How Long Did Moses Live?


In this blog post, we will explore the life of Moses, one of the most prominent and important figures in the Bible. As a central character in the Old Testament, Moses played a significant role in the story of the Israelites and their journey to the Promised Land. Throughout his life, Moses encountered God in extraordinary ways, and he was chosen to lead the Israelites out of Egypt and into a covenant with God. As we dive into this fascinating topic, we will examine the length of Moses’ life (120 years), the various stages of his journey, and the importance of his experiences in the context of the greater biblical narrative.

To understand the life and times of Moses, it is crucial to study the scriptures closely and appreciate the nuances within the text. In this post, we will be using the New King James Version (NKJV) of the Bible as our primary source. By examining the scriptures, we can gain a deeper understanding of Moses’ life, the trials he faced, and the lessons he learned along the way. We will also discuss the significance of his lifespan in the grand scheme of God’s plan for the Israelites and for humanity as a whole.

How Long Did Moses Live?

Early Life of Moses

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Birth and Adoption

Moses’ life began in Egypt during a time when the Israelites were being oppressed by the ruling Pharaoh. According to Exodus 2:1-10, Moses was born to a Hebrew woman from the tribe of Levi. To save her son from the Pharaoh’s decree to kill all male Hebrew infants, she hid him in a basket and placed him among the reeds by the riverbank. Eventually, the Pharaoh’s daughter discovered the baby, and she decided to adopt him. Moses’ sister, who had been watching nearby, offered to find a Hebrew woman to nurse the baby, and so Moses’ own mother was able to care for him during his early years. After he had grown, Moses was brought back to the Pharaoh’s daughter, who raised him as her own son in the Egyptian royal household.

Growing Up in the Egyptian Royal Household

Moses grew up as a prince of Egypt, receiving the best education and privileges available at the time. The Bible doesn’t provide much detail about this period of Moses’ life, but it is likely that he was well-versed in Egyptian culture, language, and religion. In Acts 7:22, Stephen, a deacon in the early Christian church, stated that Moses was “learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and deeds.” Despite his upbringing, Moses never forgot his true heritage as an Israelite.

Moses Flees to Midian

As Moses grew older, he became increasingly aware of the suffering of his fellow Israelites under Egyptian oppression. In Exodus 2:11-15, Moses witnessed an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, and he killed the Egyptian in an attempt to protect the Hebrew. When the Pharaoh learned of the incident, he sought to kill Moses, who then fled from Egypt to the land of Midian. While in Midian, Moses married Zipporah, the daughter of a Midianite priest named Jethro, and they had two sons, Gershom and Eliezer.

The Call of Moses

The Burning Bush

In Exodus 3:1-10, Moses encountered God in the form of a burning bush while he was tending to his father-in-law’s flock on Mount Horeb. The bush burned but was not consumed, capturing Moses’ attention. As he approached the bush, God called to him and revealed Himself as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. God then instructed Moses to remove his sandals, as the ground he was standing on was holy. This encounter marked the beginning of a new chapter in Moses’ life, as God chose him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt and into the Promised Land.

The Reluctant Leader

Moses was initially hesitant to accept God’s call to leadership. In Exodus 3:11-4:17, he expressed several doubts and concerns about his ability to lead the Israelites and confront the Pharaoh. Moses questioned his own worthiness and worried that the Israelites and the Pharaoh would not believe him. To address Moses’ concerns, God provided him with miraculous signs to demonstrate His power and authority. These signs included turning Moses’ staff into a serpent and causing his hand to become leprous before restoring it to health. Despite these assurances, Moses continued to doubt himself and his speaking abilities. In response, God appointed Aaron, Moses’ brother, to serve as his spokesperson.

Returning to Egypt

With Aaron by his side, Moses returned to Egypt to confront the Pharaoh and demand the release of the Israelites. In Exodus 4:18-31, Moses and Aaron gathered the elders of Israel and demonstrated the miraculous signs God had given them. The Israelites believed Moses and Aaron and were encouraged by the news that God had heard their cries and was going to deliver them from bondage.

