Moses was a prophet in the Abrahamic religions. According to the Hebrew Bible, he was adopted by an Egyptian princess, and later in life became the leader of the Israelites and lawgiver, to whom the authorship of the Torah, or acquisition of the Torah from Heaven is traditionally attributed. Take a look below for 28 more interesting and fun facts about Moses.
1. Also called Moshe Rabbenu in Hebrew, or Moses our Teacher, he’s the most important prophet in Judaism.
2. According to the Book of Exodus, Moses was born in a time when his people, the Israelites, an enslaved minority, were increasing in numbers and the Egyptian Pharaoh was worried that they might ally themselves with Egypt’s enemies.
3. Moses’ Hebrew mother, Jochebed, secretly hid him when the Pharaoh ordered all newborn Hebrew boys to be killed in order to reduce the population of Israelites.
4. Through the Pharaoh’s daughter, identified as Queen Bithia in the Midrash, the child was adopted as a foundling from the Nile river and grew up with the Egyptian royal family.
5. After killing an Egyptian slavemaster, because the slavemaster was smiting a Hebrew, Moses fled across the Red Sea to Midian, where he encountered The Angel of the Lord, speaking to him from within a burning bush on Mount Horeb, which he regarded as the Mountain of God.
6. God sent Moses back to Egypt to demand the release of the Israelites from slavery. Moses said that he couldn’t speak eloquently, so God allowed Aaron, his brother, to become his spokesperson.
7. After the Ten Plagues, Moses led the Exodus of the Israelites out of Egypt and across the Red Sea, after which they based themselves at Mount Sinai, where Moses received the Ten Commandments.
8. After 40 years of wandering in the desert, Moses died within sight of the Promised Land on Mount Nebo.
9. Scholarly consensus sees Moses as a legendary figure and not a historical person.
10. Rabbinic Judaism calculated a lifespan of Moses corresponding to 1391 to 1271 BCE; Jerome gives 1592 BCE, and James Ussher 1571 BCE as his birth year.
11. Moses was the first abandoned child mentioned in the Bible. Moses’ parents hid him for three months to protect him from the Egyptian edict that said all male Hebrew babies must be killed.
12. The Pharaoh’s daughter paid Moses’ mother to nurse him after she rescued him from the Nile River.
13. Moses was the baby of the family. He had an older sister named Miriam and an older brother named Aaron.
14. Moses worked as a shepherd while “on the lam.” When Moses ran from the murder charge, he fled to the desert of Midian where he met Zipporah, the daughter of a shepherd, and began working with her father, Jethro.
15. Moses was 80 years old when he led the children of Israel out of Egypt. His first 40 years in Pharaoh’s court had prepared him to lead, and his second 40 years had given him the knowledge of the desert through which he and the Israelites would travel.
16. He was the original snake handler. Three times during his tenure as leader, he used snakes to demonstrate God’s power. The fist time God turned Moses’ rod into a snake, it scared him so much that he ran away.
17. He had leprosy. After demonstrating his power by turning Moses’ rod into a snake, God told Moses to place his hand in his cloak. When he withdrew it, his hand was covered in leprosy.
18. Moses was a musical collaborator. After the children of Israel crossed the Red Sea on dry land, the waters closed up, drowning the might Egyptian army. To celebrate their deliverance, God composed a song and instructed Moses to write it down and teach it to the congregation. It became known as “The Song of Moses.”
19. He was extraordinarily humble. God recognized him in the canon of Scripture as, “a very humble man, more human than anyone else on the face of the Earth.”
20. He lived to be 120 years old. His long and varied life can be divided into three parts, each 40 years old. The first as the son of an Egyptian pharaoh, the second as a shepherd, and the third as the esteemed leader of Israel.
21. Moses knew in advance the day of his death. God instructed him to commission Joshua as his replacement, then climb Mt. Nebo. There, he showed him the Promised Land, and there he died.
22. During their wandering through the wilderness, they camped for two years at Mount Sinai. There, Moses was given the law to be observed in the Promised Land.
23. When Moses descended from Mount Sinai with the law, his face shone so brightly that the people couldn’t look at him. So he had to veil his face when teaching the people.
24. Moses wasn’t entirely obedient to God. For example, God threatened Moses because his son was uncircumcised.
25. Moses declared himself to be a type, or a symbol, of Christ. He said that God would raise up for Israel a prophet like him.
26. Moses chose to suffer affliction rather than enjoy the passing pleasures of sin.
27. The genealogy of Moses and his brother Aaron is recorded in Exodus 6. They were descendants of Levi.
28. Moses is one of the Bible’s authors. He wrote the first five books which contain the law of Moses.