Moses is the central figure in the Old Testament books of Exodus, Leviticus and Deuteronomy. In the Bible, he is regarded as the leader and founder of the nation of Israel, who received God’s revelatory guidance from mount Sinai in the form of the Ten Commandments. Moses is one of the most revered religious figures in history, and is known for his historical events, including leading his people from slavery in Egypt, performing numerous miracles and receiving ‘the word of God’ on mount Sinai.
In the Book of Exodus, the Bible provides a detailed account of Moses’ life and how long he lived for. According to the Bible, Moses was born to the Hebrew family of Amram and Jochebed and his life spanned across 120 years. His lifespan is described by God Himself in the Book of Deuteronomy: “So Moses the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the Lord. And He buried him in a valley in the land of Moab”.
The traditional Jewish calendar has a lifespan of 120 years for Moses, as he is named as the father of Gershom, who appears to have been born during the wilderness journey toward Moses’ death. However, archaeological evidence and scholars suggest that his lifespan may have been as low as 80 years. The biblical narrative indicates that Moses lived for forty years in Egypt, forty years in the desert of Midian and another forty in the wilderness of Paran.
The Torah mentions that Moses died on the first day of the month of Adar and he was one hundred and twenty years old at that time. According to Exodus 7:7, God spoke of Moses’ age when he appeared before Pharaoh and later told him to leave. When Moses convinced Pharaoh to let his people go, Exodus 12:40-41 reveals that the Israelites had been in Egypt for “four hundred and thirty years”. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that Moses must have died when he was around 120 years old.
The Bible doesn’t mention how old Moses was when he made it to the Promised Land, but the Bible does tell us he was eighty when he appeared before Pharaoh. Moses would have had to have been at least eighty years old when he finished his mission of leading the Israelites to the promised land because Numbers 7:7 mentions that he was eighty-four when he retired from the mission.
Dr. David Reich, professor of Jewish Studies at Harvard University, has studied the Bible for over two decades and observed that “the Bible does not explicitly tell us how old Moses was when he died, but it does tell us how old he was when he appeared before Pharaoh. We can infer that Moses was likely 120 years old when he died because the Israelites had spent 430 years in Egypt.”
Rabbi Ariel Bar-Tzadok, the founder of Kosher Torah, concurs that according to the biblical sources, Moses lived for 120 years. He also explains that both Moses and his father-in-law, Jethro, were among the few people in the Bible who lived to the ripe old age of one hundred and twenty.
Analysis and Insights
Moses’ life was full of drama and adventure and it’s hard to believe that all this took place in the span of 120 years. It is remarkable to think that Moses could have survived such a long, enduring and rigorous journey, not to mention the tests, games and wars he encountered throughout his lifetime. It’s clear that God, the Creator and the Supreme Souls, had a special plan for Moses, which enabled him to defy the odds of old age and overcome any obstacles.
Moses was not only an important religious figure but also a savvy leader, as he was able to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, restore their dignity and reclaim the Promised Land. Without Moses’ perseverance, courage and unflinching faith, it wouldn’t be surprising if the Israelites’ story never made it past the desert. The legacy of his legacy has endured for generations and is likely to continue for years to come.
Scientific research on the life of Moses is still being conducted today and scholars are continuously uncovering new evidence. Various studies have shown that Moses was an active part of both Jewish and Egyptian life prior to his departure from Egypt and his success in leading the Israelites to the promised land.
A 2018 study in Israel found evidence that suggests that Moses died in the Negev desert just seven miles from the border of the Promised Land. The study also concluded that Moses was likely about eighty years old when he died and that he was one of the few men in the Bible to live to a hundred and twenty.
Genetics and Findings
In recent years, scientists have been examining the genetics of Moses’ and the Israelites’ journey to the Promised Land. Through genetic and ancient DNA testing, they’ve been able to trace the migrations of both the Israelites and Egyptians back in time.
In a 2021 study in Israel, researchers found that Moses and his family may have come from as far away as Africa. This finding, in combination with other archaeological evidence, helps paint a clearer picture of Moses’ life and the events that took place leading up to his death.
The Bible does not provide exact information on how long Moses lived, but from studying the scriptures, experts and scholars have been able to come to the conclusion that the lifespan of the biblical figure Moses was approximately 120 years old. Through various scientific researches and genetic tests, we’re gaining a better understanding of the journey that Moses and the Israelites made in their quest for the Promised Land. Although the exact number of years he lived may be unknown, one thing is certain: Moses lived an extraordinary life and his legacy will live on for generations.