Blue Water-Lilies

That night a voice in the darkness awakened Moses.

“Moses” said the voice, “this is God, so don’t be afraid. I haven’t spoken with you directly before, but now I feel I must because your life has taken a turn that could destroy my plans for you to lead the Hebrew nation from slavery in Egypt to freedom in Canaan. I know your mother Jochebed told you about this before Hatshepsut took you to live with her in the Pharaoh’s palace.”

“My Lord God, I can’t believe it’s really You. Yes, yes, I think I do vaguely remember what Jochebed told me. But……..but…….it seems so……so…….long ago.”

“While it may be for you, it’s not for Me. So I’ll remind you that you are where you are because I brought it about, although indirectly. I pulled the twines, so to speak. However, I intended Hatshepsut to play the part of a mother to you, not a lover. I obviously erred in choosing too beautiful a woman to be your surrogate mother instead of a woman more homely. It’s too late, though, for Me to change this. ”

“Hatshepsut has a power over me I can do nothing about, My Lord” said Moses. “I’m like dough in her hands. I can’t explain it.”

“As your Creator, and Creator of all the world and everything in it, I can explain it,” said God. “What has happened between you and Hatshepsut has to do with hormones and brain chemistry. She has the same affect on your brain’s neurons and chemistry as would your eating a consciousness-altering plant, like, say, a blue water-lily, that you see so many of floating on the Nile. She acts on you in the way your eating a blue water-lily would. You have somewhat the same affect on Hatshepsut, only she has more conscious control because she’s a woman, and therefore is stronger than you as a man. Women are the superior sex, but they conceal this from you men so they can control you better. It’s very important that you know this.”

“I do see the sense in what you say, my Lord God, for I’ve sort of felt this too. So I’m glad you’re confirming what I’ve felt.”

“This perspicacity of yours is why I chose you as leader of my Chosen People. I’m therefore not going to object if what’s going on between you and Hatshepsut continues for a while, for I think you have the self-awareness not to let her destroy you. As your Creator, I know there’s a part of you that can float outside yourself and observe yourself as if you’re someone else. You’re going to have to use this gift, else Hatshepsut will destroy you. She’s ambitious. She wants to be the leader of Egypt some day, but her being a woman makes this especially difficult. She’ll need you at her side, perhaps even as Egypt’s co-ruler. Should she manipulate you into this, you wouldn’t be able to be the leader of my Chosen People.

“I won’t let you down, My Lord.”

“We’ll see.”

Sources:
– Exodus 2
Women in Scripture
Bible Archeology
– The Perplexing Historical Moses

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Guilt

“I’m feeling so, so much better today after our talk of yesterday” said Moses to Hatshepsut. “While I was confessing my true feelings for you, I felt suddenly like I was floating outside myself. I’ve had this same experience before during combat with the Nubians and other enemies on Egypt’s frontiers, when I knew I could at any moment in turmoil of battle be cut in half by a scimitar or my skull punctured by a mace. This’ll  give you a sense of what I went through yesterday during my confession. I felt my life had changed irrevocably.”

“Your courage in saying what you said, gave me the courage to say what I said,” said  Hatshepsut. “I too am feeling this morning so much better for our talk, which showed how alike we are. I love you for your intelligence and learning and empathy. I sense that you love me for these qualities in me too. That you love me for who I am as much as for  how I look, shows how different you are from other men. All my life I’ve had to endure men’s lascivious looks. They see me just as a body and not as a fully fledged human with a mind and a spirit and feelings and an intellect and all the other intangible qualities that make me human and a woman. I feel nothing for such men. Since men see me as just a body they would like to ravish, the physical beauty I was blessed with is a total waste.”

“How ironic life is” said Moses, “for me as well as for you. I look around and see that all is irony. It’s like whoever created us was having a joke at our expense.”

“You’re so right” said Hatshepsut. “You know, what’s most ironic in my life is that, aside from you, the only man in my life who sees me as more than just a desirable body is my father the Pharaoh. While he does look at me with desire, and has had the honesty to admit it, he sees I have the qualities to be a future Pharaoh. Hence he had me educated as rigorously as if I’d been his son and heir. He saw from early on that in intelligence and ambition I was the equal to any male. I love him so much for this that if he’d really wanted to have his way with me bodily, I would have consented. Don’t look so shocked, Moses.”

“I admit I am shocked. It’s the Hebrew in me. Although we Hebrews are permitted to take to wife our cousins and our sisters and their like, there’s a growing consensus among us that this is biologically harmful for the future of us Hebrews as a people, and that this practice should stop.”

“I hope you’re not passing judgement on me.”

“No, not at all Hatshepsut. Don’t take everything so personally. We are all of us haunted by our individual pasts and by the cultures we sprang from. Hence as a Hebrew I experienced guilt at having fantasies about you because you are, technically at least, my stepmother. But at another level, my rational intellectual level, I see there’s nothing to feel guilty about because you’re not my biological mother and therefore we’re not blood-related.”

“I do understand, Moses. Your guilt also comes out of your innate sensitivity, which is what I love about you. So go ahead and feel guilty. Don’t fight it, because the more you fight it the more you’ll feel guilty. I’m therefore giving you permission to feel guilty. Eventually your guilt will go away.”

“You know, Hatshepsut, I would have said the same to you had you told me you were feeling guilty about having erotic thoughts about me. We’re so alike in the way we think and feel it’s unearthly. It’s like we’re soul mates. We have two hearts but they beat as one.”

“Darling Moses, come to me and let me kiss you………”

Sources:
– Exodus 2
Women in Scripture
Bible Archeology
– The Perplexing Historical Moses

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Fantasies

In accordance with her father’s wishes, Hatshepsut married her half-brother Thutmose junior. But she wasn’t in love with him because she found him exceedingly repellent.

It was therefore Moses who Hatshepsut directed all her affections on. As Moses went from being a youth to becoming a young man, Hatshepsut noted the way girls looked at him, for Moses was everything a girl could want. He was beautiful to look at, had an aura that made him the cynosure of everyone in whatever room or chamber he entered, was supremely intelligent, had an intellect honed by the most exacting school education, was excellent at sports and games, and was an intrepid army officer, trained in all the military arts.

Somehow, though, Moses didn’t seem to take the same interest in girls that they took in him.

“Do you like girls?” said Hatshepsut one day.

“Well……..of course I like girls”, said Moses. “Why wouldn’t I?”

“It’s just that you don’t take much notice of them” said Hatshepsut.

“This is because I’ve always been so busy. I’ve simply not had time for girls.”

“Come on now, one always finds time for what one is really interested in. You’re just not interested in girls, is what I think. Is there anything the matter?”

“I tell you, I am interested in girls, but just not the girls I’ve met so far.”

“What’s been wrong with the girls you’ve met so far?”

“They’re boring. All they do is giggle and act silly. I want a girl who’s intelligent and mature, who’s like……..well………like you, Hatshepsut. I always compare them to you, and always find them wanting. While they might look pretty, they just have to open their mouths and start talking, and I lose interest.”

“Do you find me attractive?”

“Wha……wha…….what?”

“Do you find me attractive? You’ve just said you want girls who are like me. Don’t be ashamed. I know I’m very attractive to men. I know those looks they give me. And I notice this very same look from you. Lots of times.”

“How observant you are, Hatshepsut. Yes, you’re right, I do find you attractive. Very attractive if you must know. I fantasise about you day and night. I fight against it. Believe me I fight against it. Whenever I’m in the fantasy mode, I try to think of the girls I know, but you always come in and they disappear. This is terrible, but I feel so helpless. You must think me an awful person.”

“I love that you think of me this way, darling Moses. But I’m not surprised. Not at all. I am beautiful, perhaps the most beautiful woman in all of Egypt. I’m not going to engage in false modesty here. Not only am I beautiful in body, I’m intelligent in mind and powerful in will. The only man I know with all these qualities is you my dearest Moses. From the moment I first saw you I knew you were special. You’re so intelligent, so perceptive, I feel I can talk about anything with you and feel understood. You are beautiful in mind and beautiful in body. Can you wonder why you’re in my daily and nightly fantasies too?”

“Oh………Hatshepsut.”

Sources:
– Exodus 2
Women in Scripture
Bible Archeology
– The Perplexing Historical Moses

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Don’t Know Much About History

If you’re a denizen of today you’re going to think Moses had it easy when growing up in the Royal palace in Heliopolis – a home where he would become a spoiled brat, a cynosure of all the grown-ups there, who everyday would coo and coddle him from sun-up to sun-down; from moonrise to dawn.

