Christian Basics


So, “In the beginning God made the heavens (plural) and the earth (singular).” Using the biggest Optical and Radio Telescopes, we can see the multitudes of Galaxies, Gas Clouds, Nebula, the myriad upon myriad of stars of varying colours, temperatures and patterns. Intricate, stunningly beautiful, and absolutely intriguing. For the Earth to be seen in its surrounds in Space, we have to look backwards in time to the Voyager 1 Mission. When Voyager 1 had reached the planet Saturn the NASA engineers turned the sleeping Spacecraft around to look back at our home planet, Earth, to get a view of what it looks like. It was February 14, 1990, when Voyager 1 was turned back on, and about 6 billion kilometres away. The resulting composite photograph is known famously by Carl Sagan as the “Pale Blue Dot”. It shows a solitary minute article in the depths of space, completely alone, with no “partner planets”. The dot itself is less than a pixel in size. It is the Earth with all its billions of humans, and containing all the history of this one collection of animate persons plus animals, plant life, and microbial entities.

Where did these objects come from? How did they come into being? Who made them? And how were they made or built? The early chapters of the Holy Bible tell us some details and basic processes that produced the Earth, the different forms of life, and the stages of “manufacture” of the various parts. At a later date in your progression in life, you will come across different explanations/theories to suit varying people’s ideas of “Long-term Creation”, “Short-Term Creation”, “Evolution”, and various other different cultural stories and explanations. Only one “story” or explanation can be right, and we waste a lot of time trying to work out what to believe about God and Creation. Even within the first two chapters of Genesis in the Bible, Religious Ministers and Professors, Archaeologists and other Scientists have alternative theories regarding God and His Creation. It makes it hard to know what Truth is, especially when renowned “scientific specialists” cannot even agree between themselves any simple understanding of these basic beliefs. But what we DO know is that God was there doing His Will and making His plans come to fruition, one step at a time.

But do we know this? As author Murari Das says in 2022 ©,


“People reject the concept of God due to misunderstanding what “God” means.

That may be because they haven’t been taught properly, or it may be because they are too dense to understand.

At a simple level, God is the Absolute Truth. He is the eternal origin of everything that exists,[and the sustaining energy that holds together and completes all matter and things that exist. God is a Spirit, and they that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in Truth! (John 4:23, 24).]

We know that things exist, and we know that we aren’t the origin of them all. It’s too nutty to contemplate that first there was a total absence of everything, and then somehow time appeared, space appeared, natural laws appeared, matter appeared, and consequently a functioning universe appeared with complexity, interdependence, and predictability, all from nowhere for no reason.

What makes more sense is that something which is eternal is the cause and origin of everything that exists. That is a simple elementary understanding of what God means.

Some people are taught that God throws people into hell forever; that God could prevent tragedies but doesn’t; that God hates certain types of people; that God demands worship; that God gave one chance to everyone for salvation; that God needs money; that God has never been seen, and so much more.

Then they conclude that such a person doesn’t exist and dismiss all these claims as being untrue.

That’s okay, all these claims can be dismissed as untrue, but how does that affect the claim that God is the Absolute Truth and the eternal origin of all that exists? This is the starting point for understanding God. Then we can look at what God does, what He likes, why He doesn’t do what we want, what He needs etc. There’s no need to refer to accounts that are considered fictional for these details. If they are fictional they have no relevance in deciding if God exists or not. What I don’t understand is why people read what they consider fictional accounts and then use them to decide if there is an eternal origin to everything that exists.

“Everything appeared from nothing by magic, making magic the Absolute Truth. Or everything appeared from something that is eternal, making that the Absolute Truth. We cannot say that ‘nothing’ is the Absolute Truth because it’s obvious that things exist now, and if ‘nothing’ was the Absolute Truth, then all that would ever exist is nothing.

Once it is understood that God is the Absolute Truth and eternal origin of all that exists, we can reverse engineer what we know to be real and understand that it originates from God. That’s not as easy as it sounds because it’s no small thing to know what is real and what isn’t. Most people think their concept of reality is the real one, but there are many differing views of reality, many. One thing we can be sure of is that each person’s subjective interpretation of sense objects is almost certainly not reality. A popular quote is ‘Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.’ The eternal origin of all that exists simply can’t go away. God is a word used for the eternal origin of all that exists.

For critical thinkers and thoughtful people, who don’t want to take help from others, the nature and qualities of God will have to be determined by assessing what is truly real and what is imaginary. That’s the only real option available. The alternative is to say God doesn’t exist; magic is real.”

(end quote).

For instance, the first step was “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth”. Genesis 1:1 We don’t know if this was an instantaneous action or whether God took His time to do a proper complete job. (I’m thinking like a man does. It’s easy to do a quick job and get a perhaps less than perfect result. It’s not so easy to take your time and do it right. “She’ll be right” is not good enough). We don’t even know what God did to create the heavens and the earth! Did He have bricks and mortar to build with? We know He didn’t. He used things much more substantial than that. What we DO know is that we have concrete proof through Archaeology, Palaeontology, and other sciences, that at some stage there definitely was a Creation process, and we have proof because we are standing on the end result!

Stefan Stackhouse © 2022

What do you think God is made out of?


“A creator God must exist outside of our universe of space, time, energy and matter. This creator God, therefore, would never have been ‘made’ at all, but has and does eternally exist outside of time. This creator God would also have to be immaterial, for all matter would have to be created by this God. There is no way that we can really know or understand what sort of ‘stuff’ this creator God consists of, or what sort of dimensions this ‘stuff’ exists within – this is something that is utterly beyond our abilities to either investigate or imagine.

Believe or disbelieve as you wish. I do think, though, that this is really the only theistic possibility that could make any sense at all.”:

(End Quote.)

So, have we thought about this enough to accept that there is a high probability of God being eternally real, proficient to create all things, and govern all things for the good of all His Creation? Are you ready to accept or reject belief in God based on what we have previously written? It is your choice!

Let’s assume that you are interested enough to at least think about the possibility of the reality of God. Shall we proceed to the next step? Let’s do it!

