a fast meal had to be eaten, and hastily made bread had to be consumed. The fact that a lamb or goat kid was roasted for the meat portion of the meal or that bitter herbs were eaten as a side dish was not nearly so special or unusual as the fact that the bread was unleavened, thus essentially forming sheets of cracker. Eating it at the memorial feast intentionally recalled the original departure in haste. Eating it for a solid week tended to fix the idea in one’s consciousness.” (Douglas K. Stuart, Exodus, vol. 2, The New American Commentary, 283)Consider these points:Passover is coordinated with the “wonder” of the parting of the waters and deliverance onto dry land (Exod 14), which parallels Genesis 1 when God parts the waters so that dry land can emerge.Passover is about Israel’s liberation from “slavery” (עבדה/עב׳׳ד), which parallels Genesis 1-2 about the creation of humanity as God’s co-rulers who “work” (עב׳׳ד) the land.Passover is a reversal of humanity’s exile when Israel is “banished” (גרשו, Ex 12:39) from Egypt, which parallels Genesis 3:22-24 when humanity is banished from Eden into the wilderness.Tim concludes by saying that Passover and the Exodus are a kind of “new creation” as enslaved humanity is liberated from the realm of exile, death, and darkness and led through the waters of death into the new Eden of the promised land, marked by the celebration of a seven-day ritual (in the month of Abib on the 14th-21st). The liberation brought about at Passover is a new creation. The liberation requires that humans not try to provide their own security or provision (bread) but eat only what God allows and provides. This is clearly in preparation for the manna.Thank you to all our supporters!Have a question? Record your question and send it to info@jointhebibleproject.com. Tell us your name and where you’re from. And try to keep the question under 20-30 seconds. Thanks!Show MusicDefender Instrumental by TentsWhere Peace and Rest are Found by Beautiful EulogyAll Night by Unwritten StoriesMoon by LeMMinoSupporter Synth GrooveThe Pilgrim by GreyfloodShow Resources:Judith Hertog, “Prisoner Of Hope: Cornel West’s Quest For Justice”Richard H. Lowery, Sabbath and JubileeDouglas K. Stuart, Exodus, vol. 2, The New American CommentaryShow Produced by: Dan GummelPowered and distributed by Simplecast.
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Portland, OR, USA
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