Moses

Moses ("I drew him out of the water") son of Amram and Jochebed from the tribe of Levi, and the younger brother of Miriam and Aaron. At the time of his birth, the Israelites were experiencing severe oppression in Egypt. Moses was adopted by a Egyptian princess and lived in Egypt many years.

Later, Moses was forced to flee Egypt after killing an Egyptian overseer who had beaten a Hebrew slave. He escaped into the Sinai desert, met with a Midiante priest named Jethro, and married one of his daughters, Zipporah. He had two sons by Zipporah.

The turning point in Moses life was the divine revelation of the burning bush. God ordered Moses to return to Egypt and lead His people out of bondage. Only after a series of ten divinely ordained punishments did Pharaoh agree to set the Israelites free.

Moses, at the age of 80, then assumed a new role, leading the Israelites on their historic journey. Moses, at God's command, parted the Red Sea, to allow an escape route for the Israelites from the Egyptian army. Moses received the Ten Commandments from God, written on two stone tablets on Mount Sinai.

The Israelites sinned greatly in the desert, and God wanted to destroy them, but Moses talked to God, and saved His people. Because of their disobedience, grumbling, and not trusting in God, the Israelites were forced to live in the desert for 40 years, where they received manna (a bread-like substance) from heaven, to keep them alive. The entire Exodus generation died off (except for Joshua and Caleb) and their children were the ones who would later settle in Israel.

God instructed Moses to build a moveable Temple and to construct the Ark of the Covenant. After witnessing the conquest of the eastern side of the Jordan River, Moses was notified of his imminent death. Moses conferred his authority upon Joshua, to lead the 600,000 men (not counting women and children) into the land of "milk and honey." Moses died at age 120.

He is credited with writing the first five books of the Bible. He talked with God and at God's command he performed amazing miracles. The story of Moses is covered in the Books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. He is mentioned 80 times in the New Testament, usually as a lawgiver. He is also seen as the prophet who points the way to Jesus. Moses, along with Elijah appeared in the Transfiguration with Jesus.

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