Now follows

Lan Dough (Lando) ©2022

Researcher Writer Biblical Antiquities at (2018–present)

Sarai began her life in the pagan world of Ur, in the land of the Chaldees, which was located in the area now known as Iraq. She was the half-sister, as well as the wife, of Abram, who would be called Abraham. Sarai and Abram had the same father but different mothers.

And Abraham said, Because I thought, Surely the fear of God is not in this place; and they will slay me for my wife’s sake. And yet indeed she is my sister; she is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife.” Genesis 20:12

In those days, genetics were purer than they are today, and intermarriage was not detrimental to the offspring of unions between relatives. Also, since people tended to spend their lives clustered together in family units, it was the natural course to choose mates from within their own tribes and families.

When Abram encountered the living God for the first time, he believed Him (Genesis 12:1–4; 15:6) and followed after Him, obeying His command to leave his home to go to a place he had never heard about, much less seen. Sarai went with him.

Their journey brought them to the area called Haran (Genesis 11:31). Abram’s father, Terah, passed away in this city, and Abram, Sarai, and their nephew Lot and their retinue continued their journey, allowing God to lead and guide them. With no housing and no modern conveniences, the journey would have been very difficult for all, especially for the women. During their journey, there was a famine in the land, prompting Abram and Sarai to go to Egypt (Genesis 12:10). When they did, Abram feared that the Egyptians would kill him because Sarai was extremely beautiful, and they would want her as a wife. So he asked Sarai to tell everyone that she was Abram’s sister—which was technically true but also meant to deceive. Sarai was taken into Pharaoh’s house, and Abram was treated well because of her. But God afflicted Pharaoh’s house, and the couple’s deceptive lie was revealed. Pharaoh returned Sarai to Abram and sent them on their way (Genesis 12). Sarai and Abram came back to the land now known as Israel, approximately 4,000 years ago. They had acquired many possessions and a great deal of wealth in their travels, so Lot and Abram agreed to split up in order that the massive herds of cattle would have adequate ground for grazing (Genesis 13:9). Unfortunately, the tension between Abraham and Lot’s shepherds increased, and they had to separate, Lot going toward the green fields around Sodom, while Abraham stayed in the less fertile lands away from Sodom and Gomorrah.

Sarai was barren, an issue of personal distress as well as cultural shame. Abram was worried that he would have no heir. But God gave Abram a vision in which He promised him a son and that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars in the sky (Genesis 15). God also promised Abram’s offspring the land of Canaan. The problem was that Sarai remained childless. Ten years after God had made His promise to Abram, Sarai, following cultural norms, suggested that Abram have a child with her servant, Hagar. The child born of that union would be counted as Sarai’s. Abram agreed, and Hagar conceived a son—Ishmael. But Hagar began to look at Sarai with contempt, and Sarai began to treat Hagar harshly, so much so that Hagar ran away. God met Hagar in the desert and encouraged her to return to Abram and Sarai, which she did (Genesis 16).

Thirteen years after Ishmael was born, God reaffirmed His covenant with Abram, this time giving him the sign of circumcision as well as changing his name. Abram, meaning “high father,” became Abraham, meaning “father of a multitude.” God also changed Sarai’s name, meaning “my princess,” to Sarah, meaning “mother of nations.” God told Abraham that He would give him a son through Sarah. This son—Isaac—would be the one with whom God would establish His covenant. God would bless Ishmael as well, but Isaac was the son of promise through whom the nations would be blessed (Genesis 17). Isaac means “he laughs.” Abraham laughed that, at 100 years old, he could have a son with Sarah, who was 90 years old and had been barren her entire life. Sarah, too, laughed at the prospect (Genesis 18:9–15).

Shortly after God promised Abraham and Sarah a son, He destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, but He rescued Abraham’s nephew Lot (Genesis 19). Abraham and Sarah journeyed toward the Negeb and sojourned in Gerar (Genesis 20:1). Abraham again asked Sarah to lie about her identity, and the king of Gerar took Sarah to be his wife. But God protected Sarah, through whom Isaac would be born. King Abimelech had no relations with her. God warned Abimelech in a dream, and the king not only sacrificed to God in repentance, but he gave gifts to Abraham and Sarah and allowed them to dwell in the land (Genesis 20).

God remained faithful to His promise to give Abraham and Sarah a son. They named him Isaac, and “Sarah said, ‘God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.’ And she added, ‘Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age'” (Genesis 21:6–7). Though she may have previously laughed in disbelief and secrecy, now Sarah laughed with joy and wanted her situation to be known. God had been faithful to His promise and blessed her.

When Isaac was a teenager, God sought to test Abraham, and commanded him to take Isaac to Mount Moriah and there make Isaac a burnt sacrifice unto God. Isaac was the child of promise, and Abraham knew that if he killed Isaac all the promises of God could not humanly happen. But Abraham thought within himself that even if Isaac were killed, yet God could raise him up and keep the promises anyway.

Isaac saw that his father had not brought a sacrifice with him and noted this to his father. Abraham’s response was that God would provide himself with a sacrifice. When they arrived at the top of the mountain, Abraham set about making Isaac the sacrifice to God, as He had told Abraham to. Isaac had worked it out and willingly complied with God’s apparent will, but before Abraham could strike his knife into Isaac the Angel of the Lord [the eternal presence of Almighty God] told him to stop, saying that He could see that Abraham was an obedient and faithful servant. Isaac was let go and God showed a ram caught in a thicket to be used as an alternative sacrifice.

From this time Abraham was known as the “Friend of God”.

Skip forward 400 or 500 years or so and let us consider some history from the Torah (the Pentateuch), the Five Books of Moses. In Exodus chapters 7 to 10 we read of the first 9 plagues of God against Pharaoh and the Egyptians, on behalf of Moses, Aaron and the children of Israel. Each time a plague fell on Egypt, Pharaoh became harder and harder. Finally, in chapter 11 and 12 of Exodus, we read how God’s ultimatum was given to Pharaoh, who deliberately chose to not listen, but instead had his heart hardened even further by God.

Exodus 12:21 Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel, and said unto them, Draw out and take you a lamb according to your families, and kill the Passover.

Exo 12:22 And ye shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the bason, and strike the lintel and the two side posts with the blood that is in the bason; and none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning.

