The Education Of Moses
Moses is usually known in Bible History for the time of his life from the years during and after the Exodus. That was actually only the last third, the last phase, of his long life - Moses was eighty years old when the Exodus began (Exodus 7:7). Before that, Moses spent approximately the first third of his life in the palace of the Egyptian king, observing first-hand how to govern a nation. He then spent approximately the next third of his life as a shepherd in the Sinai, learning wilderness survival from Jethro, also known as Reuel, who became Moses' father in law after Moses married Jethro's daughter Zipporah. Moses then used what he learned about governing and wilderness survival for the last third of his life as he led the Israelites through the Sinai wilderness. The English word educate originated from the Latin words e, meaning out, and duco, meaning to lead (the English word duke originated from the same word, duco). Educate means to lead forth; Moses was purposely lead forth in order that he could lead forth others, many others.
Palace Prince, Wilderness Shepherd, "Deliverer of My People"
Moses was born of Levite (see Levites) parents at the time of the Pharaoh's edict "every son that is born ye shall cast into the river" (Exodus 1:22 KJV) because "the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we" (Exodus 1:9 KJV). Moses' mother arranged to have her infant found by the Pharoah's daughter, and so Moses was raised in the palace of the Egyptian king. Interestingly, it was the Pharaoh's daughter who gave Moses his name; the name that his own mother surely gave him herself in the time that she nursed him for the Pharaoh's daughter, is not recorded.
"And the daughter of Pharaoh came down to wash herself at the river [i.e. The Nile River]; and her maidens walked along by the river's side; and when she saw the ark among the flags, she sent her maid to fetch it. And when she had opened it, she saw the child: and, behold, the babe wept. And she had compassion on him, and said, This is one of the Hebrews' children."
"Then said his sister [i.e. Moses' sister Miriam] to Pharaoh's daughter, Shall I go and call to thee a nurse of the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for thee? And Pharaoh's daughter said to her, Go. And the maid went and called the child's mother. And Pharaoh's daughter said unto her, Take this child away, and nurse it for me, and I will give thee thy wages. And the woman took the child, and nursed it."
"And the child grew, and she brought him unto Pharaoh's daughter, and he became her son. And she called his name Moses: and she said, Because I drew him out of the water." (Exodus 2:5-10 KJV)
When the time came for Moses to move to phase two of his education, the event that triggered it was his killing of an Egyptian for mistreating an Israelite. As a royal prince, one would think that Moses could have just ordered the abuser to stop it, but Moses killed him instead. The fact that he, especially as a royal prince, thought it necessary to then hide the body makes it plain that he knew that he would have a very big problem justifying the killing. Although God obviously forgave him, the Pharaoh, when he discovered the killing, didn't - which also implies that the man killed by Moses was very high-ranking, and close to the Pharaoh's heart, perhaps, unlike Moses, an actual family member.
Moses was prone to a violent temper; there were other times when, as the Bible records, his "anger waxed hot," such as when he smashed the first set of the Ten Commandments - from which The Lord again forgave him (Exodus 32:19, see also What Did The Ten Commandments Look Like?). Unlike, as portrayed in the classic, and overall excellent, movie The Ten Commandments, the Bible does not state exactly when Moses first knew that he was an Israelite, although he, and everyone else, lived with a very big clue all of his life - the Pharaoh's daughter gave him a Hebrew name, Moses (pronounced in Hebrew, moe-sheh).
"And it came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown, that he went out unto his brethren, and looked on their burdens: and he spied an Egyptian smiting an Hebrew, one of his brethren. And he looked this way and that way, and when he saw that there was no man, he slew the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand."
"And when he went out the second day, behold, two men of the Hebrews strove together: and he said to him that did the wrong, Wherefore smitest thou thy fellow? And he said, Who made thee a prince and a judge over us? intendest thou to kill me, as thou killedst the Egyptian? And Moses feared, and said, Surely this thing is known."
"Now when Pharaoh heard this thing, he sought to slay Moses. But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh, and dwelt in the land of Midian: and he sat down by a well. Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters: and they came and drew water, and filled the troughs to water their father's flock. And the shepherds came and drove them away: but Moses stood up and helped them, and watered their flock."
"And when they came to Reuel their father, he said, How is it that ye are come so soon to day? And they said, An Egyptian delivered us out of the hand of the shepherds, and also drew water enough for us, and watered the flock. And he said unto his daughters, And where is he? why is it that ye have left the man? call him, that he may eat bread. And Moses was content to dwell with the man: and he gave Moses Zipporah his daughter." (Exodus 2:11-21 KJV)
When the time came for Moses to return to Egypt, at an age that most people would have regarded as the time of retirement, Moses discovered that his life, his purpose, was just beginning. The Speaker at Moses' "graduation day" was The Lord:
"Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb. And the angel of The Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt."
"And when The Lord [see YHVH, Adonai, Jehovah, LORD] saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses."
"And he said, Here am I."
"And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham [see also Abraham And The "Tradition Trap"], the God of Isaac [see also Isaac's Faith And Obedience], and the God of Jacob [see also Jacob and Laban]. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God."
"And The Lord said, I have surely seen the affliction of My people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows; And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; unto the place of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites [see "Land On Which You Had Not Labored"]."
"Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel is come unto Me: and I have also seen the oppression wherewith the Egyptians oppress them. Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh [see also Who Was The Exodus Pharaoh?], that thou mayest bring forth My people the children of Israel out of Egypt." (Exodus 3:1-10 KJV)
Fact Finder: Why did their journey from Egypt to their promised land take the Israelites forty years rather than forty days? It wasn't Moses' fault. Whose fault was it?
See A Journey Without A Destination