Pencil to Paper

The Daily Life of a Compulsive Writer

Blogging the Bible: Exodus 5-10 December 18, 2011

Filed under: Religion — katblogger @ 11:45 AM
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We left off with Moses being instructed by a flaming shrub to become a revolutionary. So far I like Moses. However, I’m not holding out on liking him for much longer. More on that later. This is rather off topic, but I’m honestly curious. After a terrible disaster, you’ll often hear people say something along the lines of “God saved me/decided to spare me/had other plans for me.” Does that imply that God intentionally killed off/let other people die? Cold. And these people believe that God must love them better than the innocent families that were obliterated by the same disaster? Nice. Moving on.

5: Moses runs off to Pharaoh and explains that God wants him to let the Israelites go. Pharaoh retorts that he doesn’t know this god, and that they need to get back to work. Indeed, he gives them harder work to punish them for their small act of defiance. Moses gets a little snippy with God, saying, “O Lord, why have you mistreated this people? Why did you ever send me? Since I first came to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has mistreated this people, and you have done nothing at all to deliver your people.” So far I’m still liking Moses. He’s not afraid to call God out for not exactly fulfilling his promise.

6: God again promises to free the Israelites, but the Israelites are so sick and tired of being mistreated that they don’t believe him anymore. They’re tired of empty promises, and the last one just made things worse.

7: God instructs Moses to speak to Pharaoh again with Aaron as his eloquent sidekick. Now things get confusing. God says, “But I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and I will multiply my signs and wonders in the land of Egypt. ” Wait a second… Pharaoh might have let them go? But God made Pharaoh more stubborn so he wouldn’t do the very thing God told Moses to ask him to do? This makes less sense than Pedro Paramo. I think God is just really bored or something, and entertains himself/itself by playing with people’s minds.

Apparently Moses is 80 now. Time sure flies when you’re being oppressed. I guess a wizened old man threatening Pharaoh with dire consequences isn’t really imposing. However, Aaron transforms his staff into a snake to prove that he has God on his side. Pharoah’s magicians do the same, although Aaron’s staff eats their snakes. So Egyptians can do magic too… is this acknowledging the Egyptian gods as sources of divine power as well? I wish it would explain how they did it beyond ‘secret arts’. Maybe there’s some god civil war, and God prompted Moses to do this so he could prove he can beat Ra, Isis, and all their gang.

Moses then turns the water of the Nile into blood, which is just gross. All the water in Egypt then turns into blood. This is a little bit of a problem. I don’t think they thought it through. Egypt is a very dry climate, and people need water to survive, yes? The Israelites are currently trapped in Egypt, right? See where I’m going with this? Every plague they release onto the whole of Egypt is going to blow up in their faces. Nice.

After everything becomes blood, “the magicians of Egypt did the same by their secret arts.” I thought everything was already blood. What did they do, turn the blood bloodier? Either way, Pharaoh still refuses to do anything, and a whole week passes.

8: God’s next plague takes the form of an infestation of frogs. Aaron stretches his hands over the waters of Egypt, and frogs come out. Except I thought that all the waters turned to blood, so all aquatic creatures died. Strange. Then “The magicians of Egypt did the same by their secret arts,a nd brought frogs up on the land of Egypt.” I’m not really understanding their thought process:

Pharaoh: That nasty slave infested our country with frogs. It’s so annoying.

Magician: Oh, that’s no big deal. We can do that too. See? *summons vast amount of frogs*

Pharaoh: Oh, that’s very nice. Now we have more frogs. Brilliant.

These plagues aren’t really in great order. Turning water into blood is very ominous and creepy, with the side effect of making everyone super thirsty. Frogs are just… frogs. Who says ‘Cower beneath  my terrible onslaught of amphibians!’ No one. Are the plagues going to keep getting lamer?

Pharaoh disagrees with me. The blood didn’t faze him, but he calls Moses in and promises he’ll let the people go if he only stops the frogs. Moses agrees, and convinces the Lord to remove the frogs. God does this by killing them all, so everyone gets to deal with their stinking corpses. Humane treatment of animals, anyone? However, once the frogs are gone, Pharaoh decides not to let the people go.

God continues his theme of summoning annoying but non-deadly animals, having Aaron bring about a swarm of gnats. The magicians cannot duplicate this feat, and tell Pharaoh it is indeed the work of God. After a long time being attacked by flies, while the Israelites are left alone, Pharaoh agrees to let the Israelites go off to sacrifice if they don’t go very far away. See, I didn’t mention this before, but Moses never said, “Hey, I want you to let us go forever.” All he wanted was a short break so they could all wander off and perform a sacrifice to their God. Naturally, once they’d escaped slavery, I seriously doubt they would have come back, which Pharaoh obviously caught on to, since he’s so reluctant to grant them vacation.

Moses removes the flies, but again Pharaoh changes his mind. I was planning to do a lot more this week, but this post is 1000 words long, and I think that’s quite enough. So far, Exodus is much more interesting. See you next time.

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