Exo 12:23 For the LORD will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he seeth the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the LORD will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you.

Exo 12:24 And ye shall observe this thing for an ordinance to thee and to thy sons for ever.

Exo 12:25 And it shall come to pass, when ye be come to the land which the LORD will give you, according as he hath promised, that ye shall keep this service.

Exo 12:26 And it shall come to pass, when your children shall say unto you, What mean ye by this service?

Exo 12:27 That ye shall say, It is the sacrifice of the LORD’S Passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he smote the Egyptians, and delivered our houses. And the people bowed the head and worshipped.

Exo 12:28 And the children of Israel went away, and did as the LORD had commanded Moses and Aaron, so did they.

The Israelites listened to what God said through Moses and Aaron, painted blood from perfect, faultless lambs slain that day on the lintels and two side posts of their dwelling. Then they were to take the body of the slain lamb inside their dwelling along with all their family members, and other folk who were more destitute than they, and be there from well before midnight until the break of dawn, eating and feasting on the sacrificed lamb.

Exodus 12:29 And it came to pass, that at midnight the LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle.

Exo 12:30 And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead.

Exo 12:31 And he called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, Rise up, and get you forth from among my people, both ye and the children of Israel; and go, serve the LORD, as ye have said.

Exo 12:32 Also take your flocks and your herds, as ye have said, and be gone; and bless me also.


Hebrew prophet

Alternate titles: Moshe

Written by

Dewey M. Beegle

Fact-checked by The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica

Last Updated: Jan 5, 2023; © 2023 Encyclopaedia Britannica • Article History

Presented with edited modifications by Jeffrey M. Pearce, 2023

Moses and the Ten Commandments

Flourished: c.1400 BCE – c.1201 BCE

Notable Family Members: brother Aaron sister Miriam

Subjects Of Study: Judaism Ten Commandments covenant

Role In: Exodus


Hebrew Moshe, (flourished 14th–13th century BCE), Hebrew prophet, teacher, and leader who, in the 13th century BCE (before the Common Era, or BC), delivered his people from Egyptian slavery. In the Covenant ceremony at Mt. Sinai, where the Ten Commandments were promulgated, he founded the religious community known as Israel. As the interpreter of these Covenant stipulations, he was the organizer of the community’s religious and civil traditions. In the Judaic tradition, he is revered as the greatest prophet and teacher, and Judaism has sometimes loosely been called Mosaism, or the Mosaic faith, in Western Christendom. His influence continues to be felt in the religious life, moral concerns, and social ethics of Western civilization, and therein lies his undying significance.

The historical problem

Historical views of Moses

Few historical figures have engendered such disparate interpretations as has Moses. Early Jewish and Christian traditions considered him the author of the Torah (“Law,” or “Teaching”), also called the Pentateuch (“Five Books”), comprising the first five books of the Bible, and some conservative groups still believe in Mosaic authorship.

Opposing this is the theory of the German scholar Martin Noth, who, while granting that Moses may have had something to do with the preparations for the conquest of Canaan, was very sceptical of the roles attributed to him by tradition. Although recognizing a historical core beneath the Exodus and Sinai traditions, Noth believed that two different groups experienced these events and transmitted the stories independently of each other. He contended that the biblical story tracing the Hebrews from Egypt to Canaan resulted from an editor’s weaving separate themes and traditions around a main character Moses, actually an obscure person from Moab. [These beliefs and suppositions of Martin Noth have never been properly investigated or proved. JMP].

This article, following the lead of the biblical archaeologist and historian W.F. Albright, presents a point of view that falls somewhere between these two extremes. While the essence of the biblical story (narrated between Exodus 1:8 and Deuteronomy 34:12) is accepted, it is recognized that, during the centuries of oral and written transmission, the account acquired layers of accretions. The reconstruction of the documentary sources of the Pentateuch by literary critics is considered valid, but the sources are viewed as varying versions of one series of events (see biblical literature: The Torah [Law, Pentateuch, or Five Books of Moses]). Other critical methods (studying the biblical text from the standpoint of literary form, oral tradition, style, redaction, and archaeology) are equally valid. The most accurate answer to a critical problem is therefore likely to come from the convergence of various lines of evidence. The aid of critical scholarship notwithstanding, the sources are so sketchy that the man Moses can be portrayed only in broad outline.

[On the contrary, sometimes it pays to take the notes described by the Bible as factual and true! JMP].

The date of Moses

According to the biblical account, Moses’ parents were from the tribe of Levi, one of the groups in Egypt called Hebrews. Originally the term Hebrew had nothing to do with race or ethnic origin. It derived from Habiru, a variant spelling of Ḫapiru (Apiru), a designation of a class of people who made their living by hiring themselves out for various services. The biblical Hebrews had been in Egypt for generations, but apparently they became a threat, so one of the pharaohs enslaved them. Unfortunately, the personal name of the king is not given, and scholars have disagreed as to his identity and, hence, as to the date of the events of the narrative of Moses. One theory takes literally the statement in I Kings 6:1 that the Exodus from Egypt occurred 480 years before Solomon began building the Temple in Jerusalem. This occurred in the fourth year of his reign, about 960 BCE; therefore, the Exodus would date about 1440 BCE.

This conclusion, however, is at variance with most of the biblical and archaeological evidence. The storage cities Pitḥom and Rameses, built for the pharaoh by the Hebrews, were located in the north-eastern part of the Egyptian delta, not far from Goshen, the district in which the Hebrews lived. It is implicit in the whole story that the pharaoh’s palace and capital were in the area, but Thutmose III (the pharaoh in 1440) had his capital at Thebes, far to the south, and never conducted major building operations in the delta region. Moreover, Edom and Moab, petty kingdoms in Transjordan that forced Moses to circle east of them, were not yet settled and organized. Finally, as  excavations have shown, the destruction of the cities the Hebrews claimed to have captured occurred about 1250, not 1400.

