Moses

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Moses is a prophet in the Abrahamic religions, described in stories in their religious texts, and is the most important prophet in Judaism.

The story in the Hebrew Bible contains often mentioned atrocities, such as the 10 Plagues of Egypt, including the killing of all non-Israelite firstborn sons, with the Israelite God repeatedly hardening the Pharaoh's heart so that he was unable to consent to Moses's demands to free the Israelites from slavery until all 10 Plagues had occurred, with the atrocities being described or interpreted as collective punishment and as a demonstration of the power of the Israelite God.

Despite objecting to the Israelites being enslaved, the Israelites did not prohibit slavery by the Israelites themselves.

A major Jewish celebration is Passover, politically correct described as commemorating the Israelites escaping from Egyptian slavery, a less politically correct view being that the name refers to the Israelites themselves escaping the mass killing of non-Israelites by the Israelite God.

There are also less often mentioned atrocities such as "The chapter in Numbers where Moses orders the slaughter of all Midianite prisoners of war, save the virgin girls; and the section of Exodus in which Moses punishes the Israelites for worshiping the golden calf by forcing them to drink a scalding liquid made of the ground-up idol before ordering the slaughter of 3,000 Hebrews for the transgression."[1]

The non-religious scholarly consensus is that Moses is a legendary figure and not a historical person, although some aspects of story may be loosely based on certain historical events. Many different theories regarding the origin and the purpose of the story have been proposed.

An example of a less politically correct theory is that the story was composed about 273 BC by Jewish scholars at Alexandria, as a more pro-Jewish rewrite of an older writing, perceived to be anti-Semitic, since it negatively described the Hyksos (a group expelled from Egypt), with Alexandrian Jews identifying the Hyksos as Jews.[2]

More generally, regarding non-religious views on the origins and purposes of the "Five Books of Moses", see the article on the Torah and the external links there.

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Encyclopedias

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