Biblical Framework

Charles Clough

Lesson 46

We’re on the event of the Exodus now, and we are going to expand a little bit into some historical matters.  We’ve spent a lot of time talking about civilizations as we know it, how it came to pass, Biblically speaking, how that radically differs from what you learn in the average history course.  And as last year we found out, we disagreed in the area of physics, we disagreed in the area of chemistry, as far as those sciences pertain to writing history, i.e., geology, anthropology, biology, psychology and when we get into the Exodus we’re going to find we also disagree with ancient historians.  That’s sort of the way our faith is, and it’s not a commentary that we are stupid, it’s rather a commentary that the world’s a very dark place, and that there are spiritual forces that have an agenda behind the scenes that do deeply affect how we think.  That’s why we’ve emphasized again and again in this course that there’s no such thing as being neutral.  There’s no such thing as a neutral piece of truth, because everything we state, everything we believe, carries with it an agenda, it carries with it a faith, it carries with it a starting point.  As Christians we have to be sensitive to that or we just don’t see what the Bible’s telling us.  The Bible is telling us that, when man fell, he fell all the way.  He didn’t fall from the neck down.  He fell from here down.  And that means, as sinners, we are affected in our reasoning.  This is why God has given us Scripture, to give us a calibration point, a correction in faulty reasoning, else we cannot know who God is, and we cannot interpret the gospel correctly.

In the notes we had some Egyptian art forms.  On page 43 I’m trying to give you some background of the Exodus, so that this event doesn’t happen in a vacuum.  There were certain precursors in that society and in that point in time in history that were going on.  God didn’t throw dice and say, gee, it’d be nice to have an Exodus or two.  The Exodus happened at precisely the right time in history to accomplish God’s purpose.  So that means that we have to think about what was going on.  This is not a Bible class on a verse by verse approach; it’s more of an apologetics Bible and historical theology approach, so we’re tying all of these together.  We want to look at two aspects of what was happening prior to the Exodus.  First, on page 43, we mention Abraham’s family problem.  It’s vital to see that the reason the Jews were in Egypt in the first place was because of a dysfunctional family.  It was put there so to speak, as a disciplinary move to preserve them. 

Egyptian society discriminated against the people who would be doing things like Jews.  They were basically a pastoral people and a shepherding people, and Egyptians apparently didn’t like this.  Discrimination is said, right in the Joseph narratives, when Joseph invites the people together, they say that the Egyptians will not eat with the Jews, Jews can eat over there, we’ll eat over here.  So it was a discriminatory society.  This is not to approve it; it’s simply to say God used that, because the Canaanites were not discriminatory.  And the danger we saw last time, was that if you read the narrative, particularly the one I quote on page 43, if you read in Gen. 37-38, in that section of Scripture, you’ll see that the family was in very, very serious shape.  The family was totally absorbing itself in Canaanite culture. The Canaanites were not segregationists at all; the Canaanites were very eclectic.  They welcomed you aboard and seduced you.  And that is a more dangerous situation than an overtly segregationist society, like the Egyptians.  So God moved that dysfunctional family out of an eclectic society into a segregationist society. 

That’s the first thing we have to realize is that they’re down there for less than spiritual purposes, not because they’re so righteous.  They’re getting down there because it’s trying to make them survive in history.   Why is God interested in making that family survive in history?  Because He made a promise; the promise was in the Abrahamic Covenant.  We had three promises:  promise to seed, a land, and a worldwide blessing.  And we said, once a contract is established, that becomes the yardstick for measuring behavior against the words of the contract.  God already made the contract, now God has to live up to the contract.  And here’s this family falling apart, so the only way He can gather up the pieces and keep them reasonably together, is to move them down here into a sort of like a historical womb, to give birth to His nation.  Egypt can be considered as a historic womb of Israel.

Then we said on page 44, we mentioned the structure of Egyptian society, and I think this bears review, because there are certain elements of Egyptian society that are necessary as you read through Exodus and read through those dialogues of Moses versus Pharaoh and the conflict that comes on again and again, chapter after chapter.  We want to understand what Moses faced, and into what kind of a society those people were.  Because remember, when the Exodus occurs, it’s not like all the Jews are just rushing to go out with Moses.  That’s not true.  The Jews reluctantly went out with Moses, reluctantly!  And we have to understand why they were so reluctant, I mean, here they were—slaves.  They were crying to God for the bad situation they were facing.  They were in really bad shape, economically, bad shape, physically, had no hope, saw no reason to live.  And in the middle of that, here comes a guy that says you’re going to be free, and they don’t want to be free.

So there’s some things going on here and they’re important.  And here’s why it’s important.  Christians have known for centuries, you read devotional literature and you’ll see this, Christians have intuitively understood that Egypt is a picture of the world, and the Exodus is a picture of the Christian coming out of the world.  There’s an analogy there.  So we want to look at Egypt a little bit.  The Holy Spirit picked that particular society from which to have an Exodus.  And that means we better look at that, and see if there’s certain traits in that society that we need to check out a little bit.  Apparently, these traits are very opposite to the way God wants us to live, because obviously, when He gets his nation set up, He moves it out of there, because they can’t live that way in that society.  They have to leave the society in order to live to the Lord.

That’s what we’re looking at: “The structure of Egyptian society.” And I quote on page 44, the University of Chicago Egyptologist, Dr. Henry Frankfort, now dead, but an author of some really neat stuff on Egypt.  If you ever see an old book store, and you see some stuff by Henry Frankfort, another author to look for in a used book store is William F. Albright, From the Stone Age to Christianity, it’s a neat book to get.  These books are largely out of print, because nobody reads them, nobody’s interested anymore so you can’t sell them.  But Henry Frankfort’s written a book, The Kingship of the Gods, and there’s another one, Ancient Egyptian Religion, tremendous pieces of work, because they’re quite objective in the sense that he uses a lot of source material.  You may differ with his interpretation, but at least he got the text there, so you can see what he’s looking at. Frankfort says this, this is a sum-up of years and years of study of Egyptian literature of this period, so we want to pay attention to this.  This guy’s good.  “The Egyptian belief [was] that the universe is changeless and that all apparent opposites must, therefore, hold each other in equilibrium.  Such a belief has definite consequences in the field of moral philosophy.  It puts a premium,” notice this, and underline or check this, “it puts a premium on whatever exists with a semblance of permanence.”  Today, it’s very analogous to that; our society is very chaotic, always endlessly reorganizing.  I mean, you wonder if the whole world’s going into chaos-mode.  And in this kind of a situation, you start to reach out for God, and you know, is two plus two still four, or are we going to reorganize that tomorrow?  What’s going on, here?  So our generation tends to have a lusting for permanence.  And I think we can psychologically identify here.  The Egyptians wanted order, they hated chaos.  They did not want change, they did not want reorganization, they did not want any progress.  They had it, and this was the way society was, and they weren’t interested in improving it.  Now that’s the psychology, that’s the mental state of the Egyptians, and the Jews were inside that. 

