We don’t know for sure, but biblical scholars and theologians, both Jewish and Christian, agree that Moses wrote Genesis. Moses was educated in the Pharaoh’s court In Egypt, was multi-lingual, and no doubt learned the Egyptian account of creation. But he was also raised as a youngster by his Hebrew mother and there, most likely, learned a great deal about the patriarchs that preceded him.
After 40 years in Egypt, Moses spent another 40 years in Midian, in what is today the northwest corner of Saudi Arabia. There with his father-in-law he would have learned a new language, in addition to Hebrew and Egyptian, and probably also learned more about creation, the great flood, and about a family headed by Abraham, who arrived in neighboring Canaan and prospered before being taken into captivity.
However, what Moses recorded in what is now called the Torah, or books of the Law, was given to Moses directly from God. When Moses led the Hebrew people, known as Israelites, out of Egypt, they refused to conquer the land God promised them and ended up wandering in the wilderness for 40 years. During that time God punished a whole generation who did not trust him to lead them to victory over the inhabitants of what is today known as Israel.
Also during that time, God met with Moses frequently in the ‘tent of meeting’. There, we believe, God told Moses the true story of creation, the history of mankind and the calling of Abraham to begin a nation of God’s chosen people. Those people, the Israelites, were supposed to show the world who God was and what he was all about–the all-powerful God of love and mercy. They were to live lives set apart from others, worshiping God alone, and following a strict code of ethics.
Unfortunately, despite Moses’ warnings and the law given to the people from God through Moses, the people turned their back on God. They disobeyed God’s commands, worshiped idols, lost God’s blessings and were set aside as a nation. One day in the future however, Israel will regain the prominence they had during the reigns of kings David and Solomon and finally Jesus will become their King and Messiah.
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