FRS A level Question & Answer by M Mhuri

Question: Moses was more than a prophet. Discuss.

A prophet is a servant of God. He is a messenger of Yahweh according to B.W Anderson. This means that what the prophet says is Yahweh’s will. Moses is a typical prophetic figure whose traits are above those of an ordinary prophet. He performed quite a number of roles which qualifies him to be regarded as being more than a prophet.  •As a prophet of Yahweh, Moses received his prophetic call when he was herding Jethro’s sheep. According to A. Marara, a prophetic call is one of the important signatures of a true prophet. Moses received a call which is a testimony enough to call him a prophet. After receiving a call, the prophet will then be commissioned. Commissioning refers to a situation when the prophet is given a mandate to accomplish. This is what happened to Moses when he was tasked to redeem the Israelites from the Egyptian bondage. This, therefore, proves that Moses was a typical example of a prophetic figure. In addition to the above, Moses performed some intercessory roles. A prophet is an ambassador of Yahweh whose mandate is to intercede for the people. R.A.B Ewbank posits that prophets are intercessors; they pray on behalf of the people just like what Moses did during the exodus when the Israelites were complaining. This, therefore, proves that he was a prophet. He was a fearless person in terms of executing Yahweh’s commands. B. W .Anderson describes Moses as a prophet par excellence. This may be taken to imply that he was more than a mere prophet. He is the only prophet who spoke to God face to face as if he was talking to a friend. (Deuteronomy 34:10). As a prophet, Moses was chosen by Yahweh to be the mediator of the Sinai Covenant which became the backbone of the messages of future prophets. According to J. Hayes, the Deuteronomic assessment of Moses as a prophet is clearly shown in the incident of the 70 elders with whom he shared his spirit with and they prophesied ecstatically. This amongst many other examples, suggest that Moses exercised a variety of other functions, like his political roles through his negotiations with the Egyptian pharaoh. Moses was however more than a simple prophet, He also performed other roles. He was a lawmaker as evidenced by his mediation of the Decalogue. It is for this reason that Donfleming calls him a lawgiver. He also performed some leadership roles in connection with most of his activities. Some might argue that Moses was more than a prophet because of his multiple roles. VonRadd posits that he was a political leader who was made a prophet by later editors. Others, however, argue that these roles arose naturally through the nature of his call and the circumstances under which he exercised his prophetic responsibilities. Furthermore, some scholars do argue that there is so much evidence of intense editorial activity in connection with the OT portrait of Moses, which is idealized and anachronistic (e.g. Numbers 11). Moses’ real role can no longer be described accurately. He was a leader of the Israelite nation. However his other roles came from the spiritual capacity he had of being a prophet, hence he was more than just a prophet.

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