“No offence Moses, but I think you need help,” said Jezebel, shaking her head. “What I can’t understand is why anyone believed you at all; I realise that people back then were superstitious, that they were looking for explanations about how we all got here; but they must have been a bit gullible to believe your stories about meeting a creator who spoke to you while hiding himself in a burning bush. Only you among the bible’s authors claim to have seen God – well his back, you claim to have spent forty nights alone with him; but there were no witnesses to any of this: it all happened inside your head.”
“I didn’t imagine it young lady, it was real.”
“In that case Moses,” interrupted Johnny, can we talk about Deuteronomy:28. You explain what will happen if you don’t hearken to the voice of the Lord; do you remember it?”
“You’ll have to refresh my memory, it was a long time ago.”
“Okay Moses I’ll read your own words to you about what punishment awaits anyone who rejects the Lord.” Johnny looks at Moses for a response but he seems preoccupied with his fingernails. So he begins to read.
“Cursed shalt thou be in the city and cursed shalt thou be in the field;
cursed shall be the fruit of thy body and the fruit of thy land.
Cursed shalt thou be when thou cometh in, and cursed shalt thou be when thou goest out. And you were only getting warmed up Moses, you go on to explain what God’s revenge will be. He will send upon thee cursing, vexation and rebuke. All that thou set thine hand to shall be destroyed. The Lord shall make pestilence cleave unto thee until he have consumed thee from off the land. The Lord shall smite thee with a consumption and fever and with an inflammation and extreme burning. What’s more he will smite thee with thy sword and with mildew and blasting, and will pursue thee until thou perish.”
“Oh yes, it’s coming back to me now, I did say that.”
“There’s more Moses, lot’s more: The Lord shall make the rain of thy land powder and dust, from heaven it shall come down upon thee, until thou be destroyed.
The Lord shall cause thee to be smitten before thine enemies; thy carcase shall be meat to the fowls of the air, and unto the beasts of the earth. The Lord shall smite thee with the botch of Egypt, and with emerods and the scab, and with an itch that canst not be healed. The Lord shall smite thee with madness and blindness: thou shall grope at noon as the blind grope in darkness. Thou shalt betroth a wife and another man shall lie with her. thou shalt build a house and thou shalt not dwell therein.
It gets worse Moses: thine ox shall be slain before thine eyes and thine ass shall be violently taken away from before thy face.”
“What’s that about his ass?” exclaimed Jezebel.
“Relax,” said Johnny; “his ass, you know, like a donkey.” Jezebel let’s this information sink in, then giggles.
“Then Moses, if that’s not enough,” continues Johnny, “thy sheep shall be given unto thine enemies and thine sons and daughters shall be given to another people, and thine eyes shall look and fail with longing for them all day long: and there shall be no might in thine hand. The Lord shall smite thee in the knees and in the legs with a sore botch that cannot be healed, from the sole of thy foot to the top of thy head. For God’s sake Moses it goes on and on, there’s too much of it to take in. Then finally when you can’t think of any other punishments to dish out: also every other plague and sickness which is not written in the book, the Lord will bring upon thee until thou be destroyed. Moses, what was going on inside your head?”
“Oh please, leave me alone, I wasn’t well at the time; I had seen and taken part in so much bloodshed. I see all the bodies of the innocent children when I close my eyes to sleep at night, it’s torture; but I suppose I deserve it.”
“And did you keep a diary?” asked Jezebel. ” Did you write it all down; to pass on to be included in the old book?”
“Write it down? No, none of it was written down: it was just added to the other folk-tales of Adam and Abraham and the others to become legend. It must have been a thousand years later before anyone got around to writing any of it down.”
Johnny and Jezebel exchange knowing glances and agree that they have heard enough from Moses. “I think that about wraps it up Moses, you can go and grab yourself a bite to eat in the green room,” said Johnny. ” There’s an old guy in there with a long beard; you probably won’t recognise him, but can you ask him to come through?”
“So what do you reckon Johnny; a classic case of schizophrenia?”
“Well he sure has all the symptoms: hearing voices, seeing things and false beliefs.”