The Plagues and the Exodus

Confronting the Pharaoh

Moses and Aaron approached the Pharaoh with God’s command to release the Israelites, but the Pharaoh refused, leading to a series of ten plagues that God inflicted upon Egypt (Exodus 7-12). These plagues included turning the Nile River to blood, swarms of frogs, gnats, flies, livestock disease, painful boils, hailstorms, locusts, darkness, and finally, the death of the firstborn in every Egyptian household. With each plague, the Pharaoh’s heart grew harder, and he continued to refuse the Israelites’ release.

The Passover and the Exodus

The final plague, the death of the firstborn, prompted the Pharaoh to release the Israelites. Before the plague, God instructed Moses to institute the Passover, a ritual that involved sacrificing a lamb and applying its blood to the doorposts of the Israelite homes, so the angel of death would “pass over” their households (Exodus 12:1-14). After the death of the firstborn, the Pharaoh allowed the Israelites to leave Egypt, and they began their long journey to the Promised Land under Moses’ leadership.

The Wilderness Journey

Receiving the Ten Commandments

After leaving Egypt, Moses led the Israelites to Mount Sinai, where God gave him the Ten Commandments, a set of moral and religious laws that would form the basis of the Israelite’s covenant with God (Exodus 19-20). This event marked a pivotal moment in the Israelites’ relationship with God and established Moses as the mediator between God and His people.

The Golden Calf Incident

While Moses was on Mount Sinai receiving the Ten Commandments, the Israelites grew impatient and fashioned a golden calf to worship as their god (Exodus 32). This act of idolatry greatly angered God, and He threatened to destroy the Israelites. However, Moses interceded on their behalf, and God relented. Moses then descended the mountain, destroyed the golden calf, and rebuked the people for their sin.

Forty Years of Wandering

Due to their lack of faith and disobedience, the Israelites were forced to wander in the wilderness for forty years before entering the Promised Land (Numbers 14). During this time, Moses continued to lead and guide the people, teaching them about God’s laws and the importance of obedience and faithfulness. Throughout the wilderness journey, Moses faced numerous challenges, including rebellion, complaints, and a lack of resources. Despite these trials, God continued to provide for the Israelites, supplying them with manna, quail, and water from a rock.

The Final Days of Moses’ Life

The Transgression at Meribah

In Numbers 20:1-13, Moses and Aaron were confronted with a crisis when the Israelites complained about their lack of water. God instructed Moses to speak to a rock, and water would flow from it. However, Moses, in his frustration, struck the rock twice with his staff instead of speaking to it. Because of this act of disobedience, God informed Moses that neither he nor Aaron would enter the Promised Land.

The Death of Aaron

As the Israelites continued their journey, Aaron, the high priest and Moses’ brother, died on Mount Hor (Numbers 20:22-29). His death marked the end of an era for the Israelites and foreshadowed Moses’ own passing.

Moses’ Final Blessings and Death

As the Israelites prepared to enter the Promised Land, Moses delivered his final sermons and blessings to the people (Deuteronomy 1-33). Knowing that his time was drawing to a close, Moses reminded the Israelites of their history, their covenant with God, and their responsibilities as God’s chosen people. In Deuteronomy 34:1-12, Moses ascended Mount Nebo, where God showed him the Promised Land from a distance. Moses then died at the age of 120, and God buried him in an unknown location in the land of Moab.


Moses’ life was marked by extraordinary encounters with God, tremendous responsibility, and unwavering faithfulness. Throughout his 120 years, he played a critical role in the development of the Israelite nation and their covenant with God. Moses’ life can be seen as a testament to the power of God’s calling and the importance of obedience and trust in His plan.

Although Moses never entered the Promised Land, his life and legacy continue to impact generations of believers. His leadership, courage, and devotion to God serve as an example for all who seek to follow God’s will. Furthermore, Moses’ role as a mediator between God and the Israelites foreshadowed the ultimate Mediator, Jesus Christ, who would establish a new covenant through His death and resurrection.

In conclusion, the life of Moses is a rich and complex story that spans 120 years and encompasses a wide range of experiences and emotions. By studying Moses’ life, we can learn valuable lessons about faith, obedience, and the power of God’s presence in our lives. Let us be inspired by the example of Moses as we seek to walk in faithfulness and devotion to our own calling from God.

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