Known as the great prince of Egypt who eventually became a prophet, Moses has made a significant part in the Hebrew Bible. Pharaoh’s daughter named him Moses (Hebrew Mosheh), as she drew him out (Hebrew meshitihu) of the water. The name Moses in Egyptian means “son”, as derived from the Egyptian word “mes”. In Hebrew, he was referred to as Moshe Rabbenu, which means “Moses our Rabbi”. He was also noted as one of the most important prophets in Judaism, Islam, Christianity and other religions. He can be found on the Bible Timeline Chart starting in 1504 BC.
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The Time of Moses
The birth of Moses occurred at the time when the Israelites, particularly the children, were viewed as a threat to the Pharaoh’s power. The Israelite population continued to increase, and the Pharoah was afraid they might all become allies to the opponents of Egypt. Thus, an order was made, which would kill all the newborn Hebrew boys in the nation. When this news reached Jochebed, the Hebrew mother of Moses, she decided to spare the child’s life by hiding him in a basket. Then, she let the basket travel through the lengths of the Nile River.
Queen Bithia, the sister of the Pharaoh, decided to adopt the child upon seeing it nestled in a basket that was floating along the river. Hence, Moses was raised in the royal family of Egypt where he basked in a life of luxury.
One incident occurred in the life of Moses when he deliberately killed an Egyptian overseer of an Israelite slave. Filled with fear and guilt, Moses left immediately until he reached Midian. It was here that he came across the voice of God who spoke to him while appearing as a burning bush.
Instead of letting Moses settle in the new land, God commanded him to return to Egypt to set free his people, the Israelites. At first, Moses was reluctant to do so as he had no superior ability to speak with command and eloquence. As a solution, God said that Aaron would become the voice behind Moses.
With the help of God, ten plagues were sent to Egypt, which led to the victorious release of the Israelites from the Pharaoh. After crossing the Red Sea, these people headed off to Mount Sinai, the place where they were given the Ten Commandments by Moses.
From Mount Sinai, the Israelites were led to Canaan‘s border. It was here were Moses sent 12 spies who would determine the condition of the land, and if it was worth living. However, it was discovered that Giants settled in the place, and this caused the Israelites to keep on complaining and they even wanted to go back to Egypt. They even made acts of rebellion to God and Moses. Soon, the Israelites were punished, and they were left wandering for 40 years in the wilderness.
Moses was considered to be Israel’s great lawgiver, and he was able to put all these laws in four books. The books included the Covenant Code where the Decalogue were found, the Book of Leviticus, Book of Numbers and Book of Deuteronomy. Lastly, Moses was also regarded as the author behind these four books including Genesis that made up the Torah of the Jewish Bible.
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3 thoughts on “Moses”
I only read the first line of this article. You state that Moses means “son”. It is not inline with the Bible. Exodus 2:10 differs fron you. I’ll go with the explanation in the Bible.
Hi Darius – We made a clearer distinction. The article indicates both the Hebrew and Egyptian names at the top now. Thank you!
1. How did the monotheism of Akhenaten relate to the stay of the Hebrew people as slaves in Egypt?
2. Did the Hebrew people often come as visitors to Egypt before their enslavement? Or was it too dangerous?
3. Where did the Hebrew people live before they arrived in Israel?
4. How and when did they arrive at the concept of one God?