Frankfort continues, “It excludes,” notice, “It excludes ideas of progress, utopias of any kind, revolutions, and any other radical changes in existing conditions….  In this way the belief in a static universe enhances, for instance, the significance of established authority.”  Check that one out.  Who is Moses going to come up against?  Established authority.  The peon of established authority.  We want to sense what’s going on, here.  The challenge of Moses to Pharaoh is not just Charlton Heston against Yul Brynner.  This is a collision of two world views, two tremendous principles.  And for Moses to dare even to walk into the presence of Pharaoh, and of course, he did, because he was in the royal family and so he had access, but for a Jew to walk into an Egyptian ruler’s presence is one thing, to tell him how he’s going to run his country is another thing.          We are dealing with radical things in the Exodus conflict. 

We said last time this shows up in certain art forms, so if you’ll turn to the page where I have the picture, we’ll review what some of this is, because these are things to pile up in your imagination.  Think of these when you read the Exodus, in your mind’s eye, visualize.  Try to put yourself as you read Exodus, into the shoes or the sandals of a Jew.  You’re a slave, but guess what?  As a slave, you’re guaranteed a job, you’re guaranteed meals, you’re not living a chaotic existence.  It’s a hard, grueling existence, but it’s not chaotic existence.  It’s a regimen, it’s a routine.  Every day you get up at the same time, every day you go to bed at the same time.  You’ve got a job every day, you’re building pyramids, or you’re doing something.  There’s no doubt about tomorrow, or what tomorrow’s going to bring.  Everything’s pre-planned, everything’s laid out.  No chaos, everything’s orderly.

This picture that we site, picture A, comes from a comb, apparently an Egyptian woman of notability had this comb, it was found in a tomb, and it has some art structure to it.  Particularly, what we want to look at is the number of times that the divine principle of the falcon god, shows up here.  He shows up here in the boat, he shows up with the wings, and he shows up here over this box. I mentioned this point last time, that when you interpret Egyptian art, here’s a little trick, otherwise, your eyeball looks at this, and wonders, gee are these little five-year-old kids drawing drawings?  When the Egyptians, drew say, a pharaoh, or a human being with a falcon head, they were normal people, they didn’t believe that literally there was a pharaoh walking around with a falcon head.  What they were drawing corresponds in our culture to what you would see say, on the editorial page of the Baltimore Sun for a political caricature.  For example, I kept one for years during one of the conflicts we had with the Soviet Union, it showed Kruschev in a suit coat, and then it had a missile for his head.  Now the artist didn’t literally say that Kruschev has a missile head, but he was caricaturing character.

So when you see these art forms, in Egypt, that’s what they’re saying.  This is their way of expressing a certain quality.  In this case, the universe is saturated with this falcon deity.  Notice this boat that appears here, is actually he’s pictured as the sun going across the sky.  His wings correspond to the sky, and he himself perches on top of this box, where Pharaoh’s name is.  And what that’s saying is, remember we’ve been talking about Continuity of Being, that all the universe is tied together?  What that’s saying is that the same principle that animates the sun, that the physics of the sky is also operative in the office of Pharaoh.  Pharaoh is linked with the universe in this sort of physical way.  Then we have other art forms.  Here’s one of Pharaoh actually drawn with a falcon head. There again, notice that he has the nature of that which is in the falcon.  This is the great pyramid, one of the columns, and the thing that you want to understand about that is, as Frankfort points out in his text, that these lines that go up and down aren’t lines.  If you look very carefully with your eye, you’ll see they stop right there, and if you look carefully, they don’t touch up there.  That’s a defined line.  It’s a vertical scepter.  And it has a particular meaning.  In fact, that scepter there, is the same thing that you see on the woman’s comb.  In the woman’s comb it’s painted very crudely.  There’s the scepter symbol right there.  There’s the other one.  And by the way, that little thing there is the Egyptian principle of eternal life; you’ll see it on jewelry today, New Age.  Actually, its old age, it’s the Egyptian life symbol.  Nothing new under the sun!  Then inside this, this name is a Pharaoh’s name.  So what it’s saying with the sun symbol at the top, and the earth symbol below, is that Pharaoh, in his person, and in his office, he integrates and preserves order for the whole universe. 

So you can see with Pharaoh, you may not like the guy personally, but the problem is that you knock him off, and there’s danger, the universe gets out of discord, that’s the problem.  And that’s the guy that Moses goes up against.  If that wasn’t enough, one artist drew this drawing, where you’ll notice that Pharaoh is the same height, in the picture, as the gods.  Notice there’s a god on his left, and there’s a god on his right.  In fact, if you draw a line from the top of that head over to that head, you’ll see Pharaoh’s head is a little higher.  So they pictured figures by their importance by height instead of perspective.  They didn’t use perspective.  And what is this poster saying?  This is a political/religious poster.  It’s saying that Pharaoh dwells with gods, not with men.  

That’s the background for Egypt.  Now we want to look at the catastrophe itself; we want to look at what happened.  Let’s start with Exodus 3.  This is one of the dramatic Theophonies of the Scripture; that’s a word you should know because it’s a description of a portion of the Bible, a Theophany, and that means something which is seen, and that’s God.  Wherever you have a Theophany in the Bible, God Himself is appearing.  This is a Theophany in Exodus 3.  Moses was pasturing the flock, verse 2 “And the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of a bush.”  If we had time we could develop the difference between the Lord, the angel of the Lord, and the spirit of the Lord, because that’s the Trinity in the Old Testament.  Actually the angel of the Lord that shows up is the pre-incarnate Jesus Christ.  “The angel of the LORD appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of a bush.”  I want you to look at a characteristic of this.  This we come back to later, because we’re going to talk about the name of God.  Notice that last clause in verse 2.  That reports something that Moses observed.  As he looked into this bush, what caught his eye, I’m sure he’s seen grass fires before, but what was strange about this was that the bush was burning, but the bush wasn’t consumed.  So something strange is here.  This catches his eye, I mean, this guy’s not stupid, he’s been out there seeing grass fires for decades.  It’s dry desert out there, grass fires can happen.  Maybe they didn’t have cigarettes to start them, but they had some grass fires, anyway.  You can see them in the art forms.  Moses is curious, so he goes over to this thing that he sees.  It’s not being consumed, but the fire is there.  And he meets God.  And there’s this famous scene and the first words out of the mouth of God in verse 6… why does God say verse 6?  Why do you suppose, on the eve of this momentous, historic occasion, God’s first words to Moses are these?  What does this harp back to?  What is God trying to focus in on by saying what He’s saying here?  Why does He say He’s the God of Abraham, why not the God of Adam, or the God of Noah?  Why does He say I am the God of Abraham?  What did He do with Abraham?  He made a covenant.  So what He is saying is, it’s covenant time Moses, you are in line for My covenant business.  I promised I was going to do something. 

