XVI. Exodus and the Prophets:
As the Pentateuch gives way to prophetic literature, the Divine self-introduction, "I am
YHWH," is linked less to the patriarchal beginnings and the promises made there but the
connection with the exodus out of Egyptian bondage remains solid. As in Judges 6:7-10, for
When the people of Israel cried to the LORD on account of the Midianites, the LORD
sent a prophet to the people of Israel; and he said to them, "Thus says the LORD, the
God of Israel: sI led you up from Egypt, and brought you out of the house of bondage;
and I delivered you from the hand of the Egyptians, and from the hand of all who
oppressed you, and drove them out before you, and gave you their land.
We have heard the historical prologue, now the name identification: (Judg. 6:10) " . . . I said to
you, s am the LORD your God; you shall not pay reverence to the gods of the Amorites, in
whose land you dwell.s But you did not give heed to my voice." Here the identification, "I am
the LORD your God,"
almost sounds like a threat, and a promise of judgement. This is pretty
much par for the course in the book of Judges; Israel strays from the way of righteousness,
receives oppression at the hand of foreigners as divine judgement for her waywardness, and cries
out to the LORD in prayers of supplication. The LORD then raises up a savior, who judges
Israel for either 40 or 80 years. Judges falls into a rather nice pattern of six cycles of sin,
oppression, supplication, and deliverance.
It is a textbook on retributive history; Judges shows
graphically what happens when you disobey YHWH, the God of the exodus.
In Psalm 50, the psalmist records an oracle of YHWH which effectively levels religious
externalism, practiced as a sort of perfunctory service unto the LORD. Here, the morality
epitomized by the holiness code stands in ironic opposition to the burnt offerings also required
Psalm 50: 1, 7-15, 23.