Pups and Manners

Soon after crossing into the Land of Midian, Moses got a job making bricks on a building site. While not much of a job, it did give Moses the means to find shelter and clean himself up, for he did look a mess. After work each day he liked to sit in the shade near a well close by, and be alone with his thoughts which were mostly about Hatshepsut.

He thought about how she would have reacted to his sudden disappearance. And to the equally sudden disappearance of Senenmut. What if someone had glimpsed from afar his deadly fight with Senenmut? And seen him digging the hole and dumping Senenmut’s body in it? Did that someone talk to someone else about what he had seen? And did that someone else tell someone else? And did that someone else tell yet someone else? And on and on until the story reached Hatshepsut?

Did Hatshepsut then send someone to locate the hole? And to excavate it to see who it was? How did she react when she learned it was Senenmut? While her grief would no doubt have been intense, would it have been less had it been Moses in the hole? Indeed, would she even have been glad had it been Moses in the hole? Because, then, her precious Senenmut might still be alive somewhere, and soon back in her arms?

Moses clenched his fists in impotent fury and seething jealously at this thought. It gave way to despair whenever he was assailed by another thought, that his pain at Hatshepsut’s betrayal might never go away no matter how long he lived.

***

One evening when sitting near the well, Moses saw seven young women leading a flock of sheep to it so that the sheep might slake their thirst, and the women fill water containers for themselves. When they reached the well a group of shepherds slouched up. They crowded around the young women, put their hands on them, and said things like, “Hiya babe, you’re so beautiful I could die for you” and “Come to me honey and I’ll show you a good time”. The rest of the comments were of the same genre.

Moses strode up to one of the shepherds who seemed to be the leader, thrust two fingers into the shepherd’s nostrils and jerked upwards, forcing the shepherd on to his toes. Moses put his face close and said, “Don’t let me see you here again, there’s a good chap.”

Moses removed his fingers. The shepherd fell to the ground, blood gushing from his torn nostrils.

“Had enough?” said Moses as he bent down and made as if to re-insert his fingers in the shepherd’s nostrils.

“Let’s leave, boys” said the shepherd to his comrades, “we’ll settle things with this punk another time, and so good he won’t know what’s hit him.” They slunk away.

“I and my sisters thank you ever so much sir,” said one of the young women who appeared to be the eldest.

“All in a day’s work,” said Moses. “I just hope I taught those young pups some manners.”

“Are you from these parts?” said the young woman. “You speak sort of funny, so I’m guessing you’re not.”

“I’m up from Egypt” said Moses. “But, enough about me. Allow me to help water your sheep.”

“That’s so good of you sir. I’m Zipporah by the way. You are………?”

“Moses”

“Moses? What a quaint name. Doesn’t sound Egyptian, though”

“How many Egyptians have you known?”

“Oh…er…..not many. But I remember they had names like Amenemhet, Banefre, Djedefhor, Hepzefa and Ihop. Very different from ‘Moses’. It sounds to me almost Kenite, which is what we are.”

“You and your sisters, you live near here do you”?

“Yes, with our father, Jethro. He’s a high priest in our Kenite religion.”

“What about these sheep, then? Are they all for sacrifice in your father’s religious rituals?”

“Oh you are funny, Moses. I like men who are funny. Actually, my father’s a sheep farmer too. We help him with the sheep.”

“Your father sounds most interesting. I hope I can meet him some day.”

“Well………er…..yes………perhaps.”

Moses was becoming aware of feeling a bodily sensation that men often feel when speaking with comely young women.

“I come to this well every evening. I’ll be here when next you bring your father’s sheep for watering. I’ll look out for you.”

“Yes………that would be…….er…….nice.”

***

The watering of the sheep now complete, Zipporah and her sisters, with Moses help, herded the sheep together and then set out back for their father’s house. Moses watched until Zipporah vanished over the horizon. Just before she did she turned and waved…….

Source: Exodus 2, 16 – 18

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Making Egypt Great Again

It was fortunate for Moses that – courtesy of his rigorous counter-insurgency training in the Egyptian Army – he was able to “live off the land” while plodding through the aridity of what is today the Sinai Peninsula, to reach sanctuary in the Land of Midian. For food, Moses ate the snakes and lizards he caught. For potable water, he squeezed out cacti, and drank from the occasional well he happened upon.

