No, seriously, he did. This is going to be the Cliff's Notes
version of this story, as I am anything but a Bible scholar, but of the passages I've paid attention to, this tale is by far one of the weirdest. Get out your bibles, as we'll be reading along via pipelink
Cast of Characters:
All characters played by themselves.
Yahweh: The Lord, Savior, Creator and Supreme Being of the Known Universe. Colloquially known as "God".
Moses: Hebrew Leader, liberator, prophet, and reluctant hero.
Zipporah: Moses' wife.
Gershom:The son of Moses, and easily the holder of the most unfortunate role in this story.
An Ass: As in, a donkey.
Our story begins with the enslavement of the Israelites, God's chosen people, by the Pharaoh of Egypt. Fearful of their growing numbers, he had put them all into forced labor to keep them ground down.
Yahweh eventually heard the cries of his people, and set his eye upon a Hebrew shepherd/wanted murderer named Moses to act out his will that his people be freed.
So God appears to Moses in the form of a burning bush, and says to him, "Hey. Take your shoes off before you step over here, you're on holy ground, foo'. Now, check this out. I am God, the all-powerful, and I want you to go to Egypt and tell the Pharaoh to let my people go. But I'm going to personally make the Pharaoh not do it so I have a reason to drop mad plagues on Egypt in general. Then you guys can go live in paradise. Don't question me, I don't have to make sense to you. Go to Egypt, and tell the Pharaoh that God said to let my people go. Chop chop!"
Moses is very confused by all this, and to be honest, the guy probably didn't quite catch all of it, seeing as how he was hiding his face the entire conversation, and let's face it... If God showed up in the middle of *your* lambfield and demanded that you travel to some foreign country where you still had a death warrant, to try to convince someone to do something that he was personally going to make them not do, you'd probably be a little confused too.
So Moses takes this whole situation in for a minute, and says, "But, who am I to go do this? I mean..." Imagine him making a futile gesture towards the bush at this point. An omnipotent being going out of his way to delegate a to-do list is odd enough on its own, not to mention the self-admitted sabotage. God scoffs this away, though. "Pfft. Dude, you're rolling with God here. What could possibly go wrong?"
Moses, being in the Old Testament, is understandably nonplussed at this assurance. This is a being who is famous for having the quickest smite reflex in the multiverse, after all. Frankly, quite a bit could go wrong. He tries to protest again.
"But I don't even know your name! Do you really think I can engineer a proper emancipation on the word of an immolated shrubbery? You having me on, mate?"
God, cryptic as ever, responds, "I am who I am, and if the Israelites ask you can tell them I said that. Then tell them that they can have all the Egyptians' stuff when they leave. That'll get 'em moving."
"Yeah, they'll buy THAT!" says Moses. "Ha! You've really thought this one through, haven't you?"
"What's that in your hand?" asks God, mildly annoyed. For those of you seeking to emulate the Almighty, take note that asking rhetorical questions is apparently one way to do so.
"A rod," replies Moses.
"Throw it on the ground," says God, and Moses does. God turns it into a snake. He then changes it back, and for bonus points, temporarily gives Moses a zombie hand.
"Now," says God. "We've got that cleared up, so go, do that for the Pharaoh, and if he doesn't let my people go, I'll turn their rivers to blood and make it look like you did it."
"Listen, uhhhh," says Moses. "I'm really not the most silver tongued of guys, if you know what I mean, and I was thinking maybe you'd really be better off sending my brother. You know?"
God gets even more annoyed at this point. "OF COURSE I KNOW! I MADE him, didn't I? Jeesh, who do you think I am? FINE! Take your brother, let him do the talking, but you go with him to give my signs. Now get your ass to Egypt, kapish?"
So Moses decides to go, stopping only to ask his father for permission. I can only imagine how that conversation went. "Daaaaad, God told me to go to Egypt to free the slaves and possibly turn their rivers to blood, I sincerely hope you don't have a problem with that."
"Errrr, Go in peace. As fast as you can, please."
And so, we get to the crux of our story. The denouement. The main attraction, as it were. Moses puts his family on an ass, and sets off to Egypt. He stops for the night,
And it came to pass by the way in the inn, that the LORD met Moses, and sought to kill him. -- Exodus 4:24
So God walks into this inn, and for no apparent reason other than still being annoyed at him over asking a bunch of questions, tries to kill Moses. There are a couple of things immediately wrong with this. First off, the last time I checked, God never tried to kill anybody. Generally getting put up against God in a one-on-one grudgematch results in you getting ruined on the quick, and you better believe that, son.
Second, God walks into this inn to kill Moses. Still can't get over that part. Why the heck would God need to go somewhere to kill somebody? Why even show up?
It makes no sense. No matter how you try to wrap your brain around it, it just doesn't make sense.
But wait! I'll do you one more.
Zipporah, in response to this situation, cuts off her son's foreskin with a flint stone, casts it at Moses' feet and exclaims, "My, you are a bloody husband, aren't you?"
Again, I'm no bible scholar. Not in the slightest. In fact, everything in this entire writeup should be treated as conjecture, misunderstanding and outright fabrication until it's confirmed by someone who knows what the hell they're talking about. But this event is worthy of a rough timeline, seeing as how it was technically an attempted murder and all that.
It's an inn. It's probably at night, since people generally sleep at inns. God shows up and tries to kill Moses. Zipporah wakes up. Two seconds at this point? Maybe another two seconds for her to decide that the appropriate response to the Almighty trying to kill her husband would be an impromptu circumcision?
I'm not sure how long it takes to circumcise an infant with a sharp rock in a hotel room in the middle of the night - needless to say I haven't gathered enough data to make a conclusive estimate on that. But we'll give Ziporrah the benefit of the doubt and assume that she has the mad surgical skills. Let's say 30-40 seconds.
So for anywhere from 35-45 seconds, conservatively, God sought to kill Moses, before Zipporah cast her son's foreskin at his feet and commented on the sanguinolent nature of their marriage.
And so God let him go. Just like that. No motive at all. Interestingly, God immediately tells Aaron to go meet Moses, and they all continue on as if nothing ever happened.
Moses went on to free the Israelites, and the next time God gave him instructions, he figured it'd be better to write them down.
What a bloody weird story.
Is it wrong that in my head this scene is very similiar to a Metroid attack, complete with sound effects?
Written for Everything Quest: The PC Bible quest, but before I actually read the freakin' node. Like Moses, I kind of suck at following instructions from Gods.