The Dominating Influence of Exodus 34:5-7 in the Old Testament

The Strange Triumph of the Lamb

I pieced together this handout for a Bible study that I’m teaching on the Minor Prophets at Harvard for students who are around for the summer.  At a few critical junctures within this so-called Book of the Twelve the various individual prophets allude to Exodus 34:5-7, clearly holding it up as the core revelation of who God is in relation to His redeemed people and to the world He has created.  This character description functions as an explanation for why the God of Israel acts in history the way that He does. 

This canonical act of remembrance recurs in many other Old Testament writings which likewise lean heavily upon God’s primal manifestation of His name to Moses in Exodus 34:5-7.   As I mention in a footnote below, I have especially found the works by Lane and Hamilton to be rich sources for insight upon this scriptural pattern.  Note: in the many passages that (arguably) allude to the foundational depiction of God’s nature in Exodus 34:5-7, the several connecting “echoes”–whether verbal or…

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