Book of Exodus Family and Community Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Chapter:Verse)
At midnight the Lord struck down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the prisoner who was in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of the livestock. (NRSV 12:29)
And it came to pass, that at midnight the Lord smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle. (KJV 12:29)
The tenth plagues is like the nail in the coffin because it corrupts the natural cycle of Egyptian reproduction. And think about the extent of this plague—it affects even the cattle! God sure knows how to show his power. The guy leaves no stone unturned.
He said, "A hand upon the banner of the Lord! The Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation." (NRSV 17:16)
For he said, Because the Lord hath sworn that the Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation. (KJV 17:16)
Today, if your kids choose a different religion than yours (or no religion at all), it's usually less catastrophic—i.e., no wars with the Lord. After all, in a place like the U.S. there's a place for every religion under the sun. But the ancient world was tribal. Sure you could defect to a different group, but procreation meant passing on your biases to your kids.
"You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me, but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments." (NRSV 20:5-6)
Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. (KJV 20:5-6)
God goes for the people's loyalty by promising prosperity for their children. It's a pretty intense promise, too. Your great-grandchildren could be paying for your screw-ups, but your thousandth descendant will still get some fancy SWAG if you're loyal to God. Hey, you can't argue with numbers like those.