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Moses was a prince in Egypt

After Jacob took his family into Egypt, the children of Israel lived there in relative peace for about 400 years. However, as the Israelites multiplied, the Egyptians, fearing the Israelites might become a power that could overthrow Egypt or might ally themselves with an enemy, forced them into slavery.

To help curb the Hebrews’ increase in population, the “king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph” (Ex. 1:8), ordered midwives to kill all male Hebrew babies. “But the midwives feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the men children alive.” (Ex. 1:17.) Moses was among those spared.His mother instructed Miriam, his sister, to place him in a basket to float in the Nile River where Pharaoh’s daughter and her attendants came to bathe. Pharaoh’s daughter, upon finding the child, kept him and reared him as her own son and hired Moses’ mother to care for him.

Moses grew up as a prince in Egypt and became a military leader who was held in high esteem until he killed an Egyptian who was “smiting a Hebrew, one of his brethren.” (Ex. 2:11.)

“The Jewish historian Josephus said that Moses was a very handsome and educated prince and a mighty warrior in the cause of the Egyptians,” states the Old Testament Student Manual.

“As a prince,” Moses may have had access to the royal libraries of the Egyptians as well as the scriptural record of the Israelites as taught by his mother,” the manual continues.

“Quite possibly he read the prophecies of Joseph and was led by the Spirit to understand his divine appointment to deliver his brethren, the Israelites.

“Stephen’s address implied that Moses understood his responsibility: `And when he was full forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren the children of Israel. For he supposed his brethren would have understood how that God by his hand would deliver them: but they understood not.’ (Acts 7:23,25.)

(Additional information)

Articles on this page may be used in conjunction with the Gospel Doctrine course of study.

Information compiled by Gerry Avant

Sources: Voice of Israel’s Prophets, by Sidney B. Sperry; Old Testament Student Manual; October 1989 general conference report.

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