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This Chapter is rendered remarkable in that it is the beginning of the history of Moses, the writer of the Book of Exodus, and one of the most illustrious types of the Lord Jesus, as the great deliverer and lawgiver of his people; and as a mediator. The Contents of this Chapter are, the birth of Moses: his immediate danger at his birth, in being exposed to perish for want of sustenance, or from the ravages of destruction on the banks of the Nile: his preservation by Pharaoh's daughter :her adoption of him: his education under her: and his leaving the court of Egypt for his attachment to his brethren of the Hebrews: his flight to Midian: his marriage: and the event of it in the birth of a son. The close of the Chapter gives a further account of the oppressions exercised on the Israelites: their groans by reason of them, and God's merciful notice thereof.
Was not Moses herein a type of the Lord Jesus, concerning the priesthood? Hebrews 7:5
I would have the Reader remark concerning the fairness of Moses: that though Moses had this outward attraction to recommend him: yet of Jesus, the Son of God, it is said, he had no form nor comeliness; and when we should see him, there was no beauty that we should desire him. Isaiah 53:2 . The law appears at first to every carnal man as Moses did, lovely. The Gospel to all such hath nothing like its Divine Author to recommend it. But when we see spiritually and not bodily, it is the law that looks alarming and the gospel most lovely. Acts 7:20 .
Who that beholds the exposure of Moses, but must immediately call to mind the similar situation of the Lord Jesus. See Matthew 2:13
Observe the gracious interposition of God. Moses shall not only be preserved in the moment of danger, but preserved by the very daughter of the man who sought his life. Psalms 107:43 .
Reader! while you admire and adore the goodness of God, in thus forming our nature with those unconscious pleas for mercy which fail not to operate upon all minds, more or less: do not forget what the Lord saith of his own free and spontaneous mercy, as manifested to our whole nature, when we were cast out to perish, and when no eye pitied us but his, in our lost estate. Ezekiel 16:5-26.16.6 .
Who doth not, or will not, see divine wisdom arranging all this to his glory, and the mother's joy? But is there not also a gracious, as well as a providential lesson read to us here? Is not the unexpected blessing of receiving her child back again in this way by Moses' mother, a figure of the unexpected recovery of every lost sinner, whom divine mercy hath watched over during the season of unregeneracy, and at length restored in the day of God's power. See Luke 15:32 .
I think this verse may be spiritualized. Jesus doth in effect say the same concerning his children to all his ministering servants.
Moses means, drawn out of the water. An Egyptian name. And this I think is very gratifying to the Gentile church; see Isaiah 19:25 .
This was at least after 40 years. See Acts 7:23 ; Hebrews 11:24-58.11.27 . The Holy Ghost hath told us what age Moses was at this time: see Acts 7:23 . And we are indebted to that blessed Spirit for yet more important information, namely, the cause of his going forth. See Hebrews 11:24-58.11.26 . Reader! depend upon it that is a precious mark of grace, when a soul is enabled, like Moses, to turn his back upon worldly prospects, to seek him of whom Moses and the prophets did write, Jesus of Nazareth.
The Jews have a tradition that Moses slew the Egyptian by the word of his mouth. Such instances have been. See Acts 5:3-44.5.10 .
Acts 7:26 . Sweet and gentle reproof! Fellow sufferer! fellow oppressed! fellow Christian. All higher persuasions than fellow creature.
How the Lord graciously over-rules events! Moses' flight from Egypt is the first step in the design of Israel's deliverance from it. Midian was in peace at that time with Israel, for Israel was not yet formed into a nation. And the Midianites after the flesh were of the seed of Abraham. Genesis 25:2 .
It is probable that this Reuel was a priest of the true God among the Midianites, as Melchizedec was among the Canaanites. See Genesis 14:18 . But how afterwards his name is changed to Hobab we know not. See Numbers 10:29 .
This reminds us of similar transactions: Genesis 29:2-1.29.8 .
Gershom means a stranger there.
Observe, the children of Israel had long been oppressed, and groaned under oppression, but we do not hear of their crying unto God until now. Reader! till this blessed effect be accomplished, we can never say that our affliction is sanctified. Job 35:9-18.35.10 ; Numbers 20:14-4.20.15 .
Observe the process of grace. God's covenant is the cause of divine mercy: God remembers this: God hears the oppressed cry: God looks upon his people: God hath respect thereto. Reader! never lose sight of this, nor of that assurance connected with it: 2 Chronicles 16:9 .
How often do the very plans of bad men counteract their own designs! How frequently hath it been known, that the schemes of the ungodly to oppress the righteous have ultimately proved their very means of deliverance? Little did the tyrant of Egypt think when he issued the cruel edict for the murder of his harmless subjects, that his own daughter should be made the unconscious instrument of rescuing the very one whom the Lord would raise up to destroy his empire. Little did the Jews in ages after this event, imagine, that when they had nailed the Lord Jesus to the cross, that that very cross should become the means of accomplishing the reverse of all that they intended.
My soul! learn from such astonishing instances, in which the wrath of man is made to praise the Lord, by fulfilling the sacred purposes of his will, to commit all thy concerns with implicit confidence into the Lord's hand. If thou art his, (this is the grand point to be interested about), depend upon it he will take care of his own. And let this be an everlasting maxim, for the truth is unquestionable, that the man who by grace is led to watch the Lord's providences, will never want for the Lord of providences to watch him.
Reader! dismiss not this interesting Chapter before you have once again remarked, how the cries and groans of the Lord's people called forth the Lord's attention unto them. Men may cry under trouble and groan under oppression. But in all this there is no concern for sin which is the cause of it, and consequently no cry to God to be delivered from it. Job describes such in lively characters. By reason (says he) of the multitude of oppressions they make the oppressed to cry, they cry out by reason of the arm of the mighty. But none saith, Where is God my Maker, who giveth songs in the night? Job 35:9-18.35.10 . Reader, how stands the case with you? Are your cries the cries for sin? Do your troubles lead the heart to God? And is the language of your soul, where is God my Father, my Saviour, who knows my sorrow, and to whom alone I look for deliverance? Pause over the subject, and may the Holy Ghost be your teacher!
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Exodus 2". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Second Week of Advent