Exodus: Memoir of the Gods


This is a creative writing idea I had that is inspired by the upcoming holy days of Passover and Matzot and the celebration of the Exodus. I decided to envision the story in Exodus 3-14 from the perspective of the gods of Egypt. It ought not need stating that this is highly imaginative. But whether or not things played out at all like I've depicted, the ancient Hebrews operated under the worldview that the gods of the nations may be real, they were just worthless compared to the Most High God and shouldn't be worshiped. All that being said, I hope this gets you thinking about the Passover in a new way as it approaches in a couple of weeks.

Another important point is that I'm appealing to the revised Egyptian chronology put forth by David Down in his book Unwrapping the Pharaohs. And my knowledge of the religions of Egypt is limited to what I can find on Google, so my portrayal of their gods is of my own imagination. For instance, it appears that Imhotep wasn't considered a god at the time of the Exodus. Also, some of the relationships between their gods are convoluted, to say the least. Please forgive the liberal usage of artistic license.

𓇌𓉔𓍯𓅱

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
—Ephesians 6:12

𓇌𓉔𓍯𓅱

It was a warm, breezy morning in late winter. The reeds were swaying along the banks, and Hapi was lazily floating on his back down the meandering runnel. It was a tranquil morning, much needed after his cordial but lengthy discussion with Khnum the previous night regarding the annual flooding of the Nile. There was so much to consider in order for everything to go smoothly. Hapi was grateful for the chance to relax this morning. He glanced over with a pleased smile as Yochanai and Mamre1 chanted his blessings and Neferhotep descended the steps and disrobed for his bath. Hapi shifted his gaze back to the sky and closed his eyes in contentment.

Suddenly, a commotion arose along the shore. A wild-looking man more fit for the herds of Midian than the sophistication of high-class Egyptian society was speaking in raised, hostile tones to the pharaoh. Hapi swam closer to hear what this intrusive fellow was saying. These are the obnoxious Hebrews that Ra was fuming about last night, the ones responsible for delaying my talks with Hapi. One of them was Aaron, son of Amram. No one special. But Hapi couldn't quite place the other's name. Yet this outsider had boasted to be the lost son of Amenemhet's barren daughter—the same little baby that Heqt had given her as she grieved her infertility! What was his name? Oh yeah… MOSES! That little babe grew into this savage? Hapi wrinkled his nose at the putrid stench of sheep dung that wafted into his nostrils even at this distance. Amenemhet was right to extinguish the pitiful Asian race.2

Aaron pleaded, “Mighty Pharaoh, I implore you, grant the request of our god that we go worship him in the wilderness. Then we will return to you.” Neferhotep responded with derision, “I believe I made myself clear: I do not know this ‘Yehovah’ of whom you speak. Your god surrendered your people into my hands in the days of my father's father's father. Why should I cater to his every whim now? Your people have only stolen from the bounty of Egypt. Now it is time they repay Pharaoh what is rightfully his.” But Moses spoke up in a slight tremble, “My lord Pharaoh, Yehovah our god has certainly appeared to us and desires that we come and sacrifice to him beyond the borders of your gods.”3 There was a spirit of fear in Moses' voice that was a sweet perfume in Hapi's nostrils. But his next words were decidedly less sweet.

“Because you have not obeyed the voice of Yehovah, the god of the Hebrews, by this you shall know that I am Yehovah: Watch this staff in the hand of Aaron my prophet. When he strikes the water of the Nile, it will turn to blood, and all the fish will die, and the people will be sick of drinking it. All the waters in Egypt, even the ponds and pools and potted waters, will become blood so that you know that Yehovah, the god of the Hebrews, is commanding you this thing.”

Hapi was outraged! How dare this insolent, arrogant, son-of-a-sheep4 threaten him in such a way? And who is this “Yehovah” who thought he could waltz in and tell the gods of Egypt what to do? Hapi swam closer, intending to sweep the legs out from under Moses and Aaron and pull them under. As he reached out for their legs, however, Aaron suddenly lifted his staff above his head and plunged it straight into Hapi's heart. He cried out with excruciating agony as blood gushed out from the wound. But alas, these deaf mortals couldn't hear his scream. Blood continued to flow freely until the entire river was thick and soupy with the stench of his life quickly leaving him. This wound wouldn't be fatal; he was a god, after all. But it would take many, many years to recover.

