by Wayne Blank
Moses is one of the best-known people of The Holy Bible. He played a key role in the Exodus, and later he received The Ten Commandments from God (twice - he smashed the first set when he discovered the Israelites running wild at the foot of Mount Sinai i.e. Exodus 32:19 and 34:1). He directed the construction of The Tabernacle and The Ark Of The Covenant. He is also the author of The Pentateuch, the first 5 Books of the Bible - Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.
Moses was a Levite (Exodus 2:1), son of Amram and Jochebed (Exodus 6:20), brother of Aaron and Miriam (1 Chronicles 6:3). He was born in Egypt (Exodus 2:1-2), in the region of Goshen in The Nile Delta, where, even under brutal slavery, the Israelites had grown to a great multitude that the Egyptians eventually viewed as a national security threat (Exodus 1:12) (see Growth Of A Nation).
To escape the Egyptian king's edict to kill all male Hebrew infants (Exodus 1:15-16), Moses' mother Jochebed and sister Miriam (Mary is the Greek form of the Hebrew name Miriam, an interesting coincidence since Moses was the deliverer of God's physical people, just as Jesus Christ is the Deliverer of God's spiritual people - and both spent their infancy in Egypt) put him a waterproof basket, and set it adrift in The Nile River (Exodus 2:3-4). The basket was found by the Pharaoh's daughter, who adopted the infant. She named him Moses, because, "I drew him out of the water" (Exodus 2:5-10). Moses sounds like the Hebrew for draw out, in Moses' case, saved from the water.
Moses was raised in the palace of the Pharaoh where he was educated in "all the wisdom of the Egyptians." After he had grown up, Moses killed an Egyptian who had been abusing a Hebrew (Exodus 2:11-12). When Pharaoh learned of the killing, he tried to kill Moses, but Moses fled for his life into the desert of Sinai (Exodus 2:14-15). There he met Jethro, a priest of Midian. Moses married one of Jethro's daughters, Zipporah (Exodus 2:15-22).
When his time of training was completed, God appeared to Moses in the burning bush and gave him his mission - the Exodus (Exodus 3:1-22). Moses was 80 years old at the time of the Exodus. He had spent 40 years in the palace of Pharaoh (learning how to govern), and 40 years in the Sinai (learning how to live in the Sinai wilderness) - all in preparation for his third 40 years, which would be spent on The Wilderness Journey.
Fact Finder: Why were Moses and Aaron not allowed to enter the Promised Land?