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Deeper Commentary


Exo 2:1 A man of the house of Levi went and took a daughter of Levi as his wife-
It was God's intention that the people married within their tribes so as to keep inheritances within the tribes. Such commands had not yet been formally given, but perhaps this faithful couple perceived the truth of the principle ahead of time.

Exo 2:2 The woman conceived, and bore a son. When she saw that he was a child fair to God, she hid him three months-
Every faithful mother perceives that her child is "fair to God", so we are to surely read this as meaning that she perceived him as having some particular role in God's purpose. And yet she would have died whilst Moses was apparently lost in the court life of Pharaoh, not making any move towards saving his family nor his people. For only at the age of 40 did it "come into his mind to visit his people". She would have died very disappointed; and will arise at the last day to such a wonderful surprise, when she realizes how Moses turned to God in later life.

Exo 2:3 When she could no longer hide him, she took a papyrus basket for him, and coated it with tar and with pitch. She put the child in it, and laid it in the reeds by the river’s bank-
See on 2:10. Moses is set up as example and representative of his people Israel. Israel is likened in Ez. 16:5 to a child rejected at birth, but miraculously found and cared for, and brought up with every pampered blessing. Just as Moses was. Stephen described the ‘putting out’ of Moses with the same word used in the LXX for what happened to Israel in Ezekiel 16 (Acts 7:21; Ex. 2:3 LXX).

"Slime" is the same word as "mortar" in Ex. 1:14, and "mortar" in Gen. 11:3 is the word translated "pitch" concerning how Moses' bulrush basket was made (Ex. 2:3). This conjures up the picture of Amram bringing home some mortar from the building site in order to make that ark.

Exo 2:4 His sister stood far off, to see what would be done to him-
Standing afar off is associated in the Bible with mourning. She stood afar off out of morbid fascination as to the fate of her baby brother, feeling utterly powerless to help him. It seems they placed him in the ark and placed him in the river in technical obedience to Pharaoh's command, and yet desperately prayed that God would save the child, seeing they had done all that was humanly possible. And indeed He did.

Exo 2:5 Pharaoh’s daughter came down to bathe at the river. Her maids walked along by the riverside. She saw the basket among the reeds, and sent her handmaid to get it-
The account of Moses being found by Pharaoh’s daughter is a classic Bible story- but it begs many questions. Why did this young woman risk disobeying her father? Given Moses’ age, how did she manage to survive in Pharaoh’s court with an adopted child who looked like a Hebrew and ought to have been killed in babyhood? What kind of relationship did she have with her father? Did he tolerate her sympathy and “compassion” for the Hebrews?

Where else do we read about Pharaoh’s daughter? Searching through the Bible, perhaps with the help of a concordance, we come to the references to Solomon marrying Pharaoh’s daughter. No great answers there to our questions. Sometimes in Bible study we do draw a blank. And that’s a blank. And there’s only one other reference to Pharaoh’s daughter, hidden away in the obscure genealogies of Chronicles, which we likely skip reading in our daily Bible readings. But there… is the answer. “The sons of Ezrah: Jether, Mered, Epher, and Jalon. These are the sons of Bithiah, the daughter of Pharaoh, whom Mered married; and she conceived and bore Miriam, Shammai, and Ishbah, the father of Eshtemoa” (1 Chron. 4:17 ESV). Who was Mered? A prince of the tribe of Judah. And yes, he lived around the time of Moses. So… a daughter of Pharaoh married a Hebrew. A slave. And she was the daughter of Pharaoh. Now we’re onto something.

We eagerly look up the meaning of “Bithiah”. And we find that Bithiah means ‘daughter of Yah’- there is an intended tension therefore in the way in which she is called ‘Bithiah the daughter of Pharaoh’, especially considering that Pharaoh was thought to be God in Egyptian culture. It cannot be an undersigned coincidence that Bithiah is recorded as having a daughter, whom she called Miriam. It’s not very common for the names of daughters to be recorded in the genealogies, so it seems a point is being made. Miriam was of course the name of Moses’ sister, who had first introduced Bithiah to Moses’ family. Her name in Hebrew is almost the feminine form of her father’s name, Mered. Mered had another wife who was from the tribe of Judah: “And his Judahite wife bore Jered … Heber… and Jekuthiel” (1 Chron. 4:18 ESV). Egyptologists have various theories as to who the Pharaoh of the Exodus was. One of them is that it was Amunhotep II. His coffin decorations appear to show that he had a skin condition- perhaps the boils from the plagues? One stele that was discovered shows that two of Amunhotep II's sons have been "erased". Perhaps one of them was Moses?

