My Mum's Ancient Family Bible

My Mum's Ancient Family Bible
Kept in the garage of all places for so many years, it's finally been put to good use.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Burning Bush and Other STIs (Exodus 3-4)

When we last left off, Moses had high-tailed it out of the Pharaoh's lands. He winds up in the wilderness somewhere west of there and sees God in a burning bush. God has appeared several times already in human guise but I suppose he thought it was getting a tad old.

God the Bush tells Moses that he's upset my the oppression of his people by the Egyptians and he wants him to take them out of there. Moses is to be God's representative. He asks, "If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they ask me, 'What is his name?" what shall I say to them?" (Exo 3:13). God replies rather sassily -- and this is in fact in caps lock in the Bible -- "I AM WHO I AM" (Exo 3:14). To me, this sounds like the title of a song by Brandi or Monica. More specifically, the kind of song that perhaps has parentheses: "I AM (who I AM). I should be a music producer.

Moses points out an obvious problem: what if his people don't believe him and think he's some sort of charlatan? God's solution is to give him three cool magic tricks that he can whip out whenever he likes. These are:

1) He can turn a rod into a snake by chucking it on the ground
2) He can make his hand have leprosy by putting it down his shirt and then pulling it out
3) He can pour water from the Nile onto the ground and turn it into blood

Neato! Do it again, mister!

God does things in a very round-about way, I must say. He tells Moses to go the Pharaoh and demand that he let his people go; however, he plans on "harden[ing] his heart" so that the Pharaoh won't listen to Moses (Exo 4:21). He's creating conflict for no good reason. I don't understand the next thing that happens either: God tries to kill somebody, but it's unclear who - I think it's Aaron, Moses' son. Moses' wife Zipporah steps in and saves the day by circumcising Aaron on the spot, which makes him invincible...? She says to Aaron, "You are a bridegroom of blood". This is something that should be scrawled across a banner and hung at every briss. It's cheery.

1 comment:

  1. My take on the killing is:

    YHWH: Moses, go to Egypt.
    Moses:No, no, no, no, OK.

    Moses heads to Egypt with his wife (the daughter of a priest of Midian) and son in tow.

    God tries to kill [Moses for bringing this daughter of a priest of another God with him on the job - my interpretation]

    [My interpretation: Zipporah isn't male, so can't be circumcised in the Abrahamic tradition, but proves her devotion to YHWH by] circumcising the son and touching the foreskin to Moses's feet (some scholars say "feet" is a euphemism for "genitals").

    Yeah, still seems crazy.