86.) Exodus 12:31 – 13:22

August 31, 2009

"The Exodus" by contemporary French artist Macha Chmakoff

"The Exodus" by contemporary French artist Macha Chmakoff

Exodus 12:31 – 13:22   (NRSV)

31Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron in the night, and said, “Rise up, go away from my people, both you and the Israelites! Go, worship the Lord, as you said. 32Take your flocks and your herds, as you said, and be gone. And bring a blessing on me too!”

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Music:

Theme song (instrumental)  by Ernest Gold from the 1960 movie Exodus.

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The Exodus: From Rameses to Succoth

by Philip Ratner (The Ratner Museum, Bethesda, Maryland)

by Philip Ratner (The Ratner Museum, Bethesda, Maryland)

33The Egyptians urged the people to hasten their departure from the land, for they said, “We shall all be dead.” 34So the people took their dough before it was leavened, with their kneading bowls wrapped up in their cloaks on their shoulders. 35The Israelites had done as Moses told them; they had asked the Egyptians for jewelry of silver and gold, and for clothing, 36and the Lord had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they let them have what they asked. And so they plundered the Egyptians.37The Israelites journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides children. 38A mixed crowd also went up with them, and livestock in great numbers, both flocks and herds.

39They baked unleavened cakes of the dough that they had brought out of Egypt; it was not leavened, because they were driven out of Egypt and could not wait, nor had they prepared any provisions for themselves.

12take_out_food-shirt-p

40The time that the Israelites had lived in Egypt was four hundred thirty years. 41At the end of four hundred thirty years, on that very day, all the companies of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt. 42That was for the Lord a night of vigil, to bring them out of the land of Egypt. That same night is a vigil to be kept for the Lord by all the Israelites throughout their generations.

Directions for the Passover

43The Lord said to Moses and Aaron: This is the ordinance for the passover: no foreigner shall eat of it, 44but any slave who has been purchased may eat of it after he has been circumcised; 45no bound or hired servant may eat of it.

46It shall be eaten in one house; you shall not take any of the animal outside the house, and you shall not break any of its bones. 47The whole congregation of Israel shall celebrate it.

passover-star-of-davidjpg

48If an alien who resides with you wants to celebrate the passover to the Lord, all his males shall be circumcised; then he may draw near to celebrate it; he shall be regarded as a native of the land. But no uncircumcised person shall eat of it; 49there shall be one law for the native and for the alien who resides among you.

50All the Israelites did just as the Lord had commanded Moses and Aaron. 51That very day the Lord brought the Israelites out of the land of Egypt, company by company.

13)  The Lord said to Moses: 2Consecrate to me all the firstborn; whatever is the first to open the womb among the Israelites, of human beings and animals, is mine.

The Festival of Unleavened Bread

3Moses said to the people, “Remember this day on which you came out of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, because the Lord brought you out from there by strength of hand; no leavened bread shall be eaten. 4Today, in the month of Abib, you are going out. 5When the Lord brings you into the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, which he swore to your ancestors to give you, a land flowing with milk and honey, you shall keep this observance in this month. 6Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day there shall be a festival to the Lord. 7Unleavened bread shall be eaten for seven days; no leavened bread shall be seen in your possession, and no leaven shall be seen among you in all your territory. 8You shall tell your child on that day, ‘It is because of what the Lord did for me when I came out of Egypt.’ 9It shall serve for you as a sign on your hand and as a reminder on your forehead, so that the teaching of the Lord may be on your lips; for with a strong hand the Lord brought you out of Egypt. 10You shall keep this ordinance at its proper time from year to year.

The Consecration of the Firstborn

"The time came for Mary and Joseph to do what the Law of Moses says a mother is supposed to do after her baby is born.  They took Jesus to the temple in Jerusalem and presented him to the Lord."      Luke 2:22 (Contemporary English Version)

"The time came for Mary and Joseph to do what the Law of Moses says a mother is supposed to do after her baby is born. They took Jesus to the temple in Jerusalem and presented him to the Lord." Luke 2:22 (Contemporary English Version)

11“When the Lord has brought you into the land of the Canaanites, as he swore to you and your ancestors, and has given it to you, 12you shall set apart to the Lord all that first opens the womb. All the firstborn of your livestock that are males shall be the Lord’s. 13But every firstborn donkey you shall redeem with a sheep; if you do not redeem it, you must break its neck. Every firstborn male among your children you shall redeem.

14When in the future your child asks you, ‘What does this mean?’ you shall answer, ‘By strength of hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt, from the house of slavery. 15When Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go, the Lord killed all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from human firstborn to the firstborn of animals. Therefore I sacrifice to the Lord every male that first opens the womb, but every firstborn of my sons I redeem.’ 16It shall serve as a sign on your hand and as an emblem on your forehead that by strength of hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt.”

The Pillars of Cloud and Fire

17When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although that was nearer; for God thought, “If the people face war, they may change their minds and return to Egypt.” 18So God led the people by the roundabout way of the wilderness toward the Red Sea.

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Reflection:

“God led the people by the roundabout way . . .”

And having been warned by God in a dream not to return to Herod, the magi left for their own country by another way.
–Matthew 2:12 (New American Standard Bible)

Do you cheerfully follow the Lord even when the way seems winding and uncertain?  God is a faithful guide!

