Moses (/ˈmoʊzɪz, -zɪs/)[Note 1] was a prophet in the Abrahamic
religions. According to the Hebrew Bible, he was adopted by an
Egyptian princess, and later in life became the leader of the
Israelites and lawgiver, to whom the authorship of the Torah, or
acquisition of the
Torah from Heaven is traditionally attributed. Also
called Moshe Rabbenu in Hebrew (מֹשֶׁה רַבֵּנוּ, lit.
Moses our Teacher"), he is the most important prophet in
Judaism. He is also an important prophet in Christianity, Islam,
the Bahá'í Faith, and a number of other Abrahamic religions.
According to the Book of Exodus,
Moses was born in a time when his
people, the Israelites, an enslaved minority, were increasing in
numbers and the Egyptian
Pharaoh was worried that they might ally
themselves with Egypt's enemies. Moses' Hebrew mother, Jochebed,
secretly hid him when the
Pharaoh ordered all newborn Hebrew boys to
be killed in order to reduce the population of the Israelites. Through
the Pharaoh's daughter (identified as Queen Bithia in the Midrash),
the child was adopted as a foundling from the
Nile river and grew up
with the Egyptian royal family. After killing an Egyptian slavemaster
(because the slavemaster was smiting a Hebrew),
Moses fled across the
Red Sea to Midian, where he encountered The Angel of the Lord,
speaking to him from within a burning bush on
Mount Horeb (which he
regarded as the Mountain of God).
Moses back to Egypt to demand the release of the Israelites
Moses said that he could not speak eloquently, so God
allowed Aaron, his brother, to become his spokesperson. After the Ten
Moses led the
Exodus of the
Israelites out of Egypt and
across the Red Sea, after which they based themselves at Mount Sinai,
Moses received the Ten Commandments. After 40 years of wandering
in the desert,
Moses died within sight of the
Promised Land on Mount
Scholarly consensus sees
Moses as a legendary figure and not a
historical person. Rabbinic
Judaism calculated a lifespan of Moses
corresponding to 1391–1271 BCE;
Jerome gives 1592 BCE, and
James Ussher 1571 BCE as his birth year.[Note 2] In Book of
Moses was mentioned as "the man of God."
2 Biblical narrative
Prophet and deliverer of Israel
2.2 Lawgiver of Israel
Moses in Hellenistic literature
4.1 In Hecataeus
4.2 In Artapanus
4.3 In Strabo
4.4 In Tacitus
4.5 In Longinus
4.6 In Josephus
4.7 In Numenius
4.8 In Justin Martyr
5 Abrahamic religions
5.4 Baha'i Faith
6.1 Politics and law
6.1.1 American history
220.127.116.11 Founding Fathers of the United States
6.1.2 Slavery and civil rights
7 In popular culture
7.1 Criticism of Moses
8 See also
10 External links
The Biblical account of Moses' birth provides him with a folk
etymology to explain the ostensible meaning of his name. He is
said to have received it from the Pharaoh's daughter: "he became her
son. She named him
Moses (Moshe), saying, 'I drew him out (meshitihu)
of the water.'" This explanation links it to a verb mashah,
meaning "to draw out", which makes the Pharaoh's daughter's
declaration a play on words. The princess made a grammatical
mistake which is prophetic of his future role in legend, as someone
who will "draw the people of Israel out of Egypt through the waters of
the Red Sea."
Several etymologies have been proposed. An Egyptian root msy, "child
of", has been considered as a possible etymology, arguably an
abbreviation of a theophoric name, as for example in Egyptian names
like Thutmoses (
Thoth created him) and Ramesses (Ra created him),
with the god's name omitted.
Abraham Yahuda, based on the spelling
given in the Tanakh, argues that it combines "water" or "seed" and
"pond, expanse of water", thus yielding the sense of "child of the
The Hebrew etymology in the Biblical story may reflect an attempt to
cancel out traces of Moses' Egyptian origins. The Egyptian
character of his name was recognized as such by ancient Jewish writers
Philo of Alexandria
Philo of Alexandria and Josephus.
Philo linked Mōēsēs
(Μωησής) to the Egyptian (Coptic) word for water (mou/μῶυ),
while Josephus, in his Antiquities of the Jews, claimed that the
second element, -esês, meant 'those who are saved'. The problem of
how an Egyptian princess, known to
Josephus as Thermutis (identified
as Tharmuth) and in later Jewish tradition as Bithiah, could
have known Hebrew puzzled medieval Jewish commentators like Abraham
ibn Ezra and Hezekiah ben Manoah, known also as Hizkuni. Hizkuni
suggested she either converted or took a tip from Jochebed.
Prophet and deliverer of Israel
Finding of Moses
Finding of Moses (detail), 1638, by Nicolas Poussin
Israelites had settled in the
Land of Goshen
Land of Goshen in the time of Joseph
and Jacob, but a new pharaoh arose who oppressed the children of
Israel. At this time
Moses was born to his father Amram, son of Kehath
the Levite, who entered Egypt with Jacob's household; his mother was
Jochebed (also Yocheved), who was kin to Kehath.
Moses had one older
(by seven years) sister, Miriam, and one older (by three years)
brother, Aaron.[Note 3]
The Finding of Moses, painting by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, 1904
Pharaoh had commanded that all male Hebrew children born would be
drowned in the river Nile, but Moses' mother placed him in an ark and
concealed the ark in the bulrushes by the riverbank, where the baby
was discovered and adopted by Pharaoh's daughter, and raised as an
Egyptian. One day after
Moses had reached adulthood he killed an
Egyptian who was beating a Hebrew. Moses, in order to escape the
Pharaoh's death penalty, fled to
Midian (a desert country south of
Judah), where he married Zipporah.
Moses strikes water from the stone, by Francesco Bacchiacca
There, on Mount Horeb,
God revealed to
Moses his name
pronounced Yahweh) and commanded him to return to Egypt and bring his
chosen people (Israel) out of bondage and into the Promised Land
(Canaan). During the journey,
God tried to kill Moses, but
Zipporah saved his life.
Moses returned to carry out God's command,
God caused the
Pharaoh to refuse, and only after
God had subjected
Egypt to ten plagues did the
Moses led the Israelites
to the border of Egypt, but there
God hardened the Pharaoh's heart
once more, so that he could destroy the
Pharaoh and his army at the
Red Sea Crossing as a sign of his power to Israel and the nations.
Moses before the Pharaoh, a 6th-century miniature from the Syriac
Bible of Paris
Moses led the
Israelites to biblical Mount Sinai, where he
was given the
Ten Commandments from God, written on stone tablets.
Moses remained a long time on the mountain, some of the
people feared that he might be dead, so they made a statue of a golden
calf and worshiped it, thus disobeying and angering
God and Moses.
Moses, out of anger, broke the tablets, and later ordered the
elimination of those who had worshiped the golden statue, which was
melted down and fed to the idolaters. He also wrote the ten
commandments on a new set of tablets. Later at Mount Sinai,
the elders entered into a covenant, by which Israel would become the
people of YHWH, obeying his laws, and
YHWH would be their god. Moses
delivered the laws of
God to Israel, instituted the priesthood under
the sons of Moses' brother Aaron, and destroyed those
fell away from his worship. In his final act at Sinai,
God gave Moses
instructions for the Tabernacle, the mobile shrine by which he would
travel with Israel to the Promised Land.
Moses led the
Israelites to the
Desert of Paran
Desert of Paran on the
border of Canaan. From there he sent twelve spies into the land. The
spies returned with samples of the land's fertility, but warned that
its inhabitants were giants. The people were afraid and wanted to
return to Egypt, and some rebelled against
Moses and against God.
Moses told the
Israelites that they were not worthy to inherit the
land, and would wander the wilderness for forty years until the
generation who had refused to enter
Canaan had died, so that it would
be their children who would possess the land.
When the forty years had passed,
Moses led the
Israelites east around
Dead Sea to the territories of
Edom and Moab. There they escaped
the temptation of idolatry, received God's blessing through
prophet, and massacred the Midianites, who by the end of the Exodus
journey had become the enemies of the Israelites.
Moses was twice
given notice that he would die before entry to the Promised Land: in
Numbers 27:13, once he had seen the
Promised Land from a viewpoint on
Mount Abarim, and again in Numbers 31:1 once battle with the
Midianites had been won.
Moses holding up his arms during the battle against Amalek, assisted
Aaron and Hur; painting by John Everett Millais
On the banks of the Jordan River, in sight of the land, Moses
assembled the tribes. After recalling their wanderings he delivered
God's laws by which they must live in the land, sang a song of praise
and pronounced a blessing on the people, and passed his authority to
Joshua, under whom they would possess the land.
