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Write on Moses

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Topic: Bible, Historical Accuracy, Literacy of Moses

Jeremy Harris from UK wrote:

Dear Rabbi,

The chances of Moses being able to write when he was given the Torah are very limited. Historical evidence suggests that Moses would not have known how to write and the only form of writing was in Egyptian hieroglyphs.

Dear Jeremy Harris,

I suggest you read some archaeological studies of the era; you will find that writing was quite well known and common. For example, see:

  • Leah Bronner, Biblical Personalities and Archaeology, Keter Publishing, Jerusalem p. 52
  • K. A. Kitchen, Ancient Orient and the Old Testament, 1970, pp. 136ff
  • E. Neilson, Oral Tradition, 1954, p. 24

I also suggest you check out the literature (especially the Biblical Archaeology Review) on the discoveries of Nuzi, Mari, Amarna, Ras Shamra etc. that clearly show overwhelming evidence of the existence, use and non-specialist use of writing in the time of Moses and even preceding him.

For general verification and evidence of the historical truth of the Torah, see Permission to Receive by Lawrence Keleman, Living Up to the Truth by Dovid Gottlieb (downloadable from our website for free). Also see our article on the web entitled "Historical Verification of the Torah."

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