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The Israelites went up out of the land of Egypt prepared for battle.

19And Moses took with him the bones of Joseph who had required a solemn oath of the Israelites, saying, “God will surely take notice of you, and then you must carry my bones with you from here.”

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Hebrews 11:22 (New Living Translation)

It was by faith that Joseph, when he was about to die, said confidently that the people of Israel would leave Egypt. He even commanded them to take his bones with them when they left.

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20They set out from Succoth, and camped at Etham, on the edge of the wilderness. 21The Lord went in front of them in a pillar of cloud by day, to lead them along the way, and in a pillar of fire by night, to give them light, so that they might travel by day and by night. 22Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people.

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The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:

Chmakoff.   http://www.chmakoff.com/Scenes%20de%20l%20ancien%20et%20du%20nouveau%20testament/slides/Exode%20(145×125).html

Ratner.   http://www.ratnermuseum.com/includes/images/photos/bible/bible-24.jpg

Matzoh t-shirt.   http://www.umbchillel.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/matzoh_first_jewish_take_out_food_t_shirt-p.jpg

Passover and star.   http://arkansasmatters.com/media/jpg/passover2009-04-08-1239196794.jpg

Presentation of Jesus.   http://www.holyhillcross.com/PRESENTATION%20IN%20THE%20TEMPLE.jpg


85.) Exodus 11:1 – 12:30

August 28, 2009

"The Passover -- He Died for Me?"  by contemporary Biblical artist Darlene Slavujac Thau

"The Passover -- He Died for Me?" by contemporary Biblical artist Darlene Slavujac Thau, 1992

Exodus 11:1 – 12:30   (NRSV)

Warning of the Final Plague

11) The Lord said to Moses, “I will bring one more plague upon Pharaoh and upon Egypt; afterwards he will let you go from here; indeed, when he lets you go, he will drive you away. 2Tell the people that every man is to ask his neighbor and every woman is to ask her neighbor for objects of silver and gold.” 3The Lord gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians. Moreover, Moses himself was a man of great importance in the land of Egypt, in the sight of Pharaoh’s officials and in the sight of the people.

4Moses said, “Thus says the Lord: About midnight I will go out through Egypt. 5Every firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sits on his throne to the firstborn of the female slave who is behind the handmill, and all the firstborn of the livestock. 6Then there will be a loud cry throughout the whole land of Egypt, such as has never been or will ever be again. 7But not a dog shall growl at any of the Israelites—not at people, not at animals—so that you may know that the Lord makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel. 8Then all these officials of yours shall come down to me, and bow low to me, saying, ‘Leave us, you and all the people who follow you.’ After that I will leave.” And in hot anger he left Pharaoh.

9The Lord said to Moses, “Pharaoh will not listen to you, in order that my wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt.” 10Moses and Aaron performed all these wonders before Pharaoh; but the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not let the people of Israel go out of his land.

The First Passover Instituted

"The Passover Lamb"  by contemporary American bronze sculptor C. Malcolm Powers

"The Passover Lamb" by contemporary American bronze sculptor C. Malcolm Powers

12) The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt: 2“This month shall mark for you the beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year for you. 3Tell the whole congregation of Israel that on the tenth of this month they are to take a lamb for each family, a lamb for each household. 4If a household is too small for a whole lamb, it shall join its closest neighbour in obtaining one; the lamb shall be divided in proportion to the number of people who eat of it. 5Your lamb shall be without blemish, a year-old male; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats. 6You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month; then the whole assembled congregation of Israel shall slaughter it at twilight. 7They shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. 8They shall eat the lamb that same night; they shall eat it roasted over the fire with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. 9Do not eat any of it raw or boiled in water, but roasted over the fire, with its head, legs, and inner organs. 10You shall let none of it remain until the morning; anything that remains until the morning you shall burn. 11This is how you shall eat it: your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it hurriedly. It is the passover of the Lord.

"Passover Meal"  etching by Marc Chagall, 1956

"Passover Meal" etching by Marc Chagall, 1956

12″For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike down every firstborn in the land of Egypt, both human beings and animals; on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgements: I am the Lord. 13The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live: when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague shall destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.

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Reflection:

11. Jesus-blood

Leviticus 17:11 (Contemporary English Version)

Life is in the blood, and I have given you the blood of animals to sacrifice in place of your own.

Hebrews 9:22 (Contemporary English Version)

The Law says that almost everything must be sprinkled with blood, and no sins can be forgiven unless blood is offered.

1 Peter 1:18-19 (Contemporary English Version)

You were rescued  from the useless way of life that you learned from your ancestors. But you know that you were not rescued by such things as silver or gold that don’t last forever. You were rescued by the precious blood of Christ, that spotless and innocent lamb.

Thank you, Lord, for salvation through the shed blood of Jesus Christ.

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Music:

Hillsong United — “What can wash away my sin?  Nothing but the blood of Jesus.”

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14 “This day shall be a day of remembrance for you. You shall celebrate it as a festival to the Lord; throughout your generations you shall observe it as a perpetual ordinance. 15Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread; on the first day you shall remove leaven from your houses, for whoever eats leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day shall be cut off from Israel. 16On the first day you shall hold a solemn assembly, and on the seventh day a solemn assembly; no work shall be done on those days; only what everyone must eat, that alone may be prepared by you.

