Moses - A Most Important Biblical Figure

Moses - A Most Important Biblical Figure

Moses is recognized as one of the most important Biblical figures in Jewish history.

The Hebrews, who was descendants of Abraham, left Israel for Egypt because of a drought. There one of Jacob's(descendant of Abraham) sons, Joseph, was favored by the Pharaoh. As time passed though, the Pharaos friendship with Joseph was forgotten, and the Hebrews became slaves to the Egyptians.

Moses was the child of Amran and Jochebed during the reign of a vicious Pharaoh named Ramses II, who ruled that Hebrew slave children should be put to death. Jochebed tried to hide Moses, but eventually it proved too difficult. When he was a three-month old baby, Moses' mother put him in a basket and pushed him down the Nile river, hoping someone friendly would find him. It turns out the Pharao's daughter found him and raised her as her own.

Moses grew up and eventually learned who he really was. Not long after, Moses saw an Egyptian beat an Israelite, after which Moses killed the Egyptian. Because of comitting this unforgivable crime, Moses was forced to flee Egypt, and he ended up living in the Sinai Peninsula for forty years. While in hiding, Moses one day saw a bush that was on fire but not burning. On closer inspection, God started talking to him, commanding him to return to Egypt and lead the Israelites out of Egypt.

Moses did as he was told and tried to persuade the Pharao to free the Israelites. When the Pharao refused, God sent ten plagues against the Egyptians. Only when the tenth plague was sent, which was the killing of the first born sons, did the Pharao release the Hebrews. It wasn't long however until the Egyptians went after them, and they trapped the Hebrews at the Sea of Reed(Red Sea). God then parted the Red Sea, allowing the Hebrews to escape, and as the Egyptians pursued them, God closed the Red Sea again, drowning all the Egyptians. After passing the Red Sea, Moses led the Israelites through the desert to Mount Senai, where he went up the mountains alone and received the Ten Commandments directly from God.

Even though the story behind Moses' existence is debatable, as leader and lawgiver, he is still the biggest icon in Jewish history.

Interesting facts:

  1. Some historians claim that Moses was not Hebrew at all, but a renagade and sympathetic Egyptian priest.
  2. The anti-semetic saying that Jews have horns most likely comes from a mistranslation which described Moses when he came back down from Mount Senai. His closeness to God was rumoured to have caused physical changes in him; "rays of light protruded from his face", and not "horns protruded from his head" as some mistakenly believed.

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    Source: The Intellectual Devotional

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