This article looks at the life and times of the Prophet Moses, who led the Hebrew slaves out of Egypt and received the Ten Commandments from God.
Last updated 2009-07-06
This article looks at the life and times of the Prophet Moses, who led the Hebrew slaves out of Egypt and received the Ten Commandments from God.
One of Judaism's great figures is the man called Moshe Rabbenu ('Moses our teacher') in Hebrew. The first five books of the Bible are traditionally ascribed to him. Moses is the channel between God and the Hebrews, through whom the Hebrews received a basic charter for living as God's people.
Over a thousand years after Abraham, the Jews were living as slaves in Egypt. Their leader was a prophet called Moses.
Moses led the Jews out of slavery in Egypt and led them to the Holy Land that God had promised them.
The escape of the Jews from Egypt is remembered by Jews every year in the festival of Passover.
The Jews were helped on their journey by God; the same God who'd promised Abraham that he would look after the Jews. God parted the Red Sea to help them escape and helped them in many other ways.
When they reached a Mount Sinai, in present day Egypt, God spoke to Moses high on the mountain slopes and made a deal (called a covenant) with the Jews that renewed the one he had made with Abraham.
At the same time, God gave the Jews a set of rules that they should live by.
On behalf of Israel, Moses received torah, traditionally translated 'law'. This is not law in the modern sense but rather authoritative teaching, instruction, or guidance. The most famous of these commandments are the Ten Commandments. But there are actually 613 commandments covering every aspect of life including law, family, and personal hygiene and diet.
Most scholars date the beginning of Judaism as an organised and structured religion to this time.
Moses is a significant character in other religions - not only Christianity but Islam too. He is an important prophet for Muslims, who call him Musa.
In the Ten Commandments, Moses outlined a basis for morality which has lasted over 3,000 years and been embraced by two-thirds of the world's population. The most common form of the Ten Commandments is given in Exodus chapter 20 and Deuteronomy chapter 5.
According to the Bible, the descendants of Jacob had lived in Egypt for more than 450 years, during which time they grew into a nation: the nation of Israel. The Egyptians began to see them as a threat and tightened their control on them, forcing them to work as slaves.
Eventually, in an attempt to reduce their numbers, newborn Israelite babies were drowned in the River Nile. The Bible says that the Israelites asked God for help and that he sent them a leader: Moses.
In order to escape death, Moses' mother placed him in a basket when he was still a baby and set him adrift on the River Nile. She left his fate up to God's will. The infant Moses was rescued by the Pharaoh's daughter and brought up in the palace as a royal prince.
As an adult, Moses reacted against the unfair treatment of his own people and killed an Egyptian guard. Moses was then forced to flee from the wrath of the Pharaoh. He was driven into exile in the land of Midian. He married Zipporah, the daughter of the Priest of Midian, and worked as a shepherd for forty years. One day, when he was in the desert, Moses heard the voice of God speaking to him through a bush which flamed but did not burn. God asked Moses to lead his people out of slavery in Egypt to the Promised Land. Moses was at first reluctant, thinking that the Israelites would not believe he had heard the word of God. God then gave Moses special powers and inspired by this, Moses returned to Egypt and demanded freedom for his people.
At first, the Pharaoh refused to let the Israelites leave, then God unleashed 10 plagues on the Egyptians. It was the tenth plague - the plague of the firstborn - which eventually persuaded the Pharaoh to let them go. It was announced that the first-born sons in every household would die, but the sons of the Israelites would be saved if they marked their door posts with the blood of a lamb killed in sacrifice. They had to cook the lamb and eat it that night with bitter herbs and unleavened bread. These are the origins of the Jewish Festival: Passover.
The Pharaoh then changed his mind, and sent his army in pursuit of the Israelites. 600 chariots pursued them, but famously, the waters of the Red Sea parted; the Israelites walked through, then the waters returned and destroyed the Pharaoh's army.
After travelling through the desert for nearly three months, the Israelites camped before Mount Sinai. There, God appeared to Moses and made an agreement or covenant with him. God declared that the Israelites were his own people and that they must listen to God and obey His laws. These laws were the Ten Commandments which were given to Moses on two stone tablets, and they set out the basic principles that would govern the Israelites lives.
The book of Exodus says that after crossing the Reed Sea, Moses led the Hebrews into the Sinai, where they spent 40 years wandering in the wildnerness. Three months into the desert, the Hebrews camped at the foot of the Mountain of God. On the mountain, God appeared to Moses - and changed everyone's lives.
