Moses

Moses (draw out )

The young Moses

Three months after Moses was born, he was thrown in the river by his parents. This was, because the Pharaoh had ordered all male children to be killed. The Pharaoh's daughter was bathing in the Nile when she saw the basket with Moses. She felt sorry for him and got him out of the water. She then got a Hebrew woman to care for Moses - his mother.

One day he saw how an Egyptian was beating a Hebrew and killed the Egyptian. This became known to the Hebrews and also to the Pharaoh, who now wanted to kill him. Moses fled to Midian. There he got to know Reuel and lived there for a long period. He married Reuel's daughter Zipporah and she gave birth to their son Gershom.

Against the Pharaoh

One day when Moses was tending Jethro's flocks, he saw a burning bush. When he went to it, God started to talk out of the bush. God told Moses that he had seen the misery of Israel and was now sending Moses to the Pharaoh. He promised to give the Israelites the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. Moses did not want to pursue the task that God wanted to give him. Only after a lot of persuading did Moses give in.

He then asked Jethro for permission to go back to Egypt. On the way to Egypt, God attacked Moses. Zipporah cut off the foreskin of her son and touches Mose's feet with it. This saved Moses. Then Moses met Aaron and together they went to Egypt and told the Israelites what God had said.

First Visit

When Moses was 80 years old, together they went to the Pharaoh to ask him for permission to go and worship God in the desert. But he did not allow them to go. Because of the question he thought the Israelites were getting lazy and sentenced them for their request. They now had to make bricks and were not given straw. Instead they had to go and collect the straw themselfes.

Moses was disappointed and asked God about what happened. God then reassured Moses, that things would go well. When Moses told this to the Israelites, they did not believe him.

The Snake

On the second visit, they performed a miracle. When throwing a staff to the ground, it became a snake. Pharaoh's magicians did the same thing. Aaron's and Moses's snake then ate the two snakes of the Egyptians.

First Plague - Water to Blood

One morning they met the Pharaoh on the bank of the Nile. There they said to the Pharaoh to let God's people go, so that they may worhsip in the desert. Aaron then raised his staff over the Nile, and all the water was converted to blood. The people could not dring the water.

Second Plague - Frogs

Seven days later, Moses again went to the Pharaoh. He told him, to let the Israelites go or else God would plague the while country with frogs. The magicians did the same thing.

The Pharaoh then asked Moses and Aaron to pray so that the frogs would go away. He promised them to let the people go to offer sacrifices to the Lord. After they prayed, the Lord killed all frogs except the ones in the Nile. But then Pharaoh then hardened his heart and did not let them go.

Third Plague - Gnats

Then they performed the next wonder. When they stroke the dust of the ground with the staff, all the dust became gnats. The Egyptian magicians could not produce gnats. So they said to the Pharaoh, that this was the finger of God. But the Pharaoh would not listen.

Fourth Plague - Flies

Again Moses and Aaron met the Pharaoh at the river. They again commanded him to let the people go. This time, flies would come to Egypt, but not to Goschem, where the Israelites lived. The Lord did this. The Pharaoh then told Moses and Aaron to sacrifice to God in Egypt. They refused to do so, because the sacrifices would be detestable to the Egyptians. Then the Pharaoh allowed them to go to the desert and asked them to pray for him. So they prayed, the flies went away and the Pharaoh's heart was hardened again.

Fifth Plague - Livestock killed

God told Moses to go before the Pharaoh again. This time, he announced that all livestock in the fields would be killed, but not Israel's.

Sixth Plague - Boils

God told Moses to throw soot into the air. Boils broke out on all Egyptians, so that the magicians could not confront Moses and Aaron this time. The Pharaoh's heart was still hardened.

Seventh Plague - Hail

Now God sent the worst hail storm that Egypt had ever seen. Everything in the field was destroyed. The Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and told them, he had sinned and again told them, he would let their people go. Moses then prayed for the hail storm to stop and it stopped.

Eight Plague - Locusts

Moses and Aaron again went before the Pharaoh and told him, that locusts would invade the land. His officials talked to him and recommended to let the Israelites go. So the Pharaoh called Moses and Aaron again and told them, he would let the men of Israel go. But they were not content with that, because they wanted to go with the women, flocks and everything they had.

So the Lord brought in locusts by an east wind. They devoured everything growing in the fields and all the fruits on the trees. The Pharaoh summoned them and asked for forgiveness. The locusts were then blown into the Read Sea by a west wind.

Ninth Plague - Darkness

Next, God covered Egypt with a total darkness for three days. Only the Israelites had light where they lived. The Pharaoh then allowed them to go and worship the Lord with their women and childen but not with the flocks and herds.

The Pharaoh threatened Moses, that he would kill him the next time he saw him.

Tenth Plague - Death of the Firstborns

God told Moses, that one last plague was to follow. All firstborn males of Egypt would die. Only the Israelites would be spared again. He instructed him in how to hold the Passover and to paint the doorposts of every house of the Israelites with blood in order to be saved that night.

Traveling

From Egypt to Rephidim

Then the Lord went throughout Egypt and killed the male firstborns. Now finally the Pharaoh allowed the Israelites with all of their livestock to leave Egypt. The Israelites asked the Egyptians for silver, gold and clothing, because unlike the Pharaoh his people liked the Israelites. There were 600'000 Israelite men besides women and children and many other people leaving that day.

Moses took the bones of Joseph with him because of the oath that the sons of Israel had given to Joseph.

From Rameses they went towards the Red Sea and camped at Succoth. Next they went to Etham at the edge of the desert. Then the Lord told them to camp between Migdol and the Red Sea near Pi Hahiroth to the east of Baal Zephon. This was a maneuver to let the Pharaoh believe, that the Israelites did not know where to go. The Lord hardened the Pharaoh's heart again and the Pharaoh took his army and marched out against the Israelites.

The people then was afraid and complained to Moses and God. During the night God divided the water and the Israelites could then go through the sea with the water on their left and right. The Egyptians pursued them. Then the Lord told Moses to stretch out his hand over the sea and let the water flow back in. The whole army that had followed the Israelites was buried in the sea under the water.

Now the people feared the Lord and trusted Moses. They sang a song to the Lord.

From the Red Sea, Moses led the people into the Desert of Shur (or Desert of Etham. After three days of not finding water they arrived ar Marah where the found bitter water. When the people grumbled against Moses, God helped him to make the water sweet. From there they went to Elim a oasis with twelve springs and seventy palm trees. Next they went to the Red Sea and from there to the Desert of Sin, between Elim and Sinai. They went into the desert fifteen days and two months after going out of Egypt.

When the people grumbled against Moses because they had no food, God sent down bread from the heaven, which the Israelites called manna. They ate the manna for forty years until they reached the border of Canaan.

After leaving the Desert of Sin, they camped at Dophkah, then at Alush and then at Rephidim, where there was now water for them. So they grumbled against Moses again. God told Moses how to produce water out of a rock. Moses called the place Massah and Meribah. While still in Rephidim the Amalekites attacked the Israelites. Joshua fought them and won. During the fight Moses had to hold up his hand in order for the Israelites to win. Aaron and Hur helped him with that. Moses built an altar after they had won the battle.

Moses had sent his wive and two children back to his father-in-law before going out of Egypt (Exodus 18). After the battle at Rephidim, Jithro together with his wive Zipporah and his two sons Gershom and Eliezer came to Moses. When Jithro saw, how Moses was serving as a judge for the people, he advised Moses to change the system. Moses followed the recommendation and made experienced people leaders over smaller groups.

