Moses the Lawgiver
Copyright Michael D. Robbins 2005
(suggested by Alice Bailey in The Labors of Hercules)


Astro-Rayological Interpretation & Charts
Images and Physiognomic Interpretation

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“It is interesting to note that Mahomet, the founder of the most militant religion, was born in this sign, and legend says that Moses also was born in it; Moses, the lawgiver, and Mahomet, the warrior.” (LOH 36)

The identification of Moses and Mahomet with the sign Aries may be entirely the idea of Alice Bailey, and not that of the Tibetan, but since they were in close consultation, we cannot assume that this idea is without substance; therefore, it should be considered at least hypothetical, with a good possibility of being true.

Moses the “Lawgiver” is often identified with the first ray sign, Capricorn.

Moses, the Lawgiver, penetrated to one of the halls within the Veils of maya, and there encountered the glory of the Lord. This was of such a radiance that, as the Old Commentary puts it:

‘He who entered among the first to penetrate within the veils absorbed the light and knew not how to pass it on. Neither he nor they were ready, but the light was there and likewise the two directing eyes. But only one can use, project and send the light upon its mission. The other must be blinded, and of this fact the Lawgiver was aware. He therefore veiled the light, assuming towards this end a fragment of that which he had helped destroy, and so descended from the mountain top, back to the darkness of the earth’.” (R&I 192)

“The lawgiver assisted at the first rending as the climax to the third initiation, and there was a somewhat similar process of glorification”. (R&I - 193)

It is significant that two of the three first ray signs (Aries and Capricorn) are identified with an individual who clearly came forth upon the first ray. No true horoscope is available for Moses. There is, however, a question of whether he might be associated with the Master Morya.


