76 Facts About Moses


Moses' Hebrew mother, Jochebed, secretly hid him when Pharaoh ordered all newborn Hebrew boys to be killed in order to reduce the population of the Israelites.


Moses said that he could not speak eloquently, so God allowed Aaron, his elder brother, to become his spokesperson.


The biblical account of Moses' birth provides him with a folk etymology to explain the ostensible meaning of his name.


Moses named him Moses [, ], saying, 'I drew him out [, ] of the water'.


Ibn Ezra gave two possibilities for the name of Moses, he believed that it was either a translation of the Egyptian name instead of a transliteration, or that the Pharaoh's daughter was able to speak Hebrew.


Moses had one older sister, Miriam, and one older brother, Aaron.


Pharaoh had commanded that all male Hebrew children born would be drowned in the river Nile, but Moses' mother placed him in an ark and concealed the ark in the bulrushes by the riverbank, where the baby was discovered and adopted by Pharaoh's daughter, and raised as an Egyptian.

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One day, after Moses had reached adulthood, he killed an Egyptian who was beating a Hebrew.


Moses returned to carry out God's command, but God caused the Pharaoh to refuse, and only after God had subjected Egypt to ten plagues did Pharaoh relent.


Moses led the Israelites to the border of Egypt, but there God hardened the Pharaoh's heart once more, so that he could destroy Pharaoh and his army at the Red Sea Crossing as a sign of his power to Israel and the nations.


However, since Moses remained a long time on the mountain, some of the people feared that he might be dead, so they made a statue of a golden calf and worshipped it, thus disobeying and angering God and Moses.


Moses wrote the ten commandments on a new set of tablets.


Moses delivered the laws of God to Israel, instituted the priesthood under the sons of Moses' brother Aaron, and destroyed those Israelites who fell away from his worship.


From Sinai, Moses led the Israelites to the Desert of Paran on the border of Canaan.


Moses told the Israelites that they were not worthy to inherit the land, and would wander the wilderness for forty years until the generation who had refused to enter Canaan had died, so that it would be their children who would possess the land.


Moses was twice given notice that he would die before entry to the Promised Land: in Numbers 27:13, once he had seen the Promised Land from a viewpoint on Mount Abarim, and again in Numbers 31:1 once battle with the Midianites had been won.


Moses then went up Mount Nebo, looked over the Promised Land spread out before him, and died, at the age of one hundred and twenty.


Moses is honoured among Jews today as the "lawgiver of Israel", and he delivers several sets of laws in the course of the four books.


Moses has traditionally been regarded as the author of those four books and the Book of Genesis, which together comprise the Torah, the first section of the Hebrew Bible.


However, according to Solomon Nigosian, there are actually three prevailing views among biblical scholars: one is that Moses is not a historical figure, another view strives to anchor the decisive role he played in Israelite religion, and a third that argues there are elements of both history and legend from which "these issues are hotly debated unresolved matters among scholars".


David Adams Leeming states that Moses is a mythic hero and the central figure in Hebrew mythology.


The Oxford Companion to the Bible states that the historicity of Moses is the most reasonable assumption to be made about him as his absence would leave a vacuum that cannot be explained away.


Oxford Biblical Studies states that although few modern scholars are willing to support the traditional view that Moses himself wrote the five books of the Torah, there are certainly those who regard the leadership of Moses as too firmly based in Israel's corporate memory to be dismissed as pious fiction.


The story of Moses's discovery follows a familiar motif in ancient Near Eastern mythological accounts of the ruler who rises from humble origins.


Martin Noth argued that the Pentateuch uses the figure of Moses, originally linked to legends of a Transjordan conquest, as a narrative bracket or late redactional device to weld together four of the five, originally independent, themes of that work.

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Rudolf Smend argues that the two details about Moses that were most likely to be historical are his name, of Egyptian origin, and his marriage to a Midianite woman, details which seem unlikely to have been invented by the Israelites; in Smend's view, all other details given in the biblical narrative are too mythically charged to be seen as accurate data.


An Egyptian version of the tale that crosses over with the Moses story is found in Manetho who, according to the summary in Josephus, wrote that a certain Osarseph, a Heliopolitan priest, became overseer of a band of lepers, when Amenophis, following indications by Amenhotep, son of Hapu, had all the lepers in Egypt quarantined in order to cleanse the land so that he might see the gods.


All that remains of his description of Moses are two references made by Diodorus Siculus, wherein, writes historian Arthur Droge, he "describes Moses as a wise and courageous leader who left Egypt and colonized Judaea".


Finally, after having escaped another plot by killing the assailant sent by the king, Moses fled to Arabia, where he married the daughter of Raguel [Jethro], the ruler of the district.


Moses describes Moses as 80 years old, "tall and ruddy, with long white hair, and dignified".


An Egyptian priest named Moses, who possessed a portion of the country called the Lower Egypt, being dissatisfied with the established institutions there, left it and came to Judaea with a large body of people who worshipped the Divinity.


Moses declared and taught that the Egyptians and Africans entertained erroneous sentiments, in representing the Divinity under the likeness of wild beasts and cattle of the field; that the Greeks were in error in making images of their gods after the human form.


