The Force in Scripture?

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14 Dec 2018 00:07 #330833 by Alethea Thompson
We’ll get to this story too ;)- let’s just focus on what’s going on atm in the study ;)

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14 Dec 2018 16:30 - 14 Dec 2018 16:30 #330897 by Alethea Thompson


Exodus 8:8
Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron, and said, “Entreat the Lord that He may take away the frogs from me and from my people; and I will let the people go, that they may sacrifice to the Lord.”

Time to put on your interpersonal communication cap and tell me: What is Pharaoh really saying?
Last edit: 14 Dec 2018 16:30 by Alethea Thompson.

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14 Dec 2018 17:36 #330931 by Loudzoo
Replied by Loudzoo on topic The Force in Scripture?
"LEAVE ME ALONE!"

Pharoah can see where this is going - Aaron's magic is stronger, if the people of Egypt realise this, the dynasty could be overthrown. Best to give the Israelites a bit of religious freedom and prevent any more crazy plagues . . .

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14 Dec 2018 17:40 #330932 by Arisaig
Replied by Arisaig on topic The Force in Scripture?
I find its a very choice selection of words.

"I cannot say your God is more powerful than my own, but give us mercy from it."

In terms of being a Jedi, or someone that's 'found the Force', people have said I've changed. They first thought it was just me turning my life around, but I kept saying it was because of my discovery of this Force. Now, many of my closest friends have had to give in and recognise the power of the Force, despite their own faith saying such a thing cannot exist, simply because of the changes they've seen it bring about in my life.

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14 Dec 2018 18:01 #330935 by Kasumi
Replied by Kasumi on topic The Force in Scripture?
It's possible that Pharaoh recognizes that this magical competition is not doing his people any good. Frogs and rivers of blood? Not worth it when all these people say they want to do is go away into the desert and hold a festival to their god. Take your frogs and go.

I will point out that in Exodus 7:3, YHVH explicitly says he will harden Pharaoh's heart on this matter. Which is to suggest that Pharaoh on his own might not have created this scenario at all, that this entire situation might be out of character for him. He may in this moment be wondering why he keeps getting mind-tricked into stopping these people from having their celebration.

Or, conversely, this might be the moment when he isn't under the mental influence of his own magicians, since his heart is consistently hardened when they perform their own wonders.

(I'm not attached to any of these, but they are all interpretations available in the text.)

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I do not fight for gain or loss, am not concerned with strength or weakness, and neither advance a step nor retreat a step. ~Takuan
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14 Dec 2018 18:13 #330936 by Alethea Thompson
Not a lot of people catch that it was GOD who hardened Pharaoh's heart. :) I'm considering a future study on God and the concept of Free Will in the Bible. But I'm not so certain there's really enough in there to do one (obviously not enough for the original 5 week concept I had XD, but it would be interesting if I could get enough for like a day study and release it as this one if the group thinks this is a worthwhile endeavor).
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14 Dec 2018 18:33 - 14 Dec 2018 18:33 #330937 by Kobos
Replied by Kobos on topic The Force in Scripture?

Kasumi wrote: I will point out that in Exodus 7:3, YHVH explicitly says he will harden Pharaoh's heart on this matter. Which is to suggest that Pharaoh on his own might not have created this scenario at all, that this entire situation might be out of character for him. He may in this moment be wondering why he keeps getting mind-tricked into stopping these people from having their celebration.


So, I just wanted to chime in here because this is something that strikes me as an interesting thing to think of. God hardens Pharaoh's heart but can we ask when? So, was it a sudden thing, because it doesn't strike me of a something that would be the case. So, it raises the question of free will certainly. Consider though perhaps this points to the timelessness of God in that perhaps in a life lead through a course of events by God his heart had hardened in time, so that through his own experience his heart was already hardened. So, events were indeed set in motion through a timeless God. Meaning that the idea that Pharaoh's heart was indeed hardened by God but interpreted wrong in scripture written by man whom defines things chronologically as a reaction to events instead of a seamless flow of existence.

Just something that I thought was an interesting caveat.

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Last edit: 14 Dec 2018 18:33 by Kobos. Reason: Typos
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17 Dec 2018 15:23 - 17 Dec 2018 15:25 #331126 by ZealotX
Replied by ZealotX on topic The Force in Scripture?

