Moses

Moses

Overview
Moses was, according to the Hebrew Bible
Hebrew Bible
The Hebrew Bible is a term used by biblical scholars outside of Judaism to refer to the Tanakh , a canonical collection of Jewish texts, and the common textual antecedent of the several canonical editions of the Christian Old Testament...

 and Qur'an
Qur'an
The Quran , also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God . It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language...

, a religious leader, lawgiver and prophet
Prophet
In religion, a prophet, from the Greek word προφήτης profitis meaning "foreteller", is an individual who is claimed to have been contacted by the supernatural or the divine, and serves as an intermediary with humanity, delivering this newfound knowledge from the supernatural entity to other people...

, to whom the authorship
Mosaic authorship
Mosaic authorship is the traditional attribution of the first five books of the Old Testament to Moses. The tradition is first definitively stated in the Babylonian Talmud, an encyclopedia of traditional Jewish learning compiled around the middle of the 1st millennium CE...

 of the Torah
Torah
Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five books of the bible—Genesis , Exodus , Leviticus , Numbers and Deuteronomy Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five...

 is traditionally attributed. Also called Moshe Rabbenu in Hebrew ' onMouseout='HidePop("82592")' href="http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Literal_translation">Lit.
Literal translation
Literal translation, or direct translation, is the rendering of text from one language to another "word-for-word" rather than conveying the sense of the original...

 "Moses our Teacher/Rabbi"), he is the most important prophet in Judaism
Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

, and is also considered an important prophet in Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 and Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

, as well as a number of other faiths.

The existence of Moses as well as the veracity of the Exodus story is disputed amongst archaeologists
Archaeology
Archaeology, or archeology , is the study of human society, primarily through the recovery and analysis of the material culture and environmental data that they have left behind, which includes artifacts, architecture, biofacts and cultural landscapes...

  and Egyptologists, with experts in the field of biblical criticism
Biblical criticism
Biblical criticism is the scholarly "study and investigation of Biblical writings that seeks to make discerning judgments about these writings." It asks when and where a particular text originated; how, why, by whom, for whom, and in what circumstances it was produced; what influences were at work...

 citing logical inconsistencies, new archaeological evidence, historical evidence, and related origin myths
Myth of origins
An origin myth is a myth that purports to describe the origin of some feature of the natural or social world. One type of origin myth is the cosmogonic myth, which describes the creation of the world...

 in Canaan
Canaan
Canaan is a historical region roughly corresponding to modern-day Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, and the western parts of Jordan...

ite culture.
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Quotations

I have been a stranger in a strange land.

2:22 (King James Version of the Bible|KJV)

I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.

3:3 (KJV)

What you say, happens.

3:7 (KJV)

Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?

3:11 (KJV)

O my LORD, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.

4:10 (KJV)

What shall I do unto this people? they be almost ready to stone me.

17:4 (KJV)

Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not.

20:20 (KJV)

I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people.

33:13 (KJV)
Encyclopedia
Moses was, according to the Hebrew Bible
Hebrew Bible
The Hebrew Bible is a term used by biblical scholars outside of Judaism to refer to the Tanakh , a canonical collection of Jewish texts, and the common textual antecedent of the several canonical editions of the Christian Old Testament...

 and Qur'an
Qur'an
The Quran , also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God . It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language...

, a religious leader, lawgiver and prophet
Prophet
In religion, a prophet, from the Greek word προφήτης profitis meaning "foreteller", is an individual who is claimed to have been contacted by the supernatural or the divine, and serves as an intermediary with humanity, delivering this newfound knowledge from the supernatural entity to other people...

, to whom the authorship
Mosaic authorship
Mosaic authorship is the traditional attribution of the first five books of the Old Testament to Moses. The tradition is first definitively stated in the Babylonian Talmud, an encyclopedia of traditional Jewish learning compiled around the middle of the 1st millennium CE...

 of the Torah
Torah
Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five books of the bible—Genesis , Exodus , Leviticus , Numbers and Deuteronomy Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five...

 is traditionally attributed. Also called Moshe Rabbenu in Hebrew ' onMouseout='HidePop("82592")' href="http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Literal_translation">Lit.
Literal translation
Literal translation, or direct translation, is the rendering of text from one language to another "word-for-word" rather than conveying the sense of the original...

 "Moses our Teacher/Rabbi"), he is the most important prophet in Judaism
Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

, and is also considered an important prophet in Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 and Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

, as well as a number of other faiths.

The existence of Moses as well as the veracity of the Exodus story is disputed amongst archaeologists
Archaeology
Archaeology, or archeology , is the study of human society, primarily through the recovery and analysis of the material culture and environmental data that they have left behind, which includes artifacts, architecture, biofacts and cultural landscapes...

  and Egyptologists, with experts in the field of biblical criticism
Biblical criticism
Biblical criticism is the scholarly "study and investigation of Biblical writings that seeks to make discerning judgments about these writings." It asks when and where a particular text originated; how, why, by whom, for whom, and in what circumstances it was produced; what influences were at work...

 citing logical inconsistencies, new archaeological evidence, historical evidence, and related origin myths
Myth of origins
An origin myth is a myth that purports to describe the origin of some feature of the natural or social world. One type of origin myth is the cosmogonic myth, which describes the creation of the world...

 in Canaan
Canaan
Canaan is a historical region roughly corresponding to modern-day Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, and the western parts of Jordan...

ite culture. Other historians maintain that the biographical details, and Egyptian background, attributed to Moses imply the existence of a historical political and religious leader who was involved in the consolidation of the Hebrew tribes in Canaan
Canaan
Canaan is a historical region roughly corresponding to modern-day Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, and the western parts of Jordan...

 towards the end of the Bronze Age
Bronze Age
The Bronze Age is a period characterized by the use of copper and its alloy bronze as the chief hard materials in the manufacture of some implements and weapons. Chronologically, it stands between the Stone Age and Iron Age...

.

According to the Book of Exodus, Moses was born in a time when his people, the Children of Israel, were increasing in number and the Egyptian Pharaoh was worried that they might help Egypt's enemies. Moses' Hebrew mother, Jochebed
Jochebed
According to the Torah, Jochebed was a daughter of Levi and mother of Aaron, Miriam and Moses. She was the wife of Amram, as well as his aunt. No details are given concerning her life. According to Jewish legend, Jochebed is buried in the Tomb of the Matriarchs, in Tiberias.-Birth of Moses:The...

, hides him when the Pharaoh ordered all newborn Hebrew boys to be killed, and the child is adopted as a foundling
Child abandonment
Child abandonment is the practice of relinquishing interests and claims over one's offspring with the intent of never again resuming or reasserting them. Causes include many social and cultural factors as well as mental illness. An abandoned child is called a foundling .-Causes:Poverty is often a...

 by the Egyptian royal family. After killing an Egyptian slave-master, Moses flees across the Red Sea
Red Sea
The Red Sea is a seawater inlet of the Indian Ocean, lying between Africa and Asia. The connection to the ocean is in the south through the Bab el Mandeb strait and the Gulf of Aden. In the north, there is the Sinai Peninsula, the Gulf of Aqaba, and the Gulf of Suez...

 to Midian
Midian
Midian , Madyan , or Madiam is a geographical place and a people mentioned in the Bible and in the Qur'an. It is believed to be in northwest Saudi Arabia on the east shore of the Gulf of Aqaba and the northern Red Sea...

 where he has his encounter with the God of Israel in the form of the "burning bush
Burning bush
The burning bush is an object described by the Book of Exodus as being located on Mount Sinai; according to the narrative, the bush was on fire, but was not consumed by the flames, hence the name...

". God sends Moses to request the release of the Israelites. After the Ten Plagues
Plagues of Egypt
The Plagues of Egypt , also called the Ten Plagues or the Biblical Plagues, were ten calamities that, according to the biblical Book of Exodus, Israel's God, Yahweh, inflicted upon Egypt to persuade Pharaoh to release the ill-treated Israelites from slavery. Pharaoh capitulated after the tenth...

, Moses leads the Exodus
The Exodus
The Exodus is the story of the departure of the Israelites from ancient Egypt described in the Hebrew Bible.Narrowly defined, the term refers only to the departure from Egypt described in the Book of Exodus; more widely, it takes in the subsequent law-givings and wanderings in the wilderness...

 of the Israelites out of Egypt and across the Red Sea, after which they base themselves at Mount Sinai
Biblical Mount Sinai
The Biblical Mount Sinai is the mountain at which the Book of Exodus states that the Ten Commandments were given to Moses by God...

, where Moses receives the Ten Commandments
Ten Commandments
The Ten Commandments, also known as the Decalogue , are a set of biblical principles relating to ethics and worship, which play a fundamental role in Judaism and most forms of Christianity. They include instructions to worship only God and to keep the Sabbath, and prohibitions against idolatry,...

. After 40 years of wandering in the desert, Moses dies aged 120, within sight of the Promised Land
Promised land
The Promised Land is a term used to describe the land promised or given by God, according to the Hebrew Bible, to the Israelites, the descendants of Jacob. The promise is firstly made to Abraham and then renewed to his son Isaac, and to Isaac's son Jacob , Abraham's grandson...

.

Rabbinical Judaism calculated a lifespan of Moses corresponding to 1391–1271 BCE; Christian tradition has tended to assume an earlier date.

Name



The biblical text explains the name Mošeh משה as a derivation of the root
Triliteral
The roots of verbs and most nouns in the Semitic languages are characterized as a sequence of consonants or "radicals"...

 mšh משה "to draw", in :
"[...] she called his name Moses (משה): and she said, Because I drew him (משיתהו) out of the water." (KJV).


The name is thus suggested to relate to drawing out in a passive sense, "the one who was drawn out". Those who depart from this tradition derive the name from the same root but in an active sense, "he who draws out", in the sense of "saviour
Soter
Soter derives from the Greek epithet , meaning a saviour, a deliverer; initial capitalised ; fully capitalised ; feminine Soteira...

, deliverer". The form of the name as recorded in the Masoretic text
Masoretic Text
The Masoretic Text is the authoritative Hebrew text of the Jewish Bible and is regarded as Judaism's official version of the Tanakh. While the Masoretic Text defines the books of the Jewish canon, it also defines the precise letter-text of these biblical books, with their vocalization and...

 is indeed the expected form of the Biblical Hebrew active participle. Josephus
Josephus
Titus Flavius Josephus , also called Joseph ben Matityahu , was a 1st-century Romano-Jewish historian and hagiographer of priestly and royal ancestry who recorded Jewish history, with special emphasis on the 1st century AD and the First Jewish–Roman War, which resulted in the Destruction of...

 argued for an Egyptian
Egyptian language
Egyptian is the oldest known indigenous language of Egypt and a branch of the Afroasiatic language family. Written records of the Egyptian language have been dated from about 3400 BC, making it one of the oldest recorded languages known. Egyptian was spoken until the late 17th century AD in the...

 etymology, and some scholarly suggestions have followed this in deriving the name from Coptic
Coptic language
Coptic or Coptic Egyptian is the current stage of the Egyptian language, a northern Afro-Asiatic language spoken in Egypt until at least the 17th century. Egyptian began to be written using the Greek alphabet in the 1st century...

 terms mo "water" and `uses "save, deliver", suggesting a meaning "saved from the water".

Another suggestion has connected the name with the Egyptian ms, as found in Tuth-mose and Ra-messes, meaning "born" or "child".

Biblical narrative


In the Hebrew Bible
Hebrew Bible
The Hebrew Bible is a term used by biblical scholars outside of Judaism to refer to the Tanakh , a canonical collection of Jewish texts, and the common textual antecedent of the several canonical editions of the Christian Old Testament...

, the narratives of Moses are in Exodus, Leviticus
Leviticus
The Book of Leviticus is the third book of the Hebrew Bible, and the third of five books of the Torah ....

, Numbers
Book of Numbers
The Book of Numbers is the fourth book of the Hebrew Bible, and the fourth of five books of the Jewish Torah/Pentateuch....

 and Deuteronomy
Deuteronomy
The Book of Deuteronomy is the fifth book of the Hebrew Bible, and of the Jewish Torah/Pentateuch...

. According to the Book of Exodus, Moses was a son of Amram
Amram
In the Book of Exodus, Amram Arabic عمران Imran, is the father of Aaron, Moses, and Miriam and the husband of Jochebed.-In the Bible:In addition to being married to Jochebed, Amram is also described in the Bible as having been related to Jochebed prior to the marriage, although the exact...

, a member of the Levite
Levite
In Jewish tradition, a Levite is a member of the Hebrew tribe of Levi. When Joshua led the Israelites into the land of Canaan, the Levites were the only Israelite tribe that received cities but were not allowed to be landowners "because the Lord the God of Israel himself is their inheritance"...

 tribe of Israel descended from Jacob
Jacob
Jacob "heel" or "leg-puller"), also later known as Israel , as described in the Hebrew Bible, the Talmud, the New Testament and the Qur'an was the third patriarch of the Hebrew people with whom God made a covenant, and ancestor of the tribes of Israel, which were named after his descendants.In the...

, and his wife, Jochebed
Jochebed
According to the Torah, Jochebed was a daughter of Levi and mother of Aaron, Miriam and Moses. She was the wife of Amram, as well as his aunt. No details are given concerning her life. According to Jewish legend, Jochebed is buried in the Tomb of the Matriarchs, in Tiberias.-Birth of Moses:The...

. Jochebed (also Yocheved) was kin to Amram's father Kehath
Kohath
According to the Torah, Kohath was one of the sons of Levi, and the patriarchal founder of the Kohathites, one of the four main divisions among the Levites in Biblical times; in some apocryphal texts such as the Testament of Levi, and the Book of Jubilees, Levi's wife, Kohath's mother, is named as...

 (Exodus 6:20). Moses had one older (by seven years) sister, Miriam, and one older (by three years) brother, Aaron
Aaron
In the Hebrew Bible and the Qur'an, Aaron : Ααρών ), who is often called "'Aaron the Priest"' and once Aaron the Levite , was the older brother of Moses, and a prophet of God. He represented the priestly functions of his tribe, becoming the first High Priest of the Israelites...

. According to Genesis 46:11, Amram's father Kehath immigrated to Egypt with 70 of Jacob's household, making Moses part of the second generation of Israelites born during their time in Egypt.

