->''Then the LORD said to Moses, “Rise up early in the morning and present yourself to Pharaoh and say to him, ‘Thus says the LORD, the God of the Hebrews: Let My people go, that they may serve Me.’”''
-->-- '''Exodus 9:13'''

Following from the events of the Literature/BookOfGenesis, the Jewish people have left Israel, only to find misfortune. Eager to return to the Promised Land, the Israelites must re-order their society and reconcile with God in their decades long campaign to re-claim their home. This page will cover the Books of Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, and Joshua alongside Exodus for the sake of convenience.

'''''Exodus''''': 400 years after the Israelites' migration to Egypt at the end of Genesis, a new pharaoh subjects them to slavery and has all their newborn boys killed. One baby escapes and is found by pharaoh's daughter and named Moses. As an adult, he kills an overseer for beating an Israelite and flees to the desert. He settles down into the life of a shepherd when he is called by God to liberate his brethren.

This shepherd, Moses, frees the Israelites by the power of God and provides the Israeli people with Ten Commandments handed down by God, which would go on to be the basis of their law and morality. This is the most famous of the four, getting adapted into six frescoes within the Art/SistineChapel, ''Literature/MosesManOfTheMountain'', ''Film/TheTenCommandments'', ''WesternAnimation/ThePrinceOfEgypt'', and ''Film/ExodusGodsAndKings''.

'''Leviticus''': The guide book about how the Israelites are to properly worship God and manage their society.

'''Numbers''': The Israelites are on their way to ThePromisedLand while battling hostile nomadic peoples and internal dissension. Things do not go entirely to plan.

'''Deuteronomy''': Moses' last instructions to the new generation of Israelites about to enter Canaan.

'''Joshua''': Moses and the previous generation of Israelites are dead and it's up to Joshua to lead the new generation in conquering the Promised Land.

Joshua is followed by the Literature/BookOfJudges.

----
!!These books contain the following tropes:

* AdaptedOut: Moses' brother Aaron is ''always'' has most of his deeds taken over by Moses himself.
* AfterActionReport: According to tradition, these books were written near the end of Moses' and Joshua's lifetimes.
* AllFlyersAreBirds: In the LongList of laws detailing what animals are and are not OK to eat, [[note]] Interestingly, no plants or fungi are considered to be unclean. Many scholars now believe these laws about meat and dairy products [[FairForItsDay were a way of protecting people from food poisoning and parasites, in an era with no refrigeration, a hot climate easily conducive to food spoilage, and no real concept of germ theory]]. Anyway, the lack of unclean vegetables and fruit becomes important later in the Literature/BookOfDaniel, when the Jews are exiled in Babylon (which does not abide by these rules). Daniel and his followers simply adopt a vegetarian diet to reaffirm their commitment to their traditions and faith. [[/note]] bats are listed among the unclean birds. [[note]] Mostly birds of prey, and birds (such as storks) that feed on carrion, which could potentially transmit diseases and parasites to humans who might eat them. As for bats, it is now known that the consumption of fruit bats in Africa ''has'' been linked to the transmission of Ebola and related viruses. Again, a way of keeping people healthy (and thus keeping communicable diseases at bay) by declaring certain types of meat and ways of handling/preparing/serving it off limits. [[/note]] Bats are mammals, not birds ([[ScienceMarchesOn either this distinction wasn't known in those days]] or [[HaveAGayOldTime birds was a catch-all term for all vertebrates that could fly]]).
* AndThereWasMuchRejoicing: The Israelites waste no time singing praises to the Lord when they see that the Pharaoh and his entire army was killed by the flood of waters that God unleashes on them after the Israelites safely cross through the Red Sea. Of course, this soon turns into MoodWhiplash for them as they go from rejoicing to complaining about the bitter water at the first place in the wilderness where they stop.
* ArtisticLicenseHistory: [[RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgement Depends who you ask]]. There is no archaeological evidence or written record of a mass migration of people (enslaved or otherwise) out of AncientEgypt and into the Middle East. However, [[SelectiveObliviousness the ancient Egyptians never recorded their defeats and even turned some of them into victories]]. It's believed that there's a historical core to the story since one of the oldest poems in the book titled "The Song of the Sea" is dated to the 12th century BC. These are two of various reasons why even scholars who aren't members of the Abrahamic faiths think there must have been a exodus (or several of them) of some sort whether or not it happened in the grander, supernaturally-enabled way the Bible describes it. Also, while most (if not all) of Egypt's monuments were built not by foreign slaves, but by Egyptian day-laborers (often farmers in the off-season), the Bible also stipulates that the Hebrews didn't build the monuments, they did more menial tasks such as making bricks; the lowest of the low.
** Another example. The most popular choice for ''Pharaoh of Exodus'' [[RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgement in the media]] is Ramesses II. This brings one small problem to the equation: Caanan was part of Egypt during Ramesses II, which would mean the Hebrews never left Egypt proper to begin with.
* AsteroidsMonster: According to one Jewish interpretation of Exodus, the plague of frogs started with just a single frog, which split into two every time it was hit. The Egyptians nevertheless were so annoyed they couldn't stop hitting it, ending with the whole Egypt being inundated.
