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Exodus Chapter 2
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2:1 A man of the house of Levi went and married Levi's daughter.
2:2 The woman became pregnant and had a son. She realized how extraordinary [the child] was, and she kept him hidden for three months.
2:3 When she could no longer hide him, she took a papyrus box, coating it with asphalt and pitch, and she placed the child in it. She placed it in the rushes near the bank of the Nile.
2:4 [The child's] sister stood herself at a distance to see what would happen to him.
2:5 Pharaoh's daughter went to bathe in the Nile, while her maids walked along the Nile's edge. She saw the box in the rushes, and sent her slave-girl to fetch it.
2:6 Opening [the box] she saw the boy. The infant began to cry, and she had pity on it. 'It is one of the Hebrew boys,' she said.
2:7 [The infant's] sister said to Pharaoh's daughter, 'Shall I go and call a Hebrew woman to nurse the child for you?'
2:8 'Go,' replied Pharaoh's daughter. The young girl went and got the child's own mother.
2:9 'Take this child and nurse it,' said Pharaoh's daughter to [the mother]. 'I will pay you a fee.' The woman took the child and nursed it.
2:10 When the child matured, [his mother] brought him to Pharaoh's daughter. She adopted him as her own son, and named him Moses (Moshe). 'I bore (mashe) him from the water,' she said.
2:11 When Moses was grown, he began to go out to his own people, and he saw their hard labor. [One day] he saw an Egyptian kill one of his fellow Hebrews.
2:12 [Moses] looked all around, and when he saw that no one was [watching], he killed the Egyptian and hid his body in the sand.
2:13 Moses went out the next day, and he saw two Hebrew men fighting. 'Why are you beating your brother?' he demanded of the one who was in the wrong.
2:14 'Who made you our prince and judge?' retorted [the other]. 'Do you mean to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?'

Moses was frightened. 'The incident is known,' he said.

2:15 When Pharaoh heard about the affair, he took steps to have Moses put to death. Moses fled from Pharaoh, and ended up in the land of Midian.

[Moses] was sitting near the well.

2:16 The sheik of Midian had seven daughters, who came to draw water. As they were beginning to fill the troughs and water their father's sheep,
2:17 other shepherds came and tried to chase them away. Moses got up and came to their aid, and then watered their sheep.
2:18 When they came to their patriarch Reuel, he asked them, 'How did you get to come home so early today?'
2:19 'An Egyptian stranger rescued us from some shepherds,' they replied. 'He also drew water for us and watered our sheep.'
2:20 'And where is he now?' he asked his daughters. 'Why did you abandon the stranger? Call him, and let him have something to eat.'
2:21 Moses decided to live with the man. He gave Moses his daughter Tzipporah as a wife.
2:22 When she gave birth to a son, [Moses] named him Gershom. 'I have been a foreigner (ger) in a strange land,' he said.

New Oppression
2:23 A long time then passed , and the king of Egypt died. The Israelites were still groaning because of their subjugation. When they cried out because of their slavery, their pleas went up before God.
2:24 God heard their cries, and He remembered His covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
2:25 God saw the Israelites, and He was about to show concern.


  This was Amram, son of Kehoth, son of Levi (Exodus 6:18; Numbers 3:18, 26:58, 1 Chronicles 5:29, 23:13). Amram was an important Israelite leader (Sotah 12a; Josephus 2:9:3). According to one ancient source, he had spent a number of years in the Holy Land (Yov'loth 46:10).

Levi's daughter
  Yokhebed (Exodus 6:20; Numbers 26:59).

  This was actually her third child, since Miriam was the eldest (Exodus 2:4), and Aaron, his brother, was older than Moses by three years (Exodus 7:7).

  (Septuagint). Cyperus papyrus. Gomeh in Hebrew, from the ancient Egyptian word gom. (see Isaiah 18:2, Job 8:11, 35:7). It is known that the ancient Egyptians used to make boats of bundles of papyrus (cf. Ibn Janach; Radak, Sherashim). In the Talmud it is referred to as gemi. Rashi translates it as jonc, French for cane.

  (Radak, Sherashim; Septuagint), Chemar in Hebrew; see Genesis 11:3, 14:10. Others write that it is a red clay (Ibn Ezra; Ibn Janach; cf. Ralbag). (See Josephus, Wars 4:8:4).

  Sof in Hebrew, from thuf, the ancient Egyptian word for uncut papyrus (cf. Radak, Sherashim; Ralbag). See Isaiah 19:6, Jonah 2:6. Others identify it with the bulrush or cat-tail, Typha angustata. Rashi translates it as resel, French for reeds. Significantly, in Ethiopian, supho denotes a red-topped kind of reed. This might explain the etymology of the Red Sea (see Exodus 10:19).

  Miriam (Exodus 15:20; Numbers 26:59), 1 Chronicles 5:29).