Actually, Moses had it tough. Other children lived in the palace too. They were the sons and daughters of the many Royals and their minions who made the palace their home. Moses therefore had lots of classmates who kept him becoming too big for his sandals.

Moses’ school curriculum was exacting, being the best education in the world of that time – 3500 years ago. He had, first of all, to learn to read and write – the foundation of any education worth its name. In the matter of writing, which had to be excellent, Moses had to learn to write Hieratic – the shorthand version of the hieroglyphic script. And he had to learn to write the Babylonian cuneiform script, which the diplomatic language of the Levant was written in. Only after Moses had mastered writing, could he begin to study the heavy stuff – mathematics, astronomy, theology, foreign languages, geography, history, music, law, literature, and philosophy.

The educational curriculum of Pharaonic Egypt also required its Royal graduates to speak in public well. This was important for the survival of the Egyptian ruling class, which needed to develop in its future leaders the gift of the gab to enable them to keep mellifluously persuading ordinary Egyptians of the virtues of the Egyptian Way and the divineness of the Pharaoh. To this end, Moses had to learn to speak well, and mellifluously, too.

As well as developing the minds of young Royal Egyptians, Pharaonic Egypt also required them to develop their bodies, the better to hone their athleticism – part and parcel of being well-rounded, and therefore truly educated. Hence Moses’ education included lots of sports. He played field-hockey and handball, did archery and gymnastics, weight-lifting and the high-jump, participated in tugs-of-war and tugs-of-hoop, threw the javelin, fished, boxed, wrestled, swam, rowed, and ran marathons.

The physical and athletic part of the education of Moses, and of Royal sons generally, also naturally prepared them to be officers in the Egyptian army, for, as the leading power in that region, Egypt had many enemies lurking on its borders who every so often persuaded themselves they were the equal of any Egyptian, and so would kill any Egyptians they came across. Egypt therefore needed a large army to remind these upstarts every so often who was boss. Egyptian military campaigns into the territories of these upstarts were therefore the norm.

Moses, as a future officer, was therefore trained in the military disciplines, which, in addition to the usual marching and saluting, included how to wield expertly the weapons to kill upstarts efficiently – slings, maces, spears, battle-axes, bows-and-arrows, swords, scimitars and daggers. He also learned horseback riding and charioteering.

Moses, with all this education and training, as well as the good looks and charm that had so beguiled Hatshepsut and the Pharaoh, was likely to attract lots of girls who might distract him from his earthly mission. How he dealt with them is still to be told……..

Sources:
– Exodus 2
Women in Scripture
Bible Archeology
– The Perplexing Historical Moses

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The Green-Eyed Monster

“Although I’ve agreed you can adopt Moses” said the Pharaoh to Hatshepsut, “there’s still the problem that you don’t have a husband. We Egyptians are a nation of Family Values, which means any woman having a child must have a husband. It doesn’t matter if the child is adopted or is born to you, it must have a legal father, which is your husband. This is the Egyptian Way.”

“But I can’t find a man I’d like for a husband,” said Hatshepsut. “No man, as far as I can see, is suitable for me. I don’t want to settle for second-best. I want only the best.”

“Stop thinking only of yourself,” said the Pharaoh, “you’re too self-centered. You’re a…….a………narcissist. Yes, that’s what you are. Remember, as a royal princess, everything you do must be for the good of Egypt, even if it isn’t for the good of yourself. It’s not about you. It’s about Egypt.”

“You’re the one to talk” said Hatshepsut. “Because you can’t bear the thought of not having me in your life, you’re allowing me to adopt Moses and have him live here in the Royal palace, even though you think that, when he’s grown, he’s going to bring about the downfall of Egypt – the very Egypt you are as Pharaoh duty-bound to preserve protect and defend. And you accuse me of putting myself before the good of Egypt? That’s rich, is all I can say.”

“I didn’t say Moses was going to be the one who’ll bring about the downfall of Egypt, only that he may be the one who’ll do this, based on what my sacred counselors have said. I’m simply giving Moses, and you, the benefit of the doubt.”

“What a rationaliser you are, father. A hypocrite is more like it.”