At Mount Sinai

From Rephidim they went to the Desert of Sinai and arrived there exactly three months after they had left Egypt. There they camped in front of Mount Sinai. Moses went up to the mountain a few times to talk to God. His visits to the mountain top:

  1. God tells Moses, that the Israelites are to obey him fully and keep his covenant and that they will be God's holy nation. Moses tells this to the people and they commit to do what the Lord says.
  2. The Lord tells Moses, that he will come to Moses so that the people will hear him. On the third day after this, God descended on mount Sinai and talked with Moses.
  3. God warns Moses, that nobody is to approach God, even the priests have to consecrate themselves before going up. And he told Moses to get Aaron and go up again.

Moses was then dictated the Ten Commandments and the words for the Book of the Covenant. When the people heard the Covenant, they were pleased and agreed to it. Moses then went up on the mount together with Aaron, Nadab, Abihu and 70 of Israel's elders (with Joshua, Moses's assistant, and Hur being among these elders). When Moses was up on the montain, he was called into the cloud by God and he stayed on the mountain for 40 days and nights.

During this 40 days, God told him several things. Recorded are:

  • Command for offerings for the Tabernacle (Exodus 25:1-9)
  • How to build the Tabernacle (Exodus 25-27)
  • Aaron is made priest (Exodus 28:1-5)
  • Clothing for the priests (Exodus 28)
  • Ordaining of the priests (Exodus 29)
  • The Altar of Incense (Exodus 30:1-10)
  • Census of the people with an atonement (Exodus 30:11-16)
  • Priest regulations (Exodus 30:17-38)
  • Appointments for Bezalel and Oholiab to build the Tabernacle (Exodus 31:1-11)
  • Reminder to keep the Sabaath (Exodus 31:12-17)
  • Moses is given the two tables of the Testimony (Exodus 31:18)

The Golden Calf

Moses was on Mount Sinai for 40 days. During that time, the people of Israel became impatient and asked Aaron to make them gods. So Aaron collected the gold from the people and made a calf out of it. The people then presented offerings to the calf and had a big feast. God told Moses, that this had happened while he was still on the mountain. God was very angry and wanted to kill all the people of Israel and make a new great nation out of Moses. Moses conviced God of not doing so.

When he came down, Moses too became very angry. He asked the people who was for the Lord and the Levites went to him. He then ordered the Levites to go through the people and kill many of them. About 3'000 of the people died on that day.

Then, Moses went back up on Mount Sinai again to ask the Lord for ateonement for the people's sin.

Tent of Meeting

Moses spent a lot of time in the Tent of Meeting to talk to the Lord. His young assistant Joshua was usually there with him, too. One day, Moses asked God to show him God's glory. God then allowed Moses to see his back, but his face he did not allow to be seen.

Then Moses went on Mount Sinai for another 40 days and nights. He was warned from the other peoples and their gods. Also God reminded him of several laws he had previously given. Moses was also tought about how to anoint the priests and how the offerings (burnt, grain, sin, guilt, ordination and fellowship offering in beginning of Leviticus).

After Moses came down, he took a census. There were 603,550 men 20 years or more.

After receiving the commands by God, he ordained Aaron and his sons as priests.

Census

Moses and Aaron took a census about 1 year and 1 month after leaving Egypt. They counted 603,550 men 20 years old or more who were able to serve in military. Listed by tribe (person responsible for counting the tribe in brackets):

He did not count the Levites, because they were not going to serve in military. Later all males one month or older were counted. God took the Levites instead of the firstborn male of the other tribes. There were at that time 22,000 males Levites one month or more and 22,273 firstborn males one month or more in the other tribes of Israel.

On the move

During the time at Mount Sinai, the Israelites had built the tabernacle. Now whenever the cloud of the Lord rested over the tabernacle, the Israelites camped. As soon as the cloud lifted from the tabernacle, the Israelites set out and followed the cloud.

Shortly after the census, one year, one month and 20 days after leaving Egypt, the Israelites moved away from the Desert of Sinai. They wandered around and then rested at Kibroth Hattaavah. From there they went to Hazeroth in the Desert of Paran. There Miriam and Aaron talked against Moses because of his Cushite wive. Miriam became leprous because of this and had to stay out of the Isralite camp for seven days.

