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What Happened to Moses’ Descendants?

What Happened to Moses’ Descendants?

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Question:

Do we know anything about Moses’ descendants? Did they enter the Land of Israel with everyone else?

Answer:

After the Jews left Egypt, Moses’ sons (Gershom and Eliezer), along with their mother (Zipporah) and grandfather (Jethro), rejoined their father in the desert. This is the last overt mention of Moses’ sons in the Torah.1

In fact, when the time came to choose a successor for Moses, our Sages2 relate that Moses requested one of his sons be appointed. G‑d responded, “Your sons sat and did not occupy themselves with Torah. Joshua, who served you, is fitting to serve Israel.”

And while Moses’ physical progeny did not live up to his example, Aaron’s sons—who succeeded their father as priests—did carry on the noble traditions of their father and uncle. G‑d considered Moses’ nephews as his children, for he was the one who taught them Torah. This is reflected in Numbers (3:1), which begins “These are the descendants of Moses and Aaron…” but only lists Aaron’s four sons.

Thus G‑d reassured Moses, explaining that even Joshua would need to confer with Aaron’s son, the High Priest, to know G‑d’s will.3

Rabbi Menachem Posner
Ask the Rabbi @ The Judaism WebsiteChabad.org

Footnotes
1.

Exodus 18.

2.

Midrash Tanchuma, Pinchas 11.

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Susan New York August 15, 2017

How would you them address Dibre haYamim aleph 23:14-17. David is diving the Lewites into divisions and Mosheh and his sons are counted for service to YWHW. Thank you. Reply

DRight ND May 4, 2017

Why do Jewish people take any sort of criticism as being anti-semetic? Obviously being a Jew does not require Jews to think alike. They argue with each other and with every other nation, but God forbid someone should point out where they miss the mark. Reply

Anonymous Menlo Park July 1, 2017
in response to DRight:

I'm going to try and explain this in terms anyone can understand.

Let's say you have a sister who's a few years younger than you, and you love to give her a bad time. You love her very much but it's just too much fun giving her a hard time like older brothers might do. Now it's fine for you to give her a hard time because she's family and you both know you love each other like crazy. But what happens when someone you know from school starts giving her a hard time? Even though you both know your friend doesn't really mean it, or maybe does, the point is she's your family and it's one thing for to to talk with her a certain way, but G-D forbid someone who isn't family starts saying those same things you said? Not so nice right? It is the same way with us Jews. We love each other and we are all family.

Do you understand now? Reply

Anonymous Toronto April 26, 2017

God bless Jewish people! Reply

WoundedEgo Portland, ME March 24, 2016

But what happened to Moses himself? Moses was forbidden to enter the promised land and died in the wilderness. Is that the end of Moses? Reply

Anonymous Mountain View, CA March 2, 2016

God's Name Need Not Be Hyphenated The name "God" is merely a pronoun. No one knows the name of God. At the burning bush in the desert, Moses asks of God "what is your name" and God replies only "I am, who I am". Clearly the word "God" is not God's true name. Therefore, there is absolutely no good reason to hyphenate God's name. Reply

Chabad.org Staff via chabadone.org December 18, 2015

Spelling There is a biblical prohibition against desecrating G-d's name, if we write G-d's name out fully and the page is printed and happens to fall on the ground and people step on it or similar occurrences, G-d's name would be desecrated, in order to avoid that we do not spell the Name out fully but spell it "G-d". For more information see this link. Reply

Dave DuPont, WA December 17, 2015

G-d? There do not appear to be any answers to the questions posed here, but I'll ask one anyway:
Why is the letter "o" left out when writing the word "God" on this site? Reply

Anonymous Menlo Park July 1, 2017
in response to Dave:

Hashem's name is sacred, so when we're writing something that refers to The Blessed One, Holy Be He, there's a chance someone might deface the paper it's written on, or throw it in the trash. We can not allow that to happen so we leave out the full spelling of The Sacred One, Blessed Be He. Reply

hobbitcaitlyn USA December 6, 2015

But Moses asked his wife and sons to join him and the Isrealites. Why exactly did he send them away? Reply

Margo Michigan August 3, 2015

The Term Jewish Anonymous from Montreal - You are incorrect - Jewish refers to the descendants of Judah one of the twelve tribes of Israel. The term Jewish did not start at Mount Sinai. They were all Israelites at the time, pure Hebrews as well as a mix of Hebrew and Egyptian that came out of Egypt. After King Solomon, Israel was split into the ten tribes of the northern kingdom (israel) and the southern kingdom (Juda). The Northern kingdom fell to the Assyrians, the ten tribes were taken into captivity and scattered. Settlers from Assyria and elsewhere came and settled in their place, mixed with the remaining natives - became known as Samaritans.