“If I am, daughter, it’s because although I’m the Pharaoh, I’m also a man with all the weaknesses of a man, and I have a weakness for you. I’m confessing this not only to you, but also to the Sun God Ra, who can strike me down any time He wishes. But He hasn’t, at least not yet. I’m taking this to mean I must be alright with Him, at least for the present. But now, I want to get back to what I was saying before I got side-tracked, which is you’ll have to have a husband if you’re to bring up this boy Moses as your son.”

“Do you have a man in mind, father?”

“I do as a matter of fact. Your half-brother Thutmose junior.”

“Thutmose junior?!! You have to be joking if you think I’d want Thut junior as my husband. The very thought of coupling with a half-brother is a turn-off for me in itself. Quite apart from this, he’s sick all the time, always sneezing and coughing and spitting. And he’s a half-wit to boot. All this, together with his receding chin, protruding rotting teeth, pink piggy eyes, fleshy bulbous nose, and elephantine ears, makes him the most unappealing specimen of manhood I can think of. You have a good sense of fun, father, ha ha ha…….”

“I’m deadly serious, daughter. Thut junior, as my oldest son, even though by my secondary wife Mutnophret, will take over as Pharaoh when I die, which I expect will be quite soon.  But, if you marry him, you could control him so completely, you’d be the Pharaoh in all but name. Thut junior, being all the things you so accurately described him as, will become just a figurehead Pharaoh when I die. But you, with your beauty, intelligence, and ambition, will have all the power. Thut junior won’t be Pharaoh too long because he’s so sickly he’s going to die early. When he does, you can succeed him as the recognised Pharaoh if you play your cards right. I hope you now see, daughter, that Thut junior will be the perfect husband for you.”

“Yes, yes, I do see this, father. You’ve obviously thought this through carefully. I thank you for this from the bottom of my heart. All things considered, Thut junior’s hand in marriage is an offer I can hardly refuse, for I do admit to a consuming desire to become the Pharaoh  some day. The path to this that you’ve laid out, does seem to me the most practicable, while I accept it won’t be the most pleasurable. I mean, just the thought of giving my body to Thut junior in a marriage bed is causing me stomach pains even while I’m talking.”

“And the thought of you giving your body to Thut junior in any bed, let alone a marriage one, is causing me stomach pains too, daughter. I’m assailed by the green-eyed monster even though I’m old. Even when in the ecstasies of my couplings with your mother Ahmose, or with Thut junior’s mother Mutnophret, it’s you who occupies my thoughts.”

“Just enjoy them, father.”

Sources:
– Exodus 2
Women in Scripture
Bible Archeology
The Perplexing Historical Moses

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Wishes and Commands

“I see what you mean, daughter. Young Moses is indeed an extraordinary boy,” said the Pharaoh Thutmose I to Hatshepsut as soon as Moses had left the royal chambers after his introduction to the Pharaoh. “All the while my eyes were on the boy, I felt as if in the presence of the Sun God Ra himself.”

“Or the God of the Hebrews?” said Hatshepsut.

“Ah, that droll wit of yours, that is overshadowed only by your beauty which too often makes me think unfatherly thoughts about you,” said the Pharaoh.

“I do hope, father, you’ll allow me to adopt Moses as my son, now that you’ve spoken with him and seen how extraordinary he is.”

“This is precisely the problem,” said the Pharaoh, “he’s so extraordinary I think he’s the very Hebrew boy my sacred counselors warned me about – the Hebrew boy who, when he grows up, will lead his people into bringing down our Egyptian dominion. Were I not now to have him killed, let alone allowing you to adopt him, so that he would live here in the palace in our midst, I’d be signing my death-warrant so to speak, and the death-warrant of Egypt.”

“Your sacred counselors!! Pah, they’re just manipulative and silly old men who want to frighten you, the better they can control you. And, even if Moses should one day bring about Egypt’s downfall, it would be a long time from now, because Moses is still a young boy. Because you’re so old, you’ll likely be dead anyway before all this happens. If you don’t let me adopt Moses, let alone having him killed, I would leave the palace for ever, and you’d never see me again. I would die from a broken heart. If you love me as much as you keep saying you do, you’d be a dead man walking because I’d be gone from your life. Is this not true?”

“Yes, daughter, it is true. Your hold over me is so powerful I can’t describe it. Yes, yes, you may adopt Moses. By allowing you to do this, I’m going to stoke the terrible wrath of the Sun God Ra. So he may strike me dead, even tonight in my bed. But, as you’ve said, I’d be a dead man walking were I to lose you and lose your love. I’ll just let the Sun God Ra do with me as he wishes.”

