Why Was Moses Important?

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Moses delivered the Israelites from slavery in Egypt and led them to Canaan, where they eventually established a home. He delivered the ten commandments to the people, and was an important teacher and prophet. Moses is a central figure to all Western religions, but he is widely considered the most important figure in Judaism.

According to the Bible, Moses was abandoned as a baby by his parents, found by an Egyptian princess and raised by her as if he was her own. As an adult, however, Moses became disturbed by the Egyptian treatment of Hebrew slaves. God, in the form of a burning bush, told Moses that he must lead the Hebrew people out of Israel. Moses asked the pharaoh for permission to leave, but it was only after God inflicts several plagues on the Egyptians that the Israelites are finally given permission to go to Canaan, where God had told Moses to take them.

The pharaoh had a change of heart, however, and he and his army chased the Israelites. Moses, infamously, parted the sea so that he and his followers could safely cross. The sea, however, came crashing down on pharaoh and his army.

The Israelites wandered in the desert for several decades after their escape. It was during that period that God dictated the ten commandments to Moses. Ultimately, however, Moses got into trouble with God and, as punishment, was forbidden to enter Canaan once the Israelites finally arrived.