Inasmuch as tradition figured about 12 generations from Moses to Solomon, the reference to 480 years is most likely an editorial comment allowing 40 years for each generation. Since an actual generation was nearer 25 years, the most probable date for the Exodus is about 1290 BCE. If this is true, then the oppressive pharaoh noted in Exodus (1:2–2:23) was Seti I (reigned 1318–04), and the pharaoh during the Exodus was Ramses II (c. 1304–c. 1237). In short, Moses was probably born in the late 14th century BCE. [These last names and dates appear to be the most accepted by the majority of Archaeologists and historical and Biblical scientists. JMP].

Years and deeds of Moses

The formative years

One of the measures taken by the Egyptians to restrict the growth of the Hebrews was to order the death of all newborn Hebrew males. According to Biblical tradition, Moses’ parents, Amram and Jochebed [whose other children were Aaron and Miriam. JMP], hid him for three months and then set him afloat on the Nile in a reed basket daubed with pitch. The child, found by the pharaoh’s daughter while bathing, was reared in the Egyptian court. While many doubt the authenticity of this tradition, the name Moses (Hebrew Moshe) is derived from Egyptian mose (“is born”) and is found in such names as Thutmose ([The God] Thoth Is Born). Originally, it is inferred, Moses’ name was longer, but the deity’s name was dropped. This could have happened when Moses returned to his people or possibly even earlier, because the shortened form Mose was very popular at that time. [A similar thing happened when Jesus was born and named Joshua (Yeshua), a very common name in His time. JMP]

Moses’ years in the court are passed over in silence, but it is evident from his accomplishments later that he had instruction in religious, civil, and military matters. Since Egypt controlled Canaan (Palestine) and part of Syria and had contacts with other nations of the Fertile Crescent, Moses undoubtedly had general knowledge of life in the ancient Near East. During his education he learned somehow that he was a Hebrew, and his sense of concern and curiosity impelled him to visit his people. According to the biblical narrative, Moses lived 120 years and was 80 when he confronted Pharaoh, but there is no indication how old he was when he went to see the Hebrews. Later Jewish and Christian tradition assumed 40-year periods for his stay in the Egyptian court, his sojourn in Midian, and his wilderness wanderings.

Most likely Moses was about 25 when he took the inspection tour among his people. There he saw the oppressive measures under which they laboured. When he found an Egyptian taskmaster beating a Hebrew, probably to death, he could control his sense of justice no longer. After checking to make sure that no one was in sight, he killed the tough Egyptian overlord. As a prince in the court, Moses was probably in excellent physical condition, and apparently he knew the latest methods of combat.

The flush of victory pulled Moses back the next day. He had removed one threat to his people and was determined to assist them again. This time, however, he found two Hebrews fighting. After parting them, he questioned the offender in an attempt to mediate the disagreement. Two questions jolted him: “Who made you a prince and a judge over us? Do you intend to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?” The confidence of the self-appointed deliverer turned into fear. One of his own knew his “secret” and soon Pharaoh would, too. Realizing that he would have to flee, he went to Midian (mainly in northwest Arabia).

Moses in Midian

In noting the flight to Midian, the narrative says nothing of the difficulties involved. Like Sinuhe, the Egyptian court official whose flight in about 1960 BCE was narrated in a famous story, Moses undoubtedly had to filter through the “Wall of the Ruler,” a series of forts at the eastern border, approximately where the Suez Canal is now located. From there he made his way southeast through very desolate country. Unfortunately, the Bible does not specify the part of Midian in which Moses resided. Midian proper was east of the Gulf of Aqaba, in the northern section of Hejaz in Arabia, but there is evidence that some of the Midianite clans crossed over the Arabah (the great valley south of the Dead Sea) and settled in the eastern and southern sections of the Sinai Peninsula.

While Moses was resting at a well, according to the biblical account, seven daughters of the Midianite priest Jethro came to water their father’s flocks. Other shepherds arrived and drove the girls away in order to water their own flocks. Again, Moses showed his courage and prowess as a warrior because he took on the shepherds (perhaps with the girls’ help) and routed them. Moses stayed on with Jethro and eventually married Zipporah, one of the daughters. In assuming the responsibility for Jethro’s flocks, Moses roamed the wilderness looking for pasture.

One day at the base of a mountain, his attention was attracted by a flaming bush, but, oddly, it was not consumed. He had seen bushes brilliant with flamelike blossoms, but this phenomenon was different, and so he turned aside to investigate it. Before he could do so, he was warned to come no closer. Then he was ordered to remove his sandals because he was standing on holy ground.

Regardless of how one interprets the burning bush, the important fact is that Moses was conscious of an encounter with Deity. This God, who claimed to be the God of AbrahamIsaac, and Jacob, was calling him to deliver the Hebrews from Egypt. Although on his own he had previously been zealous to help his own people, now that he was being commissioned to deliver them he expressed doubt concerning his qualifications. The underlying reason was probably fear—he had fled from Seti I, and he did not relish confrontation with Ramses II. God reassured Moses that in the future he and the Hebrews would worship at this mountain. Then Moses asked to know the name of the Deity commissioning him. The God of the fathers had been known mostly as El Elyon (God Most High) or El Shaddai (Almighty God), but he identified himself to Moses as Yahweh and gave instructions that he was to be called by his new name from then on. As the causative form of the verb “to be,” Yahweh means He Who Creates (Brings Into Being) [or even possibly/probably “I will be what I will be” from “I will bring all things to existence”]. This revelation enabled Moses to understand the God of the Hebrews as the sovereign Lord over nature and the nations of the world.

Even after further assurances, Moses was still reluctant to accept Yahweh’s call; therefore, he pleaded for release because he was a stammerer. Yahweh acknowledged the defect but promised to help him express himself. Awed by his assignment, Moses made a final desperate plea, “Oh, my Lord, send, I pray, some other person.” Although angry at Moses, Yahweh would not yield. Moses would still be Yahweh’s representative, but his golden-tongued brother Aaron would be the spokesman. Apparently Moses was ready to play the role of God to Pharaoh providing Aaron would serve as his prophet. He returned to Jethro and requested permission to visit his people in Egypt, but he did not disclose that he had been commissioned by Yahweh.

