Stage 4: Wider reading :

Unit 7: Moses and the Pharoah

Moses and the Pharoah

"The Egyptians believed that their king was superhuman.

As a god, he was irresistible on the battlefield and could slay hundreds of enemies at a stroke all by himself.

"'His eyes scrutinised the depth of every living being' Nothing is impossible for him."

"Everything which he ordains comes about".'

"Because the whole world depends upon him his health is all important."

Moses' rod had a special significance for it attacked the Pharaoh in the most alarming manner by threatening his personal health along with that of the whole of Egypt in its entire dependence upon his continued health and wellbeing.

The dread disease of leprosy threatened the Pharaoh's health in his own court.

There were measures designed to ensure protection under all circumstances, to which leprosy within the court ran completely counter.

A prime measure of protection lay in the fact that "the god-king required complete and abject self-humiliation of his subjects.

A person approaching the Pharaoh threw himself on the floor, smelling the earth, crawling on the ground invoking this Perfect God and exalting his beauty".

Again, the rod that became a serpent was a real danger, for the serpent had a special significance.

Many cattle died from the bite of the serpent when grain was being threshed in Egypt:

"At harvest time the (god) king had the duty of performing the magic ceremony of protecting from serpents the cattle used in threshing...”

The cow was worshiped in Egypt, and not only as a source of food, but as the sky, the celestial mother and wife of the sun.

The cow-god Hathor, 'which is the sky', watched over the underworld of the dead and nourished the Pharaoh with milk....

And, of course, he was responsible for the annual Nile flood as well as the other weather phenomena.

He had many powers and much responsibility."