Matzoh is a cracker-like flatbread made of plain white flour and water.

Matzoh is a cracker-like flatbread made of plain white flour and water -- no yeast or leavening.

17″You shall observe the festival of unleavened bread, for on this very day I brought your companies out of the land of Egypt: you shall observe this day throughout your generations as a perpetual ordinance. 18In the first month, from the evening of the fourteenth day until the evening of the twenty-first day, you shall eat unleavened bread. 19For seven days no leaven shall be found in your houses; for whoever eats what is leavened shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether an alien or a native of the land. 20You shall eat nothing leavened; in all your settlements you shall eat unleavened bread.

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1 Corinthians 5:6-8 (Contemporary English Version)

Stop being proud! Don’t you know how a little yeast can spread through the whole batch of dough? Get rid of the old yeast! Then you will be like fresh bread made without yeast, and that is what you are. Our Passover lamb is Christ, who has already been sacrificed. So don’t celebrate the festival by being evil and sinful, which is like serving bread made with yeast. Be pure and truthful and celebrate by using bread made without yeast.

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21 Then Moses called all the elders of Israel and said to them, ‘Go, select lambs for your families, and slaughter the passover lamb. 22Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and touch the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood in the basin. None of you shall go outside the door of your house until morning. 23For the Lord will pass through to strike down the Egyptians; when he sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the Lord will pass over that door and will not allow the destroyer to enter your houses to strike you down.

24″You shall observe this rite as a perpetual ordinance for you and your children. 25When you come to the land that the Lord will give you, as he has promised, you shall keep this observance. 26And when your children ask you, “What do you mean by this observance?” 27you shall say, “It is the passover sacrifice to the Lord, for he passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt, when he struck down the Egyptians but spared our houses.” ’ And the people bowed down and worshipped.

28 The Israelites went and did just as the Lord had commanded Moses and Aaron.

The Tenth Plague: Death of the Firstborn

"And there was a great cry in Egypt"  by Arthur Hacker, 1897

"And there was a great cry in Egypt" by Arthur Hacker, 1897

29 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. 30Pharaoh arose in the night, he and all his officials and all the Egyptians; and there was a loud cry in Egypt, for there was not a house without someone dead.

12. Egyptian boy

Psalm 105:36 (New International Version)

Then he struck down all the firstborn in their land,
the firstfruits of all their manhood.

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Art:

“The Death of the Pharaoh’s First-Born Son”  by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, 1872 (Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam).  Too large and detailed to place on the blog.
http://www.artrenewal.org/images/artists/a/Alma-Tadema_Lawrence/large/Alma_Tadema_Death_of_the_Pharaoh-s_Firstborn_Son.jpg

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The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:

Slavujac Thau.  http://www.biblicalartist.net/originaloils.html

Powers.   http://www-personal.umich.edu/~mmpowrs/images/200_8.jpg

Chagall.   http://www.franklinbowlesgallery.com/NY/Artists/Chagall/Pages/Etchings/bible/CHAG0748P_Plate_32.htm

Jesus’ blood.  http://bloodshed4us.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/jesus-blood1.jpg

matzoh.   http://farm1.static.flickr.com/50/127502681_e967f10cfe_o.jpg

Hacker.   http://www.revradiotowerofsong.org/images/525_great_cry_egypt.jpg

Egyptian boy.  http://k41.pbase.com/g4/28/443128/2/62920656.OOguyRLA.jpg


84.) Exodus 10:1 – 29

August 27, 2009

Three days of darkness showed that the God of Moses was greater than Ra, the sun god of Egypt.

Three days of darkness showed that the God of Moses was greater than Ra, the sun god of Egypt.

Exodus 10:1 – 29   (NRSV)

The Eighth Plague: Locusts

a swarm of locusts in Egypt

a swarm of locusts in Egypt

10) Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh; for I have hardened his heart and the heart of his officials, in order that I may show these signs of mine among them, 2and that you may tell your children and grandchildren how I have made fools of the Egyptians and what signs I have done among them—so that you may know that I am the Lord.”

3So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh, and said to him, “Thus says the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, ‘How long will you refuse to humble yourself before me? Let my people go, so that they may worship me.

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Music:

“Let My People Go”  sung by Jeane Manson.

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4For if you refuse to let my people go, tomorrow I will bring locusts into your country. 5They shall cover the surface of the land, so that no one will be able to see the land. They shall devour the last remnant left you after the hail, and they shall devour every tree of yours that grows in the field. 6They shall fill your houses, and the houses of all your officials and of all the Egyptians—something that neither your parents nor your grandparents have seen, from the day they came on earth to this day.’“ Then he turned and went out from Pharaoh.

7Pharaoh’s officials said to him, “How long shall this fellow be a snare to us? Let the people go, so that they may worship the Lord their God; do you not yet understand that Egypt is ruined?”

8So Moses and Aaron were brought back to Pharaoh, and he said to them, “Go, worship the Lord your God! But which ones are to go?”

9Moses said, “We will go with our young and our old; we will go with our sons and daughters and with our flocks and herds, because we have the Lord’s festival to celebrate.”

