Ex. 2:1 And there went a man of the house of Levi, and took to wife a daughter of Levi.
Ex. 2:2 And the woman conceived, and bare a son: and when she saw him that he was a goodly child, she hid him three months.
Ex. 2:3 And when she could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein; and she laid it in the flags by the river’s brink.
Ex. 2:4 And his sister stood afar off, to wit what would be done to him.
This chapter begins with an unnamed couple of the tribe of Levi who have a son born during this time. His mother was able to hide the baby for three months. It got to the point that she could no longer hide him, so she got a papyrus basket and coated it with tar and pitch to make it watertight. She put the baby in the basket and put it in the reeds along the bank of the Nile. Then she left her daughter to watch from a distance and see what happened.
(3/05) After listening to Jon Courson make a comparison between this ark for baby Moses and the ark of Noah, it would seem that the Mom came up with the idea of the ark from the stories that had been handed down through history. Noah’s ark represented salvation for him and his family, and she was showing faith in Noah’s God, the God of Israel, to save her baby in some miraculous way. Verse 2 and Acts 7:20 confirm that he was a beautiful child, and as a mother would, she was just sure that God must have a special purpose for him. She must have had that “faith the grain of a mustard seed.”
Matt. 17:20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
Ex. 2:5 And the daughter of Pharaoh came down to wash herself at the river; and her maidens walked along by the river’s side; and when she saw the ark among the flags, she sent her maid to fetch it.
Ex. 2:6 And when she had opened it, she saw the child: and, behold, the babe wept. And she had compassion on him, and said, This is one of the Hebrews’ children.
Ex. 2:7 Then said his sister to Pharaoh’s daughter, Shall I go and call to thee a nurse of the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for thee?
Ex. 2:8 And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, Go. And the maid went and called the child’s mother.
Ex. 2:9 And Pharaoh’s daughter said unto her, Take this child away, and nurse it for me, and I will give thee thy wages. And the woman took the child, and nursed it.
Ex. 2:10 And the child grew, and she brought him unto Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. And she called his name Moses: and she said, Because I drew him out of the water.
Pharaoh’s daughter came to the Nile to bathe with some of her attendants. She saw the basket in the reeds and sent one of her slave girls to get it for her. When she opened it, she saw a crying baby boy, and she felt sorry (the Hebrew for compassion means “to spare”) for him. She knew it was one of the Hebrew babies and said so out loud. Evidently, the baby’s sister had mixed in with her attendants and offered to go get one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for her. The princess said yes, so the girl went and got her mother. The princess offered to pay the mother to care for the baby for her. So the mother got to nurse her own son for the appropriate time period. When he was older (I assume when he was weaned), she took him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. She named him Moses (sounds like the Hebrew for “draw out”) because she drew him out of the water.
Ex. 2:11 And it came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown, that he went out unto his brethren, and looked on their burdens: and he spied an Egyptian smiting an Hebrew, one of his brethren.
Ex. 2:12 And he looked this way and that way, and when he saw that there was no man, he slew the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand.
Ex. 2:13 And when he went out the second day, behold, two men of the Hebrews strove together: and he said to him that did the wrong, Wherefore smitest thou thy fellow?
Ex. 2:14 And he said, Who made thee a prince and a judge over us? intendest thou to kill me, as thou killedst the Egyptian? And Moses feared, and said, Surely this thing is known.
Ex. 2:15 Now when Pharaoh heard this thing, he sought to slay Moses. But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh, and dwelt in the land of Midian: and he sat down by a well.
We are told nothing of the intervening years from Moses’ childhood to young man. (Same as with Jesus; we are definitely only told what the Lord deems important for us to know in our own “Pilgrim’s Progress” through life.) Moses was aware that he was a Hebrew. One day he went to one of the labor sites to watch his people at work, and he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew. He looked around and didn’t see any witnesses, so he killed the Egyptian and hid his body in the sand. (From the info given, it would appear that he waited until the Egyptian was in an isolated position sometime after the incident or at least the victim would have been present.)
In the book of Acts, when Stephen was giving his testimony, he tells us that Moses was 40 years old when this event took place.
Acts 7:23 And when he was full forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren the children of Israel.
