In the narrative imagination of Israel, the gods of Egypt are stand-ins for all the gods of several empires. What they all have in common is that they are confiscatory gods who demand endless produce and who authorize endless systems of production that are, in principle, insatiable. Thus, the mention of “Egypt” brings the God of Israel into the orbit of socioeconomic systems and practices, and inevitably sets this God on a collision course with the gods of insatiable productivity.

Walter Brueggeman, Sabbath as Resistance: Saying No to the Culture of Now