Exodus Chapter 2

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]   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 distressed over 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:
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. [   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:
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]   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:
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]   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:
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.   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:
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]   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:
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]   ויגרשום: מפני הנידוי:
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]   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:
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 (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:
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]   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:
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).   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:
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.   וידע א-להים: נתן עליהם לב ולא העלים עיניו: