Moses, Leavening, and Free Will

Let’s get back to Moses. Did you ever notice how the Bible (especially the Old Testament) repeats a lot of the same things? Part of it is because the Chief Editor of the OT had to piece together multiple, overlapping sources. Part of it is just bad editing. But here we go with more on Moses and the upcoming exodus:

  • What are the Israelites doing to prepare? Soooo Moses has called down nine plagues on the Egyptians, and Pharaoh still won’t let the Israelites go. But Moses thinks the release is coming soon, so he advises his people to borrow jewelry and other stuff from their neighbors to … you know … take with them on the way out. Yep, it’s right here:

Exodus 3:22, NIV: Every woman is to ask her neighbor and any woman living in her house for articles of silver and gold and for clothing, which you will put on your sons and daughters. And so you will plunder the Egyptians.

  • Whose responsibility? Exodus says several times that ‘God hardened Pharaoh’s heart.’ And that’s why he continued to stonewall Moses and refused to let the Israelites go, even after multiple demonstrations of God’s power. If this is so, how can we label Pharaoh as an evil ruler since God determined Pharaoh’s decisions? What happened to free will? 
  • Leaven and sin. In the chapters leading up to the actual departure, God spends a lot of energy focusing on unleavened bread. The 3BT research team reports that leavening (i.e. yeast) is used throughout the Bible as the symbol for … you guessed it … sin.  Soooo, in a totally symbolic (and ironic) literary moment, Exodus focuses on eliminating sin from the Jewish nation, while God is sending plagues onto the Egyptians, their animals, and their first-born sons. Plus, we also find out that the Israelites have their own slaves, which they take with them on their way out of town. Along with their neighbors’ valuables. 

So many enigmas here that were not covered in Mrs. Wilson’s Sunday school class. What are the authors of Exodus trying to demonstrate?

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