The precise location of the Mountain of God has always been a mystery. One suggestion is that it's Mount Sinai, the highest peak in the southern desert. Every night of the year, pilgrims and tourists set off in the cool hours of the morning to make the arduous three hour climb to the top. No-one really knows if this is the Mountain of God.
We know very little about the ten commandments. We don't know when or where they were written or who wrote them. One theory is that they could only have been written only when the Hebrews had settled in the Promised Land because only then could the commandments have been enforced. But the first commandment seems more likely to have come out of one man's meeting with his God in the desert. Moses himself could have been the author of some of the commandments. He had been taught to read and write in the royal nursery.
The Israelites then spent 40 years in the desert. When they finally approached the land of Canaan, Moses died and Joshua became their new leader.
The story goes that Moses led two million Hebrews out of Egypt and they lived for 40 years in the Sinai desert - but a century of archaeology in the Sinai has turned up no evidence of it. If the Hebrews were never in Egypt then perhaps the whole issue was fiction, made up to give their people an exotic history and destiny.
Some archeologists decided to search instead in the Nile Delta: the part of Egypt where the Bible says the Hebrews settled.
They combed the area for evidence of a remarkably precise claim - that the Hebrews were press-ganged into making mud-bricks to build two great cities - Pithom and Ramses. Ramses II was the greatest Pharaoh in all of ancient Egypt - his statues are everywhere. Surely his city could be traced? But no sign could be found. There were suggestions it all been made up by a scribe.
Until a local farmer found a clue: the remains of the feet of a giant statue. An inscription on a nearby pedestal confirmed that the statue belonged to Ramses II. Eventually, archeologists unearthed traces of houses, temples, even palaces. Using new technology, the archaeologists were able to detect the foundations and they mapped out the whole city in a few months. The city they had discovered was one of the biggest cities in ancient Egypt, built around 1250BCE. 20,000 Egyptians had lived there.
But was this city actually built by Hebrew slaves? There is a reference in ancient Egyptian documents to a Semitic tribe captured by Pharaoh and forced to work on the city of Ramses. A clay tablet lists groups of people who were captured by the Pharaoh and one of the groups was called Habiru. Could these be the Hebrews? No-one can be sure.
The story of the infant Moses being set adrift in a basket bears remarkable similarities to an old Babylonian myth about a great King called Sargon who was discovered as a baby in a basket in a river.
Between 600 and 300 BCE, Jewish scribes in Jerusalem set out to record all the old tales of their people, handed down from generation to generation. What if the scribes had wanted to add a bit of spice to their tales to make them more interesting? Could they have used the myth of Sargon and made up the tale of Moses? It's certainly possible as we know the Jews were captured by the Babylonians in 587 BCE and held in exile in Babylon (modern Iraq) for some time. They could have picked up the Sargon legend there.
Egyptologist Jim Hoffmeier studied the original Hebrew text. He found that key words in the story - bulrushes, papyrus, Nile, riverbank - were all ancient Egyptian words, and not Babylonian.
But what about the name 'Moses'? It is an Egyptian name meaning 'One who is born'. It uses the same root as 'Ramses'. It's hard to believe that a Hebrew scribe, one thousand years later, could have come up with a story using authentic Egyptian words.
Well actually there are many stories of babies being put in baskets and exposed or put in water. This was an ancient way of putting a child out to the fate of the gods. Today people put babies in baskets and put them on church doorsteps.
Jim Hoffmeier, Egyptologist
The Bible says that when Moses was 80, he was living peacefully as a shepherd in the desert. One day, as he was tending his flock, he heard the voice of God coming from a burning bush. God ordered Moses to go and force the Pharaoh to let his Hebrew people go. At first Moses was afraid, he didn't think he could do this. Then God gave him special powers.
Did Moses hear the voice of God? Clinton Bailey, an expert on Bedouin folklore, believes that such a desert experience is perfectly plausible:
If you have to survive out here in this heat and in this desolation... You're closer to God... And I have seen Bedouin praying on their own in the middle of the desert... and when they do pray you get a connection between themselves and Allah, God, which is very very strong and it's like saying 'You up there, help me out, I've got nothing else down here to keep me going except your providence'.
Clinton Bailey, expert on Bedouin folklore
Whatever happened, this was a turning point for Moses and the Hebrew people. Jews believe that at the moment the Hebrews forged a special and unique relationship with God. In return, God gave them the right to occupy a certain land.
