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Wednesday, September 11 2013
Exodus 2: The Drawing Of Moses
"She called his name Moses, Because I drew him out of the water"
The Israelites grew from a family of seventy people (see Genesis 46: The First Census Of Israel) into a great multitude during the four centuries that they sojourned in Egypt (see Exodus 1: I Will There Make Of Thee A Great Nation). They prospered and grew so well that the Egyptian king (the term "Pharaoh" originally referred to the palace of the Egyptian king, but was later used for the king himself) began to fear their presence in his kingdom. Eventually, the Pharaoh resorted to genocide, ordering the entire population to cast all newborn male Israelite infants into the Nile River to drown (although the Scriptures don't state it directly, most of the infants would also thereby have been consumed, alive or dead, by the numerous Nile crocodiles - one of the three kinds of "dragons" described in the Scriptures; see the Fact Finder question below). It was in that time that Moses, of the Israelite tribe of Levi (Moses was not a Jew; see Are Levites 'Jews'? and The Origin Of The Levite Priesthood; also Genesis 38: The First Jews) was born, and why his mother put him into the river (technically, she was obeying the Pharaoh's command to put male infants into the river).
"2:1 And there went a man of the house of Levi, and took to wife a daughter of Levi.
By no coincidence, the daughter of Pharaoh found the ark that saved Moses from the waters.
"2:5 And the daughter of Pharaoh came down to wash herself at the 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.
Miriam was the firstborn of the family, several years older than her brother Aaron who was then about three years old (the reason that the order about infants did not apply to him). She was old enough, and quick-thinking enough, upon seeing her baby brother being found by the princess, to run up and ask "Shall I go and call to thee a nurse of the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for thee?" Miriam was a very bright girl.
"2:7 Then said his sister 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?" (Exodus 2:7 KJV)
So it was that Moses was returned to his actual mother until he was weaned. While the Pharaoh's daughter gave him the name Moses (the Scriptures don't record the name that his actual parents gave to him) which means to draw out ("I drew him out of the water"), it's a name that could apply to him as much, or more, to his actual mother.
"2:8 And Pharaoh's daughter said to her, Go. And the maid went and called the child's mother.
Moses grew up in the royal palace (see The Israelites Of The Pharaoh's Palace). We know from later incidents that his righteous character applied to everyone, just as it did one day when he defended the life of a Hebrew, killing an Egyptian in the process. While it may not yet have dawned upon many "exceptionalism" (in most cases, just another word for hypocrite) people, then and ever since, good is good, regardless of who does it, and evil is evil, regardless of who does it.
"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." (Exodus 2:11-12 KJV)
The Scriptures do not record when Moses was made aware that he was as much an Israelite as they were, but an incident the next day makes obvious that the Israelites knew that he was an Israelite (many could have been made aware of it from Moses' parents, brother Aaron and sister Miriam) i.e. "Who made thee a prince and a judge over us? intendest thou to kill me, as thou killedst the Egyptian?"
"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?
Moses continued helping the oppressed, regardless of what nationality that they happened to be, after he fled into the Sinai (see also Paul's Geography Lesson).
"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.
The irony of the exile of Moses to the Sinai was that the Israelites regarded him as an Israelite, while the Egyptians and Moses' new family in the Sinai regarded him as an Egyptian: "An Egyptian delivered us out of the hand of the shepherds" (technically, as the Israelites had by then been for centuries, Moses' political nationality was Egyptian i.e. if he had a birth certificate, it was be of Egypt; see also Does Rome Have Christ's Birth Certificate?).
"2:18 And when they came to Reuel their father, he said, How is it that ye are come so soon to day?
Moses married Jethro's daughter Zipporah (see Moses And Zipporah). They eventually had two sons, Gershom Eliezer.
"2:21 And Moses was content to dwell with the man: and he gave Moses Zipporah his daughter.
Moses apparently intended to remain as a shepherd of the Sinai for the rest of his life. That turned out to be correct, but his flock would become the Israelites after the Exodus.
