Reading through Exodus this morning, I ran across a couple of things that I’d never noticed before.
In Exodus 10:3, Moses finally shouts at is step-brother, or at least speaks harshly. It’s been a while building up!
He was deferential to Tutmose at first, and slowly, as Tutmose opposed God, Moses grew more blunt in his approach.
Tutmose might have taken Moses’s intended name – Moses in Hebrew being Moshe, or pronounced Mose by the Egyptians. Hatshepsut, Moses’s adopted mother would have given him the name Tutmose. Quite literally, she had made her decision that this child given to her by the Nile would be Pharaoh. Her nephew would not have shared the same name – it was a declaration of inheritance.
Tutmose’s stubbornness may be born of his sudden conceit, the longed for treasure given into his hands after Moses murdered and then fled. Tutmose would have desired the throne of Egypt, and finally got it, when he’d given up hope. He is a supplanter. And now Moses reappears – not to demand what is his right, but to appear as one of Egypt’s slaves – deferential, eyes down, beseeching. And the humble servant of God.
Now Moses speaks harshly, if not shouting. Tutmose has ignored every demand of God, given politely at first. then with warnings. Then with the voice of judgment.
You tell me – does this sound like shouting to you?
Exodus 10:3-6 (KJV) And Moses and Aaron came in unto Pharaoh, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD God of the Hebrews, How long wilt thou refuse to humble thyself before me? let my people go, that they may serve me. Else, if thou refuse to let my people go, behold, to morrow will I bring the locusts into thy coast: And they shall cover the face of the earth, that one cannot be able to see the earth: and they shall eat the residue of that which is escaped, which remaineth unto you from the hail, and shall eat every tree which groweth for you out of the field: And they shall fill thy houses, and the houses of all thy servants, and the houses of all the Egyptians; which neither thy fathers, nor thy fathers’ fathers have seen, since the day that they were upon the earth unto this day. And he turned himself, and went out from Pharaoh.
You know, you don’t have to be really smart after seeing Egypt devastated to know that if you don’t do as he asks, things are going to go badly.
If I had been Tutmose, I’d have let them go.