Developed at SPbU Faculty of Philology
by charitable donation from the Russkiy Mir Foundation
Russkiy Mir Foundation
The Pentateuch and the Sinai Covenant
The Pentateuch is a most important part of the Bible because topics from this part of the Bible are developed in other parts of the Old Testament and in the New Testament. The Book of Genesis describes "the primeval history" of the world as well as "the patriarch history" of Abraham and his sons. The Exodus covers the departure (exodus) of the Jewish people from Egypt and their longstanding wanderings in the wilderness. The next three books, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, clarify the covenant concluded on Mount Sinai between God and the Jewish people represented by Moses. This is the so-called Sinai Covenant. This covenant is fully expressed in the "Listen, Israel" prayer of the Book of Deuteronomy. A number of theological concepts were created on the basis of the Book of Genesis such as creation of the universe by word, creation "ex nihilo" (from nothing), creation of man "after the image and likeness" of God which is understood as granting man with the gift of cteativity, and the concept of death as the penalty for the lost connection with the original paradise. The Biblical view of world creation reflects the all-Semitic folklore tradition. A similar story can be found in the literature of Mesopotamia. Unlike the covenant with Noah which is of a universal character, the covenant between God and Abraham is a more specific one. The Jewish people has become an instrument of God leading mankind to Salvation. The Biblical story can be called the story of Salvation: starting with the loss of paradise, it is concluded with this paradise regained in the Book of Revelation.
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