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Scholars disagree on the answer to this question. Some argue that there are many origin myths that feature a founding figure similar to Moses, and suggest that Moses as described in the Old Testament is more of an archetype than a real person. Others, in the absence of any real evidence to the contrary, are willing to agree with the proposition that Moses was in fact a person who played a role in unifying the Israelites, though most believe that the Exodus is essentially allegorical. In any case, Moses seems to have been a figure venerated among the Israelites as far back as 2000 years ago, and whether he was a real individual or not, the moral and legal code ascribed to him has become a seminal document in Western and Near Eastern tradition.

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