Let’s try Plan B: The Almighty’s plan backfires

Moses and Aaron (a wanted murderer and his brother, both foreigners) somehow immediately get a personal audience with Pharaoh. Plausible. They ask the king to allow the Hebrews to leave to throw a feast in the wilderness for Jehovah, god of Israel. Pharaoh replies, understandably, “who the fuck is that?” Jehovah is such an absentee deity that no one is even aware of him. Given his insistence on being recognized and feared, you can’t help but think that his relative anonymity is due to impotence, not some sort of new-found humility.

Moses and Aaron’s reply is a veiled threat that if they don’t meet Jehovah, he will bring pestilence and sword. Pharaoh doesn’t respond well to the threat, telling Moses and Aaron to get back to work and quit organizing work-stoppages (even though they supposedly went straight to Pharaoh, so it’s unclear how the Hebrews got word of the strike). He also tells his people to stop giving the Hebrews straw to make bricks, so they’ll have to collect it themselves. I understand where he’s coming from here, but that seems counterproductive. “The Hebrews stopped making bricks, make them find the raw materials themselves now.” Yeah, that’ll help. He does give them some good advice though, saying “be not dazzled by lying words.” Given Jehovah and Co.’s track record for deception, that’s very astute advice.

Predictably, they can’t make their brick quota, so beatings ensue. Their union reps go to Pharaoh to ask why the fuck they are being beaten for failing to make targets that are a result of Pharaoh’s no-straw policy, and Pharaoh calls them lazy and points the finger at Moses and Aaron. The angry slaves invoke the very cause of their affliction in condemning Moses and Aaron:

21 `Jehovah look upon you, and judge, because ye have caused our fragrance to stink in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of his servants — to give a sword into their hand to slay us.’

That would be a valid criticism except it was Jehovah’s fault and his idea in the first place. To his credit, Moses (who has been a giant pussy so far) holds Jehovah to task for his shitty plan that backfired.

22 And Moses turneth back unto Jehovah, and saith, `Lord, why hast Thou done evil to this people? why [is] this? — Thou hast sent me!

23 and since I have come unto Pharaoh, to speak in Thy name, he hath done evil to this people, and Thou hast not at all delivered Thy people.’

That’s an accurate assessment, but a bit risky considering this loose canon god recently almost killed him for no reason, and was only dissuaded by penis blood of an infant.

EXODUS 5

1 And afterwards have Moses and Aaron entered, and they say unto Pharaoh, `Thus said Jehovah, God of Israel, Send My people away, and they keep a feast to Me in the wilderness;’

and Pharaoh saith, `Who [is] Jehovah, that I hearken to His voice, to send Israel away? I have not known Jehovah, and Israel also I do not send away.’

And they say, `The God of the Hebrews hath met with us, let us go, we pray thee, a journey of three days into the wilderness, and we sacrifice to Jehovah our God, lest He meet us with pestilence or with sword.’

And the king of Egypt saith unto them, `Why, Moses and Aaron, do ye free the people from its works? go to your burdens.’

Pharaoh also saith, `Lo, numerous now [is] the people of the land, and ye have caused them to cease from their burdens!’

And Pharaoh commandeth, on that day, the exactors among the people and its authorities, saying,

`Ye do not add to give straw to the people for the making of the bricks, as heretofore — they go and have gathered straw for themselves;

and the proper quantity of the bricks which they are making heretofore ye do put on them, ye do not diminish from it, for they are remiss, therefore they are crying, saying, Let us go, let us sacrifice to our God;

let the service be heavy on the men, and let them work at it, and not be dazzled by lying words.’

10 And the exactors of the people, and its authorities, go out, and speak unto the people, saying, `Thus said Pharaoh, I do not give you straw,

11 ye — go ye, take for yourselves straw where ye find [it], for there is nothing of your service diminished.’

12 And the people is scattered over all the land of Egypt, to gather stubble for straw,

13 and the exactors are making haste, saying, `Complete your works, the matter of a day in its day, as when there is straw.’

14 And the authorities of the sons of Israel, whom the exactors of Pharaoh have placed over them, are beaten, saying, `Wherefore have ye not completed your portion in making brick as heretofore, both yesterday and to-day?’

15 And the authorities of the sons of Israel come in and cry unto Pharaoh, saying, `Why dost thou thus to thy servants?

16 Straw is not given to thy servants, and they are saying to us, Make bricks, and lo, thy servants are smitten — and thy people hath sinned.’

17 And he saith, `Remiss — ye are remiss, therefore ye are saying, Let us go, let us sacrifice to Jehovah;

18 and now, go, serve; and straw is not given to you, and the measure of bricks ye do give.’

19 And the authorities of the sons of Israel see them in affliction, saying, `Ye do not diminish from your bricks; the matter of a day in its day.’

20 And they meet Moses and Aaron standing to meet them, in their coming out from Pharaoh,

21 and say unto them, `Jehovah look upon you, and judge, because ye have caused our fragrance to stink in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of his servants — to give a sword into their hand to slay us.’

22 And Moses turneth back unto Jehovah, and saith, `Lord, why hast Thou done evil to this people? why [is] this? — Thou hast sent me!

23 and since I have come unto Pharaoh, to speak in Thy name, he hath done evil to this people, and Thou hast not at all delivered Thy people.’

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