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Henry Switz

Ms. Akers

Honors English 9

19 October 2017

The Bible as in Literature tells many stories of biblical figures running into problems and

suffering. Many of those stories include the leader of the Israelites, Moses, and his struggles to

appease God. Moses suffers greatly and faces many problems but his most significant struggle

was leading the Israelites out of Egypt while the whole country wanted him dead.

Moses had a bounty on his head after killing an Egyptian guard. The guard was beating a

Hebrew, and Moses put an end to it by killing the guard. “He looked this way and that, and

seeing no one he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand” (110). The news spread quickly,

and the Pharaoh sought to kill Moses. Moses fled to the land of Midian, where he hid and helped

the people, gaining a good reputation among them. The Egyptian Pharaoh died, but the whole

country of Egypt was still out for Moses’ head.

While in Midian, Moses suffered greatly from self-doubt. He did not believe himself to

be a good speaker and worried that this would prevent him from leading the Hebrews out of

Egypt. At The Burning Bush, God told Moses to lead the Hebrews out of Egypt. Moses said,

“Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either heretofore or since thou hast spoken to thy servant; but I

am slow of speech and of tongue” (112). This shows that Moses has great doubt in his ability to

convince the Hebrews to leave Egypt with him. Although, God reassured him and gave him the

courage to return to Egypt.

When Moses arrives back in Egypt, God sends him on a futile quest to ask the Pharaoh to

let the Hebrews go. God sends him on this quest to test out the pharaoh’s willingness to listen to
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Him. Moses didn’t realize at the time that God knew this journey wasn’t supposed to succeed

right away. Although, in the aftermath of this request, the pharaoh punished the Hebrews by

cutting off their source for straw; their only way to make bricks. The pharaoh said, “You shall no

longer give the people straw to make bricks, as heretofore let them go and gather straw for

themselves. But the number of bricks which they made heretofore you shall lay upon them, you

shall by no means lessen it” (116). Furthermore they could not do their slave labor, forcing the

slave owners to inflict more pain onto the Israelites. The pain that the Hebrews were going

through added more weight onto Moses’ shoulders, which augmented to his suffering, yet he still

persevered.

Not only did Moses doubt himself, the Hebrews doubt him as well. They doubted Moses

because the Israelites remembered when he made the pharaoh take away their straw, which

caused great struggle for all Hebrews. In The Exodus, after the Egyptians heard the news about

the Hebrews leaving, they realized their mistake and chased after them because their whole

economy depended on slave labor. The Israelites called out to the lord, “What have you done to

us, in bringing us out of Egypt? Is not this what we said to you in Egypt, ‘Let us alone and let us

serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in

the wilderness” (121). This displays the lack of confidence the Hebrews have in God’s servant,

Moses. Yet Moses persevered since he knew he had to lead his people to freedom.

The Egyptians caught up to Moses and the Hebrews and cornered them at the Red Sea.

Again, the people doubted Moses. But in the nick of time, Moses prayed to the Lord and He

parted the Red Sea. The Hebrews marched safely across the dry path to safety. After all of the

Hebrews crossed the sea, God told Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea, that the water
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may come back upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen” (121). Moses

did what God said and started to drown the Egyptians, forcing the rest of them to retreat.

Moses suffered greatly and in many ways on his quest to appease God, but his most

significant struggle was leading his people out of Egypt while being a wanted man. This struggle

gave Moses the strength and determination to overcome his fears while saving an entire race of

people. To this day, Hebrews still celebrate the accomplishments of Moses.