Not much later, Korah, Dathan, Abiram, On and 250 Israelite community leaders rose up against Moses and Aaron. They did not like, how Moses and Aaron had themselves made masters over the Israelites. God killed the revolting people and thereby confirmed the authority of Moses and Aaron.

The Israelites then traveled to Rithmah, Rimmon Perez, Libnah, Rissah, Kehelathah, Mount Shepher, Haradah, Makheloth, Tahath, Terah, Mithcah, Hashmonah, Moseroth, Bene Jaakan, Hor Haggidgad, Jotbathah, Abronah, Ezion Geber and then to Kadesh in the Desert of Zin. Moses's sister Miriam died there.

Then the Israelites did not have anything to drink and complained to Moses. When Moses and Aaron went to the Lord, he told them that he would bring water out of the rock again. They then went before the assembly, struck against the stone and water came out. But becauses Moses had not glorified the Lord, God became angry. God then told them, that they would not be allowed to enter the promised land. This place was then called Meribah.

The Israelites continued to Mount Hor on the border of Edom. There Moses' brother Aaron died and Eleazar became priest. Then the Israelites defeated the Canaanites, after their king Arad had attacked them.

From Mount Hor the Israelites traveled to Zalmonah, Punon, Oboth, Iye Abarim on the border of Moab.

When traveling on, they grew impatient and spoke against God and Moses. God sent snakes which killed many Israelites. When Moses prayed for the people, God commanded him to put a bronze snake on a pole. Anyone who looked at that bronze snake lived.

In Moab the Israelites sent message to Sihon asking for passage. Sihon marched against the Israelites with his army, but they defeated the Amorites and took over their land. They then continued to Bashan but were met my their king Og. With the help of God, the Israelites defeated them, too.

They went to Dibon Gad and from there to Almon Diblathaim. Then they camped in the mountains of Abarim near Nebo and from there they went to the plains of Moab along the Jordan from Beth Jeshimoth to Abel Shittim across from Jericho.

There the Israelite men were sexually immoral with the Moabite women. They also worshiped the Baal of Peor. For this, God became angry and brought a plague over them. In this plague 24,000 Israelites were killed until Phinehas put an end to the plague by killing Zimri. Zimri had married a women of the Midianites. God them told Moses to treat the Midianites as enemies.

Second Census

Still on the plains of Moab, Moses and Eleazar took a second census. They counted 601,730 men 20 years old or more who were able to serve in military. Listed by tribe:

Also there were 23,000 Levites a month old or older. Of the people who were counted at that time, not one of the was there in the first census in the Desert of Sinai. Only Caleb and Joshua were left of those.

Succession

Moses was allowed to see the land that was later given to the Israelites from a mountain in the Abarim Range. But he was not allowed to enter it. God accepted this command, but pleaded to God to give the Israelites a new leader. God then said that Joshua was to be anointed as the new leader.

When Moses was 120 years old, he told the Israelites that he was no longer able to lead them and that Joshua would succeed him. The two then went together to the Tent of Meeting where God appeared to them to commission Joshua. At that time the Lord also told them that the Israelites would soon forsake him.

Then God commanded Moses to go up into the Abarim Range to Mount Nebo in Moab. From there he was able to see Canaan, the land God was giving to the Israelites. But then Moses had to die on the mountain because he had broken God's faith together with Aaron at the waters of Meribah Kadesh.

He died at the age of 120 years. He was buried in Moab in the valley opposite Beth Peor.

Calculations

Israel came to Egypt in year 2236. The Israelites moved out 430 years (at the end of this, so let's calculate with 431 years) later. That is the year 2667.

Moses started his ministry with 80 years. So they probably moved out no more than one year later when he was 81 years. He was born therefore in year 2586.

Timeline

Timeline of Moses

References