Original Research - Special Collection: A.G.van Aarde Festschrift

The beautiful infant and Israel’s salvation

James A. Loader
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 67, No 1 | a913 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v67i1.913 | © 2011 James A. Loader | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 21 July 2010 | Published: 11 April 2011

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James A. Loader, Faculty of Theology, University of Vienna, Austria Faculties of Humanities and Theology, University of Pretoria, South Africa Department of Old Testament and Ancient Near Eastern Studies, University of South Africa, South Africa, Austria

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The motif from the Exodus story of Moses as a beautiful infant is considered on several levels. Firstly, the immediate context of Exodus 2 in the Hebrew Bible and in the Septuagint is investigated. Exodus 2 is then related to the reception of the tradition in the New Testament and Jewish sources as well as in a patristic reading and one from the Reformation. The article concludes that the motif of Moses’ beauty is part of a relatively infrequent but nevertheless well-established constellation. It is submitted that this finding contributes to a reappraisal of the idea that the motif of beauty has no place in Israel’s texts of deliverance and an investigation of the contrary hypothesis is called for.


Moses; infancy narrative; abandonment; deliverance; blessing


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