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Monday, December 5 2011
Moses Of Midian
While born in Goshen (see Why Did They Go To Goshen?) as an Israelite, of the tribe of Levi (see Are Levites 'Jews'?), Moses grew up in the house of the daughter of the Pharaoh (see The River Of Moses). One day, he righteously defended the life of "an Hebrew, one of his brethren" (see Who Has A Spirit Of Confrontation?).
"2:11 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. 2:12 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. 2:13 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?
The Scriptures don't identify who it was that Moses killed, but it was someone regarded more important than Moses - who lived in the palace complex of the Pharaoh. Moses "fled from the face of Pharaoh," likely on horseback or chariot - he had the best of both available. When Moses found a well in the Sinai, he once again displayed his tendency to use righteous force to defend the weak; when men came and drove the daughters of Jethro away from the well, "Moses stood up and helped them, and watered their flock."
"2:15 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.
So it was that Moses found a new home, with the Arabs of the Sinai (see also What Does The Bible Say About Arabs?). Moses married Zipporah, a daughter of Jethro, and with her eventually had two sons, Gershom and Eliezer.
"2:18 And when they came to Reuel their father, he said, How is it that ye are come so soon to day?
It seems apparent that Moses had resigned himself to remain, with his new family, as a Bedouin shepherd for the rest of his life. Years later however, it came time for Moses to fulfill the deliverance, for which the LORD had delivered him.
"2:23 And it came to pass in process of time, that the king of Egypt died: and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up unto God by reason of the bondage. 2:24 And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob." (Exodus 2:23-24 KJV)
"Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh, and dwelt in the land of Midian"
One day, while tending the flocks in the area near Mount Sinai (which as its name makes obvious, is in the Sinai Peninsula; see Paul's Geography Lesson to understand where "Arabia" is), the LORD appeared to Moses during the famous "burning bush" incident.
"3:1 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. 3:2 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. 3:3 And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.
Moses was to bring the entire nation of Israel back to the same Christian mountain (see The Mount Sinai Prophecy).
"3:12 And he said, Certainly I will be with thee; and this shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee: When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain." (Exodus 3:12 KJV)
Moses had already demonstrated his courage, to fight and decisively win when he was forced to, but Moses was as humble as he was courageous. When he expressed concern that he was not a good speaker, the LORD made it clear that Moses was chosen to go - and that his brother Aaron would assist him.
"4:10 And Moses said unto the LORD, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.
Moses then asked for, and received, permission from Jethro to leave the family fold, temporarily (i.e. the whole point of his leaving was to return, with the rest of the Israelite people). It was of course a matter of custom and formality - Moses was going, regardless of Jethro's response. Moses then set out for Egypt, with his wife and sons.
"4:18 And Moses went and returned to Jethro his father in law, and said unto him, Let me go, I pray thee, and return unto my brethren which are in Egypt, and see whether they be yet alive.
Zipporah's circumcision of her son followed. The meaning of the incident has been long debated - even of who the "him" was that the LORD was going to kill. Was it Moses, or was it his uncircumcised son?
"4:24 And it came to pass by the way in the inn, that the LORD met him, and sought to kill him. 4:25 Then Zipporah took a sharp stone, and cut off the foreskin of her son, and cast it at his feet, and said, Surely a bloody husband art thou to me. 4:26 So he let him go: then she said, A bloody husband thou art, because of the circumcision." (Exodus 4:24-26 KJV)
Moses was born as an Israelite. Moses was circumcised, as were all of the native-born Israelites. Despite their nearly four centuries in Egypt, the Israelites never lost the original purpose of circumcision for that time (see Circumcision), as was about to be made obvious at the soon to occur Passover:
"12:48 And when a stranger shall sojourn with thee, and will keep the passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as one that is born in the land: for no uncircumcised person shall eat thereof." (Exodus 12:48 KJV)
The LORD commanded Moses to return to Egypt, not his entire family; there was no need for his family to go because Moses was going to return to where they were already living. It was Moses' firstborn son who was about to be killed, not only because he would not have been permitted to be included in the Passover observance, and therefore survived the death of the firstborn throughout all of Egypt, but because he was already in a state of being cut off from his people. The circumcision saved his life on both counts.
"17:14 And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant." (Genesis 17:14 KJV)
Moses was then met by Aaron; together they returned to Egypt where the people of Israel accepted their announcement. The Pharaoh however would require more persuasion.
"4:27 And the LORD said to Aaron, Go into the wilderness to meet Moses. And he went, and met him in the mount of God, and kissed him. 4:28 And Moses told Aaron all the words of the LORD who had sent him, and all the signs which he had commanded him.
Fact Finder: Why did the newborn Messiah go to Egypt?
This Day In History, December 5
1349: Jews were massacred in Nuremberg, Germany, in what became known as the Black Death Riots (see Hate Jews?).
1484: Pope Innocent VIII issued a bull (see Papal Bull) condemning the spread of witchcraft and "heresy" in Germany; he ordered that all accused persons were to be executed.
1492: Christopher Columbus "discovered" Haiti (the existing people of the island already knew that it was there).
1496: King Manuel I expelled Jews from Portugal.
1560: King Francis II of France died at age 16 after reigning 1 year.
1594: Flemish geographer Gerardus Mercator died at age 82. The still commonly-used Mercator Projection map is named after him.
1766: Christie's of London held their first auction.
1791: Austrian composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart died at age 35.
1904: Japanese forces devastated the Russian fleet at Port Arthur in Korea.
1916: David Lloyd George became the Prime Minister of Britain.
1921: Britain reached an accord with Sinn Fein to permit Ireland to become an independent country.
1933: U.S. "noble experiment" of alcohol prohibition ended with the ratification of the 21st Amendment.
1945: In one of the most famous "Bermuda Triangle" disappearances, the "Lost Squadron" (5 U.S. Navy Avenger bombers with a total of 14 crew) took off on a routine training mission from the Naval Air Station at Fort Lauderdale, Florida. While many believe that the lead pilot simply became lost due to disorientation and/or navigational equipment failure (as radio transmissions within the flight overheard by other aircraft in the area indicated) and led the squadron out to sea where they ran out of fuel and were lost, others regard the disappearance as somehow supernatural.
1975: Less than a month after describing Zionism as racism (see Anti-Zion Is Anti-Christ), the United Nations General Assembly (listen to our Sermon The Balfour Declaration to understand the role of the UN in the establishment of the modern state of Israel) ordered Israel to return all "occupied Arab land" (that the Arab nations lost in battle after they attacked Israel) without qualification (that is, without peace treaties), and to "restore the legitimate rights of the Palestinians." It was one of the most anti-Jewish, hypocritical demands ever made by the United Nations General Assembly, and the Israeli government rightfully refused.
1978: The Soviet Union signed a 20 year "friendship pact" with then-communist Afghanistan. The Soviets invaded Afghanistan a year later, in December 1979, at the "request of the government of Afghanistan" to assist in the fight against the Mujahideen, an allied group of Afghan opposition groups who were being supported and armed by the U.S. and Britain (as well as a number of Muslim nations in the Middle East whose existing pro-western dictatorships were being threatened by the communist dictatorships).
1999: Bert Hoffmeister died at age 92. He was the most decorated Canadian solder of the First World War; he also received the Legion of Merit from the U.S., the Order of Orange Nassau from the Netherlands and the Military Order of Italy (listen also to our Sermon The European World Wars).