Unintended Success? Shemot 4:14-16: A Ten Commandments’ Tale

I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.

Thomas Jefferson

the torah’s multiple themes include both family relations and nation building. brotherhood also weighs heavy as a theme. brotherhood’s disastrous inception via cain and abel created a psychic wound on the master of the universe’s creation. despite amazing advice by the creator on how to right the course, a brother chooses murder as the solution.

this episode evidenced to the master of the universe as to the complexities of his creation. humans are not always rational. the motivation of human actions involve logic and emotion. this post posits that a large part of the torah is devoted to addressing this miscalculation.

as such, the torah takes generations to heal brotherhood. from the onset, divine intervention is well documented. with isaac and ishmael, the master intervenes when abraham sends hagar and ishmael out of the family. ishmael is blessed. with jacob and esau, the master intervenes prior to jacob’s encounter with esau. jacob, concerned that his brother would still be angry after he stole his blessing from their father isaac, engages in an all night wrestling match with a mysterious man. in this match, jacob’s hip socket was damaged. as such, when jacob finally meets esau, they are not equals. jacob presents as crippled and therefore is no longer a threat. with joseph and his brothers, after joseph was sold into slavery and then imprisoned in egypt, the master is documented as protecting him during his incarceration.

thus, we are brought to the passage from shemot:

“and the lord’s wrath was kindled against moses, and he said, “is there not aaron your brother, the levite? i know that he will surely speak, and behold, he is coming forth toward you, and when he sees you, he will rejoice in his heart. you shall speak to him, and you shall put the words into his mouth, and i will be with your mouth and with his mouth, and i will instruct you [both] what you shall do. and he will speak for you to the people, and it will be that he will be your speaker, and you will be his leader.” exodus 4:14-16

thus, shemot heals the psychic wound from the incident of cain and abel. moses, reluctant to take on the task of freeing the slaves from egypt, is teamed with his older brother aaron. with this, one may wonder whether the master anticipated that moses would need help and had aaron in the wings. or, was this an unintended moment? was all of the master’s works to heal brotherhood provided a fortunate moment. with shemot, brotherhood was elevated to the next level. two brothers (and eventually their sister) were to work in concert and cooperation on something greater than a mere family issue. they would take on together the task of freeing a nation.

in sum, thomas jefferson’s quote may have some bearing on what transpired. the master’s efforts positioned himself to where a little luck could have brought him over the top in creating inspirational siblings. or, did the master have it planned out all along. to this, i have no clue. this story however serves parents who, forevermore, are allowed to point to moses and his siblings as an inspiration for getting along and accomplishing great things together.

be well!!

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Published by biblelifestudies

I am a practicing lawyer and long term admirer of the bible

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