Moses, Elijah, and Jesus : reflections on the basic structures of the Bible

Van de Beek, Abraham (2012-09)

CITATION: Van de Beek, A. 2012. Moses, Elijah, and Jesus : reflections on the basic structures of the Bible. In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi, 46(1): 1-7, doi: 10.4102/ids.v46i1.43.

The original publication is available at http://www.indieskriflig.org.za

Publication of this article was funded by the Stellenbosch University Open Access Fund.

Article

This article deals with the end of the lives of Moses and Elijah as the representatives of the Torah and the Prophets. Moses was not allowed to enter the Promised Land, and Elijah left it before he was taken up. These events are interpreted as indicating that the Law is not able to bring the people into the Promised Land and that the Prophets cannot keep them there. The end of Moses’ life is also the end of the Torah. The Prophets end with the call for a new Elijah. The Ketubim, as the human response on God’s acting, do not better. The Hebrew Bible ends with the exile. The New Testament begins where the Prophets end: a new Elijah, in the person of John the Baptist. He works at exactly the place where Israel entered the land after Moses’ death and where Elijah left the land. It is a reprise of the fulfilment of the promise. John points to Jesus, who begins his work at this place, not going on dry feet through the Jordan River, but fulfilling all righteousness when drawn into the water of God’s judgement. Then the way to the land is open to Moses and Elijah in the glory of God on the Mount of Transfiguration, when they speak about the exodus of Jesus on the cross. Salvation is not in the law or in conversion but in being baptised into Christ in his death.

Moses, Elia en Jesus: Oorwegings oor die fundamentele strukture van die Bybel. Hierdie artikel gaan oor die einde van die lewes van Moses en Elia as die personifikasies van die Torah en die profete. Moses is verhinder om in die beloofde land in te gaan en Elijah moes dit verlaat voordat hy hemel toe gegaan het. Hierdie gebeurtenisse word so geïnterpreteer dat die Wet die volk nie in die beloofde land kan bring nie, en dat die profete hulle nie daar kan hou nie. Die einde van die lewe van Moses is ook die einde van die Torah. Die profete eindig met die oproep vir ’n nuwe Elia. Die Ketubim as die menslike antwoord op God se dade doen nie beter nie. Die Hebreeuse Bybel eindig in die ballingskap. Die Nuwe Testament begin daar waar die profete eindig: ’n nuwe Elia, in die persoon van Johannes die Doper. Hy werk op presies daardie plek waar Israel na Moses se dood die land ingekom het en waar Elia dit verlaat het. Daar is ’n terugkeer na die vervulling van die belofte. Johannes wys na Jesus wat sy werk op hierdie plek begin. Hy gaan nie droogvoet deur die Jordaan nie maar gaan onder in die water van God se oordeel om alle geregtigheid te vervul. Dan is die pad na die land oop vir Moses en Elia en verskyn hulle in die glorie van God op die berg van die verheerliking, waar hulle met Jesus oor sy exodus aan die kruis praat. Redding is nie in die Wet of in bekering nie maar deurdat ‘n mens gedoop word in die dood van Christus.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/96377
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