Pharaoh's daughter
  According to Talmudic tradition, she is the Bithiah mentioned in 1 Chronicles 4:18 (Targum ad loc. ; Sanhedrin 19b; Pirkey Rabbi Eliezer 48). Other sources, however, appear to indicate that Bithiah was Solomon's wife (BeMidbar Rabbah 10:4). Today, this name is usually pronounced Bathyah. (Significantly, the name Bati is found in ancient Egyptian texts). Other ancient sources state that the name of Pharaoh's daughter was Tarmuth (Yov'loth 47:5) or Thermuthis (Josephus, Antiquities 2:9:5). This would be Ne-termut, in ancient Egyptian texts. Still earlier sources state that her name was Merris, (Meres in Egyptian) and that Moses' foster father was Khenefiris (Artapanus [2nd Century b.c.e.], quoted in Eusobius, Preparation Evangelica 9:27). Khenefiris or Kha-neph Ra (Sebek-hetep IV) was a king of the 13th Dynasty. Some say that she could not have children of her own (Philo, De Vita Moses 2:201; Wisdom 19:6).

sent her slave-girl
  (Rashi; Ibn Ezra). Or, 'stretched out her arm' (Targum; Rashi). Both opinions are cited in the Talmud (Sotah 12b).

  He was two years old (Sh'moth Rabbah) 1:31).

  In Egyptian, Moshe means a son. Thus, his naming is prefaced by a phrase that is literally translated, 'he became to her as a son' (cf. Ibn Ezra; Hadar Zekenim). Significantly, the suffix moshe is found (and exclusively so) in the names of many Pharaohs of the 18th Dynasty, such as Ka-moshe ('son of [Ra's] majesty'), Ach-moshe (Ahmose; 'son of the moon,' or 'the moon is born') and Toth-moshe (Thutmose; 'son of Toth'). The word moshe may indeed be of Semitic origin (see next note, this verse, 'bore'), introduced by the Semitic Hyksos.

According to other ancient sources, the name Moses comes from the Egyptian mo (water) and uses (drawn from) (Josephus, Antiquities 2:9:6, Contra Apion 1:31; Philo De Vita Moses 2:17; Malbim).

Some sources state that Moses' Egyptian name was Monius (Ibn Ezra; cf. Abarbanel; Josephus, Contra Apion 1:26, 28). Other ancient sources claim that Moses' name was preserved among the Gentiles as the legendary Musaeus, teacher of Orpheus, from whom the Muses obtained their name (Artapanus, in Eusebius, Preparatio Evangelica 9:27).

  See 2 Samuel 22:17, Psalms 18:12; note on Genesis 47:11. In Egyptian, mase or mashe means to give birth. Others see the word as related to the Hebraic mush, and of Semitic origin (Rashi; Chizzkuni; Tur; see note, this verse, 'Moses').

  According to various opinions, he was 12 (Sh'moth Rabbah 5:1), 18 (Sefer HaYashar), 20 (Sh'moth Rabbah 1), 21 (Yov'loth 47:10), 29 (Shalsheleth HaKabbalah), 32 (BeMidbar Rabbah 14:40), 40 (Sh'moth Rabbah 1), 50 (Artapanus, loc. cit.), or 60 years old (Rabbi Moshe HaDarshan, Bereshith Rabathai, p. 13) at the time.

  (Sh'moth Rabbah 1:32). Or 'beating.'

fellow Hebrews
  According to tradition, the Hebrew was the husband of Shelomith, daughter of Dibri of Dan, mentioned in Leviticus 24:10, 11 (Sh'moth Rabbah 1:32; Tanchuma 9). According to others, he was a fellow member of Moses' sub-tribe, Kehoth (Pirkey Rabbi Eliezer 48).

two Hebrew men
  According to tradition, Dathan and Aviram, mentioned in Numbers 16:1, 26:9 (Nedarim 64b).

  See Genesis 25:2. Ironically, the same Midianites who sold Joseph to Egypt (Genesis 37:28) now sheltered the one who would lead his people out of Egypt. Midian was north-east of the Gulf of Aqaba, and therefore Moses fled along the trade route that crossed the Sinai Peninsula, a distance of some 250 miles.

  (Lekach Tov; Targum). Or, 'priest,' the usual connotation of the word cohen used here. Both opinions are found in the Mekhilta (on Exodus 18:1).

  Some say that he was their grandfather (cf. Numbers 10:29; Targum Yonathan; Rashbam; Ibn Ezra; Radak, Sherashim, s.v. Chathan). Others identify Reuel with Jethro (see Exodus 3:1; Mekhilta, Rashi, on Exodus 18:1; Josephus 2:12:1; see Sifri on Numbers 10:29). The name Reuel is also found in Genesis 36:4.

  Literally, 'Lady-bird.'

  Ger Sham, 'a foreigner there.'

king of Egypt died
  According to the usual chronology, this refers to the death of Ay in 2444 (1317 b.c.e.), when Horemheb (1317-1290 b.c.e.) came into power (see The Torah Anthology 4:240). The Pharaoh of the Exodus would then have been Horemheb, and the cataclysm of the Exodus would have brought about the end of the 18th Dynasty.

If we accept the 163 year discrepancy, then this would indicate the death of Thutmose II in 1490 b.c.e. (2434), and the powerful Thutmose III (1490-1436 b.c.e.) would have been the Pharaoh of the Exodus. The Exodus and ensuing events may then have given rise to the apparent monotheism of Ikhnaton, a century later.

Incidentally, the 163 year discrepancy is evident from the fact that Pharaoh Necho who, in usual chronologies reigned from 609 to 495 b.c.e., defeated King Josiah in 3316 or 443 b.c.e. (2 Kings 23:29; Seder HaDoroth).

with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob
  With Abraham (Genesis 15:14), Isaac (Genesis 17:21, 26:3), and Jacob (Genesis 46:4). See Genesis 50:24.

about to show concern
  (cf. Targum; Rashi).

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