In the book of Exodus, Moses is the central character. Moses was born shortly after the Egyptians started enforcing new laws regarding childbirth among the Hebrews, who at that time, were slaves to the Egyptians. Due to the large population of the Hebrews, compared to the Egyptians, there were fears that the Hebrews would rise up in rebellion, causing the Pharaoh of Egypt to begin enforcing policies that would kill off all Hebrew sons under two years old.
Moses survived for about a year before his mother placed him in a basket in the Nile river, which took him downstream to the daughter of the Pharaoh, who had gone to bathe at that time. She adopted the newfound child, and began looking for a surrogate mother to take care of him. That "surrogate mother" turned out to be none other than Moses's actual mother.
Moses spent his life raised in royalty and prestige, but one day as he was observing the slaves working on a project, he noticed an Egyptian foreman beating an Israelites, and killed the man. This action led to suspicion from other Israelites and the Pharaoh intended to kill Moses so he had to flee Egypt as a result.
Moses wandered in the desert for an unknown period of days before coming across a group of Midianites at a well. When they were attacked by a group of shepherds, Moses helped them. After helping give water to the flock the Midianites were tending to, he was taken back to their camp.
After marrying one of the Midianites, Moses went out into the desert to allow his flock to graze. While in the desert, he came across a burning bush. God spoke to Moses through this bush and told him to go back to Egypt and free the Israelites.
Moses briefly protested, saying that he was hardly a public speaker. God told Moses to have his brother Aaron do the speaking for him, and taught Moses two miracles to perform with his staff, turning it into a snake, as well as turning his hand leprous and curing it.
Moses went back to Egypt (the Bible records that his age was 80 at this point), and asked the Pharaoh to let the Israelites go, a request the Pharaoh refused. Despite repeated requests and multiple plagues, the Pharaoh continued to refuse, with the exceptions of him retracting his agreement.
The plagues God unleashed on Egypt are as follows.
- (Exodus 7:14-25) The rivers and all other water sources turned into blood.
- (Exodus 8:1-8:15) Frogs covered all of Egypt
- (Exodus 8:16-19) An outburst of lice (or gnats)
- (Exodus 8:20-30) beasts or flies
- (Exodus 9:1-7) A disease inflicted on Egyptian livestock killed all of them.
- (Exodus 9:8-12) Egyptians were inflicted with boils.
- (Exodus 9:13-35) Burning hail rained on Egypt.
- (Exodus 10:1-20) Swarm of locusts ate all the remaining food.
- (Exodus 10:21-29) Impenetrable darkness
- (Exodus 11:1-12:36) Death of every first-born Egyptian
After his death, Moses was succeeded by Joshua.