Acts 7:24 And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended him, and avenged him that was oppressed, and smote the Egyptian:
The next day he went out again and saw two Hebrews fighting. He evidently saw who started the fight, since we are told he directed his question to “him that did the wrong.” He asked him why he was hitting a fellow Hebrew. This man simply ignored the import of the question and attacked Moses with his answer. He asked Moses who had given him authority to judge them. Then he threw the bombshell—“intendest thou to kill me, as thou killedst the Egyptian?” Even having been raised as the son of the king’s daughter, he was afraid. He figured his action of murder was now known by many. Then we are told that Pharaoh did find out, and he tried to kill Moses, but Moses ran away. He ended up in the land of Midian, and at one point sitting by a well. (It seems like a lot of stories in the Bible involve wells. Going to the well was sort of like going to the supermarket or mall today.)
(3/05) Midian was located in the desert north of the Arabian peninsula.
(7/12) I was listening to David Guzik and he made an interesting comparison to the response of the people to Moses and the response of people today to God. “Who made you a prince and judge over us?” Moses’s heart was to help his people…
Acts 7:23–25 “And when he was full forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren the children of Israel. And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended him, and avenged him that was oppressed, and smote the Egyptian: For he supposed his brethren would have understood how that God by his hand would deliver them: but they understood not.”
…just as God’s heart toward us, but the people weren’t ready to receive him as such. He thought they would understand that God had sent him to deliver them, but they didn’t. So too with Jesus, God’s Son.
Ex. 2:16 Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters: and they came and drew water, and filled the troughs to water their father’s flock.
Ex. 2:17 And the shepherds came and drove them away: but Moses stood up and helped them, and watered their flock.
Ex. 2:18 And when they came to Reuel their father, he said, How is it that ye are come so soon to day?
Ex. 2:19 And they said, An Egyptian delivered us out of the hand of the shepherds, and also drew water enough for us, and watered the flock.
Ex. 2:20 And he said unto his daughters, And where is he? why is it that ye have left the man? call him, that he may eat bread.
There was a priest in Midian who had seven daughters, and they came to this well to draw water and fill the trough for their father’s flocks. Some shepherds came along and drove them away. (I just don’t usually associate shepherds in my mind with bullies or murderers or just evil like Joseph’s brothers.) Moses came to the rescue of the girls and watered their flock.
When the girls went back home, their father, Reuel, asked them why they were so early. The girls told him that an Egyptian had rescued them from the shepherds and even drew water for the flocks for them. (This makes it sound like the run in with the shepherds was not uncommon.) So he asked his daughters where the Egyptian was and why they didn’t invite him to dinner. (Evidently, the Egyptians had a distinctive appearance/type of dress or something since they immediately classified Moses.)
Ex. 2:21 And Moses was content to dwell with the man: and he gave Moses Zipporah his daughter.
Ex. 2:22 And she bare him a son, and he called his name Gershom: for he said, I have been a stranger in a strange land.
Next thing we are told is that Moses has agreed to stay with Reuel and was given Zipporah, one of his daughters, as a wife. Zipporah gives Moses a son, and Moses names him Gershom (sounds like Hebrew for “an alien there”) since he had become “a stranger in a strange land.”
It was interesting to look up the Hebrew for the word content. It indicates a willingness, based on the idea of a mental weakness. It’s like he was yielding to the circumstances, and there appeared to be no better options open to him.
Ex. 2:23 And it came to pass in process of time, that the king of Egypt died: and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up unto God by reason of the bondage.
Ex. 2:24 And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.
Ex. 2:25 And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God had respect unto them.
Verse 23 starts with “in the process of time”— When we are reading the scripture, we have to remember that time is very different in our perspective compared to God’s perspective. He is telling us a story, giving us all the facts needed to give us a full picture of who He is and His authority and His will for our lives and the lives of nations. When it is critical for us to know exact timing, He tells us the timing. When time is not essential, we are given general info. All we need to know here is that a long enough period has passed for Moses to start a family and for the King of Egypt to die.
The Israelites groaned because of their slavery and were crying out for help—and God has heard them. In verse 24 we are told that God “remembered” His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. (This wasn’t just a covenant passed down from Abraham to his son and grandson; God established this covenant with each one.) I don’t think for a minute that God ever forgot His covenant. I think He is just saying that now is the time for the next major piece of the puzzle to go into place as His plan for the nation of Israel unfolds. As God looks down on His people and sees their misery, He decides to show them His concern for them.
Back in Genesis 15:13 God had told Abraham that his people would be in servitude to another nation for 400 years. This time was coming to an end, and prophecy will be fulfilled according to God’s Word.
Gen. 15:13 And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years.
(3/10) It just dawned on me that the harshest time of slavery experienced by the Israelites began primarily with the birth of Moses.