Exodus 21 – Law and Grace

1000 Verses - a project of Judaism Resources

Exodus 21 – Law and Grace

The literary setup of the book of Exodus is pretty straightforward. It begins with the experience of the Jewish people in Egypt. The book describes the miraculous deliverance from slavery. We move from there to the Sinai revelation.  So far so good. Chapter 25 continues with the Tabernacle – the ultimate purpose of the exodus and the Sinai experience; where God comes to dwell amongst His people (- see Ezekiel 37:28). From that point on (ch. 25), the narrative proceeds in a logical fashion – the instructions for the Tabernacle, the sin of the Golden calf, Moses’ intercession and the building of the Tabernacle.

Chapters 21 thru 23 pose a literary question. Why are these chapters; chapters that discuss the technical details of judicial law, placed between Sinai and the Tabernacle, two  highlights of Israel’s history? We can understand that “Law” follows the revelation at Sinai in a natural…

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