Sometimes God just wants to turn into a bush

This post is part of a year-long experiment wherein, week-by-week, we write the Bible better than it was in the original.

Exodus 1:1 – 6:1

Pharaoh ordered all Hebrew baby boys killed. So one Hebrew mother sent her baby floating down the river. Pharaoh’s daughter saw the baby, drew him out of the water, and creatively named him Moses, which means “I drew him out of the water.”

Daughter: Hey Dad, check it out! My totally normal 3-month-old baby that you’ve never seen.
Pharaoh: Aren’t you supposed to get fat before you have a baby?
Daughter: Not when you’re a PRINCESS.
Pharaoh: What’s his name?
Daughter: Moses. It means, “I drew him out of the water.” … Dammit.

Moses grew up in Pharaoh’s palace, got into a few shenanigans, and ran away into the desert. One day, while Moses was herding sheep, God made a nearby bush light on fire without burning up.

Moses: Weird.
Bush: It is I, your God. I have become SHRUBBERY.
Moses: Why would you do that?
Bush: Your delicate mortal eyes cannot bear to look up my true form. So I compressed my infinity into this FINE MULBERRY BUSH.
Moses: But why a bush though?
Bush: BUSHES ARE MY MOST MARVELOUS CREATION. They are full of pretty leaves, and they sometimes have BERRIES! And less often, FIRE!
Moses: Hokay. Did you want to tell me something?
Bush: I am here to free the Hebrew slaves!
Moses: Awesome! Let me know when you do that.
Bush: It is YOU who must free them, Moses!
Moses: … What?
Bush: You shall demand Pharaoh FREE YOUR BRETHREN!
Moses: So I go to the palace.
Bush: Yes.
Moses: And I’m like, “Hey, Pharaoh. God sent me. Free the slaves, please.”
Bush: Indeed!
Moses: Then he’s like, “No.”
Bush … Hmmmmm. HMMMMMMMM.
Moses: Are you sure you can’t just do it?
Bush: Eureka! Look at that rod in your hand.

God turns Moses’s walking stick into a serpent.

God: If Pharaoh doubts you, I shall turn your stick into a serpent. It’s such an OBVIOUS SOLUTION!
Moses: Alright, alright, I’ll go!
God: Good. … So … Want to barbecue or something? I’ve already got a fire going. GOAT BURGERS ON ME.
Moses: I’m kind of busy with this whole freeing the slaves thing.
Moses: What?
God: Nothing.

Illustration by Dana Lo

What do you think?

About The Author

Ilana Strauss

Ilana E. Strauss is a human-shaped collection of atoms that have written for The Atlantic, Reader's Digest, the Washington Post, Tablet, and the Toast.

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