The Exodus of the Psalms and Prophets

Feb. 29 2016

The story of Israel’s deliverance from Egyptian slavery, in addition to being the main theme of the book of Exodus, is frequently mentioned in the subsequent three books of the Pentateuch and crops up in many other biblical books as well. Scholars term these internal references the “exodus tradition.” Brian Britt writes:

The prophets (for example, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Hosea) frequently cite the divine redemption of the exodus [not only] to rebuke Israel for being faithless and ungrateful but also to encourage Israel during the exile with a promise of deliverance even greater than the exodus (Isaiah 43). In Isaiah 19, divine justice against Egypt takes the form of civil strife, oppression by a tyrant, and drought, leading the Egyptians to worship the God of Israel. In the Psalms, the exodus also serves to remind Israel of divine rescue, often in terms of the cosmos and nature as well as history: “He divided the sea and let them pass through it, and made the waters stand like a heap” (Psalms 78:13). . . .

The prevalence of the exodus tradition in the Bible demonstrates its importance as a foundational collective memory from ancient Israel that predates the [Davidic] monarchy and survives into the time of the early rabbis.

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Read more at Bible Odyssey

More about: Exodus, Hebrew Bible, Prophets, Psalms, Religion & Holidays

 

Why Is Iran Acquiring Property in Venezuela?

In June Tehran and Caracas concluded a major twenty-year cooperation treaty. One of its many provisions—kept secret until recently—was the transfer of 4,000 square miles of Venezuelan land to Iranian control. Although the territory is ostensibly for agricultural use, Lawrence Franklin suspects the Islamic Republic might have other plans:

Hizballah already runs paramilitary training centers in restricted sections of Venezuela’s Margarita Island, a tourist area northeast of the country’s mainland. The terrorist group has considerable support from some of Venezuela’s prominent Lebanese clans such as the Nasr al-Din family, who reportedly facilitated Iran’s penetration of Margarita Island. . . . The Maduro regime has apparently been so welcoming to Iranian intelligence agents that some of Hizballah’s long-established Latin American network at the tri-border nexus of Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay has been overtaken by Hizballah activities on Venezuela’s Margarita Island.

Iran’s alliance with Venezuela most importantly provides Tehran with opportunities to target U.S. interests in Latin America and potentially the southern United States. Iran, along with the Chinese Communist Party, is in the process of strengthening Venezuela’s military against the U.S., for instance by deliveries of military drones, which are also considered a threat by Colombia.

While air and seaborne arms deliveries are high-profile evidence of Iran’s ties with Venezuela, Tehran’s cooperation with Venezuelan intelligence agencies, although less visible, is also intense. The Islamic Republic’s support for Hizballah terrorist operations is pervasive throughout Latin America. Hizballah recruits from Venezuela’s ten-million-strong Lebanese diaspora. Iran and Hizballah cooperate in training of intelligence agents and in developing sources who reside in Venezuela and Colombia, as well as in the tri-border region of Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina.

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Read more at Gatestone

More about: Iran, Latin America, Venezuela