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We may be through with the past...

Posted by Jesse M. Lake on April 15, 2004

A thread began in this forum on 14 September 2003 (now archived) regarding the following line which is used through the film "Magnolia":

"The book says, 'We may be through with the past, but the past ain't/is not through with us.'"

No one really solved where the movie line came from, though one made reference to Exodus but couldn't specific chapter or verse.

Anyways, the line is a reference to the opening line of a book by Dr. Bergen Evans called, "The Natural History of Nonsense" which debunks paranormal activities and superstitious beliefs.

Regarding Exodus, however, there are two specific references to Exodus in the movie "Magnolia":

Quiz Kid Donnie Smith, after he's vomited in the washroom of the bar, is "reliving the past" in the bathroom stall. He says something to the effect of, "It's Hamlet to Claudia. 'The sins of the father...' is 'Merchant of Venice' but it's borrowed from Exodus 25" I don't precisely know where "The sins of the father..." comes from in the Bible, but it's not Exodus 25.

What IS in Exodus, however, is an account of frogs. In Exodus Chapter 8, God tells Moses to go to the Pharaoh and to tell him to let God's people go. And then in Exodus 8:2 it says, "And if thou refuse to let them go, behold, I will smite all thy borders with frogs..."

Of course, frogs falling from the sky is one of the more prominent scenes of the movie. :) Shortly before it happens, "Exodus 8:2" is flashed on one of the billboards near the furniture store or the electronics store (or whatever the heck it is) where Donnie Smith works (where he is robbing the safe).

The numbers 8 and 2 are used not irregularly throughout the film. The cop (Jim's) dateline box number; the weather report says "82% chance of rain"; Marcy's mugshot record number is 82082082082. I'm sure there are more references....

Anyways, a little more than anyone wanted, but I hope that answers the question!