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Answering The Atheist
January 7, 2007 / Volume 7, Issue 1

THE ATHEIST'S COMPLAINT:
Did Moses fear the king? Exodus 2:14-15 says that he did, but Hebrews 11:27 says that he didn't. Is there a contradiction?

RESPONSE:
Was Moses afraid of the Pharaoh? Certainly. The Pharaoh had heard of Moses killing the Egyptian for beating one of the Hebrew slaves, and thus sought to kill Moses. Moses was afraid for his life, and thus fled from Egypt to Midian. This king died before Moses' return to Egypt (Exodus 4:19).

Forty years later, Moses returned to Egypt, charged with the mission of leading the Hebrews from captivity to the land which God had promised to their ancestor Abraham. However, Moses did not fear before the king of Egypt, but strongly contended with him, by faith. There is determination in his discourse with the Pharaoh, not fear (Exodus 5-12). It was, even as the Hebrew writer indicated, that "By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible." (Hebrews 11:27).

For there to be a contradiction between these verses, they would have to be speaking about Moses fearing and not fearing at the same time, in the same circumstance. Such is not the case. These were two different kings, separated by forty years, and Moses in two different stages of his life.

There is no contradiction.

This article is a response to Skeptic's Annotated Bible