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1001 Stories Collection

The Story of Moses

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Added on 06th October 2020

Religious story The Old Testament (Exodus to Deuteronomy)


Moses, the baby in the basket, raised in royal palaces heard the voice of God and returned to free his people.


The Israelites live in slavery in Egypt and, to avoid Pharaoh’s execution order, a mother floats her baby down the Nile in a basket. The daughter of Pharaoh rescues and adopts the boy, naming him Moses. Raised in the royal palace, everything changes when Moses kills an Egyptian who was abusing a slave. Terrified, he runs away and becomes a shepherd. One day he hears the voice of God calling him from a burning bush to return to Egypt and free his people…

Why we chose it

One of the best known Old Testament stories.

Where it came from

Moses is one of the most important figures in Jewish history, receiving the law from God and taking them to the ‘Promised Land’. Moses’ name comes from the Hebrew which means ‘drawn out of water’ which foreshadows his later role in the parting of the Red Sea. The Torah (the first five books of the Bible) are traditionally believed to have been written by Moses, however modern scholars debate the process of how these texts were formed.

Jews and Christians regard this to be ‘scripture’, a story that is something revealed and inspired by God and therefore has a special importance with something to teach those who follow these religious traditions.

Where it went next

Accredited with the giving of God’s law, Moses’ story is seen by some as shaping our laws in society today. Christians believe Jesus met Moses and Elijah on a mountain, in an event called ‘The Transfiguration’ (Matthew 19). Moses’s story has also been turned into live-action film, in Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014), and animation in the Dreamworks movie Prince of Egypt, which is now a West-End musical (2020).

Associated stories

Many legends were told of Moses’ life in Jewish collections like the Talmud and the Mishnah. Moses is also an important figure for Muslims, considered to be an Islamic prophet and referred to more than any other figure in the Qur’an (Islamic holy scripture). Several details of his story are different; for instance, it is Pharaoh’s wife who rescues Moses from the river, not his daughter.

Added on 06th October 2020

Religious story The Old Testament (Exodus to Deuteronomy)