The Ten Commandments stand at the center of the book of Exodus and provide the key for understanding its purpose. They refer to the story in Exodus chapters 1–19 of God’s identity and what He has done for Israel. The Ten Commandments also refer forward to what God expects of Israel in response, as the second half of Exodus explains in chapters 20–40. This commentary by William Johnstone approaches the literary structure of Exodus and draws out implications for readers.
The Ten Commandments also provide guidance about how to read the book of Exodus. Moses’ recollection of the Ten Commandments that in Deuteronomy chapter five differs in several respects from those in Exodus chapter twenty. The differences between these books concern vital matters like covenant, law, and festivals. Johnstone argues that these differences are not to be glossed over but that their existence provides evidence of a dialogue between two voices running throughout the texts of Exodus and Deuteronomy. Dialogue, he explains, is central to the formation and interpretation of Scripture and is essential to the ways in which humans attempt to speak about God.
This timely commentary on the second half of Exodus is written by William Johnstone. In it, he explains that the Ten Commandments refer forward to what God expects of Israel in response, as the second half of Exodus explains in chapters 20–40. As in his commentary on the first half of Exodus, Johnstone connects the theme of dialogue to the book of Deuteronomy.
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