10He said to them, “The Lord indeed will be with you, if ever I let your little ones go with you! Plainly, you have some evil purpose in mind. 11No, never! Your men may go and worship the Lord, for that is what you are asking.” And they were driven out from Pharaoh’s presence.

12Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the land of Egypt, so that the locusts may come upon it and eat every plant in the land, all that the hail has left.”

Look at those teeth!

Look at those teeth! (I mean mandibles.)

13So Moses stretched out his staff over the land of Egypt, and the Lord brought an east wind upon the land all that day and all that night; when morning came, the east wind had brought the locusts. 14The locusts came upon all the land of Egypt and settled on the whole country of Egypt, such a dense swarm of locusts as had never been before, nor ever shall be again. 15They covered the surface of the whole land, so that the land was black; and they ate all the plants in the land and all the fruit of the trees that the hail had left; nothing green was left, no tree, no plant in the field, in all the land of Egypt.

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10. waynecowboy

As we read of Pharaoh’s continued negative responses and the consequent disastrous results in his kingdom, I am reminded of a quote from that great philosopher, John Wayne:

“Life is hard, but it’s harder if you’re stupid.”

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16Pharaoh hurriedly summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “I have sinned against the Lord your God, and against you. 17Do forgive my sin just this once, and pray to the Lord your God that at the least he remove this deadly thing from me.”

18So he went out from Pharaoh and prayed to the Lord. 19The Lord changed the wind into a very strong west wind, which lifted the locusts and drove them into the Red Sea; not a single locust was left in all the country of Egypt. 20But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he would not let the Israelites go.

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Psalm 105:34-35 (New International Version)

He spoke, and the locusts came,
grasshoppers without number;

they ate up every green thing in their land,
ate up the produce of their soil.

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The Ninth Plague: Darkness

"The Plague of Darkness"  by 19th century French artist Gustave Dore

"The Plague of Darkness" by 19th century French artist Gustave Dore

21Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward heaven so that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, a darkness that can be felt.” 22So Moses stretched out his hand toward heaven, and there was dense darkness in all the land of Egypt for three days. 23People could not see one another, and for three days they could not move from where they were; but all the Israelites had light where they lived.

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Revelation 16:10-11 (New King James Version)

Then the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom became full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues because of the pain.  They blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and did not repent of their deeds.

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24Then Pharaoh summoned Moses, and said, “Go, worship the Lord. Only your flocks and your herds shall remain behind. Even your children may go with you.”

25But Moses said, “You must also let us have sacrifices and burnt offerings to sacrifice to the Lord our God. 26Our livestock also must go with us; not a hoof shall be left behind, for we must choose some of them for the worship of the Lord our God, and we will not know what to use to worship the Lord until we arrive there.”

27But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he was unwilling to let them go. 28Then Pharaoh said to him, “Get away from me! Take care that you do not see my face again, for on the day you see my face you shall die.”

29Moses said, “Just as you say! I will never see your face again.”

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Psalm 105:28 (New International Version)

He sent darkness and made the land dark—
for had they not rebelled against his words?

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The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:

Ra.   http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/f5/Sun_god_Ra2.svg/292px-Sun_god_Ra2.svg.png

locusts in Egypt.   http://www.allhatnocattle.net/locusts%20egypt.jpg

single locust.    http://www.no-pest.com/Locust3.jpg

John Wayne.  http://www.cinemaretro.com/uploads/waynecowboy.jpg

Dore.   http://www.creationism.org/images/DoreBibleIllus/bExo1022Dore_ThePlagueOfDarkness.jpg


83.) Exodus 9:1 – 35

August 26, 2009

9-ten-plagues

Exodus 9:1 – 35   (NRSV)

The Fifth Plague: Livestock Diseased

9-livestock

9) Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh, and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of the Hebrews: Let my people go, so that they may worship me.

_________________________

Music:

“Let My People Go”  Dixieland-style.  Tamas Berki and the Cotton Club Singers, Budapest, 1996.  

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2For if you refuse to let them go and still hold them, 3the hand of the Lord will strike with a deadly pestilence your livestock in the field: the horses, the donkeys, the camels, the herds, and the flocks. 4But the Lord will make a distinction between the livestock of Israel and the livestock of Egypt, so that nothing shall die of all that belongs to the Israelites.’“

5The Lord set a time, saying, “Tomorrow the Lord will do this thing in the land.” 6And on the next day the Lord did so; all the livestock of the Egyptians died, but of the livestock of the Israelites not one died. 7Pharaoh inquired and found that not one of the livestock of the Israelites was dead. But the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, and he would not let the people go.

_________________________

Psalm 78:48 (New International Version)

He gave over their cattle to the hail,
their livestock to bolts of lightning.

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The Sixth Plague: Boils

"The Plague of Boils"  digital art by Ted Larson

"The Plague of Boils" digital art by Ted Larson

8Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Take handfuls of soot from the kiln, and let Moses throw it in the air in the sight of Pharaoh. 9It shall become fine dust all over the land of Egypt, and shall cause festering boils on humans and animals throughout the whole land of Egypt.”

