Friday, October 15, 2010

Exodus 13-16: God drowns some Egyptians

I didn't mention last time, in chapter 12 the Pharaoh basically told all the Israelites to get the fuck out of Egypt. And really, who can blame him. And so they went, and it goes on and on about how their bread had no yeast in it. Yeah, yeah, I get it, no fucking yeast.

So they're leaving, and God randomly says to Moses, "Consecrate to me every firstborn male." OK, whatever that means.

Then Moses goes on about celebrating Passover some more. No fucking yeast! I get it already.

Also, "Moses took the bones of Joseph with him because Joseph had made the sons of Israel swear an oath." Sweet, they actually did dig up Joseph's corpse and take it with them. That's hilarious.

It also says that God didn't let them take the easy road, but led them through the desert toward the Red Sea, because "If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt." Yeah, right. Also, if God could control the mind of the Pharaoh, can't he just control the Israelites' minds and make them keep going?

So God led them on as a pillar of clouds by day and a pillar of fire by night. Fantastic.

Then, in chapter 14, God is telling Moses where they should go. I have to wonder why that is necessary, since all they have to do is follow the cloud/fire. Oh well.

Well, shit, God hasn't had enough of controlling the Pharaoh like a puppet. Exodus 14:4: "And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and he will pursue them. But I will gain glory for myself through Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD." But I will gain glory for myself????? Fuck that. This is ridiculous.

So of course, Pharaoh chases them, along with 600 of his finest chariots. And he gets another dose of "hardened heart" in verse 8.

The Israelites see the Egyptians coming, and they get pissed at Moses. We told you we didn't want your stupid help back in chapter 6!!

So, God parts the sea so the Israelites can flee across it, and "I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them. And I will gain glory through Pharaoh and all his army, through his chariots and his horsemen." Seriously??? This is all just so fucking stupid. God is continually making this whole thing so much more difficult than it has to be, just so he can "gain glory" for himself. Well God, I guess if the pointless murder of children wasn't enough "glory" for you, maybe the pointless murder of 600 chariot's worth of adults will be.

So of course, that's what happens... the Israelites get across the sea safely, while the Egyptians are forced in by God and drown. "Not one of them survived." Fucking great. Are you happy now, God? Do you feel sufficiently glorified now???

We also learn about now that the pillar of cloud/fire is an angel of God, even though it said previously that it was actually God. I am so confused.

Then Moses and the Israelites sing a song to God. It's a pretty dumb song about how fantastic it is that God killed all the Egyptians.

Then they walk through the desert for 3 days without water. They finally find some water, but it is "bitter." So Moses "cried out" to God, and God pointed out a piece of wood, and Moses threw it in the water and it became "sweet." Well, that's just grand. Then God says, (paraphrasing) "Just do whatever I want, and you won't have to suffer like the Egyptians." Hmm, God is issuing thinly veiled threats to his chosen people...

Then they go on to a place with 12 springs and 70 palm trees. That is so specific.

So they're in the desert for like 2 months, and they are all grumbling about how at least as Egyptian slaves they had enough to eat, and Moses just brought them all out here to starve to death, and so on. God hears this and says "At twilight you will eat meat, and in the morning you will be filled with bread."

Then "That evening quail came and covered the camp." I can't help but imagine dead quail just raining out of the sky. The following morning "thin flakes like frost on the ground appeared on the desert floor."

Yep, this is manna. The bible has a lot to say about manna. Each person is to gather as much as they need for a day. (except for saturday! gather twice as much on saturday because there won't be any on sunday.) Don't save any til morning! (except saturday) When they did keep some til morning, it got all maggoty and gross - except for sunday, it was alright on sunday. Well I guess that just proves it's bread flakes from God. They also apparently saved a jar of manna; "keep it for the generations to come" God said. I wonder where this jar of God-bread is now, and why no one has tried to make a fake one.

Apparently, "The Israelites ate manna forty years ... until they reached the border of Canaan."

It took them 40 years to get there??? I'm remembering Genesis, when Jacob's 11 sons apparently had no trouble getting from Canaan to Egypt in a reasonable time to buy food. 40 years, huh. I do hope there's some good reason for that.

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