Home >> Collier's New Encyclopedia, Volume 6 >> Medici to New Jersey >> Moses


people, daughter and egypt

MOSES (Egyptian mo, water, and use, saved), the son of Amram and Joahabed, of the tribe of Levi. This great Jewish historian and lawgiver was born in Egypt during the rigor of the decree that commanded the death of every new-born male Israelite. To save her child, his mother made an ark, or basket of rushes, and, placing the infant in this, committed it to the river, where the daughter of Pharaoh was in the habit of bathing; secreting herself among the reeds. Pharaoh's daughter rescued and adopted the child, who was brought up at court and became noted for learning.

In his 40th year, seeing an Egyptian officer ill-treating an Israelite, he killed the task-master and fled into the wilder ness, where he pursued the calling of a shepherd for 40 years, marrying the daughter of a priest of the people among whom he had found shelter and protec tion. While so employed, the Almighty appeared to him in the "burning bush," and commanded him to return to Egypt and lead his people from the house of bondage. In obedience to this command,

Moses, after much opposition, eventually brought the Israelites out of Egypt, passed the Red Sea, and came within sight of the Promised Land; when, in consequence of the transgressions of the people, they were turned back and con demned for 40 years to wander in the wilderness, till the whole generation of offenders had died. This national mi gration, known as "The Exodus of the Hebrews," took place about 1300 B. C. Moses was not allowed to enter the land of Canaan. He died in his 120th year, on the confines of Canaan. Moses is con sidered the author of the first five books of the Old TestamentóGenesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. The Decalogue, given through Moses, and many of the broader provisions of the Mosaic laws form the basis of all pres ent moral and legal codes.