10So they took soot from the kiln, and stood before Pharaoh, and Moses threw it in the air, and it caused festering boils on humans and animals. 11The magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils, for the boils afflicted the magicians as well as all the Egyptians. 12But the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh, and he would not listen to them, just as the Lord had spoken to Moses.

The Seventh Plague: Thunder and Hail

Corn field damaged by hail (Mankato, MN)

Corn field damaged by hail (Mankato, Minnesota)

13Then the Lord said to Moses, “Rise up early in the morning and present yourself before Pharaoh, and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of the Hebrews: Let my people go, so that they may worship me. 14For this time I will send all my plagues upon you yourself, and upon your officials, and upon your people, so that you may know that there is no one like me in all the earth. 15For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with pestilence, and you would have been cut off from the earth. 16But this is why I have let you live: to show you my power, and to make my name resound through all the earth. 17You are still exalting yourself against my people, and will not let them go. 18Tomorrow at this time I will cause the heaviest hail to fall that has ever fallen in Egypt from the day it was founded until now. 19Send, therefore, and have your livestock and everything that you have in the open field brought to a secure place; every human or animal that is in the open field and is not brought under shelter will die when the hail comes down upon them.’“

20Those officials of Pharaoh who feared the word of the Lord hurried their slaves and livestock off to a secure place. 21Those who did not regard the word of the Lord left their slaves and livestock in the open field.

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9. apple for teacher

Proverbs 13:13 (New International Version)

He who scorns instruction will pay for it,
but he who respects a command is rewarded.

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22The Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward heaven so that hail may fall on the whole land of Egypt, on humans and animals and all the plants of the field in the land of Egypt.” 23Then Moses stretched out his staff toward heaven, and the Lord sent thunder and hail, and fire came down on the earth. And the Lord rained hail on the land of Egypt; 24there was hail with fire flashing continually in the midst of it, such heavy hail as had never fallen in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation. 25The hail struck down everything that was in the open field throughout all the land of Egypt, both human and animal; the hail also struck down all the plants of the field, and shattered every tree in the field. 26Only in the land of Goshen, where the Israelites were, there was no hail.

27Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron, and said to them, “This time I have sinned; the Lord is in the right, and I and my people are in the wrong. 28Pray to the Lord! Enough of God’s thunder and hail! I will let you go; you need stay no longer.”

_________________________

Pharaoh says, “The Lord is right!”

Hailstorm in Pueblo, Colorado

Hailstorm (Pueblo, Colorado)

Isaiah 30:30 (New International Version)

The LORD will cause men to hear his majestic voice
and will make them see his arm coming down
with raging anger and consuming fire,
with cloudburst, thunderstorm and hail.

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29Moses said to him, “As soon as I have gone out of the city, I will stretch out my hands to the Lord; the thunder will cease, and there will be no more hail, so that you may know that the earth is the Lord’s. 30But as for you and your officials, I know that you do not yet fear the Lord God.”

31(Now the flax and the barley were ruined, for the barley was in the ear and the flax was in bud. 32But the wheat and the spelt were not ruined, for they are late in coming up.)

33So Moses left Pharaoh, went out of the city, and stretched out his hands to the Lord; then the thunder and the hail ceased, and the rain no longer poured down on the earth. 34But when Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the thunder had ceased, he sinned once more and hardened his heart, he and his officials. 35So the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, and he would not let the Israelites go, just as the Lord had spoken through Moses.

_________________________

Psalm 105:32-33 (New International Version)

He turned their rain into hail,
with lightning throughout their land;

he struck down their vines and fig trees
and shattered the trees of their country.

_________________________

The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:

Ten plagues.   http://beyond-infinity.freeyellow.com/image/plagues2.jpg

dead animal.   http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.bible-topten.com/plague10.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.bible-topten.com/plagues.htm&usg=__0wEDk-fgdTcG02vhviQziQWY7T0=&h=366&w=408&sz=19&hl=en&start=2&sig2=DOh3UUr82ZFAIsmsx_548g&tbnid=HTjob1lq-zdWCM:&tbnh=112&tbnw=125&prev=/images%3Fq%3DExodus%2B9,%2Bplagues%26gbv%3D2%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DG&ei=swHtScCAO5q6tAPAxpnnAQ

Larson.   http://home.earthlink.net/~moshe120/MOSES-ASHES-N-BOILS.jpg

hail damage.   http://images.cnhi.zope.net/images_sizedimage_174005927/lg

apple for the teacher.  http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_wMz1C-ETd8k/RnNMyawMKeI/AAAAAAAAACo/GLXDbtFg9cc/s400/apple+for+teacher.bmp

hail storm.  http://activerain.com/image_store/uploads/8/2/7/8/1/ar120277398818728.jpg


82.) Exodus 8:1 – 32

August 25, 2009

8-frogs1

Exodus 8:1 – 32   (NRSV)

The Second Plague: Frogs

8)  Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord: Let my people go, so that they may worship me. 2If you refuse to let them go, I will plague your whole country with frogs. 3The river shall swarm with frogs; they shall come up into your palace, into your bedchamber and your bed, and into the houses of your officials and of your people, and into your ovens and your kneading bowls. 4The frogs shall come up on you and on your people and on all your officials.’“

5And the Lord said to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Stretch out your hand with your staff over the rivers, the canals, and the pools, and make frogs come up on the land of Egypt.’“

6So Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt; and the frogs came up and covered the land of Egypt. 7But the magicians did the same by their secret arts, and brought frogs up on the land of Egypt.

