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The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary
   

Shemot - Exodus - Chapter 2

Shemot - Exodus - Chapter 2

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Rashi's Commentary:

Chapter 2

1. A man of the house of Levi went and married a daughter of Levi.   א. וַיֵּלֶךְ אִישׁ מִבֵּית לֵוִי וַיִּקַּח אֶת בַּת לֵוִי:
and married a daughter of Levi: He was separated from her because of Pharaoh’s decree (and he remarried her. This is the meaning of went, that he followed [lit., he went after] his daughter’s advice that she said to him, Your decree is harsher than פַּרְעֹה. Whereas Pharaoh issued a decree [only] against the males, you [issued a decree] against the females as well [for none will be born]. This [comment] is found in an old Rashi ), and he took her back and married her a second time. She too was transformed to become like a young woman [physically], but she was [actually] 130 years old. For she was born when they came to Egypt between the חוֹמוֹת and they stayed there 210 years. When they left, Moses was 80 years old. If so, when she conceived him, she was 130 years old, yet [Scripture] calls her a daughter of Levi. [From Sotah 12a, Exod. Rabbah 1:19] [   ויקח את בת לוי: פרוש היה ממנה מפני גזירת פרעה (וחזר ולקחה. וזהו וילך, שהלך בעצת בתו שאמרה לו גזרתך קשה משל פרעה, אם פרעה גזר על הזכרים, ואתה ג"כ על הנקבות). והחזירה ועשה בה לקוחין שניים. ואף היא נהפכה להיות נערה. ובת מאה שלושים שנה היתה שנולדה בבואה למצרים בין החומות, ומאתים ועשר שנה נשתהו שם, וכשיצאו היה משה בן שמונים שנה. אם כן כשנתעברה ממנו היתה בת מאה שלושים וקורא אותה בת לוי:
2. The woman conceived and bore a son, and [when] she saw him that he was good, she hid him for three months.   ב. וַתַּהַר הָאִשָּׁה וַתֵּלֶד בֵּן וַתֵּרֶא אֹתוֹ כִּי טוֹב הוּא וַתִּצְפְּנֵהוּ שְׁלשָׁה יְרָחִים:
that he was good: When he was born, the entire house was filled with light. [From Sotah 12a, Exod. Rabbah 1:20]   כי טוב הוא: כשנולד נתמלא הבית כולו אורה:
3. [When] she could no longer hide him, she took [for] him a reed basket, smeared it with clay and pitch, placed the child into it, and put [it] into the marsh at the Nile's edge.   ג. וְלֹא יָכְלָה עוֹד הַצְּפִינוֹ וַתִּקַח לוֹ תֵּבַת גֹּמֶא וַתַּחְמְרָה בַחֵמָר וּבַזָּפֶת וַתָּשֶׂם בָּהּ אֶת הַיֶּלֶד וַתָּשֶׂם בַּסּוּף עַל שְׂפַת הַיְאֹר:
[When] she could no longer hide him: because the Egyptians counted her [pregnancy] from the day that he [Amram] took her back. She bore him after [only] six months and one day (Sotah 12a), for a woman who gives birth to a seven-month child may give birth after incomplete [months] (Niddah 38b, R.H. 11a). And they searched after her at the end of nine [months].   ולא יכלה עוד הצפינו: שמנו לה המצריים מיום שהחזירה, והיא ילדתו לששה חדשים ויום אחד, שהיולדת לשבעה יולדת למקוטעין, והם בדקו אחריה לסוף תשעה:
reed: Heb. גֹּמֶא, גִמִי in the language of the Mishnah, and in French jonc, reed grass. This is a pliable substance, which withstands both soft [things] and hard [things]. [From Sotah 12a]   גמא: גמי בלשון משנה ובלעז יונ"ק [גומא]. ודבר רך הוא, ועומד בפני רך ובפני קשה:
with clay and pitch: Pitch on the outside and clay on the inside so that the righteous person [Moses] should not smell the foul odor of pitch. [From Sotah 12a]   בחמר ובזפת: זפת מבחוץ וטיט מבפנים, כדי שלא יריח אותו צדיק ריח רע של זפת:
and put [it] into the marsh: Heb. וַתָּשֶׂם בָּסוּף. This is an expression meaning a marsh, rosei(y)l, in Old French [roseau in modern French], reed. Similar to it is reeds and rushes (קָנֶה וָסוּף) shall be cut off (Isa. 19:6). [From Sotah 12b]   ותשם בסוף: הוא לשון אגם רושי"ל בלעז [סוף], ודומה לו (ישעיה יט ו) קנה וסוף קמלו:
4. His sister stood from afar, to know what would be done to him.   ד. וַתֵּתַצַּב אֲחֹתוֹ מֵרָחֹק לְדֵעָה מַה יֵּעָשֶׂה לוֹ:
5. Pharaoh's daughter went down to bathe, to the Nile, and her maidens were walking along the Nile, and she saw the basket in the midst of the marsh, and she sent her maidservant, and she took it.   ה. וַתֵּרֶד בַּת פַּרְעֹה לִרְחֹץ עַל הַיְאֹר וְנַעֲרֹתֶיהָ הֹלְכֹת עַל יַד הַיְאֹר וַתֵּרֶא אֶת הַתֵּבָה בְּתוֹךְ הַסּוּף וַתִּשְׁלַח אֶת אֲמָתָהּ וַתִּקָּחֶהָ:
to bathe, to the Nile: Heb. עַל הַיְאֹר. Transpose the verse and explain it: Pharaoh’s daughter went down to the Nile to bathe in it.   לרחץ על היאר: סרס המקרא ופרשהו ותרד בת פרעה על היאור לרחוץ בו:
along the Nile: Heb. עַל יַד הַיְאֹר, next to the Nile, similar to: See, Joab’s field is near mine (רְאוּ חֶלְקַת יוֹאָב אֶל יָדִי) (II Sam. 14:30). יָדִי is a literal expression for hand, because a person s hand is near himself. [Thus, the word יָד denotes proximity.] Our Sages said (Sotah 12b): הֹלְכֹת is an expression of death, similar to: Behold, I am going (הוֹלֵ) to die (Gen. 25:32). They [her maidens] were going to die because they protested against her [when she wanted to take the basket]. The text supports them [the Sages], because [otherwise] why was it necessary to write: and her maidens were walking?   על יד היאר: אצל היאור, כמו (שמואל ב יד ל) ראו חלקת יואב על ידי, והוא לשון יד ממש, שיד האדם סמוכה לו. ורבותינו דרשו הולכות לשון מיתה, כמו (בראשית כה לב) הנה אנכי הולך למות, הולכות למות לפי שמיחו בה. והכתוב מסייען, כי למה לנו לכתוב ונערותיה הולכות:
her maidservant: Heb. אֲמָתָהּ, her maidservant. Our Sages (Sotah 12b), however, interpreted it as an expression meaning a hand. [The joint from the elbow to the tip of the middle finger is known as אַמָּה, hence the cubit measure bearing the name, אַמָּה, which is the length of the arm from the elbow to the tip of the middle finger.] Following [the rules of] Hebrew grammar, however, it should have been vowelized אַמָּתָהּ, with a dagesh in the mem. They, however, interpreted אֶתאֲמָתָהּ to mean her hand, [that she stretched out her hand,] and her arm grew many cubits (אַמוֹת) [so that she could reach the basket]. [From Sotah 12b, Exod. Rabbah 1:23]   את אמתה: את שפחתה. ורבותינו דרשו לשון יד. אבל לפי דקדוק לשון הקודש היה לו להנקד אמתה מ"ם דגושה. והם דרשו את אמתה את ידה, שנשתרבבה אמתה אמות הרבה:
6. She opened [it], and she saw him the child, and behold, he was a weeping lad, and she had compassion on him, and she said, "This is [one] of the children of the Hebrews."   ו. וַתִּפְתַּח וַתִּרְאֵהוּ אֶת הַיֶּלֶד וְהִנֵּה נַעַר בֹּכֶה וַתַּחְמֹל עָלָיו וַתֹּאמֶר מִיַּלְדֵי הָעִבְרִים זֶה:
She opened [it], and she saw him: Whom did she see? The child. Its midrashic interpretation is that she saw the Shechinah with him. [From Sotah 12b, Exod. Rabbah 1:23]   ותפתח ותראהו: את מי ראתה, את הילד, זהו פשוטו. ומדרשו שראתה עמו שכינה:
and behold, he was a weeping lad: [Even though he was an infant] his voice was like that of a lad. [From Sotah 12b]   והנה נער בכה: קולו כנער:
7. His sister said to Pharaoh's daughter, "Shall I go and call for you a wet nurse from the Hebrew women, so that she shall nurse the child for you?"   ז. וַתֹּאמֶר אֲחֹתוֹ אֶל בַּת פַּרְעֹה הַאֵלֵךְ וְקָרָאתִי לָךְ אִשָּׁה מֵינֶקֶת מִן הָעִבְרִיֹּת וְתֵינִק לָךְ אֶת הַיָּלֶד:
from the Hebrew women: This teaches [us] that she had taken him around to many Egyptian women to nurse, but he did not nurse because he was destined to speak with the Shechinah. [From Sotah 12b, Exod. Rabbah 1:25].   מן העברית: מלמד שהחזירתו על מצריות הרבה לינק ולא ינק, לפי שהיה עתיד לדבר עם השכינה:
8. Pharaoh's daughter said to her, "Go!" So the girl went and called the child's mother.   ח. וַתֹּאמֶר לָהּ בַּת פַּרְעֹה לֵכִי וַתֵּלֶךְ הָעַלְמָה וַתִּקְרָא אֶת אֵם הַיָּלֶד:
So the girl went: Heb. הָעַלְמָה. She went with alacrity and vigor like a youth. [From Sotah 12b]   ותלך העלמה: הלכה בזריזות ועלמות כעלם:
9. Pharaoh's daughter said to her, "Take this child and nurse him for me, and I will give [you] your wages." So the woman took the child and nursed him.   ט. וַתֹּאמֶר לָהּ בַּת פַּרְעֹה הֵילִיכִי אֶת הַיֶּלֶד הַזֶּה וְהֵינִקִהוּ לִי וַאֲנִי אֶתֵּן אֶת שְׂכָרֵךְ וַתִּקַּח הָאִשָּׁה הַיֶּלֶד וַתְּנִיקֵהוּ:
Take: Heb. הֵילִיכִי. She prophesied but did not know what she prophesied. [She said,] This one is yours. [From Sotah 12b, Exod. Rabbah 1:25]   היליכי: נתנבאה ולא ידעה מה נתנבאה הי שליכי:
10. The child grew up, and she brought him to Pharaoh's daughter, and he became like her son. She named him Moses, and she said, "For I drew him from the water."   י. וַיִּגְדַּל הַיֶּלֶד וַתְּבִאֵהוּ לְבַת פַּרְעֹה וַיְהִי לָהּ לְבֵן וַתִּקְרָא שְׁמוֹ משֶׁה וַתֹּאמֶר כִּי מִן הַמַּיִם מְשִׁיתִהוּ:
For I drew him from the water: Heb. מְשִׁיתִהוּ. The Targum renders: שְׁחַלְךְתֵּי, which is an Aramaic expression of drawing out, similar to [the expression] שֵׂינֵיתָא מֵחִלָבָא ְמַשְׁחֵל, like one who draws a hair out of milk (Ber. 8a). And in Hebrew, מְשִׁיתִהוּ is an expression meaning I have removed (משׁ), like shall not move away (לֹא יָמוּשׁ) (Josh. 1:8), did not move away (לֹא מָשׁוּ) (Num. 14:44). Menachem classified in this way [i.e., under the root משׁ in Machbereth Menachem, p. 120]. I say, however, that it (מְשִׁיתִהוּ) does not belong in the classification of מָשׁ and לֹא יָמוּשׁ, but [it is derived] from the root מָשֹׁה, and it means taking out and similarly, He drew me out (יַמְשֵׁנִי) of many waters (II Sam. 22:17). For if it were of the classification of [the word] מָשׁ, it would be inappropriate to say מְשִׁיתִהוּ, but הֲמִישׁוֹתִיהוּ, as one says from קָם (to rise), הֲקִימוֹתִי (I set up), and from שָׁב (to return), הֲשִׁיבוֹתִי (I brought back), and from בָּא (to come), הֲבִיאוֹתִי (I brought). Or מַשְׁךְתִּיהוּ, like and I will remove וּמַשְׁךְתִּי ) the iniquity of that land (Zech. 3:9). But מָשִׁיתִי is only from the root of a word whose verb form is formed with a “hey” at the end of the word, like מָשָׁה, to take out בָּנָה, to build; עָשָׂה, to do; צִוָּה, to command; פָּנָה, to turn. When one comes to say in any of these [verbs] פָּעַלְךְתִּי, I did, [i.e., first person past-tense], a “yud” replaces the “hey” : עָשִׂיתִי, I did; בָּנִיתִי, I built; פָּנִיתִי, I turned; צִוִּיתִי, I commanded.   משיתהו: שחילתה והוא לשון הוצאה בלשון ארמי, כמשחל ביניתא מחלבא. ובלשון עברי משיתהו לשון הסירותיו, כמו (יהושע א ח) לא ימוש, לא משו (במדבר יד מד), כך חברו מנחם. ואני אומר שאינו ממחברת מש, וימוש, אלא מגזרת משה ולשון הוצאה הוא, וכן (שמואל ב כב יז) ימשני ממים רבים, שאילו היה ממחברת מש, לא יתכן לומר משיתהו, אלא המישותיהו, כאשר יאמר מן קם הקימותי, ומן שב השיבותי, ומן בא הביאותי, או משתיהו, כמו (זכריה ג ט) ומשתי את עון הארץ, אבל משיתי אינו אלא מגזרת תיבה שפעל שלה מיוסד בה"א בסוף התיבה. כגון משה, בנה, עשה, צוה, פנה, כשיבא לומר בהם פעלתי, תבא היו"ד במקום ה"א, כמו עשיתי, בניתי, פניתי, צויתי:
11. Now it came to pass in those days that Moses grew up and went out to his brothers and looked at their burdens, and he saw an Egyptian man striking a Hebrew man of his brothers.   יא. וַיְהִי | בַּיָּמִים הָהֵם וַיִּגְדַּל משֶׁה וַיֵּצֵא אֶל אֶחָיו וַיַּרְא בְּסִבְלֹתָם וַיַּרְא אִישׁ מִצְרִי מַכֶּה אִישׁ עִבְרִי מֵאֶחָיו:
Moses grew up: Was it not already written: The child grew up ? Rabbi Judah the son of Rabbi Ilai said: The first one (וַיִּגְדַּל) [was Moses growth] in height, and the second one [was his growth] in greatness, because Pharaoh appointed him over his house. [From Tanchuma Buber, Va’era 17]   ויגדל משה: והלא כבר כתיב ויגדל הילד (פסוק י) אמר רבי יהודה ברבי אלעאי הראשון לקומה והשני לגדולה, שמינהו פרעה על ביתו:
and looked at their burdens: He directed his eyes and his heart to be distressover them. [From Exod. Rabbah 1:27]   וירא בסבלתם: נתן עיניו ולבו להיות מיצר עליהם:
an Egyptian man: He was a taskmaster appointed over the Israelite officers. He would wake them when the rooster crowed, [to call them] to their work. [From Exod. Rabbah 1:28]   איש מצרי: נוגש היה, ממונה על שוטרי ישראל והיה מעמידם מקרות הגבר למלאכתם:
striking a Hebrew man: He was lashing and driving him, and he [the Hebrew man] was the husband of Shelomith the daughter of Dibri [who was mentioned in Lev. 24:10], and he [the taskmaster] laid his eyes on her. So he woke him [the Hebrew] at night and took him out of his house, and he [the taskmaster] returned and entered the house and was intimate with his wife while she thought that he was her husband. The man returned home and became aware of the matter. When that Egyptian saw that he had become aware of the matter, he struck [him] and drove him all day [From Exod. Rabbah 1:28]   מכה איש עברי: מלקהו ורודהו. ובעלה של שלומית בת דברי היה, ונתן בה עיניו, ובלילה העמידו והוציאו מביתו, והוא חזר ונכנס לבית ובא על אשתו, כסבורה שהוא בעלה, וחזר האיש לביתו והרגיש בדבר, וכשראה אותו מצרי שהרגיש בדבר, היה מכהו ורודהו כל היום:
12. He turned this way and that way, and he saw that there was no man; so he struck the Egyptian and hid him in the sand.   יב. וַיִּפֶן כֹּה וָכֹה וַיַּרְא כִּי אֵין אִישׁ וַיַּךְ אֶת הַמִּצְרִי וַיִּטְמְנֵהוּ בַּחוֹל:
He turned this way and that way: He saw what he [the Egyptian] had done to him [the Hebrew] in the house and what he had done to him in the field (Exod. Rabbah 1:28). But according to its simple meaning, it is to be interpreted according to its apparent meaning, i.e., he looked in all directions and saw that no one had seen him slay the Egyptian. [   ויפן כה וכה: ראה מה עשה לו בבית ומה עשה לו בשדה. ולפי פשוטו כמשמעו:
and he saw that there was no man: [I.e., he saw that] there was no man destined to be descended from him [the Egyptian] who would become a proselyte [i.e., a convert]. [From Exod. Rabbah 1:29]   וירא כי אין איש: עתיד לצאת ממנו שיתגייר:
13. He went out on the second day, and behold, two Hebrew men were quarreling, and he said to the wicked one, "Why are you going to strike your friend?"   יג. וַיֵּצֵא בַּיּוֹם הַשֵּׁנִי וְהִנֵּה שְׁנֵי אֲנָשִׁים עִבְרִים נִצִּים וַיֹּאמֶר לָרָשָׁע לָמָּה תַכֶּה רֵעֶךָ:
two Hebrew men were quarreling: Dathan and Abiram. They were the ones who saved some of the manna [when they had been forbidden to leave it overnight, as in Exod. 16:19, 20]. [From Exod. Rabbah 1:29]   שני אנשים עברים: דתן ואבירם הם שהותירו מן המן:
quarreling: Heb. נִצִּים, fighting.   נצים: מריבים:
Why are you going to strike: Although he had not struck him, he is called wicked for [merely] raising his hand [to strike him]. [From Sanh. 58b] [   למה תכה: אף על פי שלא הכהו, נקרא רשע בהרמת יד:
your friend: A wicked man like you. [From Exod. Rabbah 1:29]   רעך: רשע כמותך:
14. And he retorted, "Who made you a man, a prince, and a judge over us? Do you plan to slay me as you have slain the Egyptian?" Moses became frightened and said, "Indeed, the matter has become known!"   יד. וַיֹּאמֶר מִי שָׂמְךָ לְאִישׁ שַׂר וְשֹׁפֵט עָלֵינוּ הַלְהָרְגֵנִי אַתָּה אֹמֵר כַּאֲשֶׁר הָרַגְתָּ אֶת הַמִּצְרִי וַיִּירָא משֶׁה וַיֹּאמַר אָכֵן נוֹדַע הַדָּבָר:
Who made you a man: You are still a youth. [From Tanchuma, Shemoth 10]   מי שמך לאיש: והרי עודך נער:
Do you plan to slay me: lit., Do you say to slay me. From here we learn that he slew him with the ineffable Name. [From Tanchuma, Shemoth 10]   הלהרגני אתה אמר: מכאן אנו למדים שהרגו בשם המפורש:
Moses became frightened: [To be explained] according to its simple meaning [that Moses was afraid Pharaoh would kill him]. Midrashically, it is interpreted to mean that he was worried because he saw in Israel wicked men [i.e.,] informers. He said, Since this is so, perhaps they [the Israelites] do not deserve to be redeemed [from slavery]. [From Tanchuma, Shemoth 10]   ויירא משה: כפשוטו. ומדרשו דאג לו על שראה בישראל רשעים דלטורין, אמר מעתה שמא אינם ראויין להגאל:
Indeed, the matter has become known: [To be interpreted] according to its apparent meaning [that it was known that he had slain the Egyptian]. Its midrashic interpretation, however, is: the matter I was wondering about, [i.e.,] why the Israelites are considered more sinful than all the seventy nations [of the world], to be subjugated with back-breaking labor, has become known to me. Indeed, I see that they deserve it. [From Exod. Rabbah 1:30]   אכן נודע הדבר: כמשמעו. ומדרשו נודע לי הדבר שהייתי תמה עליו, מה חטאו ישראל מכל שבעים אומות להיות נרדים בעבודת פרך, אבל רואה אני שהם ראויים לכך:
15. Pharaoh heard of this incident, and he sought to slay Moses; so Moses fled from before Pharaoh. He stayed in the land of Midian, and he sat down by a well.   טו. וַיִּשְׁמַע פַּרְעֹה אֶת הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה וַיְבַקֵּשׁ לַהֲרֹג אֶת משֶׁה וַיִּבְרַח משֶׁה מִפְּנֵי פַרְעֹה וַיֵּשֶׁב בְּאֶרֶץ מִדְיָן וַיֵּשֶׁב עַל הַבְּאֵר:
Pharaoh heard: They informed on him.   וישמע פרעה: הם הלשינו עליו:
and he sought to slay Moses: He delivered him to the executioner to execute him, but the sword had no power over him. That is [the meaning of] what Moses said, “and He saved me from Pharaoh’s חֶרֶב ” (Exod. 18:4). [From Mechilta, Yithro 1, Exod. Rabbah 1:321]   ויבקש להרג את משה: מסרו לקוסטינר להרגו, ולא שלטה בו החרב, הוא שאמר משה (יח ד) ויצילני מחרב פרעה:
(He stayed in the land of Midian: Heb. וַיֵּשֶׁב, he tarried there, like Jacob dwelt וַיֵּשֶׁב (Gen. 37:1).)   וישב בארץ מדין: נתעכב שם, כמו (בראשית לז א) וישב יעקב:
and he sat down by a well: Heb. וַיֵּשֶׁב, an expression of sitting. He learned from Jacob, who met his mate at a well. [From Exod. Rabbah 1:32, Tanchuma, Shemoth 10] [The comment on the sentence He stayed in the land of Midian does not appear in some editions of Rashi. Therefore, it is enclosed within parentheses. The first sentence of the second paragraph does not appear in the Miraoth Gedoloth. It does, however, appear in all other editions of Rashi. Perhaps it was unintentionally omitted. Rashi intends here to differentiate between the first וַיֵּשֶׁב and the second וַיֵּשֶׁב He explains that the first וַיֵּשֶׁב means staying, residing, or tarrying, signifying that Moses resided in Midian. The second וַיֵּשֶׁב denotes, literally, sitting, meaning that Moses sat down by a well. The Sages of the midrashim teach us that Moses sat there intentionally, for he expected to meet his mate, just as Jacob had met Rachel and Eliezer had met Rebecca when he sought a mate for Isaac. Otherwise, Moses would not have sat by the well simply to watch how the flocks were being watered.]   וישב על הבאר: לשון ישיבה, למד מיעקב שנזדווג לו זווגו על הבאר:
16. Now the chief of Midian had seven daughters, and they came and drew [water], and they filled the troughs to water their father's flocks.   טז. וּלְכֹהֵן מִדְיָן שֶׁבַע בָּנוֹת וַתָּבֹאנָה וַתִּדְלֶנָה וַתְּמַלֶּאנָה אֶת הָרְהָטִים לְהַשְׁקוֹת צֹאן אֲבִיהֶן:
Now the chief of Midian had: Heb. וּלְכֹהֵן מִדְיָן, i.e., the most prominent among them. He had abandoned idolatry, so they banned him from [living with] them. [From Exod. Rabbah 1:32, Tanchuma, Shemoth 11]   ולכהן מדין: רב שבהן ופירש לו מעבודה זרה ונידוהו מאצלם:
the troughs: Pools of running water, made in the ground.   את הרהטים: את בריכות מרוצת המים העשויות בארץ:
17. But the shepherds came and drove them away; so Moses arose and rescued them and watered their flocks.   יז. וַיָּבֹאוּ הָרֹעִים וַיְגָרְשׁוּם וַיָּקָם משֶׁה וַיּוֹשִׁעָן וַיַּשְׁקְ אֶת צֹאנָם:
and drove them away: because of the ban. [From Exod. Rabbah 1:32, Tanchuma, Shemoth 11]   ויגרשום: מפני הנידוי:
18. They came to their father Reuel, and he said, "Why have you come so quickly today?"   יח. וַתָּבֹאנָה אֶל רְעוּאֵל אֲבִיהֶן וַיֹּאמֶר מַדּוּעַ מִהַרְתֶּן בֹּא הַיּוֹם:
19. They replied, "An Egyptian man rescued us from the hand[s] of the shepherds, and he also drew [water] for us and watered the flocks."   יט. וַתֹּאמַרְןָ אִישׁ מִצְרִי הִצִּילָנוּ מִיַּד הָרֹעִים וְגַם דָּלֹה דָלָה לָנוּ וַיַּשְׁקְ אֶת הַצֹּאן:
20. He said to his daughters, "So where is he? Why have you left the man? Invite him, and let him eat bread."   כ. וַיֹּאמֶר אֶל בְּנֹתָיו וְאַיּוֹ לָמָּה זֶּה עֲזַבְתֶּן אֶת הָאִישׁ קִרְאֶן לוֹ וְיֹאכַל לָחֶם:
Why have you left the man: He recognized him [Moses] as being of the seed of Jacob, for the water rose toward him. [From Exod. Rabbah 1:32, Tanchuma Shemoth 11]   למה זה עזבתן: הכיר בו שהוא מזרעו של יעקב, שהמים עולים לקראתו:
and let him eat bread: Perhaps he will marry one of you, as it is said: except the bread that he ate (Gen. 39:6) [alluding to Potiphar’s wife]. [From Exod. Rabbah 1:32, Tanchuma, Shemoth 11]   ויאכל לחם: שמא ישא אחת מכם, כמה דאת אמרת (בראשית לט ו) כי אם הלחם אשר הוא אוכל:
21. Moses consented to stay with the man, and he gave his daughter Zipporah to Moses.   כא. וַיּוֹאֶל משֶׁה לָשֶׁבֶת אֶת הָאִישׁ וַיִּתֵּן אֶת צִפֹּרָה בִתּוֹ לְמשֶׁה:
consented: Heb. וַיּוֹאֶל, as the Targum [Onkelos] renders: (וּצְבִי), and similar to this: Accept (הוֹאֶל) now and lodge (Jud. 19:6); Would that we had been content (הוֹאַלְנוּ) (Josh. 7:7); Behold now I have desired (הוֹאַלְךְתִּי) (Gen. 18:31). Its midrashic interpretation is: וַיּוֹאֶל is] an expression of an oath (אלה), he [Moses] swore to him that he would not move from Midian except with his consent. [From Exod. Rabbah 1:33, Tanchuma, Shemoth 12]   ויואל: כתרגומו. ודומה לו (שופטים יט ו) הואל נא ולין, ולו הואלנו (יהושע ז ז), הואלתי לדבר (בראשית יח כז), ומדרשו לשון אלה, נשבע לו שלא יזוז ממדין כי אם ברשותו:
22. She bore a son, and he named him Gershom, for he said, "I was a stranger in a foreign land."   כב. וַתֵּלֶד בֵּן וַיִּקְרָא אֶת שְׁמוֹ גֵּרְשֹׁם כִּי אָמַר גֵּר הָיִיתִי בְּאֶרֶץ נָכְרִיָּה:
23. Now it came to pass in those many days that the king of Egypt died, and the children of Israel sighed from the labor, and they cried out, and their cry ascended to God from the labor.   כג. וַיְהִי בַיָּמִים הָרַבִּים הָהֵם וַיָּמָת מֶלֶךְ מִצְרַיִם וַיֵּאָנְחוּ בְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל מִן הָעֲבֹדָה וַיִּזְעָקוּ וַתַּעַל שַׁוְעָתָם אֶל הָאֱלֹהִים מִן הָעֲבֹדָה:
Now it came to pass in those many days: that Moses sojourned in Midian, that the king of Egypt died, and Israel required a salvation, and Moses was pasturing, and a salvation came through him. Therefore, these sections were juxtaposed [i.e., the section dealing with the king of Egypt’s affliction, and that dealing with Moses pasturing flocks]. [From an old Rashi]   ויהי בימים הרבים ההם: שהיה משה גר במדין, וימת מלך מצרים והוצרכו ישראל לתשועה. ומשה היה רועה וגו' (ג א) ובאת תשועה על ידו, ולכך נסמכו פרשיות הללו:
that the king of Egypt died: He was stricken (נִצְטָרַע), and he would slaughter Israelite infants and bathe in their blood. [From Exod. Rabbah 1:34]   וימת מלך מצרים: נצטרע והיה שוחט תינוקות ישראל ורוחץ בדמם:
24. God heard their cry, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.   כד. וַיִּשְׁמַע אֱלֹהִים אֶת נַאֲקָתָם וַיִּזְכֹּר אֱלֹהִים אֶת בְּרִיתוֹ אֶת אַבְרָהָם אֶת יִצְחָק וְאֶת יַעֲקֹב:
their cry: Heb. נַאִקָתָם, their cry, similar to From the city, people groan (יִנְאָקוּ) (Job 24:12).   נאקתם: צעקתם, וכן (איוב כד יב) מעיר מתים ינאקו:
His covenant with Abraham: Heb. אֶת אַבְרָהָם, the equivalent of עִם אַבְרָהָם, with Abraham.   את בריתו את אברהם: עם אברהם:
25. And God saw the children of Israel, and God knew.   כה. וַיַּרְא אֱלֹהִים אֶת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיֵּדַע אֱלֹהִים:
He focused His attention [lit., He set His heart] upon them: and did not conceal His eyes from them.   וידע א-להים: נתן עליהם לב ולא העלים עיניו:
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