Chapter 1
These be the words which Moses spake unto all Israel on this side Jordan in the wilderness, in the plain over against the Red sea, between Paran, and Tophel, and Laban, and Hazeroth, and Dizahab.
(There are eleven days' journey from Horeb by the way of mount Seir unto Kadeshbarnea.)
And it came to pass in the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first day of the month, that Moses spake unto the children of Israel, according unto all that the LORD had given him in commandment unto them;
After he had slain Sihon the king of the Amorites, which dwelt in Heshbon, and Og the king of Bashan, which dwelt at Astaroth in Edrei:
On this side Jordan, in the land of Moab, began Moses to declare this law, saying,
The LORD our God spake unto us in Horeb, saying, Ye have dwelt long enough in this mount:
Turn you, and take your journey, and go to the mount of the Amorites, and unto all the places nigh thereunto, in the plain, in the hills, and in the vale, and in the south, and by the sea side, to the land of the Canaanites, and unto Lebanon, unto the great river, the river Euphrates.
Behold, I have set the land before you: go in and possess the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give unto them and to their seed after them.
And I spake unto you at that time, saying, I am not able to bear you myself alone:
The LORD your God hath multiplied you, and, behold, ye are this day as the stars of heaven for multitude.
(The LORD God of your fathers make you a thousand times so many more as ye are, and bless you, as he hath promised you!)
How can I myself alone bear your cumbrance, and your burden, and your strife?
Take you wise men, and understanding, and known among your tribes, and I will make them rulers over you.
And ye answered me, and said, The thing which thou hast spoken is good for us to do.
So I took the chief of your tribes, wise men, and known, and made them heads over you, captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, and captains over fifties, and captains over tens, and officers among your tribes.
And I charged your judges at that time, saying, Hear the causes between your brethren, and judge righteously between every man and his brother, and the stranger that is with him.
Ye shall not respect persons in judgment; but ye shall hear the small as well as the great; ye shall not be afraid of the face of man; for the judgment is God's: and the cause that is too hard for you, bring it unto me, and I will hear it.
And I commanded you at that time all the things which ye should do.
And when we departed from Horeb, we went through all that great and terrible wilderness, which ye saw by the way of the mountain of the Amorites, as the LORD our God commanded us; and we came to Kadeshbarnea.
And I said unto you, Ye are come unto the mountain of the Amorites, which the LORD our God doth give unto us.
Behold, the LORD thy God hath set the land before thee: go up and possess it, as the LORD God of thy fathers hath said unto thee; fear not, neither be discouraged.
And ye came near unto me every one of you, and said, We will send men before us, and they shall search us out the land, and bring us word again by what way we must go up, and into what cities we shall come.
And the saying pleased me well: and I took twelve men of you, one of a tribe:
And they turned and went up into the mountain, and came unto the valley of Eshcol, and searched it out.
And they took of the fruit of the land in their hands, and brought it down unto us, and brought us word again, and said, It is a good land which the LORD our God doth give us.
Notwithstanding ye would not go up, but rebelled against the commandment of the LORD your God:
And ye murmured in your tents, and said, Because the LORD hated us, he hath brought us forth out of the land of Egypt, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us.
Whither shall we go up? our brethren have discouraged our heart, saying, The people is greater and taller than we; the cities are great and walled up to heaven; and moreover we have seen the sons of the Anakims there.
Then I said unto you, Dread not, neither be afraid of them.
The LORD your God which goeth before you, he shall fight for you, according to all that he did for you in Egypt before your eyes;
And in the wilderness, where thou hast seen how that the LORD thy God bare thee, as a man doth bear his son, in all the way that ye went, until ye came into this place.
Yet in this thing ye did not believe the LORD your God,
Who went in the way before you, to search you out a place to pitch your tents in, in fire by night, to shew you by what way ye should go, and in a cloud by day.
And the LORD heard the voice of your words, and was wroth, and sware, saying,
Surely there shall not one of these men of this evil generation see that good land, which I sware to give unto your fathers.
Save Caleb the son of Jephunneh; he shall see it, and to him will I give the land that he hath trodden upon, and to his children, because he hath wholly followed the LORD.
Also the LORD was angry with me for your sakes, saying, Thou also shalt not go in thither.
But Joshua the son of Nun, which standeth before thee, he shall go in thither: encourage him: for he shall cause Israel to inherit it.
Moreover your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, and your children, which in that day had no knowledge between good and evil, they shall go in thither, and unto them will I give it, and they shall possess it.
But as for you, turn you, and take your journey into the wilderness by the way of the Red sea.
Then ye answered and said unto me, We have sinned against the LORD, we will go up and fight, according to all that the LORD our God commanded us. And when ye had girded on every man his weapons of war, ye were ready to go up into the hill.
And the LORD said unto me, Say unto them. Go not up, neither fight; for I am not among you; lest ye be smitten before your enemies.
So I spake unto you; and ye would not hear, but rebelled against the commandment of the LORD, and went presumptuously up into the hill.
And the Amorites, which dwelt in that mountain, came out against you, and chased you, as bees do, and destroyed you in Seir, even unto Hormah.
And ye returned and wept before the LORD; but the LORD would not hearken to your voice, nor give ear unto you.
So ye abode in Kadesh many days, according unto the days that ye abode there.


Moses with the Tablets, 1659, by Rembrandt
This article is about the Biblical figure. For other uses, see Moses (disambiguation).

Moses (Hebrew: ?????? Moshe Standard Mošé Tiberian Mošeh; Arabic: ????, Musa; Ge'ez: ?? Musse) was an early Biblical Hebrew religious leader, lawgiver, prophet, and historian. Moses is traditionally considered the transcriber of the Torah, or the first five books of the Bible, and is also an important prophet in Islam and the Bahá'í Faith.

According to the Bible, he was born to a Hebrew mother who hid him during what would today be termed a genocide ordered by Pharaoh against all newborn Hebrew boys, and ended up being adopted into the Egyptian royal family. After killing an Egyptian slave master, he fled and became a shepherd, and was later commanded by God to deliver the Hebrews from slavery. After the Ten Plagues were unleashed upon Egypt, he led the Hebrew slaves out of Egypt, through the Red Sea, and in the desert for 40 years. Despite living to 120, he did not enter the Land of Israel (see Numbers 20:11-12).