Yochanai and Mamre appeared panicked as they stooped down to drag Neferhotep's naked body out of the river. As his servants scrubbed him with clean cloths to soak up the blood before it dried and caked itself on, he demanded that the priests explain this to him. They appealed to Hapi to provide them with fresh water in a bowl, then pricked his finger so that he bled into this new vessel. The king was enraged, but he clenched his jaw and hardened his heart against the words of the god of the Hebrews. He returned to his chambers while Hapi limped off to his temple in Aswan to recover.

𓇌𓉔𓍯𓅱

Ra looked down from his lofty boat sailing across the firmament and noticed the peculiar sight. The Nile bled as if from a mortal wound! What could have caused this? He felt a wave of fear wash over him at the notion that any god could exercise such authority over the river besides Hapi. Did he and Khnum have a falling out in their meeting last night? Was a new river spirit trying to stake a claim to this coveted territory? Such a ridiculous idea was unheard of in all the land! Ever since Atum emerged out of the chaos of the Deluge and called out Egypt from the babble,5 there was not a god in heaven or on earth who dared challenge the lords of the Nile region.

Suddenly Ra heard voices on the air. Yochanai and Mamre diligently sent up their cries to him to inform him of this tragedy. Their words simultaneously gave Ra comfort and a sense of dread. The comfort came in knowing that Hapi blessed them in turning their own water into blood, proving he hadn't lost his grasp on the waters of the Nile. The dread came from the name the priests mentioned in their prayers: Yehovah.6

Ra knew this name all too well, even though he'd done all he could to purge it from his mind. This was the Creator of all and the Lord of spirits.7 It was he who fashioned the world from chaos and created humans as his priests. When the first man transgressed, he was the one who placed cherubim to guard the gates of Eden so the humans couldn't return and taint his temple. When some of Ra's own kin stepped out of heaven to commingle with men and teach them forbidden arts,8 it was Yehovah who selected the man Noah and his family out of all people to survive his judgment while the rest of the world perished in the Deluge. And when the sons of Noah built the tower to regain access to heaven, it was this same god who confused their speech and put each family in the hands of his sons.

What is he doing here? thought Ra. He gave Egypt and his sons to us long ago. Atum and Ptah are the only creators they need. And then he recalled the words of that troublesome Moses and his prophet, Aaron. They said they had come to collect the Hebrews and bring them to the wilderness to offer sacrifices to Yehovah. What a trick! They had become the bread and butter of life in recent decades. Of course they want to go into the desert. That's outside our territory! If we let them go, they'll be gone forever.

Ra was paranoid and angry. He immediately began formulating a plan to remove this pest from under his skies.

𓇌𓉔𓍯𓅱

In his temple in Aswan, Hapi grimaced as Imhotep and Heqt bandaged the piercing in his chest from the staff of Aaron. “All the beer in Osiris' breweries couldn't numb me from the sting of this blow,” he wailed. “Those Hebrews have been nothing but trouble9 ever since they brought with them that famine in the days of Sesostris. Now they will be the death of me.”

“Sit still and don't speak,” Heqt croaked. “I will go out and see what news I can gather. This usurper god who has entered our domain won't stand a chance. I will not return until I have chased him from our land.” With that, she hopped off toward the province of Goshen to confront this Moses and his god.

When she arrived, the troublemaker was confronting Neferhotep yet again. “If you refuse to let my people go, I will plague your country with frogs. They shall swarm out of the Nile and fill every corner and crevice of your homes so that your people cannot move without crushing them underfoot.” Upon saying that, Aaron stretched out his staff over all the land of Egypt, and in an instant, billions of frogs came up from the Nile as if out of nowhere at all. Heqt was stunned! She was goddess of fertility and frogs, and she alone commanded them to breed in season. She had everything in balance, but with a mere breath from the mouth of this prophet, that balance was toppled. What could she do?

