Time passed. Moses grew up. One day he went and saw his brothers, saw all that hard labor. Then he saw an Egyptian hit a Hebrew - one of his relatives!
He looked this way and then that; when he realized there was no one in sight, he killed the Egyptian and buried him in the sand.
The next day he went out there again. Two Hebrew men were fighting. He spoke to the man who started it: "Why are you hitting your neighbor?"
The man shot back: "Who do you think you are, telling us what to do? Are you going to kill me the way you killed that Egyptian?" Then Moses panicked: "Word's gotten out - people know about this."
Pharaoh heard about it and tried to kill Moses, but Moses got away to the land of Midian. He sat down by a well.
The priest of Midian had seven daughters. They came and drew water, filling the troughs and watering their father's sheep.
When some shepherds came and chased the girls off, Moses came to their rescue and helped them water their sheep.
When they got home to their father, Reuel, he said, "That didn't take long. Why are you back so soon?"
"An Egyptian," they said, "rescued us from a bunch of shepherds. Why, he even drew water for us and watered the sheep."
He said, "So where is he? Why did you leave him behind? Invite him so he can have something to eat with us."
Moses agreed to settle down there with the man, who then gave his daughter Zipporah (Bird) to him for his wife.
She had a son, and Moses named him Gershom (Sojourner), saying, "I'm a sojourner in a foreign country."
Many years later the king of Egypt died. The Israelites groaned under their slavery and cried out. Their cries for relief from their hard labor ascended to God:
God listened to their groanings. God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.
God saw what was going on with Israel. God understood.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)