Moses in the Bible

Early life
The Book of Exodus begins many years after the close of the Book of Genesis, at the end of which the Israelites were dwelling in relative harmony with the native Egyptians in the Land of Goshen, the eastern part of the Nile Delta. Sometime during the interval, the Egyptians became hostile to the Israelites and enslaved them.

According to the Book of Exodus, Moses was a son of Amram, a member of the Levite tribe of Israel, having descended from Jacob, and his wife Jochebed. Jochebed was also the sister of Amram's father Kohath. (Exodus vi 20) Aaron was Moses' elder brother. According to Genesis 46:11, Amram's father Kohath immigrated to Egypt with 70 of Jacob's household, making Moses part of the second generation of Israelites born during their time in Egypt.

Moses in front of Phaorah by Haydar HatemiIn the Exodus account, the birth of Moses occurred at a time when the current Egyptian Pharaoh had commanded that all male children born be killed by drowning in the river Nile. The Torah leaves the identity of this Pharaoh unstated.[1]

The finding of Moses, by Giovanni Battista TiepoloJochebed, 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. In the Biblical account, Moses' sister Miriam observed the progress of the tiny boat until it reached a place where Pharaoh's daughter was bathing with her handmaidens. It is said that she spotted the baby in the basket and had her handmaiden fetch it for her. At this point, 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, and he grew and was brought to Pharaoh's daughter and became her son. The daughter of Pharaoh is not identified specifically in Exodus. If Rameses II is the Pharaoh of the Oppression as is traditionally thought, identifying her would be extremely difficult as Rameses II is thought to have fathered over a hundred children. The daughter of Pharaoh named him Mosheh, similar to the Hebrew word mashah, "to draw out". In the Greek translation, Mosheh was Hellenized as Moses.

The finding of Moses, by Edwin LongIt is extremely peculiar that an Egyptian daughter of the Pharaoh would turn to the Hebrew language in order to name a child whose Hebrew origins were meant to be concealed from everyone. Even if this unnamed daughter of Pharaoh had learned the slave's language, such a name would be recognized as foreign by Moses' Egyptian peers, and immediately raise questions. Therefore, medieval Jewish scholars suggest that Moses' actual name was the Egyptian translation of "to draw out", and it is translated into Hebrew, either by the Bible, or by Mosheh himself later in his lifetime. Modern scholars suggest that the daughter of Pharaoh would derive his name from the Egyptian word moses which means "son" or "formed of"; for example, "Thutmose" means "son of Thoth", and Rameses means "son of Ra". In ancient Egyptian language, the word "Mo" means "water" while the word "Sa" means "son". Therefore; his complete name which is "Mosa" means "the son of water" as he was found in a basket in water.

Shepherd in Midian
After Moses had reached adulthood, he went to see how his brethren who were enslaved to the Egyptians were faring. Seeing an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, he killed the Egyptian and enshrouded his body in the sand, supposing that no one would be disposed to reveal the matter knew of it. The next day, seeing two Hebrews 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 and settled with Hobab, or Jethro, priest of Midian (a region just East of the gulf of Aqaba), whose daughter Zipporah he in due time married. There he sojourned forty years, following the occupation of a shepherd, during which time his son Gershom was born.

One day, Moses led his flock to Mount Horeb, usually identified with Mount Sinai — a mountain that was thought in the Middle Ages to be located on the Sinai Peninsula, but that many scholars now believe was further east, towards Moses' home of Midian. At Mount Horeb, he saw a burning bush that would not be consumed. When he turned aside to look more closely at the marvel, God spoke to him from the bush, revealing his name to Moses.