"The only remaining true Israelites were the residents of the Kingdom of Judah, and the term "Yehudi" or "Jew" came to refer to all the Israelites, regardless of their tribal ancestry." Chabad.org Reply

Wilma Tennessee May 28, 2015

Is God real? YES I have believed in God since I was 11 years old. I don't need proof as I believe and have faith. That's what it comes down too. My youngest son went to Iraq he said to me when he returned home. Mom why do you pray so much how do you know anyone is there and listens. I looked at him a few seconds and said son your the proof your standing before me and safe. God heard my cries and prayers for you to come home safely. I know he is real because I live by faith. Reply

H woodland Hills April 28, 2015

Moses' descendants I am one of Moses' descendants from Persia . Thanks God for the pour soul that I have from my great great great ,.....grand father Moses. My ancestry sent to Exile from Israel to Persia empire in Tajikestan (Bukharian or Iranian Jew) then they moved to Esterabad (The town was built for Esther in north of Iran close to Caspian Sea ). H Reply

Anonymous UK January 13, 2015

Like King David's non-Solomon descendants, have always wondered what role Moshe's descendants played in the Jewish people's history and whether after a few generations, Moshe's matrilineal (and possibly patrilineal) descendants ended up taking on an unacknowledged role as Nevi'im? Reply

Donald Port Huron, Mi October 16, 2014

1 Chronicles 23 I noticed that although Moses' descendants are not mentioned in Numbers they are mentioned as within the tribe of Levi in 1 Chronicles 23:17-17. So they were considered Jewish then, would you say? Reply

Anonymous Wilton August 19, 2014

what is the meaning when g-d planned to kill moses on the way with his wife and son? Reply

Anonymous Montreal October 8, 2013

to the person from Palo Alto, CA Yes they were from a Medianite woman. That does not mean that they were not jews. Since they were on Mount Sinai when G'd revealed Himself, they became jewish like anybody else. Nobody was jewish before G'd revealed Himself. They were Hebrews, Zipporah and her children (=Moses wife and his children) and the Erev Rav. I am not sure if Zipporah's father was there too. Reply

Anonymous Montreal. October 8, 2013

Sambatyon/Benei Menasheh It is not allowed to post html links. Here the titles to watch on youtube:

"Israelite origin of the pashtuns and pathans"

"Ten Lost Tribes" (this one is with Rabbi Eliyahu Kin)

It is when I was watching the Rabbi's presentation that I saw a part of the documentary for the first time.

Actually, personally I respect the rabbinic interpretation of the Deuteronomy 7 3-4 with all my heart, but I just have the feeling that not the whole information has been extracted from these verses. I think that this is the root of what is said when the Sages say that Eliyhau HaNavi will make return to judaism those who were taken away by force and those who were added by force. I read the Verses and tried to interpret them, without thinking of what has been already interpreted. I came to the personal conclusion that it is resolving the problem I stated before and that Eliyahu HaNavi will resolve. I cannot describe my feeling. It would bring so much Peace!

Shalom Israel Reply

Anonymous Montreal October 8, 2013

Sambatyon/Benei Menasheh I know that there is a south american community, not of hebrew descendance, who call themselvs B'nei Mosheh. But I don't mean them. I mean those who are said to be the children of Moses, and who will return to Israel when the Messiah appears to them. They are behind a "river" of "stone" called Sambatyon. In the talmud (i think) it is said that Aaron's descendants (Kohanim) are called the children of Moses, but they are the priests who are yet not "discovered/found". I saw a very interesting documentary. I will try to post the link to this documentary. It is not offending anybody and I hope the Rabbi will allow to post it.
I just asked my first question, because I thought: if the children of Moses are said to be special and they are descendants of Moses and Zipporah then the cannot have "jewish/hebrew" souls, because Zipporah was not jewish. Maybe this is what makes them special. Maybe they are not his descendants. Actually I will post two links. the other one is with Rabbi Eliyahu Kin. Reply

Gershon KS October 7, 2013

Benei Menashe I think you are confusing Menashe and Moshe. Moshe was a Levite. They are from the tribe of Menashe. Reply

Anonymous Montreal October 5, 2013

Sambatyon The lost tribe "Bnei Mosheh" who were separated from all the other tribes and live now hidden behind the river Sambatyon; are they the descendants of Moses and Zipporah? Reply

Anonymous palo alto, ca June 5, 2011

Moses' sons were not Jews, born of Medianite woman. May be that's why they were denied - they did not go through a proper conversion which involves studying Torah. Reply

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