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The scriptures of Israel in Colossians 1:9–14: The echo of the exodus motif in 1:12–14

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Chapter Summary

Two criteria necessary for an echo are: i) availability and ii) word agreement and rare concept similarity. Regarding availability, Paul was well aware of the Exodus narrative. Regarding word agreement and rare concept similarity, Col 1:12b-14a shares four prominent words in common with the language employed to describe the Israelite exodus from Egypt. God's foundational act of deliverance for Israel was that from Egypt. No other deliverance shaped Israel's national thought more than the exodus. Scholars have long recognized that the exodus motif is especially concentrated in Isaiah chapters 40-55. It surfaces in 43:16-21, 48:20-21, 51:9-11, and 52:11-12. In Isa 43:16-21, exiled Israel is commanded to recall no longer the "former things," i.e., the ancient exodus from Egypt, but rather to take thought to the "new thing," the greater exodus that the Lord was about to bring about for them.

Keywords: Colossians 1; concept similarity; echo; Egypt; exodus motif; exodus narrative; Isaiah; Israelite exodus; Paul; word agreement



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