Leader of the Israelites
God commissioned him to go to Egypt and deliver his fellow Hebrews from bondage. He then returned to Egypt, was met upon his arrival by his elder brother, Aaron, and gained a hearing with his oppressed kindred. It is also revealed that during Moses' absence, the Pharaoh of the Oppresion (sometimes identified with Rameses II) had died, and been replaced by a new Pharaoh, known as the Pharaoh of the Exodus. If Rameses II is the Pharaoh of the Oppression, then this new Pharaoh would be Merneptah. Because the story the book of Exodus describes is catastrophic for the Egyptians -- involving horrible plagues, the loss of thousands of slaves, and many deaths (possibly including the death of Pharaoh himself, though that matter is unclear in Exodus) -- it is conspicuous that no Egyptian records speaking of Israelites in Egypt have ever been found. However, Merneptah, is indeed, historically known to have been a mediocre ruler, and certainly one weaker that Rameses II. The Pharaoh's identity undisclosed, Moses persuades Pharaoh to let the Hebrews depart after Moses's God sends ten plagues upon the Egyptians. The first plague was the Nile converted to blood. The second was that frogs emanated from the Nile. The third was lice, gnats, and flies. The fourth was attacking of wild beasts. The fifth was the invasion of diseases on the Egyptians' cattle, oxen, goats, sheep, camels, and horses. Sixth were boils on the skins of Egyptians. Seventh, fiery hail and thunder struck Egypt. The eighth plague was locusts encompassing Egypt. The ninth plague was total darkness. The tenth plague culminated in the slaying of the Egyptian male first-borns, whereupon such terror seized the Egyptians that they ordered the Hebrews to leave in the Exodus. The events are commemorated as Passover, referring to how the plague "passed over" the houses of the Israelites whilst smiting the Egytians.

And so Moses leads his people Eastward, beginning the long journey to Canaan. The procession moved slowly, and found it necessary to encamp three times before passing the Egyptian frontier — some believe at the Great Bitter Lake, while others propose sites as far south as the northern tip of the Red Sea. 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. When the Egyptian army attempted to follow, God permitted the waters to return upon them and drown them. Whether Pharaoh himself drowns is unclear, although Egyptian records did not chronicle such an event.

When the people arrived at Marah, the water was bitter, causing the people to murmur against Moses. Moses cast a tree into the water, and the water became sweet.[2] 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 from the sky in the morning and quail in the evening took care of the situation.[3] 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.[4]

Moses strikes water from the stone, by BacchiaccaAmalekite raiders arrived and attacked the Israelites. In response, Moses bid 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 Amalekites. 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.[5]

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.[6]

When the Israelites came to Sinai, they pitched camp near the mountain.[7] Moses commanded the people not to touch the mountain.[8] Moses received the ten commandments orally (but not yet in tablet form) and other moral laws.[9] Moses then went up with Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and seventy of the elders to see the God of Israel.[10] Before Moses went up the mountain to receive the tablets, he told the elders to direct any questions that arose to Aaron or Hur.[11]

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 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 rallied around Moses, who ordered them to go from gate to gate slaying the idolators.[12]

Following this, according to the last chapters of Exodus, the Tabernacle 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 Ethiopian,[13] and about him being the only one through whom the Lord spoke. Miriam was punished with leprosy for seven days.[14] The Hebrew words which the King James Bible translates as "Ethiopian", is "Cushi", and the Revised Standard Version translates it as Cushite. Cush refers to an African civilization that preceded the Egyptians in the same general area, which may indeed be desribing Ethiopia, but it may also be that the "Ethiopian woman" is Zipporah, the only woman who is ever named explicitly as being married to Moses. Zipporah's status as a non-Israelite might have incited Miriam's complaints.

The people left Hazeroth and pitched camp in the wilderness of Paran.[15] (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) were willing to try to conquer it, and are nearly stoned for their unpopular opinon. 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.[16]

The Reubenites, led by Korah, Dathan, Abiram, and two hundred fifty 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 two hundred fifty 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 fourteen thousand seven hundred persons, and was only ended when Aaron went with his censer into the midst of the people.[17] To prevent further murmurings and settle the matter permanently, Moses had the chief prince 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.[18]

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.[19] This was the second occasion Moses struck a rock to bring forth water; however, it appears that both sites were named Meribah after these two incidents.