Mamre turned to her with pleading in his eyes and asked her to produce frogs from her own womb to counter the miracle done by this supplanter. She quickly complied, and the priest exhaled audibly as he showed Pharaoh and his court the frogs given to him by her invisible hand. But to her dismay, Neferhotep turned back to Moses and begged for relief! Was my miracle not enough? His implied vote of no confidence shook her to the core. “Moses, please, implore your god to remove this blight of frogs from my land.” The king of Egypt was at the mercy of this Midian peasant. “I will ask this on your behalf, my lord, provided you guarantee that you will let the Hebrews go so we may worship our god in the wilderness as he requested.” “Tomorrow.” With that, Moses left the court of Pharaoh. Heqt couldn't believe her ears. She fled back to Hapi to tell him of this disastrous news. And when she awoke the following morning, she wasn't even surprised to find all the frogs outside the Nile were dead and piled in rotting heaps. But the pharaoh proved himself a worthy son of Ra and refused to let the vile Hebrews go.

𓇌𓉔𓍯𓅱

Geb, god of the earth, was broiling over all that had taken place. He wasn't pleased with the blood of Hapi seeping into his precious ground, and he was furious that Heqt had littered dead frogs across his land. He summoned Ra and demanded answers. Ra debriefed him on the goings-on concerning Moses and the Hebrews' god, Yehovah. Geb quaked with rage.

“Who is this Yehovah, that he thinks he has authority in Egypt? It was he who commanded I be drowned in the Deluge. Every speck of dust along the Nile belongs to me. He will not take it from me!”

Yet at that very moment, Yehovah spoke to Moses and said, “Tell your brother, Aaron, to strike the dust of the earth, that it might become gnats to cover man and beast.” Thus Aaron did, and Yehovah claimed authority over the dust of Egypt. Yochanai and Mamre called on Geb to produce the same miracle, but he could not. Dismayed, they reported to Pharaoh, “This is the finger of a god.”10 But he hardened his heart like the diamonds in the earth.

𓇌𓉔𓍯𓅱

As the people of the land piled the bodies of the dead frogs all around them, Ra knew it was only a matter of time before the heat from his sun drew flies out from the marshes to devour them. Such was the order of things, but in this time of spiritual warfare, he couldn't allow such chaos to ensue. He called upon Uatchit from her bed among the marshes. She had been watching all these things closely, but she was comfortable with death and thus far remained detached.

But when Ra spoke to her the name of Yehovah, the god responsible for the terror of the last few weeks, she cowered back in fear. “I know this name. He is the god of that wandering Aramean11 who once sold his wife to Pharaoh Khufu in order to bring judgment upon the house of Egypt! I see the apple falls not far from the tree. Yehovah has been trying to overthrow our domain since the beginning. First he dumped Abram's wife on Khufu to charge him with adultery, and now by dumping Abram's children on us to destroy our people's livelihood just as the Hebrews were becoming integrated into our workforce.”

“All of what you say is true, Uatchit, but I have seen firsthand what Yehovah can do even within our domain. Now he has caused the death of countless frogs, which will breed swarms of flies and pestilence. Maybe he is trying to extinguish his own people and ours, just like he did in the days before the Deluge.” So Uatchit returned to the marshes to keep the flies at bay while the people continued to remove the frogs from their homes and cities. She restrained them all the first day and night.

As Ra began his circuit in the eastern sky once more, Neferhotep sprinted to the water in disorderly fashion, with the priests trailing behind him offering their routine prayers. He was desperate to remove the filth of the frogs from his body and become pure once more. This was the beginning of his routine. Maybe life would return to normal once more, and they could forget all about the blood and the frogs. Just as Uatchit's spirit began to feel at peace again, she heard a booming voice from the riverbank. Aaron bellowed, “Thus says Yehovah, ‘Let my people go, so that they may serve me. And if you refuse, I will swarm the land of Egypt with flies, but I will spare the land of Goshen, where my people reside. Thus you will know that I am Yehovah in the midst of all the earth.’”

