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Thread: How did Moses find out he was Hebrew?

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    How did Moses find out he was Hebrew?

    Every year over the Easter weekend they usually play the Ten Commandments movie with Charles Heston. I have grown up watching it and its one of my favorite things to do during this time. I realize not all of its correct by bibical standards and so while my son and I were watching it I was trying to tell him what was actually in the bible as apposed to what wasn't. From the movie Moses was found by Pharaoh’s daughter floating in the Nile River (well this part is in the bible too...lol) The princess's servant finds the Hebrew cloth he was wrapped in and hides it, though the Princess makes her swear never to tell and she raises Moses as her own son. Later in the movie this servant tells the other princess that loves Moses and wants to marry him when he becomes Pharaoh about him really being Hebrew. Now that isn't in the bible. And then Moses finds out and decides to go find his real mother and family and then joins the Hebrew slaves in their forced labor...the rest is Hollywood stuff until he goes out in the desert.

    Anyway so I got to thinking ok so how did Moses find out he was Hebrew? It doesn't say in the bible. It appears from scriptures he knew he was though..it wasn't any big secrete...which seems puzzling because the whole reason he was put in the basket to start with was to save his life as Pharaoh had ordered his people to throw any Hebrew male child in the Nile to drown them. So then the Pharaoh supposedly just accepts his sister adopting a male Hebrew child? the bible doesn't exactly say that either though...

    Exodus 2
    5 Then the daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the river. And her maidens walked along the riverside; and when she saw the ark among the reeds, she sent her maid to get it. 6 And when she opened it, she saw the child, and behold, the baby wept. So she had compassion on him, and said, “This is one of the Hebrews’ children.”

    7 Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and call a nurse for you from the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for you?”
    8 And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Go.” So the maiden went and called the child’s mother. 9 Then Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this child away and nurse him for me, and I will give you your wages.” So the woman took the child and nursed him. 10 And the child grew, and she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. So she called his name Moses, saying, “Because I drew him out of the water.”


    11 Now it came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown, that he went out to his brethren and looked at their burdens. And he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his brethren.


    It appears from the way this is worded that Moses knew he was Hebrew: 11 Now it came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown, that he went out to his brethren and looked at their burdens.

    Now we know the Princess couldn't run down to the local store and buy formula for Moses when he was a baby and feed him herself...she had to find someone to nurse him..which in this case ended up being his real mother. So I am thinking ok he would be weaned at one, one and a half then go back to the princess...he would not remember his real mother or that she was Hebrew...but I found this bible commentary that makes it appear he was with his real mother much longer then that.

    http://www.studylight.org/com/acc/vi...ex&chapter=002
    He is found by the daughter of Pharaoh, who commits him to the care of his own mother, and has him educated as her own son, When grown up, he is brought to Pharaoh's daughter, who receives him as her own child, and calls him Moses,

    This just makes no sense to me.. if the real mother has him this long, why bother to have him go be adopted? how can he go live with the princess as her son when he is 'grown up'? He is obviously safe from being killed by this point. Of course he would have the great advance of being educated by royalty and not have to work as a slave...

    So at any rate I guess my questions are...how did he find out he was Hebrew? Was he really possibly with his own mother for so many years like that? That would explain him knowing he was Hebrew but it doesn't explain why the Pharaoh, so intent on reducing the numbers of the Hebrews, would allow his sister to bring a Hebrew into their home and to be raised as one of theirs. Anyone know?

    Thanks.

    God bless
    "People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; We drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; We drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated?" - D A Carson

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    His eyes...???
    There is a saying : Blood is thicker than water

    I dunno moonglow i am guessing
    Fenris: "There are two ways to shoot an arrow into a bulls-eye You can shoot the arrow into the bulls-eye or you can shoot the arrow and paint the bulls-eye wherever it hits"

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    Without knowing Egyptian protocol in these matters, I really don't know what being Hebrew would affect someone in the heirarchy that Moshe was in. Also, I think he was in his late 40's or 50's when he fled Egypt after he killed the Egyptian and buried him in the sand. (I haven't seen one movie or show that depicts this Biblically).

