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From Paradise to the Promised Land: An Introduction to the Main Themes of the Pentateuch Paperback – January, 1998
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Although he tends to repeat himself, he brings out a number of excellent insights into the themes which unite the five books of the Pentateuch. He also brings out how the books relate to each other, such as Exodus presupposing knowledge of the Patriarchs and their promises, and so on. He thus is committed to the Mosaic authorship and traditional view of Scripture and brings out the unity within the Pentateuch. He surveys the Pentateuch (in the traditional order) and then brings out the themes.
Some of his themes include the concept of a "Royal Lineage in Genesis," where the geneaologies highlight a redemptive line ("seed/offspring of the woman", a chosen seed), ultimately pointing to Abraham, David and then to Christ. A second theme is "Paradise Lost," and the cursing of the land and exile within Adam, Cain, Noah, Babel, Abraham, Jacob, and Joseph. In contrast, the reversal of the curse is found within God's blessing, from one man (Abraham) to one nation (Israel) to all nations (by Christ and subsequently the church). Faith then is highlighted in the life of Abraham (Gen. 12, 15, 17, 22). Then the theme of Exodus is "Who is the LORD?" (and "who knows the LORD?") Knowing God - knowing His saving acts and deeds, and thus His attributes, character, is central to Exodus. (This echoes J. A. Motyer's "Revelation of the Divine Name.") Then the Passover is discussed, and the covenant of Sinai (the Ten Commandments, covenants, the Book of the Covenant, and the moral or apodidic rules). Then there is an interesting dissertation on the Tabernacle (although a better and more fascinating treatment is probably M. G. Kline's Kingdom Prologue or Images of the Spirit). Then the calling within Levitticus is "Be Holy" (Alexander explores this theme in holiness, clean-ness, and unclean-ness, and the parallels in the sacrificial system and in food). Then in Numbers, Alexander highlights the role of the Levites, the preparation of the Conquest, and the complaints of the unbelieving Israelites. Alexander ends with Deuteronomy and Covenants (theme of love and loyalty) and why God elected Israel and what the expectations were on Israel (as in any covenant, there are stipulations and sanctions, that is, expected behavior of complete fidelity and obedience, as well as love and loyalty to the LORD, and blessings were upon who complied, and curses - even exile - to those who were disobedient; in addition, Israelites were to be a light to nations).
Overall, a very easy to read work and very enlightening. Good read if you want to get past all the little details of the Pentateuch and see the great overarching themes (and understand why these had to be there).