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Exodus 2:9-11 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this child and nurse him for me, and I will pay your wages.”[a] So the woman took the child and nursed him. 10 When the child grew,[b] she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. She named him Moses; for she said, “I drew him out of the water.”

Moses’ Flight to Midian. 11 On one occasion, after Moses had grown up,[c] when he had gone out to his kinsmen and witnessed their forced labor, he saw an Egyptian striking a Hebrew, one of his own kinsmen.


  1. 2:9 And I will pay your wages: the idea that the child’s mother will be paid for nursing her child—and by Pharaoh’s own daughter—heightens the narrative’s irony.
  2. 2:10 When the child grew: while v. 9 implies that the boy’s mother cared for him as long as he needed to be nursed (presumably, between two and four years), the same verb appears in v. 11 to describe the attainment of adulthood. And he became her son: Pharaoh’s daughter adopts Moses, thus adding to the irony of the account. The king of Egypt had ordered the killing of all the sons of the Hebrews, and one now becomes the son of his own daughter! Moses: in Hebrew, mosheh. There is a play on words here: Hebrew mosheh echoes meshithihu (“I drew him out”). However, the name Moses actually has nothing to do with that Hebrew verb, but is probably derived from Egyptian “beloved” or “has been born,” preserved in such Pharaonic names as Thutmoses (meaning approximately “Beloved of the god Thoth” or “The god Thoth is born, has given birth to [the child]”). The original meaning of Moses’ name was no longer remembered (if it was Egyptian, it may have contained an Egyptian divine element as well, perhaps the name of the Nile god Hapi), and a secondary explanation was derived from this story (or gave rise to it, if the drawing from the water of the Nile was intended to foreshadow the Israelites’ escape from Egypt through the Red Sea).
  3. 2:11 After Moses had grown up: cf. 7:7, where Moses is said to be eighty years old at the time of his mission to Pharaoh. Striking: probably in the sense of “flogging”; in v. 12, however, the same verb is used in the sense of “killing.”
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.


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