    So the 'reduction' of the Hebrews took place almost a half of a century before Moshe killed the Egyptian. Do we even know if it was the same Pharoah the Moshe dealt with?

    As far as Moshe being Hebrew, I don't think that fact was hidden from him. Why should it be?

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    [QUOTE]
    Quote Originally Posted by keck553 View Post
    Without knowing Egyptian protocol in these matters, I really don't know what being Hebrew would affect someone in the heirarchy that Moshe was in.
    The Hebrews were the lowest...the slaves of the Egyptians...I think it would have a major effect. They were despised and treated terribly.


    Also, I think he was in his late 40's or 50's when he fled Egypt after he killed the Egyptian and buried him in the sand. (I haven't seen one movie or show that depicts this Biblically).
    The bible commentary I read thinks about age 40.

    So the 'reduction' of the Hebrews took place almost a half of a century before Moshe killed the Egyptian. Do we even know if it was the same Pharoah the Moshe dealt with?
    It doesn't say but this Pharoah wanted to kill Moses for what he did.
    Exodus 2
    15 When Pharaoh heard of this matter, he sought to kill Moses. But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh and dwelt in the land of Midian; and he sat down by a well.


    I am not sure what difference it makes whether it was the same Pharaoh or not...they all seemed to run things the same way...rather ruthlessly.

    As far as Moshe being Hebrew, I don't think that fact was hidden from him. Why should it be?
    As a little child his life could have been in danger and little children aren't very good at keeping secret. We don't know how long the killing of male children went on. It says his real mother and father hid him until he was three months old then felt they could no longer keep him safe, so put him in the basket on the Nile to save him.

    There are just gaps in the story that I know sometimes are filled in, in other parts of the bible...so wondering if anyone knew is all.

    ACCM His eyes...???
    There is a saying : Blood is thicker than water

    I dunno moonglow i am guessing
    I don't know either. If the Hebrews had different colored eyes I just don't see how the Egyptians would accept Moses at all. Seems like they would have demanded he be put with the other Hebrews and work as a slave.

    God bless
    "People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; We drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; We drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated?" - D A Carson

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    Since there is no Biblical answer we'll just have to take it on faith. Not that difficult considering we put faith in God for eternal life.

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    Quote Originally Posted by keck553 View Post
    Since there is no Biblical answer we'll just have to take it on faith. Not that difficult considering we put faith in God for eternal life.
    There might be a bibical answer though...there are others that know the bible better then I do and know where these scriptures are...that is why I asked.

    Second...what am I suppose to take on faith?


    God bless
    "People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; We drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; We drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated?" - D A Carson

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    True, there are some who know Scripture better than both of us, however they will have to use Sripture to show themselves approved.

    I still don't think I know enough about Egyptuan culture and protocol to make a blanket statement that just because the Hebrews were in forced labor that meant Moses should have also been 'hated.' I don't know enough about that period of Egyptian culture to assume that connection. Obviously a Pharoah knew he was a Hebrew when he returned and petitioned him to release the Hebrews. Why didn't Pharoah just him Moses and Aaron killed right then and there, in the first encounter? Why did he put up with them? After all, they were Hebrews, the lowest of the low, so why all the bother?

    I meant take it on faith that Moshe knew he was Hebrew. That's all.

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    When he looked in a mirror and saw a reflection of himself, then saw his first Hebrew slave. LOL
    Edify the brethren, love the brethren, and forgive the brethren until I have nothing left.

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    Perhaps if the O/P had this thread moved to Contro, Fenris would have an answer?

