Exodus 2


וַיֵּלֶךְ אִישׁ מִבֵּית לֵוִי וַיִּקַּח אֶת־בַּת־לֵוִי  2:1

Exod. 2:1    Now a man from the house of Levi went and took a daughter of Levi.

וַתַּהַר הָאִשָּׁה וַתֵּלֶד בֵּן וַתֵּרֶא אֹתֹו כִּי־טֹוב הוּא וַתִּצְפְּנֵהוּ שְׁלֹשָׁה יְרָחִים  2:2

Exod. 2:2    And the woman conceived and bore a son.  When she saw him, that he was good, then she hid him three months.

וְלֹא־יָכְלָה עֹוד הַצְּפִינֹו וַתִּקַּח־לֹו תֵּבַת גֹּמֶא וַתַּחְמְרָה בַחֵמָר וּבַזָּפֶת וַתָּשֶׂם בָּהּ אֶת־הַיֶּלֶד וַתָּשֶׂם  2:3

בַּסּוּף עַל־שְׂפַת הַיְאֹר

Exod. 2:3    But she could not hide him any longer, so she took for him an ark of bulrushes and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and she put the boy in it that she placed among the reeds on the bank of the river.

וַתֵּתַצַּב אֲחֹתֹו מֵרָחֹק לְדֵעָה מַה־יֵּעָשֶׂה לֹו  2:4

Exod. 2:4    And his sister stood from far off to learn what would be done about him.

וַתֵּרֶד בַּת־פַּרְעֹה לִרְחֹץ עַל־הַיְאֹר וְנַעֲרֹתֶיהָ הֹלְכֹת עַל־יַד הַיְאֹר וַתֵּרֶא אֶת־הַתֵּבָה בְּתֹוךְ הַסּוּף   2:5

וַתִּשְׁלַח אֶת־אֲמָתָהּ וַתִּקָּחֶהָ

Exod. 2:5    And the daughter of Pharoah came down to bathe by the river, and her maids were walking near the river. Then she saw the ark among the reeds and sent her maid, and she brought it.

וַתִּפְתַּח וַתִּרְאֵהוּ אֶת־הַיֶּלֶד וְהִנֵּה־נַעַר בֹּכֶה וַתַּחְמֹל עָלָיו וַתֹּאמֶר מִיַּלְדֵי הָעִבְרִים זֶה  2:6

Exod. 2:6    When she opened, and she saw him, the boy, and behold, a baby crying, then she had pity on him and said, “This is one of the sons of the Hebrews.”

וַתֹּאמֶר אֲחֹתֹו אֶל־בַּת־פַּרְעֹה הַאֵלֵךְ וְקָרָאתִי לָךְ אִשָּׁה מֵינֶקֶת מִן הָעִבְרִיֹּת וְתֵינִק לָךְ אֶת־הַיָּלֶד  2:7

Exod. 2:7    Then his sister said to the daughter of Pharoah, “Shall I go and call a nursing woman from the Hebrew women for you so she can nurse the child for you?”

וַתֹּאמֶר־לָהּ בַּת־פַּרְעֹה לֵכִי וַתֵּלֶךְ הָעַלְמָה וַתִּקְרָא אֶת־אֵם הַיָּלֶד  2:8

Exod. 2:8    And the daughter of Pharoah said to her, “Go!”  And the maiden went and called the mother of the child.

וַתֹּאמֶר לָהּ בַּת־פַּרְעֹה הֵילִיכִי אֶת־הַיֶּלֶד הַזֶּה וְהֵינִקִהוּ לִי וַאֲנִי אֶתֵּן אֶת־שְׂכָרֵךְ וַתִּקַּח הָאִשָּׁה  2:9

הַיֶּלֶד וַתְּנִיקֵהוּ

Exod. 2:9    And the daughter of Pharoah said to her, “Take this child and nurse it for me and I will give your wages.  And the woman took the child and nursed him.

