Welcome to the latest part of my Bible Project! Having finished with Genesis, we now move onto one of the other well-known books, Exodus!
Ah, Exodus. That lovely little book wherein God commits massive acts of great evil against innocent people, does so to further his own glory, and generally acts like a prick. His behavior was bad enough in Genesis, but in this book he really starts to go over the top.
I do feel compelled to add at this point that there’s no evidence what-so-ever for the Jews ever having been slaves in Egypt, certainly one of the most important things in this story. None. Like much of what happens in the Bible, there’s no archaelogical evidence for any of the events in this story, and I find that odd, cause you’d expect there to be. You’d think there’d be some writings left behind by the Jews in Egypt, writings mentioning them, some artefacts found in the dust. At the very least you’d expect that later, when they wander the desert, they might’ve left behind some evidence they’d been there, but no.
In other words, this story is complete bullshit. But let’s start in and take it point-by-point, shall we?
We start with some information on what’s been happening in Egypt, and all about how the Egyptians are starting to worry they’ll soon be outnumbered by the Hebrews. The king, ancestor to Lou Dobbs, unless I miss my guess, starts railing on about this situation.
And he said to his people, “Look, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we…” – Exodus 1:9
Now, hang on. How many of these Hebrews are there? And they’re mightier than the Egyptians in Egypt? Well, fear not. Despite being weaker and outnumbered, the Egyptians still rise up and force the Israelites into bondage.
After this, the king decides to kill off all the Hebrew baby boys. Nothing like a little genocide! This is one of those few times were I’d feel ok with serving as an example of Godwin’s Law.
Eventually, after much wailing and gnashing of teeth, Moses is born. His mom, as we all know from the movies, dumps him into the river where he is rescued by a princess.
Baby Moses gets raised to be a good Egyptian boy, but soon his origins show through as he starts doing things like killing a task-master who was beating a Hebrew. When Pharaoh finds out, Moses high-tails it out of town and hides in Midian.
During this time, the Pharaoh dies, and the Israelites whine and bitch to get God’s attention. Apparently too busy tracking sparrows, God has completely forgotten about his people. Nice.
So God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. – Exodus 2:24
Yeah, that’s the kind of quality diety I’d want to worship! One who completely forgets about his people and any problems they might be having.
So now we come to the famous story of the burning bush, and I gotta admit, it’s a pretty striking image! The bush just sitting there, flaming away but not being consumed, especially once the voice of God starts to speak from the bush, making all sorts of statements, including one about sending the Israelites to “a land flowing with milk and honey”. Sounds sticky to me, but ok.
God tells Moses to go talk with Pharaoh to, as it were, “let me people go”. Moses figures if he tells anyone about this little mission, they’ll think he’s nuts/lying.
Then Moses answered and said, “But suppose they will not believe me or listen to my voice; suppose they say, ‘The Lord has not appeared to you’.” – Exodus 4:1
Actually, I’m pretty pleased he’s clever enough to think to ask that question. I mean, if someone came up to you and said they’d been chatting with God, what would your first thought be?
So God teaches Moses some parlor tricks. With the routines he gets from God, Moses is now able to walk into just about any talent agent’s office and get work! If he brings his family, this could be even more interesting!
So Schlomo, Pharaoh’s talent agent in charge of booking acts at the Palace, is sitting in his office when this old Hebrew guy walks in with his wife and two kids; a cute little boy and the sweetest little girl you ever laid eyes on. He says, “Have I got an act for you!”
Schlomo, well, he’s always on the look out for new talent, but he doesn’t think this guy’s likely to be much of much. He says, “What makes you think I wanna see this act of yours, friend?”
“Call me Moses,” says the guy, and goes on to say, “Trust me, you’ll want to see this act. God told me so.”
Now sure this guy’s a few dates short of a palm, Schlomo decides he might as well humor him and says, “Alright, but make it quick.”
So Moses goes over and kisses his wife and children. A nice guy, for a kook, thinks Schlomo. Then changes his mind as Moses punches his wife right in the mouth. As Schlomo looks on in horror, the guy then kicks his son in the crotch and starts tongue-kissing his daughter (what the folks back then called “Canaanite Kissing”).
