Jews in the Bible are a religious-ethnic group of people descending from Abraham and connected with God by several unions (covenants). The beginning of the Jewish people’s formation can be considered the conclusion of an agreement between God and Abraham. God’s Covenant for the Israeli people as a whole nation is an event that determines the origin of this nationality as the people of God. The covenant explains the great idea that was entrusted to these people, reveals the essence of the story, makes clear its current situation, and, finally, sheds light on its future destinies. The purpose of the paper is to reveal the idea of the covenant between God and the Jewish people and to show how this covenant has been observed.
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Events in receiving the 10 Commandments took place on Mount Sinai, where Moses came. After leaving Egypt, the Jews approached Mount Sinai to make a covenant with God – a bilateral agreement. Researchers note that God did not just order the Jews, because they were no longer slaves, He expected them to accept this union consciously: He promises help and protection, they promise obedience to Him (Sloterdijk 27). The mountain was enveloped in smoke and flame; peals of thunder were heard over it. The ancient people very keenly felt the greatness of God.
Centuries will pass before they become accustomed to calling Him Father – for now, they saw the formidable King in Him. They did not dare to climb a steaming mountain, and He did not order them to do so. Before saying “You” to God, one must learn to see the distance between Him and oneself. Only Moses could climb this mountain, and God gave him two scrolls. These were stone tables on which the main thing in the law was written, the Ten Commandments, precisely what people were obliged to keep if they wanted to be in union with God. The following are specific examples from the Hebrew Bible to show how the covenant was fulfilled.
Tanakh is the common name of all 24 books that together make up the Written Torah. The Ten Commandments given on Mount Sinai include the entire Torah. The whole world shuddered when the Almighty uttered the words on Mount Sinai: “Do not utter the Name of the Lord, thy God, in vain.”
The Commandment means not to rush to make a false oath, in general, do not swear too often. According to Lambert, anyone who neglects the sanctity of the Almighty Name and brings not only invalid but even true oaths is ultimately subjected to severe punishment by the Supreme (34). The following commandment reads: “Honor your father and your mother.” To “honor” parents means to feed and water them, to dress and cover, to bring and to accompany them back.
The Commandment “Do not kill” includes even a forbiddance on dealing with murderers. It is necessary to stay away from them so that our children do not learn how to kill. After all, the sin of murder engendered and brought a sword into this world. Researchers note that we have not been given a chance to bring the life of the slain back, so how can we take it away otherwise than according to the law of the Torah? (Barton 56). The next commandment says, “Do not steal,” even to make the stolen person angry, and then return the stealing item to him – for this case, you violate the Torah’s prohibition.
It was the Law that became the central core of the Covenant. In ancient times, the Jews stated its essence very briefly: “Love God and your neighbor, and everything else is just a comment.” Indeed, one part of the Law described in detail the rules of worship, and the other set out the standards by which people of the chosen nation should live. The general principles outlined in the Ten Commandments are called the detailed treatment of the covenant between God and the Jewish people.
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Barton, John, editor. The Hebrew Bible: A Critical Companion. Princeton University Press, 2016.
Lambert, David. “How the Torah of Moses” Became Revelation: An Early, Apocalyptic Theory of Pentateuchal Origins.” Journal for the Study of Judaism, vol. 47, no.1, 2016, pp. 22-54.
Sloterdijk, Peter. In the Shadow of Mount Sinai. John Wiley & Sons, 2015.