In the Exodus account, the birth of Moses occurred at a time when an unnamed Egyptian Pharaoh
Pharaoh
Pharaoh is a title used in many modern discussions of the ancient Egyptian rulers of all periods. The title originates in the term "pr-aa" which means "great house" and describes the royal palace...

 had commanded that all male Hebrew children born be killed by drowning in the river Nile
Nile
The Nile is a major north-flowing river in North Africa, generally regarded as the longest river in the world. It is long. It runs through the ten countries of Sudan, South Sudan, Burundi, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda and Egypt.The Nile has two major...

. Jochebed, the wife of the Levite Amram, bore a son and kept him concealed for three months. When she could keep him hidden no longer, rather than deliver him to be killed, she set him adrift on the Nile River in a small craft of bulrushes coated in pitch. Moses' sister Miriam observed the progress of the tiny boat until it reached a place where Pharaoh's daughter (Bithiah
Bithiah
According to Hebrew beliefs; Bithiah or in Modern Hebrew Bityah was an Egyptian princess, and a daughter of Pharaoh. The name of her father is not in the Bible, but Rabbinic Midrash makes her the daughter of one of the Pharaohs of the Exodus,...

, Thermuthis ) was bathing with her handmaidens. It is said that she spotted the baby in the basket and had her handmaiden fetch it for her. Miriam came forward and asked Pharaoh's daughter if she would like a Hebrew woman to nurse the baby. Thereafter, Jochebed was employed as the child's nurse. He grew up and was brought to Pharaoh's daughter and became her son and a younger brother to the future Pharaoh of Egypt. Moses would not be able to become Pharaoh because he was not the 'blood' son of Bithiah, and he was the youngest.

Shepherd in Midian


After Moses had reached adulthood, he went to see how his brethren were faring. Seeing an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, he killed the Egyptian and buried the body in the sand, supposing that no one who knew about the incident would be disposed to talk about it. The next day, seeing two Hebrews
Hebrews
Hebrews is an ethnonym used in the Hebrew Bible...

 quarreling, he endeavored to separate them, whereupon the Hebrew who was wronging the other taunted Moses for slaying the Egyptian. Moses soon discovered from a higher source that the affair was known, and that Pharaoh was likely to put him to death for it; he therefore made his escape over the Sinai Peninsula
Sinai Peninsula
The Sinai Peninsula or Sinai is a triangular peninsula in Egypt about in area. It is situated between the Mediterranean Sea to the north, and the Red Sea to the south, and is the only part of Egyptian territory located in Asia as opposed to Africa, effectively serving as a land bridge between two...

. In Midian
Midian
Midian , Madyan , or Madiam is a geographical place and a people mentioned in the Bible and in the Qur'an. It is believed to be in northwest Saudi Arabia on the east shore of the Gulf of Aqaba and the northern Red Sea...

 he stopped at a well, where he protected seven shepherdesses from a band of rude shepherds. The shepherdesses' father Hobab adopted him as his son, gave his daughter Zipporah
Zipporah
Zipporah or Tzipora is mentioned in the Book of Exodus as the wife of Moses, and the daughter of Reuel/Jethro, the priest or prince of Midian...

 to him in marriage, and made him the superintendent of his herds. There he sojourned forty years, following the occupation of a shepherd, during which time his son Gershom
Gershom
According to the Bible, Gershom was the firstborn son of Moses and Zipporah. The name appears to mean a sojourner there , which the text argues was a reference to Moses' flight from Egypt; biblical scholars regard the name as being essentially the same as Gershon, and it is Gershom rather than...

 was born.
One day, Moses led his flock to Mount Horeb
Mount Horeb
Mount Horeb, Hebrew: , Greek in the Septuagint: , Latin in the Vulgate: , is the mountain at which the book of Deuteronomy in the Hebrew Bible states that the Ten Commandments were given to Moses by God. It is described in two places as the Mountain of God or perhaps Mountain of the gods...

 , usually identified with Mount Sinai
Biblical Mount Sinai
The Biblical Mount Sinai is the mountain at which the Book of Exodus states that the Ten Commandments were given to Moses by God...

 — a mountain that was thought in the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

 to be located on the Sinai Peninsula
Sinai Peninsula
The Sinai Peninsula or Sinai is a triangular peninsula in Egypt about in area. It is situated between the Mediterranean Sea to the north, and the Red Sea to the south, and is the only part of Egyptian territory located in Asia as opposed to Africa, effectively serving as a land bridge between two...

. While tending the flocks of Jethro at Mount Horeb, he saw a burning bush
Burning bush
The burning bush is an object described by the Book of Exodus as being located on Mount Sinai; according to the narrative, the bush was on fire, but was not consumed by the flames, hence the name...

. The bush was not consumed and when Moses turned aside to look more closely at the marvel, God
God
God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

 spoke to him from the bush, revealing his name
I Am that I Am
I Am that I Am is a common English translation of the response God used in the Hebrew Bible when Moses asked for His name . It is one of the most famous verses in the Torah...

 to Moses.

Egypt: the Plagues and the Exodus



God commanded Moses to go to Egypt and deliver his fellow Hebrews from bondage.
On the way Moses was nearly killed by God because his son was not circumcised. He was met on the way by his elder brother, Aaron, and gained a hearing with his oppressed kindred after they returned to Egypt, who believed Moses and Aaron after they saw the signs that were performed in the midst of the Israelite assembly. Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and told him that the Lord God of Israel wanted Pharaoh to permit the Israelites to celebrate a feast in the wilderness. Pharaoh replied that he did not know their God and would not permit them to go. They gained a second hearing with Pharaoh and changed Moses' rod into a serpent, but Pharaoh's magicians did the same with their rods. Moses and Aaron met Pharaoh at the Nile riverbank, and Moses had Aaron turn the river to blood, but Pharaoh's magicians could do the same. Moses obtained a fourth meeting, and had Aaron bring frogs from the Nile to overrun Egypt, but Pharaoh's magicians were able to do the same thing. Pharaoh asked Moses to remove the frogs and promised to let the Israelites go observe their feast in the wilderness in return. Pharaoh decided against letting the Israelites leave to observe the feast. Eventually Pharaoh let the Hebrews depart after Moses' God sent ten plagues
Plagues of Egypt
The Plagues of Egypt , also called the Ten Plagues or the Biblical Plagues, were ten calamities that, according to the biblical Book of Exodus, Israel's God, Yahweh, inflicted upon Egypt to persuade Pharaoh to release the ill-treated Israelites from slavery. Pharaoh capitulated after the tenth...

 upon the Egyptians. The third and fourth were the plague of gnat
Gnat
A gnat is any of many species of tiny flying insects in the Dipterid suborder Nematocera, especially those in the families Mycetophilidae, Anisopodidae and Sciaridae.In British English the term applies particularly to Nematocerans of the family Culicidae...

s and flies
Fly
True flies are insects of the order Diptera . They possess a pair of wings on the mesothorax and a pair of halteres, derived from the hind wings, on the metathorax...

. The fifth was diseases on the Egyptians' cattle, oxen, goats, sheep, camels, and horses. The sixth was boils on the skins of Egyptians. Seventh, fiery hail
Hail
Hail is a form of solid precipitation. It consists of balls or irregular lumps of ice, each of which is referred to as a hail stone. Hail stones on Earth consist mostly of water ice and measure between and in diameter, with the larger stones coming from severe thunderstorms...

 and thunder
Thunder
Thunder is the sound made by lightning. Depending on the nature of the lightning and distance of the listener, thunder can range from a sharp, loud crack to a long, low rumble . The sudden increase in pressure and temperature from lightning produces rapid expansion of the air surrounding and within...

. The eighth plague was locust
Locust
Locusts are the swarming phase of short-horned grasshoppers of the family Acrididae. These are species that can breed rapidly under suitable conditions and subsequently become gregarious and migratory...

s. The ninth plague was total darkness. The tenth plague was the slaying of the Egyptian male first-born children, whereupon such terror seized the Egyptians that they ordered the Hebrews to leave. The events are commemorated as Passover
Passover
Passover is a Jewish holiday and festival. It commemorates the story of the Exodus, in which the ancient Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt...

, referring to how the plague "passed over" the houses of the Israelites while smiting the Egyptians.

The crossing of the Red Sea



Moses then led his people eastward, beginning the long journey to Canaan
Canaan
Canaan is a historical region roughly corresponding to modern-day Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, and the western parts of Jordan...

. The procession moved slowly, and found it necessary to encamp three times before passing the Egyptian frontier — some believe at the Great Bitter Lake
Great Bitter Lake
The Great Bitter Lake is a salt water lake between the north and south part of the Suez Canal. It is adjoined by the Small Bitter Lake . Before the Canal was built, their site was occupied by dry salt valleys. Together, the Bitter Lakes now have a surface area of about 250 km²...

, while others propose sites as far south as the northern tip of the Red Sea
Red Sea
The Red Sea is a seawater inlet of the Indian Ocean, lying between Africa and Asia. The connection to the ocean is in the south through the Bab el Mandeb strait and the Gulf of Aden. In the north, there is the Sinai Peninsula, the Gulf of Aqaba, and the Gulf of Suez...

. Meanwhile, Pharaoh had a change of heart, and was in pursuit of them with a large army. Shut in between this army and the sea, the Israelites despaired, but Exodus records that God divided the waters so that they passed safely across on dry ground. There is some contention about this passage, since an earlier incorrect translation of Yam Suph
Yam Suph
Yam Suph is a phrase which occurs about 23 times in the Tanakh and has traditionally been understood to refer to the salt water inlet located between Africa and the Arabian peninsula, known in English as the Red Sea...

to Red Sea was later found to have meant Reed Sea. When the Egyptian army attempted to follow, God permitted the waters to return upon them and drown them.

The people then continued to Marsa marching for three days along the wilderness of the Shur without finding water. Then they came to Elim where twelve water springs and 70 Palm trees greeted them.
From Elim
Elim (Bible)
Elim was one of the places where the Israelites camped following their Exodus from Egypt. It is referenced in Exodus 15.27 and Numbers 33.9 as a place where "there were twelve wells of water, and seventy date palms," and that the Israelites "camped there near the water".From the information that...

 they set out again and after 45 days they reached the wilderness of Sin between Elim and Sinai.

From there they reached the plain of Rephidim
Rephidim
Rephidim was one of the places visited by the Israelites during their exodus from Egypt.The Israelites had come from the wilderness of Sin. At Rephidim, the Israelites found no water to drink, and in their distress they blamed Moses for their troubles, to the point where Moses feared that they...

, completing the crossing of the Red Sea.

Mount Sinai and the Ten Commandments



According to the Bible
Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

, after crossing the Red Sea and leading the Israelites towards the desert, Moses was summoned by God to Mount Sinai
Biblical Mount Sinai
The Biblical Mount Sinai is the mountain at which the Book of Exodus states that the Ten Commandments were given to Moses by God...

, also referred to as Mount Horeb
Mount Horeb
Mount Horeb, Hebrew: , Greek in the Septuagint: , Latin in the Vulgate: , is the mountain at which the book of Deuteronomy in the Hebrew Bible states that the Ten Commandments were given to Moses by God. It is described in two places as the Mountain of God or perhaps Mountain of the gods...

, the same place where Moses had first talked to the Burning Bush
Burning bush
The burning bush is an object described by the Book of Exodus as being located on Mount Sinai; according to the narrative, the bush was on fire, but was not consumed by the flames, hence the name...

, tended the flocks of Jethro
Jethro
In the Old Testament or the Hebrew Bible, Jethro |Shu-ayb]]) is Moses' father-in-law, a Kenite shepherd and priest of Midian. He is also revered as a prophet in his own right in the Druze religion, and considered an ancestor of the Druze.-In Exodus:...

 his father-in-law, and later produced water by striking the rock with his staff
Aaron's rod
Aaron's rod refers to any of the staves carried by Moses' brother, Aaron, in the Old Testament of the Bible. The Bible tells how, along with Moses' rod, Aaron's rod was endowed with miraculous power during the Plagues of Egypt which preceded the Exodus...

 and directed the battle with the Amalek
Amalek
The Amalekites are a people mentioned a number of times in the Hebrew Bible. They are considered to be descended from an ancestor Amalek....

ites.

Moses stayed on the mountain for 40 days and nights, a period in which he received the Ten Commandments directly from God. Moses then descended from the mountain with intent to deliver the commandments to the people, but upon his arrival he saw that the people were involved in the sin of the Golden Calf
Golden calf
According to the Hebrew Bible, the golden calf was an idol made by Aaron to satisfy the Israelites during Moses' absence, when he went up to Mount Sinai...

. In terrible anger, Moses broke the commandment tablets
Tablets of stone
The Tablets of Stone, Stone Tablets, Tablets of Law, or Tablets of Testimony in the Bible, were the two pieces of special stone inscribed with the Ten Commandments when Moses ascended Mount Sinai as recorded in the Book of Exodus...

 and ordered his own tribe (the Levites) to go through the camp and kill everyone, including family and friends, upon which the Levites killed about 3,000 people. God later commanded Moses to inscribe two other tablets, to replace the ones Moses smashed, so Moses went to the mountain again, for another period of 40 days and nights, and when he returned, the commandments were finally given.

In Jewish tradition, Moses is referred to as "The Lawgiver" for this singular achievement of delivering the Ten Commandments.

The years in the wilderness



When the people arrived at Marah
Marah (Bible)
Marah is one of the locations which the Torah identifies as having been travelled through by the Israelites, during the Exodus.The liberated Israelites set out on their journey in the desert, somewhere in the Sinai Peninsula...

, the water was bitter, causing the people to murmur against Moses. Moses cast a tree into the water, and the water became sweet. Later in the journey the people began running low on supplies and again murmured against Moses and Aaron and said they would have preferred to die in Egypt, but God's provision of manna
Manna
Manna or Manna wa Salwa , sometimes or archaically spelled mana, is the name of an edible substance that God provided for the Israelites during their travels in the desert according to the Bible.It was said to be sweet to the taste, like honey....

 from the sky in the morning and quail in the evening took care of the situation. When the people camped in Rephidim, there was no water, so the people complained again and said, "Wherefore is this that thou hast brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst?" Moses struck a rock with his staff, and water came forth.

