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#39231 Tue Mar 25, 2008 7:56 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 201
janean Offline OP
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Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 201
I need some help. A friend of mine is puzzled with a "discrepancy" he thinks he sees regarding comparing Hebrews v. Exodus verses. I didn't know what to say and tried looking up a couple of commentaries online, but without a good answer. Maybe you can give me a clearer insight?
Specifically Hebrews 11:23 says "By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child, and they were not afraid of the king's edict". In this Hebrews verse it says the parents were not afraid of the king's edict. My friend says there is a problem when you read and compare Exodus 1:22 - 2:3. He questions if Hebrews is "correct" and says that the parents of Moses obviously were afraid of the king since they hid him.
The other passage is Hebrews 11:27 - "By faith he {Moses} left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king..." My friend says there's another problem when comparing Exodus 2:14,15. He says it doesn't make sense because in Exodus 2:14 Moses was "afraid" and Moses fled when Pharoah tried to kill Moses in v. 15. For my friend the issue is broader than just these verses. He is questioning the inerrancy of Scripture and is seeing these "discrepancies" in Scripture and wants to know a good answer to them because these discrepancies bother him.
Thanks for any help. I hope you are all well. I haven't been here in quite a while but haven't forgotten your board and the wonderful knowledge and help found here.

janean #39232 Tue Mar 25, 2008 8:26 PM
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 1,579
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 1,579
Welcome back, janean!!!

Per your questions, here is how I would answer:

Hebrews is looking back at the whole of Moses' life. This is how it is with some of th other examples of faith as well. For example, the author, if he had more time, said he would have spoken of the faith of Samson, and yet at the end of his life, Samson, from what we know in the OT, seems like a portrait of failure rather than faith.

As for Moses' parents, here is the entire passage:

Exodus 2
1 Now a man from the house of Levi went and married a daughter of Levi.
2 The woman conceived and bore a son; and when she saw that he was beautiful, she hid him for three months.
3 But when she could hide him no longer, she got him a wicker basket and covered it over with tar and pitch. Then she put the child into it and set it among the reeds by the bank of the Nile.
4 His sister stood at a distance to find out what would happen to him.
5 The daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the Nile, with her maidens walking alongside the Nile; and she saw the basket among the reeds and sent her maid, and she brought it to her.
6 When she opened it, she saw the child, and behold, the boy was crying. And she had pity on him and said, "This is one of the Hebrews' children."
7 Then his sister said to Pharaoh's daughter, "Shall I go and call a nurse for you from the Hebrew women that she may nurse the child for you?"
8 Pharaoh's daughter said to her, "Go ahead." So the girl went and called the child's mother.
9 Then Pharaoh's daughter said to her, "Take this child away and nurse him for me and I will give you your wages." So the woman took the child and nursed him.
10 The child grew, and she brought him to Pharaoh's daughter and he became her son. And she named him Moses, and said, "Because I drew him out of the water."

I see nothing about them being afraid of the king's edict. Like the writer of Hebrews says, Moses was hid, but just because you hide someone to protect them doesn't mean you are afraid of something. Just because you work to preserve life doesn't mean you are afraid of dying. They trusted God and feared Him (Exodus 1:21). Remember Hebrews 11 is a chapter on faith.

True godliness is a sincere feeling which loves God as Father as much as it fears and reverences Him as Lord, embraces His righteousness, and dreads offending Him worse than death~ Calvin
janean #39233 Tue Mar 25, 2008 11:16 PM
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 418
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Janean, long time! Good to see you, and good questions.

Marie is right on target with your friend's first question. I would simply add that the parents' faith--for that is what Hebrews 11 is speaking of here--is revealed in their trust that God would preserve Moses once out of their care, even if they themselves were apprehended and hauled before Pharaoh, a quite likely scenario if a nosy neighbor wanted to be rewarded for a little espionage. The easy thing for them to do, if they had been afraid of the king, would have been to hand Moses over at once.

Your friend's second question is also easily answered. The context of Hebrews 11:27 shows that Moses' desire to be mistreated with the people of God refers to his return, at age 80, to Egypt from Midian, since he at no time suffered any penalty of that identification during his first 40 years. His leaving Egypt, not fearing the king, is then obviously his second departure from Egypt, during the Exodus. Whereas he clearly did fear the king on his first departure--Exodus 2:14-15--his second departure is completely different: rather than leaving to save his own hide, he is commanded by God to take his people out, and he obeys, not fearing the king's anger--Exodus 14:13-14--taking a minimally-armed crowd out in full view of the king's chariot-equipped special forces unit.

Hebrews 11 is for obvious reasons not describing Moses' lack of faith in Exodus 2 in these verses. It simply jumps from his parents' faith to Moses' own at the time of the Exodus.

In Christ,
Paul S
janean #39234 Wed Mar 26, 2008 2:54 PM
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 330
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 330

As we well know it certainly is easy to find so-called inconsistencies or discrepancies in Scripture and non-believers certainly thrive on doing that (I don't say your friend does!). However, as believers we also know that God opens our eyes of faith to see things in a different light. Just viewing some events recorded in Scripture, for example the case of Moses that you mentioned, without having our eyes of faith opened, it might seem just as normal stories or historical events without any deeper meaning. Marie mentions Samson which certainly is a good example. The writer of Hebrews, however, inspired and led by the Holy Spirit saw these events in a different light and interpret it from the point of faith, completely different from what a normal historian will do. And then if one looks a bit deeper as pointed out by Marie and Paul, one finds that there is no inconsistency.

Peter Masters wrote a book with the title: Not Like any other Book. Try to get hold of it. It deals with how the Bible interprets itself.


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