Observations and Questions on Exodus 16:1-12
Pray: If you feel comfortable doing so, invite God to help you read and understand the passage.
Commit to living with the text: Reflect on the text over multiple days of reading and re-reading.
Complete the Procedure below (see a sample here):
Procedure for Observations/Questions
Read and observe the assigned passage four separate times, following the directions below. Note the time and length requirements stated below, and be sure to work slowly and thoroughly through the passage.
Every step is important, so clearly identify each one: First observation; Second observation; etc. Format each step as a single-spaced list of your questions and observations. In total, the assignment should come to at least 2 pages.
Initial Reading: Read the passage slowly, without writing any notes or observations
This initial step is an opportunity to become familiar with the text. Pay close attention to the shape of the passage as a whole (5-10 minutes; identify time spent).
First Observation: Read and record observations derived from the passage
This step involves observing the passage in order to become more familiar with the overall nature and contents of the material. Along with general observations, note and observe the major details: names, places, time references, and events (30-45 mins; identify time spent).
Second Observation: Read and record observations derived from the passage
Along with additional general observations, look for patterns, connections between words and sentences, movement of ideas, comparisons and contrasts, climaxes, key points, emphases, figures of speech, symbolism, inferences, themes, background information related to history/culture, etc. (30-45 mins; identify time spent).
Third Observation: Read and record observations derived from the passage
This step aims at noting the questions that have arisen from the above observations. These might include questions about the use of a particular word, an unclear, puzzling, or troubling section or sentence, a metaphor, an ancient custom, the relationship between verses, the intent of the passage, the theology of the passage, etc. Ask questions for more information, pointing to specific details in the text (30-45 mins; identify time spent).
Final Review: Reexamine your work and list ideas for further research
Read back through the lists of observations and questions you have made for each round. Write a brief reflection as you review (10-20 minutes; identify time spent).
What are the major ideas, issues, and details you unearthed?
What are the particular questions, subject areas, or details will you need to research further in order to better understand the passage? How might you get the information you need to draw conclusions about the meaning of the passage?