Key biblical insight: Exodus had already happened before Moses got around to writing the Book of Genesis.

The relevance of these principles for the exegesis of the Torah, and the use of cult to enter the culture and context of the human sacred writer, becomes more clear when we recall that Moses—upon God’s revelation—instituted both the design of the temple (the Tent of Meeting, or Tabernacle) and the priesthood that would regulate the daily lives of the Israelite community.

Once God revealed himself on Mount Sinai, and once Moses instituted that pattern in the Tabernacle and in the priesthood, then all previous narratives received a final form and were purified of all previous misconceptions.

The Tabernacle itself gave a purified cosmology and understanding of creation; while the furnishings inside the temple and the Levitical priesthood established a sacramental worldview and expectation of a future Messiah.

Most important to all of these considerations, since Moses would not have delivered a Genesis narrative in its final form before the events of Exodus took place at Sinai (with the institution of the Tabernacle and priesthood), then we should watch for how the liturgical and cultic events of the Exodus at Sinai gave penultimate context to the Genesis narrative.

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