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Characters / Book of Exodus

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"Let my people go!"
  • Cue the Sun: God prolongs the day in one battle for as long as Moses holds up his arms. He gets people to help him hold them up.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The staff/snake miracle.
  • Dying Alone: They Never Found the Body. The book of Jude in the New Testament expands on this.
  • Genocide Backfire: The only baby who survived the king’s Hebrew baby-killing massacre order.
  • The Hero Dies: Dies after being the main character of 4 books.
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  • Maligned Mixed Marriage: Given the area she came from, it's very likely that one of his wives was a black African. In any case, Miriam was not happy about him marrying her, and spoke against him until God got angry and inflicted her with leprosy for her behavior.
  • Moses in the Bulrushes: The Trope Namer. Ironically, he is not a perfect fit for this trope as in the actual text he knew he was an Israelite. Screen adaptations, some not all, tend to change it for dramatic effect.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: When the Israelites were complaining about a lack of water, God told Moses to tell the rock to release water. Instead, he struck the rock and took credit for the miracle, angering God and losing his opportunity to cross into the Promised Land.
  • Old Master: Died at 120 with what was implied in Deuteronomy to be most, if not all, of his peak physical and mental faculties.
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  • Shiksa Goddess: His second wife is Ethiopian.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Got quite angry when he came back to find some of the Israelites worshiping a golden calf. Understandable. The text ambiguously implies they were having a orgy.
  • Unaccustomed as I Am to Public Speaking...: He had a speech impediment, so his brother Aaron did the talking for him. This is subverted in Deuteronomy which shows how much he's changed. The whole book is Moses' eloquent last instructions to Israel before his death.



  • Number Two: He follows his brother's lead.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Often portrayed as a nicer person than his brother, especially in the Talmud, where he micromanages Israelite home life. His death is also given a lot more solemnity than Moses'. Though there may be a case of him being too nice. Even though he knew it was wrong, he built a Golden Calf to appease the angry Israelites.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Is somewhat introduced this way in Chapter 4. Moses's sister, Miriam, is explicitly mentioned in the first couple of chapters as playing a key role in Moses's survival. Aaron's not brought up at all, despite also being an older sibling of Moses.
  • Silver Tongue: He does the talking for Moses with Pharaoh because of Moses' speech impediment. There is a level of eloquence inferred as God Himself stated that Aaron could speak well. Also see the other tropes that apply to him.
  • Ur-Example: Was the first high priest of Israel.


And Miriam the prophetess, Aaron's sister, proceeded to take a tambourine in her hand; and all the women began going out with her with tambourines and in dances.

  • Distaff Counterpart: Often portrayed as leading the women while her brothers led the men.
  • Guile Heroine: When the princess finds Moses, she asks the princess if she can find a woman to act as a wet nurse for the baby, which the princess agrees to. The wet nurse she chose? Their mother.
  • Jerkass: Temporarily. She didn't like Moses's new wife and roped Aaron into helping her speak out against her. God didn't like that very much.
  • Sick Episode: Punishment for her insolence; she got better.

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The Pharaohs of Egypt

  • No Name Given: Their real names are never given, as Pharaoh is just a title. There is some speculation as to his/their identity, with Thutmose II being the best candidate for the Pharaoh of The Exodus. Popular adaptations often have Ramses II or his thirteenth son and successor Merneptah in the role, most likely from pure name recognition. At least one has had it been the usurper Amenmesse.
  • Nepharious Pharaoh: Trope Codifier, they are intimidating and are notorious for being cruel to the Israelites.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted. There was a different Pharaoh during the beginning of Moses' life and during the titular Exodus, which, given human lifespans, is not surprising. Pharaohs and their families also tended to practice incest to "keep the bloodline pure", which resulted in birth defects and would've further shortened their lives. Depending on the the date of birth given for Moses (1391, 1592 or 1571) there would have quite obviously been more than two.

    The Pharaoh of Moses' adoption 
"During that long period, the king of Egypt died. The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out, and their cry for help because of their slavery went up to God." Exodus 2:23