It seems likely that many Egyptians became proselytes, because many of them left Egypt with Israel. So Bithiah became attracted to God’s people, and decided to forego all she could’ve had in order to save just one Hebrew life. If nothing else we learn that to sacrifice all for the sake of the salvation of ‘just’ one person is perhaps what we are called to. The woman who could’ve been one of the most powerful women in the world sacrificed it all, to marry a Hebrew slave- who already had a wife. And presumably she changed her name. She was Yah’s daughter now, and not that of ‘god’ Pharaoh. What motivated her? Surely her experience with raising Moses. From the mouth of a child, who may well have been with his Godly parents for up to five years, she learnt more of Yahweh’s ways. And she must’ve got to know the family of origin and been impressed by Moses’ big sister Miriam… for she named her own daughter after her.

We too face choices. To take a second job, rise early and stay up late… to advance in our careers. To get more income, to dispose of upon expensive coffees, the latest gadgets. Or in the spirit of Bithiah and Moses to realize, and realize finally and once for all, that nothing else matters now. The hope of the Kingdom and fellowship of the rejected Son of God is worth so infinitely more than any of Egypt’s temporary glory. Moses rejected it for the sake of his service of God’s people- who for the most part never appreciated him, and turned their backs on “this Moses”. Bithiah likewise, gave it all up… just to be identified with God’s people. Being the second woman in Mered’s life, a Gentile compared to the other wife being a true blue blooded Judahite, couldn’t have been much fun. For all we know, Bithiah died alone and feeling rejected in the corner of a Hebrew slave camp, lamenting how Moses was apparently caught up in the good life of Pharaoh’s court which she had given up, buried in the hot sand without a grave, a far cry from the glory girl of her teens. But she did it all so as to be connected with God’s people, just as Moses chose to suffer affliction with a people of God who didn’t want him. There are brethren who set us a great example in these things. They lost their families because they married a believer and not the one expected for them. Married someone of another race or colour because of their spiritual connection with that person, thus losing the status they might have had within their own culture. They declined promotion in their career because… they wanted to get home each day in time to read Bible stories to their kids. Didn’t take out a court case but suffered the loss of so much, didn’t answer slander, left God to judge… Spent their spare time and cash going to the Post Office and mailing Bibles to people rather than… tropical beach holidays. Spent their evenings emailing or visiting old, sick, suffering, depressed, difficult or plain awkward brethren… instead of watching a screen.

Exo 2:6 She opened it, and saw the child, and behold, the baby cried. She had compassion on him, and said, This is one of the Hebrews’ children!-
The woman presumably figured in a moment what had happened. The child had been placed in the basket in technical obedience to her father's command, and the family were just hoping and praying that their God would save him. And she wanted to be a part of that desperate hope and faith.

Exo 2:7 Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, Should I go and call a nurse for you from the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for you?-
As with the blessing of the midwives for their telling of untruth through not telling the whole truth, so Miriam does likewise. And is blessed for it. She gives a false impression. And yet through this deception, as with the Gibeonites, life is saved and God's purpose moved forward.

Exo 2:8 Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, Go. The maiden went and called the child’s mother-
The record is presented here from the perspective of Pharaoh's daughter. The girl went and called the woman mentioned, who was [as we know] the child's mother.

Exo 2:9 Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, Take this child away, and nurse him for me, and I will give you your wages. The woman took the child, and nursed it-
God records Moses being found by Pharaoh’s daughter, who then (unknowingly) asks his mother to be his nurse: “The maid went and called the child’s mother. And Pharaoh’s daughter said unto her, Take this child away, and nurse it for me… and the woman took the child and nursed it” (Ex. 2:8,9). Why not say ‘And Moses’ mother (not “the woman”) took him (not “it”) and nursed him (not “it”)’? The answer seems to be that the record adopts the incorrect and ignorant perspective of Pharaoh’s daughter– although with no explicit statement that this is so. And again, as with the midwives, we see God working through somewhat unethical dishonesty. We wonder at what point Pharaoh's daughter realized what had happened. She surely would have perceived the hand of God; in that a Hebrew mother ended up getting paid for nursing her own baby, when she was supposed to have killed the child.


