Week 12: Meet Moses


Exodus 1–4 (The finding of Moses; the burning bush)


  • A lot has happened for the Israelites since last season. How are they coping?
  • What does Moses know about God? Is he an Israelite or not?


Exodus 3:15–17

“Moses said to God, ‘When I come to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is His name?’ what shall I say to them?” And God said to Moses, “Ehyeh-Asher-Ehyeh.’…”

Spoiler alert: 400 years have gone by since we last checked in on the Israelites at the end of Genesis. And a lot has changed. The Egyptians have enslaved them; the Pharaoh is set on murdering all of the infant boys; and a little baby named Moses is placed into the river to be found by the Pharaoh’s daughter…

Thank you Michael for the excellent recap of all the tea that was spilled this week. Some miscellaneous notes:

  • Christian Bale is in Exodus: Gods and Kings (to be added to the Apocrypha Film Club Official List, along with Christine Hayes’ kickass lectures)
  • What the heck is going on in Zipporah’s circumcision episode?! (Ex. 4:24) Blood is protection, but Raphael points out that perhaps it’s also a throwback to Jacob’s wrestling with God? Mephistopheles senses it’s more of a hype-man situation; Moses is going to need all the balls he can get when it comes to confronting Pharaoh the next day.
  • Our passage this week is about the Name of God. Is a Name the key to eternal life, in a way, as per Gabriel?
  • How in touch with Hebrew culture is Moses? When does he learn he’s an Israelite? (Is he circumcised?)
  • Raphael asks how the curse of Jacob (Gen. 49) is related to Moses’ parentage. Moses is a Levite (son of two Levites – no Egyptian blood here!).
  • Cool that women are the main people resisting Pharaoh’s murderous decrees: first the midwives, then Moses’ mother and sister, then Pharaoh’s own daughter.
    • Did Moses have a Hebrew name before he was christened (lol) Moses?
  • The baby-in-basket (ark) episode might have been tacked on as a Near Eastern tradition about hero-birth and adoption. That would make more sense given that Moses doesn’t seem to doubt his own Israelite heritage despite being raised in the Egyptian court.

Strangely, we spent almost no time on the burning bush or the various signs that God sets up for Moses to demonstrate his Godness. Perhaps something to return to next week!


Was God inside us all along?

Gems from the Chat

my wellwater brings all the boys to the yard


its WWE but in 1300 BC


BossGod would be a good name for a skater clothing brand

Also Michael

ok hot name: REUEL-JETHRO

Also Michael

Image: Marc Chagall, “Moses in the Basket”.

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