Posted by: mattcolvin | March 30, 2012

Pharaoh vs Paedocommunion

Friday of the fifth week in Lent: Exodus 10.

8 So Moses and Aaron were brought again to Pharaoh, and he said to them, “Go, serve the Lord your God. Who are the ones that are going?”

9 And Moses said, “We will go with our young and our old; with our sons and our daughters, with our flocks and our herds we will go, for we must hold a feast to the Lord.”

10 Then he said to them, “The Lord had better be with you when I let you and your little ones go! Beware, for evil is ahead of you. 11 Not so! Go now, you who are men, and serve the Lord, for that is what you desired.” And they were driven out from Pharaoh’s presence.

Please notice the logic of Moses’s argument He says, “we will go with our young and our old; with our sons and our daughters…” Why? Because, “we must hold a feast to the Lord.” Precisely because we must hold a feast to the Lord, therefore we must have our sons and daughters with us. The God of Jacob is not content with the service of men only, or of adults only; no, He demands the homage and worship of a people, and that includes the elderly and children. If we were worshipers of some other god, perhaps only men would be enough. But we are worshipers of YHWH, and therefore we must include our whole families in our feasting.

The same logic has been internalized by Abraham, who asked God, “Lord, what will you give me, seeing I go childless…” Abraham knows very well that the covenant, if it is with him only, if it is individualized, then it cannot produce the people that God had promised Abraham he would enter into covenant with. The covenant formula is not, “I am your God and you are my persons.” No, it is, “I am your God, and you are my people.”

But Pharaoh is not a paedocommunionist. He thinks that Yahweh can be worshiped acceptably by men without their families. Why? Because Pharaoh does not want the covenant to be “for you and your children.” He wants your children for himself, so that He may have a hold over you still.



  1. […] From the nature of the covenant, i.e. the fact that the God we worship demands that we come to his feast with our children as well. 2. By attempting to overthrow the regnant […]

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