Moses then went up
Mount Nebo to the top of Pisgah, looked over the promised land of
Israel spread out before him, and died, at the age of one hundred and
twenty. More humble than any other man (Num. 12:3), "there hath not
arisen a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom
YHWH knew face
to face" (Deuteronomy 34:10). The
New Testament states that after
Moses' death, Michael the
Archangel and the
Devil disputed over his
Epistle of Jude
Epistle of Jude 1:9).
Lawgiver of Israel
Further information: Law of Moses, Mosaic authorship, Deuteronomist,
Book of Deuteronomy
Book of Deuteronomy § Deuteronomic code, and 613 Mitzvot
Moses Breaking the Tablets of the Law
Moses Breaking the Tablets of the Law by Rembrandt
Moses is honoured among
Jews today as the "lawgiver of Israel", and he
delivers several sets of laws in the course of the four books. The
first is the
Covenant Code (
Exodus 20:19–23:33), the terms of the
God offers to the
Israelites at biblical Mount Sinai.
Embedded in the covenant are the
Decalogue (the Ten Commandments,
Exodus 20:1–17) and the Book of the Covenant (Exodus
20:22–23:19). The entire
Book of Leviticus
Book of Leviticus constitutes a second
body of law, the
Book of Numbers
Book of Numbers begins with yet another set, and the
Book of Deuteronomy
Book of Deuteronomy another.
Moses has traditionally been regarded as the author of those four
books and the Book of Genesis, which together comprise the Torah, the
first and most revered section of the Hebrew Bible.
Moses lifts up the brass serpent, curing the
Israelites from poisonous
snake bites in a painting by Benjamin West
The scholarly consensus is that the figure of
Moses is legendary, and
not historical, although a "Moses-like figure may have existed
somewhere in the southern Transjordan in the mid-late 13th century
B.C." Certainly no Egyptian sources mention
Moses or the events of
Exodus-Deuteronomy, nor has any archaeological evidence been
discovered in Egypt or the Sinai wilderness to support the story in
which he is the central figure. The story of his discovery picks
up a familiar motif in ancient Near Eastern mythological accounts of
the ruler who rises from humble origins: Thus Sargon of Akkad's
Akkadian account of his origins runs;
My mother, the high priestess, conceived; in secret she bore me
She set me in a basket of rushes, with bitumen she sealed my lid
She cast me into the river which rose over me.
The tradition of
Moses as a lawgiver and culture hero of the
Israelites may go back to the 7th-century BCE sources of the
Deuteronomist, which might conserve earlier traditions. Kenneth
Kitchen, described as a distinguished but lonely voice among British
Egyptologists on the subject, argues that there is an historic
core behind the Exodus, with Egyptian corvée labour exacted from
Hebrews during the imperialist control exercised by the Egyptian
Canaan from the time of the Thutmosides down to the revolt
Merneptah and Rameses III. William Albright believed in
the essential historicity of the biblical tales of
Moses and the
Exodus, accepting however that the core narrative had been overlaid by
legendary accretions. Biblical minimalists such as Philip R.
Niels Peter Lemche regard all biblical books, and the
stories of an Exodus, united monarchy, exile and return as fictions
composed by a social elite in Yehud in the Persian period or even
later, the purpose being to legitimize a return to indigenous
Despite the imposing fame associated with Moses, no source mentions
him until he emerges in texts associated with the Babylonian
exile. A theory developed by
Cornelius Tiele in 1872, which had
proved influential, argued that
Yahweh was a Midianite god, introduced
Israelites by Moses, whose father-in-law Jethro was a Midianite
priest. It was to such a
Yahweh reveals his real name,
hidden from the Patriarchs who knew him only as El Shaddai.
Against this view is the modern consensus that most of the Israelites
were native to Palestine.
Martin Noth argued that the Pentateuch
uses the figure of Moses, originally linked to legends of a
Transjordan conquest, as a narrative bracket or late reductional
device to weld together 4 of the 5, originally independent, themes of
that work. Manfred Görg and Rolf Krauss, the latter
in a somewhat sensationalist manner, have suggested that the Moses
story is a distortion or transmogrification of the historical pharaoh
Amenmose (ca. 1200 BCE), who was dismissed from office and whose name
was later simplified to msy (Mose). Aidan Dodson regards this
hypothesis as "intriguing, but beyond proof."
The name King
Moab has been linked to that of Moses. Mesha
also is associated with narratives of an exodus and a conquest, and
several motifs in stories about him are shared with the
and that regarding Israel's war with
Moab (2 Kings 3).
against oppression, like Moses, leads his people out of Israel, as
Moses does from Egypt, and his first-born son is slaughtered at the
wall of Kir-hareseth as the firstborn of Israel are condemned to
slaughter in the
Exodus story, "an infernal passover that delivers
Mesha while wrath burns against his enemies".
An Egyptian version of the tale that crosses over with the
is found in
Manetho who, according to the summary in Josephus, wrote
that a certain Osarseph, a Heliopolitan priest, became overseer of a
band of lepers, when Amenophis, following indications by Amenhotep,
son of Hapu, had all the lepers in Egypt quarantined in order to
cleanse the land so that he might see the gods. The lepers are bundled
into Avaris, the former capital of the Hyksos, where Osarseph
prescribes for them everything forbidden in Egypt, while proscribing
everything permitted in Egypt. They invite the
Hyksos to reinvade
Egypt, rule with them for 13 years –
Osarseph then assumes the name
Moses - and are then driven out.
Moses in Hellenistic literature
Moses in Judeo-Hellenistic literature
Memorial of Moses, Mount Nebo, Jordan
Non-biblical writings about Jews, with references to the role of
Moses, first appear at the beginning of the Hellenistic period, from
323 BCE to about 146 BCE. Shmuel notes that "a
characteristic of this literature is the high honour in which it holds
the peoples of the East in general and some specific groups among
In addition to the Judeo-Roman or Judeo-Hellenic historians Artapanus,
Eupolemus, Josephus, and Philo, a few non-Jewish historians including
Hecataeus of Abdera (quoted by Diodorus Siculus), Alexander
Polyhistor, Manetho, Apion, Chaeremon of Alexandria,
Porphyry also make reference to him. The extent to which any of these
accounts rely on earlier sources is unknown.
Moses also appears in
other religious texts such as the
Mishnah (c. 200 CE),
Midrash (200–1200 CE), and the
The figure of
Osarseph in Hellenistic historiography is a renegade
Egyptian priest who leads an army of lepers against the pharaoh and is
finally expelled from Egypt, changing his name to Moses.[citation
The earliest existing reference to
Moses in Greek literature occurs in
the Egyptian history of Hecataeus of Abdera
(4th century BCE). All that remains of his description of
Moses are two references made by Diodorus Siculus, wherein, writes
historian Arthur Droge, he "describes
Moses as a wise and courageous
leader who left Egypt and colonized Judaea." Among the many
accomplishments described by Hecataeus,
Moses had founded cities,
established a temple and religious cult, and issued laws:
After the establishment of settled life in Egypt in early times, which
took place, according to the mythical account, in the period of the
gods and heroes, the first... to persuade the multitudes to use
written laws was Mneves [Moses], a man not only great of soul but also
in his life the most public-spirited of all lawgivers whose names are
Droge also points out that this statement by Hecataeus was similar to
statements made subsequently by Eupolemus.
The Jewish historian
Artapanus of Alexandria
Artapanus of Alexandria (2nd century BCE),
Moses as a cultural hero, alien to the Pharaonic court.
According to theologian John Barclay, the
Moses of Artapanus "clearly
bears the destiny of the Jews, and in his personal, cultural and
military splendor, brings credit to the whole Jewish people."
Jealousy of Moses' excellent qualities induced Chenephres to send him
with unskilled troops on a military expedition to Ethiopia, where he
won great victories. After having built the city of Hermopolis, he
taught the people the value of the ibis as a protection against the
serpents, making the bird the sacred guardian spirit of the city; then
he introduced circumcision. After his return to Memphis,
the people the value of oxen for agriculture, and the consecration of
the same by
Moses gave rise to the cult of Apis. Finally, after having
escaped another plot by killing the assailant sent by the king, Moses
fled to Arabia, where he married the daughter of Raguel [Jethro], the
ruler of the district.
Artapanus goes on to relate how
Moses returns to Egypt with Aaron, and
is imprisoned, but miraculously escapes through the name of
order to lead the Exodus. This account further testifies that all
Egyptian temples of
Isis thereafter contained a rod, in remembrance of
that used for Moses' miracles. He describes
Moses as 80 years old,
"tall and ruddy, with long white hair, and dignified."[citation
Some historians, however, point out the "apologetic nature of much of
Artapanus' work," with his addition of extra-biblical details,
such as his references to Jethro: the non-Jewish Jethro expresses
admiration for Moses' gallantry in helping his daughters, and chooses
Moses as his son.