* BadassGrandpa:
** Moses was 120 when he died. Joshua finally became leader, at 80.
** Caleb, the other faithful spy along with Joshua, carries this UpToEleven in Joshua chapter 14. He states outright that he's 85 years old but doesn't feel a day over 40 and asks that his inheritance be a mountain fortress filled with Anakim, and confidently expresses his belief that God will give him victory over them. The name Anakim means giant and many Bible scholars think Goliath was one of the last Anakim. Eighty-five-year-old Caleb was asking to go fight an entire ''fortress'' full of giants.
** [[RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgement While the debate of the Pharaoh of Exodus' identity continues to this day]], the most popular and well-known depictions in the media [[note]] not so much scholars. [[/note]], Ramesses II, lived to be 90.
* BecauseISaidSo: Invoked many times by {{God}}, or by leaders like Moses and later kings, who would claim that the edicts were issued directly by God.
* BestialityIsDepraved: Any person who is caught having sex with an animal is to be executed. The animal too, is considered DefiledForever by this act and must be slaughtered.
* BigBlackout: One of God's plagues upon Egypt was to plunge it into thick darkness.
* BittersweetEnding: The Israelites conquer Canaan but it's foretold the next generation will be unfaithful to God. Also Moses is told he can not enter the Promised Land because of his disobedience to God's word.
* BloodMagic: Not magic per se, but God does tell the Israelites to paint the doorposts of their houses with lamb's blood so that when the destroying angel comes by and sees the blood, he will pass over and thus spare the entire household.
* BlowThatHorn: The Israelites destroy the walls of Jericho by sounding their horns outside it.
* BrownNote: The voice of God, according to the Israelites that heard Him speak from the mountain, as recorded in Exodus and Deuteronomy. After hearing Him the first time, they tell Moses to have God speak to him and then him speak to the Israelites because if they heard the voice of God speak any more, they would die. Whether the voice of God can actually kill or just that the Israelites thought the voice is so terrifying that it can cause heart attacks is unknown.
* BurnTheWitch: There is [[https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus+22:18&version=NIV a command]] to not allow a "sorceress" to live.
* BuryYourGays: Leviticus 20:13 states: "If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads." [[note]][[RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgement This is merely stating what the verse says, please do not add any opinions or arguments about it]].[[/note]]
* CargoCult: In Exodus chapter 32, the people of Israel got anxious waiting for Moses to come down from the mountain, and seeing that he had been gone, figuring he must have been gone forever, tell Aaron the priest to make for them gods that will lead them. Aaron tells them to give him their gold, so they did, and he melts the gold, fashions it into a golden calf, and calls it their god (or God). The one true God brings this to Moses' attention, and when he sees the people worshiping the calf with pagan revelry, he got so mad that he broke the tablets containing the Ten Commandments, and he also crushed and ground the golden calf to powder. He had those involved in the worship of the golden calf (except for Aaron his brother) be slain before the Lord to get rid of those that would worship other gods.
* CharacterFilibuster: The first thirty-three chapters of Deuteronomy make up Moses's final, longest testament to the people of Israel, summing up their history in the forty years after the Exodus and all the laws God has given them. The speech literally lasts until Moses is dead and gives reason for the book's other title, Debarim, the Hebrew word for "words."
* ChekhovsSkill: Both used and averted with Moses and the burning bush. God teaches Moses how to turn his staff into a serpent, and how to turn the skin of his hand leprous (as well as cure it), both in order to demonstrate that he is a prophet of the Lord. He performs the former, but the latter never shows up again.
* ChurchMilitant: Contrary to what you see in Film/TheTenCommandments, the worshipers of the golden calf were not swallowed up by the earth. God had Moses command the Levite priests to slaughter them. The swallowed-up-by-earth event happened later, in a separate incident involving the rebellion of Korah.
* CircumcisionAngst: In Exodus chapter 4, as Moses and his family head toward Egypt, the Lord meets him on the way to kill him because he had forgotten to circumcise his child, and Zipporah takes a flint knife, circumcises the child, and throws the foreskin at Moses' feet (euphemism or not), saying, "You are a bridegroom of blood to me." This [[PutOnABus puts her on a bus]] until later on when Moses' father-in-law visits him after he has led his people Israel out of Egypt.
* CivilWar: The tribes of Reuben, Gad, and the eastern half of Manasseh ''almost'' bring their entire country into this when they built an altar beside the Jordan River, until they explain that the purpose of the altar is to remind the people on the west side of the Jordan that the people on the east side are also God's people and will worship at the same altar that is in the place God had chosen. The other tribes seemed satisfied with the explanation and ceased from going to war with their brothers over the altar, calling it Witness.
* TheCommandments: In UsefulNotes/{{Judaism}}, UsefulNotes/{{Christianity}}, and Western civilization, the Ten Commandments God gives to Moses on Mount Sinai are often considered the UrExample. The numbering of the commandments is a little muddled, as the seventeen verses which describes them don't actually line up when one commandment ends and another one begins.
* ConsummationCounterfeit: If a woman's new husband (or in-laws) [[SlutShaming accuse her of not being a virgin on her wedding night]], and she is able to produce a bloodstained sheet or garment, then the accuser is to be [[ATasteOfTheLash publicly flogged]] (and if it ''is'' the groom or his family making the accusation, he loses the right to divorce her.) However, if the bride and her parents are ''not'' able to produce "evidence" that she was a virgin, she is to be [[HonorRelatedAbuse stoned to death by the men of her community right on her father's doorstep (or at least her body was to be left on his doorstep after the fact)]]. This is the same punishment she'd face if she had an affair ''after'' the wedding, although in this case it only applied to her. (In theory, if she had an affair ''after'' the wedding, her lover(s) could face execution as well...though in practice, it wasn't always enforced equally.) She would be considered to have cheated on her husband before they'd even met, and [[FamilyHonor her family would be forever shamed]].
