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Literature: Book of Exodus
This page will also discuss Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy and Joshua for 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 children 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.

Leviticus: The guide book about how the Israelites are to properly worship God.

Numbers: The Israelites are on their way to The Promised Land 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 its up to Joshua to lead the new generation in conquering the Promised Land.

Joshua is followed by the Book of Judges.

These books contain the following tropes:

  • After Action Report: According to tradition, these books were written near the end of Moses' and Joshua's lifetimes.
  • Badass Grandpa:
    • Moses was 120 when he died. Joshua finally became leader, at 80.
    • Caleb, the other faithful spy along with Joshua, carries this Up to Eleven 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.
  • Bestiality Is Depraved: Any person who is caught having sex with an animal is to be executed. The animal too, is considered Defiled Forever by this act and must be slaughtered.
  • Big Blackout: One of God's plagues upon Egypt was to plunge it into thick darkness.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The Israelites conquer Canaan but it's foretold the next generation will be unfaithful to God.
  • Bury Your Gays: The infamous Leviticus 20:13... Two men having sex with each other must be put to death.
  • Church Militant: Contrary to what you see in The Ten Commandments, 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 the earth vent happened later, in an unrelated incident.
  • Crazy-Prepared / The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: The laws of Moses. Covers civil law, criminal law, public sanitation, religious rituals... It even gives some case studies for unusual events.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: God's punishments for those who have broken one of His laws seem like this, probably to illustrate that His standards of morality are utterly unlike any human being's. (On the other hand, reparations for sins committed against other people are not to be more severe than the harm done.)
  • Deus ex Machina: Whenever the people of Israel are in need, God provides.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: God in the burning bush. "Remove your sandals, for the place where you are standing is Holy Ground."
  • Dropped A Sea On Him: Pharaoh and those unfortunate Egyptian soldiers caught in the Red Sea at the wrong time.
  • Don't Say Such Stupid Things: This is how God sharply tells Moses to accept his assignment in leading His people out of Egypt.
  • Everyone Calls Him Barkeep: Pharaoh in sharp contrast to two Hebrew midwives identified by name.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Exodus describes an exodus. Deuteronomy means "second law".
  • Fatal Flaw
    • 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.
  • Faux Flame: An angel of the Lord speaks to Moses from a bush that burns but is not consumed.
  • Foreshadowing: Deut. 17:14 was about how to choose a good king, centuries before any Israelite even thought this was a good idea.
  • Geo Effects: Taken advantage of by the Israelite army (and occasionally it also gets the better of them because they weren't right with God).
  • God Was My Copilot: God (or a messenger thereof) shows up to help Joshua take town the city of Jericho.
  • Good Is Not Nice: God didn't have any qualms in killing Egypt's firstborn in order for Pharaoh to free the Israelites from slavery, and he doesn't have any compunctions in being heavy with His severe punishments on the Israelites if they sinned against Him.
  • Heroic Blue Screen of Death: After Joshua's failed attack on Ai.
  • Hero of Another Story: 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.
  • Heel-Face Revolving Door: Pharaoh.
  • Holy Backlight: Moses gets glowy from spending so much time in God's direct presence.
  • Holy Ground: Trope Namer.
    • 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.
  • Holy Is Not Safe: 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.
  • Honor-Related Abuse: Pretty much what the law requires against sexual misconduct of a woman (Leviticus 21:9 and Deuteronomy 22:13-21) and disobedient children (Deuteronomy 21:18-21).
  • Jewish Complaining: The Israelites, but this didn't please God whatsoever.
  • Just So Story - These books explain the origins of the names of places known only to Middle Easterners.
  • Kill 'em All: Well, all the first-born unprotected by lamb's blood, anyway.
  • Kill It with Water: Drowning Pharaoh's army in the Red Sea.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: 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.
  • Meaningful Echo: The generation after Moses crosses the Jordan river in a manner similar to how their parents crossed the Red Sea.
  • Moses in the Bullrushes: The Trope Namer.
  • Only Fatal to Adults: 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 their complaining...and the fact that they were a Rag Tag Bunch Of Misfits wandering a vast expanse of desert for 40 years.
  • Pals with Jesus: Moses talks to God all the time and spends a lot of time in His presence. He also got to see God's "back", whatever that's supposed to mean.
  • Punished for Sympathy:
    • 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.
  • Refusal of the Call: Moses tries to talk his way out of having to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, but God won't take no for an answer.
  • Sacred Hospitality: 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.
  • Take a Third Option: 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 Who he's talking to.
  • 10-Minute Retirement: Well, forty years for Moses, but who's counting?
  • Torches and Pitchforks: The crowds have a tendency to get a little volatile whenever things don't go exactly their way.
  • To the Pain: 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.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Deuteronomy 22:5 abhors this trope:
    "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."
  • Would Hurt a Child: God's killing of the firstborn of Egypt. Also the laws in which children are to be stoned to death for being disobedient to their parents.

Book of GenesisSacred LiteratureBook of Judges
Book of GenesisLiterature/The BibleBook of Judges
Book of EstherNon-English LiteratureBook of Job
Book of GenesisClassic LiteratureBook of Judges

alternative title(s): Exodus; Book Of Exodus
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