Wow, talk about emo! Numbers 11:10-15 paints a hopeless picture. Moses hears all the Israelites bawling around their tents because they’re
starving to death bored from eating the same food too often. They look to their leader, Moses, and demand meat to eat. So Moses tells them to quit being sissies and suck it up keeps a stiff upper lip and ensures them that soon they’ll be in the Promised Land complains to God like a whiny little crybaby.
Yeah, that’s a smart move Moses! God deals with complainers by executing their entire family, and you’re gonna dare him to kill you? But sure enough, since Moses is special, God doesn’t even give him a slap on the wrist. In fact, all of his ire is directed toward the Israelites!
Now normally in books of fiction, I would have sympathy for a character tasked with an insurmountable chore, but Moses is just such a horrible person that sympathizing with him is the insurmountable chore. The Israelites go two years eating nothing but insects and lichen while every night Moses dines on the best cuts of their livestock, never sharing. The Israelites want nothing more than to love and be with their god, but they’re cordoned off from the temple, all the while Moses basks in God’s presence daily. All the close families of Moses are automatically born into the priestly caste and given special privileges, but everyone else is a lowly commoner. Moses; what’s to love?
I can’t even enjoy him as an antihero because the story is so poorly written. Even when you remove all the terrible commandments, the boring genealogies, and the endless travel records, you’re still left with a story that struggles to evoke a single emotion beyond indifference. Seriously, the story of Moses could have been epic—a man fights to save from slavery the people he once ruled over, but this shepherd must battle an entire oppressive nation, it’s the ultimate redemption and underdog story—how could you possibly screw that up? Simple. You give the underdog an invincible killing machine. How do you respect a person’s struggle when an all-powerful god does everything for them? Reading the story of Moses is like playing a videogame with cheat codes, you’re just going through the motions, there’s no satisfaction.