The rest of the day, Uatchit found the flies were unusually calm. She knew better than to think this was her doing alone. The prophet had promised their swarm tomorrow. She couldn't sleep all night. How precisely she would stop this scourge, she didn't know. Ra had trusted her with this task. The most she could think to do was try to swarm Goshen alongside the rest of the land. Surely Yehovah didn't have that much power as to guard the entire land of the Hebrews from this plague. The next morning, however, proved to go exactly as the man Aaron had promised. The swarms of flies were so thick in the air, she couldn't even see more than a couple of cubits ahead. But as she approached Goshen, Uatchit saw the armies of heaven barricading the land of the Hebrews on all sides. Their barrier was unassailable. Who is this god, that all the hosts of heaven are at his beck and call?

Uatchit didn't even enter the chambers of Pharaoh when Moses returned the following morning. She had failed to protect her people, and the priests didn't even speak her name in prayer for protection. She listened to the conversation through the window, and what she heard was as painful to her as the blow to Hapi's heart from the cursed staff.

“Your people may sacrifice to Yehovah within the land,” said Neferhotep with a weary voice.

Moses countered, “This thing would not be proper. Your people consider our sacrifices to be an abomination. If we offer them within Goshen, surely your people will stone us. Allow us to travel out three days into the wilderness so we may worship our god as he desires.”

To her shock and horror, the pharaoh capitulated. “I will let you do this thing, provided you pray to Yehovah your god on my behalf and remove the flies from Egypt.”

“Agreed; only do not go back on your word again.” And Moses and Aaron left the courts of Pharaoh.

Uatchit returned again to the reeds with her head hung low in defeat. Now four gods had fallen. Who would be next? For the first time in her life, she realized she didn't know if Ra would win if this conflict brought him into the mix. Yehovah was a terrifying god indeed.

𓇌𓉔𓍯𓅱

Humans never failed to surprise Ra. Even though they lived and died in the span of a breath, they were hardy, resilient creatures.12 He was disappointed when Neferhotep stooped to plead with Yehovah for relief from the plagues, but nevertheless, the man was resolute as an ox. Once again, he stood his ground against the demands of this wicked man and his prophet. Ra had made a gamble with this one after Moses fled the land forty years ago and Amenemhet's daughter died childless. Of course, it was Heqt's foolhardy plan to give her a child from the Hebrews. But what's done is done, and Neferhotep's ignoble pedigree clearly wasn't a hindrance in his ability to lead. Ra was beaming with pride as he looked down on his messiah.13

𓇌𓉔𓍯𓅱

Mnevis and his wife, Hathor, were grazing in the fields among their cattle during all of this. Mnevis wasn't too concerned about the Nile becoming blood, as he and his cattle were hardy and could go a few days without drinking if necessary. And the ever-exultant Hathor was too excited over all the new calves in the land to be bothered by the affairs of men. The gnats, however, brought them out of the field, and they lowed in complaint.

Once more Moses appeared before the king to demand his people's freedom. Mnevis was aggressive and wanted to trample him, but Hathor held him back. She was the goddess of love, happiness, and matron of women, after all, and she didn't want to see any more harm come upon the creatures in her domain. She went before Ra and appealed to him, “By Horus, please let the Hebrews go. This fight has caused enough hardship in the land.”

But while she was away, Moses spoke to Pharaoh, “If you refuse to let my people go, says Yehovah, I will send a plague upon all your livestock: upon your horses and donkeys and camels and herds and flocks. I will destroy all the livestock of Egypt that resides in the fields, but I will spare the livestock of the Hebrews.” Mnevis flared his nostrils and stomped his hooves with the ferocity enough to rattle the courtyard. Neferhotep did likewise, and refused to let the Hebrews go.

The following morning, Hathor grieved with lamentation unlike the earth had known since the watchers grieved the destruction of their sons in the age before the Deluge.

𓇌𓉔𓍯𓅱

There had now been five plagues with devastating effect. Many of the people of Egypt began appealing to Yehovah directly, believing their gods had forsaken them. Some were terrified of him, believing he intended to destroy them from the face of the earth. Others believed he was a good god who only intended to save his people and move on. After seeing the Hebrews spared from the curse of the flies and the death of their animals, some of the children of Egypt even appealed to Yehovah to be counted among his people.

