Exodus Vs Genesis, A Biblical Cage Match.
Well, well, well. At long last we have reached the end of that Damned Book. No. no. Not the Bible just Exodus. I know that it seems like we’ve been here forever and in reality it has been close. Having been mired in the quicksand with you, I, too, feel the need to scramble forth into Leviticus and see what other shit-assed crazy rules God has for his Sheeple. Oh Lord, my kingdom for a change of scenery! However, I must insist on a brief review of Exodus before we leave.
Exodus, a book review by KKBundy/Waylon Hedegaard ( a work in three parts)
To set forth my feelings I believe a comparison of Exodus to its predecessor is in order. Contrasting the first two books of the Bible bring out some interesting points. The first of these is simply how much I loathe Moses. In our detailed examination of Genesis, I wasn’t terribly in love with Noah and Abraham. They were human and at times beautifully so, however, they were hardly stalwart moral examples. But when compared to Moses these people become exemplary. Abraham, Isaac and the rest of the Genesis crowd generally bumbled their way through life but were only products of their time in terms of morality. Sure they killed and fought, but their humanity was one I could find attractive if barbaric.
Moses, on the other hand, does not come through the wash smelling quite so rosy. Moses demands and gets what he wants with many of his arguments ending in the deaths of those involved. Dissension was betrayal, disagreement – treason. Although pitiable in his desperate need to stay ahead of everyone, he is not a likable or sympathetic. Let’s be blunt. Moses is a nut-less bastard who rules through massive doses of terror and intimidation. Inventing the same tricks used today by hundreds of modern cult leaders he convinced everyone that their God was a terrible and vengeful god who wallowed in the ability to make humans suffer. Only he, Moses, could hold back the wrath of God. Only by listening to him could the Hebrews escape destruction.
Abraham and his descendants were not like this. Oh, sure. They’d slaughter an entire village over a daughter’s seduction or sell a brother into slavery, but they were not on a level with Moses. They were foolish and selfish. Moses was malignant, a tumor in Hebrew life bending everyone to his terrible power. I know it’s backwards to say it in the modern world, but Moses was evil. It’s the only way I can describe him. Sating his lust for power only seemed to increase it.
I understand his story is not over, but thus far, I’m not impressed.
Second, as to the writing style, while more detailed than Genesis, Exodus seemed to lack a kind of coherency that should have been present. There were thoughts brought up in the oddest of places as if they were just thrown in at a later date. Hey, Wait… Do you think??? Seriously, the Bible will be going on about the covenant and suddenly lurch into a non sequitur about “You shall not boil a young goat in its mother’s milk.” Then it will go onto the tabernacle but not before threatening you with death for working on the Sabbath. It’s like listening to some homeless dude telling a convoluted story who breaks his thought process every minute to scream obscenities at his nonexistent cat. I constantly fight the urge to look over my shoulder to make sure that he isn’t talking to me. Creepy.
The third and last point is very much related to the first. Genesis, while somewhat trite, had some truly beautiful parts to it. The love Rebekah’s family shared at her parting to marry Isaac was fantastic. My favorite line of the Bible thus far is their somewhat savage but touching blessing to her as she left. “”Our sister, may you come to be thousands of myriads, and may your offspring inherit the gate of its foes.” Think of me as a barbarian if you will, but that is a great blessing, and it left me touched.
Nothing similar lies within the pages of Exodus. While Genesis has a dozen good stories about people struggling to survive, Exodus has a single story of an individual’s quest for power and domination of his tribe. Genesis could be viewed as stories wherein a flawed humanity live and struggle facing those flaws. Exodus’ Moses admits no flaws, shows no humanity, suffers no opposition.
The difference between the two books can best be summed up in two sentences.
Genesis is the imperfect saga of a people inventing their god.
Exodus is the sordid tale of a man desperate to become one.