Exodus – nation building among the reeds

The tone of the story changes in Exodus. There is much more of an us-and-them feel to the characters.

At the beginning there were many reeds and reed-weaving words.

Do sandals or shoes fiber count words? I think they do. The verb for “take your shoes off” is the same one that is used, in Modern Hebrew, to describe a snake’s moulting.

Further along in Exodus, there are many things done with “staffs”. Staffs? In English a “staff” relates to a “disataff” – which is used for holding wool or flax being spun.

Exodus 9:31 was the first time I saw flax or cotton, although it was not clear if it was foodstuff or fiber-goodness.

Fascinatingly, there was an echo to the creation story, at 15:18. “Tehomot” – sounds like Tiamat. In modern Hebrew, that means “abyss” or “chasm” – but the creation story uses to describe that over which the darkness hovers.

In writing these blog posts before I read the English, I feel both hesitant and extra-free. Discovering the English translations is the last bit of the work of this packet, adding them to the file of words logged. That makes it harder to discuss them with any authority. Hmm. This won’t be a problem with any texts that are not in Hebrew.