OK, I'm done with Genesis. I found five divine killing episodes.
If I've missed any, let me know. I don't want to get God pissed off. I know how proud he is of his killings.
Now on to Exodus.
Which leads me to the topic of this post. It is one of the strangest stories in a book filled with strange stories. And it all happens so fast, you'll miss it if you're not careful.
But first a little background. (Context is everything, as believers like to say.)
In the previous chapter (Exodus 3), Moses has a long conversation with God, who is cleverly disguised as a burning bush. God tells Moses to return to Egypt and rescue the Israelites. God says that he will smite the Egyptians with all his wonders and all the Israelites have to do is steal the Egyptians' possessions.
But Moses is worried that the Pharaoh might not listen to him. So God teaches him some magic tricks. He shows him how to throw his rod on the ground and turn it into a snake. Then grab the snake by the tail and it becomes a rod again. How cool is that?
In case that doesn't work, God shows Moses how to make his own hand leprous, and then make it normal again.
And finally, the God's third trick is to turn water into blood. God says that that ought to do it.
But Moses is still unconvinced. What if they still don't believe him? He's not that great a public speaker, ya know.
Then God says, "Who made the dumb, deaf, and the blind? Have not I the Lord?" If he can make people dumb, deaf, and blind, he can do anything.
But Moses is still unsure of himself, so God tells him to bring his brother Aaron along. He's a smooth talker. They'll believe him.
And even if they don't, it won't matter. God says that even with all his snake, leper, and blood tricks, the Pharaoh still won't believe. Because God "will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go."
So the whole thing is pointless, really. Moses and Aaron are going to do all the neat tricks, but they will fail because God will harden the Pharaoh's heart.
And then God throws in one more thing.
And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD, Israel is my son, even my firstborn: And I say unto thee, Let my son go, that he may serve me: and if thou refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay thy son, even thy firstborn. Exodus 4:22-23
And that's it. That's the context.
Now for the rest of the story.
And it came to pass by the way in the inn, that the LORD met him, and sought to kill him. Then Zipporah took a sharp stone, and cut off the foreskin of her son, and cast it at his feet, and said, Surely a bloody husband art thou to me. So he let him go: then she said, A bloody husband thou art, because of the circumcision. Exodus 4:24-26
Moses heads off on a mission from God, God meets him along the way and tries to kill him.
The Bible doesn't say why God tried to kill the guy he just taught his tricks to. But apparently it had something to do with foreskin.
Moses' son wasn't circumcised, I guess, and it really pissed off God, so he tried to kill Moses. Lucky his wife (Zipporah) quickly figured out what God was bugged about, grabbed a sharp rock and cut off her son's foreskin -- all before God could kill Moses. Whew!
OK. Try to top that story!
Can you believe that over 3 billion people believe this stuff?
(Fortunately, fewer and fewer do each day.)