(Exodus 4 and 5)
Poor Moses. He’s just this regular old dude fleeing a murder rap, and now God’s selected him to be his champion sorcerer in a magic-off with some of Egypt’s most talented high priests. Of course, Mo don’t know about the magic battle part yet. He thinks he’s giving a speech and inciting the Israelites to grand larceny. He’s afraid he’ll be lousy at it, and get shouted down by a bunch of skeptics. Who’s going to believe the Lord appeared to him? (Ex. 4:1)
So the Lord begins training him for his Vegas Thebes1 act, beginning with a corny but classic line: “What’s that in your hand?”
“A staff,” Moses replies, probably mystified.
“Toss it on the ground,” God says.
Moses does as he’s told, and then runs away in terror when his nice wooden staff becomes a great big snake. That Lord, always playing the nasty tricks on unsuspecting people. Then, because he’s a sadistic fuck, he makes Moses grab the “snake” by the tail. Moses does, and it’s suddenly a staff again. (Ex. 4:2-5)
“Now they’ll believe ya,” God says, all smug. “Now, for your next trick: put your hand in your coat.” [Read more…]