Exo 2:10 The child grew, and she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. She named him Moses, and said, Because I drew him out of the water-
The very name 'Moses' meaning 'drawn out' suggests he is the prototype for every saint- a called out one. As Moses was drawn out of the Nile and saved, so he later drew Israel out of Egypt. He could exactly enter into their feelings when they emerged from the Red Sea, as the Lord Jesus exactly knows ours after baptism- better than we appreciate ourselves. Moses was saved by being surrounded by water in an "ark" (Ex. 2:3)- the only other time this word is used is concerning Noah's ark, which is a type of our salvation through baptism. God even worked through Moses' weakness to make him even more representative of his people; as he drew back from the theophany of the burning bush through a bad conscience, so did Israel at the foot of Sinai; as they were excluded from the land for inattention to Yahweh's word, so was Moses. He was touched with the very feeling of their sinfulness. In a marvellous way, the Lord Jesus achieved the same, yet without sin; He really felt like a sinner in His death.

Exo 2:11 It happened in those days, when Moses had grown up, that he went out to his brothers, and looked at their burdens. He saw an Egyptian striking a Hebrew, one of his brothers-
As Moses "looked on their burdens" at age 40 (Acts 7:23), so at the start of his ministry, our Lord assessed the weight of ours. His concern for our burdens in Mt. 11:30; 23:4 is perhaps a conscious allusion back to Moses' awareness of Israel's burdens, and his desire to deliver them, even though it cost him all that he had in this world.  See on Heb. 11:24
Moses manifested / represented both God and Israel, superbly prefiguring the nature of the Lord's work and mission far later. As God "saw" the oppression of Israel (Ex. 2:25; 3:7,9; 4:31; 5:19), so did Moses (Ex.2:11). He looked on God's people with the eyes / perspective of God- just as we should. Moses 'struck' the Egyptian who was persecuting the Hebrew just as God would strike Egypt (Ex. 2:11 cp. Ex. 12:12,13,29 etc.). See on 2:17.

At age 40, Moses came to a crisis. He had a choice between the riches of Egypt, the pleasures of sin for a season, and choosing rather to suffer affliction with God's people and thereby fellowship the reproach of Christ (Heb. 11:24-26). He probably had the chance to become the next Pharaoh, as the son of Pharaoh's daughter; but he consciously refused this, as a pure act of the will, as an expression of faith in the future recompense of the Kingdom. There are a number of passages which invite us to follow Moses' example in this. Paul was motivated in his rejection of worldly advantage by Moses'  inspiration. And as in all things, he is our example, that we might follow Christ, who also turned down the very real possibility of temporal rulership of the world- for the sake of living the life of the cross, and thereby securing our redemption.  The description of Moses' rejection of Egypt for the sake of Christ is shown to be our example: "Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures (i.e. Pharaoh's treasures, which he could have had if he succeeded as Pharaoh) in Egypt... let us go forth therefore unto (Jesus) without the camp, bearing his reproach" (Heb. 11:26; 13:13). We should be even eager to bear 'reproach for the name of Christ' as Moses did (1 Pet. 4:14), knowing it is a surety of our sharing his resurrection.  For Moses, "the reproach of Christ" was his  having "respect unto the recompense of the reward". He therefore must have understood in some detail that there would be a future Saviour, who would enable the eternal Kingdom promised to Abraham through his bearing the reproach of this world. Such was Moses' appreciation of this that it motivated him to reject Egypt. His motivation, therefore, was based upon a fine reflection upon the promises to Abraham and other oblique prophecies of the suffering Messiah contained in the book of Genesis. Moses knew he could have a share in the sufferings of the future saviour and thereby share his reward, because he saw the implication that Messiah would be our representative.

"When Moses was grown, he went out unto his brethren, and looked on their burdens...when he was full forty years old it came into his heart to visit his brethren... by faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter" (Ex. 2:11; Acts 7:23; Heb. 11:24). The implication seems to be that Moses reached a certain point of maturity, of readiness, and then he went to his brethren. God looked on the sorrows of His people through the sensitivity of Moses, He saw and knew their struggles, their sense of being trapped, their desire to revive spiritually but their being tied down by the painful business of life and living; and He sent Moses to deliver them from this. But these very words are quoted about our deliverance through the 'coming down'  of the Lord Jesus (Ex. 3:7; 4:31 = Lk. 1:68). 