Strabo, a Greek historian, geographer and philosopher, in his
Geographica (c. 24 CE), wrote in detail about Moses, whom he
considered to be an Egyptian who deplored the situation in his
homeland, and thereby attracted many followers who respected the
deity. He writes, for example, that
Moses opposed the picturing of the
deity in the form of man or animal, and was convinced that the deity
was an entity which encompassed everything – land and sea:
35. An Egyptian priest named Moses, who possessed a portion of the
country called the Lower Egypt, being dissatisfied with the
established institutions there, left it and came to Judaea with a
large body of people who worshipped the Divinity. He declared and
taught that the
Egyptians and Africans entertained erroneous
sentiments, in representing the Divinity under the likeness of wild
beasts and cattle of the field; that the
Greeks also were in error in
making images of their gods after the human form. For
God [said he]
may be this one thing which encompasses us all, land and sea, which we
call heaven, or the universe, or the nature of things....
36. By such doctrine
Moses persuaded a large body of right-minded
persons to accompany him to the place where
In Strabo's writings of the history of
Judaism as he understood it, he
describes various stages in its development: from the first stage,
Moses and his direct heirs; to the final stage where "the
Jerusalem continued to be surrounded by an aura of
sanctity." Strabo's "positive and unequivocal appreciation of Moses'
personality is among the most sympathetic in all ancient
literature." His portrayal of
Moses is said to be similar to the
writing of Hecataeus who "described
Moses as a man who excelled in
wisdom and courage."
Jan Assmann concludes that
Strabo was the historian "who
came closest to a construction of Moses' religion as monotheistic and
as a pronounced counter-religion." It recognized "only one divine
being whom no image can represent... [and] the only way to approach
this god is to live in virtue and in justice."
The Roman historian
Tacitus (c. 56–120 CE) refers to
noting that the Jewish religion was monotheistic and without a clear
image. His primary work, wherein he describes Jewish philosophy, is
his Histories (c. 100), where, according to Arthur Murphy, as a result
of the Jewish worship of one God, "pagan mythology fell into
Tacitus states that, despite various opinions current
in his day regarding the Jews' ethnicity, most of his sources are in
agreement that there was an
Exodus from Egypt. By his account, the
Pharaoh Bocchoris, suffering from a plague, banished the
response to an oracle of the god Zeus-Amun.
A motley crowd was thus collected and abandoned in the desert. While
all the other outcasts lay idly lamenting, one of them, named Moses,
advised them not to look for help to gods or men, since both had
deserted them, but to trust rather in themselves, and accept as divine
the guidance of the first being, by whose aid they should get out of
their present plight.
In this version,
Moses and the
Jews wander through the desert for only
six days, capturing the
Holy Land on the seventh.
The Septuagint, the Greek version of the Hebrew Bible, influenced
Longinus, who may have been the author of the great book of literary
criticism, On the Sublime. The date of composition is unknown, but it
is commonly assigned to the late Ist century C.E.
The writer quotes Genesis in a "style which presents the nature of the
deity in a manner suitable to his pure and great being," however he
does not mention
Moses by name, calling him 'no chance person'
(οὐχ ὁ τυχὼν ἀνήρ) but "the Lawgiver"
(θεσμοθέτης, thesmothete) of the Jews," a term that puts him
on a par with Lycurgus and Minos. Aside from a reference to
Moses is the only non-Greek writer quoted in the work,
contextually he is put on a par with Homer, and he is described
"with far more admiration than even Greek writers who treated Moses
with respect, such as Hecataeus and Strabo.
In Josephus' (37 – c. 100 CE) Antiquities of the Jews,
mentioned throughout. For example Book VIII Ch. IV, describes
Solomon's Temple, also known as the First Temple, at the time the Ark
of the Covenant was first moved into the newly built temple:
Solomon had finished these works, these large and beautiful
buildings, and had laid up his donations in the temple, and all this
in the interval of seven years, and had given a demonstration of his
riches and alacrity therein; ...he also wrote to the rulers and elders
of the Hebrews, and ordered all the people to gather themselves
together to Jerusalem, both to see the temple which he had built, and
to remove the ark of
God into it; and when this invitation of the
whole body of the people to come to
Jerusalem was everywhere carried
abroad, ...The Feast of Tabernacles happened to fall at the same time,
which was kept by the
Hebrews as a most holy and most eminent feast.
So they carried the ark and the tabernacle which
Moses had pitched,
and all the vessels that were for ministration to the sacrifices of
God, and removed them to the temple. ...Now the ark contained nothing
else but those two tables of stone that preserved the ten
God spake to
Moses in Mount Sinai, and which were
engraved upon them...
According to Feldman,
Josephus also attaches particular significance
to Moses' possession of the "cardinal virtues of wisdom, courage,
temperance, and justice." He also includes piety as an added fifth
virtue. In addition, he "stresses Moses' willingness to undergo toil
and his careful avoidance of bribery. Like Plato's philosopher-king,
Moses excels as an educator."
Numenius, a Greek philosopher who was a native of Apamea, in Syria,
wrote during the latter half of the 2nd century CE.
Guthrie writes that "Numenius is perhaps the only recognized Greek
philosopher who explicitly studied Moses, the prophets, and the life
of Jesus..." He describes his background:
Numenius was a man of the world; he was not limited to Greek and
Egyptian mysteries, but talked familiarly of the myths of Brahmins and
Magi. It is however his knowledge and use of the Hebrew scriptures
which distinguished him from other Greek philosophers. He refers to
Moses simply as "the prophet", exactly as for him
Homer is the poet.
Plato is described as a Greek Moses.
In Justin Martyr
The Christian saint and religious philosopher
Justin Martyr (103–165
CE) drew the same conclusion as Numenius, according to other experts.
Theologian Paul Blackham notes that Justin considered
Moses to be
"more trustworthy, profound and truthful because he is older than the
Greek philosophers." He quotes him:
I will begin, then, with our first prophet and lawgiver, Moses... that
you may know that, of all your teachers, whether sages, poets,
historians, philosophers, or lawgivers, by far the oldest, as the
Greek histories show us, was Moses, who was our first religious
Moses on the Knesset Menorah
Most of what is known about
Moses from the
Bible comes from the books
of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. The majority of
scholars consider the compilation of these books to go back to the
Persian period, 538–332 BCE, but based on earlier written and
oral traditions. There is a wealth of stories and additional
Moses in the
Jewish apocrypha and in the genre of
rabbinical exegesis known as Midrash, as well as in the primary works
of the Jewish oral law, the
Mishnah and the Talmud.
Moses is also
given a number of bynames in Jewish tradition. The
Moses as one of seven biblical personalities who were called by
various names. Moses' other names were: Jekuthiel (by his mother),
Heber (by his father), Jered (by Miriam), Avi Zanoah (by Aaron), Avi
Gedor (by Kohath), Avi Soco (by his wet-nurse), Shemaiah ben Nethanel
(by people of Israel).
Moses is also attributed the names Toviah
(as a first name), and
Levi (as a family name) (Vayikra Rabbah 1:3),
Heman, Mechoqeiq (lawgiver) and Ehl Gav Ish (Numbers
12:3). In another exegesis,
Moses had ascended to the first heaven
until the seventh, even visited
Hell alive, after he saw
the Divine vision in Mount Horeb.
Jewish historians who lived at Alexandria, such as Eupolemus,
Moses the feat of having taught the Phoenicians their
alphabet, similar to legends of Thoth. Artapanus of Alexandria
Moses not only with Thoth/Hermes, but also with
the Greek figure Musaeus (whom he called "the teacher of Orpheus"),
and ascribed to him the division of Egypt into 36 districts, each with
its own liturgy. He named the princess who adopted
Moses as Merris,
To Orthodox Jews,
Moses is called Moshe Rabbenu, `Eved HaShem, Avi
haNeviim zya"a: "Our Leader Moshe, Servant of God, Father of all the
Prophets (may his merit shield us, amen)". In the orthodox view,
Moses received not only the Torah, but also the revealed (written and
oral) and the hidden (the `hokhmat nistar teachings, which gave
Zohar of the Rashbi, the
Torah of the Ari haQadosh and all
that is discussed in the Heavenly Yeshiva between the Ramhal and his
masters). He is also considered the greatest prophet.
Moses was one hundred and twenty (120) years old when he died" (Deut.
34:7), and no one knows his burial place to this day (Deut. 34:6).
