If you’re a denizen of today you’re going to think Moses had it easy when growing up in the Royal palace in Heliopolis – a home where he would become a spoiled brat, a cynosure of all the grown-ups there, who everyday would coo and coddle him from sun-up to sun-down; from moonrise to dawn.
Actually, Moses had it tough. Other children lived in the palace too. They were the sons and daughters of the many Royals and their minions who made the palace their home. Moses therefore had lots of classmates who kept him becoming too big for his sandals.
Moses’ school curriculum was exacting, being the best education in the world of that time – 3500 years ago. He had, first of all, to learn to read and write – the foundation of any education worth its name. In the matter of writing, which had to be excellent, Moses had to learn to write Hieratic – the shorthand version of the hieroglyphic script. And he had to learn to write the Babylonian cuneiform script, which the diplomatic language of the Levant was written in. Only after Moses had mastered writing, could he begin to study the heavy stuff – mathematics, astronomy, theology, foreign languages, geography, history, music, law, literature, and philosophy.
The educational curriculum of Pharaonic Egypt also required its Royal graduates to speak in public well. This was important for the survival of the Egyptian ruling class, which needed to develop in its future leaders the gift of the gab to enable them to keep mellifluously persuading ordinary Egyptians of the virtues of the Egyptian Way and the divineness of the Pharaoh. To this end, Moses had to learn to speak well, and mellifluously, too.
As well as developing the minds of young Royal Egyptians, Pharaonic Egypt also required them to develop their bodies, the better to hone their athleticism – part and parcel of being well-rounded, and therefore truly educated. Hence Moses’ education included lots of sports. He played field-hockey and handball, did archery and gymnastics, weight-lifting and the high-jump, participated in tugs-of-war and tugs-of-hoop, threw the javelin, fished, boxed, wrestled, swam, rowed, and ran marathons.
The physical and athletic part of the education of Moses, and of Royal sons generally, also naturally prepared them to be officers in the Egyptian army, for, as the leading power in that region, Egypt had many enemies lurking on its borders who every so often persuaded themselves they were the equal of any Egyptian, and so would kill any Egyptians they came across. Egypt therefore needed a large army to remind these upstarts every so often who was boss. Egyptian military campaigns into the territories of these upstarts were therefore the norm.
Moses, as a future officer, was therefore trained in the military disciplines, which, in addition to the usual marching and saluting, included how to wield expertly the weapons to kill upstarts efficiently – slings, maces, spears, battle-axes, bows-and-arrows, swords, scimitars and daggers. He also learned horseback riding and charioteering.
Moses, with all this education and training, as well as the good looks and charm that had so beguiled Hatshepsut and the Pharaoh, was likely to attract lots of girls who might distract him from his earthly mission. How he dealt with them is still to be told……..