“I think you’ll find, father, that the Sun God will do nothing. And another thing, I want you to lift your decree that all first-born Hebrew boys be drowned in the Nile.”

“Your wish is my command, daughter.”

Sources:
– Exodus 2
Women in Scripture
Bible Archeology
The Perplexing Historical Moses

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Waaaaaahh

With Hatshepsut standing nearby, Moses clung tearfully to his mother Jochebed and father Amram, for the last time.

“I want you always to behave in a way that’ll make us proud” said Jochebed, who was tearful too , but tried not to show it.

“Waaaaahh” wailed Moses, “I don’t want to go. Please don’t make me go. I want to stay with you, waaaaaahh.”

“Stop crying. Remember you’re a Hebrew boy, and Hebrew boys don’t cry” said Jochebed, “If it wasn’t for this nice lady here, you’d be dead, drowned in the Nile.”

“I don’t care. I don’t want to go. Waaaaaahh.”

Come on Moses, let’s go” said Hatshepsut, “you’re going to like it where I’m taking you.”

***

For Hatshepsut, getting Moses to the royal palace in Heliopolis and settling him in there was the easy bit. To tell her father, the Pharaoh Thutmose I, about Moses was going to be the tricky bit.

Hatshepsut spoke to her father the first opportunity she had.

“There’s something I wish to speak with you about, father.”

“Let me guess, you’re with child?”

“Er……….not in so many words, father. But a child is involved. I’ve adopted one. A boy.”

“And without being married? You can’t adopt a boy and not be married. It wouldn’t be proper. And not to speak of unEgyptian. It’s time you got a husband anyway. I’ll find you one. Let me see this boy. Where did you get him?”

Hatshepsut then told in detail how she obtained the child Moses. When she said Moses was Hebrew, her father went suddenly into a convulsion. He fell to the ground, foam spewing from his mouth, his outstretched rigid legs kicking. A physician was summoned. After intense medical procedures, he revived the Pharaoh sufficiently for him to continue his conversation with Hatshepsut.

“Have you taken leave of your senses? What possessed you?” shouted the Pharaoh, on the point of another convulsion. “Do you know I could have you bound, then thrown in the Nile and drowned for adopting a Hebrew boy? Do you know my sacred counselors have said a baby boy will born from among the Hebrews in Egypt, who, when he’s grown, will lead a rebellion to bring down our Egyptian dominion? Which is precisely why I decreed all firstborn Hebrew boys in Egypt to be drowned in the Nile. How can we know that this boy, Moses, isn’t the Hebrew boy my counselors spoke of? If you were going to adopt a boy, why not a bona fide Egyptian boy? I don’t understand you, Hatashepsut. Really I don’t. I mean, if you want a son, why not marry a man and have a son by him, as most normal young women do. Being as ineffably beautiful as you are, you have the choice of a husband from well-nigh any young man in Egypt, none of whom wouldn’t die to take you to wife. What, then, are you waiting for? You know, I’m starting to think your romantic predilections are………how shall I say…………..unnatural? .

“It’s most unfair of you, father, to imply that my romantic predilections are unnatural – as you so quaintly put it. I can assure you, my predilections in that domain are entirely natural. So natural that no man I’ve met can fulfill what I want, which is to be desired not for my beauty, not as some man’s trophy, but for my mind and my spirit, which are who I truly am. I look upon my beauty as a curse, not a blessing, for I can never know what a man really wants me for. He may say he wants me for who I truly am, but he’s saying this only as his means to something more base. Oh, if only I were plain, for, then, if a man wants me, I know he wants me for who I truly I am, not for how I look.”

“So, no man’s good enough for you?”

“Well, no man I’ve met has been good enough for me. But……..were I to meet a man who I think Moses is going to turn out to be, he would be the man of my dreams. When I first laid eyes on Moses I felt as if transfixed. He had something unearthly and spiritual about him I just can’t describe. He has that effect on everyone who sees him. This is why I’ve adopted him, and not an Egyptian boy. You’ll see what I mean when you see him. He’s standing right outside. Come in Moses.”

Sources: 
– Exodus 2
Women in Scripture
Bible Archeology
The Perplexing Historical Moses

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