In Shemot 32:32, Moshe tells Hashem:

וְעַתָּה אִם תִּשָּׂא חַטָּאתָם וְאִם אַיִן מְחֵנִי נָא מִסִּפְרְךָ אֲשֶׁר כָּתָבְתָּ:

And now, if You forgive their sin But if not, erase me now from Your book, which You have written.

Many commentators have pointed out (see Moshe's name is missing) that Moshe's name is not written at all in Parshat Tetzaveh (immediately preceding Ki Tisa, the source of this pasuk).

However, Moshe's original name is never mentioned in the Torah (see Did Moshe have an earlier name?). Could this also be because of מחני נא מספרך?

Are there any sources that suggest this?

  • It is not a response but may help. Meheni na is not Mehe ess shemi misifrecha. The fact that his name is not know is not a punition for him. It is a total unity with the situation. (The name is extracted from the history).
    – kouty
    Commented Feb 14, 2016 at 16:52

2 Answers 2


Sanhedrin 19a and Megillah 13a allude to your question. They say that a person who raises a child is like the person who bore him. Since Pharaoh's daughter Bisya raised Moshe, he is given the name that she called him. According to the Gemoro, Moshe's other names are mentioned in Divrei Hayamim 1 4:18. Moshe is the name by which G-d wants us to know him. I see this as a reward for Bisya who is only named in Divrei Hayamim 1 4:18.


No one says that his "earlier" names were erased from the Torah. In fact Moshe's Birth Certificate points out a medrash that Moshe had 10 different names. However, calling him Moshe was a reward for the daughter of Par'o who saved him and raised him with the midos to become Moshe Rabbeinu. There is also a medrash that he was called Tov or Tuviah from the pasuk speaking of his birth (Shmos 2:2).

וַתַּהַר הָאִשָּׁה וַתֵּלֶד בֵּן וַתֵּרֶא אֹתוֹ כִּי טוֹב הוּא וַתִּצְפְּנֵהוּ שְׁלשָׁה יְרָחִים

2 The woman conceived and bore a son, and [when] she saw him that he was good, she hid him for three months.

Moshe's Birth Certificate

The Midrash relates that Moshe had 10 names. His father called him Chever, his mother called him Yekutiel, his sister Miriam called him Yered, etc.

Yet the name given by Pharaoh's daughter was the one chosen by G-d. The Chumash never refers to him by any name other than Moshe. Why?

Pharaoh's daughter saved Moshe's life and adopted him and cared for him as her very own son. Therefore, she merited that her name prevailed. Moshe himself may have used this name out of gratitude to her.

Another reason the Torah calls him Moshe is the significance of the name itself. The name "Moshe" means that just as he was rescued and drawn from the water, so too he will he rescue others from hardship, and that is what he did.


Shemot Rabbah 1:26
Vayikrah Rabbah 1:3

  • The Torah still doesn’t mention Moshe’s earlier names.
    – DonielF
    Commented May 2, 2018 at 23:26

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