Chapter 13- More instructions for observing the passover feast. A command to dedicate all firstborn sons and male animals to God. When the Hebrews leave Egypt, God leads them the long way around the Red Sea to avoid war with the Philistines. God appears as a cloud during the day, and a pillar of fire at night for them to follow.
Verses 6&7, “Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread and on the seventh day there shall be a fest to the Lord. Unleavened bread shall be eaten seven days. And no leavened bread shall be seen among you, nor shall leaven be seen among you in all your quarters.”
Reminds me of that quote from Monty Python and the Holy Grail:
And the Lord spake, saying, “First shalt thou take out the Holy Pin. Then, shalt thou count to three. No more. No less. Three shalt be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, neither count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out. Once at the number three, being the third number to be reached, then, lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who, being naughty in My sight, shall snuff it.”
The Hebrews are told to remember why they are observing the passover: Because Pharaoh was stubborn, so God had to kill all the firstborn of Egypt. Pharaoh was stubborn? How quickly we’re expected to forget that is was God who hardened his heart. Pharaoh was just a pawn in this game.
Chapter 14- God hardens Pharaohs heart yet again, and Pharaoh decides to pursue the Hebrews. The Hebrews fear for their lives and wish they had just stayed in Egypt as slaves, instead of being killed by the Egyptians out in the desert. God has Moses part the Red Sea so the Hebrews can safely walk across. As the Egyptians follow, God steals the wheels from their chariots, then sends the sea crashing back down so they all drown.
God’s a cheater. Just like in Genesis when he had to resort to dislocating Jacob’s hip to win a fight, here he has to steal chariot wheels before he’s able to defeat the Egyptians. After having their wheels removed, the Egyptians recognize the power of God and decide to flee. God drowns them anyway. That’s like shooting someone in the back! We recognize that killing someone who is fleeing is wrong now-a-days, so why was it okay for God to do it?
Before the whole “drown all the Egyptians” bit, God says (again) that he will harden Pharaoh’s heart so he can perform great acts so that the Egyptians will know that he is God. But then in verse 28, “Not so much as one of them remained.” What good is proving your power to dead people?
Chapter 15- Moses and the Israelites sing songs of praise to God for killing the Egyptians. Then, as they continue on their journey, they run out of water and start complaining again. The come to Marah, where the local water is bitter. God has Moses throw a tree into the water, and that makes it sweet. God promises not the afflict the Israelites with the illnesses he brought on the Egyptians, as long as they follow him. God leads them to an oasis.
A few excerpts from the song of praise: “The Lord is a man of war.” “Your right hand, O Lord, has dashed the enemy in pieces.” “You sent forth Your wrath; it consumed them like stubble.” This God isn’t a particularly peaceful one. And, isn’t wrath a trait God frowns upon? In the New Testament, wrath is listed as a sin of the flesh, and anyone who practices it will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:20) Do as I say kids, not as I do.
Verse 20 here finally names Aaron’s sister, Miriam (and since Aaron and Moses are brothers, this why people assume the sister mentioned in chapter 2 is Miriam as well). Turns out Miriam is a prophetess. I’d like to know more about that, seeing as how the rest of the bible is pretty anti-women-in-leadership positions. 1 Corinthians, 14:34, “Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says.” Hmm…
On a side note- after finding that Corinthians verse, I was curious where in the law it says women should submit. It would seem that it doesn’t. All the references to women being submissive to men/husbands are in the New Testament, unless you consider Eve’s position as “helpmeet” as an expectation for submission. Nowhere in the Old Testament law does it command women to submit. Seems like the NT made some stuff up…surprise!
Now that I’ve wandered completely off the Exodus topic, I think I’ll call it a day. Same bat time, same bat channel tomorrow, folks.