YMMV / Book of Exodus

  • Broken Base: Many people don't like talking about Leviticus 20:13 very much, especially following the LGBT social movements.
    • Alternative Character Interpretation: Some theorize that the "crime" is not homosexuality, but emasculation. Others point out that the wording in the verse certainly refers to sexual acts, with some contention on the subject of which sexual acts are referred to.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment: The "Zipporah at the inn" episode. After God sent Moses in Egypt to deal with the Pharaon, HE sends his angel to kill His prophet for unexplained reasons. Then Moses' wife Zipporah takes a sharp stone, and cut off the foreskin of their son. This apparently saves Moses. It's pretty obscure and no wonder why this is often ignored.
  • Epileptic Trees: Moshe. In contrast to many other prophets of the Tanakh, unusually few scholars doubt that a person like him really existed at some point, due to the fact that his name is etymologically really Egyptian (ms is the same shoresh that appears in names likes Thutmosis or Ramesses and translated roughly means "X has born"), but for an Israelite of his time he did a lot of atypical stuff, most notably marrying a non-Israelite woman. His father's name is also strangely never mentioned. And why is the high priesthood given to his repeatedly sinning and incorrectly acting brother Aaron instead of one of his sons? Were one to take the story of him in the bullrushes as an obvious construction and assume that the Egyptian princess who found him was really his mother... Maybe Moshe wasn't an Israelite in the first place...?
    • Actually, We do know the name of his father. It's Amram, grandson of Levi.
    • Moses marrying a non-Israelite woman is explained by him being raised by the Egyptians since infancy and thus unfamiliar with the customs of the Israelites. Also his mother was stated to have approached the Egyptian princess who found him and got signed on as a wet nurse.
  • Make an Example of Them: The later, more terrible plagues are justified by Pharoah not taking the hint from the earlier ones. The problem is that God explicitly "hardened Pharoah's heart". While some modern readers believe God did that to promote his own glory and comes across as God Is Evil to them this is addressed in Exodus 7:15 "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." 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). Also, the syntax of the sentence "God hardened his heart" is rather ambiguous — it could mean God is directly acting upon Pharaoh, or it could be a recount of Pharaoh's emotions.

  • Values Dissonance: Yes, there are laws about how to deal with slaves. These would almost be hilarious (if not for the slavery), considering they're given to escaped slaves. There are also laws saying that the penalty for rape is marrying the victim and paying her father 50 shekels. And if a woman wasn't a virgin when you married, or has been unfaithful, you can have her executed.
    • Fair for Its Day: Said laws did give slaves of the Hebrews much better lives. Fellow Hebrews who were slaves were expected to be freed after 6 years of work and generously paid at that time. Foreigners could be slaves for life but if they experienced violence at the hands of their masters they were automatically declared free under the law and a master who killed their slave/s would (under some circumstances) be charged with murder. Slavery in that context was quite different from the slavery in Egypt or the slavery in America before the Civil War and closer to indentured servitude.
      • However, the master is not guilty if the slave dies three days after he hit him...
    • And while the rape laws are definitely unfair to actual rape victims, they also apply in the case of an unwed couple having consensual sex. One wonders how many girls used this to override any parental objections to marrying their sweethearts. "Oh, Daddy, I know you don't like Yaakov, but he ravished me last night, and now the law says we HAVE to get married!" Also, Deuteronomy 22:25-27 mentions that the punishment for a man raping a woman who is betrothed to another man is death and that their victim is innocent; a refreshing instance showing rape is condemned, even being a capital offence, compared to some cases today where rapists can get just a slap on the wrist such as LESS THAN FIFTEEN years in jail in the US.
    • The verses concerning a rapist paying their victim's father 50 shekels and marrying her (Deuteronomy 22:28-29) could also be intended as a type of punishment for the rapist; they likely intended a vicious one-off encounter, but now they have to pay the father and be forced to marry someone they don't want to marry and if they try to avoid the marriage they could be considered to "hate her", as per Deuteronomy 22:13-19, which could also lead to the rapist being whipped. While it may or may not be a fitting punishment and be difficult for the woman, there are a few deterrence for rapists and the rapist IS NOT getting off scot-free.
      • Also people who believe the Bible, or even God, to be condoning or permitting rape should take note of Genesis 19. When two angels stay at Lot's place as guests, a mob of men arrives, demanding he hand over the angels for rape. While Lot makes the bad choice of offering the mob his daughters, do the angels just sit back and let the rape occur? No! "But the men inside reached out and pulled Lot back into the house and shut the door. Then they struck the men who were at the door of the house, young and old, with blindness so that they could not find the door." Genesis 19:10-11. No rape is allowed and while Lot's family are evacuated the would-be rapists are later killed in the city's destruction.
    • Leviticus 19:19, however, which commands us not to wear clothing made of two different kinds of material, is often held up as the Up to Eleven of absurd religious commandments.
      • by christians. observant Jews still follows it, and even use microscopy to make sure a garment isn't shatnez.

Alternative Title(s): Exodus