By the way, how many years have transpired?  At least four or five centuries maybe have gone on?  This would be like God doesn’t speak from the time of Martin Luther to the time of us and the last time anybody ever had a Theophany was in Martin Luther’s day and all of a sudden God speaks today and says, Okay, I’m the God of Martin Luther.  Now, if He came that way, what would you think?  You’d say, gee, this has something to do with the Reformation.  That’s what’s going on here, there’s a long time interval here, and suddenly He shows up and He starts talking about He is the God of three men.  These are the three men to whom the covenant was ratified: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 

And then He says, verse 7, “I have surely seen the affliction of My people who are Egypt, have given heed to their cry because of their task masters, for I am aware of their sufferings.”  Notice that in the end of verse 7, God says that “I have observed their sufferings.”  Notice in verse 3, the bush is not consumed.  We’ll see how those are related later.  Verse 8, “I have come down to deliver them from the power of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and spacious land….”  Verse 9, “And now, behold, the cry of the sons of Israel has come to Me; furthermore, I have seen the oppression with which the Egyptians are oppressing them. [10] Therefore, come now, and I will send you to Pharaoh, so you may bring my people, the sons of Israel out of Egypt.”  And you have the famous dialogue of Moses and God.

Let’s look at some details of the Exodus issue.  Let’s go to chapter 7, we’re going to skip a little bit through here, but from Exodus 7:14 on things get worse and worse, much more of a conflict that goes on with each plague.  We want to look at how this sets up, we want to skim through this section, from chapter 7:14 to 10:29, and I want to point out highlights of these plagues.  We won’t have time to go into all of them and so forth, but just to look at highlights.  The reason I’m doing this is because after we get done with this, and you’ve observed the text, forget what you know about ancient history.  If you’ve studied ancient history and the Egyptian kingdom, the new kingdom, middle kingdom, forget that for a minute.  Just look at what the text is telling us.  Then we’ll come back to ancient history and we’ll see we’ve got a problem. Let’s look at the text. 

In verse 14, “Then the LORD said to Moses, Pharaoh’s heart is stubborn; he refuses to let the people go. [15] Go to Pharaoh in the morning as he is going out to the water and station yourself to meet him on the bank of the Nile.”  And that’s the famous time when He turned the Nile into blood.  And then you have this little play that goes on, because verse 22, “the magicians of Egypt did the same with their secret arts; and Pharaoh’s heart was hardened.”  Now don’t misread that, pay attention to that area about the magicians, what these guys are doing.  Can you imagine?  These guys have the power to change water.  Now what does that tell you about the principalities and powers around Pharaoh?  Profoundly demonic!  Probably in history, these guys had the strongest demonic linkage of anybody since… probably in our day the only people that correspond would be the red-hooded monks of Tibet, or something.  But apart from them, this is a rather unusually powerful thing.  You’ll see that just as God does a miracle, they counter it, up to a point and then God’s miracles can’t be counterfeited anymore, showing you who is in charge.  Satan is strong, but he’s not as strong as Jehovah, God.

So that’s the conflict that happens.  And it’s to show us the strength, the embedded spiritual structure in all this stuff that we just looked at in the art.  This was a society that was extremely powerful in its structure.  The Egyptians, in all their history, never experienced a revolution.  Now you name one other society that lived for over a thousand years and never had a revolt.  I think you’d be hard pressed to find any civilization that ever endured those many centuries without an internal uprising and a revolt, somewhere along the line.  And we have only lived 300 years and have already had a civil war.  Not Egypt.  So the Exodus is going to be a very remarkable event, because it took place in the most unlikely political, social milieu that it could possibly have taken. 

Let’s look at some more things. We get to the point where, in Exodus 8:8, “Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron, and said, ‘Entreat the Lord to remove the frogs from me and from my people,’” so the frogs were all over the place.  Verse 15, “But when Pharaoh saw that there was relief, he hardened his heart and did not listen to them, as the LORD had said.”  Now watch what happens here.  Verse 16, “Then the LORD said to Moses, Say to Aaron, Stretch out your staff and strike the dust of the earth, that it may become gnats through all the land of Egypt.”  And they did. By the way, notice through all the land of Egypt.  I want you to look at the dimensions of the plagues. 

Forget what we know about history, just look at the textual dimensions of these plagues.  In verse 18, here’s the end of the little train, one of these guys is going to get off the train, because his train stops.  “And the magicians tried with their secret arts to bring forth gnats, but they could not; so there were gnats on man and beast. [19] Then the magicians said to Pharaoh” now watch this, this is cute.  Here the demonical empowered magicians, mighty in class, bear witness to the gospel to Pharaoh.  Look at what they tell him.  They say, “This is the finger of Elohim,” using the Jewish name for God, “This is the finger of God.”  So here they are confessing to this God, against this comb, this pillar, all this art, where Pharaoh is the integrator.  And here they were, committed all their life to the idea that there was just this Continuity of Being and that everything was part of God.  Then they get confronted with this miracle that they can’t handle.  And what do they do?  All of a sudden, they get God-conscious again.   Why?  Because they were God-conscious all along, what does Rom. 1 say?  Everybody’s God-conscious, it’s just that they suppress it.  And all of the sudden, it spurts out in the middle of some sort of mess, or crisis?  Well, here it is, God-consciousness in these demonically-inspired people.

So they confess now that they can’t do it, so this must be God.  Then in verse 22, something else happens.  “But on that day, I will set apart the land of Goshen, where My people are living, so that no swarms of insects will be there, in order that you may know that I, the LORD, am in the midst of the land. [23] I will put a division between My people and your people.  Tomorrow this sign will occur.” So now, not only have the plagues escalated to the point they can’t be counterfeited, but now they become surgical tools.  They’re administrated, not in a broad, statistical profile; rather they are razor-sharp in their dimensions.  They distinguish between Egyptian and Jew.  So it goes on, and we want to look at a few other things. 

