By Bishop Gregory of Mesaoria
Today our Holy Church commemorates the memory of Prophet Moses and Aaron, the first High Priest of the Jews.
Prophet Moses was born in Egypt around 1569 BC. When Pharaoh ordered that the newborns of the Israelites be killed, his mother put him in a box and left him on the banks of the Nile, abandoning him to the care of God. But he was found by Pharaoh Thermuthis’ daughter, who adopted him and gave him the name Moses, meaning “saved from the waters”. Raised as a true princess’s son, he learned all the wisdom and knowledge of the Egyptians, without alienating himself from his father’s faith and love for the Jewish nation.
God appeared to him in the form of a fire, coming out of a fir, which was on fire but did not burn up. He called on Moses to return to Egypt to free his people from slavery. However, because he was slow-tongued and hesitant to undertake this task, God appointed him as his assistant and interpreter Aaron, Moses’ brother.
At the beginning of the third month after their liberation from Egypt, the Israelites arrived and camped in Sinai. The Lord then called upon Moses to ascend to the top of the mountain alone. The Lord gave him the commandments of the Law written on two stone tablets. During the forty days and nights that he remained on the mountain, Moses was taught by God all that was needed for the people to acquire theognosia (knowledge of God).
He named Joshua of Navi his successor (whose memory we celebrated on September 1) and blessed the twelve tribes for the last time. He died at the age of one hundred and twenty at the top of Fasga, on Mount Nebo, where he had gone up so that the Lord would show him the promised land. He was buried there, without anyone knowing the exact place of his burial.