Amalekites arrived and attacked the Israelites. In response, Moses bade Joshua
Joshua
Joshua , is a minor figure in the Torah, being one of the spies for Israel and in few passages as Moses's assistant. He turns to be the central character in the Hebrew Bible's Book of Joshua...

 lead the men to fight while he stood on a hill with the rod of God in his hand. As long as Moses held the rod up, Israel dominated the fighting, but if Moses let down his hands, the tide of the battle turned in favor of the Amalek
Amalek
The Amalekites are a people mentioned a number of times in the Hebrew Bible. They are considered to be descended from an ancestor Amalek....

ites. Because Moses was getting tired, Aaron and Hur had Moses sit on a rock. Aaron held up one arm, Hur held up the other arm, and the Israelites routed the Amalekites.

Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, came to see Moses and brought Moses' wife and two sons with him. After Moses had told Jethro how the Israelites had escaped Egypt, Jethro went to offer sacrifices to the Lord, and then ate bread with the elders. The next day Jethro observed how Moses sat from morning to night giving judgement for the people. Jethro suggested that Moses appoint judges for lesser matters, a suggestion Moses heeded.

When the Israelites came to Sinai, they pitched camp near the mountain. Moses commanded the people not to touch the mountain. Moses received the Ten Commandments
Ten Commandments
The Ten Commandments, also known as the Decalogue , are a set of biblical principles relating to ethics and worship, which play a fundamental role in Judaism and most forms of Christianity. They include instructions to worship only God and to keep the Sabbath, and prohibitions against idolatry,...

 orally (but not yet in tablet form) and other moral laws. He then went up with Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and seventy of the elders to see the God of Israel. Before Moses went up the mountain to receive the tablets, he told the elders to direct any questions that arose to Aaron or Hur
Hur (Bible)
Hur was a companion of Moses and Aaron in the Hebrew Bible. He was a member of the Tribe of Judah. His identity remains sketchy in the Torah itself, but it is elaborated in rabbinical commentary.Other individuals named Hur are also mentioned in the Bible....

. While Moses was on Mount Sinai receiving instruction on the laws for the Israelite community, the Israelites went to Aaron and asked him to make gods for them. After Aaron had received golden earrings from the people, he made a golden calf
Golden calf
According to the Hebrew Bible, the golden calf was an idol made by Aaron to satisfy the Israelites during Moses' absence, when he went up to Mount Sinai...

 and said, "These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt." A "solemnity of the Lord" was proclaimed for the following day, which began in the morning with sacrifices and was followed by revelry.

After Moses had persuaded the Lord not to destroy the people of Israel, he went down from the mountain and was met by Joshua. Moses destroyed the calf and rebuked Aaron for the sin he had brought upon the people. Seeing that the people were uncontrollable, Moses went to the entry of the camp and said, "Who is on the Lord's side? Let him come unto me." All the sons of Levi
Levi
Levi/Levy was, according to the Book of Genesis, the third son of Jacob and Leah, and the founder of the Israelite Tribe of Levi ; however Peake's commentary suggests this as postdiction, an eponymous metaphor providing an aetiology of the connectedness of the tribe to others in the Israelite...

 rallied around Moses, who ordered them to go from gate to gate slaying the idolators.

Following this, according to the last chapters of Exodus, the Tabernacle
Tabernacle
The Tabernacle , according to the Hebrew Torah/Old Testament, was the portable dwelling place for the divine presence from the time of the Exodus from Egypt through the conquering of the land of Canaan. Built to specifications revealed by God to Moses at Mount Sinai, it accompanied the Israelites...

 was constructed, the priestly law ordained, the plan of encampment arranged both for the Levites and the non-priestly tribes, and the Tabernacle consecrated. Moses was given eight prayer laws that were to be carried out in regards to the Tabernacle. These laws included light, incense and sacrifice.

Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses on account of his marriage to an Ethiopia
Ethiopia
Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...

n, Josephus explains the marriage of Moses to this Ethiopian in the Antiquities of the Jews and about him being the only one through whom the Lord spoke. Miriam was punished with leprosy for seven days.

The people left Hazeroth
Hazeroth
Hazeroth is one of the locations that the Israelites stopped at during their forty years of wandering in the wilderness. It is referenced in the Torah in Numbers, chapters 11, 12 and 33, as well as in Deuteronomy, chapter 1. "Hazeroth" means yards.At Hazeroth, Miriam was afflicted with tzaraath...

 and pitched camp in the wilderness of Paran
Desert of Paran
The Desert of Paran or Wilderness of Paran , is the place in which the Hebrew Bible says the Israelites spent part of their 40 years of wandering: Then the Israelites set out from the Desert of Sinai and traveled from place to place until the cloud came to rest in the Desert of Paran...

. (Paran is a vaguely defined region in the northern part of the Sinai peninsula, just south of Canaan) Moses sent twelve spies into Canaan as scouts, including most famously Caleb and Joshua. After forty days, they returned to the Israelite camp, bringing back grapes and other produce as samples of the regions fertility. Although all the spies agreed that the land's resources were spectacular, only two of the twelve spies (Joshua and Caleb
Caleb
Caleb is a male given name. A character called Caleb is named in both the Bible and Quran.-Caleb:When the Hebrews came to the outskirts of Canaan, the land that had been promised to them by God, after having fled slavery in Egypt, Moses sent twelve spies into Canaan to report on what was...

) were willing to try to conquer it, and are nearly stoned for their unpopular opinion. The people began weeping and wanted to return to Egypt. Moses turned down the opportunity to have the Israelites completely destroyed and a great nation made from his own offspring, and instead he told the people that they would wander the wilderness for forty years until all those twenty years or older who had refused to enter Canaan had died, and that their children would then enter and possess Canaan. Early the next morning, the Israelites said they had sinned and now wanted to take possession of Canaan. Moses told them not to attempt it, but the Israelites chose to disobey Moses and invade Canaan, but were repulsed by the Amalekites and Canaanites.

The Tribe of Reuben
Tribe of Reuben
According to the Hebrew Bible, the Tribe of Reuben was one of the Tribes of Israel.From after the conquest of the land by Joshua until the formation of the first Kingdom of Israel in c. 1050 BC, the Tribe of Reuben was a part of a loose confederation of Israelite tribes. No central government...

, led by Korah
Korah
Korah or Kórach Some older English translations, as well as the Douay Bible), spell the name Core, and many Eastern European translations have Korak...

, Dathan
Dathan
Dathan was an Israelite mentioned in the Old Testament as a participant of the Exodus.He was a son of Eliab, the son of Pallu, the son of Reuben. Together with his brother Abiram, the Levite Korah and others, he rebelled against Moses and Aaron...

, Abiram
Abiram
Abiram, also spelled Abiron, |father]] is exalted") is the name of two people in the Old Testament. One was the son of Eliab, who, along with his brother Dathan, joined Korah in the conspiracy against Moses and Aaron. He and all the conspirators, with their families and possessions, were swallowed...

, and 250 Israelite princes accused Moses and Aaron of raising themselves over the rest of the people. Moses told them to come the next morning with a censer for every man. Dathan and Abiram refused to come when summoned by Moses. Moses went to the place of Dathan and Abiram's tents. After Moses spoke the ground opened up and engulfed Dathan and Abiram's tents, after which it closed again. Fire consumed the 250 men with the censers. Moses had the censers taken and made into plates to cover the altar. The following day, the Israelites came and accused Moses and Aaron of having killed his fellow Israelites. The people were struck with a plague that killed 14,700 persons, and was only ended when Aaron went with his censer into the midst of the people. To prevent further murmurings and settle the matter permanently, Moses had each of the chief princes of the non-Levitic tribes write his name on his staff and had them lay them in the sanctuary. He also had Aaron write his name on his staff and had it placed in the tabernacle. The next day, when Moses went into the tabernacle, Aaron's staff had budded, blossomed, and yielded almonds.

After leaving Sinai, the Israelites camped in Kadesh. After more complaints from the Israelites, Moses struck the stone twice, and water gushed forth. However, because Moses and Aaron had not shown the Lord's holiness, they were not permitted to enter the land to be given to the Israelites. This was the second occasion Moses struck a rock to bring forth water; however, it appears that both sites were named Meribah
Meribah
Meribah is one of the locations which the Torah identifies as having been travelled through by the Israelites, during the Exodus, although the continuous list of visited stations in the Book of Numbers doesn't mention it...

 after these two incidents.


Now ready to enter Canaan, the Israelites abandon the idea of attacking the Canaanites head-on in Hebron
Hebron
Hebron , is located in the southern West Bank, south of Jerusalem. Nestled in the Judean Mountains, it lies 930 meters above sea level. It is the largest city in the West Bank and home to around 165,000 Palestinians, and over 500 Jewish settlers concentrated in and around the old quarter...

, a city in the southern part of Canaan. Having been informed by spies that they were too strong, it is decided that they will flank Hebron by going further East, around the Dead Sea
Dead Sea
The Dead Sea , also called the Salt Sea, is a salt lake bordering Jordan to the east and Israel and the West Bank to the west. Its surface and shores are below sea level, the lowest elevation on the Earth's surface. The Dead Sea is deep, the deepest hypersaline lake in the world...

. This required that they pass through Edom
Edom
Edom or Idumea was a historical region of the Southern Levant located south of Judea and the Dead Sea. It is mentioned in biblical records as a 1st millennium BC Iron Age kingdom of Edom, and in classical antiquity the cognate name Idumea was used to refer to a smaller area in the same region...

, Moab
Moab
Moab is the historical name for a mountainous strip of land in Jordan. The land lies alongside much of the eastern shore of the Dead Sea. The existence of the Kingdom of Moab is attested to by numerous archeological findings, most notably the Mesha Stele, which describes the Moabite victory over...

, and Ammon
Ammon
Ammon , also referred to as the Ammonites and children of Ammon, was an ancient nation located east of the Jordan River, Gilead, and the Dead Sea, in present-day Jordan. The chief city of the country was Rabbah or Rabbath Ammon, site of the modern city of Amman, Jordan's capital...

. These three tribes are considered Hebrews by the Israelites as descendants of Lot
Lot (Bible)
Lot is a man from the Book of Genesis chapters 11-14 and 19, in the Hebrew Bible. Notable episodes in his life include his travels with his uncle Abram ; his flight from the destruction of Sodom, in the course of which Lot's wife looked back and became a pillar of salt; and the seduction by his...

, and therefore cannot be attacked. However they are also rivals, and are therefore not permissive in allowing the Israelites to openly pass through their territory. So Moses leads his people carefully along the eastern border of Edom, the southernmost of these territories. While the Israelites were making their journey around Edom, they complained about the manna. After many of the people had been bitten by serpents and died, Moses made the brass serpent
Nehushtan
The Nehushtan , in the Hebrew Bible, was a sacred object in the form of a snake of brass upon a pole.The priestly source of the Torah says that Moses used a 'fiery serpent' to cure the Israelites from snakebites...

 and mounted it on a pole, and if those who were bitten looked at it, they did not die. According to the Biblical Book of Kings
Books of Kings
The Book of Kings presents a narrative history of ancient Israel and Judah from the death of David to the release of his successor Jehoiachin from imprisonment in Babylon, a period of some 400 years...

 this brass serpent remained in existence until the days of King Hezekiah
Hezekiah
Hezekiah was the son of Ahaz and the 14th king of Judah. Edwin Thiele has concluded that his reign was between c. 715 and 686 BC. He is also one of the most prominent kings of Judah mentioned in the Hebrew Bible....

, who destroyed it after persons began treating it as an idol. When they reach Moab, it is revealed that Moab has been attacked and defeated by the Amorite
Amorite
Amorite refers to an ancient Semitic people who occupied large parts of Mesopotamia from the 21st Century BC...

s led by a king named Sihon
Sihon
Sihon, according to the Old Testament, was an Amorite king, who refused to let the Israelites pass through his country. The Bible describes that as the Israelites in their Exodus came to the country east of the Jordan, near Heshbon, King of the Amorites refused to let them pass through his...

. The Amorites were a non-Hebrew Canaanic people who once held power in the Fertile Crescent
Fertile Crescent
The Fertile Crescent, nicknamed "The Cradle of Civilization" for the fact the first civilizations started there, is a crescent-shaped region containing the comparatively moist and fertile land of otherwise arid and semi-arid Western Asia. The term was first used by University of Chicago...

. When Moses asks the Amorites for passage and it is refused, Moses attacks the Amorites (as non-Hebrews, the Israelites have no reservations in attacking them), presumably weakened by conflict with the Moabites, and defeats them.
The Israelites, now holding the territory of the Amorites just north of Moab, desire to expand their holdings by acquiring Bashan
Bashan
Bashan or Basan is a biblical place first mentioned in , where it is said that Chedorlaomer and his confederates "smote the Rephaim in Ashteroth", where Og the king of Bashan had his residence. At the time of Israel's entrance into the Promised Land, Og came out against them, but was utterly routed...

, a fertile territory north of Ammon famous for its oak trees and cattle. It is led by a king named Og
Og
Og, according to the bible, was an Amorite king of Bashan who, along with his army, was slain by Moses and his men at the battle of Edrei...

. Later rabbi
Rabbi
In Judaism, a rabbi is a teacher of Torah. This title derives from the Hebrew word רבי , meaning "My Master" , which is the way a student would address a master of Torah...

nical legends made Og a survivor of the flood, suggesting the he had sat on the ark and was fed by Noah
Noah
Noah was, according to the Hebrew Bible, the tenth and last of the antediluvian Patriarchs. The biblical story of Noah is contained in chapters 6–9 of the book of Genesis, where he saves his family and representatives of all animals from the flood by constructing an ark...

. The Israelites fight with Og's forces at Edrei, on the southern border of Bashan, where the Israelites are victorious and slay every man, woman, and child of his cities and take the spoil for their bounty.

Balak
Balak
Balak was king of Moab around 1200 BC. According to Book of Numbers 22:2, and the Book of Joshua 24:9, Zippor was the father of Balak.Book of Revelation 2:12 - 2:14 says about Balak:...

, king of Moab, having heard of the Israelites' conquests, fears that his territory might be next. Therefore he sends elders of Moab, and of Midian
Midian (son of Abraham)
According to the Hebrew Bible, Midian is the fourth son of Abraham by Keturah, the woman Abraham married after Sarah's death. His brothers are Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Ishbak and Shuah....