Arising in part from his age and that "his eye had not dimmed, and his
vigor had not diminished," the phrase "may you live to 120" has become
a common blessing among Jews, especially since 120 is elsewhere stated
as the maximum age for Noah's descendants (one interpretation of
Moses striking the rock
Prophet, Saint, Seer, Lawgiver, Apostle to Pharaoh, Reformer
Goshen, Lower Egypt
Mount Nebo, Moab
Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Bahá'í Faith
Orthodox Church & Catholic Church: Sept 4
Tablets of the Law
Moses is mentioned more often in the
New Testament than any other Old
Testament figure. For Christians,
Moses is often a symbol of God's
law, as reinforced and expounded on in the teachings of Jesus. New
Testament writers often compared Jesus' words and deeds with Moses' to
explain Jesus' mission. In Acts 7:39–43, 51–53, for example, the
Moses by the
Jews who worshipped the golden calf is
likened to the rejection of
Jesus by the
Jews that continued in
Moses also figures in several of Jesus' messages. When he met the
Nicodemus at night in the third chapter of the Gospel of
John, he compared Moses' lifting up of the bronze serpent in the
wilderness, which any
Israelite could look at and be healed, to his
own lifting up (by his death and resurrection) for the people to look
at and be healed. In the sixth chapter,
Jesus responded to the
people's claim that
Moses provided them manna in the wilderness by
saying that it was not Moses, but God, who provided. Calling himself
the "bread of life",
Jesus stated that He was provided to feed God's
Moses, along with Elijah, is presented as meeting with
Jesus in all
three Gospel accounts of the
Transfiguration of Jesus
Transfiguration of Jesus in Matthew 17,
Mark 9, and Luke 9, respectively.
Jesus refers to the scribes and the
Pharisees of the Temple as "seated in the chair of Moses" (Greek:
επι της μωυσεως καθεδρας, epi tēs Mōuseōs
Moses appearing at the Transfiguration of Jesus
His relevance to modern
Christianity has not diminished.
considered to be a saint by several churches; and is commemorated as a
prophet in the respective Calendars of Saints of the Eastern Orthodox
Church, the Roman Catholic Church, and the Lutheran churches on
September 4. In Eastern Orthodox liturgics for September 4,
commemorated as the "Holy
Prophet and God-seer Moses, on Mount
Nebo".[Note 4] The
Orthodox Church also commemorates him on
the Sunday of the Forefathers, two Sundays before the Nativity.
Armenian Apostolic Church
Armenian Apostolic Church commemorates him as one of the Holy
Forefathers in their Calendar of Saints on July 30.
Main article: Book of Moses
Members of The Church of
Christ of Latter-day Saints
(colloquially called Mormons) generally view
Moses in the same way
that other Christians do. However, in addition to accepting the
biblical account of Moses,
Mormons include Selections from the Book of
Moses as part of their scriptural canon. This book is believed to
be the translated writings of Moses, and is included in the Pearl of
Latter-day Saints are also unique in believing that
Moses was taken to
heaven without having tasted death (translated). In addition, Joseph
Oliver Cowdery stated that on April 3, 1836,
to them in the
Kirtland Temple (located in Kirtland, Ohio) in a
glorified, immortal, physical form and bestowed upon them the "keys of
the gathering of Israel from the four parts of the earth, and the
leading of the ten tribes from the land of the north."
Moses in Islam
See also: Biblical narratives and the Qur'an §
[Biblical and Quranic narratives
Prophets and messengers in Islam
Ulu'l azm prophets
Moses is mentioned more in the
Quran than any other individual and his
life is narrated and recounted more than that of any other Islamic
prophet. In general,
Moses is described in ways which parallel the
Islamic prophet Muhammad, and "his character exhibits some of the
main themes of Islamic theology," including the "moral injunction that
we are to submit ourselves to God."
Moses is defined in the
Quran as both prophet (nabi) and messenger
(rasul), the latter term indicating that he was one of those prophets
who brought a scripture and law to his people.
Huston Smith describes an account in the
Quran of meetings in heaven
Moses and Muhammad, which Huston states were "one of the
crucial events in Muhammad's life," and resulted in Muslims observing
5 daily prayers.
Moses is mentioned 502 times in the Quran; passages mentioning Moses
include 2.49–61, 7.103–160, 10.75–93, 17.101–104, 20.9–97,
26.10–66, 27.7–14, 28.3–46, 40.23–30, 43.46–55, 44.17–31,
and 79.15–25. and many others. Most of the key events in Moses' life
which are narrated in the
Bible are to be found dispersed through the
different Surahs of the Quran, with a story about meeting
is not found in the Bible.
Moses story related by the Quran,
Jochebed is commanded by God
Moses in an ark and cast him on the waters of the Nile, thus
abandoning him completely to God's protection. The Pharaoh's
wife Asiya, not his daughter, found
Moses floating in the waters of
the Nile. She convinced the
Pharaoh to keep him as their son because
they were not blessed with any children.
Maqam El-Nabi Musa, Jericho.
The Quran's account has emphasized Moses' mission to invite the
Pharaoh to accept God's divine message as well as give salvation
to the Israelites. According to the Quran,
Israelites to enter Canaan, but they are unwilling to fight the
Canaanites, fearing certain defeat.
Moses responds by pleading to
Allah that he and his brother
Aaron be separated from the rebellious
Israelites. After which the
Israelites are made to wander for 40
According to Islamic tradition,
Moses is buried at Maqam El-Nabi Musa,
Moses is one of the most important of God's messengers in the Bahá'í
Faith being designated a Manifestation of God. An epithet of
Moses in Baha'i scriptures is the One Who Conversed with God.
Important figures in the Baha’i religion, such as Abdul’l-Baha,
have highlighted the fact that Moses, like Abraham, had none of the
makings of a great man of history, but through God's assistance he was
able achieve many great things. He is described as having been "for a
long time a shepherd in the wilderness," of having had a stammer, and
of being "much hated and detested" by the
Pharaoh and the ancient
Egyptians of his time. He is said to have been raised in an oppressive
household, and to have been known, in Egypt, as a man who had
committed murder – though he had done so in order to prevent an act
Nevertheless, like Abraham, through the assistance of God, he achieved
great things and gained renown even beyond the Levant. Chief among
these achievements was the freeing of his people, the Hebrews, from
bondage in Egypt and leading "them to the Holy Land." He is viewed as
the one who bestowed on Israel 'the religious and the civil law' which
gave them "honour among all nations," and which spread their fame to
different parts of the world.
Furthermore, through the law,
Moses is believed to have led the
Hebrews 'to the highest possible degree of civilization at that
period.’ Abdul’l-Baha asserts that the ancient Greek philosophers
regarded "the illustrious men of Israel as models of perfection."
Chief among these philosophers, he says, was
Socrates who "visited
Syria, and took from the children of Israel the teachings of the Unity
God and of the immortality of the soul."
Moses is further described as paving the way for
Bahá'u'lláh and his
ultimate revelation, and as a teacher of truth, whose teachings were
in line with the customs of his time.
Politics and law
Moses at the Library of Congress
In a metaphorical sense in the Christian tradition, a "Moses" has been
referred to as the leader who delivers the people from a terrible
situation. Among the Presidents of the United States known to have
used the symbolism of
Moses were Harry S. Truman, Jimmy Carter, Ronald
Reagan, Bill Clinton,
George W. Bush
George W. Bush and Barack Obama, who referred to
his supporters as "the
In subsequent years, theologians linked the
Ten Commandments with the
formation of early democracy. Scottish theologian William Barclay
described them as "the universal foundation of all things… the law
without which nationhood is impossible. …Our society is founded upon
Pope Francis addressed the
United States Congress
United States Congress in 2015
stating that all people need to "keep alive their sense of unity by
means of just legislation... [and] the figure of
Moses leads us
God and thus to the transcendent dignity of the human
Pilgrims John Carver, William Bradford, and Miles Standish, at prayer
during their voyage to America. Painting by Robert Walter Weir.
Moses were used by the Puritans, who relied on the story
Moses to give meaning and hope to the lives of Pilgrims seeking
religious and personal freedom in America. John Carver was the first
Plymouth colony and first signer of the
which he wrote in 1620 during the ship Mayflower's three-month voyage.
He inspired the Pilgrims with a "sense of earthly grandeur and divine
purpose," notes historian Jon Meacham, and was called the "Moses
of the Pilgrims." Early American writer James Russell Lowell
noted the similarity of the founding of America by the Pilgrims to
that of ancient Israel by Moses:
Next to the fugitives whom
Moses led out of Egypt, the little shipload
of outcasts who landed at Plymouth are destined to influence the
future of the world.
Following Carver's death the following year, William Bradford was made
governor. He feared that the remaining Pilgrims would not survive the
hardships of the new land, with half their people having already died
within months of arriving. Bradford evoked the symbol of
Moses to the
weakened and desperate Pilgrims to help calm them and give them hope:
"Violence will break all. Where is the meek and humble spirit of
William G. Dever explains the attitude of the Pilgrims:
"We considered ourselves the 'New Israel,' particularly we in America.
And for that reason we knew who we were, what we believed in and
valued, and what our 'manifest destiny' was."
Founding Fathers of the United States
First proposed seal of the United States, 1776
On July 4, 1776, immediately after the Declaration of Independence was
officially passed, the
Continental Congress asked John Adams, Thomas
Benjamin Franklin to design a seal that would clearly
represent a symbol for the new United States. They chose the symbol of
Moses leading the
Israelites to freedom. The Founding Fathers of
the United States inscribed the words of
Moses on the Liberty Bell:
"Proclaim Liberty thro' all the Land to all the Inhabitants thereof."
