Was Moses a Black Man?
Was Moses a Black Man?
First off, let me preface this argument by saying that the answer to this question might leave many people asking another one: “SO WHAT? ” Only you can answer that. As to the implications to world history, especially post-slavery propaganda against “blacks,” this argument imposes many. I’m not attempting to deal with those implications, nor is this a thorough scholastic research. Rather, this demonstrates that simple reason and logic can :- 1) support faith in the Holy Bible 2) reveal truth.
That so many people have read the Bible, and yet, I have never heard an argument posed strictly from internal Biblical evidence as to Moses’ ethnicity (even after searching the internet) indicates that truth can remain visible and yet, unnoticed, simply because people don’t think; and, that people don’t think for themselves presents much greater implications to the history and future of this world. Was MOSES a “BLACK” Man? I put black in quotations because it is separate from African-American. By black I simply mean, did Moses’ skin contain enough melanin for him to be dark brown in complexion?
To answer we must start at the beginning with Israel’s great grandfather – Abraham. (I will use capital ISRAEL when referring to the Jewish nation, not the person) ISRAEL began with Isaac, Abraham’s son. This is important because Abraham had several sons, but it is through Isaac that the covenant with his God YAHWEH was established through God’s Word and the obedience of circumcision on the eighth day as was commanded by YAHWEH (cf. Gen. 17:10-14, 17:21, 21:4). The Jewish laws, including the 10 commandments, were not given to Israel until several hundred years after Isaac’s death.
Therefore, before the exodus from Egypt, circumcision distinguished a Jew from all other people. This foundation is important to be established for us to continue. The laws given after the exodus further separated Jews from other peoples, but prior to the laws, circumcision was the only distinction. Now, all of ISRAEL’S history is rooted in Isaac. Isaac’s son was Jacob, who through an encounter with an angel, was given the name Israel (Gen. 32:28). Israel went on to have twelve children, hence the twelve tribes of Israel (cf. Gen. 49:28).
Joseph, one of the twelve sons was given to slavery, eventually landing himself in Egypt where he rose to become the governor of the entire nation of Egypt (Gen 41:41) at the age of thirty, with only the Pharaoh being greater in power. Remember that. Now, prior to Joseph’s reign he got visions from God which prefaced him to an upcoming famine. The famine lasted seven years, and Joseph made provisions to store enough food to provide for the entire nation of Egypt for those seven years. To accomplish this, Egypt must have been a wealthy and technologically advanced nation, great in number.
Their supply was so abundant that “all countries came to Egypt to buy grain,” (Gen. 41:57) making them even richer. This is an important foundation to lay. It was through this famine that the entire nation of ISRAEL reunited with Joseph, and as the scripture says, settled in Egypt (Gen. 50:22). Israel, like everybody else, simply went to buy grain but stayed. At 30, it took 7 years to prepare for the famine, making Joseph was no younger than 37 and no older than 44 when Israel migrated to Egypt Jospeh then died at 110. This means that it was between 63 to 77 years that ISRAEL lived in Egypt after Joseph’s elevation to power.
Joseph’s entire generation and his children’s generation all died before ISRAEL were enslaved, making it a minimum of approximately 160 years ISRAEL lived in Egypt before any persecution was against them. Now, because Joseph married an Egyptian woman, his children would have been black. At that time of their migration, ISRAEL consisted of between seventy to seventy-five people (Ex. 1:1-5). This small nation would have been saturated by Egyptians, and they would have no doubt intermingled with the Egyptians, just as Joseph did, making many of their children also black.
That continued for another 160 years minimum, showing that a great number of Jews living in Egypt would have eventually been mixed blacks. Eventually, the nation of ISRAEL and Egypt would become so similar in complexion and physical features that although a pure Jew would still look different from a pure Egyptian, you would not be able to see who was who, EXCEPT FOR THE SIGN OF CIRCUMCISION. Yes, language would have also been a mark, but everyone knows that after living among another culture for a while, even those boundaries become a lot smaller, especially after decades of intimate cohabitation. After the exodus the law was given.
Then, Jews were radically distinct from other nations, but, had it not been for the covenant of circumcision given by YAHWEH, what would have become of the Jewish nation? I believe they would have faded to black (pun intended). Now, the Pharaoh grew such hatred because the ISRAELITES were prospering, that as Exodus 1:22 states, he gave an order that all male children be drowned in the Nile (some manuscripts say all male Hebrew children). Either way, Moses was born during this time and after three months, being no longer able to hide him, his mother placed him in a basket along the riverbank of the Nile.
The Pharaoh’s daughter found him and without a doubt, saw his circumcision and yet, had pity on him. She would have probably taken him in at that time, but both for wisdom’s sake and probably because she didn’t have breast milk, asked for an ISRAELITE to nurse him until she could take him in herself. This woman was Moses’ mother and she also got paid by the Pharaoh’s daughter to do so. Fascinating turn of events. Either way, Pharaoh’s daughter took Moses into her house shortly after he was able to eat solid food, and “he became her son. ” (cf. Ex.2:1-10).
Immediately you should be thinking, how is this possible in the context of a period of genocide against ISRAEL’S male children? Simple reasoning states three things here:- In order for Moses to not have been immediately killed by the Pharaoh 1)Moses looked like an Egyptian. 2)Pharaoh never checked his penis. 3)His daughter was a darn good liar. And in case you are wondering, Moses married a black woman from Ethiopia (Numbers 12:1). And again, many Jews were also black. Earlier I stated that it was a minimum of 160 years that before ISRAEL went under slavery.
It was probably longer as I will now reason. (I made that statement of time because I wanted to demonstrate how to reason through scripture) Moses was actually eighty when he returned to Egypt (cf. Ex. 7:7) and liberated Israel. As promised to Abraham by God, the Jews were in Egypt a total of 430 years (cf. Gen. 15:13 & Ex. 12:40), spending at the least Moses’ lifetime under slavery. Which means that for 430 – 80 = 350 years at the most, the ISRAELITES were free to commingle with Egyptians.
Because we don’t know how long after the genocide began that Moses was born, it is safe to say that for near 350 years, the nations of ISRAEL and Egypt were free to be one. (There were probably some interracial births during their slavery, but not as many as pre-slavery) Was Moses black? I say he was. Were not just a few, but many of the first Jews who settled in what is now known as Israel, also black? I say they were. Could it therefore, also be highly probable that Jesus was black? The answer to this question might leave many people asking another one: “SO WHAT? ” Only you can answer that.
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 11 January 2017
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