Ra was beside himself. He was loathe to step in himself and confront this god Yehovah, but what choice did he have? Egypt was falling apart. It was only the steadfastness of Neferhotep that would prevail.

And then the sun god remembered Imhotep. All pharaohs were sons of Ra, but Imhotep had transcended the realm of the dead to become the healer of gods and men. What would the great physician prescribe to heal the wounds caused by the traitorous son of slaves?

Imhotep, ever-wise, gave counsel to Ra. “Remember in the days of old how the Great God said, ‘Let us make humans in our image and in our likeness,’ and he formed them from the dust of the ground and breathed life into their nostrils. Yet now he smites them with the dust and destroys the life he made. So let the gods of Egypt do likewise and form from dust the creatures which he destroyed, that they may be proved to be more benevolent than Yehovah of the Hebrews.”

This counsel was pleasing to Ra, but he had not the heart to tell Imhotep the truth. The sons of God were present at Creation and rejoiced as it was made, but Yehovah alone made all things at the command of his voice. Imhotep, being but a glorified man, did not realize this. And then Ra understood the profundity of the delusion with which the children of Egypt were ensnared. The gods of Egypt were tasked with keeping their people until the time when Yehovah had prepared a people of his own through which to redeem the world. What would the humans think if they knew that it was Yehovah, not Ptah, who made them? Would they forsake the gods of their fathers and turn to the Most High God of the Hebrews? Ra had grown comfortable in his position. And the sons of Egypt were prosperous and content in their own manner of things. Yehovah was ancient in his days.14 He gave this land and these people to the sons of God,15 so why should he intervene now? And Ra hardened his heart against the Most High God.

And though Imhotep sought to create new life from the dust, Moses and Aaron took handfuls of soot from the kiln and scattered it to the winds. It became boils on the skin of all the people of Egypt. Even Imhotep, the physician of the gods, couldn't cure this disease.

𓇌𓉔𓍯𓅱

Nut, goddess of the firmament, stormed to Ra as he passed by, “Why have you let this happen to us? Why have you allowed the Hebrews' god to wreck such havoc on our land? My husband, Geb, is broken up over this catastrophe. What is the meaning of this?”

Ra replied, “Yehovah is our Maker, but we are not beholden to him. We have made Egypt great by our benevolence and wisdom, but Yehovah demands we forfeit the labor of the Hebrews who have been our slaves for these last few generations. When Yehovah cursed the land with a famine, we accepted his people on behalf of Mentuhotep, whom they call Joseph, because he delivered us from the destruction which his god caused. So now, Nut, be strong and hold up the skies. If you do not, Yehovah will surely bring the firmament down upon the humans of our land.”

The following morning, Moses appeared before Pharaoh once more. “Thus says Yehovah, the god of the Hebrews, ‘To this point I have spared you, although I could have destroyed you and all your people with a plague. But I have spared you to prove to you and all the earth that I, Yehovah, am the Most High God, and the Hebrews are my chosen people. Come tomorrow, I will strike your land with hail such as never has been seen in Egypt to this day. Command that all your people and animals which survive remain indoors tomorrow, or they will be destroyed.’”

Many among the children of Egypt believed the word of Yehovah and were spared, but those who did not were struck by fierce hail and lightning. And as before, Pharaoh hardened his heart just like that of his god and father.

𓇌𓉔𓍯𓅱

Osiris was ingrained with fear when he witnessed his father, Geb, and his mother, Nut, be so humiliated by Yehovah, this god whom he did not know. All the barley and flax in Egypt were crushed by the hail and scorched by the lightning. He was fearful of what would come next, seeing as all that survived was the young shoots of wheat. Should the next plague harm those, the people of Egypt would be done for. And unlike the last famine in the land, he suspected that Yehovah wouldn't send another son of Israel to be their salvation.