Upon the death of
George Washington in 1799, two thirds of his
eulogies referred to him as "America's Moses," with one orator saying
that "Washington has been the same to us as
Moses was to the Children
Benjamin Franklin, in 1788, saw the difficulties that some of the
newly independent American states were having in forming a government,
and proposed that until a new code of laws could be agreed to, they
should be governed by "the laws of Moses," as contained in the Old
Testament. He justified his proposal by explaining that the laws
had worked in biblical times: "The Supreme Being… having rescued
them from bondage by many miracles, performed by his servant Moses, he
personally delivered to that chosen servant, in the presence of the
whole nation, a constitution and code of laws for their
John Adams, 2nd President of the United States, stated why he relied
on the laws of
Moses over Greek philosophy for establishing the United
States Constitution: "As much as I love, esteem, and admire the
Greeks, I believe the
Hebrews have done more to enlighten and civilize
Moses did more than all their legislators and
philosophers. Swedish historian
Hugo Valentin credited
the "first to proclaim the rights of man."
Slavery and civil rights
Historian Gladys L. Knight describes how leaders who emerged during
slavery time and after often personified the
Moses symbol. "The symbol
Moses was empowering in that it served to amplify a need for
freedom." Therefore, when
Abraham Lincoln was assassinated in
1865 after freeing the slaves, Black Americans said they had lost
"their Moses". Lincoln biographer
Charles Carleton Coffin
Charles Carleton Coffin writes,
"The millions whom
Abraham Lincoln delivered from slavery will ever
liken him to Moses, the deliverer of Israel." Similarly, Harriet
Tubman, who rescued approximately seventy enslaved family and friends,
was also described as the "Moses" of her people.
In the 1960s, a leading figure in the civil rights movement was Martin
Luther King Jr., who was called "a modern Moses," and often referred
Moses in his speeches: "The struggle of Moses, the struggle of his
devoted followers as they sought to get out of Egypt. This is
something of the story of every people struggling for freedom."
In popular culture
Thomas Mann's novella
The Tables of the Law
The Tables of the Law (1944) is a retelling of
the story of the
Exodus from Egypt, with
Moses as its main
Freud believed that
Moses was a former adherent to the religion of the
Aten instituted by the pharaoh
Akhenaten (shown above), a
notion now discredited by modern scholars.
Sigmund Freud, in his last book,
Monotheism in 1939,
Moses was an Egyptian nobleman who adhered to the
monotheism of Akhenaten. Following a theory proposed by a contemporary
biblical critic, Freud believed that
Moses was murdered in the
wilderness, producing a collective sense of patricidal guilt that has
been at the heart of
Judaism ever since. "
Judaism had been a religion
of the father,
Christianity became a religion of the son", he wrote.
The possible Egyptian origin of
Moses and of his message has received
significant scholarly attention.[page needed]
Opponents of this view observe that the religion of the
Atenism in everything except the central feature of
devotion to a single god, although this has been countered by a
variety of arguments, e.g. pointing out the similarities between the
Aten and Psalm 104.[page needed] Freud's
interpretation of the historical
Moses is not well accepted among
historians, and is considered pseudohistory by
Further information: Finding of Moses
Sculpture in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Depiction on U.S. government buildings
Moses is depicted in several U.S. government buildings because of his
legacy as a lawgiver. In the
Library of Congress
Library of Congress stands a large statue
Moses alongside a statue of the Paul the Apostle.
Moses is one of
the 23 lawgivers depicted in marble bas-reliefs in the chamber of the
U.S. House of Representatives
U.S. House of Representatives in the United States Capitol. The
plaque's overview states: "
Moses (c. 1350–1250 B.C.)
Hebrew prophet and lawgiver; transformed a wandering people into a
nation; received the Ten Commandments."
The other twenty-two figures have their profiles turned to Moses,
which is the only forward-facing bas-relief.
Michelangelo Buonarotti — in Basilica San Pietro in
Moses appears eight times in carvings that ring the Supreme Court
Great Hall ceiling. His face is presented along with other ancient
figures such as Solomon, the Greek god
Zeus and the Roman goddess of
wisdom, Minerva. The Supreme Court Building's east pediment depicts
Moses holding two tablets. Tablets representing the Ten Commandments
can be found carved in the oak courtroom doors, on the support frame
of the courtroom's bronze gates and in the library woodwork. A
controversial image is one that sits directly above the Chief Justice
of the United States' head. In the center of the 40-foot-long Spanish
marble carving is a tablet displaying
Roman numerals I through X, with
some numbers partially hidden.
Michelangelo's statue of
Moses in the Church of San Pietro in Vincoli,
Rome, is one of the most familiar masterpieces in the world.[citation
needed] The horns the sculptor included on Moses' head are the result
of a mistranslation of the
Hebrew Bible into the
Michelangelo was familiar. The Hebrew word taken from
Exodus means either a "horn" or an "irradiation." Experts at the
Archaeological Institute of America show that the term was used when
Moses "returned to his people after seeing as much of the Glory of the
Lord as human eye could stand," and his face "reflected
radiance." In early Jewish art, moreover,
Moses is often "shown
with rays coming out of his head."
Another author explains, "When
Jerome translated the Old
Testament into Latin, he thought no one but
Christ should glow with
rays of light — so he advanced the secondary translation.
However, writer J. Stephen Lang points out that Jerome's version
Moses as "giving off hornlike rays," and he "rather
clumsily translated it to mean 'having horns.'" It has also been
noted that he had
Moses seated on a throne, yet
Moses was never given
the title of a King nor ever sat on such thrones.
Film and television
Moses was portrayed by
Theodore Roberts in Cecil B. DeMille's 1923
silent film The Ten Commandments.
Moses appeared as the central
character in the 1956 DeMille movie, also called The Ten Commandments,
in which he was portrayed by Charlton Heston. A television remake was
produced in 2006.
Burt Lancaster played
Moses in the 1975 television miniseries Moses
the Lawgiver.
In the 1981 comedy film History of the World, Part I,
portrayed by Mel Brooks.
Ben Kingsley was the narrator of the 2007 animated film, The Ten
Moses appeared as the central character in the 1998 DreamWorks
Pictures' animated movie, The Prince of Egypt. He was voiced by Val
In the 2009 miniseries Battles BC,
Moses was portrayed by Cazzey Louis
In the 2013 television miniseries The Bible,
Moses was portrayed by
actor William Houston.
Christian Bale portrayed
Moses in Ridley Scott's 2014 film Exodus:
Gods and Kings which portrayed
Rameses II as being
Seti I as cousins.
Guilherme Winter portrayed
Moses in Alexandre Avancini and Vivian De
Oliveira 2015-2016 Brazilian miniseries Moisés y los diez
mandamientos (original title: Os Dez Mandamentos).
Criticism of Moses
Thomas Paine and Numbers 31:13-18
In the late eighteenth century, the deist
Thomas Paine commented at
length on Moses' Laws in
The Age of Reason
The Age of Reason (1794, 1795, and 1807).
Moses to be a "detestable villain", and cited Numbers
31:13–18 as an example of his "unexampled atrocities". In the
passage, the Jewish army had returned from conquering the Midianites,
Moses has gone down to meet it:
And Moses, and
Eleazar the priest, and all the princes of the
congregation, went forth to meet them without the camp; and
wroth with the officers of the host, with the captains over thousands,
and captains over hundreds, which came from the battle; and
unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive? behold, these caused the
children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass
against the Lord in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among
the congregation of the Lord. Now, therefore, kill every male among
the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known a man by lying
with him; but all the women-children, that have not known a man by
lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.
The prominent atheist
Richard Dawkins also made reference to these
verses in his 2006 book, The
God Delusion, concluding that
"not a great role model for modern moralists".
However, some Jewish sources defend Moses' role. The Chasam Sofer
emphasizes that this war was not fought at Moses' behest, but was
God as an act of revenge against the Midianite
women, who, according to the Biblical account, had seduced the
Israelites and led them to sin.
Rabbi Joel Grossman argued that the
story is a "powerful fable of lust and betrayal", and that Moses'
execution of the women was a symbolic condemnation of those who seek
to turn sex and desire to evil purposes. Alan Levin, an
educational specialist with the Reform movement, has similarly
suggested that the story should be taken as a cautionary tale, to
"warn successive generations of
Jews to watch their own idolatrous
Ahmose, son of Ebana
Comparison of the founders of religious traditions
Crossing the Red Sea
Moses in Islam
Table of prophets of Abrahamic religions
This article incorporates text from a publication now in
the public domain: Singer, Isidore; et al., eds. (1901–1906).
