Lewis, Bonnie, et. al. "Moses." Faithology.com. Faithology, 27 February 2013. Web. 19 May 2013.
Lewis, B., et. al. (2013, Feb 27). Moses. Faithology.
Lewis, Bonnie, et. al. "Moses" Faithology, LLC. Last modified February 27, 2013.
Faithology, LLC, 2012. (Accessed May 19, 2013).. Moses.
- The Holy Bible, New Revised Standard Version
- Gardner, Paul, editor, "Moses," New International Encyclopedia of Bible Characters. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1995. Print.
- Jacobs, Joseph, et al, "Moses," Jewish Encyclopedia, 1901-06 edition. JewishEncyclopedia.com (n.d.). Web. 2 May 2011. http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=830&letter=M.
- Reilly, Thomas à Kempis. "Moses," The Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 10. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911. 2 May 2011 http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10596a.htm.
- "Hyksos," Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica, 2011. Web. 02 May. 2011. http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/279251/Hyksos.
- "Moses," Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica, 2011. Web. 2 May. 2011. http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/393555/Moses.
- "Moses," Who was Who in the Bible: The Ultimate A to Z Guide. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1999. Print.
- Unus, Nada . "Moses." In The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic World. Oxford Islamic Studies Online, 2012. Web. 9 May 2012.
- Last Updated: February 27, 2013
- Originally Published: July 14, 2012
- The Faithology Editorial Staff
According to the Quran as well as the Hebrew . The book of records that God commanded Moses, son of Amram, to deliver the , who had been enslaved in Egypt. He led the Twelve Tribes of from Goshen, near the mouth of the Nile, into the wilderness of the Sinai Peninsula, and perhaps as far as the Arabian Desert. There, on the peak of Mt. Sinai, he received from God the Ten Commandments and additional instructions sometimes called the Law of Moses. Leading the Israelites for forty years, he taught a new generation the religion of their fathers and prepared them to take possession of Canaan, a fulfillment of God's promise to Abraham. Many Christians, Jews, and Muslims hold that Moses exhibited miraculous power, under God's direction, to a degree that few in biblical have matched. He is regarded in multiple religious traditions as one of the greatest prophets., was an important who liberated God's chosen people from captivity, gave to them God's law (also called the Law of Moses), and led them toward a "promised land" set apart for their use. He is an important figure in , Islamic, and Jewish religious history, appearing in the
Moses The Prince
According to the Hebrew Bible, Moses was born in Egypt to Amram (son of Kohath) and Jochebed (a daughter of Levi) when the people of Israel had been enslaved by the Egyptian pharaoh.His parents already had two children, Miriam and Aaron, but the Hebrew Bible suggests that Moses's life was set apart almost from the moment of his birth.
At the time of Moses's birth, the pharaoh had ordered that all male Israelite children should be killed. Jochebed was able to hide her infant for three months, and then she placed him in anof reeds waterproofed with pitch (a natural, tar-like resin). Jochebed's son was found by the pharaoh's daughter, who called the baby Moses. Miriam watched, and then offered her mother to the princess as wet nurse. The princess agreed and paid Jochebed, so Moses returned to his own mother until he had been weaned.
Moses grew up in the pharaoh's court, educated and treated as an Egyptian prince. Contrary to popular media interpretations, it was known to both peoples that Moses was Hebrew. Moses himself appeared to be aware of his prophetic destiny, although the pharaoh did not view his adopted grandson as a threat.
At age forty, Moses went out to observe the Israelites working in bondage. When he saw an Egyptian attacking an Israelite (and determined the three of them were alone), Moses killed the Egyptian. The very next day, he saw two Hebrews fighting and stepped in. One said, "Who made you ruler and judge over us? Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian?"Moses became afraid, realizing that what he did must have become known. Before the pharaoh could act against him, however, Moses fled from Egypt to Midian.
Moses The Shepherd
The Hebrew Bible offers additional details about Moses's life in Midian. While he was there, the daughters of a tribal leader named Jethrowere threatened by another family of shepherds. When Moses stood up to the intruders, he won Jethro's approval. Moses remained with Jethro for forty years, married his daughter Zipporah and had two children with her.
At age eighty, Moses's life changed drastically once again. While herding his father-in-law's flock near Mt. Sinai (also called Horeb), Moses saw a bush, apparently burning with fire, but not consumed. From the bush, God commanded Moses to go to the Egyptian pharaoh and bring the children of Israel (Jacob) out of Egypt. Moses was overwhelmed by the reality of the situation. God assured Moses that he would be with his servant. When Moses stated that the people would ask his name, "God said to Moses, 'I am who I am.' He said further, "Thus you shall say to the Israelites, 'I am has sent me to you.'"
God also offered two proofs of his power: he turned Moses's rod into a serpent and he made Moses's hand leprous but restored it to health. Moses then expressed a concern that he was slow of speech, and in response, God offered Moses's brother Aaron as a spokesman. Moses finally accepted the call.
Moses The Prophet
The book of Exodus records that en route to Egypt, Moses was again met by God, who threatened to kill him because he had neglected to have one son circumcised. Zipporah took the initiative and performed this surgery, and God was then satisfied. Moses then met Aaron, and they went to the elders and performed the signs. The people then believed that liberation was imminent.
The pharaoh was not so easily convinced that the Israelites should be set free. Moses commanded the pharaoh to let his people go, but the Egyptian ruler did not listen.In response, Moses performed signs from God such as turning his staff into a snake. After the Egyptian court sorcerers were able to replicate Moses's feats, the pharaoh placed more burdens on the Israelites
God then sent nine plagues against Egypt:
- The Nile turned to blood.
- Frogs inundated the land.
- Lice or gnats invaded.
- Flies covered Egypt.
- Cattle died.
- Egyptians received boils.
