(Still hanging in there?)

Just a couple of thoughts on today’s passage:

First—have you ever considered that Moses may have been the first LITERATE Israelite? Slaves weren’t taught to read and write, but as a son of Pharaoh, Moses would have been skilled in probably several languages—Hebrew (possibly), a couple of Egyptian dialects, and Akkadian, the courtly international language of the day. Another reason (or benefit) the Hebrews wandered in the desert forty years was that the children had an opportunity to learn how to read and write the Law Moses transcribed from God.

Notice that before he goes off to die, Moses reads the law and teaches the people a SONG. Song-as-learning-tool was a favorite tool of the Egyptian schoolmasters. We learn more readily when we put words to music. (I can recite all fifty states in alphabetical order if you’ll let me sing them.)

Three more brief items: 11:10-11 mentions the difference between the rain of the promised land and the irrigation system the Egyptians used. It doesn’t rain in the Egyptian desert—the Nile flooded once a year, and the Egyptians had to develop shadufs, which functioned as rudimentary doohickeys that scooped up water from the river and sent it through the irrigation canals.

Notice in 17:44 ff, God foretells that they will have a king. And he also gives a list of warnings about what the king should not do, and of course, Israel’s later kings did these things and suffered the consequences.

Notice in 18:15ff: Messianic prediction.

Notice in 21:16: the warning against favoring the son of a loved wife—this, of course, is exactly what Jacob did. Joseph was not the first-born son, but he was the firstborn son of Rachel, the wife Jacob loved. That’s why Ephraim and Manasseh, Joseph’s two sons, were included among their uncles, the sons of Israel. Jacob effectively gave Joseph a double portion inheritance by including his two sons in the division of property and blessings.

Notice 21:22-23: This curse against anyone “who hangs on a tree” is later repeated in the New Testament in reference to Jesus. He was cursed for us, in his hanging on a tree.

And don’t forget the SONG of Moses in chapter 32. Wonder what that choir sounded like?



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