We come to Exodus 9:4, now we have a plague on the livestock, and a pestilence.  Keep in mind, every time you see a destruction of crops or livestock, what are you really seeing?  What ramification is that going to have on any society in that day?  If you destroy the crops and you destroy the cattle, what have you destroyed?  Their economy.  Put everybody out of work.  It’s gone, it’s devastated for at least a year and with the livestock, if you lose your livestock, now you’ve got breeding problems.  We’re witnessing something that happened to the most powerful nation on earth here.  This is not some little thing that happened in the corner.  This was a massive destruction of the Egyptian economy like they’d never seen.  In verse 6, God “did this thing.”  All the cattle, “all the livestock of the Egyptians died; but of the livestock of the sons of Israel, not one died.”  Do you think that sort of communicates a message? Isn’t that’s amazing? What’s happen­ing economically here?  Whose assets are getting erased?  This is something a lot of preachers come into this passage and they always talk about the spiritual side, but there are other things going on here that I want you to see.  There’s an economic shift of power going on.  The world system is being devastated in its economy and the believers are being blessed economically.  Not because materialism is the whole point, it’s just that God reigns, and that’s the way He’s redistribu­­­­ting things.  That happens to be a recurrent theme in the kingdom of God in the future.

We have more conflict going on.  In verse 11, the magicians could not stand before Moses, because of the boils.  The boils were on the magicians, as well as on the Egyptians.  These guys are totally wiped out, so now Moses has triumphed over all opposition except the Pharaoh.  In verse 18, just observe what the text is telling us about this plague.  “Behold, about this time tomorrow, I will send a very heavy hail, such has not been seen in Egypt from the day it was founded, until now.”  You know how many years that is?  The day it was founded until now?  1,000 years.  This is a [once in a] thousand year hail storm that happens here.  These are highly unusual, crazy events.  They are surgically precise, they are national in scope, and they are utterly devastating and mir­acu­lous in dimension an amazing series of pestilences.  We read this in too much of a trivial way. 

Verse 23, “…and the LORD sent thunder and hail, and fire ran down to the earth. And the LORD rained hail on the land of Egypt” [24] So there was hail, and fire flashing continually in the midst of the hail, very severe, such as had not been in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation.”  The text repeats this thing.  This text is stressing the uniqueness of these events. [25] “And the hail struck all that was in the field through all the land of Egypt, both man and beast; the hail also struck every plant of the field shattered every tree of the field.  [26] Only in the land of Goshen, where the sons of Israel were, was there no hail.”

We could go on, by the way, there’s another little observation.  Look back at the little clever word in verse 21, in the midst of all this fire and hail, there’s another little neat observation.  Verses 20-21, “The one among the servants of Pharaoh who feared the word of the LORD…”  Now does that suggest there are believers among the Egyptians?  Yes, it does.  Were they won to Christ in the Old Testament? Yes they were. There were believers in the Egyptian society.  They had somehow gotten a hold of the gospel truth of what it was known at that level of time.  “The one among the servants of Pharaoh who feared the word of the LORD made his servants and his livestock flee into the houses; [21] but he who paid no regard to the word of the LORD left his servants and his livestock in the field.”  So they were listening to Moses and they were starting to get the message. That little verse like that, that’s a neat observation, because it shows you that as these plagues escalate, God always does five or six things at once, never just one thing.  So He’s winning Egyptians to Himself prior to this great divergence that’s going to take place. 

Then we go on, and look further at the dimensions of this thing.  It keeps on going, Exodus 10:2, this gives you the theology behind it, “That you may tell in the hearing of your son, and of your grandson, how I made a mockery of the Egyptians, and how I performed My signs among them; that  you may know that I am the LORD.”  We use the expression in our everyday speech about so and so put the fear of God into them.  You know where it comes from?  This kind of stuff.  These people were getting the fear of God put into them.  And how was it?  Because they were observing not just an ordinary storm, see this can’t be interpreted like it’s just, oh, well gee, a thunder storm happened one day.  This isn’t talking about a thunder storm.  This is talking about a major catastrophe that was so obviously supernatural, that people either said this is God who I will defy to my last breath, or this is the God and I bow to Him and I surrender.  But whatever it is, it forces a decision; nobody’s neutral here.  You’re going to go down in defiance, or you’re going to go down in submission, but down you go, because these are the works and power of God. 

So he goes on and describes what’s going to happen, and about the hail, and notice in Exodus 10:15 the damage report, “…Thus nothing green was left on tree or plant of the field through all the land of Egypt.”  What is the text telling us?  This is a historically unique time, something utterly devastated the land.  Now the spooky one, verse 21, can you imagine this one. “Then the LORD said to Moses, Stretch out your hand toward the sky, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, a darkness which may be felt. [22] And so Moses stretched out his hand toward the sky, and there was thick darkness in all the land of Egypt for three days. [23] They did not see one another, nor did anyone rise from his place for three days, but all the sons of Israel had light in their dwellings.”  Whatever this was, it suppressed candles, it suppressed ordinary systems of light, artificial lights were suppressed, they were turned off.  What was this thick darkness that could be felt?  We don’t know, but it wasn’t regular darkness, it wasn’t an eclipse of the moon that lasted three days.  That’s three times twenty-four hours, that’s no eclipse.  This can’t be explained as natural sequence of events, folks, unless the Bible’s a myth.  This is a myth, or it’s explaining something fantastically devastating.

It goes on to describe what happened, etc. and finally, we come to the famous passage in Exodus 11:1, “[Now the LORD said to Moses,] ‘One more plague I will bring on Pharaoh and on Egypt, after that he will let you go.”  He says in verse 2, “Speak now in the hearing of people that each man asks from his neighbor and each woman from her neighbor for articles of silver and articles of gold.”  There’s an economic irony to this.  Who built the pyramids?  This is a controversial item, so I’ll have to cover this later.  But for those of you who know history the idea here is that the Jewish slaves worked for nothing for many, many years.  Guess who owed them? Now all of the sudden, the Jews, when they walk out of Israel, have the assets.  They’ve got the cattle, they’ve got the silver, and they’ve got the gold.  Where did the Jewish economy start?  Where did the economic engine get initialized?  Right here.  They took plunder from the world, and He used that plunder of the world system to build their mighty nation.  How did Israel start?  You have to have money, and gold, and land to start with.  And they started by plundering the world system.  This is a little bit more aggressive, isn’t it, than this little picture of believers walking around like this, and lying down and being doormats for everybody.  Here we have a mighty working of God in which an economic transfer of wealth takes place between corruption and incorruption.

Now He gets down to the nitty-gritty.  Verse 4, “And Moses said, Thus says the LORD, ‘About midnight I am going out into the midst of Egypt.”  We have to come back to this because of the doctrine involved but notice in verse 4 the subject of the verb is God Himself, not an angel, but “at midnight I am going out into the land of Egypt.  [5] And all the first-born in the land of Egypt shall die, from the first-born of the Pharaoh who sits on the throne, even to the first-born of the slave girl who is behind the millstones; all the firstborn of the cattle as well.  [6] Moreover there shall be a great cry in all the land of Egypt such as,” again, note the text, “such as there has not been before and such as shall never be again.”  This is an unforgettable historic occasion, every place that had death.  You say, God’s kind of nasty here, and we’re going to deal with that.  This is tough stuff.  It is hated by the world system, because it represents a tremendous interference into a society that had geared its whole reason for living to keep down chaos and have some sort of order here, order that is ordained by man, order decreed and legislated by man’s plans and by man’s organizations.  And you can see the tremendous devastation. 

