Thursday, August 4, 2011

Exodus 2:10 Moses' Name

In the last post, I did not discuss verse 10 regarding the naming of Moses.  There is no shortage of ideas about what the name means and whether it is of Egyptian or Hebrew origin.  In Hebrew, it means "draw out", and people seem to argue as to whether it is meant in a passive sense, as in "Moses was 'drawn out' of the Nile" or an active sense, as in "Moses was the one who would 'draw out' the people of Israel from Egypt (during the Exodus)".  No doubt both parts are present, in the kind of wordplay that is present throughout the Scriptures.

There is also the fact that in Egyptian names, the name can mean 'child' or 'is born' and is often a part of names which honor a certain 'god', like (Rameses, Thutmose, Ahmose, etc.) and imply that the person is

a child of,
            or incarnation of,
                                or protected by,
                                                           that 'god'.

Some even see the naming of Moses as an official adoption into a Pharaoh's dynasty or household.  They see verse 10 as having two parts:   "She named him Moses and she said 'I drew him out of the water.'  In this case, they see the first part ("She named him Moses...") as meaning she gave him the family name (Ahmose) and he was thus officially adopted into the Pharaoh's family and the second part ("I drew him out of the water") as a nod to the Hebrew meaning "draw out" and the circumstances of his rescue from the Nile.

I suppose there could be elements of all of these interpretations in the name.  To me, this points even further to the providence of God, for, even if the Egyptians named Moses in honor of one of their 'gods' or tried to incorporate Moses into one of the Pharaoh's dynasties, elements of his name pointed to Moses' main purpose in life, which was to be a deliverer of the Israelite people and draw them out of slavery in Egypt.  

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