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10 Things You Might Not Know about Moses in the Bible

10 Things You Might Not Know about Moses in the Bible
Moses was famous long before Charlton Heston raised his profile in the 1956 Cecile B. DeMille movie, The Ten Commandments.

Universally recognized as the deliverer of his people, the Israelites, from slavery in Egypt, biblical and human history also credit him with establishing Israel’s judicial and religious systems.

But there’s much more to Israel’s mighty leader than what makes the headlines. In the list below, I’ve collected 20 fascinating but little known details about this great hero of the faith.

This collection of facts about Moses is like a grain of sand in the desert of Sinai. It’s no wonder the movie that brought Moses to life for millions, The Ten Commandments, became Cecile B. DeMille’s most successful work.

If this peek into Moses’ life has piqued your interest, you can read all the glorious details in the Old Testament books of Exodus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.

  • 1. Moses was the first abandoned child mentioned in the Bible.

    Moses’ godly parents hid him for three months to protect him from the Egyptian edict that said all male Hebrew babies must be killed. When they could no longer hide him, they set him afloat in a basket on the Nile River (Ex. 2:3). 

  • 2. His name means

    Moses’ name, according to the website, Behind the Name, “comes from the Hebrew name מֹשֶׁה (Mosheh) and is most likely derived from Egyptian mes meaning ‘son,’ but could also possibly mean ‘deliver’ in Hebrew.”

  • 3. Moses worked as shepherd while “on the lam.”

     More than just a play on words, when Moses ran from the murder charge, he fled to the desert of Midian where he met Zipporah, the daughter of a shepherd, and began working with her father, Jethro. He married Zipporah and had two sons.

  • 4. He was full of excuses.

    During the burning bush episode, Moses gave God five lame excuses for why he couldn’t be Israel’s deliverer (Ex. 3-4). Not surprisingly, God rebutted every one.

  • 5. Moses probably stuttered.

    The New Living Translation of the Bible records Moses’s response to God’s call in Exodus 4:10: "O Lord, I'm not very good with words. I never have been, and I'm not now, even though you have spoken to me. I get tongue-tied, and my words get tangled."

  • 6. Not your typical octogenarian, Moses was 80 years old when he led the children of Israel out of Egypt.

    Today most people his age would be firmly ensconced in their rocking chairs, but not Moses. His first 40 years in Pharaoh’s court had prepared him to lead, and his second 40 years had given him  knowledge of the desert through which he and the Israelites would travel. Moses was fully prepared for God’s mission at the age of 80; the best was yet to come.

  • 7. Moses was a songwriter.

    Or, more accurately, he was a musical collaborator. After the children of Israel crossed the Red Sea on dry land, the waters closed up, drowning the mighty Egyptian army. To celebrate their deliverance, God composed a song and instructed Moses to write it down and teach it to the congregation. It became known as “The Song of Moses” (Deut. 32:1-43).

  • 8. Moses didn't write the Ten Commandments, God did.

    “The LORD said to Moses, ‘Come up to me on the mountain and stay here, and I will give you the tablets of stone, with the law and commands I have written for their instruction’” (Ex. 24:12). Moses did, however, transcribe the law as given to him by God. These writings compose part of the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Old Testament. (Ex. 24:4).

  • 9. Moses knew in advance the day of his death (Deut. 31:14).

    God instructed him to commission Joshua as his replacement, then climb Mt. Nebo. There he showed him the Promised Land, and there he died.

  • 10. God buried Moses on the mountain, and his grave was never found.

    All we know is that somewhere in Moab, in the valley of Peor, lie the bones of one of the greatest heroes of the faith. (Deu. 34:5-6).

    Lori Hatcher is a blogger, inspirational speaker, and author of the Christian Small Publisher’s 2016 Book of the Year, Hungry for God … Starving for Time, Five-Minute Devotions for Busy Women. A Toastmasters International contest-winning speaker, Lori’s goal is to help busy women connect with God in the craziness of everyday life. She especially loves small children, soft animals, and chocolate. You’ll find her pondering the marvelous and the mundane on her blog, Hungry for God. . . Starving for Time. Connect with her on FacebookTwitter (@lorihatcher2) or Pinterest (Hungry for God).