- Hail and fire came down from the sky.
- Locusts swarmed the land.
- Darkness covered Egypt.
After each plague, Moses instructed the pharaoh many times to let the Israelites go free; after several of the plagues, the pharaoh agreed and then recanted. Finally, Moses predicted the death of the firstborn of every family in Egypt, both human and animal. Once again, the pharaoh refused to let the Israelites go, and God carried out Moses's prediction as the tenth plague. God, however, had warned the Israelites beforehand to paint the blood of a lamb on their doorposts and lintels.God then spared all that had followed his warning. "The Egyptians urged the people to hurry and leave the country. 'For otherwise,' they said, 'we shall die!'"
The Israelites were finally allowed to leave, and they departed Egypt, led by a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. They traveled to the shore of the Red Sea,where Egyptian hosts found them, as the pharaoh had apparently changed his mind. At God's word, Moses stretched his hand over the waterway. The sea parted, and the Israelites walked across on dry ground. The Egyptians pursued, whereupon God returned the water to its natural course, drowning them. The Israelites were awed, but they displayed inconsistent faith in God, and they regularly complained about the lack of food and water, sometimes even demanding that Moses return them to Egypt. God then provided , a food substance that fell from the sky, which nourished them until they reached Canaan. The first major obstacle after the Israelites' escape was the Amalekites, a militant desert tribe. When the Israelites and Amalekites engaged in battle, Moses oversaw the battle from a hilltop. It is recorded that as long as his arms remained outstretched, the Israelites prevailed. However, as Moses tired and his arms lowered, the Amalekites prevailed. Through the later part of the day, Aaron and Hur stood by Moses, supporting him, until the battle was won.
Jethro soon visited Moses and pointed out a failure in his administration. While accompanying Zipporah to the Israelite camp, Jethro saw Moses acting as a judge "for the people."Jethro rebuked his son-in-law, telling him to appoint others to oversee portions of the Twelve Tribes (captains of thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens), reserving for Moses the most challenging cases and allowing him to act on behalf of the Israelites towards God. Moses agreed, establishing civil government among the Israelites.
The people reached Mount Sinai, where Moses received from God instructions, commandments, and laws, including the "Ten Commandments," which formed the basis of religious law for the people of Israel. He also received instructions for the Ark and the. Moses was away from the Israelite camp for so long that that the people grew restless and created a golden calf to be their god. God, angered by this , threatened to destroy the Israelites and raise a new nation of Moses's descendants. Moses pleaded for his people's sake and destroyed the calf. The people repented and God's anger was satisfied. The Israelites then constructed the Ark and Tabernacle, and the Levites were set apart to carry out priestly functions.
As the Israelites approached Canaan, Moses sent spies ahead. All twelve spies reported positive news for the Israelites, but ten declared that the locals were so powerful that the Israelites could not possibly take the land from them. Only Joshua and Calebencouraged them to continue on immediately. The people sided with the majority report, which displeased God so greatly that he declared that this generation of Israelites would die in the desert while their sons would inherit the land they sought.
The people spent a total of forty years wandering from place to place in the Sinai area and, from time to time, rebelling against God. God smote them with various plagues that killed thousands. At the end of the forty years, only Moses, Joshua, and Caleb remained of the adults who began the exodus. Addressing the people (probably over an extensive period of time) Moses reviewed the laws God gave him, instructed them on the upcoming conquest of Canaan, and gave them his final blessing, which harkened back to the blessings given by Israel to his sons. In his final act, Moses planned and led the conquest of territories east of the Jordan River, on which the tribes of Reuben, Gad and part of Manasseh later settled. According to rabbinic legend, Moses was a tall, powerfully built man who personally killed Og, King of Bashan, in this campaign.
God then called Moses to the peak of Mount Pisgah, near Jericho, saying to him, "This is the land of which I swore to Abraham, to, and to Jacob, saying, 'I will give it to your descendants'; I have let you it with your eyes, but you shall not cross over there." Moses ordained Joshua to lead the Israelites and saw the whole land that God was about to give them, in fulfillment of his promise to Abraham around five centuries earlier.
It is unclear what happened to Moses after these events. Jude writes: "But when the archangel Elijah would be centuries later.contended with the and disputed about the body of Moses, he did not dare to bring a condemnation of slander against him, but said, 'The Lord rebuke you!'" This is part of a larger narrative no longer extant. The Hebrew Bible says only that Moses died and was buried by God. Rabbinical legend dictates that he was taken up into heaven without death, as the Hebrew Bible records
Some religious traditions hold that Moses authored the books of, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, known collectively as the or the , particularly in the Jewish . Many scholars debate the issue, however. Some argue that these writings were not introduced among the Israelites until centuries later. Others believe that multiple individuals contributed to the record.
Distinct Christian Beliefs
Christians believe that Moses's mission extended beyond his death and into New Testament times when he appeared with Elijah to Jesus, , James, and during the . Moses's teachings also played a notable role in the ministry of Jesus: The literature ascribed to him was quoted more often in the New Testament than any other source.
Distinct Jewish Beliefs
Jews hold Moses in greater regard than any other biblical figure. Because they believe he freed the people of Israel from slavery and established the nation of Israel, he is largely considered a founder of the Jewish nation. Jews believe that Moses was the most important of all the prophets, and they continue to follow the religious law attributed to him.
Distinct Muslim Beliefs
Muslims also hold that Moses was a great prophet. In fact, he is mentioned more than any other biblical prophet in the Quran, and the Quran offers many details about Moses's life that are not recorded in the Hebrew Bible. Muslims believe that Moses personally advised Muhammad and that the two share much in common. They also believe that Moses prophesied about Muhammad and understood that the latter would be the greatest prophet. Muslims consider Islam to be the true religious heritage of Moses.