Exodus 2:1-4 A man and woman from the tribe of Levi married and had a male baby. The mother hid the child 3 months, but when she could no longer hide him, put him in a floating basket and placed him in the reeds near the shore of the Nile River. The boy’s sister, Miriam (around 5 years old), was instructed to watch from a distance to see what would become of the baby boy.
Notes: The action of the mother by constructing a basket and setting her son afloat close to the royal bathing place, and having his sister watch over the basket indicates a hope that something would work out right for the child.
Exodus 2:5-8 While Pharaoh’s daughter bathed in the Nile River, her servants went for a walk. While bathing, she spotted the basket. She took pity on the crying baby boy, knowing that he was a Hebrew child. The baby’s sister, Miriam, boldly approached Pharaoh’s daughter and suggested she find a Hebrew woman that could nurse (milk) the child. Pharaoh’s daughter agreed, and Miriam went and got her own mother.
Notes: God uses Pharaoh’s daughter to override Pharaoh’s death decree to protect the life of his chosen leader for the Hebrews.
Exodus 2:9-10 When the baby’s mother was brought to Pharaoh’s daughter, she was commanded to take the child back home and nurse him with wages! When the baby was weaned, the baby boy was returned to Pharaoh’s daughter and was adopted by her. It was then that he was called, Moses, which means, “I drew him out of the water”.
Notes: Moses grew up in royalty. He was schooled in Egypt. He had special privileges belonging to nobility. He would have participated in outdoor sports, archery, horseback riding, etc. As we will see, Moses gives this all up and chooses instead to identify himself with his brothers and sisters in slavery.
Exodus 2:11-15 When Moses was older (About 40 years old and knowing that he was Hebrew) looked on his people’s burdens. And seeing an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, he killed the Egyptian and hid the body. The next day, Moses judged between two Hebrews fighting. They rebuked him for acting as their judge and his condemnation of the Egyptian that he killed the day before. (Not the kind of judge they wanted to solve their argument). Moses feared that what he did to the Egyptian was going to become widely known, and he was right for it reached the ears of Pharaoh himself. Pharaoh wanted Moses put to death for his crime, but Moses out of fear, fled the country and exiled himself to a land called Midian (372 miles – a little less than the distance from the top of Florida to the bottom of Florida).
Notes: It is possible that the two Hebrew men did not recognize Moses as a Hebrew. They called him prince which seems to indicate that they recognized him as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. Moses’ rash actions of committing murder show that he wasn’t ready to be the deliverer that God intended him to be. God could have used Moses at this time in his life, being only 40 years old, strong, and brave. God desires a ready heart, and the next 40 years while in exile is what is prescribed to prepare Moses for his mission.
See Bible Pictures "Goshen to Midian"
Exodus 2:16-22 Moses with his strength and bravery defended the daughters of the priest of Midian at a well from shepherds who tried to drive them away. The daughters told the story to their priestly father, Reuel. They identified Moses as an Egyptian probably based on the way he was dressed. Reuel told his daughters to find the man. Moses came and stayed with Reuel. Reuel even gave Moses one of his daughters, Zipporah as wife. They named their firstborn son, Gershom, which means, “a sojourner in a foreign land.”
Notes: Undoubtedly, Reuel and his family soon discover that Moses was not really an Egyptian. The Midianites were descendants of Abraham and Keturah (Abraham’s wife after Sarah).
Exodus 2:23-25 Sometime over the next 40 years, Pharaoh died. The Hebrews now collectively groaned and cried out to God for help! Remembering His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, God was now ready to put his rescue plan into action.