Exodus 2:11-25

Moses Flees to Midian

11 One day, after Moses had grown up, he went out to where his own people were and watched them at their hard labor. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his own people.
12 Looking this way and that and seeing no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand.
13 The next day he went out and saw two Hebrews fighting. He asked the one in the wrong, “Why are you hitting your fellow Hebrew?”
14 The man said, “Who made you ruler and judge over us? Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian?” Then Moses was afraid and thought, “What I did must have become known.”
15 When Pharaoh heard of this, he tried to kill Moses, but Moses fled from Pharaoh and went to live in Midian, where he sat down by a well.
16 Now a priest of Midian had seven daughters, and they came to draw water and fill the troughs to water their father’s flock.
17 Some shepherds came along and drove them away, but Moses got up and came to their rescue and watered their flock.
18 When the girls returned to Reuel their father, he asked them, “Why have you returned so early today?”
19 They answered, “An Egyptian rescued us from the shepherds. He even drew water for us and watered the flock.”
20 “And where is he?” Reuel asked his daughters. “Why did you leave him? Invite him to have something to eat.”
21 Moses agreed to stay with the man, who gave his daughter Zipporah to Moses in marriage.
22 Zipporah gave birth to a son, and Moses named him Gershom,[a] saying, “I have become a foreigner in a foreign land.”
23 During that long period, the king of Egypt died. The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out, and their cry for help because of their slavery went up to God.
24 God heard their groaning and he remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob.
25 So God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them.

Exodus 2:11-25 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO EXODUS 2

This chapter relates the birth of Moses, and his preservation in an ark of bulrushes, Ex 2:1-3. His being found by Pharaoh's daughter, took up, and put out to nurse by her, and adopted for her son, Ex 2:4-10, some exploits of his when grown up, taking the part of an Hebrew against an Egyptian whom he slew, and endeavouring to reconcile two Hebrews at variance, when one of them reproached him with slaying the Egyptian, Ex 2:11-14, which thing being known to Pharaoh, he sought to slay Moses, and this obliged him to flee to Midian, Ex 2:15 where he met with the daughters of Reuel, and defended them against the shepherds, and watered their flocks for them, Ex 2:16,17, which Reuel being informed of, sent for him, and he lived with him, and married his daughter Zipporah, by whom he had a son, Ex 2:18-22 and the chapter is concluded with the death of the king of Egypt, and the sore bondage of the Israelites, and their cries and groans, which God had a respect unto, Ex 2:23-25.

was Amram, the son of Kohath, and grandson of Levi, as appears from Ex 6:18,20

\\and took to wife a daughter of Levi\\; one of the same house, family, or tribe; which was proper, that the tribes might be kept distinct: this was Jochebed, said to be his father's sister, \\see Gill on "Ex 6:20"\\: her name in Josephus {s} is Joachebel, which seems to be no other than a corruption of Jochebed, but in the Targum in 1Ch 4:18 she is called Jehuditha.

{s} Antiqu. l. 2. c. 9. sect. 4. 09514-950103-1343-Ex2.2

Exodus 2:11-25 In-Context

9 Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this baby and nurse him for me, and I will pay you.” So the woman took the baby and nursed him.
10 When the child grew older, she took him to Pharaoh’s daughter and he became her son. She named him Moses, saying, “I drew him out of the water.”
11 One day, after Moses had grown up, he went out to where his own people were and watched them at their hard labor. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his own people.
12 Looking this way and that and seeing no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand.
13 The next day he went out and saw two Hebrews fighting. He asked the one in the wrong, “Why are you hitting your fellow Hebrew?”
14 The man said, “Who made you ruler and judge over us? Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian?” Then Moses was afraid and thought, “What I did must have become known.”
15 When Pharaoh heard of this, he tried to kill Moses, but Moses fled from Pharaoh and went to live in Midian, where he sat down by a well.
16 Now a priest of Midian had seven daughters, and they came to draw water and fill the troughs to water their father’s flock.
17 Some shepherds came along and drove them away, but Moses got up and came to their rescue and watered their flock.
18 When the girls returned to Reuel their father, he asked them, “Why have you returned so early today?”
19 They answered, “An Egyptian rescued us from the shepherds. He even drew water for us and watered the flock.”
20 “And where is he?” Reuel asked his daughters. “Why did you leave him? Invite him to have something to eat.”
21 Moses agreed to stay with the man, who gave his daughter Zipporah to Moses in marriage.
22 Zipporah gave birth to a son, and Moses named him Gershom, saying, “I have become a foreigner in a foreign land.”
23 During that long period, the king of Egypt died. The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out, and their cry for help because of their slavery went up to God.
24 God heard their groaning and he remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob.
25 So God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them.

Cross References 24

  • 1. Acts 7:23; Hebrews 11:24-26
  • 2. S Exodus 1:11
  • 3. Acts 7:26
  • 4. S Genesis 13:8; Acts 7:27*
  • 5. Exodus 4:19
  • 6. S Genesis 31:21
  • 7. Acts 7:29; Hebrews 11:27
  • 8. Exodus 3:1; Exodus 18:1
  • 9. S Genesis 24:11
  • 10. S Genesis 30:38
  • 11. 1 Samuel 30:8; Psalms 31:2
  • 12. S Genesis 29:10
  • 13. Exodus 3:1; Exodus 4:18; Exodus 18:1,5,12; Numbers 10:29
  • 14. Genesis 18:2-5; Genesis 31:54
  • 15. Exodus 4:25; Exodus 18:2; Numbers 12:1
  • 16. Judges 18:30
  • 17. S Genesis 23:4; Exodus 18:3-4; Hebrews 11:13
  • 18. Acts 7:30
  • 19. Exodus 4:19
  • 20. S Exodus 1:14
  • 21. ver 24; Exodus 3:7,9; Exodus 6:5; Numbers 20:15-16; Deuteronomy 26:7; Judges 2:18; 1 Samuel 12:8; Psalms 5:2; Psalms 18:6; Psalms 39:12; Psalms 81:7; Psalms 102:1; James 5:4
  • 22. S Genesis 8:1
  • 23. S Genesis 9:15; Genesis 15:15; Genesis 17:4; Genesis 22:16-18; Genesis 26:3; Genesis 28:13-15; Exodus 32:13; Exodus 6:5; 2 Kings 13:23; Psalms 105:10,42; Jeremiah 14:21
  • 24. Exodus 3:7; Exodus 4:31; Luke 1:25

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. "Gershom" sounds like the Hebrew for "a foreigner there."
Scripture quoted by permission.  Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®.  NIV®.  Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica.  All rights reserved worldwide.