  10. #10
    djh22 Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by moonglow View Post
    Every year over the Easter weekend they usually play the Ten Commandments movie with Charles Heston. I realize not all of its correct by bibical standards and so while my son and I were watching it I was trying to tell him what was actually in the bible as apposed to what wasn't.
    Hi Moonglow,
    Ohh ! that brings back memories, I remember doing the same with my daughters some 30 odd years ago, goes to show how old the film is I guess.

    Anyway,What a good question ! How did Mosses know he was Hebrew ?
    I think he was son of Amraam and Jochebed a Levite ,Exodus 6:20 ,but other than that I don't know, but I'll phone a friend, Lol. He's a Rabbi so I guess he will know.
    There'll probably be something by Rashi or Maimonides , Lol.
    I'll post back as soon as poss.

    God bless,
    djh22.
    Last edited by djh22; Apr 13th 2009 at 05:32 PM. Reason: Format

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by moonglow View Post
    He is found by the daughter of Pharaoh, who commits him to the care of his own mother, and has him educated as
    her own son, When grown up, he is brought to Pharaoh's daughter, who receives him as her own child, and calls
    him Moses,

    This just makes no sense to me.. if the real mother has him this long, why bother to have him go be adopted? how can he go
    live with the princess as her son when he is 'grown up'? He is obviously safe from being killed by this point. Of course he
    would have the great advance of being educated by royalty and not have to work as a slave...

    So at any rate I guess my questions are...how did he find out he was Hebrew? Was he really possibly with his own mother
    for so many years like that? That would explain him knowing he was Hebrew but it doesn't explain why the Pharaoh, so
    intent on reducing the numbers of the Hebrews, would allow his sister to bring a Hebrew into their home and to be raised as
    one of theirs. Anyone know?

    If you recall, the real mother was hired to nurse him to a grown age. With that in mind, did the princess even realize this was Moses real mother? Would the real mother even be offered wages had it been known she was the real mother?


    Exodus 2:7 Then said his sister to Pharaoh's daughter, Shall I go and call to thee a nurse of the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for thee?


    Notice whom it was that said this to Pharaoh's daughter. Was it not Moses' sister? Would not Moses' sister recognize Moses' mother, since this would be her mother also? And could this not be the reason she chose this particular Hebrew woman out of all the Hebrew women, because it was her and Moses' mother?


    Notice verse 4.

    Exodus 2:4 And his sister stood afar off, to wit what would be done to him.


    So, between Moses' mother and sister, it would seem obvious that one or both would eventually tell him of his Hebrew roots.


    Since I'm not 100% certain my conclusions are on the right track, this is basically food for thought.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by keck553 View Post
    True, there are some who know Scripture better than both of us, however they will have to use Sripture to show themselves approved.

    I still don't think I know enough about Egyptuan culture and protocol to make a blanket statement that just because the Hebrews were in forced labor that meant Moses should have also been 'hated.' I don't know enough about that period of Egyptian culture to assume that connection. Obviously a Pharoah knew he was a Hebrew when he returned and petitioned him to release the Hebrews. Why didn't Pharoah just him Moses and Aaron killed right then and there, in the first encounter? Why did he put up with them? After all, they were Hebrews, the lowest of the low, so why all the bother?

    I meant take it on faith that Moshe knew he was Hebrew. That's all.
    I think I phrased my question wrong...of course at some point Moses knew...obviously. I meant to ask how did he find out.

    And yes but the time Moses went back and talked to the Pharaoh saying, let my people go, it was obvious he was Hebrew.

    manichunter
    When he looked in a mirror and saw a reflection of himself, then saw his first Hebrew slave
    dingy...

    [QUOTE]
    djh22
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by moonglow
    Every year over the Easter weekend they usually play the Ten Commandments movie with Charles Heston. I realize not all of its correct by bibical standards and so while my son and I were watching it I was trying to tell him what was actually in the bible as apposed to what wasn't.
    Hi Moonglow,
    Ohh ! that brings back memories, I remember doing the same with my daughters some 30 odd years ago, goes to show how old the film is I guess.