"Moses". Jewish Encyclopedia. New York: Funk & Wagnalls
^ Hebrew: מֹשֶׁה, Modern Mōše Tiberian Mōše ISO 259-3
Moše; Syriac: ܡܘܫܐ Mūše; Arabic: موسى Mūsā; Greek:
Saint Augustine records the names of the kings when
Moses was born
in the City of God:
"When Saphrus reigned as the fourteenth king of Assyria, and
Orthopolis as the twelfth of Sicyon, and
Criasus as the fifth of
Moses was born in Eygpt,..."
Orthopolis reigned as the 12th King of
Sicyon for 63 years, from
Criasus reigned as the 5th King of
Argos for 54
years, from 1637–1583.
^ According to
Manetho the place of his birth was at the ancient city
^ According to the Orthodox Menaion, September 4 was the day that
Moses saw the Land of Promise.
^ Numbers 12:1
^ "Moses". Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary.
^ Deuteronomy 34:10
^ Maimonides, 13 principles of faith, 7th principle .
^ Douglas K. Stuart (15 June 2006). Exodus: An Exegetical and
Theological Exposition of Holy Scripture. B&H Publishing Group.
^ a b
William G. Dever 'What Remains of the House That Albright
Built?,' in George Ernest Wright, Frank Moore Cross, Edward Fay
Campbell, Floyd Vivian Filson (eds.) The Biblical Archaeologist,
American Schools of Oriental Research, Scholars Press, Vol. 56, No 1,
2 March 1993 pp.25-35, p.33: 'the overwhelming scholarly consensus
today is that
Moses is a mythical figure.'
^ Seder Olam Rabbah[full citation needed]
^ Jerome's Chronicon (4th century) gives 1592 for the birth of Moses
^ The 17th-century
Ussher chronology calculates 1571 BC (Annals of the
World, 1658 paragraph 164)
^ St Augustine. The City of God. Book XVIII. Chapter 8 - Who Were
Moses Was Born, And What Gods Began To Be Worshipped Then.
^ Hoeh, Herman L (1967), Compendium of World History (dissertation),
1, The Faculty of the Ambassador College, Graduate School of Theology,
^ Deuteronomy 33: 1
^ a b Christopher B. Hays, Hidden Riches: A Sourcebook for the
Comparative Study of the
Hebrew Bible and Ancient Near East,
Presbyterian Publishing Corp, 2014 p. 116.
^ Naomi E. Pasachoff, Robert J. Littman, A Concise History of the
Jewish People, Rowman & Littlefield, (1995) 2005 p.5.
^ a b c Lorena Miralles Maciá, "Judaizing a Gentile Biblical
Character through Fictive Biographical Reports: The Case of Bityah,
Pharaoh's Daughter, Moses' Mother, according to Rabbinic
Interpretations", in Constanza Cordoni, Gerhard Langer (eds.),
Narratology, Hermeneutics, and Midrash: Jewish, Christian, and Muslim
Narratives from Late Antiquity through to Modern Times, Vandenhoeck
& Ruprecht/University of Vienna Press, 2014 pp. 145–175.
^ Dozeman 2009, pp. 81–2.
^ a b c Franz V. Greifenhagen, Egypt on the Pentateuch's Ideological
Map: Constructing Biblical Israel's Identity, Bloomsbury Publishing,
2003 pp.60ff. p.62 n.65. p.63.
^ Rivka Ulmer, Egyptian Cultural Icons in Midrash, de gruyter 2009 p.
^ Benjamin Edidin Scolnic, If the
Egyptians Drowned in the Red Sea
where are Pharaoh's Chariots?: Exploring the Historical Dimension of
the Bible, University Press of America 2005 p. 82.
^ Jeffrey K. Salkin, Righteous Gentiles in the Hebrew Bible: Ancient
Role Models for Sacred Relationships, Jewish Lights Publishing, 2008
pp.47 ff., p.54.
^ Maurice D. Harris Moses: A Stranger Among Us, Wipf and Stock
Publishers, 2012 pp. 22–24
^ McClintock, John; James, Strong (1882), "Mo'ses", Cyclopaedia of
Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature, VI.— ME-NEV,
New York: Harper & Brothers, pp. 677–87 .
^ Schmidt, Nathaniel (Feb 1896), "Moses: His Age and His Work. II",
The Biblical World, 7 (2): 105–19, esp. 108, It was the prophet's
call. It was a real ecstatic experience, like that of
David under the
Elijah on the mountain,
Isaiah in the temple,
Jesus in the Jordan, Paul on the Damascus road. It was the
perpetual mystery of the divine touching the human. .
^ Ginzberg, Louis (1909). The Legends of the
Jews Vol III :
Chapter I (Translated by Henrietta Szold) Philadelphia: Jewish
^ Rad, Gerhard von; Hanson, K. C; Neill, Stephen (2012). Moses.
Cambridge, U.K.: James Clarke. ISBN 978-0-227-17379-4. Retrieved
^ Ginzberg, Louis (1909). The Legends of the
Jews Vol III : The
Symbolical Significance of the
Tabernacle (Translated by Henrietta
Szold) Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society.
^ Ginzberg, Louis (1909). The Legends of the
Jews Vol III :
Ingratitude Punished (Translated by Henrietta Szold) Philadelphia:
Jewish Publication Society.
^ Hamilton 2011, p. xxv.
William G. Dever (10 May 2001). What Did the Biblical Writers Know
and When Did They Know It?: What Archeology Can Tell Us About the
Reality of Ancient Israel. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. p. 99.
^ Meyers 2005, pp. 5–6.
^ Timothy D. Finlay, The Birth Report Genre in the Hebrew Bible,
Forschungen zum Alten Testament, Vol.12 Mohr Siebeck, 2005 p.236
^ J.K. Hoffmeier, 'The Egyptian Origins of Israel: Recent Developments
in Historiography,' in Thomas E. Levy, Thomas Schneider, William H.C.
Propp (eds.) Israel's
Exodus in Transdisciplinary Perspective: Text,
Archaeology, Culture, and Geoscience, Springer, 2015 pp.196-208 p.202.
^ Kenneth Kitchen, On the Reliability of the Old Testament, Rev.ed.
Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2003 pp.241ff.
^ a b c George W. Coats, Moses: Heroic Man, Man of God, A&C Black,
1988 pp.10ff (p.11 Albright; pp.29-30, Noth).
^ Michael R.Stead, The Intertextuality of Zechariah 1–8: Ideals and
Realities, T&T Clark 2009 p.42
^ Judges 1:16;3:11; Numbers 10:29);
^ Mark S. Smith, The Early History of God:
Yahweh and the Other
Deities in Ancient Israel, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2002 p.34.
^ Karel van der Toorn, Bob Becking, Pieter Willem van der Horst (eds.)
Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible, Wm. B. Eerdmans
Publishing, 2nd edition 1999 p.912.
^ Eckart Otto, Mose: Geschichte und Legende, C.H.Beck, 2006 pp.25-27.
^ Manfred Görg, "Mose – Name und Namensträger. Versuch einer
historischen Annäherung" in Mose. Ägypten und das Alte Testament,
edited by E. Otto, Verlag Katholisches Bibelwerk, Stuttgart, 2000.
^ Rolf Krauss, Das Moses-Rätsel. Auf den Spuren einer biblischen
Erfindung, Ullstein Verlag, München 2001.
^ Jan Assmann, 'Tagsüber parliert er als Ägyptologe, nachts reißt
er die Bibel auf,'
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 2 February 2002.
^ Aidan Dodson, Poisoned Legacy: The Fall of the 19th Egyptian Dynasty
American University in Cairo Press 2010 p.72.
^ Peter J. Leithart, 1 & 2 Kings, Brazos Press, 2006 pp.178ff.,
^ Jan Assmann,
Moses the Egyptian: The Memory of Egypt in Western
Monotheism, Harvard University Press, 2009 pp.31-34.
^ Shmuel 1976, p. 1102.
^ Shmuel 1976, p. 1103.
^ Hammer, Reuven (1995), The Classic Midrash: Tannaitic Commentaries
on the Bible, Paulist Press, p. 15 .
^ a b c Droge 1989, p. 18.
^ Barclay, John M. G.
Jews in the Mediterranean Diaspora: From
Alexander to Trajan (323 BCE – 117 CE), University of
California Press (1996) p. 130
^ "Moses". Jewish Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2010-03-02.
^ Feldman 1998, p. 40.
^ Feldman 1998, p. 133.
^ Shmuel 1976, p. 1132.
^ Strabo. The Geography, 16.2.35-36, Translated by H.C. Hamilton and
W. Falconer in 1854, pp. 177–78,
^ a b Shmuel 1976, p. 1133.
^ Assmann 1997, p. 38.
^ Tacitus, Cornelius. The works of Cornelius Tacitus: With an essay on
his life and genius by Arthur Murphy, Thomas Wardle Publ. (1842) p.
