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Scholarly consensus sees Moses as a legendary figure and not a historical person. An Egyptian root msy, "child of", has been considered as a possible etymology, arguably an abbreviation of a theophoric name, as for example in Egyptian names like Thutmoses (Thoth created him) and Ramesses (Ra created him), with the god's name omitted.Abraham Yahuda, based on the spelling given in the Tanakh, argues that it combines "water" or "seed" and "pond, expanse of water", thus yielding the sense of "child of the Nile" (mw-še).) to the Egyptian (Coptic) word for water (mou/μῶυ), while Josephus, in his Antiquities of the Jews, claimed that the second element, -esês, meant 'those who are saved'. According to the Hebrew Bible, he was adopted by an Egyptian princess, and later in life became the leader of the Israelites and lawgiver, to whom the authorship of the Torah, or acquisition of the Torah from Heaven is traditionally attributed.Also called Moshe Rabbenu in Hebrew ( He is also an important prophet in Christianity, Islam, the Bahá'í Faith, and a number of other Abrahamic religions.Later at Mount Sinai, Moses and the elders entered into a covenant, by which Israel would become the people of YHWH, obeying his laws, and YHWH would be their god.Moses delivered the laws of God to Israel, instituted the priesthood under the sons of Moses' brother Aaron, and destroyed those Israelites who fell away from his worship.In his final act at Sinai, God gave Moses instructions for the Tabernacle, the mobile shrine by which he would travel with Israel to the Promised Land.
Moses, in order to escape the Pharaoh's death penalty, fled to Midian (a desert country south of Judah), where he married Zipporah.According to the Book of Exodus, Moses was born in a time when his people, the Israelites, an enslaved minority, were increasing in numbers and the Egyptian Pharaoh was worried that they might ally themselves with Egypt's enemies.Moses' Hebrew mother, Jochebed, secretly hid him when the Pharaoh ordered all newborn Hebrew boys to be killed in order to reduce the population of the Israelites.The people were afraid and wanted to return to Egypt, and some rebelled against Moses and against God.Moses told the Israelites that they were not worthy to inherit the land, and would wander the wilderness for forty years until the generation who had refused to enter Canaan had died, so that it would be their children who would possess the land.