Moses was the prophet in the Old Testament who was chosen to lead Israel out of Egyptian slavery. He was also the one who created Israel’s nationhood and who delivered the Ten Commandments. Let us know more about the events that happened in his life.
Family: Jochebed (Mother), Amram (Father), Aaron (Brother), Miriam (Sister)
Nickname: Moshe – The Hebrew form of Moses
- Powerful (through God)
Major Events in Moses’ Life
Moses was born over a thousand years before Jesus arrived. He was the son of Amram and Yochebed from the tribe of Levi. He was born in Egypt during the time when the Israelites had become a threat to the Egyptians because of their large population. That was the reason why the Pharoah had ordered all newborn male Hebrew children be cast into the Nile to drown.
Moses’ parents placed him in a waterproof basket and hid him in the tall grasses of the Nile while his sister Miriam hid and watched over him from a distance. The Pharoah’s daughter heard him cry. She found the baby and rescued him. After that, she named him “Moses” which means drawn from the water. Through Moses, her desire to have a son had been fulfilled.
Moses was given the best of everything as a child, though he did not become spoiled. When he grew up, he was aware of his Hebraic roots and he shared a deep compassion for his confined kinsmen. That’s why he became furious when he saw an Egyptian master beating a Hebrew slave brutally. With this, he impulsively killed the Egyptian.
Because of what he’d done, Moses feared the Pharaoh’s punishment and he fled into the desert of Midian and became a shepherd for a Midianite priest named Jethro. Later on, he married Jethro’s daughter named Zipporah.
One day, while Moses was tending the flocks on Horeb Mountain in the wilderness, he saw a bush burning but it was not being consumed by the fire and not turning to ash. Then, he heard a voice from within telling him that he was chosen to serve as one to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt and to declare the unity of God to his people. During that time, Israelites were worshipping many gods and Moses was to tell them that there was only one God.
Moses was not confident in God’s request of him because he was shy and may have had a speech impediment. God then told him that he must do this task, but his brother Aaron, who was more eloquent of speech, would be his spokesperson.
He then returned to Egypt and asked the Hebrews to organize for a quick trip to their Egyptian slave drivers. Together with Aaron, Moses told the Pharaoh that the God of the Hebrews demanded that Pharaoh free God’s people. However, the Pharaoh refused, bring himself and his people ten terrible plagues. These were produced by Moses using the miraculous staff he received from God which was a sign of his authority. The ten terrible plagues were:
1. Water to blood: Every last drop of water in Egypt was turned to blood for a week.
2. Frogs: An innumerable swarm of frogs rolled across Egypt.
3. Gnats: A gargantuan swarm of gnats tormented the people of Egypt.
4. Flies: A great number of flies plagued Egypt.
5. Death of Livestock: A plague killed all the livestock of Egypt.
6. Boils: Terrible sores were placed on every Egyptian, causing them great pain.
7. Hail: A hailstorm of unprecedented proportions was unleashed upon Egypt, causing great damage and physical harm.
8. Locusts: God sent a plague of locusts that stripped Egypt clean of everything.
9. Darkness: God put out the sun and all light for three days, the darkness was such that it could almost be felt.
10. Death of Firstborn: God sent the Angel of Death to kill the firstborn son in every Egyptian household, the Israelites were ordered to put lamb’s blood above their door so that the Angel would pass over them.
Each of these plagues has caused great harm to the Egyptian but the Israelites were left unharmed and untouched. After the final plague, the Pharaoh was broken, letting the Israelites go. The Israelites then fled to the Red Sea. The Pharaoh went back on his word and sent his armies after them. But God parted the Red Sea. He let the Israelites pass through unharmed while slaughtering the Egyptian army with the water.
Moses led the Israelites to Mt. Sinai, where Moses received the tablets of stone while the children of Israel heard the thundering forth the Ten Commandments.
1. You shall have no other gods before Me.
2. You shall not make idols.
3. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.
4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
5. Honor your father and your mother.
6. You shall not murder.
7. You shall not commit adultery.
8. You shall not steal.
9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
10. You shall not covet.
While Moses was on the mountain, the Israelites turned to idolatry. Moses came down the mountain, rebuked them, had the offenders killed, and broke the tablets upon which the Commandments were written. He then made new tablets and had the Israelites form a covenant with God saying they would follow his rules.
The Israelites came to the Promised Land, and Moses sent 12 spies in to check the land out. The Israelites decided to not enter the Promised Land because ten of the twelve spies reported it to be negative. This angered God and he cursed the Israelites to wander for 40 years.
Moses led the Israelites until he died. He never entered the Promised Land because he had been disobedient to God during the period of wandering in the desert. Moses died at the age of 120 due to natural causes in the land of Moab. He was buried opposite Bet Peor.