* CrazyPrepared: The laws of Moses. Covers civil law, criminal law, public sanitation, religious rituals... It even gives some case studies for unusual events.
* CreepyCrossdresser: Deuteronomy 22:5 flat out says that wearing the garments of the opposite sex is an insult to God.
-->''"The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God."''
* CripplingCastration: Deuteronomy 23:1 says that those who are emasculated or had their male organs torn off are excluded from the assembly of the Lord.
* {{Curse}}:
** In Joshua chapter 6, after Jericho is sacked, Joshua pronounces a curse on whoever rebuilds the city, saying that he will lose his firstborn with the foundations and his youngest child at the setting up of its gates. This came true during [[Literature/BooksOfKings during the time of King Ahab in 1st Kings]].
** In Joshua chapter 9, Joshua cursed the Gibeonites to be servants to the people of Israel when the Gibeonites deceived the Israelites into believing that they came from a far-off country and were only discovered to be living in the land of Canaan as neighbors after the Israelites made a pact with them before the Lord.
* DeathByGluttony: In Numbers chapter 11, the people of Israel were craving for meat because all they had to eat was just manna. God decides to fulfill their desire by giving them so much meat for a month that it would [[VomitIndiscretionShot come out of their nostrils]] and they would get sick of it. However, the death part comes when the Israelites are in the process of gorging themselves on the meat via God striking them dead with a sickness. [[note]] [[MaybeMagicMaybeMundane Almost certainly some kind of food poisoning]], which would have happened ''very'' easily in a campsite full of displaced people, with no refrigeration, very limited alternative means of food preservation (none of which would be easy to pull off in these circumstances), no modern cooking practices, or modern sanitation practices, no antibiotics, and no germ theory. [[/note]]
* DeathBySex: Probably the best known example of this was in Numbers chapter 25, as Zimri son of Salu brought a Midianite woman into the Israelite camp while God's people were joined with the Midianites at Baal-Peor. Phinehas son of Eleazar took the matter upon himself to stop the plague God sent upon His people by stabbing the couple when they were alone with each other in Zimri's tent.
* DefectorFromDecadence: Moses lived as a prince of Egypt, until he saw the abuse his fellow Hebrews suffered as slaves of the Pharaoh. He tried to join them early on in his life when he defended an Israelite being beaten by an Egyptian taskmaster by killing the taskmaster, but when he tried to break up two Israelites fighting with each other, and one of the two answered, "Who appointed you as a prince and a judge over us? Do you intend to kill me as you did the Egyptian?", Moses ended up becoming a fugitive in the land of Midian for forty years. It wasn't until the Lord called him with the burning bush that Moses' next attempt to rejoin his people worked out better, and eventually he led them to salvation.
* DefiledForever: There are several rules regarding purity and defilement. Deuteronomy, chapter 22 for example, demands the death penalty for various forms of sex outside marriage, but notably clears the woman if rape is proven (she was heard crying for help) or assumed (there's no way to prove she ''wasn't'' crying for help), making this a slight yet notable aversion.
* DeusExMachina: Whenever the people of Israel are in need, God provides.
* DoesNotLikeShoes:
** God in the burning bush. "Remove your sandals, for the place where you are standing is HolyGround."
** The Commander of the Lord's Army also says similar to Joshua.
* DroppedABridgeOnHim: Pharaoh and those unfortunate Egyptian soldiers caught in the Red Sea at the wrong time.
* DontSaySuchStupidThings: This is how God sharply tells Moses to accept his assignment in leading His people out of Egypt, since Moses was still recalcitrant despite God performing miracles to show what He can do/use them to convince Pharaoh.
* EnigmaticEmpoweringEntity: This role is fulfilled by God as he shows himself to Moses in a burning bush.
* EpicFail: It takes 40 years to walk to Judea, less than 200 miles away.[[note]] Some religious scholars maintain that God deliberately made the party go around in circles as part of a decree that none of the Jews who left Eypt would live to see the promised land. [[/note]] On the way they manage to switch back several times, kill a large percentage of their own group in infighting of various kinds, and start fights with practically everyone in the region.
* EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep: Pharaoh in sharp contrast to two Hebrew midwives identified by name. Some speculate that there were several different Pharaohs during Moses time in Egypt (it's clear there are at least two different Pharaohs; the one reigning when Moses was taken in and the new one who did not know him when he first approached the throne regarding freeing his people). Unfortunate (or very suspicious) given that this information would finally establish a base time to anchor all of these events to.
** [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pharaohs_in_the_Bible There is some speculation as to his/their identity]], with [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thutmose_II Thutmose II]] being the best candidate for the Pharaoh Moses contended with, especially since his mummy is covered in [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyst cysts]] and his successor [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hatshepsut Hatshepsut]], or someone connected to her, went out of their way to deface his monuments and erase records of his reign. Perhaps this is why there is scant evidence of the events outside the Scriptures. He didn't drown, however.
