Benedetta Rossi explores the reception of Exodus in the prophetic books. Exodus is commonly recognised as a founding myth within the prophets. Following up the three major lines of interpretation of the reception of Exodus in the prophetic books, the survey methodology is reconsidered. The analysis undertaken in this chapter does not limit itself to exit formulas and the actual departure from Egypt but focuses on a network of Exodus motifs. A major focus is on intertwining references to Exodus and other OT writings and contrasting receptions of Exodus in the prophetic books. The prophets resume, modify and use Exodus motifs to relaunch history (battle of Yhwh and divine wonders, election and covenant, exit from Egypt and entering the land).
Sean A. Adams explores Exodus motifs in the writings of Philo. Exodus is the second most referenced scriptural book (after Genesis) in the Philonic corpus, although this focus on Exodus is not evenly distributed across all of Philo’s works, and he engages with its text in a variety of ways. Adams offers a succint overview of this material, and then selects two major aspects of it for more detailed investigation. First, he considers several Exodus passages which are employed by Philo in multiple treatises and so can be assumed to have particular significance for him (e.g. Exod 3:14; 7:1). Second, he examines how specific Exodus passages are interpreted by Philo in his Allegorical Commentary. Adams draws out from this study some important conclusions about Philo’s general exegetical method, espcially his exploitation of the intertextuality between Exodus and Genesis and other scriptural writings.
Jenny Read-Heimerdinger illustrates the use of Exodus motifs in Luke-Acts which can be described as a dramatical transformation of parameters. The specific focus of this contribution is the attention to text-critical variations, in particular to the Codex Bezae Cantabrigiensis (D05). This aspect is usually ignored in intertextual studies. The following texts are analysed against their Exodus background: Acts 5:17–33; 12:1–17. The main results are that Exodus serves as a model for Peter’s deliverance from prison. The D05 ms of Acts is more complete and complex in terms of allusions to Exodus motifs. It uses the ancient event in a typically Jewish way, as a model to interpret the recent developments in the history of Israel.
Mika S. Pajunen examines the reception of the exodus narratives within the Dead Sea Scrolls. His focus is on the approximately twenty Qumran texts which interact with this tradition, which he considers within three broad groupings: those (e.g. 4Q158; the Book of Giants; the Visions of Amram) which prophesy the exodus as a future event; historical summaries (e.g. 4Q370; 4Q422; 4Q470) and liturgical texts (e.g. the Festival Prayers and the Words of the Luminaries) whch retell and reinterpret these narratives, often with an exhortatory purpose; and those (e.g. the Damascus Document and the Barkhi Nafshi Hymns) which employ the exodus as a prototype of divine justice to explain contemporary events. This chapter, therefore, highlights the range of ways in which exodus motifs are used within the Scrolls to reinforce the community’s theology and ideology.
Maurice Gilbert SJ explores Exodus motifs in Wis 10:15–19:22 in the context of the entire writing. Therefore, the Greek text, its unity, literary structure and genre, main theological themes, and its date is scholarly discussed first. The main Exodus motifs which are explored are Moses, the plagues and the portrayal of God. Five characteristics are summarised: hymnal anamnesis in rewriting the exodus’ events, the universalism of the message, the Jewish reading of the books of Genesis, Exodus and Numbers, the actualisation of the rewritten exodus, and the eschatology in Wis 10–19. Additional Exodus motifs in the section are the manna and the creation renewal. The Book of Wisdom is regarded as an encomium which is demonstrated at Wis 10–19. In terms of the reception of Exodus motifs, the term ‛midrashic rewriting’ is used to explain the relationship between the two OT books.
Garrick V. Allen regards the Synoptic Gospels as part of the larger trajectory of Jewish literary production. The chapter emphasises the flexible ways that the Gospels alluded to and reused exodus traditions. In addition, it pays attention to the fact that the evangelists engage with Exodus motifs through existing exegetical traditions (e.g. via Isaiah and other prophets). Examples are discussed from all three gospels. Three critical points related to scriptural reuse are highlighted: the development of Exodus motifs demonstrate the flexibility, complexity and mediation of scriptural tradition.
Erkki Koskenniemi analyses the interpretation of the narratives of Exodus 1–15 in the works of Josephus. He begins with a detailed explanation of the ways in which Josephus’ retellings differ from the underlying scriptural accounts, especially in their presentation of Moses and in the emphasis on the damage inflicted by the plagues on those who provoke God to anger. He then considers some of the key specific issues raised by Josephus’ treatment of these texts, including the extent to which his picture of Moses is influenced by Hellenistic literary and cultural norms, and by a wish to counter negative versions of the history of the Jews in contemporary circulation. His conclusions on these points sometimes challenge the scholarly consensus, as he argues that the influence of Hellenistic ideas on Josephus has often been overstated.
Dave Allen explores the major uses of Exodus material in Paul’s letters, especially those directed to Rome and Corinth. He analyses the formal citations in Rom 9:15–17, the explicit comparison Paul develops between the wilderness generation and the situation of his Corinthian audience (1 Cor 10), the reference to the imagery of the Paschal lamb in 1 Cor 5, and the theme of Moses’ veiling his face in 2 Cor 3:7–18 (cf. Exod 32–34). This enables him to draw out some important methodological reflections about how Paul re-appropriates these traditions, drawn especially from the later section of the scriptural work, and where this situates him in relation to his contemporary exegetical context.