Summary: Ambition is a two-edged sword; it can spur hard work, but can also lead to resentment if proper recognition isn't forthcoming.
Good morning. This is Rubel Milkash from the Canaan Broadcasting Corporation, bringing you the region’s top stories every morning. Today’s feature is an exclusive interview with Moses BenAmram, charismatic leader of the most amazing mass migration in recent history. But first, background from Lod Ashbel, who has been living and traveling with the Hebrew tribes for several months. Lod replaces our previous correspondent, who is still in critical condition following injuries received in riots during a religious ceremony involving, so I understand, a power struggle over a golden calf. Analysts wondered for a time if the unrest might have shaken Moses’ hold over the tribes, but after the execution of the opposition leaders, his position appears to be stronger than ever. But let’s hear the latest from the man who has been watching this amazing group from up close. Lod?
Thank you, Rubel. There has been a marked change in the mood of the camp just recently ... although I should say, these encampments. There are twelve tribes who all camp apart from one another, grouped around what they call a “Tent of Meeting” where they hold their religious ceremonies. All 12 tribes seem to be descended from a single ancestor, who as I understand it came from Canaan to
begin with, or perhaps even from farther north. As you know, we have heard reports from everyone who has come in contact with the Hebrew tribes that there is something unusual about how they have gotten here. There seems to be some
sort of a link with Midian, but almost everyone agrees that their trip began in Egypt, at least this stage of it. They are certainly not Egyptians themselves, but beyond that the details get a little fuzzy.
The political scene in Egypt has deteriorated markedly in the last year or so; Pharaoh has not been receiving embassies and there has been a mass shake-up of their armed forces. The Egyptian court recorders have refused to confirm or deny any of the rumors about the role these Hebrews had in all of this, and the information I have received from more informal sources are so far-fetched that one really cannot take them seriously.
On the other hand, everyone I have talked to in the camp tells pretty much the same story. They worship an invisible, all-powerful, mysterious god whose name I can’t pronounce, and they insist that this god has defeated all their enemies (including the Egyptian armies!), made them rich, given them laws to live by, and has on top of everything else has promised to give them Canaan as well. Well,
of course there’s no chance of Canaan being conquered by an untrained rabble, no matter how enthusiastic. But it wouldn’t hurt to beef up our defense budget, just in case.
It is strange that we haven’t been able to get any solid news from Egypt.
Things have been very quiet here until just a short time ago. (They count their time in seven-day increments, and never do any work at all on the seventh.) The entire population has been focused on building what they call the Tent of Meeting. It’s very ornate and elaborate, and everyone seems to believe that every detail was dictated to Moses by this god of theirs. People were practically
bidding for the privilege of running errands for the workers. They finished about a month after I got here, and since then they’ve just been having sacrifices and feasts and listening to Moses read their laws.
Every day after the sacrifices were completed, Moses read a new section of the law out loud to the whole congregation, and the scribes wrote it down, and then all you could hear during the whole rest of the day was people muttering under their breaths to get it by heart. Even the children got involved. For a while there I did start to believe that they might pull it off, really get some discipline into the organization. If they could do that, with their numbers and their - I think the only
word for it is fanaticism - we might have something to worry about. The place runs like clockwork, the people fall flat on their faces every time Moses walked by - incidentally, he wears a veil over his face, one can’t help but wonder if he has some sort of skin disease. The people I’ve talked to were really offended when I asked about it; apparently having a skin disease gets you kicked out of the camp. They say that the reason Moses wears a veil is because that his face shines, like the sun reflecting off of a pool, from all the time he has spent with their god. Well, anyone who can talk an entire people into believing
that is clearly a force to be reckoned with.