northanger (northanger) wrote,

zugzwang (part ii)

what biblical book does the mass extraction of the poor from the fine City of New Orleans remind you of? unfortunately, the exit strategy for religious warfare is writ large in the book of Exodus. while the religious right bashes the heads of gays, pagans & other riff-raff, islamofascism studies the good book. carefully.

John Gill's Exodus intro : This book is called by the Jews Veelleh Shemoth, from the first words with which it begins, and sometimes Sepher Shemoth, and sometimes only Shemoth. It is by the Septuagint called Exodus, from whom we have the name of Exodus, which signifies "a going out"; see #Lu 9:31 Heb 11:22, because it treats of the going of the children of Israel out of Egypt; and hence in the Alexandrian copy it is called the Exodus of Egypt; and so the Syriac version entitles it the second book of the law, called "the going out"; and to the same purpose the Arabic version. The Jews sometimes give it the name of Nezikin, as Buxtorf {a} observes out of the Masora on #Ge 24:8 because in it some account is given of losses, and the restitution of them.

AFAIK, god tells moses he will harden pharaoh's heart four times:

  1. Exodus 4:21 (02388 ChZQ (imperfect [incomplete action]) chazaq; to make strong) - before moses returns to egypt

  2. Exodus 7:3 (07185 QShH (imperfect [incomplete action]) qashah; to make difficult; obstinacy; stubborness) - moses in egypt before seeing pharaoh

  3. Exodus 14:4 (02388 ChZQ (perfect [complete action]) chazaq; to make strong) - god says turn right at Pihahiroth (along the sea coast towards Gaza and Ascalon)

  4. Exodus 14:17 (02388 ChZQ (participle [continuous action]) chazaq; to make strong) - pharaoh's right on top of em, just as an angel enters stage left

found (imho) extremely relevant quote:

Abarbanel proposes three possible solutions, three ways of explaining the hardening of Pharaoh's heart. The first two are, in his view, of lesser importance and only in his third suggestion does he begin with the words "And the more correct way in my opinion ...". Here he explains that G-d hardens Pharaoh's heart not at the onset of the plagues but after they are over, for it is at these junctures, at the end of each plague, that the Torah speaks of hardening Pharaoh's heart. Since each plague ends several days after its inception, and Pharaoh still has not freed the Israelites, he can then mistakenly conclude that the plague was only a natural disaster (which Moses, as a magician or scientist, might well have been able to predict in advance). It was this that allowed Pharaoh to harden his own heart to the G-d's demands. In other words what G-d provided for Pharaoh was the opportunity - and perhaps the temptation - to harden his own heart .

zugzwang (german: compulsion to move) is a Chess move usually occurring in the endgame. it's like an out of the frying pan, into the fire move you're forced to play. like, i dunno, talking to a Gold Star Mother?


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