Moses refers to Moses simply as "the prophet", exactly as for him Homer is the poet.


Moses is given a number of bynames in Jewish tradition.


Moses is attributed the names Toviah, and Levi, Heman, Mechoqeiq, and Ehl Gav Ish.


Moses named the princess who adopted Moses as Merris, wife of Pharaoh Chenephres.


Jewish tradition considers Moses to be the greatest prophet who ever lived.


Moses is mentioned more often in the New Testament than any other Old Testament figure.


For Christians, Moses is often a symbol of God's law, as reinforced and expounded on in the teachings of Jesus.


New Testament writers often compared Jesus's words and deeds with Moses's to explain Jesus's mission.


When he met the Pharisee Nicodemus at night in the third chapter of the Gospel of John, he compared Moses's lifting up of the bronze serpent in the wilderness, which any Israelite could look at and be healed, to his own lifting up for the people to look at and be healed.


In Catholicism Moses is seen as a type of Jesus Christ.


Moses forsook the king's court so as to help his persecuted brethren; the Son of God left the glory of heaven to save us sinners.


Moses prepared himself in the desert for his vocation, freed his people from slavery, and proved his divine mission by great miracles; Jesus Christ proved by still greater miracles that He was the only begotten Son of God.


Moses was the advocate of his people; Jesus was our advocate with His Father on the Cross, and is eternally so in heaven.

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Moses was the law-giver of his people and announced to them the word of God: Jesus Christ is the supreme law-giver, and not only announced God's word, but is Himself the Eternal Word made flesh.


Moses was the leader of the people to the Promised Land: Jesus is our leader on our journey to heaven.


However, in addition to accepting the biblical account of Moses, Mormons include Selections from the Book of Moses as part of their scriptural canon.


Latter-day Saints are unique in believing that Moses was taken to heaven without having tasted death.


Moses is mentioned more in the Quran than any other individual and his life is narrated and recounted more than that of any other Islamic prophet.


Islamically, Moses is described in ways which parallel the Islamic prophet Muhammad.


The Pharaoh's wife Asiya, not his daughter, found Moses floating in the waters of the Nile.


Moses convinced the Pharaoh to keep him as their son because they were not blessed with any children.


Moses responds by pleading to Allah that he and his brother Aaron be separated from the rebellious Israelites, after which the Israelites are made to wander for 40 years.


Moses is described as having been "for a long time a shepherd in the wilderness", of having had a stammer, and of being "much hated and detested" by Pharaoh and the ancient Egyptians of his time.


Moses is viewed as the one who bestowed on Israel "the religious and the civil law" which gave them "honour among all nations", and which spread their fame to different parts of the world.


Furthermore, through the law, Moses is believed to have led the Hebrews "to the highest possible degree of civilization at that period".


Moses is further seen as paving the way for Baha'u'llah and his ultimate revelation, and as a teacher of truth, whose teachings were in line with the customs of his time.


Moses is considered an important prophet of God in the Druze faith, being among the seven prophets who appeared in different periods of history.


References to Moses were used by the Puritans, who relied on the story of Moses to give meaning and hope to the lives of Pilgrims seeking religious and personal freedom in North America.


Moses inspired the Pilgrims with a "sense of earthly grandeur and divine purpose", notes historian Jon Meacham, and was called the "Moses of the Pilgrims".


Moses feared that the remaining Pilgrims would not survive the hardships of the new land, with half their people having already died within months of arriving.


Benjamin Franklin, in 1788, saw the difficulties that some of the newly independent American states were having in forming a government, and proposed that until a new code of laws could be agreed to, they should be governed by "the laws of Moses", as contained in the Old Testament.


Moses often appears in Christian art, and the Pope's private chapel, the Sistine Chapel, has a large sequence of six frescos of the life of Moses on the southern wall, opposite a set with the life of Christ.


The horns the sculptor included on Moses's head are the result of a mistranslation of the Hebrew Bible into the Latin Vulgate Bible with which Michelangelo was familiar.

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Experts at the Archaeological Institute of America show that the term was used when Moses "returned to his people after seeing as much of the Glory of the Lord as human eye could stand", and his face "reflected radiance".


In early Jewish art, moreover, Moses is often "shown with rays coming out of his head".


Moses is depicted in several US government buildings because of his legacy as a lawgiver.


Moses is one of the 23 lawgivers depicted in marble bas-reliefs in the chamber of the US House of Representatives in the United States Capitol.


The other 22 figures have their profiles turned to Moses, which is the only forward-facing bas-relief.


Moses appears eight times in carvings that ring the Supreme Court Great Hall ceiling.


Moses's face is presented along with other ancient figures such as Solomon, the Greek god Zeus, and the Roman goddess of wisdom, Minerva.


The Supreme Court Building's east pediment depicts Moses holding two tablets.


Paine considered Moses to be a "detestable villain", and cited Numbers 31 as an example of his "unexampled atrocities".


Womanist Biblical scholar Nyasha Junior has argued that Moses can be the object of feminist inquiry.


When Saphrus reigned as the fourteenth king of Assyria, and Orthopolis as the twelfth of Sicyon, and Criasus as the fifth of Argos, Moses was born in Egypt,.