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Moses is the prophet whom God entrusted to save Hebrews from slavery in Egypt. Many years had passed after Joseph invited his people to Egypt. During this time they gradually became slaves. Moses was born in Egypt. Pharaoh found out about the birth of a Hebrew savior and ordered the massacre of all newly born Jewish babies. Moses' mother saved him, by putting in a basket, which she floated in Nile. Pharaoh's daughter found him and brought to the palace.
Josephus Flavius in his Antiquitatis Judaicae, tells that Pharaoh's daughter presented the child to her father. The Pharaoh, playing with him, placed his crown on the baby's head. Moses threw the crown to the ground, so that it broke. The high priest, recognized the boy as the one who had been prophesied to overthrow the Pharaoh, and rushed to kill him. But the appeal of women saved Moses. Moses was raised in the palace as an Egyptian prince. (Ex.2:3-10)

When he grew up Moses found out that he was a Jew, and he tried to defend his people. He killed an Egyptian, though unintentionally, but had to flee into the desert. He was taken into the house of Jethro and became his son-in-law. While Moses was guarding the flock the God came to him as a Burning Bush and ordered to return to Egypt and save his people.
The first thing to become a leader of Israelites was to convince his own people that he was chosen by God. Moses' elder brother, Aaron, came to his side and convinced the people that God had sent them a deliverer. Though not only the words of Aaron convinced the people, they were supported by some miracles: thus, Moses, by God's sign, turned Aaron's staff into serpent and back.
Moses came to Pharaoh and asked him to let his people go. Pharaoh refused and God sent different punishments to the people of Egypt, known as the Ten Plagues of Egypt (Ex. 12:3-11). Egypt suffered severely, and Pharaoh let them free. The Jews left Egypt in Exodus, crossing the Red Sea, which had divided by Moses' plea and God's will. Moses led his people; when it was intolerably difficult Moses asked for God's help and He always helped: gave manna for food and fresh water from the rock to drink (Exodus 17:3-7).
God also made himself known to Moses on the summit of Mount Sinai (Ex.19:10-15) where He handed him the Tablets with 10 Commandments. The people, however, had again rebelled and made a golden calf, and prayed to it. (Ex. 32:1-6).
God tired of people's constant complaints sent on them numerous poisonous snakes. Moses prayed for his people, then on His command made a serpent of brass, which he fixed to the top of the shaft. All those who gazed on it were saved from the snake venom.

Contributed by Gifford, Katya
11 May 2002


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