Exodus 2


‘Now a man of the tribe of Levi married a Levite woman, and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. When she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him for three months. But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile. His sister stood at a distance to see what would happen to him. Then Pharaoh’s daughter went down to the Nile to bathe, and her attendants were walking along the riverbank. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her female slave to get it. She opened it and saw the baby. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. “This is one of the Hebrew babies,” she said. Then his sister asked Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and get one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?” “Yes, go,” she answered. So the girl went and got the baby’s mother. Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this baby and nurse him for me, and I will pay you.” So the woman took the baby and nursed him. When the child grew older, she took him to Pharaoh’s daughter and he became her son. She named him Moses, saying, “I drew him out of the water.” Exodus 2:1-10

The Birth Of Moses

Miriam was born into this priestly family of Levi, Exodus 2:4 / Numbers 26:59. Aaron, who was Moses’ brother, was born about three years before Moses, Exodus 6:20 / Numbers 26:59.

Moses was a ‘fine child’, in other words, he was a beautiful child and his parents, Amram and Jochebed had great faith in God. What they did here by faith actually saved the life of their baby son, Moses, Hebrews 11:23.

There’s no doubt that Moses’ mother trusted that God would take care of her son, this is seen in the fact that she places Moses in a basket along the bank of the river Nile, where she knew that the daughter of Pharaoh would find him. Notice also that she placed Miriam in a place where she would also be found.

When Pharaoh’s daughter found Moses, she felt sorry for him and took him under her care. Moses’ own mother weaned him until he was probably around three or four years of age.

After which he became Pharaoh’s son. She named him ‘Moses’, the Egyptians called water ‘Mo’, and those who are rescued from water were called, ‘Uses’. Hence the name Moses means, ‘I drew him out of the water’.

It’s clearly seen that God is at work in all of this. It’s no accident that Moses was a fine child, it’s no accident that his mother placed him in a basket in the Nile. It’s no accident that Miriam stood at a distance, it’s no accident that Pharaoh’s daughter just happened to be bathing there. It’s no accident that Moses’ mother ended up weaning her own son, while getting paid for it.

But more importantly, it’s no accident that within Pharaoh’s own household, was being raised the very one who was being taught with the wisdom of the Egyptians, Acts 7:22, but eventually, He was to lead God’s people out of the Egyptian bondage.

Moses Flees To Midian

‘One day, after Moses had grown up, he went out to where his own people were and watched them at their hard labour. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his own people. Looking this way and that and seeing no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. The next day he went out and saw two Hebrews fighting. He asked the one in the wrong, “Why are you hitting your fellow Hebrew?” The man said, “Who made you ruler and judge over us? Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian?” Then Moses was afraid and thought, “What I did must have become known.” When Pharaoh heard of this, he tried to kill Moses, but Moses fled from Pharaoh and went to live in Midian, where he sat down by a well.’ Exodus 2:11-15

Notice that ‘one day’ after Moses had grown up he was an Egyptian beating up a fellow Hebrew. We get the impression that on this day, something different was happening within Moses. I’m sure this wasn’t the first time he watched his people labouring under the Egyptians, and I’m sure this wasn’t the first time he saw an Egyptian beating up on a Hebrew, but this ‘one day’ different.

Moses already knew the difference between Egyptians and Hebrews because his mother had taught him. He would know the value of human life and all men being equal in the eyes of God. But this ‘one day’, when saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, he was deeply moved so such an extent that commits murder. He obviously thought that nobody saw him and so he buries the body in the sand.

Something is happening within Moses now, he sees things differently from how he saw them before and he’s troubled over things he’s witnessed before.

The next day when he witnesses two Hebrews fighting, he tries to step in, but the one who was in the wrong says, ‘who made you ruler and judge over us?’ Acts 7:27. It’s clear that the time for Israel to be delivered from Egypt by the hands of Moses wasn’t now.

Notice also the one who was wrong also said, ‘are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian?’ Can you imagine the gulp of air that Moses must have taken! Remember he killed the Egyptian and buried him in the sand because he thought no one was around.

When word of what Moses did got back to Pharaoh, Pharaoh sought to kill him and so Moses flees for his life to Midian, where he would spend the next forty years of his life, Acts 7:30.

‘Now a priest of Midian had seven daughters, and they came to draw water and fill the troughs to water their father’s flock. Some shepherds came along and drove them away, but Moses got up and came to their rescue and watered their flock. When the girls returned to Reuel their father, he asked them, “Why have you returned so early today?” They answered, “An Egyptian rescued us from the shepherds. He even drew water for us and watered the flock.” “And where is he?” Reuel asked his daughters. “Why did you leave him? Invite him to have something to eat.” Moses agreed to stay with the man, who gave his daughter Zipporah to Moses in marriage. Zipporah gave birth to a son, and Moses named him Gershom, saying, “I have become a foreigner in a foreign land.” Exodus 2:16-22

The Midianites were related to the Hebrews, Genesis 25:1-4, and they worshipped the one true God, which was good news for Moses. They lived around Mount Sinai, which is also called Horeb, Exodus 3:1.

It’s important to note that God didn’t only work among the Israelites, He also worked among all people, here He’s working through priests among the Gentiles throughout the world at this time, Hebrews 1:1-2.

The priest of Midian here was Reuel, Numbers 10:29, also known as Jethro, Exodus 3:1 / Exodus 4:18. The name Reuel means ‘friend of God’ and the name Jethro means ‘excellency’. It’s very possible that the name Jethro is actually a title and not his actual name.

He had seven daughters whom Moses defended from some shepherds in order that their herds be watered. Notice that when the girls go back to their father to report what had happened, they describe Moses as an Egyptian. This may simply be because of the clothing he was wearing or by his accent.

As a result of Moses’ kindness to Reuel’s daughters, Moses has gone from being a fugitive on the run, to becoming a husband, having a wife named Zipporah and becoming a father, having a son named Gershom, whose name means, Banishment.

‘During that long period, the king of Egypt died. The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out, and their cry for help because of their slavery went up to God. God heard their groaning and he remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob. So God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them.’ Exodus 2:23-25

Over a period of time the king of Egypt died and Israel groaned because of their slavery and cry out to God for deliverance. It appears that things back in Egypt were just getting worse for the Israelites. In order to keep the Hebrews in subjection, the Egyptians subjugated them to harsh labour.

God remembered the covenant He had with Abraham, this doesn’t mean that God had forgotten at some point. These words express in human terms God’s determination to relieve the suffering of Israel and to deliver them from their shameful and oppressive bondage.

It was because of this covenant that God was going to deliver Israel from the hands of the Egyptians. When Israel first arrived in Egypt they were shepherds and tent dwellers, but now they have learned how to build towns and cities. God is preparing them to become a nation who will live in the promised land.

Go To Exodus 3


"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."