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Wednesday, October 10 2018

A Bible Journey, 52: Moses - From The River To The Desert

"She called his name Moses, Because I drew him out of the water"

The Israelites had prospered from a family of only about seventy people (see A Bible Journey, 46: The Family At The Heart Of A Nation) into a great multitude during their prophesied four centuries in Egypt (see A Bible Journey, 51: The Fulfillment Of The Great Nation Prophecy).

The Israelites flourished so much 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 greatly fear their presence in his kingdom. Eventually, the terrified 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 Dragons Of The Bible).


It was in that time of tribulation that Moses 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.

2:2 And the woman conceived, and bare a son: and when she saw him that he was a goodly child, she hid him three months.

2:3 And when she could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein; and she laid it in the flags by the river's brink.

2:4 And his sister stood afar off, to wit what would be done to him." (Exodus 2:1-4 KJV)

By no coincidence (considering the LORD's chosen purpose for Moses), 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.

2:6 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." (Exodus 2:5-6 KJV)

Nile River

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?".

"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.

2:9 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.

2:10 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 2:8-10 KJV)

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.

"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?

2:14 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." (Exodus 2:13-14 KJV)


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.

2:16 Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters: and they came and drew water, and filled the troughs to water their father's flock.

2:17 And the shepherds came and drove them away: but Moses stood up and helped them, and watered their flock." (Exodus 2:15-17 KJV)

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).

"2:18 And when they came to Reuel their father, he said, How is it that ye are come so soon to day?

2:19 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.

2:20 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." (Exodus 2:18-20 KJV)

Moses married Jethro's daughter Zipporah (see the Fact Finder question below). 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.

2:22 And she bare him a son, and he called his name Gershom: for he said, I have been a stranger in a strange land." (Exodus 2:21-22 KJV)

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.

2:24 And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.

2:25 And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God had respect unto them." (Genesis 2:23-25 KJV)

Fact Finder: What does the Bible record about Zipporah, the wife of Moses and the mother of his children?
See Moses And Zipporah; see also Why Weren't The Descendants Of Moses In The Lost Ten Tribes?


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This Day In History

This Day In History, October 10

19: Germanicus, Roman general and nephew of Emperor Tiberius (Tiberius was the Roman emperor at the time of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ - see The Roman Emperors: Tiberius), died at age 34 from poisoning.

Note that Germanicus, from which the national name Germany is based, was a Roman name. It's no coincidence that the full official name of the "Holy Roman Empire" was "the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation" (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation).

German Empire

732: Charles Martel with a force of Frankish infantry repelled an invasion of France by a force of 65,000 Saracens at the Battle of Tours.

1560: Jacob Arminius was born. The Dutch theologian's teachings brought about Arminianism (a doctrine of election based upon God's foreknowledge).

1580: After a three-day siege, the English Army beheaded 600 Irish and Papal soldiers and civilians at Dun an Oir, Ireland.

1733: France declared war on Austrian Emperor Charles VI after Augustus III was elected in Poland instead of the French preferred candidate Stanislav Leszczynski.

1780: The Great Hurricane of 1780 killed up to 30,000 people in the Caribbean Sea region (see also The Origin Of Hurricanes, Cyclones and Typhoons).

1864: The Canadian Fathers of Confederation met at the Quebec Conference to discuss the political union of British North America. The 33 delegates from Upper and Lower Canada ("Upper" and "Lower" were geographic terms based on the flow of the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River toward the Atlantic Ocean i.e. Upper Canada was Ontario and Lower Canada was Quebec), New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island passed 72 resolutions as an outline to the proposed union; these eventually formed the core of The British North America Act, the original Constitution of Canada.

Canadian Confederation
1899: In South Africa, the Boer War began.

1911: The Panama Canal officially opened.



1911: Chinese nationalist leader Sun Yat Sen proclaimed a republic at Wuchang (The Wuchang Uprising) and began the revolution that overthrew the Manchu dynasty.

1918: During the First World War (1914-1918; see also The Assassination That Triggered Two World Wars), the German submarine UB-123 sank the Irish mail and passenger boat Leinster in the Irish Sea. Of the over 770 people aboard the ship, over 500 were killed.

1935: A coup by the pro-monarchy Greek Armed Forces took place in Athens. It overthrew the government of Panagis Tsaldaris and established a regency under Georgios Kondylis, thereby ending the Second Hellenic Republic.

1938: Germany completed its occupation of the Sudetenland by taking part of Czechoslovakia. It was one of the acts of aggression by Adolf Hitler (see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion) that resulted in the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939 (see The Assassination That Triggered Two World Wars and Russia Or Europe - Who Has Been The Invader?).

1973: U.S. Vice-President Spiro Agnew pleaded guilty in a Baltimore courtroom to tax evasion and accepting kickbacks. Agnew resigned later that day and was replaced by Gerald Ford, who then later became President after Richard Nixon resigned to avoid criminal prosecution (see The Impeachment Of The President) for "Watergate" (Ford was the only man to serve as both U.S. Vice-president and President without ever being elected to either office).

1985: U.S. warplanes intercepted an Egyptian civilian airliner and forced it to land in Italy. The commandeering was executed to arrest passengers who had been responsible for the earlier hijacking of the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro during which elderly wheelchair-bound Jewish-U.S. passenger Leon Klinghoffer was murdered.

1995: Israel began its West Bank pullback and freed hundreds of Palestinian prisoners after a deal with the PLO ("Palestine Liberation Organization").




Copyright © Wayne Blank