Alethea Thompson wrote:
Exodus 8:8
Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron, and said, “Entreat the Lord that He may take away the frogs from me and from my people; and I will let the people go, that they may sacrifice to the Lord.”

Time to put on your interpersonal communication cap and tell me: What is Pharaoh really saying?


I don't think Pharaoh, as an anti-hero gets much of any credit in this story; even for his own thoughts. I think he's testing Moses here. "Do you actually have the power to stop this? I see that you can take credit for disasters but do you actually have the power to remove all these frogs because the removal of all these frogs would, itself, be miraculous. How do you make all these frogs disappear? If we saw them come from the water because something was wrong with the water... that's one thing. You could create a plague of frogs by poisoning the water. Hence the frogs would be a natural effect. But for them to suddenly go away... how could you do this? If your god is real the surely he can do this."

I think Pharaoh was always trying to figure out Moses's game. I think he assumed it was a trick and therefore kept asking Moses for proof. And each time his priests said Moses was lying and that his god wasn't real they would show Pharaoh something as proof. But in his mind, he reasoned his own test. He wanted to see something that couldn't be explained by their scientific understanding. And again... this is the civilization that built the pyramids. We should assume that they understood a lot about natural phenomenon; especially related to the Nile river. Especially since, before this they had the ability to predict famine to some degree. Most miracles involved nature or medicine. It wasn't now you see it now you don't. So to me, this was a different kind of request.

And because this request was different Pharaoh may not have believed Moses could pull it off which means that his offer of freeing the Israelites was more sarcastic than sincere.
Last edit: 17 Dec 2018 15:25 by ZealotX.
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18 Dec 2018 14:36 #331192 by Alethea Thompson
Moses did pray and ask God to lift the frogs, and they were caused to become dead on the land. Again, Pharoah’s heart is hardened in verse 15. This is important to note, because God does not tell Moses to go to Pharaoh and announce his next plague. Let’s pick up in verse 16

EXODUS 8:16-17

[/i]So the Lord said to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Stretch out your rod, and strike the dust of the land, so that it may become lice throughout all the land of Egypt.’ ” And they did so. For Aaron stretched out his hand with his rod and struck the dust of the earth, and it became lice on man and beast. All the dust of the land became lice throughout all the land of Egypt.[/i]

There are three more plagues- boils, darkness and the death of the firstborn- unleashed without approaching Pharaoh. And each time, Moses and Aaron are given specific instructions for how to make them happen.

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18 Dec 2018 16:05 #331199 by ZealotX
Replied by ZealotX on topic The Force in Scripture?

Alethea Thompson wrote: Moses did pray and ask God to lift the frogs, and they were caused to become dead on the land. Again, Pharoah’s heart is hardened in verse 15. This is important to note, because God does not tell Moses to go to Pharaoh and announce his next plague. Let’s pick up in verse 16

EXODUS 8:16-17

[/i]So the Lord said to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Stretch out your rod, and strike the dust of the land, so that it may become lice throughout all the land of Egypt.’ ” And they did so. For Aaron stretched out his hand with his rod and struck the dust of the earth, and it became lice on man and beast. All the dust of the land became lice throughout all the land of Egypt.[/i]

There are three more plagues- boils, darkness and the death of the firstborn- unleashed without approaching Pharaoh. And each time, Moses and Aaron are given specific instructions for how to make them happen.


I think again... there's this cat and mouse thing going on between Moshe and Pharaoh where Moshe is getting the better of him while Pharaoh keeps getting frustrated. He didn't necessarily know how the frogs would be taken care of but what he got wasn't exactly what he asked for. Let's read more.

5 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron, ‘Stretch out your hand with your staff over the streams and canals and ponds, and make frogs come up on the land of Egypt.’”

6 So Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt, and the frogs came up and covered the land. 7 But the magicians did the same things by their secret arts; they also made frogs come up on the land of Egypt.


