- According to Jewish tradition, the covenant between God and the Hebrew people took on a new significance during the time of Moses.
- Under the patriarchal period of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob God promised to love humanity.
- But under Moses and the Mosaic period, God would provide humanity the commandments in order to keep the covenant.
The Ten Commandments
The Jews Leave Canaan
- Severe drought struck Canaan and the Hebrews were forced to move to Egypt
- The Egyptians eventually turned on the Jews and enslaved them.
- After years of wishing and hoping for liberation, a leader emerged in the community to help the People of Israel.
- Moses was born of Hebrew slaves, but was later adopted by the Pharaoh’s daughter.
- Moses was loved by the Pharaoh until he killed an Egyptian who was harassing a Hebrew slave.
- Moses fled to the land of Midian where he was welcomed by Jethro, a priest
The Burning Bush Speaks to Moses
- One day while tending to Jethro’s flock of sheep, Moses came upon a burning bush.
- God spoke to Moses and revealed that the he was to free the Israelites from Egypt.
- God said that Moses was to free them and bring them to the “promised land” – “ a land flowing with milk and honey”
- Moses asked God what he should say when the Jews asked him who sent him. God responded, “Ehyer-asher-Ehyer.” (The exact meaning of this name for god is unknown but it can be translated into: “I am in the process of becoming” or “I will be who I will be.”
The Tenth Plague: Passover
- The tenth plague called for the killing of the first-born male in each family. But God would spare the Jews.
- God instructed Moses to tell the Jews to smear lamb’s blood on their front door and the angel of death would “pass over” their homes.
- This event is celebrated in the festival of Passover.
- The tenth plague and the killing of his son convinced the Pharaoh to set the Jews free.
Parting of the Red Sea
- Moses led the Hebrews out of Egypt and into the land of Sinai.
- When they came to the Red Sea, God parted the water and allowed the Jews to walk through to the other side and into Sinai.
- The emigration of the Jews out of Egypt became known as the Exodus.
- Mount Sinai and the Ten Commandments
- On Mount Sinai, God appeared to Moses again, this time he shared with him the Ten Commandments.
- The Ten Commandments are the laws/rules to follow.
The 10 Plagues
- In order to get the Hebrew people free from slavery, God brought 10 plagues on the Egyptians.