SUNDAY MORNING FAIRY STORIES: The Passover
One of the most bloodthirsty myths in the Bible is also one of the most celebrated:
I’m talking about the “Passover.” The culmination of Ten Plagues inflicted on the Egyptians by Jehovah to prove he was the bigger god. The day when Jehovah killed every first-born in the kingdom (every one, from king to slave to cattle) passing over (geddit) only those households with the foresight to have smeared lamb’s blood on their front door…
This slaughter gave the Ancient Israelites the impetus, somehow, to escape Egyptian bondage and head into the desert in search of a promised land. (Stopping along the way only to plunder and drown their former captors.)
Nice story. No wonder that (according to a later fairy story), Jesus and his disciples celebrated the slaughter. (That’s what they were doing at the Last Supper, remember, and why they were in Jerusalem.) And no wonder that to this day the Ten Plagues are still so celebrated, by both Christians and Jews! (There’s even Passover for Kids. Nice, huh.)
But the celebration is about a slaughter. A killing of every first-born in the country. Wholesale slaughter by a supposed “god of love.” Heck, you might even call if a heaven-sent holocaust!
Fortunately, however, like so much in the Bible, and the Torah, the whole story is a fiction:
- there is no record of large numbers of Hebrew slaves living among Egyptians, and none of 40,000 walking out. (Egyptian records confirm payments of salt to royal guards; you don’t think they’d mention the loss of of 40,000 slaves?)
- there is no record of the Ten Plagues.
Sure, there are suggestions the Ten Plagues happened as the result of the massive eruption of the Santorini volcano, which snuffed out the glory of Minoan Crete (for which we do have records) turned the sky dark (the Ninth Plague) and the water red with ash (The First Plague), etc.
But Santorini erupted around 1600BC, at least eight centuries after Moses and the Red Sea Pedestrians are supposed to have begun their journey. And even at a stretch (a big stretch) there is no coherent explanation of how the explosion might have effected only Egypt’s first born (nor, as we’ve said before, and record of this occurring). And if the “miracles” of the slaughter were natural and not heaven-sent, then what made Yahweh even greater than the gods he was supposedly trying to supplant?
It’s all just so much incoherent balderdash.
Especially the idea that a god this bloodthirsty would be worth worshipping.
Or one with whom you’d want to make any sort of “covenant.”
Or that “god is love.”
Or that anyone subscribing to this sort of genocidal nastiness should be anywhere near any levers of political power.
[Pictures from the Brick Testament stories of Exodus.]