MOSES is reaching for fairy dust in his proposal to lead the Israelite slaves out of Egypt. It’s not going to happen.
A mass exodus would require the approval of Pharaoh, most likely only after a series of devastating plagues.
Even if Pharaoh were to allow an exodus, it would still require approval by the Israelites, who are the very people who would be expected to wander in the desert for forty years. The Israelites have rejected exodus before, and in a time of job cuts, economic worry and unleavened bread, would almost certainly do so again.
Moses has long promoted exodus as a way to “let my people go,” but the people have long suspected that this would lead to even harsher treatment at the hands of their Egyptian overlords. Here the cynics are right.
Certainly, the enslaved Israelites, beaten and oppressed, are having their problems. But their Egyptian masters, facing rising mortar prices and a sudden infestation of frogs, have their problems too. Their interest is in quickly building a monument to the divinity of Pharaoh, which is made less likely by an exodus of slaves.
Some advocates say that Moses would lead the Israelites to the Promised Land, but by what route? Does he expect the people to cross the Red Sea on foot? And once in the desert, how will Moses feed the Israelite nation? Food doesn’t fall from heaven, and you can’t get water from a stone.
Moses is said to talk to God. He might recall that so did Lot. And we all remember what happened to Sodom and Gomorrah.