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Reading through the book of Exodus as the people arrive at the Mountain of Sinai, we are given the imagery of booming thunder and lightning as the cloud of God covered Sinai and of Moshe ascending and descending the mountain. Most people recognize this cinematic dramatization of events at the Mountain of Sinai that is coupled to the giving of the Torah. The actual biblical version of Sinai and the giving of the Torah, however, is much less familiar, even to many devoted readers of the Hebrew Bible. The reason being the giving of the Torah was more extensive than a few simple chapters making the giving of the Torah more difficult to follow. The Scriptures present the giving of the Torah not as a single dramatic event but as a lengthy process that begins at Sinai and does not end until forty years later. According to the Scriptures, Moshe ascends and descends not once but eight times. These things illustrate the process of God working in our lives as a life long process. The Scriptures describe the Lord revealing his Torah to Moshe gradually with Moshe revealing what the Lord had taught him gradually as well. We are told throughout the Scriptures that Moshe taught the people at many times, using different narratives in order to teach how the people were to respond to God’s Commands. At times, the narrative in the Torah seems disrupted and repetitive, and as a result it is difficult to read as a continuous whole. (i.e. the transition from Numbers to Deuteronomy) This leads us to understand the importance of devoting out lives to studying God’s Torah in conjunction with the rest of Scripture.

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