Moses' Life Before the Exodus
The Exodus - Part I
Source: Exodus 1-2, Exodus 6

During a great famine, God had moved the family of Jacob from Canaan to the land of Eqypt. Jacob's son, Joseph, was the governor of Egypt, and was second only to Pharaoh, the king. Eventually, the famine came to an end. As time went by, Jacob, Joseph, and Jacob's other sons died. The Pharaoh that Joseph served also died, and a new king came to the throne of Egypt. Meanwhile, the family of Jacob (Israel) still lived in Eqypt and had grown immensely. The new Pharaoh did not know who Joseph was and how he had helped save Egypt during the terrible famine. The new Pharaoh was also fearful of the people of Israel, and was afraid that the Israelites would help Egypt's enemies if a war ever occurred. So, the Egyptians took the Israelites, who had once been welcome guests in Egypt, and made slaves out of them.   

The Egyptians made the Israelites work at hard labor, building great cities for the Egyptians. In spite of this, the nation of Israel kept growing, and the Egyptians fear of Israel grew also. Eventually the Egyptians decided to control the Israelites population by killing all newborn Israelite baby boys. In the tribe of Levi, a man and wife by the name of Amram and Jochebed had a son born to them. They managed to hide their baby boy for a time from the Egyptians, but at the end of three months they could no longer hide him. So the mother made a small boat, called an ark, out of bulrushes, and she placed the baby boy in it. She then put the ark into the river, and let the water carry it to where God would send it. She also sent the baby boy's older sister to follow the ark and see what became of the baby boy.

The ark drifted to where the daughter of Pharaoh was washing herself in the river. When she saw the ark, she sent one of her maids to fetch it. When Pharaoh's daughter got the ark, she opened it and saw the child. The baby started to cry, and Pharaoh's daughter had compassion on him. She also realized he was an Israelite. Then the baby's sister stepped forward and asked Pharaoh's daughter if she could call a nurse from the Israelite women for the baby. Pharaoh's daughter agreed, and the baby's sister went and brought his mother. Pharaoh's daughter allowed the mother to nurse the child until he was weaned, and then brought him to Pharaoh's daughter, who adopted him as her son. She named him Moses, which meant "Because I drew him out of the water".

Moses grew up, and one day he saw an Egyptian beating an Israelite. Moses thought no one was watching, and he killed the Egyptian, and buried him in the sand. The next day, Moses went out and he saw two Israelites fighting with each other. Moses asked them why they were fighting with each other, and one of them asked Moses if he was going to kill him as he had the Egyptian. Moses realized that it was known that he had killed the Egyptian, and fled from Egypt to the land of Midian. While traveling about Midian, Moses stopped at a well. The seven daughters of the priest of Midian came to this well to water their father's sheep, but some other shepherds tried to drive them away. Moses stood up and helped the daughters against the shepherds and helped them water their flock.

 When Reuel (sometimes called Jethro also), their father, heard of this, he asked his daughters to invite Moses to eat with them. Moses agreed, and eventually married one of the daughters, Zipporah. Moses and Zipporah had a son, who was named Gershom. During Moses years in Midian, Pharaoh died, and a new man became king in Egypt. The children of Israel were still in slavery, and they cried out to God for help. God heard them, and he remembered his promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. God was preparing a man to lead them out of Egypt and back to the Promised Land (Canaan), and Moses was that man.