(when the Magicians are able to do the same thing the "miracle" loses all intended effect so Pharaoh's heart is "hardened". Note: it seems like there was no way around this happening and so to explain this difficulty the writer says that God hardened his heart. However, I don't know. It seems like his reactions are natural for someone who is witnessing something twice; knowing that Moshe was raised in Egypt. So is Moshe using Egyptian 'magic' or is this really some new god that Pharaoh doesn't know and should therefore be afraid of? The motivation of these miracles is to elicit fear. It's simply not working so the writer needs to turn that unbelief into a miracle of its own. This suggests that if it wasn't for God's intervention the Pharaoh would have seen a miracle performed twice and said "oh yes, I see your God is greater and I am sufficiently frightened enough to let your people go.")

8 Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “Pray to YHWH to take the frogs away from me and my people, and I will let your people go to offer sacrifices to YHWH.”

9 Moses said to Pharaoh, “I leave to you the honor of setting the time for me to pray for you and your officials and your people that you and your houses may be rid of the frogs, except for those that remain in the Nile.”

(Here is where I can see where Pharaoh is frustrated. He asked for the frogs to be taken away. He didn't say, "I want these frogs dead". Could he have implied that? Sure, but whether they were alive or dead wasn't the point. The point was that they be REMOVED. Moshe acknowledges exactly what he's asking for and moreover says that the only frogs remaining will be in the river. So there are still frogs in the river that weren't driven on land. We know this also because the Egyptians brought more frogs out of the river when it was their turn. So obviously they had some method of doing this.)
10 “Tomorrow,” Pharaoh said.

Moses replied, “It will be as you say, so that you may know there is no one like YHWH our God. 11 The frogs will leave you and your houses, your officials and your people; they will remain only in the Nile.”

(again... with specificity the frogs were to LEAVE and remain only in the Nile. You would assume then that frogs would go back to the river or somewhere else, but not stay.)

12 After Moses and Aaron left Pharaoh, Moses cried out to the Lord about the frogs he had brought on Pharaoh. 13 And the Lord did what Moses asked. The frogs died in the houses, in the courtyards and in the fields. 14 They were piled into heaps, and the land reeked of them. 15 But when Pharaoh saw that there was relief, he hardened his heart and would not listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the Lord had said.

As we can see the actual effect was different from what Pharaoh had asked and what Moshe had acknowledged. Not only are they not gone but they reek. I remember having a newt when I was a kid. There are few odors as bad as dead amphibians. And because they were dead, and not moved, this could also invite other problems... like gnats. There is no negotiation with Pharaoh at this point because the gnats were going to come whether he said yea or nay. Even if the Israelites had left that very second the gnats were going to come because of the smell of the frogs.

What's funny is that it says YHWH did what Moshe asked. But the actual request is hidden by a writers device. In other words there are so many quotes of who said what to whom and God said this to Moshe and Moshe said this and that to YHWH. But here there is no quote. It simply said he "cried out" about the frogs. What he actually said is not included. Why is that? Is it because the writer had to either explain or spin why it is that Moshe acknowledged Pharaoh's request but what happened was something different and undesirable? And what happened to the frogs the Egyptians summoned forth from the river? They must have died too which could be evidence of some other cause. Perhaps they were always going to die because they were poisoned. We don't know. All we really see is this attempt to cover up the fact that Pharaoh asked for one thing and got something else which would have naturally caused the next plague. However, the writer intervenes because he wants YHWH to have credit for the next plague, not the dead frogs which would have naturally brought it about. But why would the writer need to intervene so? Again, I don't think Pharaoh hardened his heart after seeing "relief". That's what the writer wants us to think. He's not a mind reader at all! How does he know that pharaoh's heart was hardened? I say... only because pharaoh refused to let the people go as commanded. And in this case it would be very logical for Pharaoh to keep to his position after not getting what he wanted and possibly even having a worse outcome than the frogs themselves. I've had a 'plague' of gnats in my house before. Frogs may have been preferable. The Egyptians could have killed the frogs themselves. Pharaoh wanted them removed as a true miracle because surely if thousands of frogs suddenly disappeared no one could argue against that. No science could have explained that and Pharaoh himself may have been converted. But since that's not what happened, Pharaoh had no reason to relent.

Again, why are Moshe and Aaron performing feats they should have already known the Egyptians could do? Why not do something radically different that none of them could explain? Why not make one of the pyramids disappear? Why not make gold coins appear in enough quantity to simply buy the freedom of each family? Why not simply teleport the Israelites out of there?
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