Friedman-where Moses (and God) came from


Was Moses a Hebrew, an Egyptian, or a Midianite?  In The Exodus, Richard Elliott Friedman deals with this in connection with the origin of monotheism.

As the story now stands in Exodus with the various sources now combined, Moses was a Hebrew. The J story dominates this narrative. We know about his birth to Hebrew parents, his rescue from the river, his growing up in the royal court, his killing an Egyptian, and his flight to Midian.

However, the first mention of Moses in E (Exodus 3:1) has him already in Midian. If you interpret his objection about his difficulty speaking in Egypt (4:10) as a language problem, then he is a foreigner to Egypt. Perhaps, in this source, he was a native Midianite.

The P source never mentions Midian in connection with Moses until later, when Moses orders a murderous war against the Midianites (Numbers 31:1-12).

Friedman believes…

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About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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