Monday, September 17, 2007

Exodus: Mosaic authorship

Moses (1543 - 1423 BC) (means “drawn forth,” “taken from water”)

Moses, who wrote the first five books of the Bible, called the Torah or Pentateuch, is specifically mentioned as author of Exodus in Exodus 17:14; 24:3-4, 7; 34:27). Other Old and New Testament writers attest to Moses’ authorship (Malachi 4:4; John 1:45; Romans 10:5). Jesus himself recognizes Mosaic authorship of the Torah (Mark 7:10; 12:26; Luke 20:37; John 5:46-47; 7:19-23).

Moses (March 6, 1543 BC – March 6, 1423 BC) was the youngest son of Hebrew slaves Amram (c.1625 – 1488 BC) and Jochebed (b. 1591 BC ), of the family of Kohath (Exodus 2:1-4, 10-21; Acts 7:20-38; Hebrews 11:24-25). Amram was Levi’s grandson (Numbers 26:58); Jochebed was Amram’s aunt, sister of Kohath (Numbers 26:59; Exodus 6:20).

Born in Egypt after a royal decree of partial birth abortion against all male babies, Moses was rescued from the Nile River (as sacrifice to gods of Nile (Sothis) and the crocodile god (Sobek)) by none other than the bathing daughter of Pharaoh. As an adopted Egyptian prince, Moses was given the best university training in the world (Acts 7:22). Moses became an historian, orator, leader, statesman, legislator, and patriot. The most important thing on his resume, though, was “friend of God” (Exodus 33:11).


The Egyptian Prince Moses fled Egypt at age 40 after murdering an Egyptian taskmaster for beating Moses’ fellow Israelite. After defending a group of women from rogues at a well in Midian in northwest Arabia, Moses ended up marrying one of the women, Zipporah, and shepherding with her father, Jethro, a Midianite priest. The Midianites were distant cousins of the Israelites (Genesis 25:2). Sheep herding was considered the lowest of occupations among the affluent and royal Egyptians, but since it had been the chief family occupation of Israelites, Moses embraced it as a return to his cultural roots (Hebrews 11:24-25). Moses had a multi-cultural family – his Midianite wife Zipporah and Arab-Israeli sons Gershom and Eliezer. He remained in Midian until his call at the Burning Bush at age eighty. By this time the long reign of Thutmose III was over, and a young, arrogant Amenhotep II had come to power with whom he would have to deal in “letting my people go” (Exodus 5:1).


Moses spent a lot of time learning to control his temper (Exodus 2:11-13; 11:8; 32:19-20; Numbers 20:10-11). The coddling of his royal upbringing probably contributed to his shortened temper, but it took forty years on the backside of the Midian desert herding sheep to prepare him to shepherd God’s chosen people Israel. Henrietta Mears said that Moses spent forty years thinking he was somebody, forty years finding out he was a nobody, and forty years seeing what God can do with a nobody.

He was not even prepared to begin God’s work until age 80 when miracles and national leadership became part of his everyday experience. At age 120, after delivering the awesome sermons of Deuteronomy and still in great health, Moses was kissed to sleep and God buried him, the only man to have God as his undertaker (Deuteronomy 34:6-7).