, , , ,

Eighty years of slavery and the birth of Moses: Exodus 1–2

Moses was one of the very few surviving Hebrew boys of his age. Although he was raised as part of the Egyptian royal family, there is a suggestion that his early life wasn’t all easy.

His adopted mother, Pharoah’s daughter, disobeyed her father by rescuing Moses from the Nile River rather than throwing him into it. She led others in disobedience too: her maids, the palace guard, and any Egyptian who saw Moses and didn’t throw him in the river. Not only that, Pharoah’s daughter flaunted it:

Exodus 2:10 Later, when the boy was older, his mother brought him back to Pharaoh’s daughter, who adopted him as her own son. The princess named him Moses, for she explained, ‘I lifted him out of the water.’

There were no recorded consequences for Pharaoh’s daughter, and it’s not impossible that the slaughter stopped at Moses. Even so, it appears that Moses wasn’t completely accepted as part of the royal family. After killing an Egyptian for beating a Hebrew slave, his own people, the Hebrews, rejected him and :

Exodus 2:15 Then Moses was afraid, thinking, ‘Everyone knows what I did.’ And sure enough, Pharaoh heard what had happened, and he tried to kill Moses. But Moses fled from Pharaoh and went to live in the land of Midian.

Surely, if Moses had been accepted as a prince, killing a lower-ranking Egyptian would have been no real problem for the rest of the royal family. Instead, Pharoah’s response was to try to kill Moses (not even to arrest him).

It left Moses as an outsider to the family that raised him, and an outsider to his own people, the Hebrews.

He fled the country, settled in Midian, married and had children, calling the first son Gershom because it meant:

Exodus 2:22I have been a foreigner in a foreign land.