The God of Abraham (Mk 12:26-12:26)

“As for the dead

Being raised,

Have you not read

The book of Moses?

In the story

About the bush,

How God said

To him.

‘I am the God of Abraham.

I am the God of Isaac.

I am the God of Jacob.’”

 

περὶ δὲ τῶν νεκρῶν ὅτι ἐγείρονται, οὐκ ἀνέγνωτε ἐν τῇ βίβλῳ Μωϋσέως ἐπὶ τοῦ Βάτου πῶς εἶπεν αὐτῷ ὁ Θεὸς λέγων Ἐγὼ ὁ Θεὸς Ἀβραὰμ καὶ Θεὸς Ἰσαὰκ καὶ Θεὸς Ἰακώβ;

 

Jesus continued his explanation that can also be found in Matthew, chapter 22:31-32, and Luke, chapter 20:37.  They all refer to Moses at the burning bush, a mysterious theophany that overwhelmed Moses, but is not explicitly mentioned here.  However, this was implied by the comment about God based on Exodus, chapter 3:6.  Mark said that the dead will rise up (περὶ δὲ τῶν νεκρῶν ὅτι ἐγείρονται).  Jesus reminded the Sadducees that they had not read the correct book of Moses (οὐκ ἀνέγνωτε ἐν τῇ βίβλῳ Μωϋσέως), and not “the sayings of God” as in Matthew.  Jesus then referenced this saying of Yahweh to Moses in Exodus, chapter 3:1-6, about the burning bush (ἐπὶ τοῦ Βάτου).  Yahweh God spoke to Moses saying (πῶς εἶπεν αὐτῷ λέγων) that he was the God of Abraham (Ἐγώ ὁ Θεὸς Ἀβραὰμ), the God of Isaac (καὶ Θεὸς Ἰσαὰκ), and the God of Jacob (καὶ Θεὸς Ἰακώβ).

The living God of their ancestors (Mt 22:31-22:32)

“As for the resurrection

Of the dead,

Have you not read

What was said to you

By God?

‘I am the God of Abraham.

I am the God of Isaac.

I am the God of Jacob.’

He is God.

Not of the dead,

But of the living.”

 

περὶ δὲ τῆς ἀναστάσεως τῶν νεκρῶν οὐκ ἀνέγνωτε τὸ ῥηθὲν ὑμῖν ὑπὸ τοῦ Θεοῦ λέγοντος

Ἐγώ εἰμι ὁ Θεὸς Ἀβραὰμ καὶ ὁ Θεὸς Ἰσαὰκ καὶ ὁ Θεὸς Ἰακώβ; οὐκ ἔστιν ὁ Θεὸς νεκρῶν ἀλλὰ ζώντων.

 

Jesus continued his explanation that can also be found in Mark, chapter 12:26-27, and Luke, chapter 20:37-38.  They both refer to Moses at the burning bush, a mysterious theophany that overwhelmed Moses, but is not explicitly mentioned here.  However, this was implied by the comment about God based on Exodus, chapter 3:6.  As for the resurrection of the dead (περὶ δὲ τῆς ἀναστάσεως τῶν νεκρῶν), Jesus reminded the Sadducees that they had not read the correct sayings of God (οὐκ ἀνέγνωτε τὸ ῥηθὲν ὑμῖν ὑπὸ τοῦ Θεοῦ λέγοντος).  He then referenced the saying of Yahweh to Moses at the burning bush, that he was God of Abraham (Ἐγώ εἰμι ὁ Θεὸς Ἀβραὰμ), the God of Isaac (καὶ ὁ Θεὸς Ἰσαὰκ), and the God of Jacob (καὶ ὁ Θεὸς Ἰακώβ).  Jesus ended by saying that Yahweh, the Father, was the God of the living (ἀλλὰ ζώντων), not the dead (οὐκ ἔστιν ὁ Θεὸς νεκρῶν).

The burning bush (Ex 3:1-3:6)

 “Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian.  He led his flock beyond the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.  There the angel of Yahweh appeared to him in a flame of fire out of a bush.  He looked, and the bush was blazing, yet it was not consumed.  Then Moses said, ‘I must turn aside and look at this great sight, and see why the bush is not burned up.’  When Yahweh saw that he turned aside to see, Yahweh called to him out of the bush.  ‘Moses, Moses!’ And he said ‘Here I am.’  Then he said, ‘Come no closer!  Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.’  He said further, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.   Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.”

Moses was tending the flock of his father in law Jethro.  However, in the preceding story the priest of Midian was called Reuel.  Moses went to Horeb, the mountain of God, apparently a Midianite sacred place in the Sinai Peninsula.  First an angel and then Yahweh himself appears and speaks to Moses from a burning bush that is not consumed.  Moses was curious as to why the bush was not burning up.  Out of the bush Moses hears his name.  His response is the great biblical traditional response when God calls, ‘Here I am.’  However, Yahweh tells him not to come closer and take off his sandals because this is holy ground.  Moses hid his face when Yahweh said that he was the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.

According to this Yahweh tradition, this is the first encounter of Moses with Yahweh.  This is a mysterious theophany experience as are all encounters with God.  Moses seems overwhelmed throughout all these exchanges with Yahweh.  Yahweh always refers to himself as the God of your fathers.  The three names are Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, with no mention of Joseph, the real reason that they are in Egypt.  The whole scene takes place in the Sinai area.