It was the Promised Land: the land we now know as Israel. From that moment on, Moses resolved to lead his people out of Egypt to the land of milk and honey.
The Bible claims that Moses was rescued by the Pharaoh's daughter, who adopted him. He was then educated and brought up in the palace as a prince. Can this possibly be true?
The picture we have here is very authentic because the young boys in ancient Egypt were under a tough master. In fact we have the testimony of some of the scribes who talked about how their scribe master beat them when they were lazy and made sure they wrote their letters right.
Jim Hoffmeier, Egyptologist
But where's the proof that Moses was taken in by the king and put into a class like this?
Of course we have no proof but what's interesting is that during the general period we place Moses, during this time non-royal children were also introduced. The royal children of foreign kings, kings from Canaan, Syria, were entered into this institution to learn how to read and write.
Jim Hoffmeier, Egyptologist
The Pharaohs did keep records, the records show that palaces had nurseries where royal children were educated, and that they did bring foreign children into these nurseries. It may have been easy for the Pharaoh's daughter to introduce a baby she had found into one of these nurseries.
Epidemiologist Dr John Marr believes most of the ten plagues could have been caused by polluted water in the Nile poisoning fish and setting off a tragic chain of events. Meanwhile, Professor Costas Synolakis, a leading tsunami expert, believes a massive volcanic eruption on the Greek island of Santorini in 1600BCE could have generated a giant tidal wave that struck the Nile Delta. This incredibly powerful wave could be linked to the parting of a 'reed sea' in the delta that could explain how the story of the 'Red Sea' parting into two walls of water was written centuries later.
In the Bible, the ten plagues and the parting of the Red Sea are miracles – acts of God working through nature. Can any of them be explained scientifically? Scientific experts such as climatologists, oceanographers and vulcanologists suggest that there is evidence that a string of natural events triggered phenomena that could explain the story of the plagues and the parting of the sea.
The pfisteria theory provides one explanation of the first six plagues.
In 1999 an environmental catastrophe happened in the town of New Burn, North Carolina. The residents woke up to find the waters of their river - the Neuse - had turned red. More than a billion fish died. People working near the river found that they were covered in sores.
The cause of this was found to be pollution. The pollution had come from a pig farm further up the river. Millions of gallons of pig-waste had found its way into the river, causing a genetic mutation in a marine micro-organism called pfisteria; turning it from harmless into lethal. The river had been poisoned.
John Marr, an epidemiologist specialising in environmental disasters, believes pollution in ancient Egypt could have caused the first six plagues. Pfisteria, or something like it, caused the fish to die, thus turning the river red; the pollution would have driven the frogs onto the land, on land the frogs would die, causing an explosion of flies and lice. The flies could then have transmitted viral diseases to livestock, killing them.
Could a volcano have triggered the ten plagues?
On 18th May 1980, in north-western USA, Mount St Helens volcano erupted, killing everything within 20 miles. Ash columns were ejected into the atmosphere, circling the globe within two weeks and causing complete darkness over a radius of 100 miles.
Could a natural phenomenon on this scale have triggered the plagues?
John Marr, epidemiologist, thinks that fall-out of volcanic ash could have produced a toxic bloom of algae in the River Nile; thus setting off a chain of events similar to those produced by pfisteria.
The volcanic theory seems dubious because there is no active volcano in Egypt. But 500 miles to the north of the Nile delta is the Greek island of Santorini. In the 16th century BCE, Santorini was blown apart by a gigantic volcanic eruption that was thousands of times more powerful than a nuclear weapon. It was one of the biggest explosions of the last 10,000 years. The ash cloud from the Santorini blast would have been huge and far-reaching.
Could the effects of this eruption have reached as far as Egypt?
When Santorini erupted, the wind was blowing in a south-easterly direction, towards Egypt. Samples of Santorini ash have been collected from the sea bed, the heaviest concentrations being in the direction of the Nile Delta. Oceanographer Dr Daniel Stanley, went to the Delta to drill for samples of mud and silt to see if the ash could have reached Egypt. He found volcanic shards that can be firmly related to the explosion. He says: 'I think it would have been a frightening experience. It would have been heard, the event. The blast ash fall would have been felt.'
So how could this have been the trigger for the plagues?
Mike Rampino, a climate modeller from New York University, has run a computer simulation to look at the climatic effects of the Santorini blast.
The ash cloud passing overhead would have completely cut out the sun and plunged the Delta into darkness. This would have been accompanied by the kind of unusual weather seen after volcanic eruptions – lightening and perhaps hail. This would explain two of the 10 plagues – darkness and hail.
