CULT. Complex of rites, ceremonies, practices, paraphernalia, symbols, institutions, personnel External religious life. Cult (cont.). Not a negative term: each religious group has its own cult. Concerns how one expresses or maintains a relationship with God. Tabernacle and the Israelite Cult.
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CULT Complex of rites, ceremonies, practices, paraphernalia, symbols, institutions, personnel External religious life
Cult (cont.) • Not a negative term: each religious group has its own cult. • Concerns how one expresses or maintains a relationship with God.
Tabernacle and the Israelite Cult • Layout and Function • 3 elements: • Court where laypeople may enter; • Holy place where priests may enter; • Holy of Holies/Most Holy place- where high priest entered once per year • Increasing sanctity- decreasing access
Outer Court • Implements of bronze • Altar of burnt offering- rarely called Yahweh’s “table” • Perpetual fire: the hearth of God • God’s presence and his holiness • “Horns” of the altar • Laver- “to wash”
Holy Place • Accessible to priests and levites. • Implements of gold. • Table for special bread • Menorah/candlesticks • Incense altar
Holy of Holies • Shape of a cube • Ark of the Covenant, covered by “Atonement cover”- made of solid gold • Significance of location and contents • 1 Chron 28:2; 1 Sam 4:4; Jer 3:16-17
Layout and Material • Source of layout- God • Source of materials- Israelites (Exod 25:1-7)- a model for freewill offerings? • Julius Wellhausen- questions historicity of 1 ton gold, 3 tons silver, 2.5 tons bronze
Tabernacle and Symbolism • Genre of literary material = narrative and law, not apocalyptic like Daniel/Revelation • Don’t get carried away looking for symbolism everywhere. • Do note symbolism which is demonstrably present: dimensions and location; increasing sanctity; clothing.
Tabernacle and Sinai • Approach to the mountain: • people stay at bottom; • leaders half way up; • Moses alone to the top • Decreasing access, greater purity of material • Tabernacle parallels Sinai
Tabernacle and Sinai • Exodus 24:16 • Exodus 40:34 • Tabernacle perpetuates Sinai
Tabernacle and Sinai • Exodus 24:18 • Exodus 40:35 • Intensifies Sinai
Tabernacle completes Sinai • Sinai = marriage; Tabernacle is living together afterwards (Exod 29:45-46) • Danger of feeling loss of God’s omnipresence if just tied to Sinai • The important element is not geographical place but rather theological presence
Tabernacle and Camp • Central location in camp • All have equal access • All equally served • None given special treatment
Tabernacle and Creation • Tabernacle building narrative- 7 sections, each started with “Yahweh said to Moses” (Ex 25:1-31:17) • 7th unit- Exod 31:12-17 the Sabbath • - creation-Tabernacle
Verbal/Conceptual Parallels • Gen 2:1,2; Exod 39:32- finished (hlk), work (hdwb[), had done (hc[) • Gen 2:2; Exod 40:33b- finish, work • Gen 2:3; Exod 39:43- bless • Exodus 40:2- new beginning • Sabbath = peak in creation of world and of tabernacle • Time with God surpasses place where God is