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The Daily Life of a Compulsive Writer

Blogging the Bible: Exodus 1-4 December 11, 2011

Filed under: Religion — katblogger @ 10:59 AM
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Yes! We’re done with Genesis! Now I just have… the rest of the Bible left. This is going to take a while, isn’t it?

These chapters or whatever you call them are longer than the ones back in Genesis, so I may not read ten. We’ll see how it goes.

1: Jacob has seventy children. That’s just… gross. I feel bad for his wives. A new ruler of Egypt arises who doesn’t like this Israelite infestation. He then enslaves them, afraid that the large number of Israelites will overpower him. To keep their numbers down, it’s ordered that all newborn boys must be killed. (Because a girl could never lead a successful rebellion (*coughJoanofArccough*).

2: One woman has a child and hides him, until she’s no longer able to. Then she places him in a basket and sets him in some reeds by the river. I fail to see how this is a good plan. Sure, it turns out well, but ordinarily, you’d just be setting your baby up to either starve to death, be devoured by wild animals, or found by Egyptian soldiers and killed. Brilliant.

Luckily, the Pharaoh’s daughter sees the child and takes pity on him. She actually brings in the kid’s real mother to take care of him, although she becomes his foster-mother. The child is named Moses.

Moses grows up in the Pharaoh’s household, but one day sees an Egyptian beating an Israelite and kills him. Pharaoh hears of this and wants him dead, so Moses flees. It’s strange to me that Moses, after being brought up Egyptian, immediately sides with an Israelite. Besides, if he’s favored in the Pharaoh’s household, why couldn’t he just order the Egyptian to stop? Killing him seems excessive. But no matter…

Moses becomes a shepherd while in exile, and meets and marries a girl named Zipporah. He’s content for a while, until the Pharaoh dies and the Israelites cry out for help. “God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. God looked upon the Israelites, and God took notice of them.” That part just seems unintentionally funny to me. I imagine God glancing over and saying, “Oops. I let those people I was supposed to protect get enslaved and tortured. Guess I hadn’t checked in on them in a while. The time sure flies.” I thought he was omnipresent?

3: Moses is tending his flock and then sees a random bush on fire. Naturally, he goes to check it out, and the voice of God comes out of the bush. “Moses! Moses!”

Now, if it was me, and I heard a flaming bush calling my name, I’d either assume I’d eaten bad mushrooms or that there was a crazy pyromaniac hiding behind the bush ready to set me on fire too. However, Moses is a more trusting individual, and replies “Here I am.”

The bush – who is God, although I have no clue why God desires to appear in the guise of a flaming bush – instructs Moses to deliver the Israelites from suffering. He promises to be with Moses and help him with his task.

4: Moses protests, wondering what he should do if people doubt that God appeared to him. This is a fair question, since if I went up to the president and told him to free all the prisoners in Guantanamo because a bush told me so, I’d probably be institutionalized. I like Moses. He’s not afraid to chat with flaming bush-God, instead of just bowing in reverence and promising to do whatever he orders, no matter how stupid it sounds. God then gives Moses’ staff the ability to turn into a snake as proof of his power. Why is a snake proof of God? I thought he didn’t like snakes. Whatever. God also gives Moses the power to cause leprosy, or turn water into blood. He argues a bit more, until God gets fed up with him and sends him off.

Now I’m confused. Perhaps I’m reading it wrong, but I think it says that while Moses is traveling to Egypt, God tries to kill him. I thought he’d just prepped him for taking over Egypt. This is odd. However, Zipporah circumcises her son and touches Moses’ feet with the blood, so God leaves Moses alone. This is very strange. Perhaps an allusion to the later angel of death scene?

This post has gotten long enough, so I’m done for the day. So far, I like Moses better than Abraham. I’ll still holding out, though, until I see whether he feels bad about killing all the innocent kids in Egypt. He’d better.

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