Moses There Are Few Figures Thesis

Length: 4 pages Subject: Mythology - Religion Type: Thesis Paper: #36915285 Related Topics: New Testament, Biblical, Jerusalem, Theme
Excerpt from Thesis :

Living in the palace as a prince was no doubt an indulgent experience, and likely contributed to the temper that Moses was so famous for. As an infant, he is the very image of innocence and hope, just like the baby Jesus. But as his life went on, his character became much more complex. The first story form the Old Testament that clearly illustrates Moses' inability to contain his temper comes in the second chapter of the book of Exodus: "He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his own people. Glancing this way and that and seeing no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand" (Exodus 2:11-12). This episode is especially telling because it does not show simply a rash display of temper -- Moses takes the time to make sure no one will witness his actions before he kills the Egyptian. He is prudent and careful despite the violence of his anger, which by many ways of reckoning makes him a far more dangerous and morally suspect figure.

This scene also shows the difficulty Moses would have in leading some of the Hebrew people. The passage in Exodus continues with the events of the next day, when Moses sees two Hebrew slaves in a physical altercation and breaks them apart, asking why they are fighting amongst themselves: "The man said, 'Who made you ruler and judge over us? Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian?' (Exodus 2:14). The mistakes Moses makes during his life, both before and after he is the recognized leader of the Hebrew people, had a detrimental effect on his ability o lead fairly and be followed faithfully. These problems would occur again with certain individuals during the plagues, especially the last plague which required the

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More disobedience occurred during the exodus, most memorably with the building of the Golden Calf as a false idol when Moses was on Mount Sinai.

This scene illustrates two negative aspects of Moses' character that have received much comment from Biblical scholars and theologians. When Moses descends from Mount Sinai holding the tablets containing the Ten Commandments and sees what his people have done in their construction and worship of a false idol, he shows his temper again by throwing the tablets down and breaking them (Exodus 32:19). This does more than simply show Moses' inability to control his anger, however; it also shows his disobedience. He literally breaks God's law in his anger, and this is not even the first sign of his defiance of the omnipotent divine power. He argues with God in the burning bush, and later he strikes a rock to bring forth water despite God's commandment to the contrary. In short, though Moses was revered during his life and after it as one of the wisest and most fair leaders and judges of the Hebrew people, the themes of temper and disobedience plagued him throughout his life. Leadership, in the Old Testament, is full of human fallibility and uncontrollable impulse, and Moses is the prime example of this somewhat unusual but remarkably honest depiction of humanity.

Tracing these themes into the New testament presents some difficulty. Though there are biographical details of Moses that are similar to Jesus -- the years each spent in effective exile in the wilderness are a further example of this, as is the opposition they met from within their people and the external oppressive government -- their personalities were not exactly equal. Jesus does show a display of temper when he overturns the tables of the money lenders in the Temple, but his destruction is limited to the sacrilegious elements. Still, the lessons of human imperfection are universal, and appear throughout both testaments of the…

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