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Author Topic: Lesson 1: Subject: To exegete a passage and what YOU think it is teaching.  (Read 1169 times)
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Matt
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« on: February 20, 2008, 22:34:03 »

Perhaps you have been spared hearing preachers preach in a church service, and it is unlikely that street preachers would have used this particular text, but it happens to be one that I think preachers "misapply".  I want to assign the passage and using just the text given, and some leading questions that I will supply, come to a conclusion as to what the main "lesson" may be.  (Of course it would be good to understand what the actual events are that are being described before we go jumping to the "application" or lesson.

Look at Exodus chapter 17:  http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus%2017;&version=78;

When you get to this site you can choose different translations from the pull down menu, just remember to "update" to take you to them.

There are two stories here, but I want you to notice a significant detail in the first one that plays a part in the second.  Verses 1- 7 water from a rock.  8-16 a battle and a victory under certain conditions.

The passage or question to answer is "What was it that Moses was doing that caused the battle to go in the favour of the Israelites? (or failed to do that caused it to go in the favour of the Amalekites?

Question 1. What was it that Moses was to take with him according to verse 5?
Question 2. What significance did this "instrument" have in the history of the Israelites?
Question 3.  According to verse 9 what was Moses going to do?
Question 4.  What did the "uplifted hand" of Moses signify to the people of Israel? 
Question 5. Considering the name Moses gave to the "altar" and place (KJV gives it as Jehovah-nissi, but most translations give it the translated meaning). 
Questions 6. Would the name of the place, and the instrument and the importance of it in Israel's mind suggest a modern day (battle setting) parallel? 
Question 7. If his hands were "empty" but lifted up, and it seemed the battle went in your favour when the leader had his hands "lifted up" what might you conclude he was doing, and why there was "success" during this time.? 
IF the place had been named "My God is a Prayer answering God" would you make a different conclusion than if it were called by the name given here? 
(Compare with these passages: Isaiah 49:22;59:19; 62:10)

If you were going to address a group and you wanted to call them to rally round a cause, a political party, or whatever, and they were being discouraged, what could you do with this story to encourage them? (Pretend both you and they believed in the supernatural!!!)

Tell me what YOU THINK is the "Lesson" here, and why you think it?
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« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2008, 10:27:39 »

 grin
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Matt
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« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2008, 07:20:28 »

So, considering the underwhelming responsse to the first lesson, and thinking that others might think like I do when coming to something "NEW", Let me use "lesson one" as an example of how one MIGHT come to some conclusions. 

(By the way I have NO idea how subjects are "taught" or "learned" in a College or University setting now.  I only know what I did 36 years ago.)
Look at Exodus chapter 17:  http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus%2017;&version=78;


There are two stories here, but I want you to notice a significant detail in the first one that plays a part in the second.  Verses 1- 7 water from a rock.  8-16 a battle and a victory under certain conditions.

The passage or question to answer is "What was it that Moses was doing that caused the battle to go in the favour of the Israelites? (or failed to do that caused it to go in the favour of the Amalekites?
I am going to use the "New English Bible with Apocrapha" (1970) edition, just because it is more "British" than any other version I have. And it is in front of me in hard copy and weasier forme to keep open.)

Question 1. What was it that Moses was to take with him according to verse 5?
"...Take with you some of the elders of Israel and the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go."

Question 2. What significance did this "instrument" have in the history of the Israelites?
It was the Rod or staff of Moses that turned into a serpent...  (and swallowed all the other serpent/rods of the court magicians) and the rod that Moses touched to the river to change it to blood, or to bring the fleas, etc.

Question 3.  According to verse 9 what was Moses going to do?
"I will take my stand on the hill-top with the staff of God in my hand."

Question 4.  What did the "uplifted hand" of Moses signify to the people of Israel?
This has to be your opinion but because it says he held the "staff of God in his hand" it would seem to me it would be a representation of the same Presence and Power they had experienced at the Red Sea, and the Rock, etc.

Question 5. Considering the name Moses gave to the "altar" and place (KJV gives it as Jehovah-nissi, but most translations give it the translated meaning)."Not in the NEB but others translate it as "Jehovah is my banner."
 
