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|OK, so this is pretty much the last we hear of Zipporah in the Men's Bible, except for a curious episode later, which gives a hint of what actually happened to her, which is this: she got fed up with her nutjob husband, so she took her children and returned to Midian.
Yes, she missed all the excitement in Egypt: she missed Moses and his brother Aaron performing illusions for an unimpressed Pharaoh, who pointed out that any good sorcerer could do them. She missed all the ponds and rivers and streams turning to blood and all the fish dying. She missed Moses entreaties every day to let his people go, falling on Pharaoh's deaf ear.
She missed the frogs and the lice, and the swarms of flies. And she was very glad. She knew she had made the right decision, getting her children away from Moses. She felt fortunate to have
|avoided the cattle plague and the boils and the hail storm mingled with flaming fire. She was especially happy to have missed the locusts and was appalled at the murder of the first-born Egyptians.
In the midst of all this mayhem, some male, be it Yahweh, Moses or Aaron came up with the brilliant idea to make a celebration of all this horror. They cooked up a scheme to murder a baby lamb, dip some hyssop in its blood and hang it on the door, so Yahweh would skip that household on his psychotic rampage of slaughtering firstborns. How festive! And for some reason, an obsession with unleavened bread was involved- like leavening was too impious. BUT NOT BLOODLUST! This was a truly testosteroney holiday.
|Then the Israelites stole all the Egyptians' jewels, gold and silver; either that, or the Egyptians just gave it to them to get them to go away, they were so much trouble. Moses took Joseph's bones and led the Israelites out of Egypt. Pharaoh pursued them to the Red Sea, just to make sure they really left. The Israelites paranoidly assumed the Egyptians were chasing them with evil intent and fretted.
Miriam the Prophetess, great, great, great, great granddaughter of the sensual and life-affirming Sarai, knew
|something of tides. She timed a low tide crossing for the Israelites, so that when the Egyptians arrived, the tide would be high again and they would not be able to catch up to the fleeing Israelites. This stopped the Israelites' whining. For now. Miriam's intelligence and ingenuity was discredited in the Men's Bible, where the escape was instead ascribed to a miracle performed by Moses parting the Red Sea with God's help. God, the gynophobia of men!
Miriam's idea of celebrating was making music with timbrels and dancing, not slaughtering something to make a hideous bloody mess, so she led the people in merrymaking and singing after the Israelites were safely across the sea. The truth is, the Egyptians celebrated the departure of the nuisance Israelites that day, too. This is the last we hear of Miriam in the Men's Bible, except to scorn her and kill her off, but The Women's Bible will rejoin her story later, when we hook back up with Zipporah's tale.
The Israelites were all, "Oh, boy, Yahweh is great! He saved us; he's on our side- we're his favorites," and all the usual claims people make when they get lucky. But when the going got tough, the Israelites got whiney. So, the lord provided them with manna from heaven, which is, I think, something like a thin, crispy pastry with a light dewy frosting. Yum. But after 40 years of nothing but manna, the Israelites took to bitching again. There's no pleasing some people- wouldn't you like to eat nothing but Krispy Kremes for 40 years?
Then they got into a fight with Amalek, which they claimed to win and Yahweh told Moses, "I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven," but irony of irony, by writing it in a book, he immortalized the name forever! Go figure!