We are prisoners of our own histories & cultures, and too often we fail to break out of those particular boxes when reading of people in other places / other cultures / other times.
Case in point: The story of Moses and the Exodus.
Now, to most North Americans, the cultural default they go to is that of the Civil War and the civil rights movement.
I mean, slaves are slaves, right? And Moses was like a modern civil rights leader, right?
But because North Americans tend to cast the story this way, because they think of it in terms of American history and American culture and American ambitions, they water it down, they change it, they dilute it and rob it of its full meaning.
By mentally re-imagining the culture and the locale, they lose sight of what really happened.
Further, then don't even re-imagine it in the reality of slavery in the American South, but it terms of what the pop culture has shown of that era, a view that is suspect at best and blatantly deceitful at worst.
Still, it's a ill wind that blows no good & sometimes the blade cuts both ways.
If we're going to think of Moses and Exodus in North American terms, let's use appropriate images and concepts.
We've already pointed out how Moses had Profound Anger Management Issues.
To put his story fully in context, imagine a privileged house slave in Gone With The Wind beating Victory Jory to death.
Then imagine he hightails it out to Oklahoma, where he defends Cherokee squaws from encroaching cowboys.
Then imagine he returns to Atlanta just ahead of Sherman, telling those good ol’ boys that whatever happens next, they richly deserve it.
He then sets fire to Abe Lincoln’s hand written Emancipation Proclamation. Whoever this guy is, he sounds more like Dolemite than Martin Luther King Jr.
So, let us review:
When reading Exodus, do NOT think in terms of this guy --
-- leading these folks --
-- to this place --
-- where they became these people.
Instead, think of this guy --
-- leading these people --
-- into this place --
-- where he would turn them into this.
Kinda puts a different perspective on things, don't it...?
As Cracked-dot-com observed: "Martin Luther King may have had a dream, but Moses had a body count."