Sunday, January 16, 2011

New Year: Ex 1-3 for Jan 16

Moses is hard to introduce. Time has passed, an indeterminate amount of it (Ex 1:8). It is a different environment for the "people of the sons of Israel" (1:9), and Moses, while growing up in it, regarding the Pharoah's daughter, the text says "he became her son" (2:10). Yet God tells him after many years "'I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'" (3:6). We could say that while Joseph was nurtured in Jacob, and became great in Egypt, Moses was nurtured in Egypt, and became great in Israel (Dt 33:10). Joseph was buried in a coffin in Egypt (Gen 50:26). No man knows Moses' burial place in Israel (Dt 34:6). Joseph knew Pharaoh face to face (Gen 47:5-7). God knew Moses face to face.

The conversation between Moses and God takes two chapters of prepation of the reader, we might say. Why? Just how is Moses "Egyptian" (2:19) and how was he one of the "brethren" (2:11) centers around his infancy (2:5). But Moses tried to answer that question definitely, by striking down someone who was beating "a Hebrew" (2:11), and yet his zeal backfired on him (2:14). His attempt to self-identify had backfired, so neither was he accepted in Pharaoh's court (Pharaoh "tried to kill Moses," 2:15), nor evidently among his people, so he became a stranger in a strange land (2:22), an "Egyptian" (2:19) who was a Hebrew, who had moved to Midian, and married into that nation (3:21). He was "far off" (naturally speaking) from Israel and Egypt both.

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