Exo 2:12 He looked this way and that way, and when he saw that there was no one, he killed the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand-
This little incident is typical of how Christ was to destroy the devil, the power of sin, on the cross. The common translation of this passage can give them impression that Moses was very nervous. Yet it does not say that when he saw no man was looking he slew the Egyptian. There was at least one man looking- the suffering Israelite. And there must have been others looking for news to get round that Moses had killed the Egyptian. So I would suggest that Moses saw the Israelite suffering, and looked round in wonder to see if any other Israelite was going to go to his rescue. Because he saw there was no man, he himself got involved. This is an eloquent essay in the humility of Moses and the Lord he typified. This is exactly the same picture which we find in Is. 59:16 concerning Christ's decision to achieve our redemption: "He saw that there was no man (quoting the words of Ex. 2:11), and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation" (God saved Israel from Egypt by the arm of Moses, manifesting His arm: Ex. 6:6; 15:16; Dt. 4:34; Is. 63:12). Is. 63:4-6 also contain allusions to Moses and the exodus (the rest of the chapter speaks explicitly about this): "The day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year (time) of my redeemed (the one I will redeem) is come. And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation". The implication of these passages is that he was surprised, he "wondered", that there was no one else to save Israel. He looked round for someone else to do it, but he found none- exactly after the pattern of Moses. This is not only an eloquent essay in our Lord's humanity, and the monstrosity of the 'trinity'; it indicates the true humility which he manifested in his work of redemption. 

Exo 2:13 He went out the second day, and behold, two men of the Hebrews were fighting with each other. He said to him who did the wrong, Why do you strike your fellow?-
"He came unto his own, and his own received him not" (Jn. 1:11). Moses in John's Gospel is an opening theme. "When he was full forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren... he supposed his brethren would have understood how that God by his hand would deliver them" (Acts 7:23,25). Therefore Moses in the court of Pharaoh = Jesus working in Nazareth until age 30. Was Moses' "surprise" at Israel's lack of response reflected in Christ (cp. Is. 50:2-7; 59:16)? Despite his own righteousness, did Christ think too highly of the potential spirituality of Israel (Lk. 13:9; 20:13 cp. his high regard of others' spirituality: Mt. 8:10; 11:11; 15:28)? If the Lord respected others so much- shouldn't we have deep respect for each other? The pain of Moses' rejection was Christ's; although he was rich, Moses had become poor for their sakes.

Ex. 21:22 may have some relevance to this historical situation: "If men fight and hurt a pregnant woman so that she gives birth prematurely...". Perhaps Moses had been asked to judge (:14) a situation like this at the time of Ex. 2:13.

Exo 2:14 He said, Who made you a prince and a judge over us? Do you plan to kill me, as you killed the Egyptian? Moses was afraid, and said, Surely this thing is known-
"By faith (Moses) forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the King" (Heb. 11:27). But Moses did flee Egypt, because he feared the wrath of the King (Ex. 2:14,15). It seems that Moses had at best a mixture of motives, or motives that changed over time; yet God sees through his human fear, and discerns an element of calm faith within Moses as he left Egypt. In similar vein, at the time of the burning bush, Moses seems to have forgotten God's covenant name, he didn't immediately take off his shoes in respect as he should have done, and it seems he feared to come close to God due to a bad conscience, and he resisted God's invitation for him to go forth and do His work (Ex. 3:5-7,10,11,18; 4:1,10-14). And yet at this very time, the New Testament says that Moses showed faith in the way he perceived God (Lk. 20:37).

Moses didn't want Egypt to know that he was trying to save Israel; he thought he could do it secretly. Once he realized that people knew what he was trying to do, he was afraid. His fearfulness has similarities with that of spiritually weak Jacob, who fled from the face of Laban into the unknown, as Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh. Thus God encouraged him after forty years that he need no longer fear: "Return into Egypt: for all the men are dead which sought your life" (Ex. 4:19). But then he rallied his faith and left Egypt, without (at the point of leaving) fearing the anger of Pharaoh. He so strongly believed, it was as if he physically saw God- as he asked (Heb. 11:27).

