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Moses: Shepherd - Judge


Date Posted: 11/18/2012 4:56:13 AM

Posted By: queenma  Membership Level: Bronze  Total Points: 20

The first figure that we met in the history of oppression of the Israelites is that of Moses, the human architect of the exodus. God sends him to move his people out of Egypt (Ex 3:10) and lad them to his holy mountain, the place of revelation and of the covenant. In the framework of the Old Testament, Moses is perhaps the man who, more than any other assumes within himself the duties of the shepherd. He is also the prophet and the legislator, the one who educates Israel and nurtures them on the teaching of the Torah. The one who really brings Israel out of Egypt is God the true Shepherd of the exodus. But this is not realized without the human collaboration. Psalm 77:21 says;
Thou didst lead thy people like a flock
By the hand of Moses and Aaron.
Moses lived the first forty years of his life in Egypt, at that time, a highly civilized country. He had the good fortune of growing up in the house of Pharaoh, in an atmosphere of comfort and refinement. He becomes a man of substance, a man of culture, “a man with power in both speech and in his actions” as Stephen would later say in his discourse to the Sanhedrin (Acts 7:22).
On the threshold of his forty years Moses steps out of his self-centeredness ad takes note of what is happening to others. He discovers the reality of oppression and mature and responsible as he is, refuses to remain indifferent. He takes on the cause of Hebrews and kills an Egyptian. But then he is obliged to flee because his own deserted him. Even among the oppressed Israelites,

there was lack of cohesion and solidarity. They were quite ready to denounce him for having killed one of their enemies, rather than pull together amongst themselves. Moses had to take account of this setback, this failure and flee. He finds refuge in the in the family of Jethro. To all appearances, he sets aside dreams of National liberation and settles for the daily tasks of a shepherd in the service of his father–in-law. In this environment his personality matured especially on the religious and spiritual levels.
In Judaic tradition, Moses is presented as one who is truly capable of being a leader, a shepherd who watches over his flock and feels responsible for his sheep. The Midrash Rabbah comments on Exodus 15: 22 (“Moses then led Israel from the Red Sea”) in the sense of a perfect understanding and reciprocity between the leaders and the people. Moses had succeeded in gaining for himself the confidence of Israel:
“Just as the sheep follow the shepherd whithersoever they are led, so did Israel
So did Israel also follow Moses whithersoever he led them, as it says,
Draw me, we will run after the” Ct 1:4 (Ex R. 24:3)
But why was Moses likened to the good shepherd? Because, “unlike other false prophets who cared for their personal interests, Moses kept watch over Israe” l. Israel gathered together by Moses at the foot of the mountain Sinai, is therefore an admirable figure of the church of Christ not because it supplants the diversities, but because it welcomes the differences.
messianic son of David. Shepherd as a title was generally used when referring to the rulers of the people. These rulers included the royal officers, elder’s judges, and all who had authority” `

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