^ a b Tacitus, Cornelius. Tacitus, The Histories, Volume 2, Book V.
Chapters 5, 6 p. 208.
^ Henry J. M. Day, Lucan and the Sublime: Power, Representation and
Aesthetic Experience, Cambridge University Press, 2013 p.12.
^ Louis H. Felkdman, Jew and Gentile in the Ancient World: Attitudes
and Interactions from Alexander to Justinian, Princeton University
Press 1996 p.239.
^ Feldman, Louis H (1998), Josephus's Interpretation of the Bible,
University of California Press, p. 133 .
^ Shmuel 1976, p. 1140.
^ Josephus, Flavius (1854), "IV", The works: Comprising the
Antiquities of the Jews, VIII, trans. by William Whiston,
pp. 254–55 .
^ Feldman 1998, p. 130.
^ Guthrie 1917, p. 194.
^ Guthrie 1917, p. 101.
^ a b Blackham 2005, p. 39.
^ Van Seters 2004, p. 194.
^ Finkelstein, I., Silberman, NA., The
Bible Unearthed: Archaeology's
New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Its Sacred Texts, p.68
^ Jean-Louis Ska, The
Exegesis of the Pentateuch: Exegetical Studies
and Basic Questions, Forschungen zum Alten Testament, Vol 66, Mohr
Siebeck, 2009 p.260.
Midrash Rabbah, Ki Thissa, XL. 3-3, Lehrman, p. 463
^ Yalkut Shimoni, Shemot 166 to Chronicles I 4:18, 24:6; also see
Vayikra Rabbah 1:3; Chasidah p.345
^ Rashi to Bava Batra 15s, Chasidah p. 345
^ Bava Batra 15a on Deuteronomy 33:21, Chasidah p. 345
^ Rashi to Berachot 54a, Chasidah p. 345
^ Ginzberg, Louis (1909). The Legends of the
Jews Vol. II : The
Ascension of Moses;
Hell (Translated by
Henrietta Szold) Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society.
Praeparatio evangelica ix. 26
^ Eusebius, l.c. ix. 27
^ Honorifics for the dead in Judaism.
^ Ginzberg, Louis (1909). The Legends of the
Jews Vol. III :
Moses excels all pious men (Translated by Henrietta Szold)
Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society.
Judaism 101: Moses,
Aaron and Miriam". Jew FAQ. Retrieved
^ Larkin, William J. (1995). Acts (IVP
New Testament Commentary
Series). Intervarsity Press Academic. ISBN 978-0830818051.
Bible Gateway passage: Acts 7 - New International Version". Bible
Gateway. Retrieved 2017-01-08.
^ Matthew 23:2
^ Great Synaxaristes: (in Greek) Ὁ Προφήτης Μωϋσῆς. 4
Σεπτεμβρίου. ΜΕΓΑΣ ΣΥΝΑΞΑΡΙΣΤΗΣ.
Prophet and God-seer Moses. OCA - Lives of the Saints.
^ "September 4: The Holy God-seer
Brother". In: The Menaion: Volume 1, The Month of September. Transl.
from the Greek by the Holy Transfiguration Monastery. Boston,
Massachusetts, 2005. p. 67.
^ THE SUNDAY OF THE HOLY FOREFATHERS. St John's Orthodox Church,
Colchester, Essex, England.
^ "Տոնական օրեր". Armenian Church (in Armenian). Retrieved
31 August 2017.
^ Skinner, Andrew C. (1992), "Moses", in Ludlow, Daniel H,
Encyclopedia of Mormonism, New York: Macmillan Publishing,
pp. 958–959, ISBN 0-02-879602-0, OCLC 24502140
^ Taylor, Bruce T. (1992), "Book of Moses", in Ludlow, Daniel H,
Encyclopedia of Mormonism, New York: Macmillan Publishing,
pp. 216–217, ISBN 0-02-879602-0, OCLC 24502140
Doctrine and Covenants
Doctrine and Covenants 110:11
^ a b c d Keeler 2005, pp. 55–66.
^ Keeler 2005, pp. 55–56, describes
Moses from the Muslim
perspective: :"Among prophets,
Moses has been described as the
one 'whose career as a messenger of God, lawgiver and leader of his
community most closely parallels and foreshadows that of Muhammad',
and as 'the figure that in the Koran was presented to
all others as the supreme model of saviour and ruler of a community,
the man chosen to present both knowledge of the one God, and a
divinely revealed system of law'. We find him clearly in this role of
Muhammad's forebear in a well-known tradition of the miraculous
ascension of the Prophet, where
Muhammad from his own
experience as messenger and lawgiver."
^ Smith, Huston (1991), The World's Religions, Harper Collins,
p. 245, ISBN 9780062508119 .
^ Quran 28:7
^ Quran 79:17–19
^ Quran 20:47–48
^ Quran 5:20
^ Historical Context of the Bábi and Bahá'í Faiths, Bahá'i .
^ Effendi, Shoghi (1988). Epistle to the Son of the Wolf. Wilmette,
Illinois: Baháí Publishing Trust. p. 104.
^ a b c Clifford, Laura (1937). Some Answered Questions. New York:
Baha'i Publishing Trust. pp. 14–15.
^ McMullen, Michael (2000), The Bahá'í: The Religious Construction
of a Global Identity, p. 256 .
^ Ifil, Gwen (2009), The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of
Obama, Random House, p. 58 .
^ Barclay, William (1998) , The Ten Commandments, Westminster
John Knox Press, p. 4 .
Pope Francis addresses Congress", Vox, Sept. 24, 2015
^ a b Meacham 2006, p. 40.
^ Talbot, Archie Lee (1930), A New Plymouth Colony at Kennebeck,
Brunswick: Library of Congress .
^ Lowell, James Russell (1913), The Round Table, Boston: Gorham Press,
pp. 217–18, Next to the fugitives whom
Moses led out of Egypt,
the little shipload of outcasts who landed at Plymouth are destined to
influence the future of the world. The spiritual thirst of mankind has
for ages been quenched at Hebrew fountains; but the embodiment in
human institutions of truths uttered by the Son of Man eighteen
centuries ago was to be mainly the work of Puritan thought and Puritan
self-devotion. …If their municipal regulations smack somewhat of
Judaism, yet there can be no nobler aim or more practical wisdom than
theirs; for it was to make the law of man a living counterpart of the
law of God, in their highest conception of it.
^ Arber, Edward (1897), The Story of the Pilgrim Fathers, Houghton,
Mifflin & Co., p. 345 .
^ Dever 2006, pp. ix, 234.
^ Moses, Adolph (1903), Yahvism and Other Discourses, Louisville
Council of Jewish Women, p. 93, [The pilgrims were clearly]
animated by the true spirit of the Hebrew prophets and law-givers.
They walked by the light of the Scriptures, and were resolved to form
a Commonwealth in accordance with the social laws and ideas of the
Bible. …they were themselves the true descendants of Israel,
spiritual children of the prophets. .
^ Feiler 2009, p. 35.
^ Feiler 2009, p. 102.
^ Franklin, Benjamin (1834), Franklin, William Temple, ed., Memoirs
(ebook)format= requires url= (help), 2, Philadelphia: McCarty &
Davis, p. 504 .
^ Franklin 1834, p. 211.
David Philip (1999), Of
Moses and Marx, Greenwood,
p. 35 .
^ Knight, Gladys L. Icons of African American Protest Vol I, Greenwood
(2009) p. 183
^ Hodes, Martha (2015). Mourning Lincoln. Yale University Press.
pp. 164, 237. ISBN 9780300213560.
^ Coffin, Charles Carleton (2012) ,
Abraham Lincoln (reprint),
Ulan Press, p. 534 .
^ Jones, Joyce Stokes; Galvin, Michele Jones (1999–2012), Beyond the
Underground. Aunt Harriet,
Moses of Her People .
^ King, Martin Luther Jr (2000) [1957, 1968], The Papers, Univ. of
California Press, p. 155,
I want to preach this morning from the subject, 'The Birth of a New
Nation.' And I would like to use as a basis for our thinking together,
a story that has long since been stenciled on the mental sheets of
succeeding generations. It is the story of the Exodus, the story of
the flight of the Hebrew people from the bondage of Egypt, through the
wilderness and finally, to the Promised Land. …The struggle of
Moses, the struggle of his devoted followers as they sought to get out
And I've looked over. And I've seen the promised land. I may not get
there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people,
will get to the promised land.
^ a b Assmann 1997.
^ Yerushalmi, Y, Freud's
Moses (monograph) .
^ "Order of the
Aten Temple". Atenism. Archived from the original on
^ Atwell, James E. (2000). "An Egyptian Source for Genesis 1". Journal
of Theological Studies. 51 (2): 441–77.
^ Bernstein, Richard J. (1998). Freud and the Legacy of Moses. New
York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-63096-7.
