"Exo 1 had portrayed in graphic detail the suffering which
Pharaoh had inflicted upon the Israelites. What would God do about it? Would He
have mercy on the Hebrews and deliver them from their shame? And if so,
Exo 2 begins to answer these questions, but apparently in a
tangential manner. For God's solution consists not in some phenomenal miracle or
in the promotion of a mighty Israelite leader who was already alive (either of
which we might have expected, had we not already known the story). God's
solution consists instead in the birth of a son.
This provides both a pattern for the future and a salutary
lesson. One day God would again send a son -- this time HIS OWN -- to deliver a
people from slavery. Again He would prepare the child from birth, bringing it
safely from the womb and nourishing and developing it for the immense task that
lay ahead. How does one begin to create a people, as God begins to do in the
book of Exodus? One does it, so Exo informs us, by means of a son. How
remarkably history repeats itself!" (MV, Tes 71:108,109).
Exo 2 outlined: " Egypt resisted: Moses is hid in the ark:
vv 1-4. Moses is a type of Christ, who was similarly hid by his guardians from
the slaughter of Herod).  Moses saved and named: vv 5-10.  Moses seeks to
save his people: vv 11,12.  Moses forced to flee: vv 13-15.  Moses in
banishment marries in Midian: vv 16-22.  God recalls His covenant: vv 24,25.
This is the story of 'out of weakness, made Strong.' Israel's deliverer was a
helpless babe, crying in the arms of Israel's oppressors. From this developed
the nation that will yet conquer Egypt (Isa 19:17-25) Faith triumphed (Heb
11:23), through the compassionate aid of women (Exo 1:19; 2:3,4,6): the
midwives, Jochebed, Miriam, and Pharaoh's daughter" (GEM).
MAN... WOMAN: Amram and Jochebed (Exo 6:20; Num 26:59;
1Ch 23:14). The family lived very near the house of Pharaoh (1Sa 2:27), as
SHE SAW THAT HE WAS A FINE CHILD: "A goodly child"
(AV), "fair to God" (AV mg). "By faith Moses was hid" (Heb 11:23; cp also Act
7:20). Impl declared divine purpose, which motivated Jochebed to preserve the
baby (Rom 10:17). Josephus suggests a special revelation to Amram
"What it was precisely that she saw we cannot say. What we can
say is that she saw it, and that she had the courage to act upon what she saw,
by hiding the child. It is interesting that Pharaoh's daughter is likewise moved
to disobey Pharaoh when she first observes the child.
"The Heb reads lit, 'she saw that he was good', which is
exactly what is said of God each time He surveys His creative acts in Gen 1.
Here is another subtle piece of evidence that God is once again embarking on an
act of creation, this time the creation of a people through the creation of a
son" (MV, Tes 71:112).
She literally obeyed Pharaoh's edict (Exo 1:22)! The ark in
the marshes was a conscious imitation of Noah's ark.
A PAPYRUS BASKET: "An ark of bulrushes" (AV). Prob made
to resemble the small chests used to store household gods by Egyptians (WBS
PAPYRUS: Used only here and Isa 18:2 (re boats).
Papyrus had many uses in Egyptian life, one of which was boat-making.
REEDS: A different term than "papyrus" earlier, prob a
slightly more general term.
Bathing in the Nile was supposed to induce fertility (WBS
Vv 5,6: The verbs (went down, saw, sent, saw, felt sorry for)
are each used elsewhere in the narrative of Exo 1-4 of God Himself. God 'comes
down' to 'see' the sufferings of the Israelites. He 'feels sorry' for them, and
He 'sends' Moses to deliver them. The compassion and care that Pharaoh's
daughter showers on Moses prefigures the attitude God Himself will show towards
Prob she saw through the ruse immediately, but did not approve
of her father's policy. And so she kept the child anyway, knowing Miriam to be
the sister, and Jochebed the real mother.
THIS IS ONE OF THE HEBREW BABIES: Prob because of the
SHE NAMED HIM MOSES, SAYING, 'I DREW HIM OUT OF THE
WATER': "The name chosen by Pharaoh's daughter is particularly apt, since it
can exist both in Egyptian and in Hebrew. It was a common enough name in Egypt,
and is often found in compounds, as for example in the name of the Pharaoh
Thutmose. Its basic Egyptian stem means 'to be born', and the Egyptian word 'ms'
means 'child', 'son'.