When Moses once more petitioned Neferhotep for his people's freedom, he prophesied a plague of locusts on the land to destroy every last growing thing. The pharaoh sent them away in bitterness, but Osiris moved the hearts of the king's servants to urge him to reconsider. “Let the men go,” he whispered, in feeble hope that this compromise would be enough to appease Yehovah and the king alike. After all, it was originally the men whom Amenemhet, the previous pharaoh, had offered to Sobek in sacrifice. But Moses refused this offer, as Osiris expected, and Yehovah sent a mighty east wind to darken the face of the earth with locusts. Every single remaining green thing was consumed until Pharaoh cried out in desperate plea, “May Yehovah forgive me for my sin! If he will remove the locusts, I will let all your people go.” And the god of the Hebrews caused a strong westerly wind to remove the locusts from the land. But Neferhotep once again hardened his heart.

𓇌𓉔𓍯𓅱

Ra had reached the limit of his patience. God after god had been shown up by this Yehovah, god of gods. As morning broke, he armed himself for battle. But to his utter horror and dismay, the entire land of Egypt except Goshen, where the Hebrews dwelt, was covered in such a thick, impregnable darkness that none of his light could pierce through. For three hapless days, Ra made his course through the skies, but no light reached his people on the earth. His indignation blazed with the heat of summer at midday, though it was yet early spring. But for all his fury, he was unable to pierce the shroud of darkness over the land.

In the halls of the pharaoh, Neferhotep was weary of the Hebrew slaves and their god. The crushing defeat of all his gods had shaken him. This Yehovah was relentless! How could any god of any nation compete with the mighty ones of Egypt? Yet even Ra had failed him in this critical hour. Curse Moses! Had he chosen to remain here and succeed Amenemhet, he would be Pharaoh now. He'd be the son of the gods dealing with this siege of his kingdom. Now that wicked man returned to conquer the land that rightfully belonged to Pharaoh—the Morning and the Evening Sun!

His servant announced Moses and Aaron returning yet again.

“My lord Pharaoh”—the pleasantries a mere formality at this point—“by the darkness across your land, do you not see that Yehovah is the Most High God? The Power of the Hebrews desires that you set his people free. Allow us to journey into the wilderness, we and our wives and our children, and the plagues will cease and fade into memory. Can you not see that Yehovah has the power to destroy Egypt and preserve the Hebrews? Yet he has spared you to this day to prove to the whole world that he is god over all, and the sons of Israel are his inheritance.”

Neferhotep groaned in his spirit and answered, “You Hebrews have been a thorn in the flesh of Egypt since the day you invaded our lands. All of you may leave to serve your god, even your wives and children. But you must bring only the animals which you are required to sacrifice. The rest must stay behind.”

“But my lord, we will not know what Yehovah requires as an offering until we arrive in the wilderness. We must bring everything so that his wrath against you may be appeased.”

Pharaoh considered this request, but he knew they would not return. The kings who came before him had slaughtered a half a generation of men and threw them to the crocodiles. He himself had subjected them to toilsome labor. If he gave in to this demand, he would be the least of the pharaohs of Egypt. What would become of his dynasty? His gaze turned sour. With as much spite and spittle he could muster, he snarled, “Get away from me; take care never to see my face again, for on the day you see my face you shall die.”

𓇌𓉔𓍯𓅱

Moses returned to his people with a heavy heart. This bountiful land had been his home for forty years. He grew up with the stories of Heqt delivering him to his mother, Sobekneferu, and he had vague childhood memories of a Hebrew nursemaid called Yocheved, whom he came to realize was his real mother all along. He had long accepted that he was not truly a son of the gods. Four decades spent herding the flocks of his father-in-law and raising his sons had changed him. It was ironic, he thought, that he was raised to be a king, forfeited that life as a voluntary outcast, and now was being asked by the god of his forefathers to lead a nascent nation of his own former slaves. In many ways, they were like sheep. They had come here for green pastures in the days of his grandfather's father, Levi, but the gods and pharaohs of Egypt had broken their spirit and shattered their faith. They had long given up hope that Yehovah would hear their bitter cries of distress. Like lost sheep without a shepherd, they had found themselves in the fold of thieves. It was only fitting that Yehovah had chosen this shepherd-king to lead them back to the green pastures promised to their fathers.