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Music:

“Their Land Brought Forth Frogs” from the oratorio Israel in Egypt by George Frideric Handel (1685-1759).  Note how the accompaniment hops while the soloist bemoans the frogs “even in their king’s chambers.”   Sung by mezzo soprano Fabiana Katz, with Stephen Smith on the piano.  

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8-frog-advisory-cartoon_________________________

8Then Pharaoh called Moses and Aaron, and said, “Pray to the Lord to take away the frogs from me and my people, and I will let the people go to sacrifice to the Lord.”

9Moses said to Pharaoh, “Kindly tell me when I am to pray for you and for your officials and for your people, that the frogs may be removed from you and your houses and be left only in the Nile.”

10And he said, “Tomorrow.”

Moses said, “As you say! So that you may know that there is no one like the Lord our God, 11the frogs shall leave you and your houses and your officials and your people; they shall be left only in the Nile.”

12Then Moses and Aaron went out from Pharaoh; and Moses cried out to the Lord concerning the frogs that he had brought upon Pharaoh. 13And the Lord did as Moses requested: the frogs died in the houses, the courtyards, and the fields. 14And they gathered them together in heaps, and the land stank. 15But when Pharaoh saw that there was a respite, he hardened his heart, and would not listen to them, just as the Lord had said.

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Psalm 105:30 (New International Version)

Their land teemed with frogs,
which went up into the bedrooms of their rulers.

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The Third Plague: Gnats

"Aaron Strikes the Dust"  by digital artist Ted Larson

"Aaron Strikes the Dust" by digital artist Ted Larson

16Then the Lord said to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Stretch out your staff and strike the dust of the earth, so that it may become gnats throughout the whole land of Egypt.’“ 17And they did so; Aaron stretched out his hand with his staff and struck the dust of the earth, and gnats came on humans and animals alike; all the dust of the earth turned into gnats throughout the whole land of Egypt. 18The magicians tried to produce gnats by their secret arts, but they could not. There were gnats on both humans and animals.

19And the magicians said to Pharaoh, “This is the finger of God!” But Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he would not listen to them, just as the Lord had said.

The Fourth Plague: Flies

photograph by Igor Bilic

photograph by Igor Bilic

20Then the Lord said to Moses, “Rise early in the morning and present yourself before Pharaoh, as he goes out to the water, and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord: Let my people go, so that they may worship me. 21For if you will not let my people go, I will send swarms of flies on you, your officials, and your people, and into your houses; and the houses of the Egyptians shall be filled with swarms of flies; so also the land where they live. 22But on that day I will set apart the land of Goshen, where my people live, so that no swarms of flies shall be there, that you may know that I the Lord am in this land. 23Thus I will make a distinction between my people and your people. This sign shall appear tomorrow.’“

24The Lord did so, and great swarms of flies came into the house of Pharaoh and into his officials’ houses; in all of Egypt the land was ruined because of the flies.

25Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron, and said, “Go, sacrifice to your God within the land.”

26But Moses said, “It would not be right to do so; for the sacrifices that we offer to the Lord our God are offensive to the Egyptians. If we offer in the sight of the Egyptians sacrifices that are offensive to them, will they not stone us? 27We must go a three days’ journey into the wilderness and sacrifice to the Lord our God as he commands us.”

28So Pharaoh said, “I will let you go to sacrifice to the Lord your God in the wilderness, provided you do not go very far away. Pray for me.”

29Then Moses said, “As soon as I leave you, I will pray to the Lord that the swarms of flies may depart tomorrow from Pharaoh, from his officials, and from his people; only do not let Pharaoh again deal falsely by not letting the people go to sacrifice to the Lord.”

30So Moses went out from Pharaoh and prayed to the Lord. 31And the Lord did as Moses asked: he removed the swarms of flies from Pharaoh, from his officials, and from his people; not one remained. 32But Pharaoh hardened his heart this time also, and would not let the people go.

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Psalm 105:31 (New International Version)

He spoke, and there came swarms of flies,
and gnats throughout their country.

_________________________

The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:

frogs.   http://www.bible-topten.com/plague16.jpg

frog cartoon by Gary Harpo.  http://www.garyharbo.com/He%20Gave%20Us%20His%20Word/Pictures/0%20frog%20advisory.gif

Larson.   http://home.earthlink.net/~moshe120/Aaron%20Strikes%20the%20Dust.htm

Bilic.   http://gallery.photo.net/photo/5154371-lg.jpg


81.) Exodus 6:1 – 7:24

August 24, 2009

"The Nile Turns to Blood"  by James Tissot

"The Nile Turns to Blood" watercolor by James Tissot, 1900

Exodus 6:1 – 7:24   (NRSV)

Israel’s Deliverance Assured

6)  Then the Lord said to Moses, “Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh: Indeed, by a mighty hand he will let them go; by a mighty hand he will drive them out of his land.”

2God also spoke to Moses and said to him: “I am the Lord. 3I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as God Almighty, but by my name ‘The Lord’ I did not make myself known to them. 4I also established my covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land in which they resided as aliens. 5I have also heard the groaning of the Israelites whom the Egyptians are holding as slaves, and I have remembered my covenant.

