Thursday, July 2, 2009

One Greater than Moses

Alice C. Linsley

For Jews the Exodus is the central event of their corporate consciousness whereby God delivered them and established a special relationship with them as His own holy possession. For Christians the central event is the Incarnation of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, whereby atonement is made through the shedding of His Blood. We might argue that these events are set at odds, the first locating atonement through obedience to the Law of Moses and the second locating atonement through Jesus' obedience to the Father. But it is also evident that in both events God is working with a specific line of ruler-priests. This being the case, we cannot be speaking of isolated events.

So how is the Exodus with its central figures of Moses, Aaron, Miriam and Korah related to the central figures of Genesis - Na'hor, Terah, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob? Is it possible to trace Moses and his family back to these ruler-priests of Genesis? I Chronicles 26 explicitly links Amram's descendents with their kin in Hebron and identifies Korah with the rulers of Obed-Edom. Further, using kinship analysis it is possible to verify that these are blood relatives. I have done the analysis and find the pattern to be consistent from Genesis 4 to Moses' family.

Moses' father and his 2 wives had the same kinship pattern as Abraham and his 2 wives, and both Moses and Abraham had the same pattern as Lamech, whose daughter Naamah was Noah's paternal grandmother. This means that we must look at the descendents of each patriarch by both wives to understand how all these people are related.

My research shows that the reason the ruler-priests of Abraham's people married half-sisters and patrilineal parallel cousins is because they actually believed the primal promise (protevangelion) that the Son of God would be born of their bloodline. This is the meaning of Hebrews 11 and this is why John the Forerunner identifies his cousin as the "Son of God".

This is the meaning of John 8, where when the Jews called Abraham their father, Jesus said to them, “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day.”

“Then the Jews said to Him, ‘You are not fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?’ Jesus said to them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was I AM.”

The Deut. 12:29-31 idea of ethnic purity to avoid spiritual contamination is a later overlay but it is not inconsistent with the intent to protect the faith surrounding the Son of God who was coming into the world. Likewise the Exodus narrative which places Moses at the center of divine revelation represents a later development but one that has significant parallels to the expectation of the Son of God. Both survive the slaughter of the innocent baby boys. Both are 'called' out of Egypt. The Prophet Hosea tells us that God called His Son out of Egypt. Moses' authority was revealed at the parting of the waters. Jesus’ authority was revealed at his Baptism. Instead of the Jordan parting, the heavens parted and a voice declared: "This is my Beloved Son."

The Exodus 32 narrative of Aaron's involvement with the construction of the golden calf is suggestive of a theological division within Israel. As with all schisms, the political rhetoric often makes it difficult to know what the real issues are, but it seems that the division centered on whether the golden calf represented the faith of the Fathers. This division becomes most striking in the time of Jeroboam who placed golden calf idols in Dan and Bethel. First and Second Chronicles makes it clear that this does not represent the worship of the Fathers, and yet we find Aaron consenting to the construction of a golden calf, a symbol of Shamash and Sin and the worship of the sun and the moon. By the middle of the second millennium BC, Sin was a primary deity in both Ur and at Harran, the territory of Terah and his father Na'hor. The division then seems to be a common one among religious people: whether to worship the Creator or the creation. Abraham chose to worship the Creator, but likely some among his people worshiped the sun and the moon. Although Genesis 31:53 indicates that this was not the case with Abraham's brother Na'hor.

What interests me is that Moses had two brothers who were priests: Korah (his half-brother) and Aaron (his full blood brother). Korah contested Moses' authority to rule over the people, but he never consented to idolatry, as did Aaron. Further, Korah's descendents are praised by the Chronicler in 1 Chronicles 26. Here the Chronicler classifies them with the gatekeepers of Obed-Edom. Obed-Edom is a connection to Ruth, who named her first-born son Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of King David. This picks up the Messianic thread and points us back to the Fathers' expectation of the Son of God who was coming into the world. The geneological information in Genesis presents Abraham and his father and grandfather as Horites. The Horites apparently lived in expectation of Horus appearing in the flesh and Horus was called the 'Son of God', which is to say they believed that God would send HIS Son into the world through their bloodline. No wonder the ruler-priests of Abraham's people were so careful to marry within their bloodlines.

No comments: