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Exodus 2:11-25

Moses Strikes Out on His Own

11 One day, after Moses had grown up, he went out to his people and saw their forced labor. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his kinsfolk. 12 He looked this way and that, and seeing no one he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. 13 When he went out the next day, he saw two Hebrews fighting; and he said to the one who was in the wrong, "Why do you strike your fellow Hebrew?" 14 He answered, "Who made you a ruler and judge over us? Do you mean to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?" Then Moses was afraid and thought, "Surely the thing is known." 15 When Pharaoh heard of it, he sought to kill Moses. But Moses fled from Pharaoh. He settled in the land of Midian, and sat down by a well. 16 The priest of Midian had seven daughters. They came to draw water, and filled the troughs to water their father's flock. 17 But some shepherds came and drove them away. Moses got up and came to their defense and watered their flock. 18 When they returned to their father Reuel, he said, "How is it that you have come back so soon today?" 19 They said, "An Egyptian helped us against the shepherds; he even drew water for us and watered the flock." 20 He said to his daughters, "Where is he? Why did you leave the man? Invite him to break bread." 21 Moses agreed to stay with the man, and he gave Moses his daughter Zipporah in marriage. 22 She bore a son, and he named him Gershom; for he said, "I have been an alien residing in a foreign land." 23 After a long time the king of Egypt died. The Israelites groaned under their slavery, and cried out. Out of the slavery their cry for help rose up to God. 24 God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 25 God looked upon the Israelites, and God took notice of them.

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Musings

Clearly there was no press conference per se. It is used here to show how quickly news of, the now young adult, Moses' failed first attempt to help his people spread quickly. It's not clear in the Greek or Hebrew if Moses' intent was to kill the Egyptian, the word used indicates a very forceful beating, but regardless that was the result. Some scholars postulate this is the real reason Moses would not be allowed into the promised land. Note also that Moses is apparently aware of his heritage, identifying the Hebrews as kinfolk. There is clearly irony in the challenge to Moses about "who made you judge and ruler over us" since later it will be God that does so, yet for now he is a murderer trying to break up a fight, thus seen as hypocritical. However to Reuel's (aka Jethro) daughters he is a bit of a hero. It is also clear that he does not like injustice wherever he sees it ... Egyptians, Hebrews or Midianites. All this is likely preparing him for what is to come. Moses is destined to always be considered somewhat of an outcast. Here in this short passage Moses goes from privileged to outcast to homeless to foreigner.


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Genesis - Creation - Noah - Babel - Abraham - Isaac - Jacob - Joseph
Exodus - Egypt - Wandering - 10 Commandments

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