Moses relieve portrait", Architect of the Capitol
^ "Relief Portraits of Lawgivers: Moses". Architect of the Capitol.
2009-02-13. Archived from the original on 2010-03-02. Retrieved
^ Courtroom Friezes: North and South Walls: Information Sheet (PDF),
Supreme Court of the United States .
^ "In the Supreme Court itself,
Moses and his law on display",
Religion News Service, Christian index, archived from the original on
^ MacLean, Margaret. (ed) Art and Archaeology, Vol. VI, Archaeological
Institute of America (1917) p. 97
^ Devore, Gary M. (2008). Walking Tours of Ancient Rome: A Secular
Guidebook to the Eternal City. Mercury Guides. p. 126.
^ Thomason, Dustin; Caldwell, Ian (2005). The Rule of Four. New York:
Random House. p. 151. ISBN 0-440-24135-9.
^ Gross, Kenneth (2005). The Dream of the Moving Statue. Ithaca, NY:
Cornell Univ. Press. p. 245. ISBN 0-271-02900-5.
^ Lang, J. Stephen (2003). What the Good Book Didn't Say: Popular
Myths and Misconceptions About the Bible. New York: Citadel Press.
p. 114. ISBN 0-8065-2460-X.
^ Boitani, Piero (1999). The
Bible and its Rewritings. Oxford: Oxford
Univ. Press. p. 126. ISBN 0-19-818487-5.
^ "History of the World: Part I". IMDb.
^ "Prince of Egypt". IMDb.
^ Battles BC, Bryan McGowan, Cazzey Louis Cereghino, Brad C. Wilcox,
^ "The Bible". IMDB.
^ "Exodus: Gods and Kings". IMDB.
^ Paine, Thomas (1796) The Age of Reason, part II.
^ Numbers 31:13–18
^ Dawkins, Richard (2006). The
God Delusion Chapter 7. Bantam Press.
^ Aliya-by-Aliya Sedra Summary,
Torah Tidbits, OU, archived from the
original on 2003-08-02 .
^ Grossman, Joel (2008), "Matot" Archived 2016-03-04 at the Wayback
Machine.. Temple Beth Am Library Minyan.
^ Levin, Alan J. "Some messages are hard to deliver". My Jewish
Asch, Sholem (1958), Moses, New York: Putnam,
ISBN 0-7426-9137-3 .
Assmann, Jan (1997),
Moses the Egyptian: The Memory of Egypt in
Western Monotheism, Harvard University Press,
ISBN 0-674-58738-3 .
Peter Barenboim, «Biblical Roots of Separation of Powers», Moscow,
2005, ISBN 5-94381-123-0,
Barzel, Hillel (1974), "Moses: Tragedy and Sublimity", in Gros Louis,
Kenneth RR; Ackerman, James S; Warshaw, Thayer S, Literary
Interpretations of Biblical Narratives, Nashville: Abingdon Press,
pp. 120–40, ISBN 0-687-22131-5 .
Blackham, Paul (2005), "The Trinity in the Hebrew Scriptures", in
Metzger, Paul Louis, Trinitarian Soundings in Systematic Theology
(essay), Continuum International .
Buber, Martin (1958), Moses: The Revelation and the Covenant, New
York: Harper .
Card, Orson Scott (1998), Stone Tables, Deseret Book Co,
ISBN 1-57345-115-0 .
Chasidah, Yishai (1994), "Moses", Encyclopedia of Biblical
Personalities: Anthologized from the Talmud,
Midrash and Rabbinic
Writings, Brooklyn: Shaar Press, pp. 340–99 .
Cohen, Joel (2003), Moses: A Memoir, Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press,
ISBN 0-8091-0558-6 .
Churchill, Winston (November 8, 1931), "Moses", Sunday Chronicle,
National Churchill Museum, Thoughts, 205 .
David (1975), Moses: The Man and his Vision, New York:
Praeger, ISBN 0-275-33740-5 .
Dever, William G (2002), What Did the Biblical Writers Know and When
Did They Know It?, William B. Eerdmans, ISBN 0-8028-2126-X .
——— (2006) , Who Were the Early Israelites, and Where Did
They Come From?, Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans
Dozeman, Thomas B (2009), Commentary on Exodus, William B Eerdmans,
Droge, Arthur J (1989),
Homer or Moses?: Early Christian
Interpretations of the History of Culture, Mohr Siebeck .
Fast, Howard (1958), Moses, Prince of Egypt, New York: Crown .
Feiler, Bruce (2009), America's Prophet:
Moses and the American Story,
William Morrow .
Feldman, Louis H (1998), Josephus's Interpretation of the Bible,
University of California Press .
Finkelstein, Israel; Silberman, Neil Asher (2001), The Bible
Unearthed, New York: Free Press, ISBN 0-684-86912-8 .
———; ——— (2001b), The
Bible Unearthed, New York: Simon
& Schuster .
Franklin, Benjamin (1834), Franklin, William Temple, ed., Memoirs
(ebook)format= requires url= (help), 2, Philadelphia: McCarty &
Freud, Sigmund (1967),
Moses and Monotheism, New York: Vintage,
ISBN 0-394-70014-7 .
Gregory of Nyssa
Gregory of Nyssa (1978), The Life of Moses, The Classics of Western
Abraham J. Malherbe and Everett Ferguson.
Preface by John Meyendorff, Paulist Press,
ISBN 978-0-80912112-0 . 208 pp.
Guthrie, Kenneth Sylvan (1917), Numenius of Apamea: The Father of
Neo-Platonism, George Bell & Sons
Halter, Marek (2005), Zipporah, Wife of Moses, New York: Crown,
ISBN 1-4000-5279-3 .
Hoffmeier, James K (1996), "
Moses and the Exodus", Israel in Egypt:
The Evidence for the Authenticity of the
Exodus Tradition, New York:
Oxford University Press, pp. 135–63 .
Hamilton, Victor (2011), Exodus: An Exegetical Commentary, Baker
Books, ISBN 9781441240095 .
Ingraham, Joseph Holt (2006) [New York: A.L. Burt, 1859], The Pillar
of Fire: Or Israel in Bondage (reprint), Ann Arbor, MC: Scholarly
Publishing Office, University of
ISBN 1-4255-6491-7 .
Keeler, Annabel (2005), "
Moses from a
Muslim Perspective", in Solomon,
Norman; Harries, Richard; Winter, Tim, Abraham's Children: Jews,
Christians, and Muslims in Conversation, T&T Clark,
pp. 55–66, ISBN 9780567081711 .
Kirsch, Jonathan. Moses: A Life. New York: Ballantine, 1998.
Kohn, Rebecca. Seven Days to the Sea: An Epic Novel of the Exodus. New
York: Rugged Land, 2006. ISBN 1-59071-049-5.
Freedman, H, ed. (1983),
Midrash Rabbah (10 volumes)format= requires
url= (help), Lehman, S.M. (translator), London: The Soncino
Mann, Thomas (1943), "Thou Shalt Have No Other Gods Before Me", The
Ten Commandments, New York: Simon & Schuster,
pp. 3–70 .
Meacham, Jon (2006), American Gospel: God, the Founding Fathers, and
the Making of a Nation, Random House .
Salibi, Kamal (1985), "The
Bible Came from Arabia", Jonathan Cape,
Meyers, Carol (2005). Exodus. Cambridge University Press.
Samuel (1973), Alone Atop the Mountain, Garden City, NY:
Doubleday, ISBN 0-385-03877-1 .
Van Seters, John (2004), "Moses", in Barton, John, The Biblical World,
Taylor & Francis, ISBN 9780415350914
——— (1994), The Life of Moses: The Yahwist as
Exodus-Numbers, Peeters Publishers, ISBN 90-390-0112-X .
Shmuel, Safrai (1976), Stern, M, ed., The Jewish People in the First
Century, Van Gorcum Fortress Press
Ska, Jean Louis (2009), The
Exegesis of the Pentateuch: Exegetical
Studies and Basic Questions, Mohr Siebeck, pp. 30–31, 260,
Smith, Huston (1991), The World's Religions, Harper Collins,
Southon, Arthur Eustace (1954) [London: Cassell & Co., 1937], On
Eagles' Wings (reprint), New York: McGraw-Hill .
van der Toorn, K.; Becking, Bob; van der Horst, Pieter Willem (1999),
Dictionary of deities and demons in the Bible,
ISBN 9780802824912 .
Wiesel, Elie (1976), "Moses: Portrait of a Leader", Messengers of God:
Biblical Portraits & Legends, New York: Random House,
pp. 174–210, ISBN 0-394-49740-6 .
Moses as Political Leader, Jerusalem: Shalem
Press, ISBN 965-7052-31-9 .
Wilson, Dorothy Clarke (1949), Prince of Egypt, Philadelphia:
Westminster Press .
Look up משה in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
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