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Exodus 16 as an Alternative Social Paradigm

In: Religion Topics

Submitted By clickity
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Ann Fritschel’s article, “Exodus 16 as an alternative social paradigm,” explores the shift that happens during transitional stages that occur in humankind, particularly those who are seen in Exodus 16. The author highlights various scriptures to further her ideas and raises many points about these “liminal” stages. By comparing tribal societies, North American society, and the Israelites, Fritschel drives many comparisons that support her aim of showing Exodus 16 as a rite of passage for Israel. The main focus of this article is Exodus 16. This chapter of the book shows Israel grumbling in the wilderness. The people of Israel complain to Moses that they are hungry. In response to this, the Lord tells Moses he will “rain bread from heaven for you” (Exod 16:4 ESV). However, the Lord tests the people of Israel and they can not gather more than one day’s portion of food each day they go out to gather it. This trust in God is necessary by the people of Israel in order to enter the covenant with God to be his chosen people. The author states that “the wilderness period can be seen as a liminal period within a rite of passage moving the people from oppressed slaves ... to free servants of Yahweh in the Promised Land.” There is a focus in the article on creation, food, and identity. This focus shows that God’s giving of food to creation also helps give identity. By keeping kosher food laws, the Israelites were able to keep their distinctiveness rather than be assimilated into Babylonian culture. However, a transition still has to take place in order for the Israelites to become God’s people. The author makes the point that the providing of the manna in the wilderness is this transitional period. The wilderness is the blank slate for this rite of passage. These people have to trust and look to God for their survival and protection. No longer are their...

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