Saturday, April 19, 2014

When Israel was in Egypt's Land...

Easter weekend is of course the weekend of Passover as well, the two events being closely associated for many reasons, both obvious and not so obvious. Passover of course commemorates the plagues that Moses threatened the Pharaoh with, and God inflicted, and the resulting Exodus of the Hebrews from Egypt, their wanderings in the wilderness, and their eventual settlement in Canaan. I will leave the arguments over the accuracy of the account aside!

In any event, Battle in the Land of Canaan will be taking place at Historicon this year!  My Egyptians will face off against Ken Baggaley's army of Sea Peoples and Canaanite allies using Brent Oman's "Pulse of Battle" rules. The troops in this post are the latest additions to my Egyptians; I have 7 chariots and a dismounted Pharaoh to paint, and then the army will complete, hopefully by the end of May.

Medium Infantry Archers, with the blue distinctive color of my Division Seti.

Old Glory 28mm figures

I decided to change my plans and use three figures per base instead of four for these close order bowmen. 

The second unit of Egyptian Archers, with the Yellow color indicative of my Division Re. 

In Pulse of Battle, these troops will be deployed in Line, probably in front of or behind a line of Spearmen or Mace men from their Division.. 

It will remain to be seen how effective they will be... or not be!

I need a few officers to lead my Pharaoh's  troops, so I used some spare figures, made distionctive by the round bases and a cluster of flowers.

One officer for each Division: Amun, Re, Seti  and Ptah.

Now, it's on to paint the last of the Chariots!


The story of Exodus  inspired the famous African-American spiritual "Go down, Moses" (referenced in the title of today's post), the oppression of the Israelites being a thinly veiled metaphor for their own enslavement and yearning for freedom. Interestingly, the song is first mentioned rather late, in 1862, being used as a rally song by the "contrabands" at Fort Monroe, and was published later that year as "The Song of the Contrabands: Oh, Let my People Go!". Like many traditional pieces of music of indefinite authorship, there are many versions of the lyrics, but the words an music are always evocative. Here is the version most familiar to me:

When Israel was in Egypt's land
Let my people go
Oppressed so hard they could not stand
Let my people go

Go down Moses
Way down in Egypt's land
Tell old Pharoah
Let my people go

Thus spoke the Lord, Bold Moses said
Let my people go
If not I'll smite your first born dead
Let my people go

No more shall they in bondage toil
Let my people go
Let them com out with Egypts spoil
Let my people go

The Lord told Moses what to do
Let my people go
To lead the children of Israel through
Let my people go

The song was popularized in the modern era first by Paul Robeson. What a powerful voice he had!

I cannot leave the subject of music on Easter weekend without also mentioning my favorite Hymn of Easter, if not of all, Methodism founder Charles Wesley's inspiring "Christ the Lord is Risen Today":

Christ the Lord is ris’n today, Alleluia!
Sons of men and angels say, Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
Sing, ye heav’ns, and earth, reply, Alleluia!

Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia!
Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!
Once He died our souls to save, Alleluia!
Where thy victory, O grave? Alleluia!

Love’s redeeming work is done, Alleluia!
Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!
Death in vain forbids His rise, Alleluia!
Christ hath opened paradise, Alleluia!

Soar we now where Christ hath led, Alleluia!
Foll’wing our exalted Head, Alleluia!
Made like Him, like Him we rise, Alleluia!
Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia!

The King's College Choir, "Jesus Christ is Risen Today"

Regardless of your race, culture or faith, I wish you all a blessed day, and a fond welcome to an overdue Spring... at least here in the Northern Hemisphere!



  1. Peter, I always enjoy seeing your Egyptian collection. Nice work!

    1. Thanks Jon. I'm looking forward to the game at Historicon - chariots galore!

  2. Excellent post, Happy Easter Peter...

  3. Nice growing collection of Egyptians. Have a joyous Easter as well.

  4. Happy Easter to you and your's!
    Your work has made me think it's time to get my Israelite army out and take photos of it. I even have that arrow-attractor, the Ark of the Covenant!

  5. Thank you, John, and I'd love top see your Israelites, with or without the Ark!

  6. Thanks, Joe. Same to you and your family!

  7. More great looking Egytians Peter. Really looking forward to seeing them arrayed on the tabletop.

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