I’m feeling cranky today, for reasons I’ve yet to fully figure out, and I don’t feel like doing this. But, we soldier on.
Chapter 4- Moses feels unsure about his ability to speak to the Israelites and to Pharaoh. God gives him some tricks he can do to prove that God sent him. Moses is still unsure since he is “slow of speech,” so God agrees to have Moses’s brother Aaron do the talking. Moses takes his wife and sons back to Egypt. Along the way something(?) happens, and Zipporah circumcises one of their sons along the road. Moses meets Aaron; Aaron agrees to be the spokesperson. He speaks to the people who are happy to hear that God remembered them.
Verse 11, “So the Lord said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the Lord?”” I know this verse is supposed to convey that God can work through people no matter what problems they have. But, the flip side of this verse is that God just straight up admitted to creating afflictions.
Verse 21, “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.”” Way to intentionally make things harder than they need to be, God. This reinforces my view of God as the sadistic player of the Sims who lets people drown and suffer just to prove he’s the puppet master.
Then there’s this business with verses 24-26. “And it came to pass on the way, at the encampment, that the Lord met him and sought to kill him. Then Zipporah took a sharp stone and cut off the foreskin of her son and cast it at Moses’ feet, and said, “Surely you are a husband of blood to me!” So He let him go. Then she said, “You are a husband of blood!” – because of the circumcision.”
It isn’t really clear here who “him” is. In the preceding verses, God is telling Moses what to say to Pharaoh, so at first I thought ‘him” could be Pharaoh, but that doesn’t make sense. I guess it’s Moses, or maybe one of the sons. And, shouldn’t the son have already been circumcised at 8 days old? So maybe this was God’s retribution for waiting so long to circumcise…Whatever happened here, Zipporah wasn’t happy about it. And poor, poor kid who got his junk cut off with a stone on the side of the road.
Chapter 5- Moses and Aaron ask Pharaoh’s permission for all the Hebrews to go into the desert 3 days to sacrifice to their god (and they claim God will punish them if they don’t). Pharaoh refuses, and decides that this request means they have too much free time, so he gives the slave Hebrews even more work to do. This makes the Hebrews mad at Moses and Aaron, which makes Moses question God’s plan.
So, more lying in the Bible. Not that I think it was unwarranted. If I wanted to be free from slavery, I’d probably try to sneak out under some made up story first before trying the direct “Let me go” approach.
Also, Pharaoh is a dick. Add ‘forcing your slaves to maintain brick making quotas without providing them the proper supplies, then beating them when they fail’ to the list of things not to do if your goal is to avoid an uprising.
Chapter 6- God reaffirms that he will help Moses lead the Hebrews out of slavery, and uphold the covenant he made with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Moses continues to question his ability to be the leader of this plot. We’re given a list of the heads of the Hebrew households.
We finally learn who Moses’s parents were- Amram and Jochebed- who just so happened to be Amram’s father’s sister. You know, at this point, I’m over the incest thing. If you’ve got the hots for your aunt, the Bible is okay with that. God said it, I believe it, that settles it, right?
When Moses is expressing his concerns that he’s not the guy for the job, he says “How then shall Pharaoh heed me, for I am of uncircumcised lips.” Whoa, what? They did what to their lips? Google seems to think that was just a flowery way of saying “I’m not worthy” since uncircumcised things were unclean. But, let’s just leave that turn of phrase out of modern parlance, okay?