Did Moses have a speech problem?

Author: BibleAsk Team


Moses’ Speech Problem

The Bible does not explicitly state that Moses had a speech problem, but it does provide some insights into his concerns about his ability to speak eloquently. While the specific nature of his speech impediment is not detailed, Exodus 4:10-12 (NKJV) records his hesitation and God’s response when he is called to confront Pharaoh:

“Then Moses said to the Lord, ‘O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.’ So the Lord said to him, ‘Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the Lord? Now therefore, go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say.'”

From this passage, it is evident that God’s servant expressed insecurity about his speaking abilities when faced with the daunting task of confronting Pharaoh and leading the Israelites out of Egypt. He describes himself as “slow of speech and slow of tongue,” indicating a perceived limitation in his ability to communicate effectively.

Some scholars have speculated that Moses’ difficulty with speech may have been a form of speech impediment, such as a stutter or stammer, though the Bible does not provide specific details about the nature of his speech impediment. Instead, the focus is on God’s assurance to His prophet that He would be with him and help him communicate the messages He needed to convey to Pharaoh and the Israelites.

Despite his initial hesitation, God’s servant ultimately obeyed God’s call and served as a powerful leader and spokesperson for the Israelites. Through God’s guidance and empowerment, God’s servant delivered the Israelites from bondage in Egypt, led them through the wilderness, and received the law on Mount Sinai.

Additionally, in Acts 7:22-23 (NKJV), Stephen, while recounting the prophet’s life before the Sanhedrin, acknowledges his lack of confidence in his own speaking abilities: “And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and deeds. Now when he was forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren, the children of Israel.”

Stephen’s statement that God’s prophet was “mighty in words and deeds” suggests that the prophet overcame his initial insecurities and became an effective communicator and leader. This passage also highlights the prophet’s transformation from a hesitant and uncertain individual to a confident and empowered servant of God.

In conclusion, while the Bible does not explicitly state that Moses had a speech problem, it does indicate that the prophet expressed concerns about his ability to speak eloquently. Despite his initial hesitations, the prophet ultimately trusted in God’s provision and became a powerful leader and spokesperson for the Israelites. Through God’s guidance and empowerment, Moses overcame any limitations he may have perceived in his speaking abilities and fulfilled his role as the deliverer of God’s people.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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