On the Slaying of the Firstborn
I am a Firstborn Son, born of a Maiden of Israel. At the time of my birth, my Father had not yet joined the People of Israel. Later, once the knowledge of the world transcended into lightning and was weaved together by latter-day magicians in a great collective electric dreamspace, we learned the roots of his provenance, but in short, his is the mingled blood of Germans and Celts. In short, an Indo-European.
Thus, I share no blood (other than the blood of Israel) with the Ancient Egyptians who it is said enslaved my mother’s fathers three and a half thousand years ago. Nevertheless, any historicity to the Exodus is unknowable — it was perhaps a culture tale of certain of the Josephian Nomads or the Levite Tribesmen, who had perhaps mingled with or been subjugated in some manner by the Great House of Egypt, before some crisis led them forth —
The story, however, is not three and a half thousand years old, but comes down to us in written form from a thousand years later, from the Exile of the Judeans in Babylonia, five and half centuries before the birth of Christ, from the J Source. Later, it was revised and redacted in the Post-Exile period by the P source.
The story is this, however, Maggid, the Preaching of Stories:
We were a clan of shepherds, twelve brothers, and one of the brothers was sold into slavery by the others and sent to the Great Kingdom of the River; there, he found wealth, and favor, living in a land whose plenty was as regular and natural as the flooding of the river — and in a time of distress, the other brothers and their families went down, and dwelled therein, and were reconciled with the stone which had been forgotten, and the shepherd-folk lived in the Great Kingdom as Guests of the King for long centuries —
until a new dynasty arose, that looked upon the shepherds as enemies, not friends, and subjugated them, and then enslaved them, and then decided to root them out, taking their children and slaying them in the river —
And who can imagine the travail of the Shepherd-Wives who prayed for girl-children instead of boys, who tried to hide their boys, to give them away —
and of the babes themselves — innocent — killed before they had a chance to live — an entire generation —
And the Shepherds became a People without Sons — and their daughters were going to be given to Strangers, and the sons of their Daughters would have Strange Names, and know not the Names of the Old Fathers — and the names of the Shepherd’s Fathers — Highfather, Laughter, and Godwrestler, and their God — would be forgotten.
But one child lived, though he was given to the Great Kingdom, and was given one of their Names, and they say he dwelled even in the house of the Great King, until he learned of whence he came, and, committing murder in the name of justice, fled into the Eastern Wilderness, until at his great extremity, found other shepherds, and took up the family business —
and wandering, alone, as shepherds do, a vision came to him, of a low tree on fire, but the fire did not consume the tree, and out of the Fire and the Tree, a Voice spoke, the Voice of God, and made the man a prophet, and told him to go back to the Great Kingdom, and bring forth His People, as had been promised, long before —
And the Prophet went, and found his brother, and went with his brother before the Great King, to beg the release of his people, the Kingdom’s slaves, but the Great King hardened his heart and refused, and the Prophet warned the Great King, but the Great King remained unmoved, and then God of the Fire and the Tree, through the arm of the Prophet, unleashed Ten Plagues against the Great Kingdom —
First, the life of the Kingdom, the great river, was turned from water into blood — but still the king did not relent;
Next, creeping things came from the river, and teemed across the land, but still the king did not relent;
Next, biting insects appeared from the dust, and inflicted the people of the Kingdom, but still —
Next, greater insects came, attacking the people and their livestock, but still –
Next, the livestock of the People of the Kingdom died, but still –
Next, skin diseases appeared on the People of the Kingdom, but still –
Next, storms of fire fell across the Land, but still –
Next, swarms of locusts came and devoured all good things that grew, but still –
Next, a plague of darkness fell across the land, so deep and thick that the People could feel it — but still
still, the Great King would not release the Shepherd-Folk.
Until finally, the Prophet was told that a Great Plague would come against the Kingdom, and slay all the firstborn, all except those of the Shepherd-People who made sacrificed and adorned the lintel of their doors with the blood of the lamb —
and on that night, after the sacrifice, the God himself came down to Egypt, and slew the Firstborn Children of the Great Kingdom, young and old, man and beast, all except the Children of the Shepherds —
and after, finally, bearing the body of his own son, the Great King relented, and freed the Slaves, and they left, and went into the wilderness, to worship their own God as they would —
thus is the story told; thus and thus and thus and thus; thus is it told; my people were born in blood, our blood, and the blood of our oppressors, and we believe in a God who visits retribution on the child for the crimes of the father, in which, though he can be a god of mercy, he is also a god of justice —
the Justice of God cannot be the Justice of Man. It is not for man to slay the children for the sins of the father — we are children of the mind, and law, and we are given to pursue goodness, and morality, and to build a New Kingdom —
but God is the Creator of the World, and the Judge of All, and the Maker of Darkness and Light, of Good and Evil, and He is an Angry God, and He has placed us in the World of Storms, in the Wound of Time, in the Tree that Grows, and in the Fire that burns but does not Consume —
and he exists not as Saint but as the Reason behind All, as Endless and Infinite Necessity, and our worship-fear-love for Him is inevitable — we cannot not worship, we can only believe we do not worship —