Exodus 10:9, God knows, “Then the LORD said to Moses, Pharaoh will not listen to you, so that My wonders will be multiplied in the land of Egypt.”  And we will go back through, but in chapter14 we have a fantastic picture of the famous scene by the Red Sea.  The Jews have left, they’ve cut to the Red Sea, now they’re stuck, because they’re walking along and here they are with a great body of water.  They have no flanking defenses, they have no armies, they have no defense on their right flank, no defense on their left flank, ahead of them is water and behind them there’s Pharaoh.  Now this is neat.  They’re about ready to say let’s reconsider here, I think we’ve got a little problem.  Because guess who has the assets?  Pharaoh’s not just interested in going out and killing Jews, he’s going out and wants to get his gold and silver back, wants to get some cattle back, wants to restart the economy.  So there’s material reasons why Pharaoh’s going after them.  Plus the fact that nobody does this to Pharaoh, he’s got his historic reputation on the line.

Here’s one of the great, great promises of Scripture.  Exodus 14:13, “Moses said to the people, ‘Do not fear!  Stand by and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you will never see them again forever. [14] The LORD will fight for you while you keep silent.”  Now is this the picture of an aggressive minority overthrowing their tyrannical rulers in a great human revolution to bring in a new society?  Not at all, these people didn’t even want to revolt, they had to be dragged out of there.  And when they got to the thing, they weren’t fighting Pharaoh, they were passive.  They were people who pictured and rested on God’s promises.  It’s a picture of faith, right here.  The whole Exodus is a faith. 

If some of you are music lovers, chapter 15, Handel has a neat piece called Israel in Egypt.  This is a song, and it was sung by the women of Israel.  And these women were pretty active, warrior-type women.  They weren’t just nice, sweet, little ladies.  I mean, look at the lyrics of this song. [blank spot]  [Exodus 15:1, “Then Moses and the sons of Israel sang this song to the LORD, and said, I will sing] unto the Lord for He is highly exalted.”  It is antiphonal music, the men would sing and the women would sing’ the men would sing and the women would sing, and it was back and forth.  And Handel, in this piece, does it really nice.  But, “I will sing to the LORD, for He is highly exalted.  The horse and its rider He has hurled into the sea.”  Just think of the power of that kind of music.  This is not something dainty.  This is mighty, it is powerful, and it’s people who worship a very, very big God.  “The horse and its rider He’s thrown into the sea,” and guess who that’s a picture of?  What were the magicians around Pharaoh locked into?  Demonism.  Demonic.  This is an utterly satanic picture of the world system, and the rejoicing is that it’s overthrown.  And who in particular is overthrown, but the very power, the central power that we’ve seen in the art.  Pharaoh is overthrown.  “The horse and his rider He’s thrown into the sea.” 

All of that is the mighty picture of the text.  As Christians, we have to think.  We do live in this world, and if we go out and we start talking about the mighty Exodus, people are going to say, wait a minute, now that’s not what history tells me.  So we want to warn you about a little problem here.  Just like when we teach Genesis, the Bible can’t be taught in a vacuum.  This is the way Egyptian history looks like if you learn it in university or college.  There are three kingdoms in Egypt:  old, middle, new, and that takes a Ph.D. to do that one, with two intermittent periods.  By the classic dating scheme, the Exodus had to have occurred here.  Big problem!  The new kingdom was the most powerful time of Egyptian history.  There’s not a record whatsoever that their economy any time, during the new kingdom, was affected. 

Moreover, they controlled all of Palestine in this new kingdom period.  And where did the Jews go after they wandered around the wilderness 40 years?  Where did they conquer?  Palestine.  Do you read any case in the book of Joshua where they were fighting?  They’re fighting Canaanites, Perrizites, Hittites, do you ever read they fight any Egyptians?  Where do you read they’re fighting Egyptians in Joshua?  Not one notice.  You know why?  Take a concordance and look up the word Egyptian and try to find it between the time of Moses and the time of Solomon.  Now you’ll find the word “Egypt” but you’ll always see it’s referenced back to Exodus, the memory of Exodus.  But find one, from any concordance you pick, you try to find an occurrence of the word “Egypt” as a contemporary power anytime between the time of Moses and Solomon.  Five centuries go by and there’s not a shred of evidence of Egypt’s existence.  Where the Jews come walking into a land, they destroy all the inhabitants, take it over and make it their homeland, and it’s a province of the new kingdom of Egypt?  Excuse me?  Got a problem here, big problem! 

Several years back, actually, several decades ago, a Jewish atheist by the name of Immanuel Velikovsky came up with a startling find.  Now this is a guy who’s not out to prove that God exists, obviously, but Velikovsky, being a Jew, had tremendous respect for the historicity of the Old Testament.  Velikovsky made this startling find.  He did a lot of research in literature, and he discovered something right here, at the end of that middle kingdom.  And I’ve reproduced part of it on page 48.  He found a papyrus by an Egyptian poet by the name of Ipuwer.  Look at that text on page 48.  On the left side, the verses from the papyri; on the right side are texts from Exodus which, for all the world, look identical.


Papyrus Ref.   Text                                                                                                                     Exodus Ref.

2:5-6  "Plague is throughout the land.  Blood is everywhere"     7:21

2:10   "The river is blood. . .Men shrink from tasting it"       7:20,24

2:10   "Gates, columns, and walls are consumed by fire"          9:23-24

2:13   "He who places his brother in the ground is everywhere"  12:30

3:14   "It is groaning that is throughout the land, mingled with

          lamentations"                                         12:30

4:14   "Trees are destroyed"                                     9:25

5:5    "All animals, their hearts weep."                         9:3

6:3    "Grain has perished on every side."                      10:15


7:1    "The fire has mounted up on high."                       13:21

9:3    "Each man fetches for himself those that are branded with

          his name."                                             9:19,21

9:11   "The land is not light."                                 10:22


This Egyptian poet is writing about plagues throughout the land, blood is everywhere.  The river is blood.  Men shrink from tasting it.  Gates, columns, and walls are consumed by fire.  He who places his brother in the ground is everywhere.  It is groaning that is throughout the land, mingled with lamentations.  Trees are destroyed.  All animals, their hearts weep.  Grain is perished on every side.  The first mounts up on high.  Each man fetches for himself those that are branded with his name.  The land is not light.

