And it came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown
To man's estate; some of the Jewish writers say he was eighteen, others twenty years of age F5, but Stephen, who is most to be credited, says he was full forty years of age, ( Acts 7:23 ) ,
that he went out unto his brethren the Hebrews:
whom he knew to be his brethren, either by divine revelation, or by conversing with his nurse, who was his mother; who, doubtless, instructed him while he was with her, as far as he was capable of being informed of things, and who might frequently visit her afterwards, by which means he became apprised that he was an Hebrew and not an Egyptian, though he went for the son of Pharaoh's daughter, which he refused to be called when he knew his parentage, ( Hebrews 11:24 ) now he went out from Pharaoh's palace, which in a short time he entirely relinquished, to visit his brethren, and converse with them, and understood their case and circumstances:
and looked on their burdens;
which they were obliged to carry, and were very heavy, and with which they were pressed; he looked at them with grief and concern, and considered in his mind how to relieve them, if possible:
and he spied an Egyptian smiting an Hebrew, one of his brethren;
the Egyptian was, according to Jarchi, a principal of the taskmasters of Israel, who was beating the Hebrew for not doing his work as he required, and the Hebrew, according to him, was the husband of Shelomith, daughter of Dibri, ( Leviticus 24:11 ) , though others say it was Dathan F6.
F5 Shalshalet Hakabala, fol. 5. 2.