Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Exodus: Chapter 4

To send forth
put words in someone's mouth
can you be another's mouth?

Complex identities
strange meetings

learning to listen

[For full chapter, click here
The chapter seamlessly continues the battle by the bush. Now Moses emerges not only as the one who "turns to see" but also as the one who fights. The same Moses who did not hesitate to smite the Egyptian and to reprimand the two Hebrews, now openly contradicts God: "they will not believe me, they will listen to me." The linkage between sight and sound that dominated the previous chapter, develops to a connection between faith and listening.
And the central leiword: sending forth. How does one act in another's stead? Moses is to act for God; Aaron is to act for Moses. A merging of identities, and for the first time in the Bible,the primal  threat of "sending forth the hand" (shelihut yad) is used in a positive sense. There is a way to extend identity without grasping what is not meant for you.
Edenic themes abound: Sending forth the hand; the serpent, and the words shared between Aaron and Moses' mouths--an echo of the creation of Man, where God "breathes in" life, and Man begins to speak)

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