I don’t know about you, but that has a strange sound to it.  Velikovsky said that what must have happened is that what the Exodus did is end the middle kingdom.  And ironically, if you take that date and you notice Egyptian history, there are four centuries between the end of the middle kingdom and the beginning of the new kingdom.  So Velikovsky said what we must have, since the Exodus is dated on the basis of Scripture at 1440 BC, thereabouts, and this kingdom supposedly, was probably about 2000 BC, what we have done is we’ve made Egyptian history too old.  So he moved the date of the middle kingdom up, but when he did that, he had to move the new kingdom up.  It was just preposterous, and historians say, this can’t be, this means we’ve got a 500 year error in our histories. Velikovsky says that’s right, you do.  There was a lot of debate and they wound up in the end saying this can’t be; the Bible’s wrong.  I think Velikovsky might not be right in all of his details, but he was later looked at by a Seventh Day Adventist Old Testament scholar by the name of Donovan Courville said, with Velikovsky, if you re-date the Egyptian kingdoms, and move them forward, something else begins to happen that falls into place. 

Now right about in that point in the new kingdom of Egypt, there was a famous queen. Unknown, and a very strange situation, because this was a very patriarchal, masculine society, but all the sudden we have this queen, and she becomes very powerful.  Her name is Queen Hatshepsut, she rules over Egypt.  And somewhere during her reign, something happened, and she began to import, into Egypt, she went in and she completely changed the priesthood of Egypt, made changes in the temples.  So much so, that when her son, Thutmose III ascended the throne he was so angry at what his mother had done to all the temples and the religion of Egypt, that he went to every single place where Hatshepsut’s picture was inscribed, and he plastered over it and put a picture of himself.  So nobody, for years, even knew Hatshepsut existed, until somebody banged into some plaster and it fell off, and all of the sudden, oh gee, look at that.  Hatshepsut, during her reign as the queen, made a trip eastward, to a land called God’s land.  There she met some people, and she brought back a series of trees.  Those trees, Velikovsky points out, are the same trees that Solomon gave a queen called “The Queen of Sheba,” and her trees are listed in 2 Kings.  You compare Hatshepsut’s journey to this mysterious land called God’s land, and look at the trees she brought back to Egypt, and then you look at what Solomon gave this mysterious queen that comes out of nowhere and disappears, we call her Queen of Sheba because they think it’s some little Arab province someplace.  And we have this constant correlation, so you can correlate that point and that point. Then her son, Thutmose, because remember this is in the Solomon era, after Solomon, his son, Rehoboam, is sort of an idiot and he loses the kingdom because he’s so foolish in the way he listens to his advisers, and now he is invaded by an Egyptian Pharaoh.  The first time Egypt begins to become active again, in history.  And the man that Velikovsky says invaded him was Hatshepsut’s son, because when you look at Thutmose III, he made a campaign into Palestine, and he brought back things out of a temple that he had there.  And if you look in the art of what he brought back, lo and behold, for all the world, it meets the same description as the garments of the high priest in the book of Leviticus.  And what does Kings tell us?  “They looted the temple.”  Rehoboam had to loot the temple to pay off the Egyptian army.

So the point is that we must have here, apparently, an ancient history.  We are as screwed up there as we are in geology, and the other areas of climatology, and paleoclimatolgy, etc.  I just throw that out, be careful, don’t be like a lot of Christians, even in Bible school, they accept this whole scheme and then they try desperately to fit the Exodus and make it sort of a quiet little event that happened and nobody remembered inside the new kingdom.  And I don’t think it can be done, for reasons which we’ve gone through tonight.  The Exodus is too big not to have been recognized. 

The other thing that Donovan Courville points out is that when you make this realignment of history, and you make this the end, you discover there’s a wicked group of people that come in here out of nowhere.  They’re called the Hyksos, and the Hyksos have a king by the name of Apop.  Now it turns out, because of phonetic rules, that Apop can be also Agog.  And the Hyksos, Velikovsky believes, answer to what the Scriptures talk about the Amalekites, whose king was Agag, who was slain by Saul.  So now, all of the sudden, we begin to get connections.  Now the Bible is reporting history, ah-ha, this is what was going on.  So there’s some tremendous link­ages there, and I just want you to be alert that here again, we come to the principle, we’ve got to let the text speak for itself, and use the text to set up our understanding of history, not the other way around, get our history all from secular sources, and then wonder, gee, we got a problem fitting the Exodus in.  Well, maybe the problem is the way we totally misinterpreted history to begin with. 

Other fascinating things emerge.  Courville thinks he’s identified the Pharaoh of the Exodus, because if you look at the king list, you find these guys on the throne 25 years, their throne reign is 25 maybe 31, 19, and then all of the sudden he finds a Pharaoh right in the same period and he was on the throne only 5 years, and then the rest of them go on, and on, and on.  He also points out that if this is done, the old kingdom had a man here who was a stranger to Egyptian society, who attained a tremendous rank in Egyptian society, utterly unknown in Egyptian history.  His name was Mantuhotep.  And he was not an Egyptian, but he lived, and was the administrator of Pharaoh during a famine.  So again, I point out that here we have these identifications that are impossible by classic chronology.  Mantuhotep can’t be Joseph, because he lived at the wrong time.  This Ipuwer and this piece of papyri we’re looking at on page 48 can’t be talking about the Exodus, because it’s too early.  So this is the tension we find as Christians.  I think it’s kind of interesting that we…. it’s the same argument we’ve seen again and again in Genesis and elsewhere. 

If you’ll follow the notes on page 49 I want to conclude by pointing to a quote in Josephus, and then we’ll quote Moses.  I’m going to have an appendix on these course notes, like I had appendices last year on geology and biology, and I’ll go into this, the little details of how do you date ancient history.  It’s not, by the way, by Carbon 14, it’s by something called [not sure of word, sounds like: sophic] dating, and there’s other kind of dates that go on, kingdom reigns, and so forth.  If you look at the first paragraph, halfway through it, I have a reference to Josephus.  Josephus lived at the time of Jesus. “It resolves the report by the Jewish historian, Josephus. (Antiquities of the Jews, Bk 2, Chap. 9, para. 1) that Jewish,” Josephus wrote this book and he had sources out of a library in Alexandria.  The Alexandrian library was one of the saddest cases in history, we lost that library, it was burned.  But that library at Alexandria had history books on it that probably, if we had had those, we could reconstruct ancient history with very little problem, but it was all burned.  But Josephus had access to that library, and he writes in his book, where he’s trying to supplement the Scriptures, he says that “Jewish slaves built pyramids.”  Remember what I said about the pyramids that was controversial?  Here’s why.  Most of the pyramids were built back here.  Courville feels that the old and the middle kingdoms are the same kingdom, that what we’ve done is we’ve taken two different king lists, with two different sets of names, and confused them.  But he would say that the old kingdom is the middle kingdom.  That would put the pyramids right in here, and that would make the Jews as the ones who finished off the last of the pyramids which were made of brick, not of stone, as the earlier ones.

