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Bible Commentaries
Exodus 2

Everett's Study Notes on the Holy ScripturesEverett's Study Notes

Verses 1-10

The Birth of Moses Exodus 1:8 to Exodus 2:10 records the birth of Moses.

Exodus 1:8 Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph.

Exodus 1:8 Scripture References - Note as similar passage in Acts 7:18, “Till another king arose, which knew not Joseph.”

Exodus 1:9 And he said unto his people, Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we:

Exodus 1:10 Come on, let us deal wisely with them; lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that, when there falleth out any war, they join also unto our enemies, and fight against us, and so get them up out of the land.

Exodus 1:11 Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh treasure cities, Pithom and Raamses.

Exodus 1:12 But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were grieved because of the children of Israel.

Exodus 1:12 Comments - The purpose of afflicting the children of Israel was to keep the men weakened.

The affliction of the Israelites is like afflicting Christians; the more persecution, the more they spread and grow (see Acts 8:3-4).

Acts 8:3, “As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison. Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.”

Exodus 1:13 And the Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigour:

Exodus 1:14 And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in morter, and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field: all their service, wherein they made them serve, was with rigour.

Exodus 1:15 And the king of Egypt spake to the Hebrew midwives, of which the name of the one was Shiphrah, and the name of the other Puah:

Exodus 1:15 Comments Jimmy Swaggart notes how the Lord honours and immortalizes these two women by forever recording their names in Scripture while leaving the most powerful monarch on earth dishonoured by omitting his named so that to this day scholars are now sure which king of Egypt gave this order. [15]

[15] Jimmy Swaggart, “The Preaching of the Cross,” Sonshine Radio, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, radio program, 22 February 2011.

Exodus 1:16 And he said, When ye do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them upon the stools; if it be a son, then ye shall kill him: but if it be a daughter, then she shall live.

Exodus 1:17 But the midwives feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the men children alive.

Exodus 1:18 And the king of Egypt called for the midwives, and said unto them, Why have ye done this thing, and have saved the men children alive?

Exodus 1:19 And the midwives said unto Pharaoh, Because the Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women; for they are lively, and are delivered ere the midwives come in unto them.

Exodus 1:20 Therefore God dealt well with the midwives: and the people multiplied, and waxed very mighty.

Exodus 1:21 And it came to pass, because the midwives feared God, that he made them houses.

Exodus 1:21 “that he made them houses” Comments - English translations read this phrase in one of two interpretations. Either that God provided for them their own physical houses to dwell in, or God gave them their own families, with husbands and children, to bless them.

Exodus 1:22 And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, Every son that is born ye shall cast into the river, and every daughter ye shall save alive.

Exodus 2:1 And there went a man of the house of Levi, and took to wife a daughter of Levi.

Exodus 2:1 Comments - The Scriptures tell us the names of the parents of Moses. His father was called Amram and his mother was Jochebed (Exodus 6:20, Num 26:59 , 1 Chronicles 6:3; 1 Chronicles 23:13).

Exodus 6:20, “And Amram took him Jochebed his father's sister to wife; and she bare him Aaron and Moses: and the years of the life of Amram were an hundred and thirty and seven years.”

Numbers 26:59, “And the name of Amram's wife was Jochebed, the daughter of Levi, whom her mother bare to Levi in Egypt: and she bare unto Amram Aaron and Moses, and Miriam their sister.”

1 Chronicles 6:3, “And the children of Amram; Aaron, and Moses, and Miriam. The sons also of Aaron; Nadab, and Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar.”

1 Chronicles 23:13, “The sons of Amram; Aaron and Moses: and Aaron was separated, that he should sanctify the most holy things, he and his sons for ever, to burn incense before the LORD, to minister unto him, and to bless in his name for ever.”

Exodus 2:2 And the woman conceived, and bare a son: and when she saw him that he was a goodly child, she hid him three months.

Exodus 2:2 Comments - According to Hebrews 11:23, the fact that Moses’ mother hid her child was an act of faith towards God. Therefore, God honoured her faith.

Hebrews 11:23, “By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king's commandment.”

Exodus 2:3 And when she could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein; and she laid it in the flags by the river's brink.

Exodus 2:3 “And when she could not longer hide him” Comments - Acts 7:20 tells us that this was a period of three month (see also Hebrews 11:23).

Acts 7:20, “In which time Moses was born, and was exceeding fair, and nourished up in his father's house three months :”

Hebrews 11:23, “By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king's commandment.”

Exodus 2:4 And his sister stood afar off, to wit what would be done to him.

