AS IT IS WRITTEN
Esther & Joseph
The Lord revealed his salvific will to the Israelites through their historical experience. Of prime importance in that experience, of course, were the events and institutions associated with Moses, Joshua, David, and Solomon: the Exodus, the Sinai Covenant, the Conquest, the Davidic throne, and the Temple. Although these components of the Revelation were foundational, they did not exhaust the ways in which the Lord revealed his will to Israel, a fact later demonstrated by the canonization of the Prophetic Books.
Through the Prophets the Lord disclosed, among other truths, that Israel's painful experiences of exile also revealed his salvific will. Indeed, the Israelites' historical familiarity with exile—the Diaspora—became so dominant and extensive that it altered, in many minds, their regard for the Holy Land itself. The 'Erets Israel, once the majority of Israelites, through several generations, no longer lived there—and had no intention of returning—became a diminished point of reference.
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Patrick Henry Reardon is pastor emeritus of All Saints Antiochian Orthodox Church in Chicago, Illinois, and the author of numerous books, including, most recently, Out of Step with God: Orthodox Christian Reflections on the Book of Numbers (Ancient Faith Publishing, 2019).
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