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Exodus 3:1 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 3

[a]Meanwhile Moses was tending the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian. Leading the flock beyond the wilderness, he came to the mountain of God, Horeb.[b]


  1. 3:1–4:17 After the introduction to the narrative in 2:23–25, the commissioning itself falls into three sections: God’s appearance under the aspect of a burning bush (3:1–6); the explicit commission (3:7–10); and an extended dialogue between Moses and God, in the course of which Moses receives the revelation of God’s personal name. Although in the J source of the Pentateuch people have known and invoked God’s personal name in worship since the time of Seth (Gn 4:26), for the E and P sources (see 6:2–4) God first makes this name publicly available here through Moses.
  2. 3:1 The mountain of God, Horeb: traditionally, “Horeb” is taken to be an alternate name in E source material and Deuteronomy (e.g., Dt 1:2) for what in J and P is known as Mount Sinai, the goal of the Israelites’ journey after leaving Egypt and the site of the covenant God makes with Israel. However, it is not clear that originally the two names reflect the same mountain, nor even that “Horeb” refers originally to a mountain and not simply the dry, ruined region (from Hebrew horeb, “dryness, devastation”) around the mountain. Additionally, the position of “Horeb” at the end of the verse may indicate that the identification of the “mountain of God” with Horeb (= Sinai?) represents a later stage in the evolution of the tradition about God’s meeting with Moses. The phrase “mountain of God” simply anticipates the divine apparitions which would take place there, both on this occasion and after the Israelites’ departure from Egypt; alternatively, it means that the place was already sacred or a place of pilgrimage in pre-Israelite times. In any case, the narrative offers no indications of its exact location.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.


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