Who Was Moses’ Father?

Many Bible readers are fascinated with the life of Moses. God used him to write the first five books of the Bible, free Israel from Egyptian captivity, and give the 10 Commandments. In addition, Moses performed miracles, took extraordinary steps of faith, and led God’s people to the Promised Land. Because of his significance, people want to learn about Moses’ family, including his father.

According to the Old Testament, Moses’ father was named Amram. Yet, the Bible reveals little about him. Amram belonged to the tribe of Levi. Unlike his father-in-law, Jethro, he doesn’t play a central role in Moses’ story. His wife was named Jochebed. Amram’s other children were Aaron and Miriam.

When does Amram first appear in the Bible? What Levitical family was Amram from? What responsibilities did it have in Israel? Are there other men in Scripture named Amram? Who were they? Where does the Bible refer to them? Keep reading to learn the answers to these questions and others.

Also, Moses’ death is one of the most interesting conclusions to any biography in the Bible. Discover Moses’ age at death according to Deuteronomy to get more insight.

Moses' father
What Levitical family was Amram from? See below

What Does the Bible Say About Amram?

The first time the Bible mentions Moses’ father, it doesn’t use his name. Exodus 2:1 reads, “Now a man from the house of Levi went and took as his wife a Levite woman” (ESV). The story is about Moses’ birth and the efforts of his mother, Jochebed, to save his life. It doesn’t mention Amram a second time.

The first occurrence of “Amram” is in Exodus 6:20, a passage that lists the genealogy of Moses and his brother, Aaron (Exod. 6:14-25). Although the story of Moses’ birth doesn’t mention Amram’s name, it reveals two facts about him: (1) He was from the tribe of Levi, and (2) he married a Levite woman.

The Tribe of Levi

According to the New International Bible Dictionary, the tribe of Levi descended from the third son of Jacob and Leah (Gen. 29:34). [1] One fact that many Bible readers know about the tribe is that that’s where Israel got its priests (Num. 3:11-13).

Like Levi carried out brutal acts of judgment (Gen. 34:25-31), Moses called the tribe to exercise punishment on the Israelites who participated in the idolatry of the golden calf (Exod. 32:28).

God didn’t give the Levites land like he did all the other tribes. Instead, God was the tribe’s inheritance. Therefore, the Levites lived in different cities in other tribes’ territories (Num. 18:20; 35:1-8). Non-Levites provided for the needs of the tribe through their tithes (Num. 18:24-32).

The Bible teaches that the tribe of Levi consisted of three families: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. Moses and Aaron’s family represented a fourth group in some passages. Each family had responsibilities regarding the Tabernacle (Num. 1:47-54; 3:14-39).

Amram was from the Kohathite family (Exod. 6:18). The Bible mentions four families within the Kohathites: Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel (Num. 3:19; 1 Chron. 6:1-3). The Kohathites camped on the south side of the Tabernacle during the wilderness wanderings and helped carry the sacred furniture (Num. 4:15-20; 7:9).

Jochebed, Moses’ mother

Like Amram, Exodus mentions Jochebed’s name in Moses’ birth story. However, she is identified in Exodus 6:20 (see below). Her name means “Yahweh’s glory.”

The Bible mentions Jochebed even less than Amram. Yet it reveals that she was from the tribe of Levi and that her other children were Aaron and Miriam.

Also, the circumstances of Moses’ death are unusual. Many Bible readers want to know how Moses died and the event’s unique circumstances.

How many times does “Amram” refer to Moses’ father? See below

References to Moses’ Father in the Bible

The name “Amram” appears 13 times in the Bible, all in the Old Testament. It means “exalted people.” However, three different men have the name. “Amram” refers to Moses’ father 11 times.

ReferenceAmram, Moses’ Father
Exodus 6:18“And the sons of Kohath were Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel. And the years of the life of Kohath were one hundred and thirty-three.”
Exodus 6:20“Now Amram took for himself Jochebed, his father’s sister, as wife; and she bore him Aaron and Moses. And the years of the life of Amram were one hundred and thirty-seven.”
Numbers 3:19“And the sons of Kohath by their families: Amram, Izehar, Hebron, and Uzziel.”
Numbers 26:58“These are the families of the Levites: the family of the Libnites, the family of the Hebronites, the family of the Mahlites, the family of the Mushites, the family of the Korathites. And Kohath begat Amram.”
Numbers 26:59“The name of Amram’s wife was Jochebed the daughter of Levi, who was born to Levi in Egypt; and to Amram she bore Aaron and Moses and their sister Miriam.”
ReferenceAmram, Moses’ Father
1 Chronicles 6:2“The sons of Kohath were Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel.”
1 Chronicles 6:3“The children of Amram were Aaron, Moses, and Miriam. And the sons of Aaron were Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar.”
1 Chronicles 6:18“The sons of Kohath were Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel.”
1 Chronicles 23:12“The sons of Kohath: Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel—four in all.”
1 Chronicles 23:13“The sons of Amram: Aaron and Moses; and Aaron was set apart, he and his sons forever, that he should sanctify the most holy things, to burn incense before the Lord, to minister to Him, and to give the blessing in His name forever.”
1 Chronciles 24:20“And the rest of the sons of Levi: of the sons of Amram, Shubael; of the sons of Shubael, Jehdeiah.”

Also, Moses’ family plays an essential role in several stories in his narrative. Discover who Moses’ wife was and what the Bible says about her.

Moses father
Who are the other Amrams in Scripture? See below

Other Amrams in the Old Testament

According to the Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary, other than Moses’ father, who is Amram, son of Kohath (Exod. 6:19), the Bible mentions Amram, son of Bani, and Amram, son of Dishon. [2] Only the KJV calls the son of Dishon “Amram”; others call him “Hemdan” (NIV, ESV) or “Hamran” (NKJV, NASB).

ReferenceOthers Named Amram
1 Chronicles 1:41Amram, son of Dishon: “The sons of Anah; Dishon. And the sons of Dishon; Amram, and Eshban, and Ithran, and Cheran” (NKJV).
Ezra 10:34Amram, son of Bani: “of the sons of Bani: Maadai, Amram, Uel”

Also, Moses’ birth story in Exodus fascinates many readers. One question that many ask concerns who Moses’ mother was and what the Bible says about her.

[1] New International Bible Dictionary
[2] Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary

Daniel Isaiah Joseph

Daniel's seminary degree is in Exegetical Theology. He was a pastor for 10 years. As a professor, he has taught Bible and theology courses at two Christian universities. Please see his About page for details.

Related Questions

error: This content is copyrighted.