Chapter 2

1A man of the house of Levi went and married a daughter of Levi.   אוַיֵּ֥לֶךְ אִ֖ישׁ מִבֵּ֣ית לֵוִ֑י וַיִּקַּ֖ח אֶת־בַּת־לֵוִֽי:
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] [   וַיִּקַּח אֶת־בַּת־לֵוִי: פָּרוּשׁ הָיָה מִמֶּנָּה מִפְּנֵי גְּזֵרַת פַּרְעֹה, וְהֶחֱזִירָהּ וְעָשָׂה בָהּ לִקּוּחִין שְׁנִיִּים, וְאַף הִיא נֶהֶפְכָה לִהְיוֹת נַעֲרָה; וּבַת ק"ל שָׁנָה הָיְתָה, שֶׁנּוֹלְדָה בְּבוֹאָם לְמִצְרַיִם בֵּין הַחוֹמוֹת, וּמָאתַיִם וָעֶשֶׂר נִשְׁתַּהוּ שָׁם, וּכְשֶׁיָּצְאוּ הָיָה מֹשֶׁה בֶּן שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה, אִם כֵּן כְּשֶׁנִּתְעַבְּרָה מִמֶּנּוּ הָיְתָה בַּת מֵאָה וּשְׁלוֹשִׁים וְקוֹרֵא אוֹתָהּ בַּת לֵוִי (עי' סוטה י"ב, בבא בתרא קי"ט ושמות רבה):
2The woman conceived and bore a son, and [when] she saw him that he was good, she hid him for three months.   בוַתַּ֥הַר הָֽאִשָּׁ֖ה וַתֵּ֣לֶד בֵּ֑ן וַתֵּ֤רֶא אֹתוֹ֙ כִּי־ט֣וֹב ה֔וּא וַתִּצְפְּנֵ֖הוּ שְׁלשָׁ֥ה יְרָחִֽים:
that he was good: When he was born, the entire house was filled with light. [From Sotah 12a, Exod. Rabbah 1:20]   כִּי־טוֹב הוּא: כְּשֶׁנּוֹלַד נִתְמַלֵּא הַבַּיִת כֻּלּוֹ אוֹרָה (סוטה י"ב):
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.   גוְלֹא־יָֽכְלָ֣ה עוֹד֘ הַצְּפִינוֹ֒ וַתִּקַח־לוֹ֙ תֵּ֣בַת גֹּ֔מֶא וַתַּחְמְרָ֥ה בַֽחֵמָ֖ר וּבַזָּ֑פֶת וַתָּ֤שֶׂם בָּהּ֙ אֶת־הַיֶּ֔לֶד וַתָּ֥שֶׂם בַּסּ֖וּף עַל־שְׂפַ֥ת הַיְאֹֽר:
[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].   וְלֹא־יָֽכְלָה עוֹד הַצְּפִינוֹ: שֶׁמָּנוּ לָהּ הַמִּצְרִיִּים מִיּוֹם שֶׁהֶחֱזִירָהּ, וְהִיא יְלָדַתּוּ לְשִׁשָּׁה חֳדָשִׁים וְיוֹם אֶחָד (שם), שֶׁהַיּוֹלֶדֶת לְשִׁבְעָה יוֹלֶדֶת לִמְקֻטָּעִין (נדה ל"ח), וְהֵם בָּדְקוּ אַחֲרֶיהָ לְסוֹף תִּשְׁעָה:
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]   גֹּמֶא: גְּמִי בִּלְשׁוֹן מִשְׁנָה (שבת ע"ח), וּבְלַעַז יונק"ו, וְדָבָר רַךְ הוּא וְעוֹמֵד בִּפְנֵי רַךְ וּבִפְנֵי קָשֶׁה (סוטה י"ב):
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]   בַֽחֵמָר וּבַזָּפֶת: זֶפֶת מִבַּחוּץ וְטִיט מִבִּפְנִים, כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יָרִיחַ אוֹתוֹ צַדִּיק רֵיחַ רַע שֶׁל זֶפֶת (שם):
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]   וַתָּשֶׂם בַּסּוּף: הוּא לְשׁוֹן אֲגַם, רושיי"ל בְּלַעַז, וְדוֹמֶה לוֹ "קָנֶה וָסוּף קָמֵלוּ" (ישעיהו י"ט):
4His sister stood from afar, to know what would be done to him.   דוַתֵּֽתַצַּ֥ב אֲחֹת֖וֹ מֵֽרָחֹ֑ק לְדֵעָ֕ה מַה־יֵּֽעָשֶׂ֖ה לֽוֹ:
5Pharaoh'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.   הוַתֵּ֤רֶד בַּת־פַּרְעֹה֙ לִרְחֹ֣ץ עַל־הַיְאֹ֔ר וְנַֽעֲרֹתֶ֥יהָ הֹֽלְכֹ֖ת עַל־יַ֣ד הַיְאֹ֑ר וַתֵּ֤רֶא אֶת־הַתֵּבָה֙ בְּת֣וֹךְ הַסּ֔וּף וַתִּשְׁלַ֥ח אֶת־אֲמָתָ֖הּ וַתִּקָּחֶֽהָ:
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.   לִרְחֹץ עַל־הַיְאֹר: סָרֵס הַמִּקְרָא וּפָרְשֵׁהוּ וַתֵּרֶד בַּת־פַּרְעֹה עַל־הַיְאֹר לִרְחֹץ 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 (הוֹלֵךְ) 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?   עַל־יַד הַיְאֹר: אֵצֶל הַיְאוֹר, כְמוֹ "רְאוּ חֶלְקַת יוֹאָב אֶל יָדִי" (שמואל ב י"ד), וְהוּא לְשׁוֹן יָד מַמָּשׁ, שֶׁיַּד הָאָדָם סְמוּכָה לוֹ. וְרַבּוֹתֵינוּ אָמְרוּ, "הוֹלְכוֹת" לְשׁוֹן מִיתָה (סוטה י"ב), כְּמוֹ "הִנֵּה אָנֹכִי הוֹלֵךְ לָמוּת" (בראשית כ"ה) – הוֹלְכוֹת לָמוּת לְפִי שֶׁמִּחוּ בָהּ; וְהַכָּתוּב מְסַיְּעָן, כִּי לָמָּה לָנוּ לִכְתֹּב וְנַעֲרוֹתֶיהָ הוֹלְכוֹת:
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 אֶת אֲמָתָהּ 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]   אֶת־אֲמָתָהּ: אֶת שִׁפְחָתָהּ. וְרַבּוֹתֵינוּ דָּרְשׁוּ (סוטה שם), לְשׁוֹן יָד, אֲבָל לְפִי דִּקְדּוּק לְשׁוֹן הַקֹּדֶשׁ הָיָה לוֹ לְהִנָּקֵד אַמָּתָהּ, דְּגוּשָׁה, וְהֵם דָּרְשׁוּ אֶת אֲמָתָהּ – אֶת יָדָהּ, וְנִשְׁתַּרְבְּבָה אַמָּתָהּ אַמּוֹת הַרְבֵּה:
6She 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."   ווַתִּפְתַּח֙ וַתִּרְאֵ֣הוּ אֶת־הַיֶּ֔לֶד וְהִנֵּה־נַ֖עַר בֹּכֶ֑ה וַתַּחְמֹ֣ל עָלָ֔יו וַתֹּ֕אמֶר מִיַּלְדֵ֥י הָֽעִבְרִ֖ים זֶֽה:
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]   וַתִּפְתַּח וַתִּרְאֵהוּ: אֶת מִי רָאֲתָה? את הילד, זֶהוּ פְּשׁוּטוֹ. וּמִדְרָשׁוֹ (שם), שֶׁרָאֲתָה עִמּוֹ שְׁכִינָה:
and behold, he was a weeping lad: [Even though he was an infant] his voice was like that of a lad. [From Sotah 12b]   וְהִנֵּה־נַעַר בֹּכֶה: קוֹלוֹ כְּנַעַר (שם):
7His 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?"   זוַתֹּ֣אמֶר אֲחֹתוֹ֘ אֶל־בַּת־פַּרְעֹה֒ הַֽאֵלֵ֗ךְ וְקָרָ֤אתִי לָךְ֙ אִשָּׁ֣ה מֵינֶ֔קֶת מִ֖ן הָֽעִבְרִיֹּ֑ת וְתֵינִ֥ק לָ֖ךְ אֶת־הַיָּֽלֶד:
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].   מִן הָֽעִבְרִיֹּת: שֶׁהֶחֱזִירַתּוּ עַל מִצְרִיּוֹת הַרְבֵּה לִינֹק וְלֹא יָנַק, לְפִי שֶׁהָיָה עָתִיד לְדַבֵּר עִם הַשְּׁכִינָה (שם):
8Pharaoh's daughter said to her, "Go!" So the girl went and called the child's mother.   חוַתֹּֽאמֶר־לָ֥הּ בַּת־פַּרְעֹ֖ה לֵ֑כִי וַתֵּ֨לֶךְ֙ הָֽעַלְמָ֔ה וַתִּקְרָ֖א אֶת־אֵ֥ם הַיָּֽלֶד:
So the girl went: Heb. הָעַלְמָה. She went with alacrity and vigor like a youth. [From Sotah 12b]   וַתֵּלֶךְ הָֽעַלְמָה: הָלְכָה בִּזְרִיזוּת וְעַלְמוּת כְּעֶלֶם (שם):
9Pharaoh'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.   טוַתֹּ֧אמֶר לָ֣הּ בַּת־פַּרְעֹ֗ה הֵילִ֜יכִי אֶת־הַיֶּ֤לֶד הַזֶּה֙ וְהֵֽינִקִ֣הוּ לִ֔י וַֽאֲנִ֖י אֶתֵּ֣ן אֶת־שְׂכָרֵ֑ךְ וַתִּקַּ֧ח הָֽאִשָּׁ֛ה הַיֶּ֖לֶד וַתְּנִיקֵֽהוּ:
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]   הֵילִיכִי: נִתְנַבְּאָה וְלֹא יָדְעָה מַה נִּתְנַבְּאָה – הֵי שֶׁלִּיכִי:
10The 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."   יוַיִּגְדַּ֣ל הַיֶּ֗לֶד וַתְּבִאֵ֨הוּ֙ לְבַת־פַּרְעֹ֔ה וַֽיְהִי־לָ֖הּ לְבֵ֑ן וַתִּקְרָ֤א שְׁמוֹ֙ משֶׁ֔ה וַתֹּ֕אמֶר כִּ֥י מִן־הַמַּ֖יִם מְשִׁיתִֽהוּ:
For I drew him from the water: Heb. מְשִׁיתִהוּ. The Targum renders: שְׁחַלְתֵּי, which is an Aramaic expression of drawing out, similar to [the expression] שֵׂינֵיתָא מֵחִלָבָא כְּמַשְׁחֵל, 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 מַשְׁתִּיהוּ, like and I will remove וּמַשְׁתִּי ) 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] פָּעַלְתִּי, 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.   מְשִׁיתִֽהוּ: שְׁחַלִיתֵהּ, הוּא לְשׁוֹן הוֹצָאָה בְּלָשׁוֹן אֲרַמִּי, "כְּמִשְׁחַל בִּינְתָא מֵחֲלָבָא", וּבְלְשׁוֹן עִבְרִי משיתיהו לְשׁוֹן הֲסִירוֹתִיו, כְּמוֹ לֹא יָמוּשׁ, לֹא מָשׁוּ, כָּךְ חִבְּרוֹ מְנַחֵם. וַאֲנִי אוֹמֵר שֶׁאֵינוֹ מִמַּחְבֶּרֶת מָשׁ וְיָמוּשׁ אֶלָּא מִגִּזְרַת מָשָׁה, וּלְשׁוֹן הוֹצָאָה הוּא, וְכֵן "יַמְשֵׁנִי מִמַּיִם רַבִּים", (שמואל ב כ"ב), שֶׁאִלּוּ הָיָה מִמַּחְבֶּרֶת מָשׁ לֹא יִתָּכֵן לוֹמַר מְשִׁיתִיהוּ אֶלָּא הֲמִישׁוֹתִיהוּ, כַּאֲשֶׁר יֵאָמֵר מִן קָם הֲקִימוֹתִי, וּמִן שָׁב הֲשִׁיבוֹתִי, וּמִן בָּא הֲבִיאוֹתִי, אוֹ מַשְׁתִּיהוּ, כְּמוֹ "וּמַשְׁתִּי אֶת עֲוֹן הָאָרֶץ" (זכריה ג'), אֲבָל מָשִׁיתִי אֵינוֹ אֶלָּא מִגִּזְרַת תֵּבָה שֶׁפֹּעַל שֶׁלָּהּ מְיֻסָּד בְּהֵ"א בְּסוֹף הַתֵּבָה, כְּגוֹן מָשָׁה, בָּנָה, עָשָׂה, צִוָּה, פָּנָה, כְּשֶׁיָּבֹא לוֹמַר בָּהֶם פָּעַלְתִּי, תָּבֹא הַיּוֹ"ד בִּמְקוֹם הֵ"א, כְּמוֹ בָּנִיתִי, עָשִׂיתִי, צִוִּיתִי:
11Now 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.   יאוַיְהִ֣י | בַּיָּמִ֣ים הָהֵ֗ם וַיִּגְדַּ֤ל משֶׁה֙ וַיֵּצֵ֣א אֶל־אֶחָ֔יו וַיַּ֖רְא בְּסִבְלֹתָ֑ם וַיַּרְא֙ אִ֣ישׁ מִצְרִ֔י מַכֶּ֥ה אִֽישׁ־עִבְרִ֖י מֵֽאֶחָֽיו:
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]   וַיִּגְדַּל משֶׁה: וַהֲלֹא כְּבָר כָּתַב וַיִּגְדַּל הַיֶּלֶד? אָמַר רַבִּי יְהוּדָה בְּרַבִּי אִלְעַאי, הָרִאשׁוֹן לְקוֹמָה וְהַשֵּׁנִי לִגְדֻלָּה, שֶׁמִּנָּהוּ פַּרְעֹה עַל בֵּיתוֹ (ילקוט שמעוני):
and looked at their burdens: He directed his eyes and his heart to be distressed over them. [From Exod. Rabbah 1:27]   וַיַּרְא בְּסִבְלֹתָם: נָתַן עֵינָיו וְלִבּוֹ לִהְיוֹת מֵצֵר עֲלֵיהֶם (שמות רבה א'):
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]   אִישׁ מִצְרִי: נוֹגֵשׂ הָיָה מְמֻנֶּה עַל שׁוֹטְרֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְהָיָה מַעֲמִידָם מִקְּרוֹת הַגֶּבֶר לִמְלַאכְתָּם (שם):
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]   מַכֶּה אִישׁ עִבְרִי: מַלְקֵהוּ וְרוֹדֵהוּ. וּבַעְלָהּ שֶׁל שְׁלוֹמִית בַּת דִּבְרִי הָיָה וְנָתַן עֵינָיו בָּהּ, וּבַלַּיְלָה הֶעֱמִידוֹ וְהוֹצִיאוֹ מִבֵּיתוֹ, וְהוּא חָזַר וְנִכְנַס לַבַּיִת וּבָא עַל אִשְׁתּוֹ, כִּסְבוּרָה שֶׁהוּא בַעְלָהּ, וְחָזַר הָאִישׁ לְבֵיתוֹ וְהִרְגִּישׁ בַּדָּבָר, וּכְשֶׁרָאָה אוֹתוֹ מִצְרִי שֶׁהִרְגִּישׁ בַּדָּבָר, הָיָה מַכֵּהוּ וְרוֹדֵהוּ כָּל הַיּוֹם (שם):
12He 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.   יבוַיִּ֤פֶן כֹּה֙ וָכֹ֔ה וַיַּ֖רְא כִּ֣י אֵ֣ין אִ֑ישׁ וַיַּךְ֙ אֶת־הַמִּצְרִ֔י וַיִּטְמְנֵ֖הוּ בַּחֽוֹל:
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.   וַיִּפֶן כֹּה וָכֹה: רָאָה מֶה עָשָׂה לוֹ בַּבַּיִת וּמֶה עָשָׂה לוֹ בַשָּׂדֶה (שם). וּלְפִי פְּשׁוּטוֹ כְּמַשְׁמָעוֹ:
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]   וַיַּרְא כִּי אֵין אִישׁ: עָתִיד לָצֵאת מִמֶּנּוּ שֶׁיִּתְגַּיֵּר (ת"י):
13He 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?"   יגוַיֵּצֵא֙ בַּיּ֣וֹם הַשֵּׁנִ֔י וְהִנֵּ֛ה שְׁנֵֽי־אֲנָשִׁ֥ים עִבְרִ֖ים נִצִּ֑ים וַיֹּ֨אמֶר֙ לָֽרָשָׁ֔ע לָ֥מָּה תַכֶּ֖ה רֵעֶֽךָ:
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]   שְׁנֵֽי־אֲנָשִׁים עִבְרִים: דָּתָן וַאֲבִירָם, הֵם שֶׁהוֹתִירוּ מִן הַמָּן (נדרים ס"ד):
quarreling: Heb. נִצִּים, fighting.   נִצִּים: מְרִיבִים:
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]   לָמָּה תַכֶּה: אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא הִכָּהוּ נִקְרָא רָשָׁע בַּהֲרָמַת יָד (סנהדרין נ"ח):
your friend: A wicked man like you. [From Exod. Rabbah 1:29]   רֵעֶֽךָ: רָשָׁע כְּמוֹתְךָ (תנחומא):
14And 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!"   ידוַיֹּ֠אמֶר מִ֣י שָֽׂמְךָ֞ לְאִ֨ישׁ שַׂ֤ר וְשֹׁפֵט֙ עָלֵ֔ינוּ הַֽלְהָרְגֵ֨נִי֙ אַתָּ֣ה אֹמֵ֔ר כַּֽאֲשֶׁ֥ר הָרַ֖גְתָּ אֶת־הַמִּצְרִ֑י וַיִּירָ֤א משֶׁה֙ וַיֹּאמַ֔ר אָכֵ֖ן נוֹדַ֥ע הַדָּבָֽר:
Who made you a man: You are still a youth. [From Tanchuma, Shemoth 10]   מִי שָֽׂמְךָ לְאִישׁ: וְהִנֵה עוֹדְךָ נַעַר:
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]   הַֽלְהָרְגֵנִי אַתָּה אֹמֵר: מִכָּאן אָנוּ לְמֵדִים שֶׁהֲרָגוֹ בַּשֵּׁם הַמְפֹרָשׁ (שמות רבה א'):
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]   וַיִּירָא משֶׁה: כִּפְשׁוּטוֹ. וּמִדְרָשׁוֹ: דָּאַג לוֹ עַל שֶׁרָאָה בְיִשְׂרָאֵל רְשָׁעִים דֵּלָטוֹרִין, אָמַר, מֵעַתָּה שֶׁמָּא אֵינָם רְאוּיִין לְהִגָּאֵל (שמות רבה א'):
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]   אָכֵן נוֹדַע הַדָּבָֽר: כְּמַשְׁמָעוֹ. וּמִדְרָשׁוֹ, נוֹדַע לִי הַדָּבָר שֶׁהָיִיתִי תָּמֵהַּ עָלָיו, מֶה חָטְאוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל מִכָּל שִׁבְעִים אֻמּוֹת לִהְיוֹת נִרְדִּים בַּעֲבוֹדַת פֶּרֶךְ, אֲבָל רוֹאֶה אֲנִי שֶׁהֵם רְאוּיִים לְכָךְ (שמות רבה א'):
15Pharaoh 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.   טווַיִּשְׁמַ֤ע פַּרְעֹה֙ אֶת־הַדָּבָ֣ר הַזֶּ֔ה וַיְבַקֵּ֖שׁ לַֽהֲרֹ֣ג אֶת־משֶׁ֑ה וַיִּבְרַ֤ח משֶׁה֙ מִפְּנֵ֣י פַרְעֹ֔ה וַיֵּ֥שֶׁב בְּאֶֽרֶץ־מִדְיָ֖ן וַיֵּ֥שֶׁב עַל־הַבְּאֵֽר:
Pharaoh heard: They informed on him.   וַיִּשְׁמַע פַּרְעֹה: הֵם הִלְשִׁינוּ עָלָיו (שמות רבה א'):
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]   וַיְבַקֵּשׁ לַֽהֲרֹג אֶת־משֶׁה: מְסָרוֹ לַקּוּסְטִינָר לְהָרְגוֹ וְלֹא שָׁלְטָה בוֹ הַחֶרֶב (שם), הוּא שֶׁאָמַר מֹשֶׁה "וַיַּצִּלֵנִי מֵחֶרֶב פַּרְעֹה" (שמות י״ח:ד׳):
(He stayed in the land of Midian: Heb. וַיֵּשֶׁב, he tarried there, like Jacob dwelt וַיֵּשֶׁב (Gen. 37:1).)   וַיֵּשֶׁב בְּאֶֽרֶץ־מִדְיָן: נִתְעַכֵּב שָׁם; כְּמוֹ: "וַיֵּשֶׁב יַעֲקֹב" (בראשית ל"ז):
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.]   וַיֵּשֶׁב עַל־הַבְּאֵֽר: לְשׁוֹן יְשִׁיבָה. לָמַד מִיַּעֲקֹב שֶׁנִּזְדַּוֵּג לוֹ זִוּוּגוֹ מִן הַבְּאֵר (שמות רבה א'):
16Now the chief of Midian had seven daughters, and they came and drew [water], and they filled the troughs to water their father's flocks.   טזוּלְכֹהֵ֥ן מִדְיָ֖ן שֶׁ֣בַע בָּנ֑וֹת וַתָּבֹ֣אנָה וַתִּדְלֶ֗נָה וַתְּמַלֶּ֨אנָה֙ אֶת־הָ֣רְהָטִ֔ים לְהַשְׁק֖וֹת צֹ֥אן אֲבִיהֶֽן:
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]   וּלְכֹהֵן מִדְיָן: רַב שֶׁבָּהֶן; וּפָרַשׁ לוֹ מֵעֲבוֹדָה זָרָה וְנִדּוּהוּ מֵאֶצְלָם (שם):
the troughs: Pools of running water, made in the ground.   אֶת־הָרְהָטִים: אֶת בְּרֵכוֹת מְרוּצוֹת הַמַּיִם הָעֲשׂוּיוֹת בָּאָרֶץ:
17But the shepherds came and drove them away; so Moses arose and rescued them and watered their flocks.   יזוַיָּבֹ֥אוּ הָֽרֹעִ֖ים וַיְגָֽרְשׁ֑וּם וַיָּ֤קָם משֶׁה֙ וַיּ֣וֹשִׁעָ֔ן וַיַּ֖שְׁקְ אֶת־צֹאנָֽם:
and drove them away: because of the ban. [From Exod. Rabbah 1:32, Tanchuma, Shemoth 11]   וַיְגָֽרְשׁוּם: מִפְּנֵי הַנִּדּוּי (שם):
18They came to their father Reuel, and he said, "Why have you come so quickly today?"   יחוַתָּבֹ֕אנָה אֶל־רְעוּאֵ֖ל אֲבִיהֶ֑ן וַיֹּ֕אמֶר מַדּ֛וּעַ מִֽהַרְתֶּ֥ן בֹּ֖א הַיּֽוֹם:
19They replied, "An Egyptian man rescued us from the hand[s] of the shepherds, and he also drew [water] for us and watered the flocks."   יטוַתֹּאמַ֕רְןָ אִ֣ישׁ מִצְרִ֔י הִצִּילָ֖נוּ מִיַּ֣ד הָֽרֹעִ֑ים וְגַם־דָּלֹ֤ה דָלָה֙ לָ֔נוּ וַיַּ֖שְׁקְ אֶת־הַצֹּֽאן:
20He said to his daughters, "So where is he? Why have you left the man? Invite him, and let him eat bread."   כוַיֹּ֥אמֶר אֶל־בְּנֹתָ֖יו וְאַיּ֑וֹ לָ֤מָּה זֶּה֙ עֲזַבְתֶּ֣ן אֶת־הָאִ֔ישׁ קִרְאֶ֥ן ל֖וֹ וְיֹ֥אכַל לָֽחֶם:
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]   לָמָּה זֶּה עֲזַבְתֶּן: הִכִּיר בּוֹ שֶׁהוּא מִזַּרְעוֹ שֶׁל יַעֲקֹב, שֶׁהַמַּיִם עוֹלִים לִקְרָאתוֹ (שמות רבה א'):
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]   וְיֹאכַל לָֽחֶם: שֶׁמָּא יִשָּׂא אַחַת מִכֶּם; כְּמָה דְאַתְּ אָמַר: "כִּי אִם הַלֶּחֶם אֲשֶׁר הוּא אוֹכֵל" (בראשית ל"ט):
21Moses consented to stay with the man, and he gave his daughter Zipporah to Moses.   כאוַיּ֥וֹאֶל משֶׁ֖ה לָשֶׁ֣בֶת אֶת־הָאִ֑ישׁ וַיִּתֵּ֛ן אֶת־צִפֹּרָ֥ה בִתּ֖וֹ לְמשֶֽׁה:
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 (הוֹאַלְתִּי) (Gen. 18:27-31). 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]   וַיּוֹאֶל: כְּתַרְגוּמוֹ, וְדוֹמֶה לוֹ "הוֹאֶל נָא וְלִין" (שופטים י"ט), "וְלוּ הוֹאַלְנוּ" (יהושע ז'), "הוֹאַלְתִּי לְדַבֵּר" (בראשית י"ח). וּמִדְרָשׁוֹ: לְשׁוֹן אָלָה – נִשְׁבַּע לוֹ שֶׁלֹּא יָזוּז מִמִּדְיָן כִּי אִם בִּרְשׁוּתוֹ (נדרים ס"ה):
22She bore a son, and he named him Gershom, for he said, "I was a stranger in a foreign land."   כבוַתֵּ֣לֶד בֵּ֔ן וַיִּקְרָ֥א אֶת־שְׁמ֖וֹ גֵּֽרְשֹׁ֑ם כִּ֣י אָמַ֔ר גֵּ֣ר הָיִ֔יתִי בְּאֶ֖רֶץ נָכְרִיָּֽה:
23Now 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.   כגוַיְהִי֩ בַיָּמִ֨ים הָֽרַבִּ֜ים הָהֵ֗ם וַיָּ֨מָת֙ מֶ֣לֶךְ מִצְרַ֔יִם וַיֵּאָֽנְח֧וּ בְנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֛ל מִן־הָֽעֲבֹדָ֖ה וַיִּזְעָ֑קוּ וַתַּ֧עַל שַׁוְעָתָ֛ם אֶל־הָֽאֱלֹהִ֖ים מִן־הָֽעֲבֹדָֽה:
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]   וַיְהִי בַיָּמִים הָֽרַבִּים הָהֵם: שֶׁהָיָה מֹשֶׁה גָּר בְּמִדְיָן, וימת מלך מצרים, וְהֻצְרְכוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל לִתְשׁוּעָה, ומשה היה רעה (שמות ג׳:א׳), וּבָאת תְּשׁוּעָה עַל יָדוֹ, לְכָךְ נִסְמְכוּ פָּרָשִׁיּוֹת הַלָּלוּ:
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]   וַיָּמָת מֶלֶךְ מִצְרַיִם: נִצְטָרַע וְהָיָה שׁוֹחֵט תִּינוֹקוֹת יִשְׂרָאֵל וְרוֹחֵץ בְּדָמָם (שמות רבה א'):
24God heard their cry, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.   כדוַיִּשְׁמַ֥ע אֱלֹהִ֖ים אֶת־נַֽאֲקָתָ֑ם וַיִּזְכֹּ֤ר אֱלֹהִים֙ אֶת־בְּרִית֔וֹ אֶת־אַבְרָהָ֖ם אֶת־יִצְחָ֥ק וְאֶת־יַֽעֲקֹֽב:
their cry: Heb. נַאִקָתָם, their cry, similar to "From the city, people groan" (יִנְאָקוּ) (Job 24:12).   נַֽאֲקָתָם: צַעֲקָתָם, וְכֵן "מֵעִיר מְתִים יִנְאָקוּ" (איוב כ"ד):
His covenant with Abraham: Heb. אֶת אַבְרָהָם, the equivalent of עִם אַבְרָהָם, with Abraham.   אֶת־בְּרִיתוֹ אֶת־אַבְרָהָם: עִם אַבְרָהָם:
25And God saw the children of Israel, and God knew.   כהוַיַּ֥רְא אֱלֹהִ֖ים אֶת־בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל וַיֵּ֖דַע אֱלֹהִֽים:
He focused His attention [lit., He set His heart] upon them: and did not conceal His eyes from them.   וַיֵּדַע אֱלֹהִים: נָתַן עֲלֵיהֶם לֵב וְלֹא הֶעֱלִים עֵינָיו: