Sunday, April 13, 2014
Exodus: Chapter 5
I come towards you
we come towards them
[For full chapter, click here
Last chapter closed with the integration of faith, hearing, sight--an upsurge of hope. "They heard that God gad accounted (pakod)...and seen their affliction".
This chapter opens with the fall.The intimate personal name of God is undermined--"Who is God, that I should listen? I know not God, and I will not let Israel go." We are back to the original link between sight and sound and knowledge, only in the negative: no hearing and no knowledge.
God returns to being impersonal the "power (elohei) of the Hebrews".
Slavery is openly revealed as psychological warfare. It is not the results that are desired, but the crushing of the human spirit, the "pressure" (lahatz) that God had seen. "Nirpim atem, nirpim--you are idle, idle (lit. letting go, easing. The opposite of lahatz, to hold on, apply pressure). That is why you say 'let me go and sacrifice to God.'" Work is there to squeeze away any thoughts of the divine. Life is to be reduced to the daily grind of quota (yom be-yomo)]