Exodus 2:4 Comments - I have two beautiful daughters, ages ten and eight, and a younger son, age three. These two daughters love their little brother more than anything else in this world. They would have stood by the river and watched out for their little brother as well, with their little hearts pounding with fear and anticipation about the outcome of this terrible dilemma. They, too, would have been brave enough to approach Pharaoh’s daughter, boldly risking their own lives to protect their beloved brother (2009).

Exodus 2:10 Word Study on “Moses”- The name “Moses” name means, “drawn out”. Note this explanation of Moses’ name from Clement of Alexandria, one of the early Church fathers. He says that the name was of Egyptian origin.

“Thereupon the queen gave the babe the name of Moses, with etymological propriety, from his being drawn out of ‘the water,’--for the Egyptians call water ‘mou,’--in which he had been exposed to die. For they call Moses one who ‘who breathed [on being taken] from the water.’ It is clear that previously the parents gave a name to the child on his circumcision; and he was called Joachim. And he had a third name in heaven, after his ascension, as the mystics say--Melchi.” (Clement of Alexandria, The Stromata, or Miscellanies, 1.23) [16]

[16] Clement of Alexander, The Stromata, or Miscellanies, 1.23, in The Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 2, eds. Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson (Buffalo, New York: The Christian Literature Publishing Company, 1885), 335.

Comments - It is interesting to note that Moses was drawn out of the same river in which the other Hebrew babies were being cast into and drowned (Exodus 1:22). In later years, Moses and those baptised with him will be delivered, or “drawn out”, from the Red Sea, and Pharaoh’s army “of men” will be drowned by water. The very people that tried to drown God’s children will themselves be drowned.

Exodus 1:22, “And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, Every son that is born ye shall cast into the river, and every daughter ye shall save alive.”

Verses 1-25

Israel’s Justification (Exodus 1:1 to Exodus 15:21 ) The emphasis of Exodus 1:1 to Exodus 18:27 is Israel’s justification before God through the sacrificial atonement of the Mosaic Law. The Passover was the time when God cut a covenant with the children of Israel, and the Exodus testifies to His response of delivering His people as a part of His covenant promise of redemption. Israel’s justification was fulfilled in their deliverance from the bondages of Egypt. Hebrews 11:23-29 highlights these events in order to demonstrate the faith of Moses in fulfilling his divine commission. These events serve as an allegory of the Church’s covenant through the blood of Jesus Christ and our subsequent deliverance from the bondages and sins of this world.

The Exodus Out of Egypt Exodus 1:1 to Exodus 18:27 describes God’s judgment upon Egypt and Israel’s exodus from bondage. In comparing the two Pharaoh’s discussed in this section of the book it is important to note that the pharaoh who blessed the people of Israel during Joseph’s life was himself blessed along with his nation. In stark contrast, the Pharaoh who cursed God’s people was himself cursed with the death of his own first born, as well as his entire nation. God watches over His people and blesses those who bless them and He curses those who curse them (Genesis 12:3).

Genesis 12:3, “And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.”

Verses 11-25

Moses’ Flight to the Land of Midian Exodus 2:11-22 records the flight of Moses to the land of Midian and his marriage to the daughter of the priest of this region. Moses knew that he was a Hebrew since childhood. The occasion of his flight was due to the fact that he killed an Egyptian and brought the wrath of Pharaoh against him. At some point in time Moses came to understand his future role in leading Israel out of bondage (Acts 7:25). In Exodus 2:11-12 Moses tries to deliver the Israelites in the flesh. The result is murder. Moses had to learn after spending forty years in the wilderness that God will do things in His time, not man's time or man's ways. God’s ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9).

Acts 7:25, “For he supposed his brethren would have understood how that God by his hand would deliver them: but they understood not.”

Isaiah 55:8, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

It is very likely that God's plan was to deliver Israel by Moses without the forty-year exile of Moses in the wilderness. God's promise was to deliver Israel after four hundred (400) years (Genesis 15:13). Instead, Israel stayed in bondage for four hundred and thirty (430) years (Exodus 12:40-41). Perhaps this thirty-year delay was caused by the rejection of Moses by the Hebrews in Exodus 2:13-15, when they accused Moses of being a killer; or, perhaps it was caused by Moses' efforts of trying to deliver the Hebrews before it was time. Thus, Moses would have acted in zeal, in the flesh, and not in the power of God.

Genesis 15:13, “And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years;”

Exodus 12:40-41, “Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years. And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt.”