And Yehovah came again to Moses. “Moses, my good and faithful servant, a final plague is coming upon Egypt that will break the heart of Pharaoh, and then he will let my people go. This month is the beginning of your year. On the tenth day, tell the children of Israel to bring a spotless yearling male lamb, of goat or sheep, and bring it into their homes. Every household must bring in a lamb. On the fourteenth day, you will kill it and drain its blood. You will paint some of its blood across the doorposts. You must roast the lamb over a fire and eat it, or burn the remains in the fire.

“Eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs because of the bitterness of your suffering, and because you must be ready to flee. I will purify you and make you my treasured possession forever. For seven days, you must remove leaven from your homes from generation to generation, and the first and final days will be days of rest. Do no work on them.”

And Moses told the children of Israel, “Thus says Yehovah, I will send my agent to judge Pharaoh and the people of Egypt. Eat the lamb and paint its blood over your doorposts, and my agent will pass over your households. But for anyone in Egypt who does not mark their doorposts in blood, my agent will take the life of every firstborn, just as Pharaoh took the life of the sons of Israel.”

𓇌𓉔𓍯𓅱

As Ra made his daily course, he looked down over the land of Egypt and was broken by what he witnessed. There was a blackness over the land greater than the thick cloud which veiled his presence for three days. The wailing of women and the moaning of men was a new sound to the ears of the god. Only twice before had he heard such a bitter sound—from the watchers over the death of their sons, and from the humans in the Deluge.

He entered the chamber of the king with a sickness in his stomach. The crown prince was still just a youth. Did Wahneferhotep survive the slaughter? The shrill shriek of his mother told him the worst had come to pass. Ra looked around and saw the hunched shoulders of the king heaving in silent sobs. And at that sight, the spirit of the god was broken. He had no more will to fight. Yehovah had won.

𓇌𓉔𓍯𓅱

The Hebrews quickly gathered their possessions and asked their neighbors for all their treasures. The Egyptians gave them all their riches and begged them to leave before every man, woman, and child was exterminated from the shores of the Nile. The Hebrews plundered their neighbors, and two million sons of Abraham, plus those of Egypt who called on the name of Yehovah, fled the land in haste.

They journeyed onward for six days, arriving at the Sea of Reeds; and there they camped by the word of Yehovah. And the heart of Pharaoh, son of the gods, blazed within him. He would not be made the fool. He would retrieve his slaves. He would avenge the blood of his son. He armed his charioteers for battle and readied the horses. They gave chase and quickly overtook the wandering fools. Idiots! They came so far only to be backed against the sea. Now I shall unleash on them the true wrath of the gods.

Suddenly Moses thrust his staff over the waters of the sea, and a pillar of cloud and fire erupted between the riders of Egypt and the wayward runaways. Neferhotep couldn't quite be certain, but it appeared as if the figure of a messenger of the gods stood within the cloud. He had never before seen a spirit. He took the gods for granted, but now one stood before him, and he quaked with dread. It would not let them pass throughout the night.

As daylight broke, the pillar of cloud dissipated, and Neferhotep was astonished by what lay before him. What was yesterday an expansive sea was now dry ground. A strong wind was rushing through the channel with piles of water on either side. The king blinked several times and wiped his eyes. Fatigue was giving him visions of madness. And yet, as he opened his eyes once more, they confirmed with him their previous report. The Sea of Reeds had been split asunder with a highway in between. And the Hebrews were nearly on the other side!

Pharaoh barked to his men to drive their steeds headlong into the seas in pursuit. This Moses and his god would not have the last say! But as they reached the midpoint of the causeway, the horses began to bolt. The soldiers of Egypt cried to each other, “Let us flee from before Israel, for Yehovah their god fights for them against the gods of Egypt!” In a panic, they ran helter-skelter to evacuate the sea. Only Neferhotep continued in his dogged pursuit of the chosen people of the Most High.

