Proper 21A

September 25, 2011
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Exodus 17:1-7
Reading 2: 
Psalm 78:1-4, 12-16
Reading 3: 
Philippians 2:1-13
Reading 4: 
Matthew 21:23-32
By Paul S. Nancarrow

Exodus 17:1-7

There is a pun in the opening clause of the opening verse of this passage, which has no basis in the original Hebrew, but which seems irresistibly inviting in English: “From the wilderness of Sin the whole congregation of the Israelites journeyed.” “Sin” here is of course a place name, related to Sinai, the area through which the people must travel to reach the mountain of theophany and covenant. It is mere accident that it sounds in English like the state of being alienated from God; yet the accident seems significant enough to comment on.

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