Glory Veiled In The Tabernacle Of Flesh: Exodus 33-34 In The Gospel Of John -- By: Ardel B. Caneday
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Glory Veiled In The Tabernacle Of Flesh: Exodus 33-34 In The Gospel Of John
Ardel B. Caneday is Professor of New Testament and Greek at the University of Northwestern in Saint Paul, Minnesota. He earned his Ph.D. in New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Dr. Caneday is the co-editor (with Matthew Barrett) of Four Views on the Historical Adam (Zondervan, 2013) and the author of Must Christians Always Forgive? (Center for Christian Leadership, 2011). He has also written many scholarly book reviews and articles, including essays in two significant edited volumes: The Faith of Jesus Christ: Exegetical, Biblical, and Theological Studies (Paternoster, 2009) and A Cloud of Witnesses: The Theology of Hebrews in its Ancient Context (T & T Clark, 2008). Dr. Caneday is also the co-author (with Thomas R. Schreiner) of The Race Set Before Us: A Biblical Theology of Perseverance and Assurance (InterVarsity, 2001).
Upon returning from Sinai to the Israelite camp with covenant tablets in hand, Moses shatters them to signify Israel’s breach of the covenant’s first commandment because they “exchanged their Glory for an image of a bull, which eats grass” (Ps 106:19-20; Ex 32:19).1 Moses intercedes on behalf of Israel before the Lord, speaking “face to face” with him (Ex 33:11; Num 12:6-8), and the Lord calls him to the mountain to renew the covenant Israel broke. This renewal is unlike the God’s initial inscription of the covenant when the Israelites saw the Lord’s glory hover as a cloud and “like a consuming fire on top of the mountain” (Ex 24:15-17). Now, Moses alone witnesses
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the Lord’s presence while interceding on Israel’s behalf. He wants assurance that the Lord will go with Israel, so he petitions, “Now show me your own glory” (Ex 33:18). The Lord grants Moses’ petition with provisos of mercy.2
So, Moses witnesses a private theophany at the covenant renewal, for the Lord passed by intoning, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished” (34:...
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