The story of Exodus ends in carnage for the Egyptians, and in glorious salvation for the Israelites – but could this story have ended differently? Could the Egyptians also have lived happily ever after?
We read in the Exodus that Pharaoh rejects Moshe’s original request to let the Israelites pray to their father, God. And so the 10 plagues are unleashed upon the Egyptians. And only until the final plague – the death of the firstborn – does Pharoah relent. Yet, still, rather than let the Israelites leave in peace, in the last moment, the Egyptians try to chase them down in chariots – only to drown in the Sea of the Reeds.
If we closely study these events in the Exodus story, we start to see uncanny resemblances to another biblical story – when Joseph asks Pharaoh to honor the death of his ‘father’ Jacob. Only, in that story, the Egyptians and the Israelites leave Egypt together in unity – the chariots accompany the Israelites out of the land. Was this earlier story intended to be instructions for the later Pharaoh?
Join Rabbi Fohrman as he examines these two stories, and never read the Exodus story the same way again.