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4 Moses’ Father Speaks Out

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Chapter Summary

In the Bible, Moses' father Amram is mentioned as a second-generation Levite, the son of Kohat and father of Moses, but otherwise he is "a biblical figure without a narrative". This unsatisfactory situation is remedied drastically in post-biblical Jewish literature. There we see Amram gradually coming out of the shadow and becoming a strong personality. The first time we find signs of Amram's rise to importance is in the book of Jubilees and Dead Sea Scrolls. Josephus too devotes much more attention to Amram than the biblical text does. In Ant. Jud. 2.210-217, he introduces him as one of the well-born among Hebrews, a man who feared that the cruel measures of Pharaoh would entail the extinction of entire Jewish people. Jewish exegetical tradition over some eight centuries promoted Amram to the status he was thought to deserve, that of a heroic figure and worthy father of his son, Moses.

Keywords: Amram; Bible; Dead Sea Scrolls; Jewish literature; Josephus; Jubilees; Moses' father



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