Moses was therefore in quite good nick when he’d crossed into the Land of Midian. He did, though, look gaunt and haggard – due in no small part to his heartbreak at probably never seeing Hatshepsut again. Moses understood that although she had become Egypt’s de facto Pharaoh, she had courtiers – powerful ones – who had resented Moses unique status in the Royal household. Consequently they were always conjuring up plans to kill him. Hatshepsut was therefore risking overthrow through a Palace coup should she try to get Moses back.

There had also been the balefully growing influence in the Royal circles of Hatshepsut’s co-ruler, the boy Thutmose lll (Baby Tut), who had been only a little baby when his father, Thutmose ll (Tut junior), had died. Just before he breathed his last, Tut junior had decreed that his wife Hatshepsut, although not Baby Tut’s mother, would rule Egypt as Regent for the infant boy. Unfortunately Baby Tut wasn’t an infant for long. He soon grew to become  a truculent slack-jawed teenager who couldn’t wait to become the sole Pharaoh. He had always hated Hatshepsut, who he regarded as a nosey parker, and bossy.

Baby Tut’s assessment of Hatshepsut wasn’t far off the mark, because she always was ambitious, both for herself and for Egypt. Even while growing up she had considered herself the equal of any man. She therefore saw no reason why she shouldn’t become Pharaoh when her father, Thutmose l, died.

***

From when she and Moses first became lovers, Hatshepsut would from time to time confide to him what she wanted for Egypt and Egyptians.

Moses still remembered that night he and Hatshepsut were lying post-coitally together, their arms and legs entwined, and she had said, “Dearest Moses, with you at my side I want to make Egypt great again. By this, I mean making Egypt a beacon of hope – a shining city on a hill, if you will – for all our neighbours, whether Hebrew, Canaanite, Aramean, Assyrian, Midianite, Nubian, or what have you. I can only do this by becoming Pharaoh when Daddy dies.”

“This is a considerable undertaking” said Moses. “If anyone can do it you can, sweet Hatshepsut”.

“I want us to come to them as friends, not as conquerors” said Hatshepsut, “I want all our neighbours to love us Egyptians, not hate us, as so many now do because they see us only as foes, and for good reason. Daddy has been the cause of this because of his inferiority complex born of having no sense of inner worth. He is so empty inside, he can only assuage it by having Egypt conquer other peoples. This only makes us more enemies, and  weakens us. Having more and more enemies to put down, also uses up  our precious state resources better used to help ordinary Egyptians have more fulfilling and happier lives. I mean, what’s the point of Egypt being the mightiest power in our region, if most of our people are unhappy because they’re poor and oppressed, and feel there’s no way out? Unless we – their rulers – change our ways they’re one day going to come for us.”

“For a woman, you’re remarkably perspicacious” said Moses. “Yours is my view too.”

“I’m glad you think this, darling Moses. This is another sign we’re soul mates. You know, the irony is that the poorer and unhappier ordinary Egyptians become, the more they’ll feel the freedom to rise up against Daddy as the Pharaoh, or me, should I succeed him. Even though we might kill them in their thousands while they swarm through the Palace gates, they won’t be stopped because they’ve nothing left to lose. Yes, for them, freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.”

“This is brilliant” said Moses, “and it comes out of your brilliant mind. I’ve told you before, darling Hatshepsut, it’s your mind which I love. It excites me as much as your body does. I want to make love to you again, right now. ”

“Yes…….yes…….do” breathed Hatshepsut.

Sources:
– Exodus 2
Women in Scripture
Bible Archeology
The Woman Who Would Be King
The Perplexing Historical Moses

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Out Of Egypt

Emaciated, parched, dirty, skin bleeding from thorns, robes in tatters, mind delirious, Moses tottered into the land of Midian after fleeing Egypt. Now safely over the border, he sat down on a rock and looked up at the harsh blue sky, where some large birds – they looked like vultures – circled around.

