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Moses Is Born

A man from the Levi tribe married a woman from the same tribe, and she later had a baby boy. He was a beautiful child, and she kept him inside for three months. But when she could no longer keep him hidden, she made a basket out of reeds and covered it with tar. She put him in the basket and placed it in the tall grass along the edge of the Nile River. The baby’s older sister[a] stood off at a distance to see what would happen to him.

About that time one of the king’s[b] daughters came down to take a bath in the river, while her servant women walked along the river bank. She saw the basket in the tall grass and sent one of the young women to pull it out of the water. When the king’s daughter opened the basket, she saw the baby and felt sorry for him because he was crying. She said, “This must be one of the Hebrew babies.”

At once the baby’s older sister came up and asked, “Do you want me to get a Hebrew woman to take care of the baby for you?”

“Yes,” the king’s daughter answered.

So the girl brought the baby’s mother, and the king’s daughter told her, “Take care of this child, and I will pay you.”

The baby’s mother carried him home and took care of him. 10 And when he was old enough, she took him to the king’s daughter, who adopted him. She named him Moses[c] because she said, “I pulled him out of the water.”

Moses Escapes from Egypt

11 After Moses had grown up, he went out to where his own people were hard at work, and he saw an Egyptian beating one of them. 12 Moses looked around to see if anyone was watching, then he killed the Egyptian and hid his body in the sand.

13 When Moses went out the next day, he saw two Hebrews fighting. So he went to the man who had started the fight and asked, “Why are you beating up one of your own people?”

14 The man answered, “Who put you in charge of us and made you our judge? Are you planning to kill me, just as you killed that Egyptian?”

This frightened Moses because he was sure that people must have found out what had happened. 15 When the king[d] heard what Moses had done, the king wanted to kill him. But Moses escaped and went to the land of Midian.

One day, Moses was sitting there by a well, 16 when the seven daughters of Jethro, the priest of Midian,[e] came up to water their father’s sheep and goats. 17 Some shepherds tried to chase them away, but Moses came to their rescue and watered their animals. 18 When Jethro’s daughters returned home, their father asked, “Why have you come back so early today?”

19 They answered, “An Egyptian rescued us from the shepherds, and he even watered our sheep and goats.”

20 “Where is he?” Jethro asked. “Why did you leave him out there? Invite him to eat with us.”

21 Moses agreed to stay on with Jethro, who later let his daughter Zipporah marry Moses. 22 And when she had a son, Moses said, “I will name him Gershom,[f] since I am a foreigner in this country.”

23 After the death of the king of Egypt, the Israelites still complained because they were forced to be slaves. They cried out for help, 24 and God heard their loud cries. He did not forget the promise he had made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, 25 and because he knew what was happening to his people, he felt sorry for them.

Footnotes

  1. 2.4 older sister: Miriam, the sister of Moses and Aaron.
  2. 2.5 the king’s: See the note at 1.11.
  3. 2.10 Moses: In Hebrew “Moses” sounds like “pull out.”
  4. 2.15 the king: See the note at 1.11.
  5. 2.16 Jethro, the priest of Midian: Hebrew “the priest of Midian.” But see 3.1; 4.18; 18.1,2-4 where his name is given. In the Hebrew of verse 18 he is spoken of as “Reuel,” which may have been the name of the tribe to which Jethro belonged.
  6. 2.22 Gershom: In Hebrew “Gershom” sounds like “foreigner.”

The Birth of Moses

Now a man of the tribe of Levi(A) married a Levite woman,(B) and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. When she saw that he was a fine(C) child, she hid him for three months.(D) But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus(E) basket[a] for him and coated it with tar and pitch.(F) Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds(G) along the bank of the Nile. His sister(H) stood at a distance to see what would happen to him.

Then Pharaoh’s daughter went down to the Nile to bathe, and her attendants were walking along the riverbank.(I) She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her female slave to get it. She opened it and saw the baby. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. “This is one of the Hebrew babies,” she said.

Then his sister asked Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and get one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?”

“Yes, go,” she answered. So the girl went and got the baby’s mother. 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(J) him Moses,[b] saying, “I drew(K) him out of the water.”

Moses Flees to Midian

11 One day, after Moses had grown up, he went out to where his own people(L) were and watched them at their hard labor.(M) 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?”(N)

14 The man said, “Who made you ruler and judge over us?(O) 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(P) Moses, but Moses fled(Q) from Pharaoh and went to live in Midian,(R) where he sat down by a well. 16 Now a priest of Midian(S) had seven daughters, and they came to draw water(T) and fill the troughs(U) to water their father’s flock. 17 Some shepherds came along and drove them away, but Moses got up and came to their rescue(V) and watered their flock.(W)

18 When the girls returned to Reuel(X) 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.”(Y)

21 Moses agreed to stay with the man, who gave his daughter Zipporah(Z) to Moses in marriage. 22 Zipporah gave birth to a son, and Moses named him Gershom,[c](AA) saying, “I have become a foreigner(AB) in a foreign land.”

23 During that long period,(AC) the king of Egypt died.(AD) The Israelites groaned in their slavery(AE) and cried out, and their cry(AF) for help because of their slavery went up to God. 24 God heard their groaning and he remembered(AG) his covenant(AH) with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob. 25 So God looked on the Israelites and was concerned(AI) about them.

Footnotes

  1. Exodus 2:3 The Hebrew can also mean ark, as in Gen. 6:14.
  2. Exodus 2:10 Moses sounds like the Hebrew for draw out.
  3. Exodus 2:22 Gershom sounds like the Hebrew for a foreigner there.