The Exodus, Part II: Pharaoh

Pharaoh falls into the narcissistic category of toxic people. Basically that means they have a mental bent towards rewriting reality. They are determined to make truth something else than what it really is. They are illusionists. Done poorly, it is absurd. Done well, it is paralyzing.

Studying Pharaoh can give us some good insight into narcissistic behavior, and later (what we really want to know), how God-fearing people ought to deal with it. In general, they hold a position of authority. Usually they charm/talk their way there, but in Pharaoh’s case, it was likely handed to him. Once there, there is a growing ruthlessness in the use of their authority– overtly or covertly. People serve him out of conscious or subconscious fear. This then means power, which is unashamedly used to promote his own version of reality. Hitler and the Holocaust depicts this all too clearly.

In the end (where they really are heading you), there are no scruples. Any means to his end are perfectly acceptable. Integrity and dignity are not issues, though he likely led you to believe they were the entire reason for you to join the fight. You are a pawn to uphold the illusion that his reality is alright (just ignore the indignities and suffering).


  1. Finds reasons to dismiss the miracles (Ex. 7:11, 7:22, 8:7)
  2. Asks for favors under pretense of honoring/fearing God (Ex. 8:8, 10:16)
  3. Does not keep his word (Ex. 8:14, 8:32, 9:35)
  4. Ignores experienced opinions (Ex. 8:19, 10:7)
  5. Makes bargains he doesn’t intend to keep (Ex. 8:28)
  6. Looks for evidence only to support his own stand (Ex. 9:7)
  7. Replaces what he lost without concern (likely at the expense of the Israelites) (Ex. 9:19)
  8. Makes a pretense of repentance (Ex. 9:27)
  9. Surrounds himself with people who tell him what he wants to hear (Ex. 9:34)
  10. Tries bargaining, hair-spliitting, and bold claims (Ex. 8:25, 8:28, 10:10, 10:24)
  11. Accuses Moses of the evil and deceit (Ex. 10:11)
  12. Refuses to humble himself (Ex. 10:3)
  13. Runs hot and cold (Ex. 10:16-20)
  14. Makes empty ultimatums/threats (Ex. 10:28)
  15. Ignores the increasing severity of consequences (Ex. 11:9)
  16. Begs (Ex. 12:32)
  17. Changes his mind (Ex. 12:31, 14:5)

He lives in a reality of his own creation, where the force of facts and reason do not reach without tremendous lose, almost always at the greater expense of others. Offering mercy (more for the sake of everyone else) just gives him relief to boomerang back to cruel control. Impossible toxicity! No wonder injustice can prevail for so long: it’s easier to appease him than oppose him.

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