* EyeScream:
** One of God's Laws in Exodus chapter 21, combined with TheToothHurts:
-->''If a man strikes the eye of his male servant or the eye of his female servant so that it is destroyed, then he must let him go free on account of his eye. If he knocks out his male servant’s tooth or his female servant’s tooth, then he shall let him or her go free on account of the tooth.'' (Exodus 21:26-27)
** What Dathan and Abiram said to Moses in the rebellion of Korah in Numbers chapter 16, believing that Moses and Aaron were getting too big for their britches as far as being leaders:
-->“Is it a small thing that you have brought us up out of a land that flows with milk and honey to kill us in the wilderness because you make yourself a prince over us? Moreover you have not brought us into a land that flows with milk and honey nor given us inheritance of fields and vineyards. Will you put out the eyes of these men?”
* FatalFlaw: Continuing a theme from Genesis, no matter how respected or holy they are, no human is without a serious flaw that hurts their relationship with God. They include:
** Moses' anger.
** Pharaoh's arrogance.
** Aaron's weak leadership.
** Miriam's jealousy of Moses.
** Joshua's overconfidence.
** Balaam continuing to antagonize the Israelites even after experiencing God's power.
* FauxFlame: An angel of the Lord speaks to Moses from a bush that burns but is not consumed.
* FidelityTest: If a man suspects that his wife is [[YourCheatingHeart cheating on him]], but can't absolutely prove it, he is to take her to the Temple, [[ShamefulStrip remove her head covering]] [[note]] [[ShamefulStrip And according to some interpretations, some or all of her clothes as well.]] [[/note]], make an offering of coarse flour, and have her drink bitter, cursed water. If she's been faithful, the water will have no ill effect on her [[note]] And according to many Midrashic interpretations, not only would it have no ill effect on her, but she would have a healthy baby boy in the coming year. [[/note]]...but if she hasn't, "her belly will swell and her thighs will waste away." [[note]] The actual meaning of this phrase has been lost to history. Various interpretations include infertility, an STI, some type of disfigurement, an [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obstetric_fistula obstetric fistula]], a uterine or vaginal prolapse, a miscarriage, and/or [[DroppedABridgeOnHim instant death]], but it is unknown what ''exactly'' would/would not happen to her. It's also ''generally'' thought that whatever it was would affect her lover(s), though this is unconfirmed. [[/note]], and she would be either killed or ostracized from her community. There was no test for a man accused of cheating, because a) [[DoubleStandard for a man]], it was only considered adultery if the woman he slept with was married or engaged to someone else, even if he was married and b) [[FairForItsDay it functioned as a way]] to keep the jealous husband from acting rashly and having his wife executed in a case where she was only MistakenForCheating.
** The woman ''could'' confess if she had been cheating, or find a way to produce evidence that she hadn't, rendering the test moot. (If she had cheated, however, she could face the death penalty if her husband so chose.) And, of course, if her husband were to just divorce her, she wouldn't have to undergo the test, even if she ''had'' cheated. Whether she was tested in this way or not was up to him.
* FinalSpeech:
** As a CallBack to Genesis, Moses gives one to the tribes of Israel in Deuteronomy chapter 33, giving them his blessings before he climbs the mountain and sees the Promised Land prior to his death.
** Joshua in Joshua chapter 24 also gives one to the people of Israel, encouraging them to serve the Lord faithfully, before he dies.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: Deut. 17:14 was about how to choose a good king, [[Literature/BooksOfSamuel centuries before any Israelite even thought this was a good idea]].
* {{Gendercide}}: The Pharaoh ordered his men to kill all the newborn male infants of the Jews to prevent them from becoming large enough to escape from slavery. Moses only survives thanks to the cleverness of his mother and fortune/God.
* GeoEffects: Taken advantage of by the Israelite army (and occasionally it also gets the better of them because they weren't right with God).
* GetOut: In Exodus, after the final plague of God hits and the Pharaoh loses his firstborn child, he tells Moses to get the Israelites out of his country. So do the rest of the Egyptians, as they also lose their firstborns to the destroying angel.
* GodIsGood: This Book sees God offer the stuttering, exiled Moses the chance to free his Hebrew people from slavery in Egypt. Even after these same Hebrews abandon God and worship a golden statue in return, God guides the Hebrew people and provides them with bread and water as they travel through the desert to the land God promised them, even giving them quails when they complain about a lack of variety in their food.
* GodWasMyCopilot: God (or a messenger thereof) shows up to help Joshua take down the city of Jericho.
* GoingInCircles: Some Bible students believe God purposely led the Israelites around the same mountain over and over until most of the generation that came out of Egypt, those twenty and older that refused to enter into the Promised Land due to unbelief, had died in the wilderness, and when there was only Moses, Joshua, and Caleb left, God told them to start moving to the Promised Land, with Moses being the one who would die before the others would enter in.
* GoodIsNotSoft: After Pharaoh [[IgnoredEpiphany disregarded the previous Plagues]], God didn't have any qualms in killing Egypt's firstborn in order to free the Israelites from slavery. He continues to have little doubts when punishing the Israelites for breaking their covenant.
* GroinAttack: Deuteronomy 25:11-12 forbids this:
-->''When a man and his brother fight one another, and the wife of the one draws near in order to deliver her husband out of the hand of him who fights him, and reaches out her hand and seizes him by the private parts, then you must cut off her hand. You must not pity her.''