Moses and Pharaoh

Ramses II became king as a teenager and reigned for 67 years. He aspired to defeat the Hittites and control all of Syria, but in the fifth year of his reign Ramses walked into a Hittite trap laid for him at Kadesh, on the Orontes River in Syria. By sheer determination he fought his way out, but in the light of his purpose the battle was an utter failure. Yet Ramses, like all the pharaohs, claimed to be divine; therefore, the defeat had to be interpreted as a marvellous victory in which he alone subdued the Hittites. His wounded ego expressed itself in massive building operations throughout Egypt, and before his reign ended the boast of his success literally filled acres of wall space.

It was probably only a few years after the Kadesh incident that Moses and Aaron confronted Ramses with their demand, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Let my people go.’” As a god in human form Ramses was not accustomed to taking orders from lesser gods, let alone an unknown like Yahweh. “Who is the Lord,” he inquired, “that I should heed his voice and let Israel go? I do not know the Lord, and moreover I will not let Israel go.” Thus, the stage was set for a long struggle between a distrustful ruler with an outsize ego and a prophet with a new understanding of Yahweh and his power.

Ramses increased the oppression of the Hebrews by the fiendish plan of requiring them to gather the straw binder for the bricks and still produce the same quota each day. Some of the Hebrews rebuffed Moses, and in frustration he asked Yahweh, “Why didst thou ever send me?” Moses’ doubt was allayed by Yahweh’s promise to take action against Pharaoh. Scholars differ widely concerning the narrative about the plagues. Some claim that three sources have been combined, but more recent scholarship finds only the two traditions. While granting that some of the plagues had a core of historicity, older critics tended to discount the present accounts as fantastic stories with pious decorations. A recent school of research suggests that, notwithstanding some later additions, all the plagues probably had a historical core.

The basic cause, according to one interpretation, was an unusually high flooding of the Nile. The White Nile originates in the lake region of east central Africa, known today as Uganda. The flow is fairly even throughout the year because of consistent equatorial rains. The Blue Nile, on the other hand, originates in the headwaters of the Ethiopian highlands, and it varies from a small stream to a raging torrent. At the time Moses was bargaining with Ramses, excessively heavy summer rains in Ethiopia washed powdery, carmine-red soil from the slopes of the hills. Around the Lake Tana region the blood-red torrent picked up bright red algae (known as flagellates) and their bacteria. Since there were no dams at that time, the Nile flowed blood-red all the way to the Mediterranean. It probably reached the delta region in August. Thus, this rare natural event, it is held, set in motion a series of conditions that continued until the following March.

During these months Moses used the plagues of the frogs, gnats, mosquitoes, cattle murrain, boils, hail, locusts, and thick darkness to increase the pressure on Ramses. At first the King was adamant. The Hebrews were not the only disgruntled slaves, and, if he agreed to let them go, then other groups would want the same privilege. To protect his building program, he had to suppress the slave rebellion at its outset. Yet he could not discount the effect of the plagues, and grudgingly he began to acknowledge Yahweh’s power. As an expedient attempt to restore order, he offered to let the Hebrews sacrifice in Goshen. When this failed, he suggested that they make offerings to Yahweh at the edge of the Egyptian border. Moses, however, insisted on a three-day journey into the wilderness. Pharaoh countered by allowing the Hebrew men to make the journey, but this, too, was rejected. As his final offer Pharaoh agreed to let the people go. He would keep the livestock, however, as the guarantee of their return. Moses spurned the condition, and in anger Pharaoh drove him out. After nine rounds with Pharaoh, it appeared that the deliverance of the Hebrews was no nearer, but, in contrast to his earlier periods of doubt and frustration, Moses showed no despair. Apparently he had an inner assurance that Pharaoh would not have the last word.

From Goshen to Sinai

Chapters 11–14 of Exodus comprise an exceedingly complex section, and at times the traditions have contradictory statements. The drama is more blurred than usual, and scholars vary tremendously in their interpretation of the material. One tradition notes that Pharaoh was shaken when death took his son and that he ordered the Hebrews to leave. Another source indicates that Moses used the period of mourning for the first-born son as the occasion for fleeing secretly from the country. In either case, it is clear that Pharaoh finally had his forces pursue the Hebrews. Although tradition interpreted the Hebrew text to claim that about 2,000,000 people left Egypt, interpretation by critical methods reduces the number to 15,000 or so. [However some more recent studies in the mid 20th century point out that the possible numbers of men, women and children amounted to approximately 3,000,000 to 3,500,000 souls. JMP].

The Egyptian army cornered them at the Sea of Reeds (papyrus), which barred their exit to the east. Later Jewish tradition understood the body of water to be the Red Sea, and this erroneous interpretation persists today, even in some of the most recent English translations of the Bible. Scholars disagree as to the precise location of the Reed Sea, but, since papyrus grows only in freshwater, it was most probably a shallow lake in the far north-eastern corner of Egypt. [However, since then a different route via the Red Sea has been found, and various Archaeological finds within the area have turned out to be Egyptian Chariots and associated articles submerged in the Red Sea. This route comes Southeast through the Wilderness of Shur or Way of the Wilderness and crosses the Gulf of Aqaba finger of the Red Sea at Nuweiba Beach about 64 km south of Eilat, Israel. The children of Israel would then have crossed over to Baal-Rephon (Saudi Arabia Beach). Between those two points there is a natural land “bridge” normally under water. This slopes down from both sides of the Aqaba finger to a depth of 762 metres covering the various articles mentioned above. To the north and south of this “bridge” the Sea bottom drops quickly down to a depth of 1850 metres JMP].

Hemmed in by the Egyptians, the people vented their complaints on Moses. According to one tradition, Moses shared their uneasiness, and he called to Yahweh for help. Another account claims that Moses confidently challenged them to be calm and watch for Yahweh’s deliverance. [Maybe both are correct, one following after the other JMP]. A strong east wind blew all night, creating a dry corridor through the lake and permitting the Hebrews to cross. The pursuing Egyptians were destroyed when the waters returned. The timing of this natural event gave the final answer to Pharaoh’s arrogant question, “Who is Yahweh?” Safely on the other side, Moses and his sister Miriam led the people in a victory song of praise to Yahweh (Ex. 15:1–21). The style of the poetry is similar to that of 14th-century Canaanite literature, and there is every reason to believe that the poem virtually preserves the original form of the song, with its refrain, “Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the LORD, and spake, saying, I will sing unto the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously: The horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea. The LORD is my strength and song, And he is become my salvation: He is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; My father’s God, and I will exalt him.Exodus 15:1-2 (KJV).

