Thursday, January 28, 2010

Exodus Chapter 2

The story of Moses' childhood. You'll be familiar with parts of it, but probably not all of it.

As you well know, Pharaoh had ordered all the male babies killed, but Moses' mother thinks he's too pretty to die, so she makes a little reed boat for him and floats him down the river. Because this is somehow better.

Luckily for Moses, Pharaoh's daughter comes down to wash herself and sees the boat. She instructs one of her maids to got and get it. On opening it, she cries for the poor thing and realises it's a Hebrew baby. Moses' sister, who has been hanging around this whole time, because she's obviously more compassionate than her mother, offers to get a Hebrew nurse for the child. So she gets her mom, and Pharaoh's daughter pays her to nurse him. It doesn't specify when, but presumably after he is weaned, his mother brings him back to Pharaoh's daughter, who adopts him. Now, David Plotz must be reading a different translation than me, or he didn't read thoroughly, because he says Moses wasn't raised at the court, but verse 10 seems clear enough to me: And the child grew, and she brought him unto Pharaoh's daughter and he became her son. And she called his name Moses: and she said, Because I drew him out of the water. Although perhaps that doesn't justify the whole Dreamworks 'Prince of Egypt' version. But neither does the The Brothers Grimm version of Cinderella.

Anyway, it's a pretty thin verse to draw that whole story from, because next thing we know, Moses is an adult. He looks out one day and sees an Egyptian smacking a Hebrew around. He looks around and doesn't see anyone, so he kills the Egyptian and hides him in the sand. I don't think that was in the cartoon version. Was it in the Sunday school version? It was probably less cowardly. Of course, Jerry has nothing to say about this, because Moses is righteous, and righteous people can do pretty much anything, except be gay. Well, except Joseph.

The next day, Moses comes across two Hebrews fighting and asks them why they're at it. They basically tell him to fuck off, since he killed an Egyptian only yesterday. Whoops! He didn't look hard enough!

Pharaoh finds out, of course, and vows to kill Moses, who escapes into Midian. He sits down by a well, and the priest's seven daughters come along to water the flocks. Some shepherds chase them off, but Moses helps them. The girls go home and their father asks them how they're back so quickly. They tell him and he invites Moses for dinner. He ends up moving in and marrying Zipporah, one of the daughters. They have a son, Gershom.

After awhile, the king dies and the enslaved Hebrews cry, and god hears it and remembers them and his promise to Abraham, Isaac and Isreal. After what, 400 years? Why did he let this happen? We have no idea. Better late than never, I suppose, he had respect unto them (v. 25).


  1. The Prince of Egypt isn't a Disney film, it's from DreamWorks Animation.