Exodus 1: The Pharaoh Menace

Well folks, here it is: The start of my second book in this epically intense, lighthearted journey through the whole dang Bible. Do you ever step back from what you are doing and wonder if you have just bitten off way more than you can chew?

I might be having one of those moments.

Episode Exodus 1

How do I start talking about Exodus? I mean, the story of Exodus is, like, THE story of the Old Testament! Well, there is only one way to start a story this huge. 

It is a dark time for the descendants of Jacob . . .

 I tried to embed the video and couldn’t make it work. Just make sure you come back after clicking the link!

Me and some friends playing hackey-sack on the Great Pyramid. Hebrew slaves may or may not have built this thing. Not sure how I feel about that.

Vicious Cycle

Reading through Exodus 1, I was fascinated by Pharaoh’s logic. Here is what I saw:

  • Israelites increase in numbers; so much so that they outnumber the Egyptians!
  • He becomes afraid of the Israelites because of their increasing numbers.
  • He enslaves them
  • They keep increasing.
  • He, and all his people, become more afraid
  • The slavery becomes more “ruthless” and oppressive. Eventually Pharaoh orders all his people to become baby killers.

Isn’t it amazing how one scared person in power can attempt to justify the destruction of an entire people group? It’s a good thing that this never happened again in history!

Civil Disobedience

You know what? Hebrew women are awesome. I just want to say that. First, they refuse to follow Pharaoh’s orders to kill the newborn males. Then they come up with the raddest reason why when confronted about it.

“Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women; for they are vigorous and give birth before the midwife comes to them.”

Booyah!

And what I love even more is that God loves this too. He sees what they do and honors them for it by giving them their own families.

Exodus kicks off with a God who roots for the oppressed and celebrates when they stand up to a corrupt and evil system. Nice!

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8 responses

  1. While sitting at work, cracking up at the customized Star Wars intro, I took a moment to re-read the snippet regarding the ruthlessness of the enslavement. Phaorah was a smart man, but…not that smart. A living oxymoron, if you will. If his first attempts at getting the people to cooperate/obey weren’t beneficial, why did he ever draw the conclusion that more cruelty was the way to go? True, there were those who were fearful of his ways, but it didn’t stop them from reproducing. I wonder what made him think that his fear was enough?

  2. The star wars link doesn’t work anymore :( Bummer. I made it through Genesis! On to Exodus! Thanks for all your hard work on this site! So fun to follow along!

  3. Hey, I know this is several months old, but this part of Exodus means a lot to me. By which I mean the part about the midwives. Recently I got into a fight with a friend of mine. He thinks that lying is never okay, and that they were wrong to lie. When I point out that they were blessed for it, he points out that in the Old Testament, often God blessed people in spite of their flaws, but I still think they did the right thing. I even invoked Goodwin’s Law, and brought up the Holocaust, and people who lied to protect Jews from the Nazis. He said something about not telling the whole truth or something, which is in my opinion, a cowardly way of saying you’re not lying when you totally are. I dunno. I know him well enough to know that, if there were a situation like that, I think he would do the right thing, but I don’t know how to make him understand that sometimes lying is justified if it saved lives. Hell, I think its more justified than that, but he won’t even go that far.

  4. I know I’m more than a year late to this party, but I’m planning to lead a study of Exodus 1-15 which starts tomorrow (the study, not the exodus). I am so glad you confirmed my thoughts about how Star Wars fits into the epic story of Exodus. When I was trying to find the words to explain to my group when the story took place (given that scholars don’t agree on the date) I came up with “A long, long time ago…” and my husband filled in “… in a galaxy far far away.”

    I also was amazed at how awesome the women are, in the first two chapters of Exodus. Pharaoh is such a joke, but the women rock!

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