Introduction to the preparation of Moses in Egypt

The characters of the Bible, like the old manuscripts, need attentive and patient study if the profound and precious teaching of their lives is to be understood. Each character of the Old and New Testaments is the personification of some special character trait that will be an example or model for us (1 Timoteo 1: 16). When studying the preparation of Moses in Egypt we will be able to appreciate the intervention of God in his life and the spiritual and moral qualities that helped Moses in his struggle to sustain his own conversion and testimony through faith.

The birth of Moses

The scripture tells us that Moses was born "beautiful" (Exodus 2: 1-2). Later, Paul of Tarsus adds, moreover, that Moses was "pleasing to God" (Acts 7: 20). Both by his physique and by his character, Moses was beautiful in the sight of his parents, who immediately loved him and, therefore, decided to protect him. But more beautiful and pleasant was in the sight of God, because he knew him from the premortal life and since then he chose him to deliver his people in a time of slavery and need. Moses was foreordained for his mission on this earth and was delivered by God from the nefarious order of extermination arranged by Pharaoh.

We also learn from the parents of Moses who, with immense value, hid him for three months and then placed him in the river, on a basket, where Pharaoh's daughter could find him. On these actions, Paul of Tarsus speaks about the faith of the parents of Moses, which was rewarded with the protection of God over the little one (Hebrews 11: 23).

How Moses was raised

The raising of Moses among the Hebrews

It should be noted that during the preparation of Moses in Egypt he was, in fact, raised in his own home in the early years of his early childhood. Notice what the following passage says:

Exodus 2.7-9 RVR60

Then his sister said to Pharaoh's daughter, "Shall I go and call you a nurse of the Hebrews, that this child may raise you?" And the daughter of Pharaoh said, Go. Then the maiden went, and called the mother of the child, to whom the daughter of Pharaoh said: Take this child and raise him, and I will repay you. And the woman took the child and nursed him.

God's providence made Miriam able to approach the daughter of Pharaoh and offer the services of her mother, Jochebed, the mother of little Moses, to be her foster-mother. Pharaoh's daughter told her "Take this child", which means that Jochebed took him to his house, the same house where he had already hidden him for three months, to give him breastfeeding, food and an initial upbringing. The apostle Paul of Tarsus explained that God protects the call of the righteous and, without a doubt, both Moses and his mother received a great blessing. Moses, for a moment at least, was raised as a Hebrew, in a Hebrew home.

Romans 8.28 RVR60

And we know that to them that love God, all things work together for good, that is, who according to His purpose are called.

The raising of Moses among the Egyptians

The scriptures are not clear about the time Moses was finally taken to the palace. It was "when the child grew up" (Exodus 2: 10). As a grown child he was no longer a baby. But he was not a young man yet. It is probable, then, that he had some awareness of his Israelite origin. However, I was at an ideal age to be flexible and acquire even more teaching.

Exodus 2.10 RVR60

And when the boy grew up, she brought him to the daughter of Pharaoh, who forsooth him, and she named him Moses, saying, "I took him out of the waters."

Pharaoh's daughter "prohijó", according to the revised Reina Valera version. That is to say, "he adopted it", as the Reina Valera SUD version says more clearly. Officially, he became the grandson of Pharaoh, and was treated with all the corresponding privileges and education. His education included military training. As you can see in some ancient documents, it is likely that he participated in battles and obtained important victories.

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The sympathy of Moses towards the Israelites

While the 10 verse uses the growth of Moses to indicate the entry of Moses into the pharaonic imperial court, verse 11 uses it to signal the beginning of his departure. The entire stay of Moses in the palace of Pharaoh is summarized in these two verses that speak of his growth.

Exodus 2.11 RVR60

In those days it happened that Moses had already grown up, he went out to his brothers, and he saw them in their hard tasks, and he observed an Egyptian who was beating one of the Hebrews, his brothers.

Moses was already forty years old when this event happened (Acts 7: 23). As Jamieson and Fausset point out, the "growth" discussed here "is not only in terms of age and stature, but in power as well as in terms of achievements and military progress." The preparation of Moses in Egypt included growth in discipline and leadership. In this respect mention may be made of the development of Moses in the defense of Stephen, in the New Testament.

Acts of the Apostles 7.22 RVR60

And Moses was taught in all the wisdom of the Egyptians; and he was powerful in his words and deeds.

"His brothers" are, according to the clarification provided in the same verse, all the Hebrews. His visit was to the Israelite people. We are not told here if this was his first visit, but that it is mentioned as a special and critical moment that would end up being a waters part in its history.

