“A man from the family of Levi took a woman also descended from Levi as his wife.”-Exodus 2:1
We are given the very important information that Moses was a full-blooded Levite.
This means he was born into the tribe that would eventually be set apart from all the other tribes for special service to God.
We will see later that this will be the cause for much tension and jealousy between the other tribes even leading to a major rebellion.
However, at this point in the Bible, there is no sign that God had any intentions of dividing the Tribe of Levi away from the other tribes.
At this time, the Israelites actually viewed themselves as a 13-tribe entity.
Later we will find out that Moses’ father was named Amram and his mother Jochbed.
So what is the meaning of Moses’ name?
First, “Moses” is NOT a Hebrew name.
It is the Egyptian name he received from the princess who first rescued him from the Nile River.
In Egyptian, “Moses” is actually a pretty common word and would mean “child” or “son“.
Actually, to be technically accurate, in Egyptian “Moses” would not have an “s” after it.
It would just be Mose.
There were actually many Pharaohs throughout Egypt’s history that had the same name!
Furthermore, in the ancient world, there was the tradition of adding a god’s name to the name of a son in order to pay homage to the god.
For example, we have the name Ra-mose.
In English it is typically spelled Rameses but in Egyptian it would be Ra-mose and it means “son of the god Ra“.
Or how about the name King Tut which many of us are familiar with?
In Egyptian, this would be “Thot-Mose” and mean “son of the god Thot“.
However, the Israelites eventually Hebraized Moses’ name making it into “MOSHEH”.
“MOSHEH” means “drawn out” as in the Princess “drew out” the baby Moses from the water.