"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.
Fact Finder: Which of the three kinds of Biblical "dragons" were specifically in the rivers of Egypt?
This Day In History, September 11
1297: The Scots under William Wallace battled an English force under the Earl of Surrey at the Battle of Stirling Bridge.
1541: French explorer Jacques Cartier reached Lachine rapids, near present-day Montreal, on his third voyage to Canada.
1609: English naval explorer Henry Hudson discovered what was later named Manhattan Island.
1709: An Anglo-Dutch-Austrian force led by the Duke of Marlborough and Prince Eugene of Savoy won a costly victory over the French in the Battle of Malplaquet, the last great battle of the War of the Spanish Succession.
1712: French astronomer (of Italian origin) Giovanni Cassini died at age 87. He made numerous discoveries, including 4 moons of Saturn, the existence of divisions in the rings of Saturn, and the rotational period (the length of its "day") of Mars.
1777: The Battle of Brandywine. The British Army defeated revolutionary forces under George Washington (a former Colonel in the British Army in Virginia; Washington fought as a British Army officer during the "French and Indian Wars," the North American theater of the worldwide Seven Years War) and advanced on Philadelphia.
1792: The Hope Diamond is stolen along with other French crown jewels.
1919: U.S. Marines invaded Honduras, one of 5 invasions of the country over a span of 20 years, primarily at the behest of U.S. corporations that were involved in the banana industry of the Central American nations. The derogatory term "Banana Republic" originated by the U.S. writer William Sydney Porter (pen name O. Henry), in describing those invasions.
1922: Under the authority of a UN Mandate, "Palestine" (an English rendering of the Biblical word "Philistine") and Trans-Jordan ("across the Jordan") came under British control as one of the major after-effects of the First World War (see A History Of Jerusalem: The British Mandate).
1941: Construction of the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia began. Exactly 60 years to the day later, it was severely damaged during the 9-11 attacks (see the entry for 2001, below).
1971: Nikita Khrushchev died at age 77. He led the Soviet Union through the height of the Cold War with the U.S. He began to lose political power after losing the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 during which President John F. Kennedy imposed a naval blockade on the island and put all U.S. nuclear forces on their highest alert. Many historians consider the crisis to be the closest the world came to nuclear warfare.
1973: The Marxist government of Salvador Allende in Chile was overthrown by a military coup.
1974: Haile Selassie was deposed as king of Ethiopia.
1978: U.S. President Jimmy Carter, President Anwar Sadat of Egypt, and Prime Minister Menachem Begin of Israel meet at Camp David and agree on the Camp David Accords, a basis of peace between Israel and Egypt.
1997: Scottish voters strongly approved (74.2%) plans to establish a separate Scottish parliament apart from the British parliament, 290 years after the Act of Union with England in 1707.
2001: Using hijacked airliners, terrorists from Pakistan and Saudi Arabia (neither Pakistan nor Saudi Arabia were invaded in retaliation) killed approximately 3,000 people in New York (the collapse of the twin towers of the World Trade Center), Washington (the Pentagon) and Pennsylvania (a hijacked airliner that went down before reaching its target because of a passenger revolt). The terrorist attacks triggered the U.S. military invasion of Afghanistan where the attacks on the US were planned and commanded by Saudi Arabian born Osama bin Laden, and was used as a justification for the U.S. invasion of Iraq - although no evidence has ever been found that Iraqi leader Sadam Hussein had any involvement in the attacks on New York and Washington (the hijackers were all from Pakistan and Saudi Arabia), nor were any "weapons of mass destruction" ever found in Iraq.
2007: Russia tested the largest conventional (i.e. non-nuclear) weapon ever constructed, the Aviation Thermobaric Bomb of Increased Power. The Russian bomb is also called the "Father of All Bombs" because it is reportedly four times more powerful than the US military's GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb whose official military acronym "MOAB" is often stated as the "Mother of All Bombs."