TAKE TWO at Mount Sinai: Moses goes back up the mountain for another 40 days and nights to get two new tablets to replace the ones he smashed.
We discuss the construction of the tabernacle and the willingness of the Israelites to contribute building materials after the unpleasantness following the golden calf incident. We also explain why the famed artist Michelangelo sculpted Moses with horns — it was a translation error that confused Hebrew qaran (“shone”) with qeren (“horned”).
IT DIDN’T take long for Israel to rebel against God’s commands. They broke the first two commandments—no other gods and no idols—before Moses even came down from Mount Sinai.
We discuss the Israelites’ desire for an idol to give locality to their “god,” and whether the golden calf was supposed to represent Yahweh, the storm-god Baal, the moon-god Sîn (they were at Sinai, after all), or the creator-god of the Amorites, El, whose main epithet was “Bull El.”
THE RULES for consecrating the Aaronic priesthood were very specific, and many of those rules were a repudiation of rituals the pagan neighbors of ancient Israel practices for their gods.
We discuss the purposed of the blood shed by the bulls and rams sacrificed during the ritual, the reasons for burning their livers and kidneys, and the restricted use of holy anointing oil. (In other words, we shouldn’t use the recipe in Exodus 30 to make our own.)