וַיִגְדַּל הַיֶּלֶד וַתְּבִאֵהוּ לְבַת־פַּרְעֹה וַיְהִי־לָהּ לְבֵן וַתִּקְרָא שְׁמֹו מֹשֶׁה וַתֹּאמֶר כִּי מִן־הַמַּיִם מְשִׁיתִהוּ  2:10

Exod. 2:10  And the child grew and she brought him to the daughter of Pharoah, and he was as a son to her.  And she called his name Moses as she said, “Because I drew him from the water.”

The name Moses can mean drawn or he who was drawn.  So either the name is Hebrew or the Hebrew equivalent of his Egyptian name.

וַיְהִי בַּיָּמִים הָהֵם וַיִּגְדַּל מֹשֶׁה וַיֵּצֵא אֶל־אֶחָיו וַיַּרְא בְּסִבְלֹתָם וַיַּרְא אִישׁ מִצְרִי מַכֶּה אִישׁ־עִבְרִיּ  2:11


Exod. 2:11  And when Moses was grown, it happened in those days that he would go out to his kindred, and he looked at their burdens, and he saw an Egyptian man beating a Hebrew man of his kindred.

וַיִּפֶן כֹּה וָכֹה וַיַּרְא כִּי אֵין אִישׁ וַיַּךְ אֶת־הַמִּצְרִי וַיִּטְמְנֵהוּ בַּחֹול  2:12

Exod. 2:12  And he turned this way and that.  When he saw that there was no man, then he slew the Egyptian and hid him in the sand.

וַיֵּצֵא בַּיֹּום הַשֵּׁנִי וְהִנֵּה שְׁנֵי־אֲנָשִׁים עִבְרִים נִצִּים וַיֹּאמֶר לָרָשָׁע לָמָּה תַכֶּה רֵעֶךָ  2:13

Exod. 2:13  Then he went out on the next day and behold, two men of the Hebrews were striving together and he said to the guilty one, “Why would you strike your companion?”

וַיֹּאמֶר מִי שָׂמְךָ לְאִישׁ שַׂר וְשֹׁפֵט עָלֵינוּ הַלְהָרְגֵנִי אַתָּה אֹמֵר כַּאֲשֶׁר הָרַגְתָּ אֶת־הַמִּצְרִי וַיִּירָא מֹשֶׁה  2:14

וַיֹּאמַר אָכֵן נֹודַע הַדָּבָר

Exod. 2:14  And he said, “Who appointed you for the master and judge over us?  Are you thinking to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?”  Then Moses was afraid and said, “Surely the thing is known.”

וַיִּשְׁמַע פַּרְעֹה אֶת־הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה וַיְבַקֵּשׁ לַהֲרֹג אֶת־מֹשֶׁה וַיִּבְרַח מֹשֶׁה מִפְּנֵי פַרְעֹה וַיֵּשֶׁב בְּאֶרֶץ־מִדְיָן  2:15

וַיֵּשֶׁב עַל־הַבְּאֵר

Exod. 2:15  Now Pharoah had heard this thing, and he sought to kill Moses.  But Moses fled from the face of Pharoah, and he tarried in the land of Midian and sat down near a certain well.

וּלְכֹהֵן מִדְיָן שֶׁבַע בָּנֹות וַתָּבֹאנָה וַתִּדְלֶנָה וַתְּמַלֶּאנָה אֶת־הָרְהָטִים לְהַשְׁקֹות צֹאן אֲבִיהֶן  2:16

Exod. 2:16  Now a priest of Midian had seven daughters and they came and drew water and filled the troughs to water the flock of their father.

וַיָּבֹאוּ הָרֹעִים וַיְגָרְשׁוּם וַיָּקָם מֹשֶׁה וַיֹּושִׁעָן וַיַּשְׁקְ אֶת־צֹאנָם  2:17

Exod. 2:17  But the shepherds came and drove them away.  So Moses arose and helped them and he watered their flock.