, to Balaam
Balaam
Balaam is a diviner in the Torah, his story occurring towards the end of the Book of Numbers. The etymology of his name is uncertain, and discussed below. Every ancient reference to Balaam considers him a non-Israelite, a prophet, and the son of Beor, though Beor is not so clearly identified...

 (apparently a powerful and respected prophet), son of Beor (Bible)
Beor (Bible)
Beor is described as the father of Balaam and is considered a prophet by Judaism; the Talmud says in Baba Bathra 15b "Seven prophets prophesied to the heathen, namely, Balaam and his father, Job, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, Zophar the Naamathite, and Elihu the son of Barachel the...

, to induce him to come and curse the Israelites. Balaam's location is unclear. Balaam sends back word that he can only do what God commands, and God has, via a dream, told him not to go. Moab consequently sends higher ranking priests and offers Balaam honours, and so God tells Balaam to go with them. Balaam thus sets out with two servants to go to Balak, but an Angel
Angel
Angels are mythical beings often depicted as messengers of God in the Hebrew and Christian Bibles along with the Quran. The English word angel is derived from the Greek ἄγγελος, a translation of in the Hebrew Bible ; a similar term, ملائكة , is used in the Qur'an...

 tries to prevent him. At first the Angel is seen only by the ass Balaam is riding. After Balaam starts punishing the ass for refusing to move, it is miraculously given the power to speak to Balaam, and it complains about Balaam's treatment. At this point, Balaam is allowed to see the angel, who informs him that the ass is the only reason the Angel did not kill Balaam. Balaam immediately repents, but is told to go on.
Balak meets with Balaam at Kirjath-huzoth
Kirjath-huzoth
Kirjath-huzoth - city of streets, , a Moabite city, which some identify with Kirjathaim. Balak here received and entertained Balaam, whom he had invited from Pethor, among the "mountains of the east," beyond the Euphrates, to lay his ban upon the Israelites, whose progress he had no hope otherwise...

, and they go to the high places of Baal
Baal
Baʿal is a Northwest Semitic title and honorific meaning "master" or "lord" that is used for various gods who were patrons of cities in the Levant and Asia Minor, cognate to Akkadian Bēlu...

, and offer sacrifices at seven altars, leading to Balaam being given a prophecy by God, which Balaam relates to Balak. However, the prophecy blesses Israel; Balak remonstrates, but Balaam reminds him that he can only speak the words put in his mouth, so Balak takes him to another high place at Pisgah
Mount Pisgah (Bible)
Some translators of the biblical book of Deuteronomy translate Pisgah as a name of a mountain, usually referring to Mount Nebo. The region is directly east of the Jordan River and just northeast of the Dead Sea. Mount Nebo is the highest among a handful of Pisgah summits; an arid cluster of...

, to try again. Building another seven altars here, and making sacrifices on each, Balaam provides another prophecy blessing Israel. Balaam finally gets taken by a now very frustrated Balak to Peor
Peor
Peor is either*The name of a mountain peak to which Balak led Balaam as a last effort to induce him to pronounce a curse upon Israel. The tribes of Israel are described as being visible from the peak, but nevertheless, Balaam refused to curse them, and continued to offer blessings...

, and, after the seven sacrifices there, decides not to seek enchantments but instead looks on the Israelites from the peak. The spirit of God comes upon Balaam and he delivers a third positive prophecy concerning Israel. Balak's anger rises to the point where he threatens Balaam, but Balaam merely offers a prediction of fate. Balaam then looks on the Kenite
Kenite
Kenites or Cinites , according to the Hebrew Bible, were a nomadic clan in the ancient Levant, sent under Jethro a priest in the land of Midian. They played an important role in the history of ancient Israel. The Kenites were coppersmiths and metalworkers. Moses' father-in-law, Jethro, was a...

s, and Amalekites and offers two more predictions of fate. Balak and Balaam then simply go to their respective homes. Later, Balaam informed Balak and the Midianites that, if they wished to overcome the Israelites for a short interval, they needed to seduce the Israelites to engage in idolatry. The Midianites sent beautiful women to the Israelite camp to seduce the young men to partake in idolatry, and the attempt proved successful.

God then commanded Moses to kill and hang the heads of everyone that had engaged in idolatry, and Moses ordered the judges to carry out the mass execution. At the same time, one of the Israelites brought home a Midianitish woman in the sight of the congregation. Upon seeing this, Phinehas
Phinehas
-Biblical figures:*Phinehas, son of Eleazar and grandson of Aaron the High Priest*Phinehas, son of the High Priest Eli. He was a priest at Shiloh, and died when the Philistines captured the Ark of the Covenant-Other :*Pinchas, the 41st weekly Torah portion....

, the grandson of Aaron, took a javelin in his hand and thrust through both the Israelite and the Midianitish woman, which turned away the wrath of God. By that time, however, the plague inflicted on the Israelites had already killed about twenty-four thousand persons. Moses was then told that because Phinehas
Phinehas
-Biblical figures:*Phinehas, son of Eleazar and grandson of Aaron the High Priest*Phinehas, son of the High Priest Eli. He was a priest at Shiloh, and died when the Philistines captured the Ark of the Covenant-Other :*Pinchas, the 41st weekly Torah portion....

 had averted the wrath of God from the Israelites, Phinehas
Phinehas
-Biblical figures:*Phinehas, son of Eleazar and grandson of Aaron the High Priest*Phinehas, son of the High Priest Eli. He was a priest at Shiloh, and died when the Philistines captured the Ark of the Covenant-Other :*Pinchas, the 41st weekly Torah portion....

 and his descendents were given the pledge of an everlasting priesthood.
After Moses had taken a census of the people, he sent an army to avenge the perceived evil brought on the Israelites by the Midianites. Numbers 31 says Moses instructed the Israelite soldiers to kill every Midianite woman, boy, and non-virgin girl, although virgin girls were shared amongst the soldiers. The Israelites killed Balaam, and the five kings of Midian: Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur, and Reba.

Moses appointed Joshua, son of Nun
Nun (Bible)
Nun , in the Hebrew Bible, was a man from the Tribe of Ephraim, grandson of Ammihud, son of Elishama, and father of Joshua. He grew up in and may have lived his entire life in the Israelites' Egyptian captivity, where the Egyptians "made life bitter for them with harsh labor at mortar and bricks...

, to succeed him as the leader of the Israelites. Moses then died at the age of 120.

Death


Moses was warned that he would not be permitted to lead the Israelites across the Jordan river, because of his trespass at the waters of Meribah (Deut. 32:51) but would die on its eastern shores (Num. 20:12).
He therefore assembled the tribes, and delivered to them a parting address, which is taken to form the Book of Deuteronomy.

When Moses finished, he sang a song
Song of Moses
The Song of Moses in this article relates to the name sometimes given to the poem that appears in Deuteronomy of the Hebrew Bible written/orated just prior to Moses' death atop Mount Nebo....

 and pronounced a blessing
Blessing of Moses
The Blessing of Moses is the name sometimes given to a poem that appears in Deuteronomy . The poem presents an opinion of the merits and attributes of each of the Tribes of Israel, and so can be compared with the Blessing of Jacob, which has the same theme...

 on the people. He 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, according to Talmudic legend on 7 Adar, his 120th birthday exactly.
God himself buried him in an unknown grave in a valley in the land of Moab
Moab
Moab is the historical name for a mountainous strip of land in Jordan. The land lies alongside much of the eastern shore of the Dead Sea. The existence of the Kingdom of Moab is attested to by numerous archeological findings, most notably the Mesha Stele, which describes the Moabite victory over...

, over against Bethpeor (Deut. 34:6).

Moses was thus the human instrument in the creation of the nation of Israel by communicating to it the Torah
Torah
Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five books of the bible—Genesis , Exodus , Leviticus , Numbers and Deuteronomy Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five...

. More humble than any other man (Num. 12:3), he enjoyed unique privileges, for "there hath not arisen a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom YHWH knew face to face" (Deut. 34:10). See also and .

Mosaic law



The Book of Kings
Books of Kings
The Book of Kings presents a narrative history of ancient Israel and Judah from the death of David to the release of his successor Jehoiachin from imprisonment in Babylon, a period of some 400 years...

 relates how a "law of Moses" was discovered in the Temple
Solomon's Temple
Solomon's Temple, also known as the First Temple, was the main temple in ancient Jerusalem, on the Temple Mount , before its destruction by Nebuchadnezzar II after the Siege of Jerusalem of 587 BCE....

 during the reign of king Josiah
Josiah
Josiah or Yoshiyahu or Joshua was a king of Judah who instituted major reforms. Josiah is credited by most historians with having established or compiled important Jewish scriptures during the Deuteronomic reform that occurred during his rule.Josiah became king of Judah at the age of eight, after...

 (r. 641–609 BC).
This book is mostly identified as an early version of the Book of Deuteronomy, perhaps chapters 5-26 and chapter 28 of the extant text. This text contains a number of laws, dated to the 8th century BC kingdom of Judah
Kingdom of Judah
The Kingdom of Judah was a Jewish state established in the Southern Levant during the Iron Age. It is often referred to as the "Southern Kingdom" to distinguish it from the northern Kingdom of Israel....

, a time when a minority Yahwist
Yahweh
Yahweh is the name of God in the Bible, the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Jews and Christians.The word Yahweh is a modern scholarly convention for the Hebrew , transcribed into Roman letters as YHWH and known as the Tetragrammaton, for which the original pronunciation is unknown...

 faction was actively attacking mainstream polytheism, succeeding in establishing official monolatry of the God of Israel under Josiah by the late 7th century BC.

The law attributed to Moses, specifically the laws set out in Deuteronomy, as a consequence came to be considered supreme over all other sources of authority (the king and his officials), and the Levite priests were the guardians and interpreters of the law.

The Book of Deuteronomy ( and ) describes how Moses writes "torah
Torah
Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five books of the bible—Genesis , Exodus , Leviticus , Numbers and Deuteronomy Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five...

" (instruction) on a scroll and lays it beside the ark of the Covenant
Ark of the Covenant
The Ark of the Covenant , also known as the Ark of the Testimony, is a chest described in Book of Exodus as solely containing the Tablets of Stone on which the Ten Commandments were inscribed...

. Similar passages include, for example, Exodus 17:14, "And YHWH said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua
Joshua
Joshua , is a minor figure in the Torah, being one of the spies for Israel and in few passages as Moses's assistant. He turns to be the central character in the Hebrew Bible's Book of Joshua...

, that I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek
Amalek
The Amalekites are a people mentioned a number of times in the Hebrew Bible. They are considered to be descended from an ancestor Amalek....

 from under heaven;" Exodus 24:4, "And Moses wrote all the words of YHWH, and rose up early in the morning, and built an altar under the mount, and twelve pillars, according to the twelve tribes of Israel;" Exodus 34:27, "And Yahweh said unto Moses, Write thou these words, for after the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel;" and "These are the decrees, the laws and the regulations that the LORD established on Mount Sinai between himself and the Israelites through Moses."

Based on this tradition, "Mosaic law" came to refer to the entire legal content of the Pentateuch, not just the Ten Commandments explicitly connected to Moses in the biblical narrative.
The content of this law was excerpted and codified in Rabbinical Judaism as the 613 Mitzvot
613 mitzvot
The 613 commandments is a numbering of the statements and principles of law, ethics, and spiritual practice contained in the Torah or Five Books of Moses...

.
By Late Antiquity, the tradition of Moses being the source of the law in the Pentateuch also gave rise to the tradition of Mosaic authorship
Mosaic authorship
Mosaic authorship is the traditional attribution of the first five books of the Old Testament to Moses. The tradition is first definitively stated in the Babylonian Talmud, an encyclopedia of traditional Jewish learning compiled around the middle of the 1st millennium CE...

, the interpretation of the entire Torah
Torah
Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five books of the bible—Genesis , Exodus , Leviticus , Numbers and Deuteronomy Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five...

 as the work of Moses.

Moses in Hellenistic literature


Non-biblical writings about Jews, with references to the role of Moses, first appear at the beginning of the Hellenistic
Hellenistic civilization
Hellenistic civilization represents the zenith of Greek influence in the ancient world from 323 BCE to about 146 BCE...

 period, the zenith of Greek influence in the ancient world, 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 these peoples." In addition to the Judeo-Roman or Judeo-Hellenic historians Artapanus, Eupolemus
Eupolemus
Eupolemus is the earliest Hellenistic Jewish historian whose work survives only in five fragments in the Eusebius of Caesarea's Praeparatio Evangelica embedded in quotations from the historian Alexander Polyhistor and in the Stromata of Clement of Alexandria.A sixth passage...

, Josephus
Josephus
Titus Flavius Josephus , also called Joseph ben Matityahu , was a 1st-century Romano-Jewish historian and hagiographer of priestly and royal ancestry who recorded Jewish history, with special emphasis on the 1st century AD and the First Jewish–Roman War, which resulted in the Destruction of...

, and Philo
Philo
Philo , known also as Philo of Alexandria , Philo Judaeus, Philo Judaeus of Alexandria, Yedidia, "Philon", and Philo the Jew, was a Hellenistic Jewish Biblical philosopher born in Alexandria....

, a few non-Jewish historians including Hecataeus of Abdera
Hecataeus of Abdera
Hecataeus of Abdera was a Greek historian and sceptic philosopher who flourished in the 4th century BC.-Biography:Diogenes Laertius relates that he was a student of Pyrrho, along with Eurylochus, Timon the Phliasian, Nausiphanes of Teos and others, and includes him among the "Pyrrhoneans"...

 (quoted by Diodorus Siculus
Diodorus Siculus
Diodorus Siculus was a Greek historian who flourished between 60 and 30 BC. According to Diodorus' own work, he was born at Agyrium in Sicily . With one exception, antiquity affords no further information about Diodorus' life and doings beyond what is to be found in his own work, Bibliotheca...

), Alexander Polyhistor
Alexander Polyhistor
Lucius Cornelius Alexander Polyhistor was a Greek scholar who was enslaved by the Romans during the Mithridatic War and taken to Rome as a tutor. After his release, he continued to live in Italy as a Roman citizen...

