History has shown us some great and influential people who have played major roles in shaping societies and making significant changes. One of those individuals is Moses,the revered leader of ancient Israelites. Moses is widely known for his role in the liberation of his people and the delivering of the Ten Commandments God gave him on Mount Sinai. However there is a lesser known part of his life story that connects him to the concept of Environmental Stewardship. In this article we take a brief look at the parallels between Moses and the idea of “Green Prophet” Highlighting the importance of environmental responsibilities and stewardship .
Moses and the Exodus: Moses story begins with the Israelites’ as slaves in Egypt. God called Moses sent him on mission to deliver and lead his people out of captivity in Egypt and into the Promised Land in Canaan. This mission was known as the Exodus,seen as liberation and freedom. However it carries messages of environmental stewardship and harmony.
Ten Commandments and Environmental Ethics : Moses is famously associated with receiving the Ten Commandments God gave on Mount Sinai.These Commandments formed the basis of moral and ethical conducts for the Israelites and has since then influenced Western Civilization. There are some Commandments that implies environmental stewardship .We will look at two of them in brief .
“Thou shall not kill ” does not only refer to human lives but to all forms of living beings including plants and animals. Animals are important and have to be respected and protected.Its a reminder that earth’s natural resources including fishing should be done responsible, agriculture should be sustainable,lawful hunting ,pollutions and unlawfully dumping of harmful chemicals causing death to humans,animals, plant fishes and the promoting of biodiversity and ecological balance.
“Thou shall not steal ” does not stop at personal things and property but earth’s natural resources are to be used responsible,the conservation and preservation of natural wealth protected. Biodiversity protected against theft and exploitation or the unlawfully taking of the natural environmental wealth. Our children and future generations will be robbed of both health and wealth.
The Green Prophet : In light of these connections It is possible to see Moses as the “Green Prophet” or an environmentalist. Although his primary mission was for the liberation and freedom of his people.Moses actions and teachings still holds valuable lessons for the modern world today.
Today’s world is marked by climate change and environmental degradation. Although Moses was not labeled as an environmentalist advocate. However from his birth he became familiar with the environment, he was put in basket and placed in the Nile river to save his life at a time when all male child born were killed.Thanks to his mother Jocebed’s wisdom, creativity and bravery .
Moses led the people through the wilderness providing guidance with sustainable natural practices and resources. Land,water,agriculture including fruit crops, herbs,fish and live stocks sustained them. He cared for the land with a rest period of seven years to rejuvenate and restored. Moses took care of people they rested the seventh day, the Sabbath . The people were protected from those who violated them and exploitated their lands and crops.The Commandments were given to and for the people but several of them carries messages to the environment and stewardship.
Overall Moses may not have been labelled as an environmentalist but his leadership, teachings and of the Commandments had implications of principles of the environment and stewardship. He was revered as the liberator and law giver but his story is intertwined with the forestry, environmental and stewardship. He had such an unique relationship with humanity and the natural environment. The Green Prophet who confronted Pharaoh and demanded freedom of his people and led them through the forest.