Who was actually Moses?

Written by Felgr Pavel on .

Who was actually Moses? When was he born? Which Pharaohs were his contemporaries? And what about the speculation, that Moses was a contemporary or even a stepbrother of Ramesses II? Are these speculations justifiable? There are 680 mentions of Egypt in the Bible, but Israeli nations are mentioned only in one Egyptian document, which is related to the victory of Merenptaha over the Libyans.

Moses was born in Egypt

Moses with the Ten commandmentsToday it is supposed that Moses was born in Egypt in one Semitic family (probably from Levite tribe) and was brought up in a palace school. The foreigners living in Egypt often assimilated into Egyptian society. Some of them were educated to work in state administration or to become diplomats, who represented Egypt in vassal states. Some foreigners were appointed to significant position in the government of Ramesses dynasty.

Thanks to the progress in science and new findings in last years the Egyptologists could exclude the idea that Moses and Ramesses II were brothers. According to the Bible the Jews were building the cities Pi-Ramesses and Pithom. Ramesses II is considered as a founder of Pi-Ramesses, but the last discoveries proved that building already started under Seti I rule. This seeming discrepancy has an easy explanation – rulers of the Ramesses dynasty involved their successors in ruling such as Seti I with Ramesses II.

The Bible doesn't begin to tell about Moses until these events. The prophet was allegedly born in the half of 13th century BC – likely several years after Ramesses II.  Ramesses II. lived to the age of 85 or 90 and the Bible obviously states it was this Pharaoh's death, which finished the exile of Moses. That's why Ramesses II can't be the Pharaoh, who died when the Jews were leaving Egypt and under whose rule the Lord sent down ten plagues to Egypt. Probably this Pharaoh was successor of Ramesses II Merenptah. This fact disproves the theory enough, that Moses was brother of Ramesses II.

Moses is a name of Egyptian origin, which was rewritten to Hebrew as Moshe ("god gave birth ..."). The name was either mes as in the name Ramesses ("Re gave him birth") or mos as in the name Thutmose ("Thoth gave him birth").

The legend

The Pharaoh ordered to kill all boys born to the Jews living in Egypt. Therefore one mother put her son into a reedy basket and laid it down on the Nile surface. The baby was found by Pharaoh's daughter, who adopted him and named him Moses. This boy's sister guarded on the bank and suggested that a woman with Hebrew origin should breast-feed the baby. So Moses returned back to his mother and later he was brought up in the palace together with royal children.

We can find this story in the Bible and in the Koran and it is too similar to Babylonian, Roman, Tibetan and other legends to be really true. In fact, it is contrary to customs of that time. It was totally inconceivable for a royal princess to walk about alone, without being accompanied. Why would she decide to bath in the Nile full of too many crocodiles? Why would she prefer the river to ponds in the palace?

Message from the Nile

  • History of Czech institution of egyptology

    The Czech egyptology founder is Frantisek Lexa, the author of up to now evaluated work about ancient Egypt magic and Demotic grammar. Seminar for egyptology started thanks to him in Faculty of Philosophy and Arts of Charles University in Prague in 1925. Two years later Lexa became the first regular professor of egyptology in then Czechoslovakia.

  • Abusir - outstation of Czech egyptology expedition

    Abusir is an archaeological locality in Egypt named after nearby recent village Abusir. It is situated on western Nile bank on the edge of Libyan tableland approximately 20 kilometers to the south-west of Cairo. The name of this locality is derived from ancient Egypt god Osiris, from Per Usir (Busiris), "(cult) place of Osiris" (Busiris in Greek).

  • Researches in Western desert

    Czech egyptology is successful in researching not only on pyramidal fields in Abusir recently, but also in supporting and organizing smaller expeditions into egyptian Western desert. Czech expedition has been working even in slowly evanescent oasis El-Hajez since 2003, which is situated about 400 km to the south-west from Cairo.

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