, Manetho
Manetho
Manetho was an Egyptian historian and priest from Sebennytos who lived during the Ptolemaic era, approximately during the 3rd century BC. Manetho wrote the Aegyptiaca...

, Apion
Apion
Apion , Graeco-Egyptian grammarian, sophist and commentator on Homer, was born at the Siwa Oasis, and flourished in the first half of the 1st century AD....

, Chaeremon of Alexandria
Chaeremon of Alexandria
Chaeremon of Alexandria was a Stoic philosopher, historian, and grammarian.Chaeremon was superintendent of the portion of the Alexandrian library that was kept in the Temple of Serapis, and as custodian and expounder of the sacred books he belonged to the higher ranks of the priesthood...

, Tacitus
Tacitus
Publius Cornelius Tacitus was a senator and a historian of the Roman Empire. The surviving portions of his two major works—the Annals and the Histories—examine the reigns of the Roman Emperors Tiberius, Claudius, Nero and those who reigned in the Year of the Four Emperors...

 and Porphyry
Porphyry (philosopher)
Porphyry of Tyre , Porphyrios, AD 234–c. 305) was a Neoplatonic philosopher who was born in Tyre. He edited and published the Enneads, the only collection of the work of his teacher Plotinus. He also wrote many works himself on a wide variety of topics...

 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
Mishnah
The Mishnah or Mishna is the first major written redaction of the Jewish oral traditions called the "Oral Torah". It is also the first major work of Rabbinic Judaism. It was redacted c...

 (c. 200 AD), Midrash
Midrash
The Hebrew term Midrash is a homiletic method of biblical exegesis. The term also refers to the whole compilation of homiletic teachings on the Bible....

 (AD 200 - 1200), and the Qur'an
Qur'an
The Quran , also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God . It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language...

 (c. 610—653).

The figure of Osarseph
Osarseph
Osarseph is a legendary figure of Ancient Egypt who has been equated with Moses. His story was recounted by the Ptolemaic Egyptian historian Manetho in his Aigyptiaca ; Manetho's work is lost, but the 1st century AD Jewish historian Josephus quotes extensively from it.The story depicts Osarseph as...

 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.

In Hecataeus
The earliest existing reference to Moses in Greek literature occurs in the Egyptian history of Hecataeus of Abdera
Hecataeus of Abdera
Hecataeus of Abdera was a Greek historian and sceptic philosopher who flourished in the 4th century BC.-Biography:Diogenes Laertius relates that he was a student of Pyrrho, along with Eurylochus, Timon the Phliasian, Nausiphanes of Teos and others, and includes him among the "Pyrrhoneans"...

 (4th century BC). All that remains of his description of Moses are two references made by Diodorus Siculus
Diodorus Siculus
Diodorus Siculus was a Greek historian who flourished between 60 and 30 BC. According to Diodorus' own work, he was born at Agyrium in Sicily . With one exception, antiquity affords no further information about Diodorus' life and doings beyond what is to be found in his own work, Bibliotheca...

, 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 recorded.


Droge also points out that this statement by Hecataeus was similar to statements made subsequently by Eupolemus
Eupolemus
Eupolemus is the earliest Hellenistic Jewish historian whose work survives only in five fragments in the Eusebius of Caesarea's Praeparatio Evangelica embedded in quotations from the historian Alexander Polyhistor and in the Stromata of Clement of Alexandria.A sixth passage...



In Artapanus
The Jewish historian Artapanus of Alexandria (2nd century BCE), portrayed 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
Ethiopia
Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...

, where he won great victories. After having built the city of Hermopolis
Hermopolis
Hermopolis Magna or simply Hermopolis or Hermopolis Megale or Hermupolis is the site of ancient Khmun, and is located near the modern Egyptian town of El Ashmunein in Al Minya governorate.-Etymology:Khmun, the Ancient Egyptian name of the city, means "eight-town", after the Ogdoad, a group of...

, he taught the people the value of the ibis
Ibis
The ibises are a group of long-legged wading birds in the family Threskiornithidae....

 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
Memphis, Egypt
Memphis was the ancient capital of Aneb-Hetch, the first nome of Lower Egypt. Its ruins are located near the town of Helwan, south of Cairo.According to legend related by Manetho, the city was founded by the pharaoh Menes around 3000 BC. Capital of Egypt during the Old Kingdom, it remained an...

, Moses taught the people the value of oxen for agriculture, and the consecration of the same by Moses gave rise to the cult of Apis
Apis (Egyptian mythology)
In Egyptian mythology, Apis or Hapis , was a bull-deity worshipped in the Memphis region.According to Manetho, his worship was instituted by Kaiechos of the Second Dynasty. Hape is named on very early monuments, but little is known of the divine animal before the New Kingdom...

. Finally, after having escaped another plot by killing the assailant sent by the king, Moses fled to Arabia
Arabian Peninsula
The Arabian Peninsula is a land mass situated north-east of Africa. Also known as Arabia or the Arabian subcontinent, it is the world's largest peninsula and covers 3,237,500 km2...

, 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 YHWH in order to lead the Exodus. This account further testifies that all Egyptian temples
Egyptian temple
Egyptian temples were built for the official worship of the gods and commemoration of pharaohs in Ancient Egypt and in regions under Egyptian control. These temples were seen as houses for the gods or kings to whom they were dedicated...

 of Isis
Isis
Isis or in original more likely Aset is a goddess in Ancient Egyptian religious beliefs, whose worship spread throughout the Greco-Roman world. She was worshipped as the ideal mother and wife as well as the matron of nature and magic...

 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."

Some historians, however, point out the "apologetic nature of much of Artapanus' work," with his addition extra-biblical details, as with references to Jethro: The non-Jewish Jethro expresses admiration for Moses' gallantry in helping his daughters, and chooses to adopt Moses as his son.

In Strabo
Strabo
Strabo
Strabo, also written Strabon was a Greek historian, geographer and philosopher.-Life:Strabo was born to an affluent family from Amaseia in Pontus , a city which he said was situated the approximate equivalent of 75 km from the Black Sea...

, a Greek historian, geographer and philosopher, in his Geography (c. AD 24), 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 Jerusalem now stands. . . . '


In Strabo’s writings of the history of Judaism as he understood it, he describes various stages in its development: from the first stage, including Moses and his direct heirs; to the final stage where "the Temple of 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
Hecataeus of Abdera
Hecataeus of Abdera was a Greek historian and sceptic philosopher who flourished in the 4th century BC.-Biography:Diogenes Laertius relates that he was a student of Pyrrho, along with Eurylochus, Timon the Phliasian, Nausiphanes of Teos and others, and includes him among the "Pyrrhoneans"...

 who "described Moses as a man who excelled in wisdom and courage."

Egyptologist Jan Assmann
Jan Assmann
Jan Assmann is a German Egyptologist who was born in Langelsheim.-Education and teaching:He went to school in Lübeck and Heidelberg before going on to study Egyptology, Classical Archeology and Greek Studies in Munich, Heidelberg, Paris and Göttingen...

 concludes that Strabo was the historian "who came closest to a construction of Moses' religion as monotheism 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."

In Tacitus
The Roman historian Tacitus
Tacitus
Publius Cornelius Tacitus was a senator and a historian of the Roman Empire. The surviving portions of his two major works—the Annals and the Histories—examine the reigns of the Roman Emperors Tiberius, Claudius, Nero and those who reigned in the Year of the Four Emperors...

 (ca. 56—120 AD) refers to Moses by noting that the Jewish religion was monotheistic and without a clear image. His primary work, wherein he describes Jewish philosophy, is his Histories (ca. 100), where, according to Murphy, as a result of the Jewish worship of one God, "pagan
Paganism
Paganism is a blanket term, typically used to refer to non-Abrahamic, indigenous polytheistic religious traditions....

 mythology fell into contempt." 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 Jews in response to an oracle of the god Hammon
Jupiter (mythology)
In ancient Roman religion and myth, Jupiter or Jove is the king of the gods, and the god of the sky and thunder. He is the equivalent of Zeus in the Greek pantheon....

.
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.

In Longinus
The Septuagint, the Greek version of the Hebrew Bible, influenced Longinus
Longinus (literature)
Longinus is the conventional name of the author of the treatise, On the Sublime , a work which focuses on the effect of good writing. Longinus, sometimes referred to as Pseudo-Longinus because his real name is unknown, was a Greek teacher of rhetoric or a literary critic who may have lived in the...

, who may have been the author of the great book of literary criticism, On the Sublime, although the true author is still unknown for certain. However, most scholars agree that the author lived in the time of Augustus
Augustus
Augustus ;23 September 63 BC – 19 August AD 14) is considered the first emperor of the Roman Empire, which he ruled alone from 27 BC until his death in 14 AD.The dates of his rule are contemporary dates; Augustus lived under two calendars, the Roman Republican until 45 BC, and the Julian...

 or Tiberius
Tiberius
Tiberius , was Roman Emperor from 14 AD to 37 AD. Tiberius was by birth a Claudian, son of Tiberius Claudius Nero and Livia Drusilla. His mother divorced Nero and married Augustus in 39 BC, making him a step-son of Octavian...

, the first and second Roman Emperors.

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, but instead calls him "the Lawgiver of the Jews." Besides its mention of Cicero
Cicero
Marcus Tullius Cicero , was a Roman philosopher, statesman, lawyer, political theorist, and Roman constitutionalist. He came from a wealthy municipal family of the equestrian order, and is widely considered one of Rome's greatest orators and prose stylists.He introduced the Romans to the chief...

, Moses is the only non-Greek writer quoted in the work, and he is described "with far more admiration than even Greek writers who treated Moses with respect, such as Hecataeus
Hecataeus of Abdera
Hecataeus of Abdera was a Greek historian and sceptic philosopher who flourished in the 4th century BC.-Biography:Diogenes Laertius relates that he was a student of Pyrrho, along with Eurylochus, Timon the Phliasian, Nausiphanes of Teos and others, and includes him among the "Pyrrhoneans"...

 and Strabo
Strabo
Strabo, also written Strabon was a Greek historian, geographer and philosopher.-Life:Strabo was born to an affluent family from Amaseia in Pontus , a city which he said was situated the approximate equivalent of 75 km from the Black Sea...

.

In Josephus
In Josephus
Josephus
Titus Flavius Josephus , also called Joseph ben Matityahu , was a 1st-century Romano-Jewish historian and hagiographer of priestly and royal ancestry who recorded Jewish history, with special emphasis on the 1st century AD and the First Jewish–Roman War, which resulted in the Destruction of...

' (37 – c. 100 AD) Antiquities of the Jews
Antiquities of the Jews
Antiquities of the Jews is a twenty volume historiographical work composed by the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus in the thirteenth year of the reign of Roman emperor Flavius Domitian which was around 93 or 94 AD. Antiquities of the Jews contains an account of history of the Jewish people,...

, Moses is mentioned throughout. For example Book VIII Ch. IV, describes Solomon's Temple
Solomon's Temple
Solomon's Temple, also known as the First Temple, was the main temple in ancient Jerusalem, on the Temple Mount , before its destruction by Nebuchadnezzar II after the Siege of Jerusalem of 587 BCE....

, also known as the First Temple, at the time the Ark of the Covenant
Ark of the Covenant
The Ark of the Covenant , also known as the Ark of the Testimony, is a chest described in Book of Exodus as solely containing the Tablets of Stone on which the Ten Commandments were inscribed...

 was first moved into the newly built temple:
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
Plato
Plato , was a Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the...

's philosopher-king, Moses excels as an educator."

In Numenius
Numenius
Numenius of Apamea
Numenius of Apamea was a Greek philosopher, who lived in Apamea in Syria and flourished during the latter half of the 2nd century AD. He was a Neopythagorean and forerunner of the Neoplatonists.- Philosophy :...

, a Greek philosopher who was a native of Apamea, in Syria, wrote during the latter half of the 2nd century AD. Historian Kennieth 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:
In Justin Martyr
The Christian saint and religious philosopher Justin Martyr
Justin Martyr
Justin Martyr, also known as just Saint Justin , was an early Christian apologist. Most of his works are lost, but two apologies and a dialogue survive. He is considered a saint by the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church....

 (103–165 AD) drew the same conclusion as Numenius
Numenius of Apamea
Numenius of Apamea was a Greek philosopher, who lived in Apamea in Syria and flourished during the latter half of the 2nd century AD. He was a Neopythagorean and forerunner of the Neoplatonists.- Philosophy :...

, 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:

Historicity


The tradition of Moses as a lawgiver and culture hero of the Israelites can be traced to 8th or 7th century BCE in the kingdom of Judah
Kingdom of Judah
The Kingdom of Judah was a Jewish state established in the Southern Levant during the Iron Age. It is often referred to as the "Southern Kingdom" to distinguish it from the northern Kingdom of Israel....

. Moses is a central figure in the Deuteronomist
Deuteronomist
The Deuteronomist, or simply D, is one of the sources underlying the Hebrew bible . It is found in the book of Deuteronomy, in the books of Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings and also in the book of Jeremiah...

 account of the origins of the Israelites, cast in a literary style of elegant flashbacks told by Moses.
The Deuteronomist relies on earlier material that may date to the United Monarchy
United Monarchy
According to Biblical tradition, the united Kingdom of Israel was a kingdom that existed in the Land of Israel, a period referred to by scholars as the United Monarchy. Biblical historians date the kingdom from c. 1020 BCE to c...

, so that the biblical narrative would be based on traditions that can be traced to about four centuries after the supposed lifetime of Moses.

The question of the historicity of the Exodus
The Exodus
The Exodus is the story of the departure of the Israelites from ancient Egypt described in the Hebrew Bible.Narrowly defined, the term refers only to the departure from Egypt described in the Book of Exodus; more widely, it takes in the subsequent law-givings and wanderings in the wilderness...

 (specifically, the Pharaoh of the Exodus, identification of which would connect the biblical narrative to Egyptological chronology) has long been debated, without conclusive result. Many biblical scholars are prepared to admit that there may be a historical core beneath the Exodus and Sinai traditions, even if the biblical narrative dramatizes by portraying as a single event what was more likely a gradual process of migration and conquest. Thus, the motif of "slavery in Egypt" reflects the historical situation of imperialist control of the Egyptian Empire over Canaan
Canaan
Canaan is a historical region roughly corresponding to modern-day Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, and the western parts of Jordan...

 after the conquests of Ramesses II
Ramesses II
Ramesses II , referred to as Ramesses the Great, was the third Egyptian pharaoh of the Nineteenth dynasty. He is often regarded as the greatest, most celebrated, and most powerful pharaoh of the Egyptian Empire...

