Josephus Research Paper

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Moses, born in ancient Egypt at a time when the Israelites were slaves to the rulers of the land, is regarded as the most influential biblical character in the Jewish bible, as well as the most important figure in Judaism. Moses is considered to be the greatest prophet, leader and preceptor in Jewish history because he shared a special relationship with G-d and was chosen by G-d to lead the children of Israel out Egypt and the slavery that they had been under for hundreds of years. Moreover, G-d spoke to Moses and provided him with the Torah and the Ten Commandments, in which the Israelites were obliged to learn and obey; therefore, as a result of the special relationship G-d and Moses shared, G-d revealed the entire Torah to Moses, and Moses…show more content…
Therefore, in relation to his understanding of the exodus, Josephus, aware of Moses’ importance in the Jewish bible and tradition, felt a need to portray a favourable image of Moses, in spite of the anti-jewish criticism inveighed against him. That said, according to Louis Feldman, author of Josephus’ Portrait of Moses, Josephus’ literature, Antiquities of the Jews, was seen as an apologetic composition to non-jewish critics, since he violated his promise of staying true to the facts of the bible and portrayed Moses as embodying the qualities of the “great heroes of the Greeks and Romans, notably the external qualities of good birth and handsome stature, precociousness in youth, and the four cardinal virtues of wisdom, courage, temperance and Justice, as supplemented by what was, in effect, a fifth cardinal virtue, piety” (Feldman, p.285, 1992). That said, Josephus’ modifications of the biblical narrative of Moses was his way of defending the Jewish people against the charges of their critics, as well as his way of including more exaggerative motifs such as suspicion and irony to keep his narrative more dramatic and his audience intrigued. Having said that, the antiquities of the Jews, written in greek, is a historiographical that encompasses the history of the Jews beyond the biblical text. In hellenistic literature, Moses is seen as ordinary…show more content…
Hence, according to Josephus, Moses, summoned by both Thermuthis and the king gladly accepted the task, which led the hebrews to foresee a possibility of escape from Egyptian bondage with Moses as their general (271). After having witnessed Moses’ success, the Ethiopian army showed servitude and complete extirpation to Moses(273). Josephus also adds an additional character to his historical narrative of Moses by introducing Tharbis, the daughter of the Ethiopian king, who fell in love with Moses and married him before Moses led the Egyptians back to their own land (275). Upon his return to the land of Egypt, the very Egyptians saved by Moses, conceived a hatred for him, suspecting that he would, one day, take advantage of his leadership skills and revolutionize Egypt (275). Therefore, Moses fled Egypt and found himself at Raguel’s flock, marrying his daughter and adopting her son as his (279). Furthermore, Moses became a shepherd and some while after he led the flocks to graze on the mountain called Sinai, he witnessed an amazing prodigy; a fire in flames on a “bramble-bush, yet had left its ventures of green and its bloom in tact”, in which classed him by his name, admonishing him to “withdraw as far away from the flame” (281). Thus, in this

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