    Anyway,What a good question ! How did Mosses know he was Hebrew ?
    I think he was son of Amraam a Levite ,but other than that I don't know, but I'll phone a friend, Lol. He's a Rabbi so I guess he will know.
    There'll probably be something by Rashi or Maimonides , Lol.
    I'll post back as soon as poss.

    God bless,
    djh22.
    Thanks...the question is...how did he find out he was Hebrew since he was raised by the Egyptian Princess?

    divaDIf you recall, the real mother was hired to nurse him to a grown age. With that in mind, did the princess even realize this was Moses real mother? Would the real mother even be offered wages had it been known she was the real mother?


    Exodus 2:7 Then said his sister to Pharaoh's daughter, Shall I go and call to thee a nurse of the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for thee?


    Notice whom it was that said this to Pharaoh's daughter. Was it not Moses' sister? Would not Moses' sister recognize Moses' mother, since this would be her mother also? And could this not be the reason she chose this particular Hebrew woman out of all the Hebrew women, because it was her and Moses' mother?


    Notice verse 4.

    Exodus 2:4 And his sister stood afar off, to wit what would be done to him.


    So, between Moses' mother and sister, it would seem obvious that one or both would eventually tell him of his Hebrew roots.


    Since I'm not 100% certain my conclusions are on the right track, this is basically food for thought.
    Well not if he was only there for a year or two to be nursed. As I said before most babies are weaned around age one...and usually before that they are started on baby food...don't know what passed for baby food then but I would think at the latest he would have gone to live with the Princess at age two. Even if both his sister and mother told him, at this age he wouldn't understand let alone remember. And you are probably right the Princess had no idea this was his real mother nursing him.

    Thanks for the posts all.

    God bless
    "People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; We drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; We drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated?" - D A Carson

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    [QUOTE=moonglow;2043727]Well not if he was only there for a year or two to be nursed. As I said before most babies are weaned around age one...and
    usually before that they are started on baby food...don't know what passed for baby food then but I would think at the latest
    he would have gone to live with the Princess at age two. Even if both his sister and mother told him, at this age he wouldn't
    understand let alone remember. And you are probably right the Princess had no idea this was his real mother nursing him.[QUOTE]



    Even if we conclude that his mother never told him this, because he would have been too young to understand, I believe that we can conclude that his sister more than likely did, since verse 5 tells us this was one of the princess' maids, Moses' sister. With that in mind, wouldn't his sister have basically been there as he was growing up? I don't believe it's an accident that the text in this ch is making a point to focus on the sister.
    Last edited by divaD; Apr 13th 2009 at 06:19 PM. Reason: typos

  14. #14
    Ancient Egyptians look nothing like modern Egyptians. Most ancient Egyptians would have been darker in their appearance and looked more like Africans and Arabs (the "lightening" of the Egyptian people did not occur until the Alexandrian conquest).

    The Jews, however, would have been distinctly lighter in their color. We know that Moses wasn't lighter because it's noted that his wife was dark. If all the Hebrews, such as Moses, were dark, this wouldn't have been worth noting (or been a point of contention).

    So, simply by looking around. Being Pharaoh's daughter's son would have allowed him a place of privilege not afforded to most Hebrews.

    However, there is no doubt that simply by looking at the color of his skin as compared to that of the Egyptians he would have known, at the very least, that he wasn't an Egyptian.

  15. #15
    djh22 Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by moonglow View Post
    Thanks...the question is...how did he find out he was Hebrew since he was raised by the Egyptian Princess?
    Yea ,got that moonglow,
    Apart from his sister following the crib in the water etc. Ex. Chapter 2.

    I think he probably wouldn't have known until The Burning Bush,
    Ex.3:6. And He said, "I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." And Moses hid his face because he was afraid to look toward God."

    but I'll get back asap.

    God bless,
    djh22.

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