Biblical Archaeology Review 9:5, September/October 1983

Queries & Comments

Moses’s Staff Becomes a Snake—Trick or Miracle?

To the Editor:

We are enjoying BAR immensely. I would like to comment on Leon Shalit’s article, “How Moses Turned a Staff Into a Snake and Back Again,” BAR 09:03.

The Bible is full of accounts of seemingly unexplainable so-called miracles; that is, unexplainable from a purely physical standpoint. Mr. Shalit’s attempt to explain is just one of many efforts over the years to try and integrate the laws of physics with the divine law which the Master strove so mightily to teach.

Such Bible narratives as the creation of Eve from Adam’s rib, the parting of the Red Sea by Moses, Noah and the Ark, and scores of others were not products of the writers’ imagination. Each was about what the writer saw, experienced, or believed as a revelation of divine power. By and large, they were recorded to convey some spiritual truth, either by allegory or direct statement. To put the physical evidence before the implied spiritual lesson is to relegate the Bible to the status of a story book and its real message is lost.

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