Tuesday, September 01, 2009


We've finally worked our way through Genesis and are ready to examine the fabulous tale of Exodus. Let me be honest with you right up front. I don't believe this story. It's just not borne out by history, archaeology or common sense. I'll grant that some "Hebrews", as we find them called for the first time, were enslaved in Egypt and escaped to the Promised Land, but I reckon most of them were already in the Promised Land and that the refugees from Egypt and the various tribes in situ united to take control of gthe region at some point. Exodus was a useful myth to bind the tribes together and to justify their genocidal rampage across the land.

That's not to say that Exodus isn't interesting or useful for instruction. We get the first inklings of God's Law in Exodus.

The central character, other than God, is Moses. He's a Hebrew by birth, but he ends up adopted by Pharoah's daughter. He commits a murder and has to flee into the land of Midian. He settles in with Jethro, the priest of Midian, and marries one of his daughters.

Meanwhile, back in Egypt, the Hebrews have been complaining about their mistreatment so much that God hears about it. Then He remembers that covenant he made with the patriarchs and decides to use Moses in His plan to liberate the Hebrews and install them in the Promised Land.

For reasons known only to God, He appears to Moses in the form of a talking burning bush and informs Moses of his mission. Moses asks God His name, and God replies that His name is "I AM". God promises that He will smite the Egyptians and that the Hebrews will get to plunder them on their way out.

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