* HappinessInSlavery: In Exodus 21:5-6 and Deuteronomy 15:16-17, if a Hebrew slave refuses to leave after his six-year period of indentured servitude ends because he says that he loves his master, the master will bring the slave to the judges, then he shall also bring the slave to the door or to the doorpost, and his master shall bore the slave's ear through with an awl, and he shall serve him forever.
* HeroicBSOD: After Joshua's failed attack on Ai. Until God gives him a QuitYourWhining statement and tells him there's sin in the camp of Israel that needs to be dealt with.
* HeroOfAnotherStory: While these books focus on the history of Israel, in one passage from Deuteronomy, the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites and Caphtorim (Philistines) could qualify. In Deuteronomy 2, Moses mentions in passing these nations driving out the Emims, Zamzummims, Horims, and Avims, other tribes or names for giants that were found in Caanan.
* HeelFaceRevolvingDoor: Pharaoh, it is possible that there were multiple Pharaohs ruling Egypt over the course of the Exodus, which would also explain why he/they are never named.
* HolyBacklight: Moses became glowy from spending so much time in God's direct presence and actually looking upon God Himself.
* HolyGround: TropeNamer.
** Moses sees a burning bush, which tells him to remove his shoes, because he is standing on Holy Ground.
** Prior to the attack on Jericho, Joshua is visited by the Captain of the Lord's Host, and is also told to remove his shoes because he is standing on holy ground.
* HolyIsNotSafe: Exodus 33:20 provides the page quote. Moses asks to see God's face, but He replies that seeing it would kill Moses. God arranges for Moses to see His back instead.
* HonorRelatedAbuse: Pretty much what the law requires against sexual misconduct of a woman (Leviticus 21:9 and Deuteronomy 22:13-21) and irredeemably rebellious children of age (Deuteronomy 21:18-21).[[note]]The verses are NOT talking about a random one-time act of disobedience, but rather an ongoing pattern of constant rebellious behavior that the parents have tried everything they could to restrain their child from committing, and having failed to bring the child back to proper societal norms, what the verses command doing is to keep the child's rebellious behavior from disgracing their family and hurting others, including God.[[/note]]
* HookerWithAHeartOfGold: Rahab. She sheltered the Israeli Spies in her home, helping them to take the city of Jericho.
* HumanSacrifice: Wedged in between the commands of various forbidden sexual practices in Leviticus chapter 18, there is also the command to not sacrifice your children to Molech. Apparently infanticide to God is just as bad as those sexual practices that He deems immoral.
* IgnoredExpert: The Egyptian magicians can replicate the first few tricks and plagues, but when it gets to the gnats they are unable to replicate them and tell Pharoah that it's genuine divine power after all. He ignores them.
* IllegalReligion: The various pagan religions of the Promised Land. In theory, they were to be not only not practiced by the Israelites, but wiped out by them as well (the reasons for this include the pagan religions recurring practices of HumanSacrifice [[KillItWithFire by fire]], [[WouldHurtAChild said sacrifices included]] [[OffingTheOffspring children]], and ritual prostitution). This wasn't so much the case in practice.
* ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice: In Numbers chapter 25, Phinehas son of Eleazar took a javelin and pierced through the bodies of Zimri son of Salu and Cozbi the Midianite woman as they were alone in his tent together, thus stopping the plague God sent upon the Israelites for their idolatry and sexual immorality by joining themselves with the Midianites at Baal-Peor.
* InvisibleToNormals: The Angel of the Lord that appeared in the road three times to stop Balaam. Only his donkey was able to see the Angel with His sword drawn and reacts in a way that makes Balaam think he has a StubbornMule. It's only after the third time when God causes the donkey to speak that "Balaam's eyes were opened" and he saw the Angel standing in the road.
* JewishComplaining: The Israelites, but this didn't please God whatsoever. Bad water, lack of food, lack of water, eating the same food over and over, having to go around Edom on their journey...
* JewsLoveToArgue: Especially in numbers, the Jews have to keep sending the new laws back to God via Moses for revision. For example, one story (which appears three times: Numbers 27, Numbers 36, and Joshua 17) has a group of five sisters (including the ''other'' biblical Noah) point out that the current way land division is planned cuts their family out on a technicality. Moses takes this to God who declares those plans be revised and the patriarchal tradition be amended.
* JustSoStory: These books explain the origins of the names of places known only to Middle Easterners.
* KillEmAll: Well, all the first-born unprotected by lamb's blood. Also Pharaoh's (or one of the Pharaoh's) plan for the male Hebrew babies.
* KillItWithWater: Drowning Pharaoh's army in the Red Sea.
* LogicBomb: Like Genesis, Jewish tradition holds that Moses wrote the rest of the Pentateuch. However, even the most orthodox of scholars admit that he hardly could have written the last 8 verses of Deuteronomy which report his own death. Thus, those verses were attributed to Joshua instead.
* LyricalDissonance: The song of Moses (Deut. 32:1-43) which was sung as the Israelites finally entered the Promised Land. In the passages beforehand, God had flat out told Moses that his people were going to mess up badly in the end, and gave the song to Moses as a reminder of what they needed to do once that day came to repent. Nevertheless, it's about as uplifting as a kick in the balls.
* MagicStaff: Moses' and Aaron's rods, although there was nothing magical in the rods themselves, since they were just used by God to perform His miracles through. Aaron's rod turned into a serpent, which then later ate up the other rods when the Egyptian magicians of Pharaoh turned their rods into serpents with their secret arts. In the book of Numbers, Aaron's rod had almonds blossoming out of it as a sign to the Israelites that Aaron is the designated high priest anointed of God and that nobody should question his authority.
