A Sign on Your Hand...
The Lord said to Moses, ‘Hey, I’ve been thinking, and I’ve come to a decision. 2 Every firstborn male, whether it’s a human or an animal, belongs to me.’
Moses was confused. ‘What do you mean?’ he asked.
3 ‘Well, I want you to mark the day that you came out of Egypt by eating nothing but bread without yeast for seven days.’
‘Ergh!’ moaned Moses. ‘We’re back on this again…’
4 ‘You know it’s the month of Aviv right now.’
5 ‘And when you get to the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, Amorites, Hivites, and Jebusites, the land I promised to your ancestors, it’s going to be flowing with milk and honey.’
‘Like, literally rivers of milk and honey?’ queried Moses.
6 The Lord ignored him and continued, ‘So in this month every year, you will observe the Festival of Bread Without Yeast.’
‘Yes, we already agreed this before we came out of Egypt…’
7 ‘During this festival, you will eat nothing but bread without yeast.’ The Lordrsquo;s voice grew shrill. ‘I don’t want a single grain of yeast anywhere in Israel! I hate that stuff!’
‘I fucking get it!’ spat Moses. He breathed a sigh, and said, ‘What does this have to do with firstborn sons?’
8 ‘Well, on that day, you will tell your sons, “We’re doing this because the Lord hates yeast!” 9 It’ll be a sign on your hand and a memorial between your eyes that the Lord hates yeast on his lips!’
Moses shook his head in bewilderment. ‘You’ve got a screw loose…’ he muttered.
10 ‘Now promise me that you’ll observe this festival every year,’ pleaded the Lord.
‘I already did!’ retorted Moses.
‘No, seriously,’ implored the Lord, ‘promise.’
11 ‘Now, when you get to Canaan, as I promised your ancestors, you are to give me the firstborn from every womb.’
‘Oh, so we’re talking about this again, are we?’ snorted Moses. ‘What exactly do you mean by “giving” you the firstborn?’
12 ‘All the firstborn males belong to me. 13 Redeem the firstborn lamb with the firstborn donkey, but if you don’t, you have to break its neck.’
‘Redeem how? And are you expecting me to break the neck of unredeemed boys?’
14 ‘And in the days to come, when your son asks you, “What does this mean?”’
Moses interrupted, ‘I’d like to know that myself…’
15 The Lord continued, ‘Tell him that the Lord saved you from Pharaoh, and when Pharaoh wouldn’t let your people go, the Lord killed the firstborn of the Egyptians.’
‘Okay,’ sighed Moses, ‘so I sort of get the firstborn connection, but in what way am I supposed to be “redeeming” them?’
16 ‘It’ll be a sign on your hand and a memorial between your…’
‘Don’t start with that nonsense again!’ yelled Moses. And with that, he stomped off in a huff.