Acts 7:24

Acts 7:24

And seeing one of them suffer wrong
Beza's Cambridge copy, and one of Stephens's, and one in the Bodleian library add, "of his own kindred": and so ( Exodus 2:11 ) he is said to be "one of his brethren"; which Aben Ezra explains, (wtxpvmm) , "of his family", one of the tribe of Levi; and so another Jewish writer F13 is very particular, and says,

``Moses went out to the camp of the Israelites, and saw an Egyptian smite one of the sons of Kohath, who was of his brethren of the tribe of Levi, as it is said, ( Exodus 2:11 ) .''

This man, according to some of the Jewish writers F14, was the husband of Shelomith, the daughter of Dibri, ( Leviticus 24:11 ) but, according to others, it was Dathan F15: the cause and manner of his suffering wrong was this, as they report F16; one of the taskmasters having set his eyes upon his wife, who was a beautiful woman, came early one morning, and got him out of his house to work, and then went into his wife, and lay with her; which when the man understood, he made some disturbance about it, for which he caused him to serve in very hard bondage, and beat him severely; who flying to Moses for protection,

he defended him, and avenged him that was oppressed;
he took his part, and screened him from the insults and blows of the officer, and avenged his cause:

and smote the Egyptian;
and killed him: it is commonly said by the Jews F17, that he killed him by the sword of his mouth, by making use of the word Jehovah; though others F18 say, he smote him with his fist, which is more likely; or rather with his sword; the Ethiopic version adds, "and buried him in the sand". Beza's ancient copy, and one of Stephens's, add, "and he hid him in the sand", as it is in ( Exodus 2:12 ) and which the Jews understand not literally of any sand pit, into which he might cast him, and cover him; or of the sand of the sea, near which he was, and which does not appear; but mystically of the people of Israel, comparable to the sand of the sea, among whom he hid him. So in one of their Midrashes F19 it is observed on these words,

``and "he hid him in the sand"; though there were none there but the Israelites---who are like to sand: he said unto them, ye are like the sand; take this man here and put him there, and his voice is not heard; so this thing will be hid among you, and not heard. And so you find that the thing was not heard but by the means of the Hebrews, as it is said, "and he went out on the second day, and two men of the Hebrews"''

And another of their F20 writers, says, that when Moses saw the Egyptian smiting the Hebrew,

``he began to curse him, and took the sword of his lips, and killed him, and hid him in the camp of the Israelites, as it is said, ( Exodus 2:12 ) not in the sand, but among the Israelites: hence it is said, "the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea", ( Hosea 1:10 ) .''

To which may be added what one of their chronologers F21 affirms, that

``Moses slew the Egyptian with the ineffable name of God, and hid him among the children of Israel, who are like to sand.''

This Egyptian is said, by Jarchi, to be one of the taskmasters who was appointed over the officers of Israel, who, from the cockcrowing, kept them to their work, which is very probable.


F13 Pirke Eliezer, c. 48.
F14 Jarchi in Exod. ii. 12.
F15 Shemot Rabba, sect. 1. fol. 91. 4. Shalshalet Hakabala, fol. 5. 2.
F16 Shemot Rabba, & Shalshalet, ib. & Chronicon Mosis, fol. 5. 2. & Jarchi in Exod. ii. 12.
F17 Pirke Eliezer, c. 48. Shalshalet, ib. Clement. Alex. Strom. l. 1. p. 344.
F18 Shemot Rabba, ib.
F19 Shemot Rabba, sect. 1. fol. 9l. 4.
F20 Pirke Eliezer, c. 48.
F21 R. Gedaliah, Shalshalet Hakabala, fol. 5. 2.