When Moses returns to Egypt (after the pharaoh who knew him died), he and Aaron just walk up to him and talk, even when he's bathing in the Nile. Doesn't the pharaoh have guards? The one in Genesis did. (People had to go through Joseph.) How do representatives of slaves get to talk to the pharaoh over and over? Did egyptian pharaohs historically have an open-door policy like that? Or is it supposed to seem unusual to the reader?

Example from ESV:

7:15 Go to Pharaoh in the morning, as he is going out to the water. Stand on the bank of the Nile to meet him, and take in your hand the staff that turned into a serpent. ... 20 Moses and Aaron did as the Lord commanded. In the sight of Pharaoh and in the sight of his servants he lifted up the staff and struck the water in the Nile, and all the water in the Nile turned into blood.

This is the first plague. They talked to the pharaoh in chapter 6 and during all the ten plagues. The first one is during the pharaoh's morning bath. That doesn't seem like a place where people could interrupt?

  • Yes there is a lot of subtext that the Bible narrative does not detail. I would think Moses could approach Pharaoh in two ways without getting into trouble. One, say he is sorry for his previous mistakes and asked to be welcome back into the family, or two, as a representative and ambassador of a whole people (the slaves) who were part of Pharaoh's domain. In either case if one had some Egyptian history to work with I bet that we can assume others would have arranged this meeting and Pharaoh would have pre-cleared its approval. Good question.
    – Mike
    Commented Jun 14, 2014 at 3:26
  • Be sure to properly cite the text you're asking about (note that the chapter and verse numbers do not always line up between the Hebrew, Greek, and English texts).
    – Dan
    Commented Jun 18, 2014 at 3:36
  • Is this better?
    – user4275
    Commented Jun 18, 2014 at 3:55

1 Answer 1


Moses wasn't just anyone. Remember he was raised in Pharaoh's court (i.e. this Pharaoh's father's court). He was basically the adopted nephew of this Pharaoh since he was adopted by his father's daughter. (Exodus 2:5)

  • 1
    The previous pharoh wanted to kill him so he fled. How do you know the new pharoh liked him anyway?
    – user4275
    Commented Jun 13, 2014 at 22:37
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    The previous Pharaoh may have wanted to kill him, but that doesn't mean he did not have contacts in Pharaoh's court who could get him an audience. The new Pharoah obviously liked him enough to grant him an audience. Commented Sep 17, 2014 at 1:45

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