Monday, July 28, 2014

Joseph in Egypt prophesies of Moses’ parentage


And I will make him great in mine eyes, for he shall do my work; and he shall be great like unto him whom I have said I would raise up unto you, to deliver my people, O house of Israel, out of the land of Egypt; for a seer will I raise up to deliver my people out of the land of Egypt; and he shall be called Moses. And by this name he shall know that he is of thy house; for he shall be nursed by the king’s daughter, and shall be called her son. (JST Genesis 50:29)

In JST Genesis 50:24-38 we have given to us Joseph Smith’s translation of words Joseph Smith said to his brothers about a prophecy the Lord said to Joseph (in Egypt) concerning Joseph Smith and Moses.

For a lot time I thought the above verse was saying that Moses was going to come out of Joseph’s lineage.  And of course we know from Exodus 2:1-10 that Moses was from the house of Levi, not Joseph.  So I wondered for a long time whether Joseph got carried away and made a false prophecy out of pride for his high status and thought that any son of a king’s daughter would have to come from his own family.

Recently I noticed in that verse Joseph addresses the house of Israel and he uses “house” again in that same verse to take about Moses’ birth origins.  Elsewhere when Joseph refers to his own descendants, speaking in the Lord’s words he calls them “the fruit of thy loins.”

So I realized that “thy house” was meant to refer to the house of Israel, not the house of Joseph.  And seen this way, the prophecy is definitely true; Moses was from the house of Israel.

This also helps the prophecy make more sense. because the name of Moses was meant to let Moses know he was an Israelite and not of the king’s family.  It may be this prophecy was instrumental in him learning about his real ancestry.  (We just assume he grew up knowing, but it may be that he didn’t and he had a major shock that the Bible gives us no clue about.)   

The cool thing is, no Israelite gave Moses his name; it was all the king’s daughter’s doing.  For Moses to come to prepare for his mission as prophet, it was most important for him to know that he was from Israelite stock in the first place and not Egyptian.