* MakeAnExampleOfThem: In Exodus 9:15-17, God directly states this as one of the intentions behind His Signs and Wonders (AKA the Plagues of Egypt). Instead of wiping out all of the Egyptians, God is making an example of some of them despite the way they allowed the Hebrews to suffer (with the slavery and killing their male babies).
-->''"For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the earth. But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth. You still set yourself against my people and will not let them go."''
* MaliciousSlander: Leviticus 19:16 states that "you shall not go around as a slanderer among your people."
* MalignedMixedMarriage:
** Moses and his Cushite/Ethiopian wife, as mentioned in Numbers chapter 12. Miriam uses that as an excuse to question Moses' authority, dragging Aaron along with her, and this resulted in Miriam coming down with leprosy which lasted for a week. Notably God ''does not'' consider Moses' marriage a problem.
** An Israelite with a Midianite woman in Numbers chapter 25, which is part of what caused a plague to come down on the Israelites from God. Phinehas the son of Eleazar decided to put an end to this and [[ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice stuck a javelin through the couple]] while [[DeathBySex they were in their tent together]].
* MandatoryFatherhood: In Deuteronomy 25:5-6, if a woman's husband dies without leaving her any child, and if the husband has an unmarried brother, then the brother must marry the widow and father a child through her so that her dead husband's name would not be blotted out from Israel with the first child (ideally a son) that is sired. (In the Literature/BookOfRuth, this law extends to even the husband's living male relatives from his own family line.) If the husband's brother refuses to marry her, verses 7 to 10 says that he must be brought before the elders of the city, and if he still declares that he isn't going to marry her, then the widow may pull off his sandal, [[SpitefulSpit spit in his face]], and say, “So shall it be done to the man who does not build up his brother’s house.” And that man's house from then on will be referred to as "the house of the unsandaled."
* MeaningfulEcho: The generation after Moses crosses the Jordan river in a manner similar to how their parents crossed the Red Sea.
* MediationBackfire: In Exodus chapter 2, when Moses was forty years old and sees two Israelites fighting with each other, he tries to break it up through mediation, and one of them ends up shouting, "Who appointed you as a prince and a judge over us? Do you intend to kill me as you did the Egyptian?" That resulted in Moses running for his life and hiding out in the wilderness of Midian for forty years.
* MercifulMinion: Pharaoh orders the midwives of Egypt to kill any male Hebrews that are born. They refuse to do so, and get away with it by [[BlatantLies lying to Pharaoh]] that, in Hebrew culture, they don't wait for midwives to show up to give birth, or that [[ExpressDelivery they go through the labor-and-delivery process long before the midwife shows up]].
* MosesInTheBulrushes: The TropeNamer; as the Pharaoh's men slaughter the children of the Jews, one of them is saved by being thrown into a basket carried away by the river. Thankfully, the daughter of the Pharaoh found it, who took pity on the child and decided to raise it as her own son: Moses.
* MysticalPlague: A couple of the Plagues of Egypt, which God called to force the Pharaoh to free his Jewish slaves, count: the plague of pestilence (which only affected livestock) and the plague of boils (skin disease).
* NocturnalEmission: Leviticus chapter 15 covers the issue of how the people of Israel were to deal with various bodily discharges, including that of the "seed of copulation". Deuteronomy 23:9-11 specifically deals with this issue when an army goes out against their enemies.
* OffWithHisHead: Joshua decapitates a group of Canaanite kings he has defeated and captured.
* TheOmnipotent: In Numbers chapter 11, when God declares that He will give the Israelites so much quail for a month that it will come out of their nostrils and they will be sick of it, Moses asks the Lord how He will provide such meat for about six hundred thousand people, and the Lord replies, "Is the hand of the Lord shortened?"
* OnlyFatalToAdults: Only those Israelites under the age of 20 make it to the Promised Land, the rest being wiped out by various means as a result of [[JewishComplaining their complaining]]...and the fact that they were a RagTagBunchOfMisfits wandering a vast expanse of desert for 40 years.
* PalsWithJesus: Moses talks to God all the time and spends a lot of time in His presence. He also got to see [[YouCannotGraspTheTrueForm God]]'s back.
* ParentalFavoritism: Deuteronomy 21:15-17 prevents this in the case of a man having two wives, that, if he has sons of those two wives, and his first is from that of [[TheUnfavorite his unloved wife]], then he cannot allow the firstborn of his loved wife to have the firstborn rights of inheritance in preference over his actual firstborn from his unloved wife, since that firstborn is considered "the beginning of his strength".
* PlayingWithFire: God destroys Israelites who rebel against Him by sending forth holy fire to consume them whole. He first does this to Aaron's two sons who offered him "strange fire" in direct violation of the Levitical law, and later burns up the 250 of those who join in the rebellion of Korah against Moses.
* PlotTriggeringDeath: The Hebrew newborn males. At first they were to be killed at the moment they were born, but since the Hebrew midwives feared God and refused to follow that command, the newborn males were to be thrown into the river. Thus in the latter situation Moses was born.
* {{Plunder}}: In Exodus, God has His people Israel plunder the Egyptians by simply having them ask for silver and gold and clothing during the time when the Egyptians suffer during the last plague upon them, since the Egyptians would be in such distress that they would do or give anything to be rid of the Israelites.
