Are you a royal priest? How do you know? What is a kingdom of priests? And how does that really apply today? Is this title for individuals? Or should it be a community identity?
Many questions swirl around the biblical idea of priesthood. And on Sunday we considered Peter’s words to the church: “You are a royal priesthood” (1 Peter 2:9). In examining his words, we learned that they go back to Exodus 19:6 and come in the context of worship on the mountain God.
By examining Exodus 19:6, therefore, in its original context and comparing it to 1 Peter 2, we were able to learn how God makes a priestly people, what a kingdom of priests do, and how this title of royal priesthood applies to us today.
You can listen to the sermon online. Discussion questions and additional resources can be found below. Continue reading
In his outstanding monograph on Exodus 19:5–6, A Royal Priesthood: Literary and Intertextual Perspectives on an Image of Israel in Exodus 19:5–6, John A. Davies provides a literary/chiastic structure of Exodus 19:1–8. Paying careful attention to the voices (first, second, third person; single or plural) and the contents of these eight verses, he shows two chiastic structures that organize this wonderful passage.
In any study of Exodus or the priesthood, this passage is crucial for our understanding, so I share his outline here for our consideration (p. 35).
A People of Israel camp at the mountain (third person plural verbs) (vv. 1–2)
B Moses’ ascent and Yhwh’s summons (third person singular verbs) (v. 3a)
C Divine instruction regarding delivery of message to Israel (second person singular verbs) (v. 3b)
D Divine declaration concerning Israel (second person plural verbs) (vv. 4–6a)
C’ Divine instruction regarding delivery of message to Israel (second person singular verbs) (v. 6b)
B’ Moses’ descent and summons to the elders (third person singular verbs) (v. 7)
A’ People of Israel respond (third person plural verbs) (v. 8a) Continue reading