  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Orders the newborn sons of the Israelites to be thrown into the Nile river, where they would either drown or be eaten by animals.
  • Hauled Before A Senate Subcommittee: Orders the midwives to be brought before him when he finds out they disobeyed his first order to kill the Hebrew male babies.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Send men to drown the infants of the people you enslaved? Your own people's children will die, including your own son, who will drown (if the Pharaoh of the Exodus is his son, of course it is extremely unlikely).
  • Men Are the Expendable Gender: Although Pharaoh decrees that the male Hebrew babies be killed while the females are to be spared. Males, of course, represented potential future fighters, inheritors, and fathers of more children that would be culturally Hebrew. As for why female babies were still spared, well, it's not stated, but in an ancient patriarchal culture, the blanks are fairly easy to fill in.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Herod!: Attempted unsuccessfully to kill the prophesied savior by killing all male Hebrew babies. Ended up unknowingly raising the child in his household.
  • Offing the Offspring: He tried to have his adopted grandson Moses killed when he learned Moses killed an Egyptian overseer.
  • The Paranoiac: He ordered the Hebrews oppressed and then later orders babies killed for fear that the Hebrews would ally with Egypt's enemies.
    "Then a new king, to whom Joseph meant nothing, came to power in Egypt. "Look," he said to his people, "the Israelites have become far too numerous for us. Come, we must deal shrewdly with them or they will become even more numerous and, if war breaks out, will join our enemies, fight against us and leave the country." Exodus 1:8-10
  • Would Hurt a Child: While he didn't do so himself, he did order the midwives and then all the people of Egypt to do so.

    The Pharaoh of The Exodus 
Then the LORD said to Moses, "Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh: Because of my mighty hand he will let them go; because of my mighty hand he will drive them out of his country."

  • Because Destiny Says So: The "God hardened [Pharaoh's] heart" passage is sometimes used to argue a theological position that states that God predetermines who will accept or reject him.
  • Determinator: He was stubborn even before God started hardening his heart.
  • Evil Uncle: To Moses, possibly. Given that it was a daughter of the at-the-time Pharaoh that adopted Moses as her child, if that Pharaoh died and was succeeded by a son that became the Pharaoh of the Exodus, said son would have been a brother of Moses's adoptive mother. However it ultimately turns out to be unlikely given the various dates of birth given for Moses (1391, 1592 and 1571) and the amount of pharaohs that would have come and gone by the time he was eighty.
  • Too Dumb to Live: He saw the power of God at work and knew that God was directly opposed to what he was doing. He sought to defy Him anyway and got what he deserved.
  • Ignored Epiphany: He admitted that "this time I have sinned", that his people were wrong and God is right, told Moses that he could go. Then, right after Pharaoh saw that the hail and rain were gone and everything was fine and dandy again, Pharaoh "hardened" his own heart and refused to let the Israelites go.
  • I Lied: He constantly pretends to agree to let the Israelites go if the plague that is currently striking Egypt is removed, but goes back on his word the moment the plague is gone.
  • Infanticide Backfire: One of the infants his predecessor tried to kill survived, and this ultimately resulted in the Israelites being freed and the death of many, including himself and his son.
  • Legacy Character: The Pharaoh at the start of Exodus and the Pharaoh who Moses demands freedom from were two different Pharaohs, given how old Moses was during the reign of the latter.
    "Now the Lord had said to Moses in Midian, “Go back to Egypt, for all those who wanted to kill you are dead.” " Exodus 4:19
  • My God, What have I done?: No pun intended. Once he recovers from the grief of losing his son to the tenth plague, he immediately laments letting the Israelites and no longer having free labor and attempts to recapture them with his army.
  • Nay-Theist: He acknowledged the existence of God. He even went so far as to admit that he sinned, but he still refused to do what God said and let His people go.
  • Rage Against the Heavens: He fought against God by refusing to let His people go, even after he saw proof that He exists.
  • Pride: His refusal to humble himself before God cost him quite dearly, any way you slice it.
  • Rule of Three: His stubbornness is described 3 times.
    "God hardened his heart."
    "Pharaoh hardened his heart."
    "His heart became hard."


And Israel served the Lord throughout Joshua's lifetime.

  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: The translation directed by King James the 1st of England confuses him with Jesus at a few points. Helps that their Name's The Same, albeit under different naming conventions.
  • Cue the Sun: And that day was unlike any other before or since, when God listened to a man - Joshua 10:14
  • Curse: He foretold that whoever rebuilds Jericho will lose both of his sons in the process, and this came true during the time of Ahab.
  • Dragon Ascendant
  • Heroic Blue Screen of Death: When the attack on the city of Ai failed, followed by God telling him "Get up! Why are you down on your face?".
  • Kill 'Em All: What happens to most of the cities he conquers.
  • The Reliable One: Before entering the desert, Aaron was pretty clearly Moses' Number Two. While there however, Aaron proved himself to be too much of a people pleaser, and Moses began to put Joshua in more leadership roles. In the end, Joshua was one of the only two of the old generation allowed passage into the Promise Land, and he became Moses' successor as Leader.



"How can I curse those whom God had not?"

Balaam's Donkey

Then the LORD opened the donkey's mouth, and she said to Balaam, "What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?"

  • Stubborn Mule: This is probably what Balaam thought, but in reality the Donkey refused to move because she saw an angel.
  • Talking Animal: It was due to a miracle, but it is not clear whether this literally happened or was a vision of some sort.

Alternative Title(s): Exodus


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