Now ready to enter Canaan, the Israelites abandon the idea of attacking the Canaanites head-on in Hebron, 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. This requires that they pass through Edom, Moab, and Ammon. These three tribes are considered Hebrews by the Israelites as descendants of Lot, 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 and mounted it on a pole, and if those who were bitten looked at it, they did not die.[20] This brass serpent remained in existence until the days of King Hezekiah, who destroyed it after persons began treating it as an idol.[21] When they reach Moab, it is revealed that Moab has been attacked and defeated by the Amorites led by a king named Sihon. The Amorites were a non-Hebrew Canannic people that once held power in the fertile crescent. 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, a fertile territory north of Ammon famous for its oak trees and cattle. It is led by a king named Og. Later rabbinical legends made Og a survivor of the flood, suggesting the he had sat on the ark and was fed by Noah. 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, 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, to Balaam (apparently a powerful and respected prophet), son of Beor, 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 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 Kirjathhuzoth, and they go to the high places of Baal, 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, 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, and, after the seven sacrifices there, decides not to seek enchantments but instead looks upon 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 upon the Kenites, and Amalekites and offers two more predictions of fate. Balak and Balaam then simply go to their respective homes. Deuteronomy 23:3-6 summarises these incidents, and further states that the Ammonites were associated with the Moabites. Joshua, in his farewell speech, also makes reference to it. Nehemiah, Micah, and Joshua, continue in the historical account of Balaam, who next advises the Midianites how to bring disaster upon the Israelites by seducing the people with idols and beautiful women, which proves partly successful.

Phinehas, the grandson of Aaron, put an end to the matter of the Midianite seduction by slaying two of the prominent offenders, but by that time a plague inflicted upon the Israelites had already killed about twenty-four thousand persons. Moses was then told that because Phinehas had averted the wrath of God from the Israelites, Phinehas and his descendents were given the pledge of an everlasting priesthood.[22]

After Moses had taken a census of the people, he sent an army to avenge the perceived evil brought upon the Israelites by the Midianites. The expedition accomplished its objective resulting in slaying all the male Midianite children, the non-virgin girls (See Book of Numbers 31:17) and five of their kings: Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur, and Reba. The Israelites also slew Balaam.[23]

Moses appointed Joshua, son of Nun, to succeed him as the leader of the Israelites.[24] Moses then died at the age of 120.[25]

Date of the Exodus
Main article: the Exodus
There is considerable uncertainty as to what date the Bible implies for the Exodus taking place. Suggestions include:

It may have occurred around the end of the Hyksos era (1648 - 1540 BC), as mentioned above;
It may have occurred around 1400 BC, since the Amarna letters, written ca. forty years later to Pharaohs Amenhotep III and Amenhotep IV (Akhenaten) indicate that Canaan was being invaded by the "Habiru" — whom some scholars in the 1950s to 1970s interpret to mean "Hebrews". However, the Hebrew patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are also recorded as having conducted military activities in Canaan some centuries before the Exodus. Note also that "forty years" is a common expression in the Old Testament for "a long period of time", and that many scholars today view the Habiru as members of a social underclass of people present throughout the Ancient Near East at this time, rather than a tribal group confined to Egypt.
it occurred during the 13th century BC, as the pharaoh during most of that time, Rameses II, is commonly considered to be a pharaoh with whom Moses squabbled - either as the 'Pharaoh of the Exodus' himself, or the preceding 'Pharaoh of the Oppression', who is said to have commissioned the Hebrews to "(build) for Pharaoh treasure cities, Pithom and Raamses." These cities are known to have been built under both Seti I and Rameses II, thus possibly making his successor Merneptah the 'Pharaoh of the Exodus.' This is considered plausible by those who view the famed Year 5 (ca. 1208 BC), Merneptah Stele's claim that "Israel is wasted, bare of seed", as pure propaganda to cover up this king's own loss of an army in the Red sea. Taken at face value, however, the primary intent of the stela was clearly to commemorate Merneptah's victory over the Libyans and their Sea People allies. The reference to Canaan occurs only in the final lines of the document where Israel is mentioned after the city states of Ashkelon, Gezer and Yanoam perhaps to signal Merneptah's disdain or contempt for this new entity. In Exodus, the Pharaoh of the Exodus did not cross into Canaan since his Army was destroyed at the Red Sea. Hence, the traditional view that Ramesses II was the Pharaoh of either the Oppression or the Exodus is affirmed by the basic contents of the Merneptah Stele. Under this scenario, the Israelites would have been a nation without a state of their own who existed on the fringes of Canaan in Year 5 of Merneptah. This is suggested by the determinative sign written in the stela for Israel--"a throw stick plus a man and a woman over the three vertical plural lines"--which was "typically used by the Egyptians to signify nomadic groups or peoples without a fixed city-state,"[34] such as the Hebrew's previous life in Goshen. A more remote and unverified possibility is that the line "wasted, bare of seed" refers to the time when the infants of Israel are said to have been thrown into the Nile when Moses was born.
An unverified theory places the birth and/or adoption of Moses during a minor oppression in the reign of Amenhotep III, which was soon lifted, and claims that the more well-known oppression occurred during the reign of Horemheb, followed by the Exodus itself during the reign of Ramses I. This is supported by the Haggada, which suggests that they were oppressed and then re-oppressed quite a few years later by Pharaoh. There is also an inscription from the very beginning of Seti I's reign[citation needed] which says that upon the death of Ramses I, many of the Shasu (a word as a collective for many of the nomadic groups of the time) left Egypt, traveled through Sinai, into northern Arabia, and, as recorded in other inscriptions, after about forty years, entered Canaan. The Bible, Koran, and Haggada all suggest that the Pharaoh of the Exodus died in year 2 of his reign, matching Ramses I. The fact that Pi-Tum and Raamses were built during the reign of Ramses I also supports this view. Seti I records that during his reign the Shasu warred with each other, which some see as a reference to the Midyan and Moab wars. Seti's campaigns with the Shasu have also been compared with Balaam's exploits.[35] However, many Egyptologists reject these comparisons as spurious.
A more recent and non-Biblical view places Moses as a noble in the court of the Pharaoh Akhenaten (See below). A significant number of scholars, from Sigmund Freud to Joseph Campbell, suggest that Moses may have fled Egypt after Akhenaten's death (ca. 1334 BC) when many of the pharaoh's monotheistic reforms were being violently reversed. The principal ideas behind this theory are: the monotheistic religion of Akhenaten being a possible predecessor to Moses' monotheism, and the "Amarna Letters", written by nobles to Akhenaten, which describe raiding bands of "Habiru" attacking the Egyptian territories in Mesopotamia.[36]
David Rohl, a British historian and archaeologist, author of the book "A Test of Time", places the birth of Moses during the reign of Pharaoh Khaneferre Sobekhotep IV of the 13th Egyptian Dynasty, and the Exodus during the reign of Pharaoh Dudimose (accession to the throne around 1457-1444), when according to Manetho "a blast from God smote the Egyptians".
It has also been suggested that the Exodus did not occur at all. Some archaeologists have claimed that surveys of ancient settlements in Sinai do not appear to show a great influx of people around the time of the Exodus (given variously as between 1500-1200 BC), as would be expected from the arrival of Joshua and the Israelites in Canaan. This suggests that the biblical Exodus may not be a literal depiction. [37]

[edit] Moses and Egypt in historical psychoanalysis
There is also a psychoanalytical interpretation of Moses' life, put forward by Sigmund Freud in his last book, Moses and Monotheism, in 1937. Freud postulated that Moses was an Egyptian nobleman who adhered to the monotheism of Akhenaten. Freud also believed that Moses was murdered in the wilderness, producing a collective sense of patricidal guilt which 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. [38]. Opponents of this view observe that the religion of the Torah seems very different to Atenism in everything except the central feature of devotion to a single god,[39] although this has been countered by a variety of arguments, e.g. pointing out the similarities between the Hymn to Aten and Psalm 104[40][41].