, which declined gradually during the 12th century under the pressure from the Sea Peoples
Sea Peoples
The Sea Peoples were a confederacy of seafaring raiders of the second millennium BC who sailed into the eastern Mediterranean, caused political unrest, and attempted to enter or control Egyptian territory during the late 19th dynasty and especially during year 8 of Ramesses III of the 20th Dynasty...

 and the general Bronze Age collapse
Bronze Age collapse
The Bronze Age collapse is a transition in southwestern Asia and the Eastern Mediterranean from the Late Bronze Age to the Early Iron Age that some historians believe was violent, sudden and culturally disruptive...

.
Israel Finkelstein
Israel Finkelstein
Israel Finkelstein is an Israeli archaeologist and academic. He is currently the Jacob M. Alkow Professor of the Archaeology of Israel in the Bronze Age and Iron Ages at Tel Aviv University and is also the co-director of excavations at Megiddo in northern Israel...

 points to the appearance of settlements in the central hill country around 1200 as the earliest of the known settlements of the Israelites. A cyclical pattern to these highland settlements, corresponding to the state of the surrounding cultures, suggests that the local Canaanites combined an agricultural and nomadic lifestyles. When Egyptian rule collapsed after the invasion of the Sea Peoples
Sea Peoples
The Sea Peoples were a confederacy of seafaring raiders of the second millennium BC who sailed into the eastern Mediterranean, caused political unrest, and attempted to enter or control Egyptian territory during the late 19th dynasty and especially during year 8 of Ramesses III of the 20th Dynasty...

, the central hill country could no longer sustain a large nomadic population, so they went from nomadism to sedentism
Sedentism
In evolutionary anthropology and archaeology, sedentism , is a term applied to the transition from nomadic to permanent, year-round settlement.- Requirements for permanent settlements :...

.

While the general narrative of the Exodus and the conquest of the Promised Land may be remotely rooted in historical events, the figure of Moses as a leader of the Israelites in these events cannot be substantiated. William Dever
William G. Dever
William G. Dever is an American archaeologist, specialising in the history of Israel and the Near East in Biblical times. He was Professor of Near Eastern Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Arizona in Tucson from 1975 to 2002...

 agrees with the Canaanite origin of the Israelites but allows for the possibility of some immigrants from Egypt among the early hilltop settlers, leaving open the possibility of a Moses-like figure in Transjordan ca 1250-1200.

Martin Noth
Martin Noth
Martin Noth was a German scholar of the Hebrew Bible who specialized in the pre-Exilic history of the Hebrews. With Gerhard von Rad he pioneered the traditional-historical approach to biblical studies, emphasising the role of oral traditions in the formation of the biblical texts.-Life:Noth was...

  holds that two different groups experienced the Exodus and Sinai events, and each group transmitted its own stories independently of the other one, writing that "The biblical story tracing the Hebrews from Egypt to Canaan resulted from an editor's weaving separate themes and traditions around a main character Moses, actually an obscure person from Moab."

William Albright held a more favorable view towards the traditional views regarding Moses, and accept the essence of the biblical story, as narrated between Exodus 1:8 and Deuteronomy 34:12, but recognize the impact that centuries of oral and written transmission have had on the account, causing it to acquire layers of accretions.

Biblical minimalists
The Copenhagen School (theology)
Biblical minimalism is a term used by its detractors to refer to a tendency in biblical exegesis which stresses a heavily skeptical approach to archaeological evidence when establishing the history of Ancient Israel and Judah...

 such as Philip Davies and Niels Peter Lemche
Niels Peter Lemche
Niels Peter Lemche is a biblical scholar at the University of Copenhagen.-Biblical minimalism:Lemche is closely identified with the movement known as biblical minimalism, and "has assumed the role of philosophical and methodological spokesperson" for the movement.In common with the general trend...

 regard the Exodus as a fiction composed in the Persian period or even later, without even the memory of a historical Moses.

Judaism


There is a wealth of stories and additional information about Moses in the Jewish apocrypha
Jewish apocrypha
Jewish apocrypha includes texts written in the Jewish religious tradition either in the Intertestamental period or in the early Christian era, but outside the Christian tradition...

 and in the genre of rabbi
Rabbi
In Judaism, a rabbi is a teacher of Torah. This title derives from the Hebrew word רבי , meaning "My Master" , which is the way a student would address a master of Torah...

nical exegesis known as Midrash
Midrash
The Hebrew term Midrash is a homiletic method of biblical exegesis. The term also refers to the whole compilation of homiletic teachings on the Bible....

, as well as in the primary works of the Jewish oral law
Oral law
An oral law is a code of conduct in use in a given culture, religion or community application, by which a body of rules of human behaviour is transmitted by oral tradition and effectively respected, or the single rule that is orally transmitted....

, the Mishnah
Mishnah
The Mishnah or Mishna is the first major written redaction of the Jewish oral traditions called the "Oral Torah". It is also the first major work of Rabbinic Judaism. It was redacted c...

 and the Talmud
Talmud
The Talmud is a central text of mainstream Judaism. It takes the form of a record of rabbinic discussions pertaining to Jewish law, ethics, philosophy, customs and history....

.
Moses is also given a number of bynames in Jewish tradition.
The Midrash
Midrash
The Hebrew term Midrash is a homiletic method of biblical exegesis. The term also refers to the whole compilation of homiletic teachings on the Bible....

 identifies 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
Amram
In the Book of Exodus, Amram Arabic عمران Imran, is the father of Aaron, Moses, and Miriam and the husband of Jochebed.-In the Bible:In addition to being married to Jochebed, Amram is also described in the Bible as having been related to Jochebed prior to the marriage, although the exact...

), Jered (by Miriam), Avi Zanoah (by Aaron), Avi Gedor
Avigdor (name)
Avigdor is a Hebrew given-name. Figdor, Viktor, Victor are Europeanised forms. Avigdora is the female form.-Given names:*Avigdor Aptowitzer*Avigdor Arikha, Israeli-French painter, printmaker, and art historian*Abigdor Cohen of Vienna Avigdor is a Hebrew given-name. Figdor, Viktor, Victor are...

 (by Kohath
Kohath
According to the Torah, Kohath was one of the sons of Levi, and the patriarchal founder of the Kohathites, one of the four main divisions among the Levites in Biblical times; in some apocryphal texts such as the Testament of Levi, and the Book of Jubilees, Levi's wife, Kohath's mother, is named as...

), 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)

Jewish historians who lived at Alexandria
Alexandria
Alexandria is the second-largest city of Egypt, with a population of 4.1 million, extending about along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea in the north central part of the country; it is also the largest city lying directly on the Mediterranean coast. It is Egypt's largest seaport, serving...

, such as Eupolemus
Eupolemus
Eupolemus is the earliest Hellenistic Jewish historian whose work survives only in five fragments in the Eusebius of Caesarea's Praeparatio Evangelica embedded in quotations from the historian Alexander Polyhistor and in the Stromata of Clement of Alexandria.A sixth passage...

, attributed to Moses the feat of having taught the Phoenicia
Phoenicia
Phoenicia , was an ancient civilization in Canaan which covered most of the western, coastal part of the Fertile Crescent. Several major Phoenician cities were built on the coastline of the Mediterranean. It was an enterprising maritime trading culture that spread across the Mediterranean from 1550...

ns their alphabet, similar to legends of Thoth
Thoth
Thoth was considered one of the more important deities of the Egyptian pantheon. In art, he was often depicted as a man with the head of an ibis or a baboon, animals sacred to him. His feminine counterpart was Seshat...

. Artapanus of Alexandria explicitly identified Moses not only with Thoth / Hermes, but also with the Greek figure Musaeus
Musaeus
Musaeus or Musaios was the name of three Greek poets.-Musaeus of Athens:Musaeus was a legendary polymath, philosopher, historian, prophet, seer, priest, poet, and musician, said to have been the founder of priestly poetry in Attica...

 (whom he calls "the teacher of Orpheus
Orpheus
Orpheus was a legendary musician, poet, and prophet in ancient Greek religion and myth. The major stories about him are centered on his ability to charm all living things and even stones with his music; his attempt to retrieve his wife from the underworld; and his death at the hands of those who...

"), and ascribed to him the division of Egypt into 36 districts, each with its own liturgy. He names the princess who adopted Moses as Merris, wife of Pharaoh Chenephres.

Ancient sources mention an Assumption of Moses and a Testimony of Moses. A Latin text was found in Milan
Milan
Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital city of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area, roughly coinciding with its administrative province and the bordering Province of Monza and Brianza ,...

 in the 19th century by Antonio Ceriani who called it the Assumption of Moses
Assumption of Moses
The Assumption of Moses is a Jewish apocryphal pseudepigraphical work. It is known from a single sixth-century incomplete manuscript in Latin that was discovered by Antonio Ceriani in the Biblioteca Ambrosiana in Milan in the mid-nineteenth century and published by him in 1861.-Identification:The...

, even though it does not refer to an assumption of Moses or contain portions of the Assumption which are cited by ancient authors, and it is apparently actually the Testimony. The incident which the ancient authors cite is also mentioned in the Epistle of Jude
Epistle of Jude
The Epistle of Jude, often shortened to Jude, is the penultimate book of the New Testament and is attributed to Jude, the brother of James the Just. - Composition :...

.

To Orthodox Jews, Moses is called Moshe Rabbenu, `Eved HaShem, Avi haNeviim zya"a. He is defined "Our Leader Moshe", "Servant of God", and "Father of all the Prophets". In their view, Moses not only received the Torah, but also the revealed (written and oral) and the hidden (the `hokhmat nistar teachings, which gave Judaism the Zohar of the Rashbi, the Torah of the Ari haQadosh
Isaac Luria
Isaac Luria , also called Yitzhak Ben Shlomo Ashkenazi acronym "The Ari" "Ari-Hakadosh", or "Arizal", meaning "The Lion", was a foremost rabbi and Jewish mystic in the community of Safed in the Galilee region of Ottoman Palestine...

 and all that is discussed in the Heavenly Yeshiva between the Ramhal
Moshe Chaim Luzzatto
Moshe Chaim Luzzatto , also known by the Hebrew acronym RaMCHaL , was a prominent Italian Jewish rabbi, kabbalist, and philosopher.-Padua:Born in Padua at night, he received classical Jewish and Italian educations, showing a...

 and his masters). He is also considered the greatest prophet.

Arising in part from his age, but also because 120 is elsewhere stated as the maximum age for Noah's descendants (one interpretation of ), "may you live to 120" has become a common blessing among Jews.

Christianity


For Christians
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

, Moses — mentioned more often in the New Testament
New Testament
The New Testament is the second major division of the Christian biblical canon, the first such division being the much longer Old Testament....

 than any other Old Testament
Old Testament
The Old Testament, of which Christians hold different views, is a Christian term for the religious writings of ancient Israel held sacred and inspired by Christians which overlaps with the 24-book canon of the Masoretic Text of Judaism...

 figure — is often a symbol of God's law, as reinforced and expounded on
Expounding of the Law
The Expounding of the Law is a highly structured part of the Sermon on the Mount in the New Testament...

 in the teachings of Jesus
Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

. New Testament writers often compared Jesus' words and deeds with Moses' to explain Jesus' mission. In Acts
Acts of the Apostles
The Acts of the Apostles , usually referred to simply as Acts, is the fifth book of the New Testament; Acts outlines the history of the Apostolic Age...

 7:39–43, 51–53, for example, the rejection of Moses by the Jews that worshiped the golden calf is likened to the rejection of Jesus by the Jews that continued in traditional Judaism.

Moses also figures in several of Jesus' messages. When he met the Pharisees
Pharisees
The Pharisees were at various times a political party, a social movement, and a school of thought among Jews during the Second Temple period beginning under the Hasmonean dynasty in the wake of...

 Nicodemus
Nicodemus
Saint Nicodemus was a Pharisee and a member of the Sanhedrin, who, according to the Gospel of John, showed favour to Jesus...

 at night in the third chapter of the Gospel of John
Gospel of John
The Gospel According to John , commonly referred to as the Gospel of John or simply John, and often referred to in New Testament scholarship as the Fourth Gospel, is an account of the public ministry of Jesus...

, he compares Moses' lifting up of the bronze serpent
Nehushtan
The Nehushtan , in the Hebrew Bible, was a sacred object in the form of a snake of brass upon a pole.The priestly source of the Torah says that Moses used a 'fiery serpent' to cure the Israelites from snakebites...

 in the wilderness, which any Israelite could look at and be healed, to his own lifting up (by his death and resurrection
Resurrection
Resurrection refers to the literal coming back to life of the biologically dead. It is used both with respect to particular individuals or the belief in a General Resurrection of the dead at the end of the world. The General Resurrection is featured prominently in Jewish, Christian, and Muslim...

) for the people to look at and be healed. In the sixth chapter, Jesus responds to the people's claim that Moses provided them manna
Manna
Manna or Manna wa Salwa , sometimes or archaically spelled mana, is the name of an edible substance that God provided for the Israelites during their travels in the desert according to the Bible.It was said to be sweet to the taste, like honey....

in the wilderness by saying that it was not Moses, but God, who provided. Calling himself the "bread of life", Jesus states that he is now provided to feed God's people.

He, along with Elijah, is presented as meeting with Jesus in all three Gospel accounts of the Transfiguration of Jesus
Transfiguration of Jesus
The Transfiguration of Jesus is an event reported in the New Testament in which Jesus is transfigured and becomes radiant upon a mountain. The Synoptic Gospels describe it, and 2 Peter 1:16-18 refers to it....

 in Matthew
Gospel of Matthew
The Gospel According to Matthew is one of the four canonical gospels, one of the three synoptic gospels, and the first book of the New Testament. It tells of the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth...

