Forty years had passed since Exodus 1, and Moses is now 40 years old. We do not know a great many specifics about his life, but there are a few historical tidbits that can be put together. From archaeological finds as well as some written histories, we know that Egypt was the greatest land of its day, the United States of America of that time.
Moses probably lived in the palace with his mother (Pharaoh's daughter), Pharaoh, and the rest of his family, for about 35 years. We can understand from this conjecture, that Moses had access to the cream of everything in Egypt. Being part of the Royal Family, if he rode out on a chariot, the people on the street bowed. He would have had the best. If Moses traveled down the Nile by barge, it was among the finest in Egypt.
When it came to education, he probably had the finest tutors available in the land. We know for sure, from written records, that they had a great university, in its time comparable in esteem to an Oxford or a Harvard today. He would have been instructed in astronomy, chemistry, mathematics, engineering, music, and art. The movie, The Ten Commandments, depicted this well. Undoubtedly, much of what he was taught was nothing more than sheer foolishness—just as much in our modern universities also teach a lot of foolishness. Nevertheless, the overall effect of what he learned filled him with knowledge and understanding that would stand him in good stead later.
In reading between the lines of Scripture, during his 35 years in the palace, Moses never really lost contact with the people of Israel and with his real family, even though Jochebed and Amram turned him over to Pharaoh's daughter. From time to time, he would have been able to visit with them. He would, then, have had access to the language, history, and expectations of Israel. His mind, to be used later by God, was being formed by being filled with knowledge.
Stephen says that he was "mighty in words and deeds." He became a statesman, representing Egypt to foreign peoples and leaders. Ancient historians say that he was a soldier. The years passed. But despite being prepared for high office in Egypt, the memories of his early childhood and his real parents—the knowledge that they were slaves and that his kinsmen were groaning in the brickyards—never left him.
A mind was being formed during those years. Please do not forget yourself in all of this. God has been dealing with us a great deal longer than our conversion, perhaps from our earliest years.
John W. Ritenbaugh
Conviction and Moses
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