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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.”

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

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

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.

And his sister stood afar off, to wit what would be done to him.

And the daughter of Pharaoh came down to wash herself at the river; and her maidens walked along by the river's side; and when she saw the ark among the flags, she sent her maid to fetch it.

And when she had opened it, she saw the child: and, behold, the babe wept. And she had compassion on him, and said, This is one of the Hebrews' children.

Then said his sister to Pharaoh's daughter, Shall I go and call to thee a nurse of the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for thee?

And Pharaoh's daughter said to her, Go. And the maid went and called the child's mother.

And Pharaoh's daughter said unto her, Take this child away, and nurse it for me, and I will give thee thy wages. And the women took the child, and nursed it.

10 And the child grew, and she brought him unto Pharaoh's daughter, and he became her son. And she called his name Moses: and she said, Because I drew him out of the water.

11 And it came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown, that he went out unto his brethren, and looked on their burdens: and he spied an Egyptian smiting an Hebrew, one of his brethren.

12 And he looked this way and that way, and when he saw that there was no man, he slew the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand.

13 And when he went out the second day, behold, two men of the Hebrews strove together: and he said to him that did the wrong, Wherefore smitest thou thy fellow?

14 And he said, Who made thee a prince and a judge over us? intendest thou to kill me, as thou killedst the Egyptian? And Moses feared, and said, Surely this thing is known.

15 Now when Pharaoh heard this thing, he sought to slay Moses. But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh, and dwelt in the land of Midian: and he sat down by a well.

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.

17 And the shepherds came and drove them away: but Moses stood up and helped them, and watered their flock.

18 And when they came to Reuel their father, he said, How is it that ye are come so soon to day?

19 And they said, An Egyptian delivered us out of the hand of the shepherds, and also drew water enough for us, and watered the flock.

20 And he said unto his daughters, And where is he? why is it that ye have left the man? call him, that he may eat bread.

21 And Moses was content to dwell with the man: and he gave Moses Zipporah his daughter.

22 And she bare him a son, and he called his name Gershom: for he said, I have been a stranger in a strange land.

23 And it came to pass in process of time, that the king of Egypt died: and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up unto God by reason of the bondage.

24 And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.

25 And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God had respect unto them.

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