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God on the Mountain: A Study of Redaction, Theology and Canon in Exodus 19-24
Thomas B. Dozeman
Publication Date
January 1997


“My aim in this monograph is to explore the imagery of theophany on the mountain in Exodus 19–24 from two perspectives. First, I intend to probe this imagery tradition-historically. I hope to demonstrate that the development of the Sinai Complex is not source-critical in nature, but primarily a process of creative redaction. And second I want to interpret the imagery of theophany theologically. A study of symbol will provide an avenue for describing the distinct theologies of divine cultic presence that are reflected in the Sinai Complex. These two perspectives complement each other and thus they can be undertaken in tandem in Chapters 2–4, so that a theological interpretation will accompany the redaction-critical study of the Sinai Complex. In these chapters we will see that a range of theologies concerning divine cultic presence are embedded in the Sinai Complex and that these theologies are also reflected in the distinct deuteronomistic and priestly legislations which are presently linked to the revelation on the mountain in Exodus 19–24. Such diversity, however, will introduce another dimension to our study in chapters 5–6, for it requires that we ask an additional canonical question, namely whether the diverse theologies of divine cultic presence in the Sinai Complex are able to provide any kind of unity to the people of God. This question arises from the structure of the canonical Pentateuch itself, which encourages the reader to interpret the Sinai Complex as the one revelation of God on the mountain. The structure of this monograph, with its movement from tradition history to canon, reflects the overall goal of this study to offer a comprehensive interpretation of the Sinai Complex both in its tradition-historical development and in its present canonical form.”

“Dozeman’s monograph is a well-crafted, compelling analysis of the redaction history of the “canonical Sinai Complex,” by which Dozeman refers to Exodus 19–24. Written from the model proposed by R. Rendtorff and executed by E. Blum on the ancestor traditions in Genesis 12–50, this monograph marks a significant advance in the analysis of this textual unit.”
—Henry T. C. Sun, Journal of Biblical Literature