Moses' awareness of his calling and election

Moses had witnessed the hard work to which the Israelites were subjected and had made an assessment in his heart that he ended up leaning towards them. Moreover, Moses was aware, even partially, of his mission as a liberator of the Israelite people. Stephen, during his courageous defense, emphasizes this aspect of Moses' preparation in Egypt.

Acts of the Apostles 7.23-25 RVR60

When he had reached the age of forty, it came to his heart to visit his brothers, the children of Israel. And seeing one who was mistreated, he defended him, and wounding the Egyptian, avenged the oppressed. But he thought that his brothers understood that God would give them freedom by his hand; but they had not understood it that way.

The event for which Moses fought the Egyptian who mistreated an Israelite was not casual or guided by a momentary impulse. It was an intentional decision to start working on behalf of the Israeli people. Moses was guided by an incipient sense of his future role as a liberator of the people, inculcated during his formation and reinforced through the revelation of the Holy Spirit. It was because of this that Moses made a conscious decision.

Hebrews 11.24-26 RVR60

By faith, Moses, already great, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing instead to be mistreated with the people of God, to enjoy the temporary delights of sin, having the riches of Christ as greater riches than the treasures of Egyptians; because he had his eyes on the award.

The expression "already great", again, does not refer to his age, but to his greatness and power. Three more words in this passage define the nature of the decision made by Moses, not a decision made under the heat of impulse, or indignation, or the eventuality of being surprised, but guided "by faith." Although we are not given sufficient details for the full understanding of the history of the preparation of Moses in Egypt, we know that there was a history of conversion for which Moses had the impulse to visit his brothers, to defend them and to renounce all the greatness and pleasures of imperial life, "choosing before to be mistreated with the people of God" if necessary, "because he had his eyes on the reward" that, according to Paul of Tarsus explains, was Jesus Christ. The evangelical writer James Smith comments:

"Having seen his own relationship, and the miseries of his brothers, he took his bold and resolute step for God and his people. It may have cost you many nights without sleep. There was much to leave, but faith won the victory. Our sympathy with the oppressed and those who perish is not very deep if it has not led us to a definitive consecration of ourselves to God and his work. "

The frustration and apparent failure of Moses

Despite his expectations, Moses was not accepted as an advocate by the Israelite people. It must have been a hard frustration for Moses, he was converted as he was to God and with full awareness of his redemptive calling. A transgressor of Egyptian law, he had to flee. In his flight he was not guided by fear of Pharaoh, but by the revelation of God, trusting that somehow the promise of Israel's redemption would be fulfilled.

Hebrews 11.27 RVR60

By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; because it was held as seeing the Invisible.

God would continue forging the liberator of Israel, giving him in Midian a spiritual complement to what had been the preparation of Moses in Egypt, but this time under the tutelage of the high priest Jethro. Forty more years would pass before the preparation of Moses reached the point where he could fulfill his calling, and during all this time Moses was sustained "by faith."

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The entire history of Moses' preparation in Egypt is outlined in only a few verses from chapter two of the book of Exodus, but both Paul of Tarsus and the martyr Stephen provided valuable complementary details, for which we can understand that the early history of Moses It is a story of conversion to faith. It is a history of formation, where God forged, under a severe test, the great prophet and leader who had foreordained from the premortal life for the liberation of Israel. This test consisted in the election of his divine calling over a life apparently destined for pleasure and power, an internal struggle that must have been harder than the military battles in which Moses had emerged victorious.

The results of this "struggle with God" (see Enos 1: 1, in the Book of Mormon) immediately highlights the moral characteristics of Moses' character from childhood: his strength in the face of trial, his extensive education under the influence of two contrasting cultures, their awareness of injustice and their love for the chosen people, their impartial knowledge of the history and covenants of God's people, their dignity to receive revelation and their willingness to be guided by it, their humility to renounce to the palace and to suffer with the Israelites if necessary, their perseverance and their faith that God would sustain him in spite of any circumstance, his willingness to follow God for forty more years.

Both today and in antiquity, God prepares its leaders for the great missions that are reserved for them. We can learn from Moses great lessons about revelation, choice, perseverance and faith.


  • Robert Jamieson, AR Fausset, and David Brown, Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible. (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997).
  • James Smith and Robert Lee, Sermons and Outlines of the Whole Bible, (Viladecavalls, Spain: Editorial CLIE, 2005), 32.

Originally posted 2017-12-20 07: 38: 37.