So it’s one of these little correlations that fits.  “Since the standard chronology insists that pyramids were no longer built when the Jews were in Egypt, this report is seen as a figment of Josephus’ imagination.”  I conclude with this paragraph, “Notice that to do this re-interpretation, we have had to challenge completely, modern reconstruction of Ancient Near Eastern history, just as earlier we ‘offended’ the modern historical sciences.  This is just more evidence of what I mention in Part I of the series that the world suffers from global deception and lies in profound darkness.  The Exodus event was a public judgment that revealed God’s holiness and omnipotence to the world, not a minor hiccup barely noticeable in Egyptian history!”

Turn to Deut. 4, just one verse that shows this.  Moses goes back, he summarizes the era.  This is 40 years later, and he asks the rhetorical question.  Deut. 4:33, “Has any people heard the voice of God speaking from the fire, as you have heard it?”  That’s Mount Sinai.  In verse 34 he says, “Or has a god tried to go to take for himself a nation from within another nation by trials [plagues], by signs and wonders and by war and by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm, and by great terrors, as the LORD your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes? [35] To you it was shown that you might know that He is the LORD.  He is God, there is no other beside Him.” You see how the text of the Old Testament honors God’s immensity, His power, and His size?  That’s why the Old Testament is so critical.  We’ve got to learn the Old Testament, or we come into the New, and we have a little God, and we get this little wimp of a Jesus running around, looks like a fossil left over from the 1960’s hippie movement.  And this is what happens, because we haven’t filled our soul with the preparatory work out of the Old Testament the Holy Spirit gave us to prepare us to read the New Testament.


Question asked: Clough answers: Mantuhotep?  It’s M-a-n-t-u-h-o-t-e-p.  And that’s if Donovan Courville’s reconstruction of Egyptian history is correct.  And the reason he says that… see, this involves, if you’re a person into ancient history, this is as earth shattering to your whole viewpoint as me walking into a biologist friend of mine and talking creation.  I mean, this doesn’t go over very easily.   But the point is, that Mantuhotep has this strange background, he appears at a time of a famine, and he’s next to Pharaoh.  Now, if that doesn’t look like Joseph, I don’t know who does.  And the thing that we have to remember is that the great people in history had many names.  They called… particularly if a king had many names, they call it a tutelary, i.e., a title list, and he might have 20 different names.  You can see this, it occurs in the book of Kings a lot.  If you look… it may be better to look in a Bible dictionary, and you look up, say, Solomon, or you look up Rehoboam, you look up one of these kings, and you’ll notice that he has these other names.  He has not just one, he has several names.  And Jesus also follows that same tradition.  I mean, we call Him Jesus Christ, but Christ wasn’t his last name.  He was Jesus Ben Joseph.  That was one name He had, Emmanuel was another name He had, The Son of Man was another name He had, The Son of God was another name He had.  Well, you can’t argue there were five Jesuses because there was five names.  So the logic here is that these men of history went by different titles.  And that’s the problem, because the Egyptian documents give you the Egyptian name that they gave him.  And this is a Jewish name.  They don’t match phonetically, or anything.  So that’s a problem, we don’t know who these guys were.  There’s been any number of guys propose to be the Pharaoh of the Exodus, and you can see by what I showed you tonight, good grief, if you have one view of history, you’ve got to locate the Exodus over in here, and you’ve only got about two or three Pharaohs that qualify.  The problem with that is, is that not one of them died. 

But if you look at Exodus 14, it says, “Pharaoh and his army went into the Red Sea.” Well, the way the conservative scholars in our camp, and I’m talking about our own people, haven’t been aggressive, I don’t believe, in rethinking and leading in taking up where Velikovsky left off.  Velikovsky gave us, I think, an open door.  I think it was a major discovery the man made, and everybody just kind of passes by and ignores the guy, because it’s not respectable when you’re a professional historian, because this guy’s considered to be a kook.  So that’s why they don’t touch him with a ten-foot pole.  The problem with that is, is that then when you read a conservative historian, I just got through reading the guy that teaches the Old Testament at Dallas Seminary, he’s a great guy.  But his history of Egypt says right in smack dab in the preface of the book, “We accept all the dates of the Cambridge ancient history.”  Well, once you’ve accepted those dates, you lock yourself into the new kingdom.  Now he’s got to… and so I was looking through, gee, I wonder what he does with Pharaoh?  Well, Pharaoh really didn’t die, because he could have sat on the shore and watched his army disintegrate.  Well, every other picture in Egyptian art always has the Pharaoh in the lead.  I mean, that was part of his… and that’s why several of them were killed, because they were in the lead.  When they invaded, they were point men, or, if they weren’t the point men, they were certainly the second or third guy.  And it was considered honor that the king lead his men.  And the idea of this Pharaoh chasing after these Jews, and he parks his chariot here and says, Hi, guys, and they go in and get drowned, it doesn’t quite fit.

So there are all these accommodations.  And I don’t pretend to solve the thing, all I’m pointing out in this class is just be aware that history is a fluid thing, and it’s not quite as air tight as everybody thinks it is.  And just have the faith that some day, maybe some godly scholar will come along and help us out.  And I mean, this work cut like this, you could spend your whole your whole life just on one reign of one Pharaoh, there’s so much material out there to do this.  And we’re in desperate need of some godly Christian scholars that will take the lead in these areas.  When we preach the gospel, it comes off like, oh, that’s your opinion.  I think the reason that happens is because we’re living in a generation that doesn’t really believe its history.  This is just a nice little religious storybook, oh, that’s great for Sunday school, but boy, in school we read the real history, that’s just Sunday school stuff.” We don’t bring it together, and then we wonder, after about 15 years of this kind of education, why is the faith over there and everything else over here?  Well, because they were taught that way.  They were taught that the Bible is not connected, whatsoever.  And that’s what I’m trying to break down, here, is point out you can’t read the Bible that way.  You saw in all those textual notices tonight of the Exodus, I mean, how much more can the Holy Spirit tell us in the text, than that this was a national disaster?  It was supernatural in its dimensions, it was a thing that people who observed it said there never had been before, and never since?  That speaks to me of a catastrophe. Well, what you have to do, if you don’t want to, or if you don’t have the energy, and you’re just tired, intellectually, is to lie down and let the world roll over you, and then say, well, gee, we got to kind of compress that little note out of our attention, and we’ve compressed this, and if we can get the x’s just small enough and inconspicuous enough, we can fit it there.  I don’t think you can do that.  So once again, we’re back to the Bible versus the world.

