I haven’t done this in ages. But now I’m back and ready for some plague-y fun.
So my last post title lied. I only got through section 8. So we’re starting with section 9, and I’ll see how far I get until this post is ridiculously long.
9: God’s next plague kills all the livestock in Egypt – specifically, those of the Egyptians. For once, he spares the Israelites from his punishments. However, God seems content to punish innocent animals for the humans’ errors. Not cool. If he can reach into human emotion and ‘harden Pharaoh’s heart’, why can’t he soften it and let them go? I think he’s on some power trip – trying to completely cow Egypt and show them who’s boss, no matter how many people get hurt. This sounds like plenty of villains. Marvelous.
Next come boils, and God finally admits his grand plan. “I have let you live: to show you my power, and to make my name resound through all the earth.” He’s prolonging the suffering of Israelites, Egyptians, and animals alike for that? You’d think an omnipotent deity wouldn’t have such insecurity issues.
God adds in a deadly hail/fire combo, killing many people. What’s interesting is that Moses summons all of these plagues, showing absolutely no remorse. Most likely, plenty of the Egyptians would love to let him go. Pharaoh is the one standing in his way. Yet all of these plagues are hurting the regular Egyptians. Pharaoh probably has attendants protecting him from frogs and flies, and he has the wealth to buy water and cover livestock losses. The big bad is the one who’s least affected. Yet Moses doesn’t seem to mind destroying an entire country and murdering its inhabitants. I was ok with him, too. That so figures. Is there anyone in this book who isn’t a jerk?
10: God starts giggling like a little kid who pulled off a trick. He tells Moses, “Go to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heat and the hearts of his officials, in order that I may show these signs of mine among them, and that you may tell your children and grandchildren how I have made fools of the Egyptians and what signs I have done among them – so that you may know that I am the Lord.” Uh… yeah. I’m not even going to tackle this one. Let’s just say that there’s a reason that Abrahamic God makes the list of ‘Jerkass God’ tropes on tvtropes.org.
Locusts desecrate the land. Then darkness falls upon Egypt. Every time, Pharaoh says he’s changed his mind, then changes it back. I think he’s split personality.
11: God brings one last plague upon Egypt – the worst of them all. God plans to kill every Egyptian firstborn – from Pharaoh’s to the slaves’ to animals’, and there’s no way to avoid it. God says he’ll harden Pharaoh’s heart once more “in order that my wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt.”
Does Moses say “Wait a minute”? Does he question the fairness of punishing the entire country and killing innocent children because of some petty deity’s plot? Does he suggest that there must be SOME line they shouldn’t cross, even if they want their freedom?
Of course not. Moses is a good little follower now. He doesn’t seem to care about the devastation he leaves behind.
12: Passover originates from this passage. Each Israelite family kills a lamb and paints its blood over their doorways, so God’s deadly rampage will pass over them. It works, and “there was a loud cry in Egypt, for there was not a house without someone dead.” Finally Pharaoh relents, and sends the Israelites away.
13: Once the Israelites leave Egypt, God starts setting a bunch of ground rules. However, he doesn’t warn any of them that he’s planning on reverting to Jerkass mode yet again. You just wait. It’s about to get lovely.
14: God (apparently talking to himself) says “I will harden Pharaoh’s heart and he will pursue them so that I will gain glory for myself over Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord.” Uh huh. Forget whoever might die in the attempt. God likes to play Risk, bossing everyone around and making them fight for his amusement.
The army pursues the Israelites, who are righteously pissed, telling Moses he led them from a decent life to certain death. Then we have the famous parting-the-sea story, and God wipes out most of the Egyptian army. Yay. Good for him. Can I be done now? Who the heck would worship this guy? He sounds like a total sadist.
15: Moses and the Israelites, cheerful after mass slaughter, sing a song to God. Honestly, I skimmed it. This is making me sick, and I am so done with the Bible for the week.