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Moses is Born

A man of the family of Levi married the daughter of a descendant of Levi. Later, the woman became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She saw that he was a beautiful[a] child, and hid him for three months. But when she was no longer able to hide him, she took a papyrus container, coated it with asphalt and pitch, placed the child in it, and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile. Then his sister positioned herself some distance away in order to find out what would happen to him.

Pharaoh’s Daughter Adopts Moses

Then Pharaoh’s daughter came down to the Nile River[b] to bathe while her maids walked along the river bank. She saw the container among the reeds and sent a servant girl to get it. When she opened it and saw the child, the little boy suddenly began crying. Filled with compassion for him, she exclaimed, “This is one of the Hebrew children!”

Then his sister asked Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and call one of the nursing Hebrew women so she can nurse the child for you?”

Pharaoh’s daughter told her, “Go,” so the young girl went and called the child’s mother. Pharaoh’s daughter instructed her, “Take this child and nurse him for me, and I’ll pay you a salary.” So the woman took the child and nursed him. 10 After the child had grown older,[c] she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. She named him Moses,[d] because she said, “I drew him out of the water.”

Moses Kills an Egyptian

11 Years later, after[e] Moses had grown up, he went out to his own people,[f] and took notice of their heavy burdens. He saw an Egyptian beating up a Hebrew, one of his own people.[g] 12 Looking around and seeing no one else, he killed[h] the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. 13 Going out the next day, Moses noticed[i] two Hebrew men fighting right in front of him. He told the one who was at fault, “Why did you strike your companion?”

14 The man[j] replied, “Who appointed you to be an official judge over us? Are you planning[k] to kill me like you killed the Egyptian?”

Then Moses became terrified and told himself,[l] “Certainly this event has become known!”

Moses Flees to Midian

15 When Pharaoh heard about this matter, he tried to kill Moses. So Moses fled from Pharaoh, settled in the land of Midian, and sat down by a well. 16 Meanwhile, the seven daughters of a certain Midianite priest would come to draw water in order to fill water troughs for their father’s sheep. 17 Some shepherds came to drive them away, but Moses got up, came to their rescue, and watered their sheep. 18 When they returned to their father Reuel,[m] he asked, “Why have you returned so quickly today?”

19 “An Egyptian rescued us from the shepherds,”[n] they replied, “and he even drew water for us and watered the sheep!”

20 “Then where is he?” He asked his daughters. “Why did you leave the man behind? Go invite him to have something to eat.”[o]

21 Moses agreed to stay with the man, and he gave his daughter Zipporah to Moses in marriage.[p] 22 Later she gave birth to a son, and Moses[q] named him Gershom,[r] because he used to say, “I became an alien in a foreign land.”

The Israelis Cry Out to God

23 The king of Egypt eventually[s] died, and the Israelis groaned because of the bondage. They cried out, and their cry for deliverance from slavery ascended to God. 24 God heard their groaning and remembered his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 25 God watched the Israelis and took notice of them.


  1. Exodus 2:2 Or good
  2. Exodus 2:5 The Heb. lacks River
  3. Exodus 2:10 The Heb. lacks older
  4. Exodus 2:10 The Heb. name Moses sounds like the Heb. verb draw out
  5. Exodus 2:11 Lit. It happened in those days that
  6. Exodus 2:11 Lit. brothers
  7. Exodus 2:11 Lit. brothers
  8. Exodus 2:12 Lit. struck
  9. Exodus 2:13 The Heb. lacks noticed
  10. Exodus 2:14 Lit. He
  11. Exodus 2:14 Lit. saying
  12. Exodus 2:14 The Heb. lacks to himself
  13. Exodus 2:18 I.e. another name for Jethro
  14. Exodus 2:19 Lit. the hand of the shepherds
  15. Exodus 2:20 Lit. to eat bread
  16. Exodus 2:21 The Heb. lacks in marriage
  17. Exodus 2:22 Lit. he
  18. Exodus 2:22 Gershom sounds like Heb. for alien
  19. Exodus 2:23 Lit. It happened after those many days that the king of Egypt