 17, Mark
Gospel of Mark
The Gospel According to Mark , commonly shortened to the Gospel of Mark or simply Mark, is the second book of the New Testament. This canonical account of the life of Jesus of Nazareth is one of the three synoptic gospels. It was thought to be an epitome, which accounts for its place as the second...

 9, and Luke
Gospel of Luke
The Gospel According to Luke , commonly shortened to the Gospel of Luke or simply Luke, is the third and longest of the four canonical Gospels. This synoptic gospel is an account of the life and ministry of Jesus of Nazareth. It details his story from the events of his birth to his Ascension.The...

 9, respectively. Later Christians found numerous other parallels between the life of Moses and Jesus to the extent that Jesus was likened to a "second Moses." For instance, Jesus' escape from the slaughter by Herod in Bethlehem
Massacre of the Innocents
The Massacre of the Innocents is an episode of infanticide by the King of Judea, Herod the Great. According to the Gospel of Matthew Herod orders the execution of all young male children in the village of Bethlehem, so as to avoid the loss of his throne to a newborn King of the Jews whose birth...

 is compared to Moses' escape from Pharaoh's designs to kill Hebrew infants. Such parallels, unlike those mentioned above, are not pointed out in Scripture. See the article on typology
Typology (theology)
Typology in Christian theology and Biblical exegesis is a doctrine or theory concerning the relationship between the Old and New Testaments...

.

His relevance to modern Christianity has not diminished. He is 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
Eastern Orthodox Church
The Orthodox Church, officially called the Orthodox Catholic Church and commonly referred to as the Eastern Orthodox Church, is the second largest Christian denomination in the world, with an estimated 300 million adherents mainly in the countries of Belarus, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Georgia, Greece,...

, Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

, and Lutheran
Lutheranism
Lutheranism is a major branch of Western Christianity that identifies with the theology of Martin Luther, a German reformer. Luther's efforts to reform the theology and practice of the church launched the Protestant Reformation...

 churches on September 4. He is commemorated as one of the Holy Forefathers in the Calendar of Saints
Calendar of Saints (Armenian Apostolic Church)
-January:* 1 Third Day of the Fast of the Nativity* 2 Fourth Day of the Fast of the Nativity* 3 Fifth Day of the Fast of the Nativity* 4 Sixth Day of the Fast of the Nativity* 5 Eve of the Nativity and Theophany of our Lord Jesus Christ...

 of the Armenian Apostolic Church
Armenian Apostolic Church
The Armenian Apostolic Church is the world's oldest National Church, is part of Oriental Orthodoxy, and is one of the most ancient Christian communities. Armenia was the first country to adopt Christianity as its official religion in 301 AD, in establishing this church...

 on July 30.

Mormonism

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (colloquially called Mormon
Mormon
The term Mormon most commonly denotes an adherent, practitioner, follower, or constituent of Mormonism, which is the largest branch of the Latter Day Saint movement in restorationist Christianity...

s) 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
Book of Moses
The Book of Moses is part of the scriptural canon of Mormonism dictated by founder Joseph Smith, Jr. It is an amalgamation of the "Vision of Moses," which Smith dictated in June 1830, the "Book of Enoch," dictated December 1830, and material deriving from Smith's revision of the Book of Genesis in...

 as part of their scriptural canon. This book is believed to be the translated writings of Moses, and is included in the Pearl of Great Price. Latter-day Saints are also unique in believing that Moses was taken to heaven without having tasted death (translated
Translation (LDS Church)
In the theology of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints , translation refers to being physically changed by God from a mortal human being to an immortal human being. A person that has been translated is referred to as a translated being...

). In addition, Joseph Smith, Jr. and Oliver Cowdery
Oliver Cowdery
Oliver H. P. Cowdery was, with Joseph Smith, Jr., an important participant in the formative period of the Latter Day Saint movement between 1829 and 1836, becoming one of the Three Witnesses of the Book of Mormon's golden plates, one of the first Latter Day Saint apostles, and the Second Elder of...

 stated that on April 3, 1836, Moses appeared to them in the Kirtland Temple
Kirtland Temple
The Kirtland Temple is a National Historic Landmark in Kirtland, Ohio, USA, on the eastern edge of the Cleveland metropolitan area. Owned and operated by the Community of Christ, formerly the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints , the house of worship was the first temple to be...

 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."

Islam


Moses is mentioned more in the Quran than any other individual and his life is narrated and recounted more than that of any other prophet
Prophets of Islam
Muslims identify the Prophets of Islam as those humans chosen by God and given revelation to deliver to mankind. Muslims believe that every prophet was given a belief to worship God and their respective followers believed it as well...

.
In general, Moses is described in ways which parallel the 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 Qur'an 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
Huston Smith
Huston Cummings Smith is a religious studies scholar in the United States. His book The World's Religions remains a popular introduction to comparative religion.-Education:...

 (1991) describes an account in the Qur'an of meetings in heaven between 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 Qur'an; passages mentioning Moses include 2
Al-Baqara
Sura al-Baqarah is the second and longest chapter of the Qur'an. It is a Medinan sura and comprises 286 verses, including the single longest verse in the Qur'an...

.49-61, 7
Al-A'raf
Sura Al-A'raf is the seventh chapter of the Qur'an, with 206 verses. It is a Meccan sura. Its final verse, verse 206, requires a sajdah, or prostration.-Verses:...

.103-160, 10
Yunus (sura)
Sura Yunus is the 10th chapter of the Qur'an with 109 verses. It is a Makkan sura. It is named after the prophet Jonah....

.75-93, 17
Al-Isra
Sura Al-Isra , also called Sura Bani Isra'il , is the 17th chapter of the Qur'an, with 111 verses.-Content:...

.101-104, 20
Ta-Ha
Sura Ta-Ha is the 20th sura of the Qur'an with 135 ayat. It is a Makkan sura.It is named "Ta-Ha" because the sura starts with the Arab letters طه ....

.9-97, 26
Ash-Shu'ara
Surat Ash-Shu'ara is the 26th sura of the Qurʾan with 227 ayat. Many of these verses are very short.Shu'ara is the 26th surah in the Qur'an. The name shuara means "poets". It talks about various prophets and their tribes. Also how the disbelievers were destroyed after threatening prophets with...

.10-66, 27.7-14, 28
Al-Qisas
Surat Al-Qasas is the 28th sura of the Qur'an with 88 ayat.According to Syed Maududi's commentary, the Surah takes its name from verse 25 in which the word Al-Qasas occurs. Lexically, qasas means to relate events in their proper sequence...

.3-46, 40
Al-Ghafir
Al-Ghāfir is one of the titles of God in Islam, translated as "The Forgiver".It is deried from the root gh-f-r . The basic meaning of the root is "to cover, to shield, to protect", besides "to forgive"....

.23-30, 43
Az-Zukhruf
Surat Az-Zukhruf is the 43rd sura, or chapter, of the Qur'an, the central religious text of Islam. It contains 89 ayat, or verses....

.46-55, 44
Ad-Dukhan
Surat Ad-Dukhan is the 44th sura of the Qur'an with 59 ayat.-Summary:This Surat begins by glorifying Allah's power. It contains a prophetic description of a day, described as occurring before the Day of Judgment, in which the sky fills with a great smoke. The smoke is prophesied to cause enough...

.17-31, and 79
An-Naziat
Sūrat al-Naziʿāt is the 79th sura of the Qur'an with 46 ayat.- External links :* at Sacred Texts...

.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 Qur'an, with a story about meeting Khidr which is not found in the Bible.

In the Moses story related by the Qur'an, Jochebed is commanded by God to place Moses in an ark and cast him on the waters of the Nile, thus abandoning him completely to God's protection. Pharaoh's wife Asiya
Asiya
Asiya, wife of the Pharaoh , also known as Asiya bint Muzahim, is revered by Muslims as one of the greatest women of all time. She was the wife of "Fir'awn," the Pharaoh who reigned during Moses's time...

, not his daughter, found Moses floating in the waters of the Nile. She convinced Pharaoh to keep him as their son because they were not blessed with any children.

The Qur'an'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 Qur'an, Moses encourages the 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.

According to Islamic tradition, Moses is buried at Maqam El-Nabi Musa
Nabi Musa
Nabi Musa is the name of a site in the Judean desert that popular Palestinian folklore associates with Moses. It is also the name of a seven-day long religious festival that was celebrated annually by Palestinian Muslims, beginning on the Friday before Good Friday in the old Orthodox Greek calendar...

, Jericho
Jericho
Jericho ; is a city located near the Jordan River in the West Bank of the Palestinian territories. It is the capital of the Jericho Governorate and has a population of more than 20,000. Situated well below sea level on an east-west route north of the Dead Sea, Jericho is the lowest permanently...

.

Literature


Thomas Mann
Thomas Mann
Thomas Mann was a German novelist, short story writer, social critic, philanthropist, essayist, and 1929 Nobel Prize laureate, known for his series of highly symbolic and ironic epic novels and novellas, noted for their insight into the psychology of the artist and the intellectual...

's novella
Novella
A novella is a written, fictional, prose narrative usually longer than a novelette but shorter than a novel. The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Nebula Awards for science fiction define the novella as having a word count between 17,500 and 40,000...

 The Tables of the Law
The Tables of the Law
The Tables of the Law is a 1944 novella by German writer Thomas Mann. It is a dramatic retelling of the Biblical story of Moses contained in the Book of Exodus, although some of the laws which Moses proscribes for his followers are taken from Leviticus...

is a retelling of the story of the exodus from Egypt, with Moses as its main character.

In Freudian psychoanalysis
Freud, in his last book, Moses and Monotheism
Moses and Monotheism
Moses and Monotheism, 1939 by Sigmund Freud, ISBN 978-0394700144 is a book where Freud hypothesizes that Moses was not Jewish, but actually born into Ancient Egyptian nobility and was perhaps a follower of Akhenaten, an ancient Egyptian monotheist, or perhaps Akhenaten himself...

in 1939, postulated that Moses was an Egyptian nobleman who adhered to the monotheism of Akhenaten
Akhenaten
Akhenaten also spelled Echnaton,Ikhnaton,and Khuenaten;meaning "living spirit of Aten") known before the fifth year of his reign as Amenhotep IV , was a Pharaoh of the Eighteenth dynasty of Egypt who ruled for 17 years and died perhaps in 1336 BC or 1334 BC...

. 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.

Opponents of this view observe that the religion of the Torah seems different to Atenism
Atenism
Atenism, or the Amarna heresy, refers to the religious changes associated with the eighteenth dynasty Pharaoh Amenophis IV, better known under his adopted name, Akhenaten...

 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 Hymn to Aten
Great Hymn to the Aten
The Great Hymn to the Aten is an ancient Egyptian hymn to the sun god Aten. It is attributed to Pharaoh Akhenaten, who attempted to convert Egypt to monotheism, with Aten being the only god. It was found, in its most complete form, in the tomb of Ay in the rock tombs at Amarna...

 and Psalm 104
Psalm 104
Psalm 104 is a poem from the Book of Psalms in the Hebrew Bible, describing the ongoing act of God continuously bringing the world into existence. German philosopher Johann Gottfried Herder remarked, "It is worth studying the Hebrew language for ten years in order to read Psalm 104 in the original"...

. Freud's interpretation of the historical Moses is not well accepted among historian
Historian
A historian is a person who studies and writes about the past and is regarded as an authority on it. Historians are concerned with the continuous, methodical narrative and research of past events as relating to the human race; as well as the study of all history in time. If the individual is...

s, and is considered pseudohistory
Pseudohistory
Pseudohistory is a pejorative term applied to a type of historical revisionism, often involving sensational claims whose acceptance would require rewriting a significant amount of commonly accepted history, and based on methods that depart from standard historiographical conventions.Cryptohistory...

 by most.

Criticism
In the late 18th century the deist Thomas Paine
Thomas Paine
Thomas "Tom" Paine was an English author, pamphleteer, radical, inventor, intellectual, revolutionary, and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States...

 commented at length on Moses' Laws in The Age of Reason
The Age of Reason
The Age of Reason; Being an Investigation of True and Fabulous Theology is a deistic pamphlet, written by eighteenth-century British radical and American revolutionary Thomas Paine, that criticizes institutionalized religion and challenges the legitimacy of the Bible, the central sacred text of...

, and gave his view that "the character of Moses, as stated in the Bible, is the most horrid that can be imagined", giving the story at as an example. In the 19th century the agnostic Robert G. Ingersoll
Robert G. Ingersoll
Robert Green "Bob" Ingersoll was a Civil War veteran, American political leader, and orator during the Golden Age of Freethought, noted for his broad range of culture and his defense of agnosticism. He was nicknamed "The Great Agnostic."-Life and career:Robert Ingersoll was born in Dresden, New York...

 wrote "...that all the ignorant, infamous, heartless, hideous things recorded in the 'inspired' Pentateuch are not the words of God, but simply 'Some Mistakes of Moses'". In the 2000s, the atheist Richard Dawkins
Richard Dawkins
Clinton Richard Dawkins, FRS, FRSL , known as Richard Dawkins, is a British ethologist, evolutionary biologist and author...

 referring, like Paine, to the incident at , concluded, "No, Moses was not a great role model for modern moralists."

Figurative art



Moses is depicted in several U.S. government buildings because of his legacy as a lawgiver. In the Library of Congress
Library of Congress
The Library of Congress is the research library of the United States Congress, de facto national library of the United States, and the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States. Located in three buildings in Washington, D.C., it is the largest library in the world by shelf space and...

 stands a large statue of Moses alongside a statue of the Apostle Paul. Moses is one of the 23 lawgivers depicted in marble
Marble
Marble is a metamorphic rock composed of recrystallized carbonate minerals, most commonly calcite or dolomite.Geologists use the term "marble" to refer to metamorphosed limestone; however stonemasons use the term more broadly to encompass unmetamorphosed limestone.Marble is commonly used for...

 bas-reliefs in the chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives
United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is one of the two Houses of the United States Congress, the bicameral legislature which also includes the Senate.The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the Constitution...

 in the United States Capitol
United States Capitol
The United States Capitol is the meeting place of the United States Congress, the legislature of the federal government of the United States. Located in Washington, D.C., it sits atop Capitol Hill at the eastern end of the National Mall...

. The other twenty-two figures have their profiles turned to Moses, which is the only forward-facing bas-relief.

