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Heard on QI Last Night
Unfortunately, this is not on iplayer, so you don't get the exact wording...

- How many Commandments are there in Exodus?
- You mean how many Commandments did God give to Moses?
- Yes.
- None. It never happened.

*Wild applause from audience.*
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so, what would have happened if he'd said "613" ?

The answer they were looking for was, I think 13, but the 613 would have been accepted - though I don't think they are in Exodus but in Deuteronomy or Leviticus - I forget which.

Thirteen? So which ones did the Church choose to forget?

Apparently, if you count the sub-divisions, you get more than ten. It just happens to be grouped in ten verses. At least, I think that was sort of what Fry said.

d'oh. true. (13?)
they're in both Deuteronomy and Leviticus. (two editions of the same Laws, I'm told by folks who can read the original Hebrew)

He's counting the sub-clauses as Commandments.

Does Fry usually allow total re-phrasing of questions?

(Deleted comment)
The purpose of the show is for laughs, usually at Alan Davies expense, where he represents 'common opinion'.

It is also part of the QI format that Fry awards marks to people for giving answers that are on topic (though not the question itself) and Quite Interesting. Most of the marks awarded in a typical show are for such answers.

Just being pedantic :-)

One of the joys of shows such as QI, I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue and Just a Minute is that no one takes the awarding of points too seriously. Except when they're playing Mornington Crescent, of course.

Clement Freud doesn't care about winning? :-)

Actually I totally agree with you.

I'd say Clement Freud needs to be proven right rather more than he needs to win. It's getting the point, not getting the most points.

The whole point is to get laughs! Points are awarded for laughs.

I love the way even the winner is often in minus figures :-)

It's a metaphor for Real Life.

Remember that this is my rephrasing. It may have been "how many Commandants were handed down in by God in Exodus?" or something like that.

Of course, the whole point is to be funny - often funny and spectacularly wrong, which is Alan Davies's role.

As the strong likelihood is that Moses is totally imaginary (particularly as he has only half an Egyptian name, there is no evidence the Israelites were ever in either Egypt or Siniai at all, and the Pharoh in that story is the only unnamed one in the Bible), the answer is funny, true and relevant. Triple win.

Edited at 2009-02-05 10:30 am (UTC)

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