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Moses Becomes Tongue-tied

Moses Becomes Tongue-tied


Once it happened that Moses was playing on King Pharaoh's lap. He saw the shining crown, studded with jewels, and reached for it and took it off.

Pharaoh, who was superstitious like all his fellow-Egyptians, and who in addition was always afraid of losing his throne, asked his astrologers and counselors the meaning of this action of the infant.

Most of them interpreted it to mean that Moses was a threat to Pharaoh's crown and suggested that the child be put to death before he could do any harm. One of the king's counselors, however, suggested that they should first test the boy and see whether his action was prompted by intelligence, or he was merely grasping for sparkling things as any other child would.

Pharaoh agreed to this, and two bowls were set before young Moses. One contained gold and jewels, and the other held glowing firecoals. Moses reached out for the gold, but an angel directed his hand to the coals.

Moses snatched a glowing coal and put it to his lips.

He burned his tongue, but his life was saved. After that fateful test, Moses suffered from a slight speech defect. He could not become an orator, but his words were to carry weight with all, for it was G‑d's words that were spoken through his lips.

From Our People by Jacob Isaacs published and copyrighted by Kehot Publication Society 1946-1948
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Were his hands not burned as well? Reply

Danya Manaker Charleston March 20, 2016

Why didn't the angel cool the coals so that Moses didn't have to suffer the pain of burning his tongue ? Reply

Menachem Posner for November 8, 2010

Daniel This story is not recorded in the Bible. Rather, it is one of the oral traditions that were passed down from generation to generation and eventually recorded in the Midrash. This particular account can be found in Midrash Rabbah, Exodus 1:26. Reply

Daniel Rayne Coldwater, MI November 5, 2010

Moses burning of lips I have not heard the story of Moses burning his lips, what Bible Chapter is this in please?
Thank you in advance Reply

Menachem Posner for July 23, 2010

RE:Moses Tongue - Tied Midrash Rabbah is a commentary to the 5 Books of Moses. You would need the volume on Exodus. You can probably find one at a good public library or a synagogue library. Reply

Anonymous Ashford , UK July 22, 2010

Moses Tongue - Tied thank you for the information.
Where can I read Midrash Rabbah Exodus 1:26 Reply

Menachem Posner for July 21, 2010

RE:Moses Tongue - Tied This story is found in Midrash Rabbah Exodus 1:26. Reply

Anonymous Ashford , UK July 21, 2010

Moses Tongue - Tied A fascinating story.
What is the origin of the story?
It is not mentioned in Scripture. Reply

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