Moses thoughts turned to what had brought him here. He thought about that day when, as a seven year-old, he was taken by the Pharaoh’s daughter, Hatshepsut, to the Royal palace in Heliopolis where she would raise him as her adopted son. Moses’s childhood, although rigorous , had been happy. His early manhood as Hatshepsut’s lover had been blissful. Then all began going downhill………

***

When did it begin, this downhill? It was, Moses thought, the night God *had visited him* to warn him how perilous it was to become Hatshepsut’s lover. The affair if unchecked would ruin the plans He (God) had for Moses as future saviour of the Hebrew nation. Nonetheless Moses continued as Hatshepsut’s lover. But doubt now infected his mind.

Moses would never forget those midnights, when all were asleep in the Egyptian royal palace, when he and Hatshepsut crept silently into the muggy night outside, and made their way to their special place on the bank of the Nile where they stripped, then plunged into the water to frolic and hold each other, and whisper in each other’s ears their deepest secrets and desire until, aroused to a frenzy, they climbed back on the riverbank and lay down and made love under the stars until dawn, when they arose and crept back to the palace.

Hatshepsut’s sickly husband, Pharaoh Thutmose ll, soon died. Whereupon Hatshepsut became in all but name, Pharaoh of all Egypt, and therefore the most powerful woman in the world. Being still beautiful – arguably the most beautiful woman in the world as well as the most powerful – Hatshepsut’s hold over men was absolute. She could now summon any man she wanted to the Palace and lure him into her bed. This she did. Often.

The knowledge of all this, instead of dampening Moses desire for Hatshepsut, only inflamed it, especially when in bed at night in his own room next to Hatshepsut’s, and he would hear through the wall Hatshepsut’s giggles and groans as she made love with the latest man she had lured.

But, Hatshepsut on other nights when in the  mood, summoned Moses for another midnight swim in the Nile, and they stole away there as if all was unchanged. Hatshepsut always assured Moses that despite the changed circumstances, he would always be the man she loved the most.

***

There came a time when a man called Senenmut began visiting Hatshepsut more and more……..and……..more. She made him the overseer of her entire household, which included Moses. She also appointed him (Senenmut) chief administrator of the richest lands in Egypt outside those owned by the Royal family.

“What do you see in him, this Senenmut?” said Moses to Hatshepsut one day, “He’s from the lower orders, has no education, and can’t speak with you about the finer things of life like I can. And he’s quite nondescript-looking, unlike me who everyone can’t keep their eyes off of when encountering me at parties and suchlike. What’s got into you, Hatshepsut?”

“Nothing’s got into me” said Hatshepsut, “I should instead ask you what’s got into you, for you’re no longer the Moses you used to be, and were so fun to be around. You appear angry whenever we talk now. I think I know what it is. You’re jealous of Senenmut. You can’t bear it that he has qualities I find attractive, that you don’t have.”

“Jealous? Me? Jealous of Senenmut? That odorous unlettered boor? Well, if you think I’m jealous of him, you don’t know me very well, that’s all I can say.”

“I know you very well, Moses. Better than you know yourself. You can’t resist me, and you hate yourself for this. I need only click my fingers and you come running to me like a jackal pup. I can make you grovel and lick my toes any time I want. There’s nothing I can’t make you do if I so much as hint I’d like you in my bed.”

***

The years went by. Moses jealousy of Hatshepsut and Senenmut grew……and grew. One day, when Moses anger was more than he could bear, he saw Senenmut inspecting a large barn on land that he (Senenmut) administered.

“Oy you” shouted Moses, “I want a word with you”

“If you want a word with me, you’ll have to address me more civilly than ‘oy you,'” said Senenmut. “I’ll remind you I’m now senior to you in Hatshepsut’s household, and have supplanted you in her affections. You’re going to have to know your place”

“Let’s settle this right now” said Moses, “man to man, no holds barred.”

***

Senenmut closed in, and they began to wrestle. The fight seemed to Moses to go on for an eternity, for Senenmut was the strongest man he’d ever wrestled. There were moments when Moses had Senenmut in an unbreakable grip, only to have Senenmut break free and put an unbreakable grip on Moses……….

Just when Moses felt he had no more to give, he somehow got his fingers around Senenmut’s throat and squeezed……and squeezed. Senenmut gurgled, became slack, and fell…….dead.

***

There being no-one else around, Moses, by means of a spade he found in the barn, dug a hole, dumped Senenmut in it undetected, then filled the hole. Realising he now had no choice but to leave Egypt forever, and forthwith, Moses began moving fast towards  Egypt’s eastern border…………

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

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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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