Wednesday, September 23, 2009

18: Moses

Exodus 1-3
Ah, a new book. Turns out this is really Genesis the sequel. It is a direct continuation of the end of Genesis. A new Pharaoh comes to power that doesn't know how wonderful Jacob is (Jacob and all of his brothers died before Exodus), so he decides to enslave the Hebrews. Somehow, the more they were oppressed the more they multiplied, I'm not quite sure how that works out. And because the Egyptians were afraid of them, they (the Egyptians) worked them harder. I'm not sure why, if you are afraid of someone, that you would work them harder and make them hate you. Pharaoh tells the Hebrew's midwives to start killing the Hebrew babies. However, the midwives are "afraid of God", so they refuse to kill the babies. Why would an Egyptian be afraid of a Hebrew God? Then Pharaoh gives the order to throw all of the Hebrew boys in the river, I'm not sure how that's a different order than just "kill them".

Moses is born during this time and his mother hides him for three months. When, for some unknown reason, she can't hide him anymore she puts him in a basket and floats him down the Nile. Pharaoh's daughter finds the basket and gives him to a Hebrew woman to nurse. Why didn't they kill him right there? It says Pharaoh's daughter "feels sorry" for Moses, but so what? Why doesn't she feel bad for the rest of the babies floating in the river?

When Moses gets older he sees an Egyptian beating a Hebrew. It seems like we have some reasonable options here. Being the Pharaoh's grandson, Moses could tell him to stop and he would presumably have to. Maybe he could even have the man punished. However, he decides to go with a decision that is seeming more and more common in the Bible: kill him. Well that was stupid. Now Moses has to leave Egypt and hide in Midian. He gets a wife there and has babies and such.

Some time later the Pharaoh dies, but the Hebrews are still oppressed. They cry out for help and God hears them and remembers his covenant with Abraham. Had he forgotten? Why does it take them crying out for help for God to stay true to his word. I thought this land was supposed to be theirs anyway.

Moses was tending his flock one day and comes across a bush that is on fire and it starts talking to him. Why not... I'll go with it, this is the least of my worries at this point. So this talking bush tells him to take off his sandals because he is standing on holy ground. The bush tells him that it is God and Moses hides his eyes because he doesn't want to look at God. God tells him to go save the Hebrews and calls himself Yahweh for the first time.

God says that he will make the Egyptians "favorably disposed toward this people [Hebrews]", so that they will be able to steal the Egyptians silver. What just happened to free will? Why doesn't he just make Pharaoh disposed toward not enslaving people? Anyway, we obviously can't take the easy, reasonable route, that wouldn't make for a very exciting story.

1 comment:

  1. There is some thought about the Egyptian mythology and Christian mythology being more inter-related than most people think, or more than Christians are willing to admit. In fact, it's all related to another comment I made on your first post, about God referring to an "us" as well as how his name (Yahweh) is actually written in the original texts.

    Some interesting reading out there, which is, of course quick to be "dispelled" or ignored by the church.

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