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The Birth of Moses

About this time, a man and woman from the tribe of Levi got married. The woman became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She saw that he was a special baby and kept him hidden for three months. But when she could no longer hide him, she got a basket made of papyrus reeds and waterproofed it with tar and pitch. She put the baby in the basket and laid it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile River. The baby’s sister then stood at a distance, watching to see what would happen to him.

Soon Pharaoh’s daughter came down to bathe in the river, and her attendants walked along the riverbank. When the princess saw the basket among the reeds, she sent her maid to get it for her. When the princess opened it, she saw the baby. The little boy was crying, and she felt sorry for him. “This must be one of the Hebrew children,” she said.

Then the baby’s sister approached the princess. “Should I go and find one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?” she asked.

“Yes, do!” the princess replied. So the girl went and called the baby’s mother.

“Take this baby and nurse him for me,” the princess told the baby’s mother. “I will pay you for your help.” So the woman took her baby home and nursed him.

10 Later, when the boy was older, his mother brought him back to Pharaoh’s daughter, who adopted him as her own son. The princess named him Moses,[a] for she explained, “I lifted him out of the water.”

Moses Escapes to Midian

11 Many years later, when Moses had grown up, he went out to visit his own people, the Hebrews, and he saw how hard they were forced to work. During his visit, he saw an Egyptian beating one of his fellow Hebrews. 12 After looking in all directions to make sure no one was watching, Moses killed the Egyptian and hid the body in the sand.

13 The next day, when Moses went out to visit his people again, he saw two Hebrew men fighting. “Why are you beating up your friend?” Moses said to the one who had started the fight.

14 The man replied, “Who appointed you to be our prince and judge? Are you going to kill me as you killed that Egyptian yesterday?”

Then Moses was afraid, thinking, “Everyone knows what I did.” 15 And sure enough, Pharaoh heard what had happened, and he tried to kill Moses. But Moses fled from Pharaoh and went to live in the land of Midian.

When Moses arrived in Midian, he sat down beside a well. 16 Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters who came as usual to draw water and fill the water troughs for their father’s flocks. 17 But some other shepherds came and chased them away. So Moses jumped up and rescued the girls from the shepherds. Then he drew water for their flocks.

18 When the girls returned to Reuel, their father, he asked, “Why are you back so soon today?”

19 “An Egyptian rescued us from the shepherds,” they answered. “And then he drew water for us and watered our flocks.”

20 “Then where is he?” their father asked. “Why did you leave him there? Invite him to come and eat with us.”

21 Moses accepted the invitation, and he settled there with him. In time, Reuel gave Moses his daughter Zipporah to be his wife. 22 Later she gave birth to a son, and Moses named him Gershom,[b] for he explained, “I have been a foreigner in a foreign land.”

23 Years passed, and the king of Egypt died. But the Israelites continued to groan under their burden of slavery. They cried out for help, and their cry rose up to God. 24 God heard their groaning, and he remembered his covenant promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 25 He looked down on the people of Israel and knew it was time to act.[c]

Footnotes

  1. 2:10 Moses sounds like a Hebrew term that means “to lift out.”
  2. 2:22 Gershom sounds like a Hebrew term that means “a foreigner there.”
  3. 2:25 Or and acknowledged his obligation to help them.

The Birth of Moses

Now a man of the tribe of Levi(A) married a Levite woman,(B) and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. When she saw that he was a fine(C) child, she hid him for three months.(D) But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus(E) basket[a] for him and coated it with tar and pitch.(F) Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds(G) along the bank of the Nile. His sister(H) stood at a distance to see what would happen to him.

Then Pharaoh’s daughter went down to the Nile to bathe, and her attendants were walking along the riverbank.(I) She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her female slave to get it. She opened it and saw the baby. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. “This is one of the Hebrew babies,” she said.

Then his sister asked Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and get one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?”

“Yes, go,” she answered. So the girl went and got the baby’s mother. Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this baby and nurse him for me, and I will pay you.” So the woman took the baby and nursed him. 10 When the child grew older, she took him to Pharaoh’s daughter and he became her son. She named(J) him Moses,[b] saying, “I drew(K) him out of the water.”

Moses Flees to Midian

11 One day, after Moses had grown up, he went out to where his own people(L) were and watched them at their hard labor.(M) He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his own people. 12 Looking this way and that and seeing no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. 13 The next day he went out and saw two Hebrews fighting. He asked the one in the wrong, “Why are you hitting your fellow Hebrew?”(N)

14 The man said, “Who made you ruler and judge over us?(O) Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian?” Then Moses was afraid and thought, “What I did must have become known.”

15 When Pharaoh heard of this, he tried to kill(P) Moses, but Moses fled(Q) from Pharaoh and went to live in Midian,(R) where he sat down by a well. 16 Now a priest of Midian(S) had seven daughters, and they came to draw water(T) and fill the troughs(U) to water their father’s flock. 17 Some shepherds came along and drove them away, but Moses got up and came to their rescue(V) and watered their flock.(W)

18 When the girls returned to Reuel(X) their father, he asked them, “Why have you returned so early today?”

19 They answered, “An Egyptian rescued us from the shepherds. He even drew water for us and watered the flock.”

20 “And where is he?” Reuel asked his daughters. “Why did you leave him? Invite him to have something to eat.”(Y)

21 Moses agreed to stay with the man, who gave his daughter Zipporah(Z) to Moses in marriage. 22 Zipporah gave birth to a son, and Moses named him Gershom,[c](AA) saying, “I have become a foreigner(AB) in a foreign land.”

23 During that long period,(AC) the king of Egypt died.(AD) The Israelites groaned in their slavery(AE) and cried out, and their cry(AF) for help because of their slavery went up to God. 24 God heard their groaning and he remembered(AG) his covenant(AH) with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob. 25 So God looked on the Israelites and was concerned(AI) about them.

Footnotes

  1. Exodus 2:3 The Hebrew can also mean ark, as in Gen. 6:14.
  2. Exodus 2:10 Moses sounds like the Hebrew for draw out.
  3. Exodus 2:22 Gershom sounds like the Hebrew for a foreigner there.

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