Being forcibly carried into Egypt by his compatriots of course didn’t change Jeremiah’s tune. He continued preaching destruction and desolation. In particular he singled out the idolatry of the women who continued offerings and prayers to the Queen of Heaven, hallowed by her name, be it Asherah, Ishtar, Isis, or Aphrodite. Jeremiah intoned, The cheating on God continues, especially among the women, and for that, you are all doomed to destruction!
The men folk told Jeremiah, Go suck an egg, you old debbie downer! Mind your own business and leave us to tend to our women! If you wanted a wife to boss, you shoulda got married! If God didn’t want our wives to make offerings to the Queen of Heaven, then It should have manifested Itself a feminine version for them!
Jeremiah just raised his eyes and said, You should all renew your vows to God and stop cheating on It, or you’ll be sorry! But because you won’t, you’ve condemned Pharaoh Wahibre Haaibre and all his people to death and destruction at the hands of Nebuchadnezzar!
Everyone was all, You’re just a Babylonian spy, Jeremiah! You’re a traitor and a liar! God doesn’t talk to you. Fuck you and your prophecies. We’re going to Egypt, and by damned, you’re coming with us!
When they got to Egypt, to Tahpanhes on Lake Manzala, where Pharaoh had a summer palace, Jeremiah took some stones and hid them in the pavement in front of the one of the palace gates and was all, Mark this spot! For here, Nebudcadnezzar will destroy Pharaoh and all Egypt! He will cast down the obelisks of Heliopolis–well most of them anyway! In any case, Egypt will not prove a safe haven. It will burn, just like Jerusalem!
Rejoice, oh chosen of God
because It promised to love us always.
It made a deal with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
It led them into Egypt’s blaze
and, through Moses, back out again!
Upon the Egyptians It smote
plague upon plague
until the Nile itself did bloat
with carcasses and cadavers.
It permitted the Israelites to take
all the riches found in Pharaoh’s land.
Fed them with manna and from the rock their thirst did slake.
Listen to the story of our people.
We are mighty and not feeble.
God chose us to be Its nation.
Jacob’s sons were Its foundation.
It led us out of Egypt.
Wouldn’t let Pharaoh reach us.
Fed us manna in the desert
and water from the rocks spurted out.
But our people sinned and angered God.
Learned what it was like to feel Its rod.
Plagues and famines, floods and danger.
Wars, rape, murder and exile.
So Balaam said to Balak, build seven altars and sacrifice seven bulls and seven rams, and I’ll climb that mountain over there and talk to God. God told Balaam to go back and recite the following poem:
From Aram Balak has brought me
To curse the Hebrew tribes
But how can I curse what God loves?
Such a thing just doesn’t jibe.
The Hebrews are a mighty people
They spread out far beneath
I cannot curse such greatness, no
Lest God should gnash Its teeth. Continue reading “Numbers 23: The Further Adventures of Balaam”
God told Moses to tell the people to camp at Pi-Hahiroth between Migdol and the Red Sea because It wanted to set a trap for Pharaoh, as It hadn’t quite worked the smiting out of Its system.
Pharaoh had indeed decided to pursue the Hebrews because within a few days, everyone in Egypt was bitching about having to do their own laundry and dishes and make their own bricks and dig their own graves for all the dead firstborn. They were all, and why did we free the Hebrews? They were excellent slaves. Hey, Pharaoh, why don’t you go bring them back? They couldn’t have gotten too far. So Pharaoh mustered out his chariot battalion and set off in hot pursuit of the Hebrews, catching up with them at Pi-Hahiroth. Continue reading “Exodus 14: Crossing the Red Sea”
So Moses reminded everyone that they needed to keep Passover every year, even after they had conquered Canaan, by eating unleavened bread for a week and by having a huge feast on the seventh day, all in order to commemorate the exodus from Egypt.
God also told Moses that all firstborn (male) humans and animals belonged to It, so Moses told everyone this rule too. He explained that firstborn male goats and sheep were to be sacrificed to God. Donkeys, however, could be redeemed with a lamb, but if they weren’t redeemed, their necks needed to be broken. Humans were also supposed to be redeemed by a lamb. This was all to be done to commemorate God’s smiting of the firstborn in Egypt. Continue reading “Exodus 13”
Then Moses told the Hebrews that God gave them the following instructions, and that it was crucial that they follow these orders to a T to avoid being smote along with the Egyptians. He told them that everyone needed to sacrifice a lamb at twilight and then smear its blood all over the lintels and doorposts of their houses. Also that night, everyone was to eat a feast of unleavened bread and bitter herbs and to burn whatever wasn’t eaten. After dinner everyone needed to be dressed, packed and ready to flee, because the orders from Pharaoh to drive them out would be shortly forthcoming.
Moses also told them that in the future, the Hebrews would always celebrate this holiday for a week, and hold the main feast on the tenth day of the first month of every year. In the future, Hebrews would not be allowed to eat or even possess any leaven during that whole week. Continue reading “Exodus 12: Smiting of the Firstborn”
Afterwards, God informed Moses that It had one final plague in store for Pharaoh, then the Hebrews would finally go free because Pharaoh would drive them away in fear and anger. It told Moses to tell everyone to ask all their Egyptian neighbors to let them borrow clothes and gold and silver jewelry. It also told Moses that he should assure everyone that this would be the final plague, but that it was crucial–absolutely crucial–for the Hebrews to do exactly as Moses told them.
Then Moses went to Pharaoh and told him that there was going to be one more plague–the death of all the firstborn in Egypt, but Pharaoh was just, I thought I told you I never wanted to see your face again?
Again God told Moses to go through the same routine with Pharaoh, reminding Moses that it was all pro forma, because It had hardened Pharaoh’s heart against being persuaded in order to justify getting Its smite on against the Egyptians. Oh, and the whole thing would be a great story for Hebrews to tell in later generations. So Moses and Aaron went back to Pharaoh, only this time the plague would be locusts that would devour whatever vegetation escaped the hailstorm.
However, this time after the brothers left, Pharaoh’s entourage turned on him and were all, Ra almighty, Pharaoh, why do you hate your own people? Egypt is already fucked–do we need even more plagues? Let the stupid Hebrews go already. So Pharaoh recalled Moses and Aaron and asked them who exactly did they want to go on this camping trip? Moses and Aaron were like, um, everyone. Pharaoh was all, by everyone, you mean all the men, right? And they were all, no, we mean everyone, from the oldest grandma to the newest baby. Pharaoh was all, get outta here! I’d let the men go camping, but everyone?! This is clearly just some sort of trick on the part of you dastardly Hebrews. Get out of my sight! Continue reading “Exodus 10: Plagues of Locusts and Darkness”