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AI Illustration of Moses with the 10 Commandments Tablet. Source: Jim Vallee/Adobe Stock

Moses: Myth, Fiction or History?

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In the early days of biblical archaeology there was a lot of optimism that the new science could verify the existence of Moses by proving that there was indeed a great migration of people from Egypt who eventually conquered and settled Canaan. This premature optimism was dashed by the stark reality of subsequent excavations.

Contradictions and Puzzles Within the Biblical Account of Moses

In The Bible Unearthed, Israeli archaeologists Israel Finkelstein and Neil Asher Silberman dispelled any illusions that their digs had verified the story of the Exodus

“The process that we describe here is, in fact, the opposite of what we have in the Bible: the emergence of early Israel was an outcome of the collapse of the Canaanite culture, not its cause. And most of the Israelites did not come from outside Canaan – they emerged from within it. There was no mass Exodus from Egypt. There was no violent conquest of Canaan. Most of the people who formed early Israel were local people – the same people whom we see in the highlands throughout the Bronze and Iron Ages. The early Israelites were – irony of ironies – themselves originally Canaanites!" [1] (Finkelstein & Silberman The Bible Unearthed, 118)

The Book of Exodus: "Departure of the Israelites", by David Roberts, 1829 (Public Domain)

Their conclusion was a severe blow to those who believed that Moses had been a real person. But the question of the prophet’s existence – whether he was indeed a flawed flesh-and-blood man or a fictional character forced to jump through his creator’s hoops is a thorny one; not easily dismissed or answered.

The biblical story of the great man is full of contradictions and puzzles. Unlike the story of Joseph which has a discernible beginning, middle and end, Moses’ narrative is scattered and disjointed. At first we are led to believe that he is a first child; only for it to be revealed later that he has older siblings. We’re told he was adopted by an Egyptian princess, but no details of his childhood are offered. The only account of his death is sketchy to say the least and no one knows where one of the most significant figures in history is buried. These troubling mysteries led some scholars to doubt his existence. In our Ancient Origins article we discuss 4 possible versions of this being in history, a wholly distinct portrayal from the one you're familiar with.

The Finding of Moses, by Edwin Long, 1886 (Public Domain)

The Finding of Moses, by Edwin Long, 1886 (Public Domain)

We believe that Moses was a real person whose pedigree offended Levi’s descendants, the Levite scribes who edited the Torah for their own aims. Unable to explain the Egyptian education, appearance and accent of Moses, the scribes were compelled to obscure his family tree. If the truth that Moses belonged to the House of Joseph was ever to be leaked the scribes might be separated from their significant priestly rights and perks. It was imperative that the great prophet not only be from their own House of Levi but to be  seen to be from it. In their desperate, self-serving tampering with the memory of Moses the scribes could never have guessed that one day the patchy biography of the prophet that they had cobbled together would convince scholars that he was nothing more than a myth.

In Midian

In our reconstruction, the children of Israel were expelled from Egypt because of the murder of Joseph. Moses was born to Joseph’s widow, Asenath, and raised as a priest in the Temple of Heliopolis where many years earlier the Pharaoh Akhenaten had created monotheism. Born after the expulsion, Moses was the sole Israelite left living in Egypt. Did this sense of singularity plant in him a psychological propensity towards Egyptian monotheism?

We’ve seen that the Egyptian historian, Manetho, believed that Moses was associated with dangerous beliefs. The Egyptians experienced monotheism as a great threat; a religion that vowed to destroy their many gods. Did Moses receive his belief in a single God from the priests of Heliopolis or from Reuel’s god, Yahweh? The Levites voted for Yahweh. Freud favored Heliopolis. We agree with Freud.

We know Moses was an Egyptian priest/magician but unlike Reuel, who also trained in the same arts, Moses had no restrictions on his education. Akhenaten’s monotheism is not something that the priests of Heliopolis would be likely to reveal to Reuel. No matter how talented - he was still a foreigner. In contrast, Moses was the high priest’s grandson.