* {{Polyamory}}: Discouraged in the law of Deuteronomy regarding the requirements of the Israelites setting up a king over themselves, that they shouldn't multiply wives for themselves, though it hasn't been followed through in actual practice. However, there are some laws God had put in place in the situation where an Israelite man may have more than one wife.
* ThePowerOfRock: In the book of Joshua, Joshua and the Israelites defeated the people of Jericho with music.
* PunishedForSympathy:
** Aaron's two sons, Nadab and Abihu, were burned to death by God because they were offering "strange fire". After this, God invokes this trope by warning Aaron not to mourn their deaths or He will kill him along with the rest of the Israelites.
** The Israelites complained to Moses about God burning 250 of the other Israelites for burning incense. As a result, God becomes enraged and kills 14,700 more of the Israelites.
* PutOnABus: Moses' wife Zipporah, most likely, as we don't hear of her between Exodus chapters 4 and 18, all over the issue of Moses not circumcising one of his children that almost caused his death.
* QuitYourWhining:
** In Exodus chapter 14, God for some reason responds to Moses as if he was whining -- "Why do you cry out to Me?" -- when all he was really doing was trying to instill confidence in his people Israel by telling them what the Lord was going to do for them regarding the Egyptians coming for them.
** In Joshua chapter 7, Achan stole some cursed things devoted to destruction, and it ended up plaguing the entire camp of Israel. When Joshua set his sights on conquering Ai and he sends a small contingent to deal with them, Ai responded by sending the contingent running, killing at least thirty-six of their men, causing the entire camp of Israel to mourn, and making Joshua whine to the Lord that they would be better off on the other side of the Jordan than trying to capture the entire land of Canaan if that's how they're going to be dealt with. The Lord ends up saying, "Get up! Why do you lie thus on your face?", telling them that Israel has sinned by stealing stuff that was devoted to destruction and that it must be dealt with or else the Lord will not continue to help them conquer the land.
* RainOfSomethingUnusual:
** In (Exodus 16) the Hebrews subsisted on a bread-like substance that rained from the heavens while they wandered the desert. They called it manna (literally "what is it?") so it must have been pretty nondescript as a foodstuff.
** One of the Ten Plagues of Egypt was a rain of frogs.
* RapePillageAndBurn: What would happen to the Israelites if they ''didn't'' keep God's commands.
* RealityEnsues:
** Moses sees an overseer whipping a Jew and is overcome with rage, killing him. Rather than [[BigDamnHeroes immediately viewing him as an ally]] and savior, this makes the other Jews [[WhatTheHellHero view him as a dangerous murderer]] — the next day, when he confronts one of the Jews about fighting with some other Jew, he asks if Moses is going to kill him, too.
** The Pharaoh let the Israelites go after the 10th plague killed his son. However, once the people are gone, Pharaoh and other officials realized that they just let go all their workers and now they're economically screwed.
* RefusalOfTheCall: Moses [[LameExcuse tries to talk his way out]] of having to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, but God won't take no for an answer.
* TheRevolutionWillNotBeVilified: Moses is effectively literature's first bio-terrorist, and takes out his aggression against the government on the civilian population.
* RhetoricalRequestBlunder: In Numbers, the Israelites were too frightened to conquer Canaan, even with God on their side, and declared that they wished they'd died in the desert rather than face this battle. So God ended up leading them in circles in the desert until every man who had said that had actually died in the desert, leaving only the following generation (except for Caleb and Joshua from the previous one) to be the ones God would lead into Canaan in Deuteronomy.
* RiversOfBlood: The first plague upon the Egyptians was to turn the waters of the Nile into blood. This failed to impress the Pharaoh, as even his magicians could perform the same plague with their secret arts.
* RockOfLimitlessWater: In one of the earliest examples of this trope, Moses strikes a rock with his staff, and by God's power, a waterfall begins spewing out. This shows up twice, once in Exodus and once in Numbers. The second time it appears, God tells Moses to speak to the rock in order to bring out water. However, Moses gets angry with the Israelites and instead strikes the rock twice. For that action, God tells Moses that he will not be allowed to lead the people into the Promised Land.
* RuleOfThree:
** In Numbers, the Angel of the Lord stands in the way of Balaam and his donkey three times to get him to stop.
** Shortly after, Balaam tries to curse Israel three times, but instead blesses them three times.
* SacredHospitality: Various clans get cursed for not extending it, Israel gets in trouble for being stupid about it (they made a promise they shouldn't have because they didn't consult God), and the laws of the new nation codify being kind to strangers, extending sanctuary for escaped slaves, etc.
* ScrewThisImOuttaHere: The people of Israel in the book of Numbers, when they hear from ten of the twelve spies sent into the Promised Land that, though the land is a good and fertile land, it has fortified cities and people that make the people of Israel look like grasshoppers, decide they would be better off returning to Egypt than trying to go in to conquer the land even with God's help. For this act of cowardice, God punishes them by having them wander around the wilderness for forty years until everyone that is twenty years and older (save for Joshua and Caleb) had died off, leaving only their children to be the ones who will enter the Promised Land. A group of them try to go in to conquer the land themselves after being told God's judgment against them, but without God's protection, they were chased away by the Canaanites.
* ScryVsScry: Moses against Pharaoh's priests. They turned their staffs into serpents; Moses's staff became a serpent which devoured the others.