And Moses, the man of god, stood with arm and staff stretched out over the sea, and the wind was still, and the waters crashed down violently on the heads of the armies of Egypt. Israel saw the great power that Yehovah used against the Egyptians, so the people feared Yehovah, and they believed in Yehovah and in his servant Moses.
You believe that Yehovah is God alone; you do well. Even the deities believe—and shudder!
—James 2:19

Notes:

  1. In 2 Timothy 3:8, Paul wrote, “Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses.” These men are named nowhere in the Exodus account, but they feature in Jewish lore. Their Hebrew names are Yochanai and Mamre.
    —“JANNES AND JAMBRES.” Kaufmann Kohler. Jewish Encyclopedia.
  2. “It is apparent that the Asiatics were present in the town in some numbers, and this may have reflected the situation elsewhere in Egypt. It can be stated that these people were loosely classed by Egyptians as ‘Asiatics,’ although their exact homeland in Syria or Palestine cannot be determined. . . .The reason for their presence in Egypt remains unclear.”
    —David, The Pyramid Builders of Ancient Egypt: A Modern Investigation of Pharaoh’s Workforce (London: Guild Publishing, 1986), p. 191.
  3. The Hebrew word translated as “demons” in the Bible is shedim. It is most likely a loan word from Assyrian, and it refers to a territorial guardian spirit.
  4. According to Genesis 46:33-34, the Egyptians considered shepherds to be an abomination. There are a variety of opinions as to why this is.
  5. According to Genesis 10:6, Egypt was one of the sons of Ham, making him the grandson of Noah. (His name in Hebrew is Mizraim.) Church historian Eusebius identified him with Pharaoh Menes, who is believed to be the first pharaoh, thus making the nation named after him.
    —“Pyramids and Mummies,” Unwrapping the Pharaohs
  6. “Yehovah” is the English transliteration of יְהֺוָה, which is how the name of God is written in Hebrew in some Masoretic texts. In many texts, the cholam (o) is missing.
  7. This is the predominant title used of God in the Book of 1 Enoch.
  8. See 1 Enoch 8:1-4. My intention is the make a connection between the biblical “sons of God” and the gods of the nations. According to Genesis 6:4, the watchers of Enoch are the same beings.
  9. “You Hebrews have been nothing but trouble.”
    Rameses, The Prince of Egypt
  10. This verse, from Exodus 8:19, is a prefect example of why I chose to render the word “god” with all lower caps no matter which god I'm referring to, with the exception of the title “Most High God” and the phrase “sons of God”. English readers naturally associate “big-G God” with the Hebrew God due to translator choice. Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek don't differentiate in letter design between the gods of other nations or the God of Israel. Similar to the admission of the soldier witnessing Yeshua's crucifixion being translated as saying, “Truly this man was the Son of God” (Mark 15:39 ESV), translators have a tendency to interject their theology into the text. It is highly dubious that the magicians of Egypt would say, “This is the finger of God,” in reference to the God of Israel. The point of this statement wasn't that they were acknowledging that it was done by capital G.O.D., but rather that it was a miracle beyond their abilities to replicate.
  11. Abraham was not technically an Aramean, as he descended from Arpachshad, the brother of Aram (Genesis 10:22, 11:12-26). However, he was originally from Ur of the Chaldeans (Gen. 11:28), and the Chaldeans and Arameans were closely associated. [Source.] The phrase “wandering Aramean” comes from Deuteronomy 26:5.
  12. Psalm 144:4. I hope this line also evokes thoughts of Gandalf praising the Hobbits in Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien.
  13. The Hebrew term “messiah” means “anointed one”. Christian bias in translation leaves this word (and its Greek equivalent, “Christ”) untranslated when referring to Yeshua/Jesus. But there are other figures in the Hebrew Bible who are called messiahs, and Bible translators always obscure this fact. Neferhotep himself was not from a royal lineage, so he was, in a sense, the one anointed to rule Egypt.
  14. Daniel 7:9-10.
  15. Deuteronomy 32:8.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Why I Left Answers in Genesis

Response to TMU: A Synopsis of the Deity of the Messiah

Response to Acts17Apologetics: The Trinity in Red Letters (A Reply to Yusha Evans)