Questions 6. Would the name of the place, and the instrument and the importance of it in Israel's mind suggest a modern day (battle setting) parallel? 
I always picture the statue or drawing of the raising of the (American) flag at Iwo Jima.  The "banner" or symbol or the cause for which one is doing battle, and the honour of the one for whom the battle is being carried out.  The standard bearer, or in this case God's Presence.

Question 7. If his hands were "empty" but lifted up, and it seemed the battle went in your favour when the leader had his hands "lifted up" what might you conclude he was doing, and why there was "success" during this time.? 
Any preachers I have heard using this passage have all made it mean that Moses had his hands lifted up in "prayer".  While he may well have been praying, I think the implications go quite askew if we think God would only hear and anwser praye because of a physical position. 

IF the place had been named "My God is a Prayer answering God" would you make a different conclusion than if it were called by the name given here?
I would.
(Compare with these passages: Isaiah 49:22;59:19; 62:10) Passages refer to raising a "standard".. ie. banner, or flag, or symbol.

If you were going to address a group and you wanted to call them to rally round a cause, a political party, or whatever, and they were being discouraged, what could you do with this story to encourage them? (Pretend both you and they believed in the supernatural!!!)

In other words, I don't think Moses holding up the rod was effective because it made GOD respond in a different way, but because it gave the people hope and encouraged them to trust God on their behalf.  ie. He may have responded to their "faith". but they responded to the assurance of His Presence and Power.

Tell me what YOU THINK is the "Lesson" here, and why you think it? 
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« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2008, 07:33:10 »

Nobody posted any answers Sad

It's just like R.S. at school, everyone staying silent until they're told the "answers".
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« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2008, 09:02:38 »

You didn't post any either, and you were more likely to get them right than I was, what with your Catholic upbringing and all. I had an evangelical upbringing. Much shouting, clapping hands, dancing, and the fixing of God's cock-ups (their official name being 'miraculous healings'), not much actual reading of the Bible. There was the occasional passage read out, and at Sunday school we were taught the standard stories (Noah and the Ark, Adam, Eve and the 'Apple', how curiousity can turn you into a pillar of salt etc), but nowt as in-depth as Matt's doing.
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« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2008, 17:09:47 »

I had a lot of latin...  Rolleyes
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Matt
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« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2009, 13:28:57 »

Give an exegesis (or challenge others to give an exegesis) of a particular passage of scripture, that may or may not be "difficult", or strange, etc.
Exegesis: Ex= out, Gesis from hegeomai= lead
To go to a passage and lead out from it what it actually says RATHER than eiegesis, which is reading into it what we want it to say.

John 2:1-11
http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John%202:1-11&version=CEV

Q1.  What was the occasion or setting in which these events take place?
Q2.  Who are named as being involved?
Q3.  Who was with Jesus, and what term is used to describe them?
Q4.  How long had they been with him? (See chapter 1, vs 35, 43, and 2:1)
Q5.  Why did Mary come to Jesus?
Q6.  Did she have a realistic expectation? Speculate why she may have thought Jesus' could do something about the situation?
Q7.  According to vs. 4 and in light of vs. 9-11 what did Jesus mean when he said "his time had not YET come"? 
Q8.  IF vs 9 and following would suggest that his time was "now" what may have been instrumental in making that transition?
Q9.  Compare vs. 3 with vs. 6.  Could we conclude that these "jars" had sufficient wine in them so that by adding water there is a natural explanation for the quality wine referred to in vs 10?
Q10.  What were the water jars used for?  Would the wine have been stored in stone or clay jars or wineskins?
Q11.  Who knew about the process involved?
Q12.  Is there any significance to details such as: "so they filled them to the brim" or the size of the jars, or people involved between the order" Do whatever he tells you" and "then he called the bridegroom..."?
Q13. How does vs. 11 describe the act?  For whose benefit was this act done?  What was the result of this act.  And to whom? 
Q14. Is there a particular inference when John uses the the word "first" in vs. 11?
Q15. Compare other passages of John's gospel and note the use of the word "signs" when describing "miracles". John 2:23, 3:2, 6:2, 7:31, 9:16 etc.   What are these signs of?  (see John 20:30)
Q16. Is there any particular purpose for including this story in the Gospel of John?
Q17. Are there enough details to anticipate objections and answer them?
Q18. Might there be any particular "applications" that should be made from this passage?
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