The route of the Hebrews is contested by scholars, but the most likely possibility is the southern route to Jabal Musa, the traditional location of Mt. Sinai (Horeb), in the granite range at the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula. The journey there traversed some very desolate country, and Moses had to contend with bitter complaints about the lack of water and food. Finally, however, he brought the people to “the mountain of God,” where Yahweh had appeared to him in the burning bush.

The Covenant at Sinai of Moses

During the 14th century BCE, the Hittites of Asia Minor made a number of treaties with neighbouring rulers who came under their control. The agreement was not between equals, but between the Hittite king (the suzerain) and a subordinate ruler (the vassal). In the prologue the Hittite ruler described himself as “the great king,” the one granting the treaty. Then followed a historical survey of relationships between the Hittite suzerain and his vassal. Special attention to the kindnesses shown the underling by the overlord was intended to remind the vassal of his obligation to abide by the treaty stipulations. The basic requirement was an oath of loyalty. Since Egypt was involved with the Hittites in the international politics of the time, Moses probably learned about the Hittite treaty form during his years in the Egyptian court.

The appearance of Yahweh in a terrific storm at Mt. Sinai, narrated in chapters 19 and 20 of Exodus, was a revelatory experience for Moses, just as the burning bush had been. Somehow he realized that the Hittite treaty was an accurate analogy of the relationship between Yahweh and the Hebrews. [There is no proof anywhere of Moses following this supposed Hittite treaty example. It is shown to be in Exodus that the Almighty God Himself spoke the words regarding the treaty or Covenant with Israel to Moses and told him to convey “all these words” to the people. Yahweh had a claim upon them because he had delivered them. The only proper response to his love and care would be a pledge of obedience to his will. Some Scholars have tended to date the Ten Commandments, or Decalogue (contained in the revelation at Sinai), after the conquest of Canaan, but there is absolutely nothing in these guidelines to indicate their origin in an agricultural context. More likely they were the stipulations in the covenant ceremony at Mt. Sinai. JMP]

Because Yahweh was proclaimed the only true God, one of the first commands was appropriately a ban against all other gods. Authorities have debated whether or not this understanding was interpreted as monotheism. Most certainly it was not the philosophical monotheism of later periods, but it was a practical monotheism in that any gods recognized by other nations were under Yahweh’s control. Inasmuch as he had brought them into being and authorized their presence in his council, he was Lord over all gods and nations.

Another early command has been taken to mean a ban on making images of other gods, but originally the prohibition applied to representations of Yahweh himself. Worship in the ancient world was unthinkable without some idol or image; therefore, the uniqueness of Moses’ restriction is all the more evident. Yahweh is the unimaginable Deity who cannot be represented in material forms. Since Yahweh had revealed the meaning of his name to Moses, it was fitting that the Decalogue should also prohibit any magical or unethical use of his name. Undoubtedly the ideas underlying the other commands came from the religious culture of his day, but they were raised to a significantly higher level because of the holy, righteous character of Yahweh. Moses realized that, if the Covenant people were to have a stable, just society, they would have to emulate their God. Concern for his creatures would mean respect for them as persons. Murder, adultery, theft, lying, and covetousness would never be legitimate because they lead to chaos and breakdown of the community. Moreover, inasmuch as Yahweh had been concerned to protect the powerless Hebrews in Egypt, they in turn would have to guarantee justice for the orphans, widows, resident aliens, and any other disadvantaged persons under their jurisdiction.

On confirmation of the Covenant, Moses and the people faced the task of living by the stipulations. This called for interpretations of the commands, and so Moses began issuing ordinances for specific situations. Many of these he drew from the case law of his day, but insight as to their selection and application probably came in the “tent of meeting” (a simple sanctuary tent pitched outside the camp), where Yahweh spoke to Moses “face to face, as a man speaks to his friend.” Breaches of the Covenant necessitated means of atonement, which in turn meant provision of a priesthood to function at sacrifices and in worship. In short, the rudiments of the whole Hebrew cult, according to tradition, originated at Sinai. At Jethro’s suggestion Moses instituted a system of judges and hearings to regulate the civil aspects of the community. It was at Sinai, perhaps, where the people were organized into 12 tribes.

One of Moses’ most remarkable characteristics was his concern for the Hebrews, in spite of their stubborn, rebellious ways. When they reverted to worshipping a golden calf, Yahweh was ready to disown them and begin anew with Moses and his descendants. Moses rejected the offer, however, and later, when pleading for the forgiveness of the people, he even asked to have his own name blotted out of Yahweh’s book of remembrance if the Lord would not forgive them.

From Sinai to Transjordan

After leaving Mt. Sinai, Moses faced increasing resistance and frustration, according to the narrative in the book of Numbers. Apparently his virility did not diminish during these years because he took a Cushite woman as his second wife. But Miriam, with the support of Aaron, opposed the marriage. At Kadesh-Barnea the pessimistic majority report of the spies who had been sent out to reconnoitre thwarted Moses’ desire to march north and conquer the land of Canaan. When he urged the people to reconsider their action they almost stoned him. But here again, according to tradition

[the Bible Numbers 13:16 These are the names of the men which Moses sent to spy out the land. And Moses called Oshea the son of Nun Jehoshua. 

Num 13:17  And Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan, and said unto them, Get you up this way southward, and go up into the mountain: 

Num 13:18  And see the land, what it is; and the people that dwelleth therein, whether they be strong or weak, few or many; 

Num 13:19  And what the land is that they dwell in, whether it be good or bad; and what cities they be that they dwell in, whether in tents, or in strong holds; 

Num 13:20  And what the land is, whether it be fat or lean, whether there be wood therein, or not. And be ye of good courage, and bring of the fruit of the land. Now the time was the time of the first ripe grapes. 

Num 13:21  So they went up, and searched the land from the wilderness of Zin unto Rehob, as men come to Hamath. 

Num 13:22  And they ascended by the south, and came unto Hebron; where Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai, the children of Anak, were. (Now Hebron was built seven years before Zoran in Egypt.) 

Num 13:23  And they came unto the brook of Eshcol, and cut down from thence a branch with one cluster of grapes, and they bare it between two upon a staff; and they brought of the pomegranates, and of the figs. 

Num 13:24  The place was called the brook Eshcol, because of the cluster of grapes which the children of Israel cut down from thence. 

Report of the Spies

Num 13:25  And they returned from searching of the land after forty days. 

Num 13:26  And they went and came to Moses, and to Aaron, and to all the congregation of the children of Israel, unto the wilderness of Paran, to Kadesh; and brought back word unto them, and unto all the congregation, and shewed them the fruit of the land. 

Num 13:27  And they told him, and said, We came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it. 

Num 13:28  Nevertheless the people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are walled, and very great: and moreover we saw the children of Anak there. 

Num 13:29  The Amalekites dwell in the land of the south: and the Hittites, and the Jebusites, and the Amorites, dwell in the mountains: and the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and by the coast of Jordan. 

Num 13:30  And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it. 

Num 13:31  But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we. 

Num 13:32  And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature. 

Num 13:33  And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight. 

The People Rebel

Num 14:1  And all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried; and the people wept that night. 

Num 14:2  And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said unto them, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God we had died in this wilderness! 

Num 14:3  And wherefore hath the LORD brought us unto this land, to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children should be a prey? were it not better for us to return into Egypt? 

Num 14:4  And they said one to another, Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt. 

Num 14:5  Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the children of Israel. 

Num 14:6  And Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of them that searched the land, rent their clothes: 

Num 14:7  And they spake unto all the company of the children of Israel, saying, The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land. 

Num 14:8  If the LORD delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey. 

Num 14:9  Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not. 

Num 14:10  But all the congregation bade stone them with stones. And the glory of the LORD appeared in the tabernacle of the congregation before all the children of Israel. 

Num 14:11  And the LORD said unto Moses, How long will this people provoke me? and how long will it be ere they believe me, for all the signs which I have shewed among them? 

Num 14:12  I will smite them with the pestilence, and disinherit them, and will make of thee a greater nation and mightier than they. 

God’s attitude and motivation towards the unbelieving and rebellious people was to show them Grace and Mercy if they changed their mind for good and repented of their sinfulness and their sins. However, if they refused to change their ways, He chose to discipline them with judgment and/or punishment according to the level of their sins.]


© 2023 F.B. Meyer, J.M. Pearce

What in any other nation would have been described as a panic of fear, was, in the case of Israel, a panic of unbelief, which deserved the reproachful expostulation of Jehovah in Num_14:11. The transition is easy from unbelief to open rebellion against God, as expressed in the words, “Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt.” The connection between the fearful and unbelieving is very close, Rev_21:8. On the other hand, we have the exhortation of 2Pe_1:5 (A.V.), “Add to your faith virtue (or courage),” as exemplified in the language of Joshua and Caleb. But their words of faith and encouragement only elicited hatred and murder.

Compare Num_14:10 with Gen_4:4 and Heb_11:4. God’s two stalwart witnesses did not minimize the strength or the numbers of the foe, but magnified the mighty power pledged to fulfill the ancient covenant with Abraham: “The Lord is with us; fear them not.” He cannot fail the trustful soul!)]

Moses interceded for the people with Yahweh, who threatened to destroy them and raise up another and greater nation. In one instance, however, tradition recalled that Moses’ anger overrode his compassion. At Meribah, probably in the area of Kadesh-Barnea, Moses addressed the complaining people as rebels and struck a rock twice in anger, whereupon water flowed forth for the thirsty people. He had been angry before in defence of Yahweh’s name, honour, and cause, but this time his anger stemmed from utter frustration with his contentious people. Although tradition [again the Bible] interpreted this lapse as the reason why Yahweh would not permit Moses to enter Canaan, the remarkable fact is that Moses was able to bear up under such continuous pressure.

In Transjordan the new states of Edom and Moab, vassals of the Midianites, rejected Moses’ request for passage. He wisely circled east of them and moved north to conquer Sihon, king of the Amorites, and Og, king of Bashan. Moses permitted some of the tribes to settle in Transjordan, a decision that evoked opposition from the Moabites and their Midianite overlords. They hired the Syrian diviner Balaam to put a curse on the Hebrews, but instead he pronounced a blessing. Some scholars interpret this as proof that Balaam was a convert to Yahwism. If this was indeed the case, he must have reverted later on, because the biblical tradition implies that Balaam incited his former employers to weaken the Hebrews by religious seduction. Moses responded to the enmity of the Midianites with a successful holy war against them not long before his death.

As his last official act Moses renewed the Sinai Covenant with those who had survived the wilderness wanderings. From his camp in the Jordan Valley, Moses climbed to a vantage point on Mt. Pisgah. There he viewed the land of promise. The Hebrews never saw him again, and the circumstances of his death and burial remain shrouded in mystery. Tradition claimed that Yahweh buried him in the valley opposite Beth-Peor, the shrine of the people’s apostasy.

Moses the man

Although time undoubtedly enhanced the portrait of Moses, a basic picture emerges from the sources. Five times the narratives claim that Moses kept written records (Ex. 17:14; 24:4; 34:27–28; Num. 33:2; and Deut. 31:9, 24–26). Even with a generous interpretation of the extent of these writings, they do not amount to more than a fifth of the total Pentateuch; therefore, the traditional claim of Mosaic authorship of the whole Pentateuch is untenable [according to the writer]. Moses formulated the Decalogue, mediated the Covenant, and began the process of rendering and codifying supplemental interpretations of the Covenant stipulations. Undoubtedly he kept some records, and they served as the core of the growing corpus of law and tradition. In a general sense, therefore, the first five books of the Hebrew Bible can be described as Mosaic. Without him there would have been no Israel and no collection known as Torah.

Moses was a gifted, well-trained person, but his true greatness was probably due to his personal experience of and relationship with Yahweh. This former stammering murderer understood his preservation and destiny as coming from the grace of a merciful Lord who had given him another chance. Moses had an understanding spirit and a forgiving heart because he knew how much Yahweh had forgiven him. He was truly humble because he recognized that his gifts and strength came from Yahweh. [As the Bible says in Numbers 12:3 (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.) Meek means “Strength under Control” see notes following].

Because of the uniqueness of his situation, Moses had to function in a number of roles. As Yahweh’s agent in the deliverance of the Hebrews, he was their prophet and leader. As mediator of the Covenant, he was the founder of the community. As interpreter of the Covenant, he was an organizer and legislator. As intercessor for the people, he was their priest. Moses had a special combination of gifts and graces that made it impossible to replace him. Although his successor, Joshua, and the priest Eleazar, the son of Aaron, tried to do so, together they did not measure up to him. Later prophets were great men who spoke out of the spirit that Moses had, but they were not called to function in so many roles. As tradition claimed, he was indeed the greatest of the prophets, and, as history shows, few, if any, of humanity’s great personalities outrank him in influence.

Dewey M. Beegle

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth,” Matthew 5:5. ©2020 Kyle Denny

Meekness isn’t something I heard a lot about growing up. I knew it was in some teachings that Jesus gave on a mountain, but it’s one of those things that you skim over when you read the Bible, because it’s weird.

A bunch of meek people gaining control of the Earth? Sounds like a sci-fi movie about monks and global domination. It’s easy to write that off as something God can explain later in Heaven…And yet, Jesus took time in His limited earthly ministry to talk about it. He wanted us to know about it on this side of eternity. Obviously from the context we can see that meekness is something that God desires and shows favor on, but what does it mean to be meek?

The image of a smiling pushover comes to mind, like an inflatable punching bag I swung at as a kid, but that can’t be right. Jesus was the ultimate example of meek (Matthew 11:29 Take my yoke upon you and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

Mat 11:30  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.), and He’s the exact opposite of a pushover.

Moses, too, was described as incomparably meek. We read about it in Numbers 12. Moses is leading the nation of Israel and his older siblings launch a verbal attack against him, laced with envy, regarding his Cushite wife. During the encounter we see a stillness from Moses, in which he doesn’t defend himself.

Instead, God defends him with a mighty show of force. He calls out both siblings, Aaron and Miriam, and makes them answer for their words. First, he declares how faithful and above reproach Moses has been. How he alone was given the privilege to hear from God directly. Then He questions why they weren’t afraid to speak out against such a godly man who had done nothing wrong. Finally, God enacts a consequence and mutates Miriam’s flesh to the appearance of being chewed up and deformed. Yikes.

Is that not terrifying? Imagine standing nearby and witnessing that. How gut wrenching would that be for Aaron or Miriam? You can feel the shame and horror that would have settled after the sin. But instead of a smug grin on his face for being vindicated, Moses begs God to heal Miriam.

We see that Moses wasn’t concerned about defending himself let alone launching a counter attack on his siblings. He was slow to anger, leaning into a trust and deference of God. And rather than gloat about the justice that was eventually served, he cried out for the interest of another. Please heal her.

What it Means to be Meek © 2022 Jeffrey M. Pearce.

Meekness is a controlled strength that puts everything in the hands of God. It is founded on a trust of the Lord, and it always denies self. We see it grow alongside humility and wisdom in that it seeks another person’s interest at the expense of its own, and it is pure, peaceable, gentle, and open to reason (James 3:13&17 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.

Jas 3:14  But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. 

Jas 3:15  This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.

Jas 3:16  For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.

Jas 3:17  But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. 

Jas 3:18  And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace).

This should not, however, be confused with cowardice or weakness. It’s not being afraid to stand up to someone; rather it’s having the courage to trust God for justice. We see this in David’s life before he was made king. Several times he had the strength and power to take the throne for his own and yet he rejected self. He quieted the whisperings of flesh that say “Why should you tolerate this? He should pay for this!” and chose instead to trust the Lord his God with quiet submission (1 Sam 26:10-11 David said furthermore, As the LORD liveth, the LORD shall smite him; or his day shall come to die; or he shall descend into battle, and perish.

1Sa 26:11  The LORD forbid that I should stretch forth mine hand against the LORD’S anointed: but, I pray thee, take thou now the spear that is at his bolster, and the cruse of water, and let us go. ). How counter cultural is that in today’s world? We have an entire online world that roars against that attitude.

A Spiritual Inheritance

Then there’s the bit about them inheriting the earth? Jesus has a habit of saying things that make you scratch your head. I have sympathy for the Apostles because I have the Holy Spirit, years of studying His Word, and many years of spiritual experience, and I’m still confused by what He (Jesus) says sometimes. My current understanding is this: there is a sense in which the meek have already inherited the earth. The Bible says that all things are ours in Christ, and Paul declared that he has nothing and yet he has everything. You take swipes at a meek man, and he takes it in stride. You have no power over such a person. They are content and satisfied on this side of eternity. In that way they have inherited the earth.

But there are future expectations too. In the day when tears will be wiped away there will be a purification of the soul. Quite literally everyone in Heaven on the new earth will be meek. To be otherwise would be inconsistent with righteousness.

Where does that leave us? In a position of hope and certainty. One New Testament Scholar, D.A. Carson, says it this way, “With this eternal perspective in view he (a Christian) can afford to be meek”. Can you afford to be meek today? Do you trust God in a way that you know all things will be made right in the end? Are you free to suffer wrong and lean into the Lord? Is your idea of meekness your ability to control your strength, your temper, and your calmness through the infilling of the Holy Spirit as Moses appears to have done?

Out of all the displeasure and disobedience of the Children of Israel over the 40 or so years in the deserts and wilderness, Moses only ever lost his anger once. He was not a perfect man, as we are not perfect people. Ultimately he lost his temper, as we would have done ten times before, and he paid for his disobedience with not entering the promised land, dying in an unmarked grave with no one to show respect and honour. Much later this saved followers of Almighty God turning to the tomb of Moses and worshipping him in an idolotrous way! Refer to Exodus 20.

“Deuteronomy 34:4  And the LORD said unto him, This is the land which I sware unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, saying, I will give it unto thy seed: I have caused thee to see it with thine eyes, but thou shalt not go over thither.

Deu 34:5  So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD.

Deu 34:6  And he buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Beth-Peor: but no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day.”