Exodus 2 - Outline of Exodus (MENU page)
2:1 And there went a man of the house of Levi, and took [to wife] a daughter of Levi.
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.
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
{cp. Gen 6:14}, and put the child therein;
and she laid [it] in the flags by the river's brink.
2:4 And his sister stood afar off, to wit
{ie., to know} what would be done to him.
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.
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.
a man of the house of Levi...-
Moses, in writing about his parents does not mention them by name, here. (However, their names are given in 6:20.) The emphasis is upon the faith of an ordinary couple. They were nameless slaves to an earthly king, but they were living by faith before the King of kings. Notice that it is the faith of Moses' parents which stands out in Heb 11:23. It might as well read: 'by faith a certain Levite and his wife...'
They, like the midwives before them, feared God more than the wrath of the king.
saw that he was a goodly child...- cp. Heb 11:23; Acts 7:20 (the NIV reads: "was no ordinary child").
The child's beauty, in the eyes of his parents, furthered their determination to preserve him.
when she could no longer hide him...- Here was a sensible plan based on obedient faith:
  • The baby was not set adrift to go with the river's flow to its fate. Rather, a temporary place of safety was prepared for him, out of earshot of the soldiers who would enforce Pharaoh's decrees. The baby's older sister would keep an eye on him.
  • The plan rested by faith in the God of resurrection. The river was a place of death (cp. 1:22).
Pharaoh's daughter- is used by the Lord to confound Pharaoh's command.
behold, the babe wept. And she had compassion on him...-
"God brought together two things that He has made - a baby's cry and a woman's heart." [McGee]
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?
2:8 And Pharaoh's daughter said to her, Go.
And the maid went and called the child's mother.
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.
2:10 And the child grew, and she brought him unto Pharaoh's daughter,
and he became her son.
{Acts 7:21}
And she called his name Moses
{HB= Mosheh}:
and she said, Because I drew
{HB= mashah} him out of the water.
God turned what Satan meant for destruction, to good (cp. Gen 50:20).-
  • the baby's cry... wins a heart.
  • a mother deprived of her child... is paid to care for him.
  • Pharaoh's house (Satan's instrument of destruction)... nourishes a deliverer.
she called his name Moses.-
This is an Egyptian name (cp. Rameses or Thutmose).
Yet, it is similar to a Hebrew word meaning 'to draw out.'
As the baby was 'drawn out of the water,' so, God would use him to bring His people up out of bondage.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
Moses, when he came of age (at the age of 40 years)...
  • identified with the people of Israel. cp. Acts 7:20-29; Heb 11:24-26
    Consider the powerful influence of his birth parents' instruction, in the few years that they had him...
    and the effectiveness of their prayer for him, after he was taken from them.
  • expected that he would be instrumental in delivering Israel. But he was not yet ready.
    1. His education 'in all the wisdom of the Egyptians' prepared him for a position of political power. But it could not prepare him to be God's man.
    2. His motivations were sound (Heb 11:24-26). But his actions were according to his own fleshly wisdom and self-direction, and with deference to what men thought. "He looked this way and that..." but he did not look up. He lacked the full assurance of God's will. cp. Josh 1:9; Jer 1:17-19; Psa 32:8
Moses feared... and fled...-
The Israelites refused his leadership. The Egyptians wanted him dead.
The Lord was only beginning to prepare His servant for His work.
God's final assessment would be: "by faith Moses forsook Egypt." Heb 11:27
Moses had spent his first 40 years in Egypt (to understand the thinking of the Egyptians),
and would spend his next 40 years in 'the backside of the wilderness' (to know the mind of God).
(Also see the Notes at Heb 11:23-29.)
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.
2:17 And the shepherds came and drove them away:
but Moses stood up and helped them, and watered their flock.
2:18 And when they came to Reuel their father, he said, How [is it that] ye are come so soon to day?
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.
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.
2:21 And Moses was content to dwell with the man: and he gave Moses Zipporah his daughter.
2:22 And she bare [him] a son, and he called his name Gershom
{meaning 'a stranger', 'an exile'}:
for he said, I have been a stranger
{HB= ger, sojourner}in a strange land.
Moses, the outcast, is welcomed by Reuel, whose name means 'God is friend' or 'friend of God.'
Moses here is a 'type' (or picture) of Christ.-
  1. God's chosen deliverer (Ex 3:7-10; Acts 7:25; Joh 3:16), who
  2. rejected by Israel, turns to the gentiles (Ex 2:11-15; Acts 28:25-28),
  3. receives a gentile Bride (Ex 2:16-21; Mat 12:14-21; Eph 5:30-32),
  4. is eventually received as Israel's deliverer, at his second appearing. (Ex 4:29-31; Acts 7:35; Rom 11:25,26; cp. Acts 15:14-17) [adapted from ScofRB]
a stranger in a strange land.- This was also Israel's situation (as God's people in Egypt).
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.
2:24 And God heard their groaning,
and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.
2:25 And God looked upon the children of Israel,
and God had respect unto [them].
God 'had respect' - HB= yada, to know, to perceive. ie., God saw and knew their plight.
God did not deliver Israel because they were 'respectable' or 'worthy' of deliverance,
but because they were in desperate need, and because He keeps His Word.
Likewise, the believer today is delivered, not because he deserves deliverance, but 'freely' {ie., without a cause}, by God's grace, and through His means of redemption (Rom 3:23,24).

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