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.