Some strange grammar appears here.  The word וַיְגָרְשׁוּם, meaning “and drove them away,” has a masculine plural form for them. Then the word וַיֹּושִׁעָן, meaning “and saved them,” has a feminine plural form for them. Finally the word צֹאנָם, meaning “their flock,” has a masculine plural form for their.  Was the scribe distinguishing among the three references as follows?  In the first case, was he including the sisters and the sheep, in the second case, only the sisters, and in the third case the sisters and their father (since, strictly speaking, the flock was not theirs)?  This seems reasonable to me, and avoids any grammatical difficulty.

וַתָּבֹאנָה אֶל־רְעוּאֵל אֲבִיהֶן וַיֹּאמֶר מַדּוּעַ מִהַרְתֶּן בֹּא הַיֹּום  2:18

Exod. 2:18  When they came to Reuel, their father, then he said, “Why have you hastened coming in today?”                                                                                                      [Return to Numb. 10:29]

וַתֹּאמַרְןָ אִישׁ מִצְרִי הִצִּילָנוּ מִיַּד הָרֹעִימ וְגַם־דָּלֹה דָלָה לָנוּ וַיַּשְׁקְ אֶת־הַצֹּאן  2:19

Exod. 2:19  And they said, “An Egyptian rescued us from the hand of the shepherds and he also drew quickly for us and watered the flock.”

וַיֹּאמֶר אֶל־בְּנֹתָיו וְאַיֹּו לָמָּה זֶּה עֲזַבְתֶּן אֶת־הָאִישׁ קִרְאֶן לֹו וְיֹאכַל לָחֶם  2:20

Exod. 2:20  And he said to his daughters, “And where is he?  Why is it you left the man?  Call for him so he may eat bread.”

This verse contains a grammatical oddity.  The next to last word וְיֹאכַל, translated as so he may eat, is third-person imperfect, yet is prefixed by a non-inverting vav.  It’s possible that non-inverting vavs prefix other than first person-imperfect verbs when they are consequences of a previous action.  In this case Moses’ eating bread would be a consequence of the daughters calling him.  I have suspected that this might be an ancient Hebrew grammatical rule, but have not been able to study it sufficiently to be certain.

וַיֹּואֶל מֹשֶׁה לָשֶׁבֶת אֶת־הָאִישׁ וַיִּתֵּן אֶת־צִפֹּרָה בִתֹּו לְמֹשֶׁה  2:21

Exod. 2:21  And Moses was pleased to dwell with the man, and he gave Zipporah, his daughter, to Moses.

וַתֵּלֶד בֵּן וַיִּקְרָא אֶת־שְׁמֹו גֵּרְשֹׁם כִּי אָמַר גֵּר הָיִיתִי בְּאֶרֶץ נָכְרִיָּה  2:22

Exod. 2:22  And she bore a son and he called his name Gershom, for he said, “I am a stranger in a strange land.”

The name Gershom can mean foreigner.  Obviously this name is descriptive.  But in an odd way it may also be considered prophetic.  If Moses can be called the father of the nation of the children of Israel, then it may be a premonition of the condition of the Jews in the Diaspora.

וַיְהִי בַיָּמִים הָרַבִּים הָהֵם וַיָּמָת מֶלֶךְ מִצְרַיִם וַיֵּאָנְחוּ בְנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל מִן־הָעֲבֹדָה וַיִּזְעָקוּ וַתַּעַל שַׁוְעָתָם  2:23

אֶל־הָאֱלֹהִים מִן־הָעֲבֹדָה

Exod. 2:23  And it happened during those many days that the king of Egypt died, and the children of Israel groaned because of the bondage, and they cried out.  And their crying from the bondage went up to He Who is God.                                                                                    [Return to Exod. 18:4]

וַיִּשְׁמַע אֱלֹהִים אֶת־נַאֲקָתָם וַיִּזְכֹּר אֱלֹהִים אֶת־בְּרִיתֹו אֶת־אַבְרָהָם אֶת־יִצְחָק וְאֶת־יַעֲקֹב  2:24

Exod. 2:24  And God heard their groaning and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.

וַיַּרְא אֱלֹהִים אֶת־בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיֵּדַע אֱלֹהִים  2:25

Exod. 2:25  And God saw the children of Israel and God knew.


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