DESCRIPTION: The story of Moses in brief: Set adrift in a small boat in Egypt, he is found and raised by the daughter of Pharaoh. When grown, he leads his people across the Red Sea to safety while Pharaoh's host is destroyed
EARLIEST DATE: 1905 (Belden)
KEYWORDS: Bible religious Jew royalty abandonment river rescue hiding
FOUND IN: US(Ap,So)
REFERENCES (6 citations):
Belden, p. 449, "Moses in the Bulrushes" (1 text)
Randolph 662, "Little Moses" (1 text)
Asch/Dunson/Raim, p. 74, "Little Moses" (1 text, 1 tune)
Cohen/Seeger/Wood, pp. 128-129, "Little Moses" (1 text, 1 tune)
Silber-FSWB, p. 361, "Little Moses" (1 text)
Carter Family, "Little Moses" (Victor V-40110, 1929; Bluebird B-5924, 1935; Montgomery Ward M-5010, 1936; on AAFM2)
A. P. Carter Family, "Little Moses" (Acme 992, n.d. but post-WWII)
Harmon E. Helmick, "Little Moses" (Champion 16705, 1934; Decca 5498, 1938)
cf. "The Finding of Moses" (subject)
By the Side of a River
NOTES: The story of Moses being abandoned by his parents (who had to hide him to prevent him from being killed) is told in Exodus 2:1-10. These verses also tell of his sister (presumably Miriam, since she is Moses's only known sister, though she is not named in this passage) following him as he floated away (his brother Aaron would have been only three and too young for the task), and of his mother nursing her own child. The crossing of the Red Sea is covered in Exodus chapter 14.
The final lines of the Carter Family version, "When his labors did cease, he departed in peace, And rested in the Heavens above" are more interesting. The only official word on Moses's fate is in chapter 34 of Deuteronomy: "Then Moses went up... to Mount Nebo... and the LORD howed him the whole land.... Then Moses... died... in the land of Moab. He was buried in the land of Moab, opposite Beth-Peor, but no one to this day knows where hs is buried."
At the time of Moses's death, there was no Jewish tradition of an afterlife; all, good or bad, were thought to go to Sheol (which was quite clearly underground). Later, the idea of a heaven became widespread -- and a Jewish legend had it that Moses went there, or that he was taken up bodily to heaven, as was clearly reported of Elijah (2 Kings 2:11) and less clearly of Enoch (Genesis 5:24).
This view seems to be supported by the New Testament account of the Transfiguration (Mark 9:2-8 and parallels), since Jesus is reported to have been talking with Moses and Elijah (though nothing ever makes it clear how Peter and James and John knew that the other two were Moses and Elijah...). - RBW
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