6“Say therefore to the Israelites, ‘I am the Lord, and I will free you from the burdens of the Egyptians and deliver you from slavery to them. I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. 7I will take you as my people, and I will be your God. You shall know that I am the Lord your God, who has freed you from the burdens of the Egyptians. 8I will bring you into the land that I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; I will give it to you for a possession. I am the Lord.’“

9Moses told this to the Israelites; but they would not listen to Moses, because of their broken spirit and their cruel slavery.

_________________________

Proverbs 18:14  (The Message)

A healthy spirit conquers adversity,
but what can you do when the spirit is crushed?

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10Then the Lord spoke to Moses, 11“Go and tell Pharaoh king of Egypt to let the Israelites go out of his land.”

12But Moses spoke to the Lord, “The Israelites have not listened to me; how then shall Pharaoh listen to me, poor speaker that I am?” 13Thus the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, and gave them orders regarding the Israelites and Pharaoh king of Egypt, charging them to free the Israelites from the land of Egypt.

The Genealogy of Moses and Aaron

14The following are the heads of their ancestral houses: the sons of Reuben, the firstborn of Israel: Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi; these are the families of Reuben. 15The sons of Simeon: Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jachin, Zohar, and Shaul, the son of a Canaanite woman; these are the families of Simeon. 16The following are the names of the sons of Levi according to their genealogies: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari, and the length of Levi’s life was one hundred thirty-seven years. 17The sons of Gershon: Libni and Shimei, by their families. 18The sons of Kohath: Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel, and the length of Kohath’s life was one hundred thirty-three years. 19The sons of Merari: Mahli and Mushi. These are the families of the Levites according to their genealogies. 20Amram married Jochebed his father’s sister and she bore him Aaron and Moses, and the length of Amram’s life was one hundred thirty-seven years. 21The sons of Izhar: Korah, Nepheg, and Zichri. 22The sons of Uzziel: Mishael, Elzaphan, and Sithri. 23Aaron married Elisheba, daughter of Amminadab and sister of Nahshon, and she bore him Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. 24The sons of Korah: Assir, Elkanah, and Abiasaph; these are the families of the Korahites. 25Aaron’s son Eleazar married one of the daughters of Putiel, and she bore him Phinehas. These are the heads of the ancestral houses of the Levites by their families.

From Abraham to Moses -- a family tree

From Abraham to Moses -- a family tree

26It was this same Aaron and Moses to whom the Lord said, “Bring the Israelites out of the land of Egypt, company by company.” 27It was they who spoke to Pharaoh king of Egypt to bring the Israelites out of Egypt, the same Moses and Aaron.

Moses and Aaron Obey God’s Commands

28On the day when the Lord spoke to Moses in the land of Egypt, 29he said to him, “I am the Lord; tell Pharaoh king of Egypt all that I am speaking to you.”

30But Moses said in the Lord’s presence, “Since I am a poor speaker, why would Pharaoh listen to me?”

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7. mouth speaking

Mark 13:9-11 (New International Version)

Jesus said, “You must be on your guard . . .  On account of me you will stand before governors and kings as witnesses to them.   And the gospel must first be preached to all nations . . . Do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit.”

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7)  The Lord said to Moses, “See, I have made you like God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron shall be your prophet. 2You shall speak all that I command you, and your brother Aaron shall tell Pharaoh to let the Israelites go out of his land. 3But I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and I will multiply my signs and wonders in the land of Egypt. 4When Pharaoh does not listen to you, I will lay my hand upon Egypt and bring my people the Israelites, company by company, out of the land of Egypt by great acts of judgment. 5The Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I stretch out my hand against Egypt and bring the Israelites out from among them.”

6Moses and Aaron did so; they did just as the Lord commanded them. 7Moses was eighty years old and Aaron eighty-three when they spoke to Pharaoh.

Aaron’s Miraculous Rod

8The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, 9“When Pharaoh says to you, ‘Perform a wonder,’ then you shall say to Aaron, ‘Take your staff and throw it down before Pharaoh, and it will become a snake.’“

10So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did as the Lord had commanded; Aaron threw down his staff before Pharaoh and his officials, and it became a snake. 11Then Pharaoh summoned the wise men and the sorcerers; and they also, the magicians of Egypt, did the same by their secret arts. 12Each one threw down his staff, and they became snakes; but Aaron’s staff swallowed up theirs. 13Still Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he would not listen to them, as the Lord had said.

The First Plague: Water Turned to Blood

"The plague of blood"  from "The Golden Haggadah," Catalonia, early 14th century

"The plague of blood" from "The Golden Haggadah," Catalonia, early 14th century

14Then the Lord said to Moses, “Pharaoh’s heart is hardened; he refuses to let the people go. 15Go to Pharaoh in the morning, as he is going out to the water; stand by at the river bank to meet him, and take in your hand the staff that was turned into a snake. 16Say to him, ‘The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, sent me to you to say, “Let my people go, so that they may worship me in the wilderness.”

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Music:

“Let My People Go” sung by Doris Akers (1923-1995) and the Sky Pilot Choir of Los Angeles.

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But until now you have not listened.’ 17Thus says the Lord, “By this you shall know that I am the Lord.” See, with the staff that is in my hand I will strike the water that is in the Nile, and it shall be turned to blood. 18The fish in the river shall die, the river itself shall stink, and the Egyptians shall be unable to drink water from the Nile.’“

19The Lord said to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Take your staff and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt—over its rivers, its canals, and its ponds, and all its pools of water—so that they may become blood; and there shall be blood throughout the whole land of Egypt, even in vessels of wood and in vessels of stone.’“

20Moses and Aaron did just as the Lord commanded. In the sight of Pharaoh and of his officials he lifted up the staff and struck the water in the river, and all the water in the river was turned into blood, 21and the fish in the river died. The river stank so that the Egyptians could not drink its water, and there was blood throughout the whole land of Egypt.

22But the magicians of Egypt did the same by their secret arts; so Pharaoh’s heart remained hardened, and he would not listen to them; as the Lord had said. 23Pharaoh turned and went into his house, and he did not take even this to heart. 24And all the Egyptians had to dig along the Nile for water to drink, for they could not drink the water of the river.

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Psalm 105:29 (New International Version)

He turned their waters into blood,
causing their fish to die.

_________________________

The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:

Tissot.   http://www.cts.edu/ImageLibrary/Images/June26_2000/TissNile.jpg

Family tree.   http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Scripture/Parashah/Summaries/Shemot/mosesline.gif

man speaking.   http://www.quintcareers.com/speaking_mouth.jpg

Haggadah.  http://www.bible-topten.com/plague15.jpg


80.) Exodus 5:1 – 23

August 21, 2009

"Let My People Go"   by Duncan Long

"Let My People Go" by Duncan Long

Exodus 5:1 – 23   (NRSV)

Bricks without Straw

5)  Afterward Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Let my people go, so that they may celebrate a festival to me in the wilderness.’“

2But Pharaoh said, “Who is the Lord, that I should heed him and let Israel go? I do not know the Lord, and I will not let Israel go.”

3Then they said, “The God of the Hebrews has revealed himself to us; let us go a three days’ journey into the wilderness to sacrifice to the Lord our God, or he will fall upon us with pestilence or sword.”

4But the king of Egypt said to them, “Moses and Aaron, why are you taking the people away from their work? Get to your labors!” 5Pharaoh continued, “Now they are more numerous than the people of the land and yet you want them to stop working!”

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Music:

“Let My People Go” arranged by Harry Burleigh and sung by Juares de Mira.

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6That same day Pharaoh commanded the taskmasters of the people, as well as their supervisors, 7“You shall no longer give the people straw to make bricks, as before; let them go and gather straw for themselves. 8But you shall require of them the same quantity of bricks as they have made previously; do not diminish it, for they are lazy; that is why they cry, ‘Let us go and offer sacrifice to our God.’ 9Let heavier work be laid on them; then they will labor at it and pay no attention to deceptive words.”

pharaoh-energy-crisis-cartoon10So the taskmasters and the supervisors of the people went out and said to the people, “Thus says Pharaoh, ‘I will not give you straw. 11Go and get straw yourselves, wherever you can find it; but your work will not be lessened in the least.’“ 12So the people scattered throughout the land of Egypt, to gather stubble for straw. 13The taskmasters were urgent, saying, “Complete your work, the same daily assignment as when you were given straw.” 14And the supervisors of the Israelites, whom Pharaoh’s taskmasters had set over them, were beaten, and were asked, “Why did you not finish the required quantity of bricks yesterday and today, as you did before?”

remains of mud bricks from Tel el-Maskhuta (Succoth)

remains of mud bricks from Tell el-Maskhuta (Succoth) in Egypt

15Then the Israelite supervisors came to Pharaoh and cried, “Why do you treat your servants like this? 16No straw is given to your servants, yet they say to us, ‘Make bricks!’ Look how your servants are beaten! You are unjust to your own people.”

17He said, “You are lazy, lazy; that is why you say, ‘Let us go and sacrifice to the Lord.’ 18Go now, and work; for no straw shall be given you, but you shall still deliver the same number of bricks.”

19The Israelite supervisors saw that they were in trouble when they were told, “You shall not lessen your daily number of bricks.” 20As they left Pharaoh, they came upon Moses and Aaron who were waiting to meet them. 21They said to them, “The Lord look upon you and judge! You have brought us into bad odor with Pharaoh and his officials, and have put a sword in their hand to kill us.”

22Then Moses turned again to the Lord and said, “O Lord, why have you mistreated this people? Why did you ever send me? 23Since I first came to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has mistreated this people, and you have done nothing at all to deliver your people.”

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Hey, Moses! —

WISCONSIN BLUE CHEESE

5cheesewiththatwhine_________________________

The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:

Long.   http://duncanlong.com/art/christian_artwork/index.html

energy crisis cartoon.   http://www.cartoonstock.com/lowres/rma0117l.jpg

mud bricks.   http://www.bibleistrue.com/qna/succoth8.jpg

wine and cheese.  http://media.commercialappeal.com/mca/content/img/photos/2007/11/06/7cheese.jpeg

cheese and whine.   http://archives.zinester.com/62028/95515/142742_CheeseWithThatWhine.jpg