Beginning of the End



Note 1, page 124: One of the important reasons why the Lord delivered Israel from slavery in Egypt was so that they could keep His holy Sabbath. The Egyptians did not give them religious liberty, so the Lord “brought out His people ... that they might observe His statutes and keep His laws.” Psalm 105:43-45. Evidently Moses and Aaron renewed the teaching about the holiness of the Sabbath, because Pharaoh complained, “‘You make [the people] rest from their labor!’” Exodus 5:5. This would indicate that Moses and Aaron began a Sabbath reform in Egypt. BOE 383.1

The Lord told the Israelites that in keeping His Sabbath day, they should “‘remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out from there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore the Lord your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day.’” Deuteronomy 5:15. BOE 383.2

But Sabbath observance was not to be a commemoration of their slavery in Egypt. Observing it in remembrance of creation was to include a joyful reminder of deliverance from religious oppression in Egypt that made Sabbath observance difficult. In the same way, their deliverance from slavery was forever to kindle in their hearts a tender regard for the poor and oppressed, the fatherless and widows: “‘Remember that you were a slave in Egypt, ... therefore I command you to do this thing.’” Deuteronomy 24:18. BOE 383.3

Note 2, page 132: The plagues the Lord sent on Egypt humiliated their gods and cast contempt on their idol worship. The Egyptians regarded the Nile River with religious reverence and offered sacrifices to it as a god. The first plague was directed against it. Exodus 7:19. BOE 383.4

The second plague brought frogs. Exodus 8:6. Heqa, one of the Egyptian deities, was a frog-headed goddess, and frogs were considered sacred. The Apis bull was dedicated to Ptah, the cow was sacred to Hathor, and the ram represented Khemu and Amen. The disease that came on the Egyptians’ cattle and animals afflicted their sacred animals. Exodus 9:3. BOE 383.5

The ninth plague assailed one of their greatest gods, the sun god Ra. Exodus 10:21. The tenth plague (Exodus 12:29) was directed against Pharaoh as a god, who was considered to be Horus, the son of Osiris. BOE 383.6

Note 3, page 154: When the Israelites worshiped the golden calf, they professed to be worshiping God. But it was like the Egyptians’ worship of Osiris—by means of an image. The Egyptians’ worship of Apis was immoral, and the Israelites’ worship of the golden calf apparently was the same. Moses wrote that the Israelites “sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.” Exodus 32:6. The Hebrew word for “play” denotes singing and dancing, which among the Egyptians was sensual and indecent. The Hebrew word for “corrupted” in verse 7 is the same as that in Genesis 6:11, 12, which refers to the people before the Flood corrupting themselves. This explains the terrible nature of this apostasy. BOE 384.1

Note 4, page 160: The Ten Commandments were the basis of the covenant the Lord made with His people. But the covenant itself was the Lord’s promise to write the law in their hearts (see Jeremiah 31:31-34), so that it would be their joy to obey. BOE 384.2

Note 5, page 172: There were two ways in which the sin (or the record of its forgiveness) was transferred to the sanctuary from the sinner: by some of the blood of the sin offering being sprinkled before the veil behind which was the ark, or by the flesh being eaten by the priest. See Leviticus 4:1-21; 6:24-26; 10:17, 18. BOE 384.3

Note 6, page 178: The Ten Commandments were given by Christ. See 1 Corinthians 8:6; Acts 7:38; Isaiah 63:9; Exodus 23:20-23; John 1:1-3, 14; 1 Peter 1:10, 11. BOE 384.4

Note 7, page 304: The government of Israel was a theocracy, that is, government by God directly. When Israel and Judah repeatedly violated God’s law and rejected His rulership, the Lord finally withdrew from them His direct government and left them to what they desired—subjection to man. Thus they came under the successive dominion of Babylon, Media-Persia, the Greek Empire, and finally Rome. BOE 384.5

Since then, there has been no government anywhere to which God has delegated the authority that He gave to the king of Israel in the days of the theocracy. The Bible teaches separation of church and state (Matthew 22:17-22), and therefore religious liberty for all. Earthly governments may not force the conscience or take the place that was reserved to God alone in the theocracy of Israel. Not until the second coming of Christ will God again establish His theocracy. Until then, human beings must not take to themselves authority over the conscience that God has not entrusted to them. BOE 384.6