Question asked: Clough replies:  It takes schools and schools of people to do that work.  It takes experts in it.  Experts! I mean, and then dedicate their life just to learn Egyptian hieroglyphics.  It’s a community thing.  It can’t be done by two or three people.  We can thank God for a few people that broke the ice, but I think it’s a tragic…I feel like it’s almost a betrayal of a lot of Christian universities, like Wheaton College, in Illinois.  Wheaton College, for those of you who know a little bit about church history, was the college where Billy Graham went.  And it was started by Fundamentalists in the 1920, started on a godly basis, and today we have the head of the theology department in Wheaton writing a book saying, the scandal of Christianity is creationism.  This is what happens.  It seems like every time we get a school, we finance it, we get a library started, and then the whole thing goes down the drain, and here we go, let’s start another school somewhere else.  I mean, we’ve wasted millions of dollars on schools.  And you wonder what comes out of these things?  And that’s why you heard me say several times, if I want to learn unbelief, I’ll go to an unbelieving school.  I might as well learn good unbelief, not some half-baked stuff.  If I want to learn atheism, I’ll learn under an atheist.  I’m not going to go to hear it from a Christian.  And if I want to learn biblical Christianity, God knows where I’m going to go for that.  That’s not to say there aren’t godly scholars here and there in the school systems, but it’s really pathetic in our time, that we’re not taking this material, taking the bull by the horns and doing something with it.  We don’t.  And I think we’re paying a price.  And I think that’s why the gospel’s sort of looked upon as a little harmless religious story by most people, because it’s not credible.  The whole thing’s not credible.  You can talk about Jesus all you want to, but if Jesus is testified through the Scriptures, and the Scriptures aren’t historic, what does that do to Jesus?

The modern person, the modern theologian, when you talk about Jesus Christ, let’s not forget, what they’re going to counter us with is, that’s what the early church thought Jesus was.  You ever notice around Christmas time, Time magazine, Newsweek, “Can we find the real Jesus?”  They always have some article like that.  And what it amounts to is that, well, we think kind of there was a guy that had the name Jesus, that lived, you know, there, and he might have taught a few classes, and that’s about all we know.  All the rest of the stuff, dying on the cross, rising from the dead, being virgin born, that’s just fluff that people wanted to believe, that he was a great savior, so they puffed up his bio.  And what we’ve got here is a puffery.  And that’s the modern view of the Bible.  So now you go out and you try to talk about Jesus Christ, and if the person you were talking to happens to think that way, you see he’s already sucked you into his viewpoint.  So now you’re sitting there, you’ve got to disassemble that mess before you can even get to the Gospel.  And it’s not easy.  A guy who’s a preacher today, or an evangelist today, has really got his work cut out for him.  It’s a difficult thing.  What we may be doing is, a lot of our evangelism preaching is just preaching to the choir.  It’s very difficult to go out there and communicate.  And we get false professions.  Why do we get false professions?  People don’t understand this first place.  They understand there’s something here, something gooey, so let’s go for it.  But we really don’t understand it, and if we don’t understand it, we can’t believe it, and if we don’t believe it, we’re not born again.  It’s that simple. 

You’ll see this happen again and again when we get into the conquest.  We’re going to deal with the Jericho issue.  That’s been a sore point in archeology for a generation.  What about the walls of Jericho?  Turns out that the walls of Jericho did fall out, just like the Bible says, but they’re in the wrong strata.  They’re about 500 years too early.  So by the time that you date the strata of Jericho when the Jews are coming in, nothing’s there, it’s a little shanty town.  But that’s not the Jericho you’re reading about in Joshua, for crying out loud.  So there’s this dating, you keep running into this, over and over again, in Old Testament history.  We’ve got the material, it seems like, but we’ve got the wrong number on it.  Just be aware of that. 

But on the other hand, the positive side of this is, if you will be aware of that, when you read the text, let the text be unleashed in your heart.  And let the Holy Spirit take that text, like that powerful text tonight.  Read through Miriam and the people singing that hymn.  Imagine a million people, a million people singing this as dead bodies are floating around in the water.  I mean, this is mess; this is a mess, here.  Dead, smelly corpses floating all over the Red Sea and these people are singing, praising God and dancing.  That’s the scene of Exodus 15.  Let’s put on a church musical about that one. So anyway, that’s the neat stuff, I think, in the text.  We’ll see more of that.  It gets bloodier and messier as we go on, so you know, be prepared.

Question asked Clough answers:  Cindy comes to our class, she’s an English teacher.  And Cindy’s been under the pile because, as a Christian, she’s struggling with the fact… a very interesting point, here’s Cindy’s problem.  She teaches senior English and in senior English you’re supposed to teach American history in the 20th century.  Cindy’s problem is, she can’t find an American great writer in the 20th century that expresses a Christian viewpoint.  She can’t use C.S. Lewis, because he’s English.  Who does she use?  Hemmingway?  He blows his brains out with a shotgun.  So all she’s got is despair literature.  So that’s the whole class, talking despair literature.  So Cindy’s struggling, gee, how do I do that?  And so she’s trying to get the kids at least to realize, okay, this guy believes this, then here’s where it leads, to try to show them that.  Well, because she’s the new girl on the block, she got saddled with this goof-off class, half of them on crack or something, and every, you know, two or three days they are still alive and well and understand something that she teaches. 

Last Tuesday she gets in there and she was able to get into the Bible.  She’s going to teach the Bible as literature, now, very careful, public school.  So she’s going to teach the Bible as literature.  Well, all of a sudden the whole class comes unglued because these kids start asking questions about dinosaurs, and what about evolution, and so on.  She says, well, I’ve got somebody that we are going to bring into class.  So tomorrow I’m supposed to go in and talk to her class and let the kids ask questions where they want to.  She warned me tonight, they may be cracked out somewhere, because she says they come in and look real nice, then they’re kind of, you know, starry-eyed.  But those who don’t have scrambled eggs for brains yet from the drugs, can at least follow.  And she hopes that there are a couple of kids in that class that really want answers.  And she’s toying with them, because she’s got to be careful.  And so you might pray that we can speak to the issue so that there’s a matching between what I say, that I’ll be sensitive to what their real questions are.  Because often times the real question isn’t the one that you hear.  And the second thing we’re going to do is, we’re going to video tape it, because if any parent objects to, oh, gee, we talked about creation yesterday in a public classroom.  Well, I’m going to present both sides, so if anybody complains, there’s a video tape here, look at it.  So we’ll see how it comes off.  But I’d appreciate your prayer.