"The interesting point is that Pharaoh's daughter ascribes to
the name a Heb rather than an Egyptian significance. She makes it a pun on the
root 'm-sh-h', to draw up/out, by explaining that the baby was drawn out of the
water. In this way, the significance of Moses' name is based on sound-play, not
strict etymology. This is often the case with Biblical names, and is an equally
legitimate naming technique as using the historical derivation of a
"But as she makes this pun, it is intriguing that she seems to
make a tiny grammatical slip of just the kind that a foreign language learner
might make. She explains the name as if the form were 'mashuy', one drawn out (a
passive participle...). However, the form 'mosheh', Moses' actual name, looks
much more like an active participle in form. This would mean 'he who draws out'!
Such a meaning powerfully prefigures the work that Moses would do in drawing
God's people out of bondage of Egypt and bringing them to the land that God had
promised. True, Moses was drawn out of water, but he would himself be one who
would draw out others. Pharaoh's daughter inadvertently gives us a name with a
prophetic meaning, and her saving of Moses from the Egyptians itself prefigures
Moses' own work!" (MV, Tes 71:110,111).
AFTER MOSES HAD GROWN UP: 40 years old (Act
Moses became the avenger of blood (cp Num 35:19-21). See also
Act 7:25,26. This was an open act of political revolution. But Moses' own people
were divided as to whether to follow him.
SEEING NO ONE: Not necessarily a furtive act, but
rather an inquiry: 'Is there anyone qualified to step in and do the right thing
here?' and there was no one; so Moses intervened (cp idea, Isa 59:16; 63:5; Jer
5:1; Eze 22:30).
HID: Or 'buried'.
Moses tried to save his people at the time he thought best and
in the only way he knew. But even though Moses had great authority in Egypt, and
he had physical strength and the ability to draw together an army, and even
though he was motivated to save his people -- it was not God's time or God's
way. When it came to the right time and the right way 40 years later, Moses
didn't feel qualified or ready, but it was right for God.
Sometimes we think we know when and how to do God's will, but
it turns out that it was neither His time nor His way, and then our plans will
be fruitless. God will work out His plan but He will do it in His own time and
in His own way -- not ours.
"Jesus replied, 'Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter
between you?' " (Luk 12:14).
Moses had shown his hand, and Pharaoh must act. With no
support from his own people, Moses could only flee in fear (Act 7:29). But what
about Heb 11:27?: "By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king's
"The question of the authority of Moses would arise again at a
number of points in his life, for example in the murmuring of Miriam and in the
rebellion of Korah, Dathan and Abiram. Such disputes foreshadowed similar
questions that would later be asked of Jesus" (MV, Tes 71:113).
SAT DOWN: Resided, ie permanently.
SOME SHEPHERDS... DROVE THEM AWAY: Those who should be
gentle protectors and caregivers can brutally deprive others of needed
REUEL: "Friend (masc of 'Ruth') of El": a faithful
descendant of Abraham, through Keturah.
AN EGYPTIAN: Moses has forsaken Egypt, but he retains
its imprint on his person in some sense.
Vv 23-25: "It is because the cry of the Israelites is so
intense that the story continues to unfold in the way it does... they cry, and
consequently (and immediately) God responds. It is a pattern which is repeated
time after time in the Scriptures. The cry of Israel initiates history; God is
galvanised into action. His people cry; God is mobilised into activity on their
behalf. Not that He has not been working quietly in the background all along --
far from it, for the instant they cry Moses is ready to be sent, yet this was a
process that was set in motion many years before! But whereas God had been
preparing behind the scenes so that everything would be ready once His people
cried to Him, now that pivot point has been reached God springs into action. For
He is a responsive God; what He does is determined to some extent by the actions
of His people. If they cry to Him then He will listen, and potentially intervene
on their behalf" (MV, Tes 71:239).
THE KING OF EGYPT DIED: "Those who were trying to take
the child's life are dead" (Mat 2:20).