In The Western Canon, Harold Bloom remarks that the J writer (a figure so named by Biblical scholars as the one who authored Genesis, Exodus, and a subsequent book, Numbers) was so scandalous in the portrayal of God "that the J Writer deserves to be called the most blasphemous of all authors ever." One might wish the portrayal was more blasphemous; after the depiction of God's arbitrariness and favoritism in Genesis, it would seem most fitting for codified laws be set up in response to a call for juster treatment by the Hebrews along the lines of Abraham's challenge to God before the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 18). But, as remarked above, the J writer shifts the exemplum of the arbitrary and unjust ruler from God to Pharaoh, and one infers that God still maintains the right to be arbitrary; the law is being established so man, rather than God, will have to administer it. He insultingly tells the Hebrews' leader Moses that they are too disagreeable a people for Him to tolerate on a regular basis: "I will not go up in the midst of thee; for thou art a stiff-necked [i.e. stubborn] people: lest I consume thee in the way" (Exodus 33:3).
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