Moses, Moses. (Moses.)

Posted: April 8, 2012 in rants, spiritual
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Every year, I make a big deal out of making sure that I watch “The Ten Commandments” on ABC. I’m kind of a big fan of the over the top dramatic acting, the wild costumes, and of course Vincent Price as an ancient Egyptian.  Ever since I was little, one of my favorite scenes has been the part where Moses is wandering the desert, hearing spectral and ethereal voices calling his name. ” Moses, Moses, Moses.” Reminds me of the comedian’s bit where he grew up thinking that his name was (I think) “Bill! Bill! BILL!!” because his parents had to keep yelling his name just to get his attention.

That’s a pretty interesting name, actually. Moses. A lot of other names pop up from time to time rather commonly throughout the Bible. Joshua, for example. Or John, or Simon, or Jonah. Let’s not forget the 158,000 women named Mary in the New Testament. But, only one person named Moses. I wonder why that is? What’s the name “Moses” mean, anyway?

Well, we know from the book of Exodus, that he got that name because it means, or sounds like, “Drawn out” in Hebrew. Since he was drawn out of the Nile, this seems fitting. But, I have heard scholars give a different interpretation of that name. Mainly, that it wasn’t a Hebrew name at all, at the time. It would be like naming someone “Left At Light” today. It could be an apt description of where the child was found, but not a real name. However, “Moses” was a name in use back then, or at least, part of a name. Kmt, or Egyptian, royal names were often things like “Son of This God” or “Son of That Mountain” or whatnot. The “Son of” part was the word “Moses”. Thus, what we call Tutmose was actually Tut-Moses, for example. Ramses? He was the son of the god Ra, or Ra-Moses.

So who was “our” Moses the son of? When did he start leaving off the first part of his name?

Better yet, for someone who would’ve been so infamous in Ancient Egypt, why so few mentions of a renegade Prince who led a splinter group off to the desert to start a new religion and a new nation?

***

We all struggle with ourselves, at some point or another. A part of our hearts and/or minds wants to do one thing, and this part wars against another part, with its own agenda. We feel like this one course of action would be the best one to take. On the other hand, maybe the other route is the way to go. There are times when we want to do the will of God (whatever higher power or “God” that might be), but we find ourselves competing with another aspect that wants to do our own will, what we think is best.

Bear with me – I’m gonna go out on a limb here.

What if there was a king, all powerful in his land, who sought to leave his legacy in the world? He would go about doing this in the traditional ways; the ways handed down to him by his fathers, and their fathers before him. And one day, this king hears a small, still voice, telling him to do something else. Something radical. Something so completely different and out of character, not just for himself, but for his whole nation. Something that seems to go against all common sense. Would he go for it, turning his back on thousands of generations of tradition and history, or would he resist? And if he did resist, couldn’t you imagine him hardening his heart to the changes the small voice whispered? Until, one day, after years of internal strife and doubt, plagued by all manner of calamity and attacks to his own sanity, attacks to the very kingdom he represented, he simply relented, acquiesced, let go?

Could be the kind of stress that would cause a man to change his name, at least.

Maybe.

I'm not sayin'. I'm just sayin'.

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