Schlomo is now really worried this guy’s insane, but Moses holds up a hand and says, “Don’t worry; it’s all part of the act.”
Moses then pulls out his staff. “See here?” he says. “Ordinary staff, but watch this!” He waves his hand and the staff turns into a snake, which Moses then procedes to wrap around his wife’s neck. Well, the snake bites her a few times, and she starts to turn purple and passes out. Moses then whips out his little Pharaoh and pees all over the woman, waking her up.
Before Schlomo can even react to this, Moses says, “Now, watch this one!” He takes his right hand and puts it up inside his son’s tunic, moving it around in what Schlomo considers a very inappropriate way. Then he pulls it out and the hand has gone completely bone white.
“Look!” cries out Moses. “Leprosy! But don’t panic, the act isn’t done yet!” He then stuffs his hand up inside his daughter’s tunic and starts doing things to her Schlomo had only heard about. When he pulls back the hand, it’s back to normal, though the little girl looks a bit worse for wear.
Now feeling physically ill, Schlomo is thinking about calling for the palace eunuchs to come deal with this wack-job, when the man says, “But wait, there’s more! The Lord has given unto me a magical tongue! Watch this!”
Schlomo, now rapidly considering a change of career, watches in mute shock as Moses uses his tongues for the sort of thing Egyptians might normally use their left hand for, if you get my meaning.
The act finally winds down as Moses’ wife takes turns using her mouth on her husband and son (“She likes the kosher sausage,” Moses explains), and finally ends with Moses taking a bucket of river water and pouring it onto the naked, ravaged bodies of his family, the water turning to blood as he does so.
“Ta-da!” Moses says, grinning.
“That’s the act?”
“Yeah. So, we get the job?” Moses asks into the silence that follows.
Well, poor Schlomo, his brain has overloaded at this point. He’s completely dumbstruck, and knows there’s no way he can allow this guy within a thousand cubits of anyone important. He doesn’t know how to explain that to him without possibly being thrown into the act against his will, so he settles on what he thinks is the only safe question to ask.
“What…” Schlomo swallows. “What do you call your act?”
Striking a pose, Moses says, “The Pharaohs!”
(for the record, I’d like it noted that this is, to my belief, the first time anyone has done a Moses-related Aristocrats joke! GO, ME!)
Now sufficiently geared up to go deal with Pharaoh, Moses starts to head out, but God has one last bit of information for him.
And the Lord said to Moses, “When you go back to Egypt, see that you do all those wonders before Pharaoh which I have put in your hand. But I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go.” – Exodus 4:21
Wait, what? What is God playing at here? “Go tell him to let my people go, but don’t worry when he doesn’t, cause I’ll force him not to.” Sadly, in a bit we’ll find out why he’s doing this. It’s entirely for his own ego. So much for a perfect, merciful, benevolent being.
The next bit features the ever-popular image of people making bricks without straw and other such things to prove that Pharaoh is a big meanie. Then we come to an interesting revelation.
And Moses spoke before the Lord, saying, “The children of Israel have not heeded me. How then shal Pharaoh heed me, for I am of uncircumcised lips?” – Exodus 6:12
What? Lips?! LIPS?!THAT’S where it’s supposed to be done? Oh, crap. All these years, we’ve been doing it wrong! Great, just great.
Next we find out God’s real motive for forcing Pharaoh to tell Moses to bugger off when he really wants to give in.
“And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and multiply my signs and my wonders in the land of Egypt.” – Exodus 7:3
Got that? The whole reason everything happens like it does from this point on, from the first of the plagues to the last of the innocent children of Egypt dying, happens to further God’s ego and give him a chance to say, “Hey, look what I can do!”
To the theists out there, how do you explain this? Please don’t fall back on the old, “God moves in mysterious ways” nonsense, cause it answers nothing. God is clearly being very, very evil here. He’s setting Pharaoh up for a fall just so that he can have an excuse to inflict serious misery and grief upon the Egyptians and kill their children.
Why does he act like this? Why does he need this excuse? Why not inflict all this evil upon them and then have Moses say, “You want more of the same? No? Then let my people go.” Instead God does everything he does from here on out in this part of the story simply as an excuse to murder people.
And you folks think he’s worthy of your worship.
Up next, the plagues!