Written for my Biblical History and Literature class. Any similarity between this account and the account found in Genesis 2 is purely intentional. I had 800 words to summarize Exodus. I had fun with this.
The Israelis are slaves in Egypt. A beautiful Israeli baby boy is floating in the river-basket his parents put him in to protect him from the Egyptian Pharaoh’s law that said all the Israeli baby boys had to die. Pharaoh’s daughter finds the boy and figures he must be on the kill list, but she thinks he’s cute and decides to adopt the kid and name him Moses. Fast-forward a few years. Moses is all grown up and he goes out to see the other Israelis. It turns out that they’re being repressed, so Moses kills an Egyptian who’s whipping an Israeli. But there’s a witness to the murder, and Pharaoh tries to kill Moses, but Moses escapes to Midian where he rescues a few damsels in distress and ends up marrying one of them. Her name is Zipporah.
More years go by. Pharaoh dies, but Israel’s still being repressed back in Egypt, so God appears to Moses in a burning bush and tells him to go liberate Israel. Moses is like “You’ve gotta be kidding,” but God’s dead serious. Moses loses the argument, but God lets him take his brother Aaron along as a sidekick. They show up in Pharaoh’s court and tell him “God says to let my people go!” and Pharaoh’s like “No way, dude.” God turns Moses’ staff into a snake and back, but Pharaoh’s not impressed and gives Israel more work. God dumps plagues on Egypt, but Pharaoh’s stubborn. Finally when his oldest kid (and every Egyptian’s oldest kid!) dies, Pharaoh knows he’s licked and tells Moses to beat it, and take his extended family with him. So they walk out of Egypt the next day and God makes it a national holiday and calls it Passover ‘cause none of the oldest Israeli kids died. But Pharoah flip-flops again and tries to chase Moses down. All the Israelis are like “Moses, why didn’t you let us die in Egypt?” but then God drowns Pharaoh and his army in the Red Sea. God leads the Israelis with a pillar of cloud by day and fire by night.
The Israelis spend the next two months complaining. First they can’t find good water in the middle of the desert, so they tell Moses, “We need water!” and God takes care of it. About a month later they’re like, “Moses! You’re gonna starve us!” and God gives them food – bread from heaven, literally. They run out of water again, they tell Moses “Give us water!” and Moses is like, “Shut up,” but he prays ‘cause they’re about to kill him, and God provides water again. And then the Amalekites attack, but God kicks butt ‘cause Moses holds up his staff.
Zipporah’s dad shows up and tells Moses to build an infrastructure ‘cause he’s working too hard, so he does, and it works out really well. Which is great, because when they get to Mount Sinai, Moses leaves camp to have a pow-wow with God. God gives Moses a whole bunch of laws and sets them in stone, and the Israelis agree and seal the deal with a whole bunch of animals’ blood. Then Moses spends forty days on top of Sinai. God gives him a template for building a tent where God can meet certain specific few Israelis, called priests, tells Moses how to dress the priests, how to dedicate them, how to build the stuff that goes in the tent, and who to have build it.
Meanwhile, the Israelis tell Aaron that they want a God, so Aaron takes donations and forges a golden calf for them. God’s like “I’m gonna kill ‘em,” but Moses persuades Him not to, then scoots down the mountain and has a blow-up. Aaron makes up a bogus story about how the calf came to be. Moses sends out the SWAT team, and they kill about 3000 of the Israelis just to calm the crazies down. Moses goes back up on the mountain and begs God not to kill any more of them, but God’s like, “Ain’t happenin,’” and everybody who worshipped the calf-god dies.
Moses says, “God, are you gonna be with us?” and God says yes. Moses wants a sign – he wants to see God – and God agrees. Moses chisels out some new stones for God to write the law on, and God passes before Moses, then sets the laws in stone again. Moses comes back down and takes donations to build the tabernacle. Bezalel, the designated craftsman, makes the tabernacle and the stuff that goes in it. The pillar of cloud comes down on the temple and stays there.
David M Schell
I am a doubter and a believer. I have a Master's in Divinity from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, but because faith grows and changes, I don't necessarily stand by everything I've ever written, so if you see something troubling further back, please ask! Read More.