Moses and ability to speak

Acts 7:22 says that “Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in speech and action.” If memory serves me correctly, when God calls him to speak to Pharaoh to free the Egyptians, he complains that he isn’t eloquent so his brother Aaron is appointed as a spokesman. Am I correct in this? And if I am, what is the possible explanation for it? Moses doesn’t want to do it, so he makes excuses? Or he’s been so many years in the desert he is rusty? Just curious as it seems he was gifted and educated. Kathleen

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Hi @plantaseed,

That’s an excellent question and you are sharp to point that out.

There are of course a few ways to explain it as you mentioned some, and is no way seen as a contradiction by scholars.

The version I loved is that Moses was powerful in words (Logos). Logos in not necessarily speech, but reasoning through words (whether spoken or written).

If we see verses such as John 5:46,
For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me, for he wrote about Me.

And we all know Moses was believed to have written the Pentateuch, which the Jews revere highly. So, when Stephen was addressing this to the Jews and the high priest, they did not not take issue with it, as they believed it so about Moses.

Of course there are plenty of viable explanations. Hope my point helps though.


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This is extremely enlightening! Thank you for taking the time to post. It does make sense to me. I love seeing the whole picture. Kathleen


I should add I didn’t see it as a contradiction but I am not skilled in the original Greek/Hebrew so I figured there was a good explanation/connection to make.


Hi @plantaseed. Tacking onto what Roy @RoySujanto said. Yes. The word used in the Greek in Acts is “logos”, which has to do with reasoning, and from which we get our word, “logic”. However, in Exodus 4:10, Moses was referring to his speech impediment when he says he is slow of speech and tongue. The Hebrew “speech” here is “mouth”. The Lord comes back, affirming that Moses is talking about a speech impediment by saying, “Who gave man his mouth…” In vs 12, the Lord tells Moses that He would be with Moses’ mouth and would teach him what to say.
Moses did refer to himself as not being “eloquent” in that same verse (4:10). The Hebrew there means “a man of words”. I believe he is referring to himself as being shy or quiet.
So, while Moses was very educated and had great reasoning ability, he also had a speech impediment which could have made him of few words and shy or quiet.
Unfortunately, God had to use Aaron and was angry with Moses for not trusting Him to do what He promised He would do. I believe Moses missed out on a great blessing and even greater greatness by having Aaron as his spokesperson.


I agree. It always struck me as cumbersome to have an interpreter. So that raises another question. Is Aaron older or younger? As I recall, Moses was saved from mass infanticide so Aaron must have been born after that episode?


Actually, Aaron is the older brother…

Exodus 7:7 – And Moses was fourscore years old, and Aaron fourscore and three years old, when they spake unto Pharaoh.

Both Aaron and their sister Miriam grew up in their mother’s household. As Aaron is older, I presume that Pharaoh’s edict for midwives to kill newborn male children came down after their mother no longer needed a midwife for Aaron but as she was nearing time to need one for Moses.


Thank you. Haven’t gotten to Exodus yet in my Bible reading plan.

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