Feet of Clay: Moshe
I present: Feet of Clay. This is a new feature here at Minor Thoughts. Many Biblical characters are far more interesting than we realize. With all of the familiar stories floating around, it's easy to forget just how, well, human they sometimes were.
This first edition of "Feet of Clay" grew out of a recent IM conversation between Adam and me. The ideas are Adam's. The presentation is mine. Enjoy.
Moshe was the creepiest man on Earth. Think about this, really: This was the guy with all this power, but he never spoke when he came into the courts, etc. Aaron always talked for him. Maybe Moshe whispered into his ear or something, but he was the silent big guy that gave orders to the man who talked. Plus after Exodus he always wore a veil across his face because his face was radiant -- from talking to God -- and frightened the heck out of everyone. So, really, you have this image of this old man who doesn't talk, constantly veiled but there's a glow underneath that cloth... More than intimidating as a visual image, if you ask me.
He killed an Egyptian at 40. And the rest wasn't physically strenuous, so by the time he's walking around with a stick and glowing he could just be old and thin.
I'll bet the Midianites didn't recognize him when he returned to kill them all. And isn't that the big twist at the end of the Torah, incidentally? The Midianites are all put to the sword by the Hebrews. You have to wonder how Jethro felt about that, his wife, etc. His wife didn't Moshe anyway ("you are a bridegroom of blood to me" is hardly a flattering remark), but...
Incidentally, do you think Moshe divorced his wife or just literally sent her out of Egypt? Because the Bible uses the phrase "sent her away", which is the phrase that's always used for divorce... Which makes Moshe all the more interesting. Divorced and the product of an incestuous marriage. He can hardly get more interesting. (ed: Somehow I missed the whole incestuous marriage angle. That certainly wasn't covered in Sunday School. :-) ) Oh, yeah. His father married either his sister or his half-sister. Either way. It was a marriage that Moshe would go on to condemn in the giving of laws.