And this is why I did the multiple chapters thing. Hakodate was lovely, by the way. I’m back, rested up, and ready to continue this.

I decided to count, and this chapter says “As the Lord commanded Moses” seven times, eight if you count the first “Moses did everything as the Lord commanded him” (v 16). When something’s that frequent, it seems liturgical, and maybe it was. Maybe in the earliest, oral version, there was a call-and-response going on.

There’s an interesting shift here. We go from Moses being the only man who can meet God friend-to-friend, to Moses being unable to enter tent of meeting (i.e. the tabernacle) when God’s presence descends on it (v 35). What I guess this means is that the presence in the tent is unlike anything Moses has heretofore encountered – it’s the equivalent of the “face to face” that God warned against many chapters ago.

And with that vague insight, we reach the end of Exodus, where I was hoping to be in December. I need to really reevaluate my goals for how long this may take me to complete. But then again, I also picked the worst possible time to start this, right before the recital season at work. Thankfully I won’t ever have to do that again; I’ve decided not to renew, which means I am moving back to America in August. I’m definitely not quitting, though – I don’t want to lose my Japanese just because I’m back in a land of English-speakers.

The Japanese: hedateru “to separate, to isolate” (v 3), fuzokuhin “accessories, fittings” (v 4).

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