“Moses saw an Egyptian strike a Hebrew, one of his kinsmen. He looked this way and that; and when he saw that no one was around, he killed the Egyptian and hid his body in the sand.“-Exodus 2:9-10
There are many complex psychological and environmental factors that transformed Moses into a person capable of committing cold-blooded murder.
First, although we aren’t given the exact age, we do know that in tribal societies, the average weaning age was up until around 6 or 7 years old.
From this, we can deduce that Moses was raised by his mother until he was about a little older than your average kindergarten student.
He was a fully developed child with a strong Hebrew identity who grew up under the loving care of his own family.
And then, all of a sudden, he was pried away from his own family and thrust into a life and environment that was directly opposite to the life he had known before.
The psychological impact must have been devastating.
I think a lot of us make the mistake and many movies also mistakenly portray the idea that Moses suddenly woke up one day and discovered he was a Hebrew.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
He always knew he was a Hebrew.
Also, keep in mind, that on a physical level, there are obvious visible racial differences between Hebrews and Egyptians.
They look completely different.
I can personally relate to Moses in some ways.
First, my parents had a nasty divorce when I was three years old and as a result, during my formative years, I was shuffled back and forth between living with my mom and my father’s new family after he remarried.
I never really felt completely at home with my father’s new family.
I always knew that I was a “foreigner” so to speak and this feeling of separation became even more pronounced once my step-brothers and step-sister arrived on the scene.
I’ll never forget coming across an article a couple of years ago on the net containing my father’s family profile.
I think it was in a local piece reporting on one of the extramural soccer games my youngest stepbrother had participated in as one of the leading players.
I remember feeling proud that he had received a noteworthy mention but then when I looked at the family profile that was included, my name wasn’t there.
The article stated that my father had three children and only the names of my two step-brothers and step-sister were listed.
I had been erased.
I was like “dang!“, I have no family history.
(Oh well, I’m now part of God’s family, so SAYONARA baby!)
Second, on a racial level, I’m half-Asian (I look more Asian than Caucasian) but grew up in lily white Minnesota.
As a result of this, I went through an intense period of wanting to be white and harboring a serious inferiority complex that seriously affected both my confidence and self-esteem.
So there was a period of time when I was an emotional wreck and struggled with all kinds of addiction and relational problems that still affect me to this day.
So I can strongly relate to the many internal struggles that Moses no doubt had to grapple with in his formative years.
It must have been particularly difficult for Moses because he didn’t fit in either camp.
Although Moses lived a life of royalty and was given the very best that Egypt had to offer which would have included the best education, the finest military training and the highest quality food and drink, he wasn’t fooling anybody.
The Egyptians knew he wasn’t one of them and he knew he wasn’t one of them.
On the other side, the general Hebrew population although aware he was one of them didn’t accept him either.
As far as the Israelite population was concerned, regardless of Moses’ blood origins, he was now a despised Egyptian.
He had joined the enemy ranks.
Moses felt rejected by both his Hebrew brothers and the Egyptians.
He felt trapped and frustrated with nowhere to go.
All of this would come to a head and he would finally strike out in an act of violence that would change his life forever.