Biblical Archaeology Review 39:1, January/February 2013

Strata: The Bible in the News: Going, Going, Gone

By Leonard J. Greenspoon

The phrase “Let my people go” occurs nine times in the Biblical narrative of the Exodus, sometimes in God’s instructions to Moses, at other times in Moses’ exhortations to Pharaoh. In contrast to most Biblical expressions we survey in this column, the phrase “Let my people go” is characteristically cited as Biblical when it is referenced in the popular press. Of course, not all such citations or references are created equal!

From the world of sports, a shot at British soccer (or is it football?): “Let my people go: Yossi Benayoun has become the first player to leave Liverpool, signing a deal with Chelsea. The Israeli only the first of what is expected to become an exodus of players from the troubled club” (from Montreal’s The Gazette).

From somewhere in the clouds comes this marketing observation: “Not since Moses famously said ‘Let my people go’ has there been such pent up demand of users wanting to give up their cellular overlords as there is today. Verizon is doing everything it can to make it as easy as possible for AT&T iPhone users to switch to the big red” (from Techweb). Do you think they’re guaranteeing four bars at the summit of Mt. Sinai even during an electrical storm?

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