The ash cloud would have caused temperatures to drop by up to 2ºC, which would have reduced rainfall in the Delta and could have led to a drought. With river levels dropping, the water would have begun to stagnate. Combined with the poisonous minerals that were raining down from the ash cloud, the Nile would have become a deadly cocktail and conditions would have been ripe for an outbreak of further plagues.
When the king of Egypt was told that the people had fled, the mind of Pharaoh and his servants was changed toward the people, and they said, "What is this we have done, that we have let Israel go from serving us?" So he made ready his chariot and took his army with him, and took six hundred chosen chariots and all the other chariots of Egypt with officers over all of them.
According to the Bible, as the Hebrews left Egypt, Pharaoh changed his mind and sent 600 chariots to chase the runaway slaves. Could 600 be a biblical exaggeration?
In 1997, on the site of the city of Ramses II, German archeologists unearthed the foundations of an ancient stable. By the end of the dig, they had found enough stables for at least 500 horses and chariots.
And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night.
But if the exodus took place in the 16th century BCE, could the pillars of fire and cloud by explained by a column of volcanic ash from Santorini?
Santorini is 500 miles away, but the column of smoke would have towered some 40 miles above sea level.
Climatologist Mike Rampino thinks that the ash could have been seen from as far away as Egypt. During the day, the ash would have looked like a column of smoke and by night static electricity in the atmosphere would have caused lightning in this cloud.
Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the LORD drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.
Could this most famous of all stories have any basis in fact?
If you read the bible in the original Hebrew, the word 'red' is mistranslated. In the Hebrew bible Moses and his people cross the 'yam suph' - the Sea of Reeds.
Now this is a strange story. You can imagine trying to cross the Red Sea would be horrendously difficult but a Reed Sea is something quite different. This is marshland areas and this is probably what they crossed. Ancient Egyptian texts mention an area called Patchoufy: The Reeds. This is probably what they crossed.
David Rohl, Egyptologist
So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to its normal course when the morning appeared. And as the Egyptians fled into it, the LORD threw the Egyptians into the midst of the sea.
How then do we account for the sea coming back and inundating the soldiers?
If you're talking about a shallow reed swamp of maybe two or three metres maximum of water, this sort of thing is physically possible. In fact it's been witnessed within the last 100 years... The Egyptian army might not have been completely decimated. Many of the horses would have been killed, chariots would have been stuck in the mud.
David Rohl, Egyptologist
What about the famous image of a great canyon of water? Could this have any basis in reality?
Computer simulations of the Santorini eruption show that the collapse of the island would have triggered a mega-tsunami - a 600 foot wave travelling at 400 miles an hour.
Floyd McCoy, a tsunami expert, says this was one of the largest waves in history and must have reached Egypt.
We find evidence, believe it or not, on the deep ocean floor. The tsunamis actually scraped across the bottom of the ocean floor in the Mediterranean and disturbed the sediment. We can find that sediment. That gives us some indication of the directions they went ... The computer model showed us waves radiating out all over the Mediterranean, reaching the Nile Delta.
Floyd McCoy, tsunami expert
Could the tsunami have divided up the waters of the Reed Sea? If you look at ordinary waves you can see that just before they break, the water withdraws from the shore. A mega-tsunami would syphon billions of gallons of water - not just from the shore but from connecting rivers and lakes - creating dry land for as long as two hours.
We should think of a two-metre tsunami wave like a rapid change of the sea level by two metres along the coast, and that can can travel several kilometres inland. The destructive force of the wave could easily destroy an army.
Costas Synolakis, tsunami expert
Is there any other supporting evidence for this theory?
In 1994, the Philippine island of Mindoro was hit by a tsunami and an earthquake. The earthquake caused a massive crack in the bed of a lake about a mile inland. An eye-witness said he saw the water like a waterfall in the centre of the lake just go down. After a while, he could see the bottom of the lake: "I thought I could even walk through."
Then the tsunami arrived one mile further down the river and swept away a 6,000 ton barge lying on the shore. The mega-tsunami which hit the Nile delta was a thousand times more devastating than this one.
Dr R. W. L. Moberly of the University of Durham explains the significance of Moses' story.