.Moses is depicted in several U.S. government buildings because of his legacy as a lawgiver. Moses in one of the 23 lawgivers depicted in marble bas-reliefs in the chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives in the United States Capitol.[42] An image of Moses holding two tablets written in Hebrew representing the Ten Commandments (and a partially-visible list of commandments six through ten, the more "secular" commandments, behind his beard) is depicted on the frieze on the south wall of the U.S. Supreme Court building.[43]


The Old Testament prophet Moses (ca. 1392-ca. 1272 BC) was the emancipator of Israel. He created Israel's nationhood and founded its religion.

Moses was the son of Amram and Yochebed of the tribe of Levi. He was born in Egypt during the period in which the Pharaoh had ordered that all newborn male Hebrew children be cast into the Nile. Rescued by the daughter of the Pharaoh, he was brought up in the splendor of the Egyptian court as her adopted son. Grown to manhood, aware of his Hebraic origin, and with deep compassion for his enslaved brethren, he became enraged while witnessing an Egyptian taskmaster brutally beating a Hebrew slave. Impulsively he killed the Egyptian. Fearing the Pharaoh's wrath and punishment, he fled into the desert of Midian, becoming a shepherd for Jethro, a Midianite priest whose daughter Zipporah he later married. While tending the flocks on Mt. Horeb far in the wilderness, he beheld a bush burning that was not consumed. In the revelation that followed, he was informed that he had been chosen to serve as the liberator of the children of Israel. He was also told to proclaim the unity of God to his entire people, which doctrine heretofore had been known only to certain individuals.

The tremendous responsibility of his task, his innate humility, and his own feeling of unworthiness evoked a hesitancy and lack of confidence in Moses. He was assured, however, that Aaron, his more fluent brother, would serve as his spokesman both to the children of Israel and to the Pharaoh.

Moses returned to Egypt and persuaded the Hebrews to organize for a hasty departure from the land of bondage.

Together with Aaron, he informed the Pharaoh that the God of the Hebrews demanded that he free His people. The Pharaoh refused to obey, bringing upon himself and his people nine terrible plagues that Moses wrought upon Egypt by using the miraculous staff he had received as a sign of his authority. The tenth plague, the killing of the firstborn sons of the Egyptians, broke the Pharaoh's resistance and compelled him to grant the Hebrews permission to depart immediately. Moses thus found himself the leader of an undisciplined collection of slaves, Hebrew as well as non-Hebrew, escaping from Egyptian territory to freedom.
Moses' immediate goal was Mt. Horeb, called Mt. Sinai, where God had first revealed Himself to him. The Hebrews came to the sacred mountain fired by the inspiration of their prophetic leader. Summoned by God, Moses ascended the mountain and received the tablets of stone while the children of Israel heard the thundering forth of the Ten Commandments. Inspired, the people agreed to the conditions of the Covenant.

Through 40 years in the wilderness of Sinai, overcoming tremendous obstacles, Moses led the horde of former slaves, shaping them into a nation. He selected and set them apart for a divine purpose and consecrated them to the highest ethical and moral laws. Only a man with tremendous will, patience, compassion, humility, and great faith could have forged the bickering and scheming factions who constantly challenged his wisdom and authority into an entity.

Moses supplemented the Ten Commandments by a code of law regulating the social and religious life of the people. This collection of instructions, read to and ratified by the people, was called the Book of the Covenant.

Under his leadership, most of the land east of the Jordan was conquered and given to the tribes of Reuben and Gad and to half of the tribe of Menashe. Moses, however, was not permitted to lead the children of Israel into Canaan, the Promised Land, because he had been disobedient to God during the period of wandering in the desert. When the people were in need of water, God told Moses to speak to a rock and water would spring from it. Instead he had struck the rock with his staff. From the heights of Nebo he surveyed the land promised to his forefathers, which would be given to their children. Moses, 120 years old, died in the land of Moab and was buried opposite Bet Peor.


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