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Moses (1393-1273 BCE)

Moses (1393-1273 BCE)


Maimonides calls him "the most perfect human being", and the sages of the Talmud said that "the Divine Presence spoke from his throat." Yet the Torah also attests that the man who took the Children of Israel out of Egypt and received the Torah from G‑d was "the most humble man on the face of the earth."

Moses was born in Egypt on the 7th of Adar of the year 2368 from creation (1393 BCE), at a time when the Israelites were slaves to the rulers of the land and subject to many harsh decrees. He was the third born of Jocheved and Amram's three children -- his brother Aaron was his senior by three years, and his sister Miriam by six.

When he was three months old, Moses was hidden in a basket set afloat in the Nile to escape Pharaoh's decree that all male Hebrew children be drowned; he was retrieved from the river by Pharaoh's daughter, Batyah, who raised him in the palace. At age 20, Moses fled Egypt after killing an Egyptian he saw beating a Jew and made his way to Midian, where he married Zipporah, the daughter of Jethro, and fathered two sons, Gershom and Eliezer.

When he was 80 years old, Moses was shepherding his father-in-law's sheep when G‑d revealed himself to him in a burning bush at Mount Horeb (Sinai) and instructed him to liberate the Children of Israel. Moses took the Israelites out of Egypt, performed numerous miracles for them (the ten plagues in Egypt, the splitting of the sea, extracting water from a rock, bringing down the manna, and numerous others), received the Torah from G‑d and taught it to the people, built the Mishkan (Divine dwelling) in the desert, and led the Children of Israel for 40 years as they journeyed through the wilderness; but G‑d did not allow him to bring them into the Holy Land. Moses passed away on his 120th birthday on Mount Nebo, within sight of the land he yearned to enter.


The Birth of a Leader
The Head
Moses Disappears
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Linda Nord Allen, TX July 22, 2017

Moses was 40 when he fled Egypt and spent 40 years in the wilderness learning to follow God's will, not his own. He was not 20 at the time. Reply

Ellen Homeister Ohio May 11, 2017

There were cultural differences and religious differences. The Jewish people believed in one G-d, did not worship sheep and other gods that had been reinstituted after Akhnaten's death. I have read that the Egyptians thought the Jews (Hebrews) were crude and evil because they herded and ate sheep, which the Egyptians worshiped. I would imagine in that ancient society, the Egyptian priesthood would have fears of loosing power and prestige if the Jews were able to influence the the common folks to worship Hashem. Reply

Anonymous May 11, 2017

If Levi was around 60 years old when he entered Egypt so probably Kohath was around 30 years old and maybe Amram was already born at that time so how come that after only around 150 years the children of Israel were that many that it worried the ruler of Egypt? Reply

Anonymous July 14, 2017
in response to Anonymous:

I believe it was closer to 400 years. (See, e.g., references in the promise to Abraham as well as other references to a 400-430 year period if Egypt). If you want to have some "fun," open up an excel spreadsheet and calculate the number of persons, starting with the grandchildren of Jacob/Israel that went to Egypt (call it year 0) and assuming an average birth rate in that day of 4 persons per marriage and average age of 20 years at time of siring the next generation. See what # you come up with in 400 years. Of course population growth isn't quite that simple, and you need to subtract out the people who die, but the multiplication factor really is impressive. Reply

Mark Denver November 5, 2016

Tough to pinpoint which Pharaoh was reigning when Joseph and Moses were alive. Joseph most likely rose to Vizier under the Hyksos and then 400 years later Moses liberated our people. The Torah is silent in identifying the pharaohs of Egypt. Israeli history is easier to put in chronological order than Egyptian history, so we can only speculate the timeline of the Egyptian rulers. Reply

jozef mars May 6, 2017
in response to Mark:

apparently not so difficult. see the jan 22 2015 posting Reply

Anonymous June 16, 2016

How long ago Moses born Reply

Leslie Malachowsky March 21, 2016

Question-did Moses live during the time of Ramsess II? The movie The 10 Commandments has a referrence to Neferterie. How accurate is the portrayal? Thank you. Reply Staff via February 26, 2016

Yes there is a source for Moshe's birth and passing date, please see this link for the details. Reply

Shlomo Shlemel Las Vegas February 25, 2016

Information about Moses How do we know so precisely when Moses was born and died? Is his birthdate given in the Torah? Reply

WoundedEgo Portland, ME February 13, 2016

E? Now it is "BCE". Reply

Anonymous chicago February 13, 2016

That's "BC", not "BCE". Reply

ricardo Canada February 7, 2016

Exodus 1:8 clearly states that a new (king)Pharaoh arose over Egypt who did not know obviously it was not the same Pharaoh who appointed Joseph as viceroy...because Moses came after Joseph who had died years before, and it was he who led the Israelites out of Egypt. Reply

Mini John Keezhillam EKM Dist January 28, 2016

very pleasent to read and understand the .Jewish history Reply

Ellen Homeister January 22, 2016

Thutmoses IV would have been the Pharoah when Moses was born. Moses most likely grew up with Akhnaten (Amenhotep IV) in the palace since Moses was born in 1393BCE. Akhnaten became Pharoah c. 1352-1334 BCE. Akhnaten believed in one G-d and instituted a cultural-religious Revolution during his reign. I believe that Moses's religion had a possible influence on Akhnaten. The pharoah reigning when Moses returns to Egypt would likely be Djeserkheperue Setpenre Horemheb who was a general and went about destroying all the images of the solar disc god the Akhnaten had used to describe the one G-d almighty. The next pharoah c. 1292-1290 was Menpehtue Ramesses a non-royal reign 1292-1290; next Pharoah was Menmastre Seti reign 1290-1279 approx.( who regained much of the territory lost during Akhnaten's pacifist reign ) who was most likely the Pharoah during the Exodus of the Jews from Egypt. Of approx 1280 BCE. At this point Ramses II the great reigns 1279-1213. Reply

WoundedEgo Portland, ME January 14, 2016

So Moses died within sight of the promised land but did not enter. Is he gone forever? Reply

Michael nigeria December 7, 2015

Moses was highly favored by God which I admire so much. I really need to be like him some day. Reply

Shaul Wolf November 5, 2015

Re: Ramses There are varying opinions amongst historians as to the identity of the Egyptian Pharaoh at the time of the Exodus. Within Jewish tradition as well, it is disputed whether the Pharaoh of the Exodus is the same Pharaoh as the one that appointed Joseph as viceroy over Egypt. Regardless of who the exact Pharaoh was, we know that Moses was reared by his daughter Batya, and grew up in the royal palace. Reply

Rehan Karachi. Pakistan November 5, 2015

I always like Moses and wanted to his way to find God's blessing Reply

Anonymous November 4, 2015

Doesn't Moses grow up with Ramses II as brothers? I can't find any information about Moses living in the palace or the what was going on the the Egyptian Pharaoh at around the time of the Exodus. Reply

Anonymous September 30, 2015

Moses Moses was the greatest prophet Reply

Anonymous August 18, 2015

I thought that all Moses received was the Ten Commandments, so it is so important to me that he received the entire law and all of the stories of the people Reply

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