And the son of an Israelitish woman
Whose name, and the name of his mother, are afterwards given; whose father [was] an Egyptian;
Jarchi says, this is the Egyptian whom Moses slew, ( Exodus 2:12 ) ; and so others in Abendana: went out among the children of Israel;
went out of Egypt with them, according to the Targum of Jonathan, and so was one of the mixed multitude, which came from thence with them, which is not improbable; some say he went out of Moses's court of judicature; but it is more likely that the meaning is, he went out of his tent, so Aben Ezra, into the midst of the camp, to claim his rank and place among the people of Israel; though the Jewish writers, as Jarchi and Aben Ezra, take this phrase, "among the children of Israel", to signify that he was a proselyte, and became a Jew, or had embraced the Jewish religion in all respects: and this son of the Israelitish [woman] and a man of Israel strove
together in the camp;
which man of Israel, according to the Targum of Jonathan, was of the tribe of Dan, as was the mother of the man he strove with; what they strove about is not easy to say; Aben Ezra suggests, because this stands connected with the above laws, as if this man had said some things in a reviling way about the shewbread, the oil, and the offerings, and so a dispute arose between them, concerning them; but Jarchi says, it was about the business of the camp, and it is more commonly received that this man claimed a place to fix his tent on in the tribe of Dan, in right of his mother; but the other urged, that the order of fixing tents was according to the genealogies, and with the ensigns of their father's house, and therefore he had no right to rank with them, his father being an Egyptian, and perhaps from words they came to blows, see ( Exodus 21:22 ) ; though the Jewish writers understand it of their contending, at least of its issuing in a judiciary way, before a court of judicature: so it is said, when Israel dwelt in the wilderness, he (the son of the Egyptian) sought to spread his tent in the midst of the tribe of Dan, and they would not suffer it, because the ranks of the children of Israel were, every man according to his rank, with the ensigns according to the genealogy of their fathers; and they began and contended in the camp, wherefore they went into the court of judicature, the son of the woman of the daughter of Israel, and the man, a son of Israel, who was of the tribe of Dan F12.
F12 Targum Jon. in loc.