“Did he now let you go?” enquired Johnny.
“In the morning there was a great cry throughout the land for there wasn’t a household where there was not one dead. Pharaoh sent for us and told us to pack up our things and go. God told us not to forget to collect the Egyptians jewels and gold before we left. Then he led us out of through the wilderness and out of the land of Egypt.”
“What! you saw him then?”
“Sort of, he went before us as a pillar of cloud by day, and a pillar of fire by night.”
“So,” said Jezebel, “was that it then – was it all over?”
“Well, not quite. He had to add a final twist, just to make sure they got the message. He had us camp by the sea and he spread a rumour that we were lost in the wilderness and couldn’t get out. Then one more time he hardened Pharaoh’s heart and taunted him into pursuing us. He came at us with all the chariots of Egypt and his finest horsemen and army.”
“Wow, that must have been scary for you.”
“Not really, I knew God was still with us. He told me to stretch my hand across the waters to part them and allow the Egyptians to cross. When they did I stretched my hand again and the sea returned and drowned them all, I was getting good at that sort of thing.”
“So I suppose you all marched off to the promised land then?”
“We wandered in the wilderness for God knows how long, then finally we came to Mount Sinai; that’s when he invited me up to see him on the top.”
“Really, you and the big man together again; so what did he want from you?” interrupted Johnny.
“He had been busy preparing some laws for us, quite a lot really; there were over six hundred of them – plus ten commandments for us to follow. He came to me in a thick cloud and told me we would meet on the third day, adding we must wash all out clothes and not come at our wives, if you know what I mean.”
“It says here in your old book Moses, that you were all alone with him in the mountain for forty days,” said Jezebel. “Did you finally see his face then?”
“Oh no, we met in thick cloud you see; but he did show me his back – and before you ask – it looked like a great dark cloud.”
“I’ve been reading through these rules and commandments that he gave you, and you must admit Moses that they do seem a bit strange: all this rambling on about oxen being stoned to death if they gore someone – as if an ox knew any better, or for compensation if an ox falls in a pit. Surely an intelligent creator of something so complex as the Universe wouldn’t be concerned about such things. He would have been too busy calculating the ratio of Helium to Hydrogen to create nuclear fusion in his stars, he wouldn’t be interested in your squabbles over oxen. These laws seem the work of someone who has been alone in the mountains for too long: all of that thunder and lightning, it’s enough to send anyone mad. Are you sure you didn’t imagine it all?”
“It was the word of God, I heard him.”
“Okay then,” said Johnny, “let’s take a look at the top ten; his commandments. I mean, some of them are just common sense: thou shalt not kill, or thou shalt not steal. But then he goes and spoils it by saying that the sins of the father shall carry on to the third and fourth generations. Whatever happened to forgiveness? And this one: thou shalt not covet thy neighbours’s house, nor thy neighbours’s wife, nor his servants, nor his ox nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbours. How can anyone possibly follow this rule?”
“He wrote it all down for me Johnny.”
“Well, the thing is Moses,” said Jezebel, “no one can actually stop themselves being envious, it’s out of their control.”
“Yeah,” butted in Johnny, “if the guy next door had a Bentley parked in his drive and I had a Nissan Micra, I’m sure I would be wishing I could afford one. And if his wife had an ass like Kim Kardashian, and mine had one like Marge Simpson; I’m sure I couldn’t stop myself being envious.”
“Oh well put Johnny,” said Jezebel, “just typical. Mind you isn’t it obvious that this commandment was written by a man? Notice how his wife is given the same status as his ox and his ass: it’s like women are mere possessions.”
“Man can never understand the mind of God,” explained Moses.
“Do you notice that there is no actual commandment forbidding rape,” pointed out Jezebel. “Surely more proof that these are the writings of mere men, biblical women have no rights. And nothing at all about incest made the top ten: Lot did nothing wrong in the cave with his pissed virgin daughters.”
“The Lord works in mysterious ways.”
“As it turns out Moses, it seemed that while you were alone in the clouds with God, you were missing out on a great party,” said Johnny.