Thursday, 29 May 2008

Pharaoh's Heart


Following up on yesterday's post, I wanted to talk some more about Exodus. This is an especially vile story. In it, god wants the Israelites (led by Moses and Aaron) to leave Egypt to travel to the promised land, but hardens Pharaoh's heart so that he will not let them go. Then, comes the familiar plagues: rivers turn to blood, frogs, lice, death of all the Egyptians' cattle, boils on man and beast, pestilence, hail (which kills all of the Egyptians' cattle again), locusts, three days of darkness, and finally the death of the firstborn across the land (including the cattle once again).

Apart from the fact that there is no archaeological evidence of any of this, and that god must have really hated the Egyptians' cattle (and been spectacularly bad at eradicating them), and that god is kinda not so omniscient if he needed the Jews to smear blood on their doors in order to make sure he didn't mistakenly kill any of their kids, what can we get from this story? I think god makes it pretty clear. He has hardened Pharaoh's heart (thus negating the arguments about free will and how much god values it) so that Pharaoh will not let the Israelites go, meaning god will be able to show off his power and get to kill little children. There is no way around this, god wanted to kill the children of the Egyptians; he wanted to show off his powers in a grand display. This is not a god that is worthy of worship.

6 comments:

transientreporter said...

As you know, Jesus saves but Gretzky always scores on the rebound.

How about getting yourself a scarlet A?

Steven Bently said...

Moses son had to be circumsized, elsewise god was going to kill him too. Off with those skins gents.

I always thought that Satan did the harden of the heart thingy, could they have got them mixed up in the translation?

Wait a minute, I forgot the Bible was god's own breathed words.

I always wondered why it took god 400 years to find a leader to lead Abrahams people out of bondage as promised, then hardens Pharaoh's heart? Wasn't that detrimental to god's promise to Abe?

But if moses had of been born 400 years earlier and lead his people out of bondage, and no harden of the heart thing and no plagues, then the story would have been cut short and thousands of innocent lives would have been saved. No main event, no sequel, just a dull boring read.

Steven Bently said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steven Bently said...

BTW, I think the mention of Satan was completely left out of Exodus, there's going to be hell to pay.

TheNerd said...

This story is clearly a case of wish-fulfulment on the part of the author(s). I mean, come on! God is acting like a spoiled teenager who finally gets the chance to get back at her annoying little brother when her parents are out of the house. God doesn't even follow his own moral code toward the end.

Most likely, the Hebrew authors were simply pissed at Egypt for something or other (maybe their great economic power?), and wanted to let it out on papyrus. Then centuries later, someone decided their rant really happened. That'd be like someone turning a blog into holy scripture!

Dave said...

Why did God drown the Egyptian soldiers pursuing the fleeing Jewish people? Why not simply close the waters after the Jews were safely through them? I don't imagine the Egyptians carried watercraft with them, so it wasn't as if the soldiers were merely going to be inconvenienced.

God instead chose to kill the Egyptians. He did it, because back in the day, it made for a terrific story, especially for kids who needed to be inculcated with the Jewish religion.

Think through the story and it's obviously full of horrible acts by God.