The Law

The Law, the Torah, or the Pentateuch, consisted of first five books that were developed over a number of years, but firmly established around 400 BCE.  The five books of the Pentateuch include Genesis, a 10th-5th century BCE writing about the pre-existence of the Israelites, and the particular stories of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph.  The Exodus, finished around 450 BCE, recalls the story of Moses and how he led the Israelites out of Egypt for years in the desert.  Leviticus and Numbers, worked on between 550-400 BCE, lay out the particular codes, rules and regulations for the Israelites, as well the numbers of people that were involved in the exodus from Egypt.  Deuteronomy, developed in the 7th-6th century BCE, told the story of Moses in the wilderness with emphasis on the laws of the heart.  This Law or Torah explained the early or pre-history of the Israelites before they entered the promised land.  These books also contained all the commands, statutes, or rules for the Israelites after they entered the promised land.  All further Jewish developments were based on the Torah or the Law.

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Forty years of problems for Egypt (Ezek 29:11-29:12)

“No human foot

Shall pass through Egypt.

No animal foot

Shall pass through it.

It shall be uninhabited

Forty years.

I will make

The land of Egypt

A desolation

Among desolated countries.

Her cities shall be

A desolation

Forty years

Among cities

That are laid waste.

I will scatter

The Egyptians

Among the nations.

I will disperse them

Among the countries.”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel, said that no humans or animals would set foot in Egypt, because it was going to be uninhabited for 40 years. Thus the 40 years was similar to the 40 years in the wilderness for the Israelites. Egypt was going to be a land of desolation among desolated countries since her cities would be laid waste for 40 years. The Egyptians would also be scattered and dispersed among the various nations and countries. Actually the Persians took over Egypt in 525 BCE.

The wicked whores (Jer 3:2-3:3)

“Look up to the bare heights!

See!

Where have you not been lain with?

By the waysides

You have sat

Waiting for lovers,

Like a nomad in the wilderness.

You have polluted the land

With your whoring.

You have polluted the land

With your wickedness.

Therefore the showers have been withheld.

The spring rain has not come.”

Yahweh, via Jeremiah, told them to look at the heights. Was there any place where they have not lain with their lovers? They were waiting for lovers at the waysides, like a nomad in the wilderness. Thus they have polluted the land with their wicked whoring around. Because of this, the land will have a drought with no spring shower rains.

The food of angels (Wis 16:20-16:23)

“Instead of these things,

You gave your people

The food of angels.

Without their toil,

You supplied them

From heaven

With bread ready to eat.

It provided every pleasure.

It suited every taste.

Your sustenance manifested

Your sweetness

Toward your children.

The bread,

Ministering to the desire of the one who took it,

Was changed to suit everyone’s liking.

Snow withstood fire without melting.

Ice withstood fire without melting.

Thus they might know

That the crops of their enemies

Were being destroyed

By the fire that blazed in the hail.

The fire flashed in the showers of rain.

Whereas the fire,

In order that the righteous might be fed,

Even forgot its native power.”

God gave his people (τὸν λαόν σου) the food of angels (ἀγγέλων τροφὴν). This bread from heaven came ready to eat, as it provided every pleasure to every taste. Obviously, this is a reference to the manna in the wilderness on the way to the Promised Land as in Exodus, chapter 16. What is unique here is that the taste of it was pleasing to each person even if they had other tastes. This food of snow and ice did not melt. However, the crops of their enemies were destroyed. They, however, the righteous were able to feed themselves with the heavenly tasty food.