* ShotgunWedding: If a man slept with a woman who was ''not'' betrothed to someone else [[note]] If she ''was'' already betrothed to someone else, and she was not heard screaming for help, that was considered to be just plain old adultery and punished accordingly. [[/note]], and someone found out, he was to pay her father the bride price he would have received if she were a virgin and marry her...and he was never allowed to divorce her. (Note that this also applied to ''some'' cases of rape, not just instances of consensual sex.) This was to provide for any child they may have conceived (a very real possibility in an era with no reliable birth control), and to protect the reputation of the woman's family. It also ensured that the woman (who would be considered DefiledForever) would have someone to provide for her. (Women in this time and place were typically not educated, and were economically dependent on their husbands.) It was also designed to help curb temptation: if the man was caught, he was stuck with this woman for life, whether he wanted to be or not; he'd have to decide if it was ''really'' worth it. It may have also helped (via LoopholeAbuse) women have ''some'' say in who their marriage partners were: have sex, tell Daddy what you did, and marry someone of your own choosing (instead of [[ArrangedMarriage whoever your parents picked out for you]]).
* SinisterMinister: A warning from Deuteronomy 13:1-5:
-->''If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder comes to pass concerning that which he spoke to you, saying, “Let us go after other gods,” which you have not known, “and let us serve them,” you must not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for the Lord your God is testing you, to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. You must follow after the Lord your God, fear Him, and keep His commandments, obey His voice, and you must serve Him, and cling to Him. That prophet or that dreamer of dreams must be put to death because he has spoken in order to turn you away from the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to entice you away from the way in which the Lord your God commanded you to walk. So you must put the evil away from your midst.''
* SinsOfOurFathers: Deuteronomy 24:16 says that sons must not be executed by sins of their fathers nor vice versa.
* SmiteMeOMightySmiter: In Numbers 11:15, Moses tells God to just kill him if he has to deal with the people of Israel complaining about eating only manna in the desert.
* StubbornMule: The prophet Balaam being hired out to curse the Israelites struggles with a stubborn mule, until the mule is granted the ability to speak and reveals that she was trying to protect her master from a vengeful angel.
* TakeAThirdOption: Joshua meets a stranger after prayer. He demands to know whether the stranger is an enemy or an ally. The stranger replies: "Neither, I'm here to command you." Joshua realizes [[GodWasMyCopilot Who he's talking to]].
* TakeThat: The Plagues were this to the [[Myth/EgyptianMythology Egyptian Pantheon]].
* TenMinuteRetirement: Well, forty years for Moses, but to God it might as well have been 10 minutes.
* TimeStandsStill: In Joshua chapter 10, God caused time to stand still for a full day (though without freezing anything else besides the sun and the moon) so that the Israelites could have the victory over the Amorites.
* TitleDrop: The Jewish names for the various books (except Joshua) are simply a word that appears in the first line of each book. The book Exodus for example in Jewish is called שמת (pronounced ''sh'moth''), which translated simply means "[the] names". The first line of Exodus is "And these are the names of the sons of Yitzra'el."
* TorchesAndPitchforks: The crowds have a tendency to get a little volatile whenever things don't go exactly their way.
* ToThePain: Leviticus 26:14-39 and Deuteronomy 28:15-68 has a list of unpleasant things that God will do to His people if they don't obey His commandments.
* UncleanlinessIsNextToUngodliness: Many of the laws deal with ritual (and physical) impurity, and the two tend to be linked.
* WidowWoman: From Exodus 22:22-24:
-->''You shall not afflict any widow or orphan. If you afflict them in any way and they cry at all to Me, I will surely hear their cry. And My anger will burn, and I will kill you with the sword, and your wives will become widows, and your children fatherless.''
* WitnessProtection: In this case, it's more Unintentional Manslayer Protection, as God's Law provides such a person protection from the "avenger of blood" for unintentional deaths by having that person remain in a designated "city of refuge" until the death of the high priest. Three such cities were set up on the east side of the Jordan in the territory occupied by the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and the eastern half of Manasseh, while three more cities were set up on the other side in the land of Canaan occupied by the other nine-and-a-half tribes.
* WizardDuel:
** Aaron duels against the Pharaoh by turning his MagicStaff into a snake, and the Pharaoh sends his own sorcerers to turn their staves into snakes. However, Aaron's snake swallowed the Pharaoh's snakes.
** The Ten Plagues incident also involves Moses dueling against Egyptian sorcerers, but it only lasts until the plague of lice, when the Egyptian magicians try to mimic the plague but prove unable to.
* WouldHurtAChild:
** God's killing of the firstborn of Egypt.
** The laws in which children are to be stoned to death for being disobedient to their parents.
** The Pharoah who ordered ''the male babies of Hebrew slaves killed''; the reason Moses' parents to [[MosesInTheBulrushes had to hide him in the basket of reeds in the first place]].
* WouldBeRudeToSayGenocide: The conquest of Canaan. The book more or less explicitly states that with a few exceptions, the Israelites systematically exterminated the population (including civilians, children, and even livestock) of the country and did so righteously. [[ValuesDissonance Of course, pretty much every tribe behaved back then like that.]]
* YoYoPlotPoint: The people anger God, He decides to exterminate them, Moses convinces Him to be merciful. [[AesopAmnesia The Israelites soon sin again...]]
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