Moses, the DELIVERER of the Jews from their bondage in Egypt, had a special relationship with the mountains. Moses according to his own confession was the MEEKEST man on the face of the earth, while he was still alive. If one were to go by the Hollywood flick, TEN COMMANDMENTS, it would seem as if he was the underdog with a mission not only to resist the cruel treatment meted out to the Jews, but also to get them the liberty.
But underlying the portrayal,if one could place oneself in his shoes and imagine, it was all about a man who was raised as a prince in Pharaoh’s palace, & lost his position either due to a discovery of a fact and a consequent choice or to the palace intrigue of Ramses. The discovery was that he did not have the royal blood coursing thru his veins, but was an offspring of a Jew! A dim prospect for a man with that lineage in those times, in Egypt.
Many discoveries of parentage had led to great Tragedies.
Like in the case of Oedipus (king of Thebes). He killed (although inadvertently) his father and married his mother Jocasta. The oracle had decreed that the plague in the land was a consequence of the taboo committed. Oedipus was not able to wash away the guilt thru his penance or any other means, and the end is truly tragic as it unfolds man’s helplessness in the light of a discovery, that could not have been imagined when the deeds were committed.
Oedipus is laden with PATRICIDE & INCEST. Both ABSOLUTE SINS, one for not knowing one’s father and yet killing him unknowingly, and the other for having sexual relationship with one’s own lineal ascendant- also unknowingly. The forms in which both the acts were committed were LEGAL. Oedipus’ father was killed in a fight with him and Oedipus got married to Jocasta, as she was the prize for having aided in destroying the Sphinx which was troubling the Thebans. The TRUTH could have lain hidden and the plague regressed, but his imagined non-involvement in the DEATH OF LAIUS (Oedipus’ real father and husband of Jocasta) emboldens him to search out, even against the opinion of TIRESIAS. But his arrogance led him to the discovery, without recourse.
But in the case of Moses, it was not any of those ABSOLUTE SINS, but a MISTAKEN PEDIGREE! The storyline is the reverse of KARNA in the Mahabharata. Karna (Karan, to the Sanskritized) was thought of to be from the hoi polloi, whereas Moses was imagined to be from the Royal stock. Moses’ discovery leads to his abandoning the comforts of the Pharaoh’s palace and consequently takes him to the ghettos of the Jews.
IT IS FROM THIS POINT THAT THE REVOLUTION WITHIN MOSES STARTS. The conflict was WHETHER TO RECONCILE WITH HIS PEDIGREE & TO ACQUIESCE IN THOSE REALITIES OF SQUALOR, SLAVERY, WHIPLASHES, TOIL & IGNOMINY or TO TAKE UP CUDGELS AGAINST THE SYSTEM THAT TREATED MAN IN SUCH BRUTISH WAYS?
Karna’s conflict was that he had the skill fit to be a king, but without the pedigree to rise there. He could at best be a WARRIOR but never a CONQUEROR. The skills that he had in him was pushing him higher, but his supposed humble origins – like gravity- was pulling him down.
To clarify in Christian terms, the distinction between a WARRIOR & a CONQUEROR is the difference between JOAB and DAVID. Joab, the commander of the Israeli army during King David’s reign, used to subjugate the enemies with the strength of his sword, but when the City was to be taken, David used to be called for, by the same Joab and the city gates were flung open for the CONQUEROR KING to make his TRIUMPHAL ENTRY. A warrior has to DO IT HIMSELF EVERYTIME, but for a CONQUEROR things were DONE FOR HIM IN HIS NAME. History RECOGNIZES the CONQUERORS but the warriors are mere footnotes. A KING is mostly a WARRIOR, but a WARRIOR need not become a KING.
Moses’ conflict had to be resolved. But how can it be?
In the movie TEN COMMANDMENTS, Moses’ wife tells the Queen U LOST MOSES WHEN HE WENT LOOKING FOR HIS GOD, AND I LOST HIM WHEN HE FOUND HIS GOD! (one sane inference that could be drawn is that, God and Woman are not simultaneously compatible!), but the pertinent point is that MOSES DISCOVERED GOD. His first tryst with God was in the Mountains of Sinai (Horeb).
IT WAS ALWAYS IN THE MOUNTAINS THAT MOSES MET JEHOVAH. Moses met his maker also in the Mount Nebo.
I am left wondering, as to why God had to meet Moses in the MOUNT and not in the plains.
The Psalmist says I WILL LIFT UP MINE EYES UNTO THE HILLS FROM WHENCE COMETH MY HELP. (Ps.121).
Is it because that the AIR is RARER and the PRESSURE is DOWN that the mortals start hallucinating better there?,
Or is it because of the geographical elevation that a person’s perception is raised above the occupants of the valleys and plains?
Or is it truly that God’s attention is drawn quicker on the hilltop that the mortals made it a habit to get to the mountain top?
The answer is not certain and whether the question was right at all, is a bigger question!
In any case, the resolution for Moses came from the discovery of his God. A God who believed in what Moses himself believed in, but couldn’t do anything about. He saw that the burden of slavery was so heavy, that thoughts of LIBERTY, FREEDOM & HAPPINESS did not dawn in those embittered hearts, worn down thru slavery and bondage.
It isI here that he invents ways of explaining the GOD, he had discovered. The God who names himself as “I AM WHO I AM“. This God I AM shakes the Pharoah and the Jews alike, from their logic and understanding of their EXTERNALIZED OMNIPOTENT GOD.
This wordings used bu Moses, to define God, brought God to Man. Since the time he was chased out of the garden of Eden, it is for the first time that the first person pronoun “I” was used to SIGNIFY GOD. The space of “I”, was made DIVINE and men were given a foretaste of the possibility of God becoming Man and also residing in MEN. This definition of God, marks the beginning of the end, to the Externalization and outer experience with God. Even though this tradition continued in the Jewish history. NOW MAN HAD TO MAKE WAY FOR GOD IN HIS “I” CONSCIOUSNESS. The nameless desert God straight made an ENTRY into the JEWISH hearts, through that definition of Moses.
A QUANTUM SPIRITUALISM DAWNED!
MOUNTAINS WERE NO MORE NEEDED TO MEET GOD, ONE HAD TO LOOK WITHIN AND EXPERIENCE GOD.
HOW TRUE, I AM WHAT I AM.