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's 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


Michelangelo
Michelangelo
Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni , commonly known as Michelangelo, was an Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor, architect, poet, and engineer who exerted an unparalleled influence on the development of Western art...

's statue of Moses in the Church of San Pietro in Vincoli
San Pietro in Vincoli
San Pietro in Vincoli is a Roman Catholic titular church and minor basilica in Rome, Italy, best known for being the home of Michelangelo's statue of Moses, part of the tomb of Pope Julius II.-History:...

, Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

, is one of the most familiar masterpieces in the world.
Horns the sculptor included on Moses' head are the result of a mistranslation of the Hebrew Bible into the Latin Vulgate Bible with which he was familiar. The Hebrew word taken from Exodus means either a "horn" or an "irradiation." Experts at the Archaeological Institute of America
Archaeological Institute of America
The Archaeological Institute of America is a North American nonprofit organization devoted to the promotion of public interest in archaeology, and the preservation of archaeological sites. It has offices on the campus of Boston University and in New York City.The institute was founded in 1879,...

 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 Saint Jerome
Saint Jerome
Saint Jerome is a Christian church father, best known for translating the Bible into Latin.Saint Jerome may also refer to:*Jerome of Pavia , Bishop of Pavia...

 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 actually described 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 neither a King nor ever sat on such thrones.

Film and television


Moses was portrayed by Theodore Roberts
Theodore Roberts
Theodore Roberts the actor is not to be confused with author Theodore Goodridge Roberts, 1877–1953, who wrote "The Harbor Master". Please see discussion page....

 in DeMille's 1923 silent film
Silent film
A silent film is a film with no synchronized recorded sound, especially with no spoken dialogue. In silent films for entertainment the dialogue is transmitted through muted gestures, pantomime and title cards...

  The Ten Commandments
The Ten Commandments (1923 film)
The Ten Commandments is a 1923 American epic silent film directed by Cecil B. DeMille, starring Theodore Roberts as Moses, Charles de Rochefort as Pharaoh Ramesses, Estelle Taylor as Miriam the sister of Moses, and James Neill as Aaron, the brother of Moses...

.
Moses appears as the central character in the 1956 Cecil B. DeMille
Cecil B. DeMille
Cecil Blount DeMille was an American film director and Academy Award-winning film producer in both silent and sound films. He was renowned for the flamboyance and showmanship of his movies...

 movie, also called The Ten Commandments
The Ten Commandments (1956 film)
The Ten Commandments is a 1956 American epic film that dramatized the biblical story of the Exodus, in which the Hebrew-born Moses, an adopted Egyptian prince, becomes the deliverer of the Hebrew slaves. The film, released by Paramount Pictures in VistaVision on October 5, 1956, was directed by...

. He is portrayed by Charlton Heston
Charlton Heston
Charlton Heston was an American actor of film, theatre and television. Heston is known for heroic roles in films such as The Ten Commandments, Ben-Hur for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor, El Cid, and Planet of the Apes...

. A television remake was produced in 2006.

Burt Lancaster
Burt Lancaster
Burton Stephen "Burt" Lancaster was an American film actor noted for his athletic physique and distinctive smile...

 played Moses in the 1975 television miniseries
Miniseries
A miniseries , in a serial storytelling medium, is a television show production which tells a story in a limited number of episodes. The exact number is open to interpretation; however, they are usually limited to fewer than a whole season. The term "miniseries" is generally a North American term...

 Moses the Lawgiver
Moses the Lawgiver
Moses the Lawgiver was a 1974, 6-part TV mini-series directed by Gianfranco De Bosio and James H. Hill, starring Burt Lancaster, Anthony Quayle, Ingrid Thulin and Irene Papas, with screenplay by Vittorio Bonicelli and Anthony Burgess, and music by Ennio Morricone.An ITC/RAI co-production, shooting...


In the 1981 film
Film
A film, also called a movie or motion picture, is a series of still or moving images. It is produced by recording photographic images with cameras, or by creating images using animation techniques or visual effects...

 History of the World, Part I
History of the World, Part I
History of the World, Part I is a 1981 comedy film written, produced, and directed by Mel Brooks. Brooks also stars in the film, playing five roles: Moses, Comicus the stand-up philosopher, Tomás de Torquemada, King Louis XVI, and Jacques, le garçon de pisse...

, Moses is portrayed by Mel Brooks
Mel Brooks
Mel Brooks is an American film director, screenwriter, composer, lyricist, comedian, actor and producer. He is best known as a creator of broad film farces and comic parodies. He began his career as a stand-up comic and as a writer for the early TV variety show Your Show of Shows...

. Sir Ben Kingsley portrayed Moses in the movie of the same name.

Moses appears as the central character in the 1998 DreamWorks
DreamWorks
DreamWorks Pictures, also known as DreamWorks, LLC, DreamWorks SKG, DreamWorks II Distribution Co., LLC, DreamWorks Studios or DW Studios, LLC, is an American film studio which develops, produces, and distributes films, video games and television programming...

 Pictures animated movie, The Prince of Egypt
The Prince of Egypt
The Prince of Egypt is a 1998 American animated musical drama film and the first traditionally animated film produced and released by DreamWorks Animation. The film is an adaptation of the Book of Exodus and follows the life of Moses from being a prince of Egypt to his ultimate destiny to lead the...

. He is voiced by Val Kilmer
Val Kilmer
Val Edward Kilmer is an American actor. Originally a stage actor, Kilmer became popular in the mid-1980s after a string of appearances in comedy films, starting with Top Secret! , then the cult classic Real Genius , as well as blockbuster action films, including a supporting role in Top Gun and a...

.

See also

  • Mosaic authorship
    Mosaic authorship
    Mosaic authorship is the traditional attribution of the first five books of the Old Testament to Moses. The tradition is first definitively stated in the Babylonian Talmud, an encyclopedia of traditional Jewish learning compiled around the middle of the 1st millennium CE...

  • Osarseph
    Osarseph
    Osarseph is a legendary figure of Ancient Egypt who has been equated with Moses. His story was recounted by the Ptolemaic Egyptian historian Manetho in his Aigyptiaca ; Manetho's work is lost, but the 1st century AD Jewish historian Josephus quotes extensively from it.The story depicts Osarseph as...

  • Passage of the Red Sea
    Passage of the Red Sea
    The Crossing of the Red Sea is a passage in the Biblical narrative of the escape of the Israelites from the pursuing Egyptians in the Book of Exodus . This story is also mentioned in the Qur'an in Surah 26: Al-Shu'ara' in verses 60-67...

  • Table of prophets of Abrahamic religions
    Table of prophets of Abrahamic religions
    This is a table containing prophets of the modern Abrahamic religions.NOTE: In Judaism the classification of some people as prophets includes those who are not explicitly called so in the Hebrew Bible. Judaism also uses religious texts other than the Hebrew Bible to define prophets. Moreover,...


Further reading

  • Asch, Sholem
    Sholem Asch
    Sholem Asch, born Szalom Asz , also written Shalom Asch was a Polish-born American Jewish novelist, dramatist, and essayist in the Yiddish language.-Life and work:...

    . Moses. New York: Putnam, 1958. ISBN 0742691373.
  • Assmann, Jan
    Jan Assmann
    Jan Assmann is a German Egyptologist who was born in Langelsheim.-Education and teaching:He went to school in Lübeck and Heidelberg before going on to study Egyptology, Classical Archeology and Greek Studies in Munich, Heidelberg, Paris and Göttingen...

    . Moses the Egyptian: The Memory of Egypt in Western Monotheism. Harvard University Press, 1997. ISBN 0-674-58738-3.
  • Barenboim, Peter. Biblical Roots of Separation of Power, Moscow : Letny Sad, 2005, ISBN 5943811230, http://lccn.loc.gov/2006400578
  • Barzel, Hillel. "Moses: Tragedy and Sublimity." In Literary Interpretations of Biblical Narratives. Edited by Kenneth R.R. Gros Louis, with James S. Ackerman & Thayer S. Warshaw, 120–40. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1974. ISBN 0-687-22131-5.
  • Buber, Martin
    Martin Buber
    Martin Buber was an Austrian-born Jewish philosopher best known for his philosophy of dialogue, a form of religious existentialism centered on the distinction between the I-Thou relationship and the I-It relationship....

    . Moses: The Revelation and the Covenant. New York: Harper, 1958.
  • Card, Orson Scott
    Orson Scott Card
    Orson Scott Card is an American author, critic, public speaker, essayist, columnist, and political activist. He writes in several genres, but is primarily known for his science fiction. His novel Ender's Game and its sequel Speaker for the Dead both won Hugo and Nebula Awards, making Card the...

    . Stone Tables. Deseret Book Co., 1998. ISBN 1-57345-115-0.
  • Chasidah, Yishai. "Moses." In Encyclopedia of Biblical Personalities: Anthologized from the Talmud, Midrash and Rabbinic Writings, 340–99. Brooklyn: Shaar Press, 1994.
  • Cohen, Joel. Moses: A Memoir. Mahwah, N.J.: Paulist Press, 2003. ISBN 0-8091-0558-6.
  • Daiches, David
    David Daiches
    David Daiches was a Scottish literary historian and literary critic, scholar and writer. He wrote extensively on English literature, Scottish literature and Scottish culture.-Early life:...

    . Moses: The Man and his Vision. New York: Praeger, 1975. ISBN 0-275-33740-5.
  • Fast, Howard
    Howard Fast
    Howard Melvin Fast was an American novelist and television writer. Fast also wrote under the pen names E. V. Cunningham and Walter Ericson.-Early life:Fast was born in New York City...

    . Moses, Prince of Egypt. New York: Crown Pubs., 1958.
  • Freud, Sigmund
    Sigmund Freud
    Sigmund Freud , born Sigismund Schlomo Freud , was an Austrian neurologist who founded the discipline of psychoanalysis...

    . Moses and Monotheism. New York: Vintage, 1967. ISBN 0-394-70014-7.
  • Gjerman, Corey. Moses: The Father I Never Knew. Portland: Biblical Fantasticals, 2007. ISBN 978-1424171132.
  • Halter, Marek
    Marek Halter
    Marek Halter is a French-Jewish novelist. He was born in Warsaw, Poland in 1936. During World War II, he and his parents escaped from the Warsaw Ghetto and fled to the Soviet Union, spending the remainder of the war in Ukraine, Moscow and later in Kokand, Uzbekistan...

    . Zipporah, Wife of Moses. New York: Crown, 2005. ISBN 1400052793.
  • Hoffmeier, James K. 'Moses and the Exodus.' In: Israel in Egypt: The Evidence for the Authenticity of the Exodus Tradition, pp. 135–63. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996.
  • Ingraham, J. H.
    Joseph Holt Ingraham
    Joseph Holt Ingraham was an American author.- Biography :Ingraham was born in 1809 in Portland, Maine. He spent several years at sea, then worked as a teacher of languages in Mississippi. In the 1840's he published work in Arthur's Magazine...

    . The Pillar of Fire: Or Israel in Bondage. New York: A.L. Burt, 1859. Reprinted Ann Arbor, Mich.: Scholarly Publishing Office, University of Michigan Library, 2006. ISBN 1425564917.
  • Kirsch, Jonathan
    Jonathan Kirsch
    Jonathan Kirsch is a Biblical scholar, an attorney, and columnist for the Los Angeles Times. He is a bestselling author of books on religion, the Bible, and Judaism. He earned a B.A. degree in Russian and Jewish history from the University of California, Santa Cruz and a J.D. degree from Loyola...

    . Moses: A Life. New York: Ballantine, 1998. ISBN 0-345-41269-9.
  • Kohn, Rebecca. Seven Days to the Sea: An Epic Novel of the Exodus. New York: Rugged Land, 2006. ISBN 1-59071-049-5.
  • Lehman, S.M. (translator), Freedman, H. (ed.), Midrash Rabbah, 10 volumes, The Soncino Press, London, 1983.
  • Mann, Thomas
    Thomas Mann
    Thomas Mann was a German novelist, short story writer, social critic, philanthropist, essayist, and 1929 Nobel Prize laureate, known for his series of highly symbolic and ironic epic novels and novellas, noted for their insight into the psychology of the artist and the intellectual...

    . "Thou Shalt Have No Other Gods Before Me." In The Ten Commandments, 3–70. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1943.
  • Salibi, Kamal. The Bible Came from Arabia. London: Jonathan Cape, 1985.
  • Sandmel, Samuel. Alone Atop the Mountain. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1973. ISBN 0-385-03877-1.
  • Southon, Arthur E.
    Arthur Eustace Southon
    The Reverend Arthur Eustace Southon , usually known as A. E. Southon, was an English minister in the Methodist Church, and author...

     On Eagles' Wings. London: Cassell and Co., 1937. Reprinted New York: McGraw-Hill, 1954.
  • Wiesel, Elie
    Elie Wiesel
    Sir Eliezer "Elie" Wiesel KBE; born September 30, 1928) is a Hungarian-born Jewish-American writer, professor, political activist, Nobel Laureate, and Holocaust survivor. He is the author of 57 books, including Night, a work based on his experiences as a prisoner in the Auschwitz, Buna, and...

    . “Moses: Portrait of a Leader.” In Messengers of God: Biblical Portraits & Legends, 174–210. New York: Random House, 1976. ISBN 0-394-49740-6.
  • Wildavsky, Aaron
    Aaron Wildavsky
    Aaron Wildavsky was an American political scientist known for his pioneering work in public policy, government budgeting, and risk management....

    . Moses as Political Leader. Jerusalem: Shalem Press, 2005. ISBN 965-7052-31-9.
  • Wilson, Dorothy Clarke
    Dorothy Clarke Wilson
    Dorothy Clarke Wilson was an American author and playwright.Dorothy Clarke was born in Gardiner, Maine in 1904. She attended Bates College and graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1925 and married classmate, Elwin L. Wilson...

    . Prince of Egypt. Philadelphia: Westminster Press
    Westminster Press
    Westminster Press refers perhaps to one of these:* Westminster Press was a printing company in London run by Gerard Meynell, printer of the Imprint...

    , 1949.
  • Van Seters, John: Life of Moses
  • K. van der Toorn, Bob Becking, Pieter Willem van der Horst: Dictionary of deities and demons in the Bible

External links