Jan 25, 2012

Exodus 32-34: Golden Calf and Covenant Renewal

Victor Hamilton has an encouraging word in his Exodus commentary on the purpose behind the covenant renewal with Israel after the golden calf incident. 

“Not only will the Lord continue with Israel, but he also will renew and reaffirm his covenant with Israel. This is the principal thrust of chap. 34. The reason God will do so is not because the people have repented of their sin. There is not evidence of any contrition on their part. They regret the Lord’s threatened absence, but not their idolatry (33:4). Nor are Moses’s prayers the determining issue, although they surely play a critical role in God’s sorting out his options. The key factor is this: what kind of God is the Lord? While not oblivious to sin and its fallout (34:7b), he is “compassionate, gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love, faithful, . . . loving, . . . forgiving” (34:6-7a AT)."

Victor P. Hamilton, Exodus: An Exegetical Commentary (Grand Rapids: Baker), 2011), 528.


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