"Psalm 23," John August Swanson. Used by permission from the artist.
Image © by John August Swanson. Artwork held in the Luther Seminary Fine Arts Collection, St. Paul, Minn.
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Hear O Israel
Deuteronomy 5:1-21; 6:4-9 Commentary
by Kathryn M. Schifferdecker
This week we're talking about Law, and we have in our reading two texts that loom large in both Christian and Jewish theology: the Ten Commandments (obviously Law) and the Shema (more on that in a minute).1
You know the Ten Commandments, of course. You've heard them, memorized them, and perhaps even taught them to confirmation students. Note, however, that this is the second iteration of the Ten Commandments in the Bible. The first rendition (which is almost exactly the same as this one) is found in Exodus 20, right after the Exodus, right after the readings from last week, in fact. In Exodus, Moses is called up to the top of Mt. Sinai and is given the Ten Commandments and other laws, while the people at the base of the mountain dance around a golden bovine they've built for themselves.
It's just a foretaste of things to come. That generation of Israelites, the ones who saw the mighty acts of God against Pharaoh, the ones whose sandals stayed dry as they crossed through the Red Sea -- they don't trust that God will indeed bring them into the Promised Land (see Numbers 13-14). For their disbelief and for their repeated rebellions (the first of which we saw last week), God vows that that first ...
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Summer 2020 Readings
2020-21 Readings (Year 3)
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
NL Podcast 375: Hear O Israel
October 06, 2019
Podcast on the Narrative Lectionary readings for Oct. 6, 2019, (Hear O Israel) featuring Profs. Rolf Jacobson, Craig Koester, and Kathryn Schifferdecker. Recorded at Luther Seminary, Saint Paul, Minn., for Working Preacher.