Moses' appearance marks a kind of new beginning in the biblical story. Israel's ancestors, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are in the past. In time of famine their descendants went down to Egypt, the largest and wealthiest neighbouring country, and settled there. These Hebrews became numerous, but Egypt's ruler, the Pharaoh, decided that they would be a good source of cheap labour, and began to exploit them in building projects; he also decided to make them less dangerous by keeping their numbers down through killing their male children at birth (Exodus 1). When Moses was born, his mother sought to protect him by putting him in a basket to float on the river Nile. Here he was providentially found by the Pharaoh's daughter who took pity on him and brought him up as her own child (Exodus 2).
One day Moses saw an Egyptian and a Hebrew fighting. He intervened and killed the Egyptian. But when this became known he fled for his life. In the land of Midian, probably somewhere in the Sinai peninsula, he married the daughter of a priest, had two children, and settled down to life as a shepherd. That might have been the end of his story - except that his compatriots were still enslaved in Egypt, and God resolved to do something about it.
The Bible contains astonishing accounts of God and Moses speaking face to face begin when Moses is quietly minding his own business as a shepherd. God appears to Moses in a burning bush. Moses sees a bush which burns without being consumed - a symbol of the presence of God which defies usual human experience of things. And he hears a voice which calls him by his own name (Exodus 3:4)
The point is that God has chosen to effect his plan through a human agent, Moses. It is for this reason that Moses is called the greatest prophet in Israel, for a prophet is someone who speaks and acts on God's behalf. God is calling Moses to embody the pattern of human response to God that becomes basic within the Bible.
The other great face to face encounter with God is when Moses has brought the Israelites out of Egypt and has returned with them to Sinai where he first met God. The encounter is awesome. When God appears to the people of Israel, a whole mountain burns; for when God comes, Sinai becomes like a volcano (not an actual volcano, but God's coming is so awesome that the only way to depict it is in the language of the most overwhelming of known phenomena):
God then gives the Ten Commandments to Moses as a kind of basic constitution or charter for Israel, together with some more detailed laws that apply the Commandments within everyday situations. Israel responds by promising obedience (Exodus 24:3-7).
As soon as Moses has rescued Israel from Egypt and brought them to Sinai where they become God's people, things almost unravel. For while Moses is on the mountain with God receiving the law the people persuade his brother Aaron, who had clearly been left in charge, to make a golden calf to symbolize God's presence. They want to worship the calf, instead of God. Consequently the new relationship between God and Israel almost comes to an end. When Moses comes down from the mountain he symbolically smashes the stone tablets which contain the Ten Commandments, Israel's charter. Yet even so Moses does not give up on Israel, but prays for them and asks God to be merciful. He persists in this, and God responds favourably. (Exodus 33:19)
But even Moses gets caught up in a failure to heed God. The story of his failure is told in Numbers 20:2-13. The consequence is that Moses is prohibited from entering the Promised Land with Israel. So he gives a long series of addresses in the book of Deuteronomy, explaining in depth the dynamics of God's relationship with Israel. Then, he ascends Mount Nebo, east of the river Jordan, from where God gives him a panoramic vision of the whole of the Promised Land; and there he dies, as he had lived, in God's presence (Deuteronomy 34).
Moses has an understanding of God that perhaps his ancestors didn't have. On Mount Sinai he asks to see God, and God says "You can only see me from behind". So he hides in a cleft in a rock, and God passes by. As He passes, he defines himself (in 13 ways). Moses understanding of God is that we can only see what God does after the event, we can look back and understand. Moses has a much closer relationship to God than anyone ever had, but it's still an elusive one. We understand through Moses that although we can get very, very close, God remains always beyond us. We can never define God.
Rabbi Sybil Sheridan, Rabbi of Wimbledon Reform Synagogue
Some of the things we find out about Moses make him an interesting character.
We discover that he owes a lot to women. He would not be alive had five women not defied male authority to allow him to exist. The women are two midwives, his mother, his sister and Pharaoh's daughter.
He is also a displaced person. He is the son of a Hebrew slave who grows up in an Egyptian palace so he never really fits in anywhere. Probably because of his accent and his bearing, he's not seen immediately as a natural Hebrew. He doesn't really fit well within the Egyptian camp, and he's also treated as a kind of royal prince. He also has a stammer and is a murderer and he has gone on the run.
We can see that God chooses people not for their problematic nature, but because of the potential which He sees in them.
Reverend John Bell, a leader in the Iona Community and minister of the Church of Scotland
Professor Christopher Rowland, fellow of Queen's College, Oxford, writes:
Liberation Theology is from Latin America. Ordinary communities use worship and reflection on scripture with the aim of improving health care, human rights and provision for children, women workers.
