The Story of Moses
Pharaoh, the King of Egypt, had made a law that every
boy baby of the Hebrew race should be killed, and there
was great sorrow because of it. But when Moses was born,
his mother managed to hide him for three months; then she
made a cradle, or little ark, and putting him into it,
carried him down to a river and hid the cradle among the
Soon after this, Pharaoh's daughter came with her maidens
to the river-side, and when she saw the beautiful child,
she sent one of her maidens to bring it to her.
She took the little boy to the palace and named him Moses,
and he became a great man among the Egyptians; he knew,
however, that he belonged to the Hebrew race, and when
he saw how badly his own people were treated, he tried
to help them; but at last he was obliged to leave Egypt,
and became a shepherd, taking care of the flocks of a priest
called Jethro. He also married Jethro's daughter.
After a time, God spoke to Moses out of a burning bush,
and told him that he must go and rescue his people from
the cruel Egyptians. Moses thought he could not do this;
but God promised to help him, and to show him what he would
be able to do with that help, God turned the rod which
Moses carried into a serpent. Then God told Moses to pick
the serpent up by the tail, and as he did so, it became
a rod again. He showed him another sign, also; but Moses
was still afraid, because he could not talk well and thought
that Pharaoh would not listen to him. So God told him to
take his brother Aaron for a spokesman.
Moses and Aaron, therefore, went into Egypt, where they
called together the chief men among their own people, the
Hebrews, or Israelites, and told them what God had commanded.
Moses also did the miracles which God had given him power
to do, and the people believed that God had sent him.
After this Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh, and told him
that it was the Lord's command that he should let the Israelites
go. Pharaoh knew nothing about God, and became very angry,
saying that Moses and Aaron kept the people from their
work by telling them such things; and he treated the poor
Israelites worse than before.
But Moses had faith in God; so he was able to perform
before the king the wonderful things that he had done before
his own people; still, Pharaoh would not let the children
of Israel go.
Then Moses turned the waters of the
rivers into blood; and after that he caused large numbers
of frogs to run over the land and through the houses, doing
great harm. He also brought locusts and other insects to
be a pest to the people, and caused many of the useful
animals which belonged to the Egyptians to grow sick and
die, doing all these wonders with the rod which God had
given him. But Pharaoh would not listen to him.
Then God commanded Moses again, and he brought other plagues
upon the Egyptians; but Pharaoh would not give up.
At last, however, God sent a still more terrible trouble;
for the first-born of every Egyptian family, and even the
first-born among their flocks, died; although the Israelites,
who were constantly praying to the Lord and making sacrifices,
were spared, as they had been all the time.
Then Pharaoh was frightened into obeying God, and he let
the Israelites go; so they started at once for the land
of Canaan, and the Lord guided them by a cloud, which at
night looked like a pillar of fire.
When the Israelites had reached the Red Sea, they found
that Pharaoh was pursuing them with a large army. But God
commanded Moses to stretch forth his rod over the sea;
he did so, and the waters parted, making a high wall upon
either side, so that the children of Israel passed through
and reached the other side in safety. Pharaoh and his hosts
followed and were all drowned.
When the children of Israel saw that they were safe, they
sang a beautiful song of praise to God, and then they went
on their way again.
After they had traveled for some time, they were in need
of bread and meat, and they complained about Moses because
he had brought them to a land where they had not enough
to eat. But God sent them plenty of quails and also a substance
which they could use for bread. Later, when they wanted
water, the Lord commanded Moses, and he struck a rock with
his rod, and pure water poured out of it, so that the thirsty
people and their animals had all that they wanted.
In this way God took care of them as they journeyed through
the new and strange country toward the promised land, and
Moses became the law-giver of the Israelites, receiving
his commandments from God.