Moses There Are Few Figures Thesis

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Moses

There are few figures in the Old Testament as intriguing and even controversial as Moses. Born to a family of Hebrew slaves and raised as a prince in the palace of the Pharaoh, his life was certainly unusual by the standards of his time even without any consideration of his religious nature and actions. His marriage to a woman outside of his people and the temper he displayed in many situations seem to mark him as disobedient and petulant, yet at the same time he is -- and has been -- considered one of the greatest and wisest religious and political leaders of the Hebrew people. From slave to prince, and from rash Shepard to wise judge and leader, Moses is defined in the Old Testament by a series of seeming contradictions, many of which find later echoes in the figures and events of the New Testament. Though Moses has no direct involvement in the stories or times of the New Testament, the themes that surround his life and works as described in the Bible can be seen to run throughout the scriptures, making Moses a central figure in all Judeo-Christian religions.

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Moses' story starts, of course, with his birth. This occurred at a time of especially tense relationships between the Pharaoh and the Hebrew slave population. A decree had been issued that all male infants born to the Hebrews would be killed, in an effort to curb the population growth occurring among the slaves and as another means of keeping the slaves in line and destitute. Moses' mother quite understandably did not want him dead, and managed to keep him hidden away from the Egyptian soldiers for three full months before finally deciding something else had to be done. She carefully made a basket out of reeds, lined the outside with pitch so that it would be watertight, and set it afloat on the Nile with the baby Moses bundled up safely inside. Moses sister, Miriam, watched the basket to ensure the future leader's safety.

Thesis on Moses There Are Few Figures in the Assignment

In some ways, the circumstances of Moses' birth and infancy find echoes in the birth of Jesus. Moses' mother took the actions she did because of government restrictions -- quite harsh ones that proscribed death for her infant son. The circumstances of Jesus' birth were also in part determined by government intervention of the non-Hebrew ruling body, which meant the Romans in Jesus' time. According to the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, Joseph and Mary were required to travel to Bethlehem because the Roman emperor had issued a decree requiring all births to be recorded in a census in the father's ancestral town of origin, which for Joseph meant Bethlehem. The birth lying-in at a manger that has become such a famous part of Jesus' life story and a favorite Christmas-time representation would not have occurred if the Romans had not exerted undue influence over the population of Jews, just as the Egyptian subjugation of the Israelites caused Moses to have such an unusual infancy and subsequent upbringing.

Here, however, the lives of these Moses and Jesus, two figures who are central to, respectively, the Old and New Testaments, diverge quite clearly from each other. There is very little biblical account of Jesus' childhood and adolescence, but it is reasonably assumed that on returning to Nazareth with Mary and Joseph, he led a fairly typical childhood for his time, learning the carpentry practiced by Joseph and praying as a devout Jew, just as his mother Mary. After his twelfth year and his wandering off to the Temple in Jerusalem, there is no Biblical record of Jesus' life until his return to Jerusalem and the start of his ministry in his adulthood.

There is a great deal of information in the Bible concerning Moses, however, and his childhood was anything but typical… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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