If we split the story of Exodus into three parts, the first part would be about Moses and the Hebrew people and the second part would be about godhood.
What does godhood have to do with Exodus?
Look closely at this first line in the text. God tells Moses that he will “make you (Moses) as God to Pharaoh”. This is not just a repeat of God establishing a telephone game with people through the prophet. In that previous example, God said Moses would be God to Aaron. Now Moses is going to be set up with godhood over Pharaoh.
These are minor details for us as 21st century readers. In the days of Moses however, those are fighting words. Pharaoh was not just a king in this land, he was worshiped as a god himself. In fact, he was the central godhood figure for the people, with the most authority over their lives. That is why a pharaoh could call his people to commit genocide and get obedience.
From a purely social perspective, there are issues of justice, economy, and land rights involved in this conflict. From a spiritual perspective though, we have something else at work.
God sets up Moses as a person with a kind of godhood over the Hebrew people, speaking through his brother Moses. As God does this, He implicitly is elevating Himself over all of them. If Moses is on equal godhood terms with Pharaoh – made even more curious by the fact that Moses was raised in the same palace, as an adopted brother to this Pharaoh – that means the God YHWH is above them all.
It is not God versus Pharaoh if Pharaoh continues to interact with this Moses, who is beneath him. That may sound strange at this juncture, but it is an important perspective that will bring the rest of this second part of Exodus to life. Get ready for a wild ride!
What do you see here?
I’d love to hear what you see in this passage. You can comment below or send a text to 859-636-6965 for a faster response. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts sharing God with others.