Theology in Exodus: Biblical Theology in the Form of a Commentary

Article excerpt

THE BOOK ASKS only one question: What does Exodus say about God? Thus it is both less and more than a standard commentary: It explores exclusively major affirmations about the divine and then traces these through the rest of scripture and into Jewish and Christian theology. In other words, identification and exegetical discussion of several aspects of divine presence or absence in the biblical book and in the Hebrew scriptures are followed by a review of their impact in emerging Judaism, the New Testament, and the church. Eight themes are treated: the absence of God (Exod. 1-2); the numinous, "I will be with you," the Name, and promise (all in Exod. 3-4); the divine destroyer (Exod. 5:1-15:21); God of grace and God of glory (Exod. 15-31, 35-40); and the distancing of God (Exod. 32-34). Gowan is, as the introduction makes clear, formcritically oriented; he hears in Exodus the community's voice and so understands its "author" as "spokespersons" who formulate "for and to Israel. …