Moses stayed in the wilderness for forty years. A forty-year period in the Scriptures represents a period of trial and testing. For example, God judged and tested Israel in the wilderness for 40 years for their rebellion; and Jesus was tested in the wilderness for forty days. Perhaps this thirty-year delay was a judgment on the Hebrews for rejecting Moses as their deliverer, causing him to go into exile for forty years.

Exodus 2:14 “Who made thee a prince and a judge over us” Comments - The Hebrews asked Moses who made him a prince or a judge over them. Later in the wilderness, God did make Moses a judge over Israel. This statement is a foreshadowing of his future role as a leader over Israel. It will become typical of how the children Israel are going to begin murmuring against Moses in wilderness. Note:

Exodus 18:13, “And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses sat to judge the people: and the people stood by Moses from the morning unto the evening.”

Note the New Testament references to Exodus 2:14:

Acts 7:27-28, “But he that did his neighbour wrong thrust him away, saying, Who made thee a ruler and a judge over us? Wilt thou kill me, as thou diddest the Egyptian yesterday? ”

Acts 7:35, “This Moses whom they refused, saying, Who made thee a ruler and a judge? the same did God send to be a ruler and a deliverer by the hand of the angel which appeared to him in the bush.”

Exodus 2:15 Comments - The land of Midian was just outside of Pharaoh’s jurisdiction, so that Moses was safe there.

Exodus 2:15-22 Moses and the Priest of Midian Exodus 2:15-22 records the early years of Moses in the land of Midian. He marries a daughter of the priest of Midian, who bears him a son named Gershom.

Exodus 2:16 Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters: and they came and drew water, and filled the troughs to water their father's flock.

Exodus 2:16 “Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters” - Comments We recall Melchizedek, the king and priest of Salem. The Scriptures record the fact that both were righteous in their priestly duties. Note that the Midianites were descended from Midian, the son of Abraham and Keturah (Genesis 25:1-2). Therefore, Jethro could have easily followed in the faith of his forefather Abraham.

Genesis 25:1-2, “Then again Abraham took a wife, and her name was Keturah. And she bare him Zimran, and Jokshan, and Medan, and Midian , and Ishbak, and Shuah.”

Exodus 2:16 “and they came and drew water, and filled the troughs to water their father's flock” - Word Study on “the troughs” - Gesenius tells us that the Hebrew word “troughs” “rahat” ( רַהַט ) (H7298) literally means, “a watering trough” (Genesis 30:38; Genesis 30:41, Exodus 2:16). He gives us its figurative meaning as “ringlets, curls (apparently so called from their flowing down)” (Song of Solomon 7:5). BDB tells us that it means, “a trough, a hollow, a lock of hair,” suggesting that this meaning may be dubious. Strong says it probably comes from an unused root meaning, “to hollow out.” The Enhanced Strong says this word is used four times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as “gutter 2, trough 1, gallery 1.”

Genesis 30:38, “And he set the rods which he had pilled before the flocks in the gutters in the watering troughs when the flocks came to drink, that they should conceive when they came to drink.”

Genesis 30:41, “And it came to pass, whensoever the stronger cattle did conceive, that Jacob laid the rods before the eyes of the cattle in the gutters , that they might conceive among the rods.”

Exodus 2:16, “Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters: and they came and drew water, and filled the troughs to water their father's flock.”

Song of Solomon 7:5, “Thine head upon thee is like Carmel, and the hair of thine head like purple; the king is held in the galleries .”

Exodus 2:18 Comments - Reuel is the same individual as Jethro, or Jether and Hobab (see Exodus 3:1, Numbers 10:29).

Exodus 3:1, “Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb.”

Numbers 10:29, “And Moses said unto Hobab , the son of Raguel the Midianite, Moses' father in law, We are journeying unto the place of which the LORD said, I will give it you: come thou with us, and we will do thee good: for the LORD hath spoken good concerning Israel.”

Exodus 2:22 Word Study on “Gershom” - Gesenius says the name “Gershom” ( גֵּרְשׁוֹן ) (H1648) means, “expulsion.” Strong says it means, “a refugee.” PTW says it means, “exile.”

Exodus 2:24 Comments - God cannot lie (Numbers 23:19). He had a covenant with Abraham (Exodus 3:7). Therefore, God was watching out for the children of Abraham.

Numbers 23:19, “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?”

Exodus 3:7, “And the LORD said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows;”

Exodus 2:23-25 Comments - Israel’s Cry for Deliverance - God hears the cry of His children.

Bibliographical Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Exodus 2". Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghe/exodus-2.html. 2013.
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