Moses is seen as the leader of the Liberation movement. He is brought up in the court of King Pharaoh and changes from being on the side of the Egyptian king to siding with the poor slaves. That's one of the most important paradigms for Liberation Theology: the idea of opting for the poor. The Church in Latin America changed sides, just as Moses changed sides, moving from supporting the status quo, supporting the state, to siding with the poor and the marginal. The story of Moses was a very powerful example for them.
The Exodus is also important as a model of liberation from slavery. One of the interesting aspects of the Exodus story however is that entering the Promised Land meant kicking out the other nations. That's something that Liberation Theology tends not to make much of at all. It tends to concentrate much more on coming out of slavery as a popular movement and having the opportunity to explore the possibilities of a different way of living. Liberation Theology concentrates at how biblical laws offer a vision of a more egalitarian society.
There's legacy within Christian theology of looking at the laws in the Bible and thinking that they are very oppressive, but if you talk to a Jew, they will say that these laws enable them to have a sense of freedom. In Deuteronomy there is an attempt there to regulate society to create equality among more people. For instance, the release of debts and other mechanisms prevent the growth of an unequal society.
Dr Robert Beckford, lecturer in black theology at the University of Birmingham, writes:
The Exodus story is of fundamental importance to black people, because within it we find a group of people who are enslaved and suffering from both economic and political bondage as well as, at times, genocide and infanticide. They call upon God to help, and what God does is respond by liberating them, crushing their oppressors and leading them into freedom. So the Exodus story has functioned as a paradigm for black people throughout slavery. Also in the contemporary world where the black people have found themselves in bondage, they've called upon God to free them as God freed the Israelites in the Exodus account.
The Exodus event, and the life of Moses within it, is a central paradigm for black Christian communities. The reason for this is simple. Within the exodus we have an example of socio-political and economic oppression. We have a people who are enslaved and they cry out to God for help and God doesn't turn away he sends Moses. This story is the story of African people of the last 300 years: the story of slavery and the quest for redemption through belief and faith in God.
The vision of God that we have within the Bible is shaped by who we are as people. So if you're someone who is on the top, if you're part of the ruling elite, then God is generally going to be read through elitist eyes and you're going to see God as someone who supports the status quo rather than someone who wants to dismantle the elitism.
The converse is also true. If you're dispossessed or part of the underclass you're going to see things within it which support your quest for justice and inclusion and that's true in terms of black communities when you read the Bible and the Old Testament. Looking at the Old Testament in the light of the history of slavery, colonialism and its overcoming, then God is a liberator, one who takes enslaved people out of bondage and into land flowing with milk and honey. We read the Bible in response to our own social location and that influences how we understand God.
I'm a black political theologian so I'm concerned with the ways in which politics and culture gets played out within the Biblical text. When I read the Bible I often try and read against the dominant narrative. If the dominant story is the story of conquest, I'm interested in the people who are being conquered and trying to work out how they understood the process of conquest. A good example of this is to look at the story of Joshua . When I read about Joshua going into the Promised Land I read it from the perspective of the Canaanite in order to get a fuller picture of what's going on. I often encourage my students to read against the Bible - to look for the stories and individuals who are made almost invisible by the dominant narrative and the dominant traditions that have glorified certain people within the Bible and forgotten the significance of others.
At the mountain of God: story and theology in Exodus: 32-34), R W L Moberly, Continuum International Publishing Group (1983)
The Bible, theology, and Faith: A study of Abraham and Jesus, R W L Moberly, Cambridge University Press (2000)
The Old Testament of the Old Testament (Overtures to Biblical Theology), R W L Moberly, Augsberg Fortress Publishers (1992)
The Moses Legacy: The evidence of history, Graham Phillips, Pan (2003)
Moses: a life, Jonathan Kirsch, Random House (USA) (1999)
Miracles of Exodus, Colin Humphreys, Continuum International Publishing (2003)
The Bible Myth: The African Origins of the Jewish People, Gary Greenberg, Citadel Press (1998)
Israel and the nations: The history of Israel from the Exodus to the fall of the second Temple, F F Bruce, Intervarsity Press (1998)
Walking the Bible: a journey by land through the five books of Moses, Bruce Feiler, William Morrow and Company (2001)
Moses - a memoir, Joel Cohen, Paulist Press (2003)
The Bible, theology, and Faith: A study of Abraham and Jesus, Cambridge University Press (2000)
The Old Testament of the Old Testament (Overtures to Biblical Theology), Augsberg Fortress Publishers (1992)