Moses' encounter with Jethro, also known as Reuel in the biblical story. (furyon/Adobe Stock)

Moses' encounter with Jethro, also known as Reuel in the biblical story. (furyon/Adobe Stock)

During this time, perhaps twenty years or more, Moses’ Hebrew family was living in the oasis of Midian under the rule of its high priest, Reuel. Moses had no contact with them. It was only after he was fully grown, had become a general in the Pharaoh’s army and successfully reclaimed Ethiopia, that Moses left Egypt. The reason for his departure may very well have been the rise of a new Pharaoh who “knew not Joseph.”  Exodus 1:8

Like Freud we believe that there were two men who took the name Moses. The first Moses was raised in Heliopolis by his mother, Asenath, and her father, the High Priest. The second person was the Magician Reuel who had the motive, means and opportunity to successfully kill the original prophet, steal his identity and reclaim what he believed to be his rightful place as leader of the Jews.

This article was originally excerpted from Rand & Rose Flem-Ath’s book, The Murder of Moses and has been edited.

Top image: AI Illustration of Moses with the 10 Commandments Tablet. Source: Jim Vallee/Adobe Stock

By Rand Flem-Ath



The Devil harrows the truth daily and sows deceit in its place. But first of all, he appeared to tend to the fields of truth in order to gain the trust of the unwary.

In other words, a score of little truths may be needed to set up a big eventual lie of the Devil. History, as an academic discipline, is replete with little truths...

Indeed, a useful reputation may be gained through little truths. That makes me wary of any suggestion that the Israelites were simply Ba'al-worshipping Canaanites rebadged. That is a big statement.

This is despite the fact that the modern incarnation of the Holy name is run by Ba'al worshippers and, is therefore, not Holy at all, but Canaanite.

Moshe was most likely Akhenaten and/or his priesthood as well as a hodgepodge of other contemporary gods such as moon god and mountain god. The reason for his horns is symbolic of the moon horn phase as many cultures depicted the quarter moon as horns or a ship.

DeAegean's picture

Certainly will keep this in mind. Was also going to mention the wrecked chariots but someone beat me to it. Regardless of being real or not, he exists in the minds of millions.

YouTube Moses crosses red sea. There is video evidence of wrecked chariots littered across the ocean floor. Iso this website nasi occult inspired? It's anti biblical and semetik

Check my video blog about this topic at:
Was Moses a Pharao?


Frequently Asked Questions

Moses is known primarily for being a prophet of Yahweh (God). In the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Moses encounters Yahweh in a burning bush, which leads him to help the Israelites escape from slavery in Egypt. Moses then receives the Ten Commandments from Yahweh, which establish the basis for Jewish law.

Based on biblical accounts and rabbinical calculations, Moses is believed to have lived between 1391 and 1271 BC.


  • Early life: Born in Egypt, likely in the Nile Delta region.
  • Exodus: Led the Israelites out of Egypt and wandered the Sinai Desert for 40 years.
  • Death: Died on Mount Nebo, in the Moab region, east of the Dead Sea.

According to the biblical narrative, Moses encountered God in several different locations throughout his life, with the following the most renowned meetings.

  1. The Burning Bush: This is the most famous encounter, as described in Exodus 3.
  2. Mount Sinai: Following the Exodus, Moses leads the Israelites to Mount Sinai. Here, God establishes a covenant with the people, delivering the Ten Commandments and other laws through Moses.
  3. The Tent of Meeting: During the Israelites' wanderings in the wilderness, God instructed Moses to build a portable sanctuary called the Tent of Meeting. This became a designated space where God's presence would reside amongst
rand's picture


RAND FLEM-ATH is a 5th generation Canadian living with his wife and co-author (ROSE FLEM-ATH) on the Pacific coast of Canada. In 1976, Rand discovered that an ancient map of Atlantis published in 1665 by the Jesuit priest, Athanasius... Read More

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