The loneliness of Moses as a type of Christ in showing this kind of  love must surely represent that of our Lord. They went to a height which was generally beyond the appreciation of the men among whom they lived. The Spirit seems to highlight the loneliness of Moses by saying that at the same time as Moses refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, Israel refused him (the same Greek word is used; Heb. 11:24; Acts 7:35). He was rejected by both the world and God's people: for 40 long years. As Israel envied Moses for spiritual reasons (Ps. 106:16; Acts 7:9), so they did Christ (Mt. 27:18), after the pattern of the brothers' spiritual envy of Joseph (Gen. 37:11). Spiritual envy leading to persecution is quite a common feature in Biblical history (Job, Jeremiah, Paul...). And it isn't absent from the Christian experience either.  

The tragedy is that Israel's rejection of Moses is typical of the rejection of Christ by those in the new Israel who turn away. The same word used about Israel refusing Moses as their deliverer (Acts 7:35) is used about those who deny (same word) the Lord (Jesus) that bought them (2 Pet. 2:1). This latter verse is prefaced by the information that as there were those who lost their faith in the ecclesia in the wilderness, so there will be among the new Israel (2 Pet. 2:1). Therefore "the Lord that bought them" is an allusion back to Moses as a type of Christ. The illogicality of Israel's rejection of Moses when he first appeared to them is so apparent. They were slaves in Egypt, and then one of the most senior of Pharaoh's officials reveals that he is their brother, and has been sent by God to deliver them. Yet they preferred the life of slavery in Egypt.

Moses is recorded as saying “People have found out what I have done!” – surely he said this within himself (Ex. 2:14 GNB). Samuel’s comment about Eliab was likewise presumably to himself (1 Sam. 16:6); Saul’s “I’ll strike [David] to the wall” was surely said to himself (1 Sam. 18:11); likewise his explanation of his plan to trap David via his daughter Michael was all hatched out within his own brain (1 Sam. 18:21); other examples in 1 Sam. 27:12; 1 Kings 12:26 etc. Only God knew what those men ‘said in their heart’; and yet He has recorded it in His inspired word for all generations to see. In this alone we see how ultimately, nothing remains secret; at the day of judgment, what we spoke in darkness (i.e. In our own minds) will be heard in the light of God’s Kingdom (Lk. 12:3).

Exo 2:15 Now when Pharaoh heard this thing, he sought to kill Moses. But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh, and lived in the land of Midian, and he sat down by a well-
See on Ex. 4:24. This happened when he was “Full forty years old” (Acts 7:23). The Greek phrase could refer to Moses’ birthday, and one is tempted to speculate that it had been arranged that when Moses was 40, he would become Pharaoh. Heb. 11:24 says that he refused and chose- the Greek tense implying a one off choice- to suffer affliction with God’s people. It is tempting to imagine Moses at the ceremony when he should have been declared as Pharaoh, the most powerful man in his world…standing up and saying, to a suddenly hushed audience, voice cracking with shame and stress and yet some sort of proud relief that he was doing the right thing: “I, whom you know in Egyptian as Meses, am Moshe, yes, Moshe the Jew; and I decline to be Pharaoh”. Imagine his foster mother’s pain and anger. And then in the end, the wonderful honour would have been given to another man, who became Pharaoh. Perhaps he or his son was the one to whom Moses was to come, 40 years later. After a nervous breakdown, stuttering, speaking with a thick accent, clearly having forgotten Egyptian… walking through the mansions of glory, along the corridors of power, to meet that man, to whom he had given the throne 40 years earlier. 

Moses forsook the possibilities of Egypt not just for "the reproach of Christ"; he was also motivated by the fact that "he endured (Gk. was vigorous), as seeing him who is invisible" (Heb. 11:27). It was as if he had seen the invisible God, as he later asked to. When the disciples asked to see God, Christ said that the manifestation of His character which they had seen in him was the same thing (Jn. 14:8). Our experience of seeing the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, with unveiled face like Moses, ought to be a wondrous experience. When Moses asked to physically see God, the Angel proclaimed the characteristics of God before him. So when we read of Moses as it were seeing God at the time he decided to forsake Egypt, this must mean that he so appreciated God's Name and character, he so had faith in the future Kingdom which this great Name and character promise, that he left Egypt. The Lord Jesus fed for strength on the majesty of the Name of Yahweh (Mic. 5:4).

"(Moses) refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; having chosen rather (Gk.) to suffer affliction with the people of God" (Heb. 11:24,25) suggests that there was a struggle within the mind of Moses, between the reproach of Christ and the approbation of this world, and he then decisively came down on the right side. If we are truly saints, called out ones after the pattern of Moses, this struggle between present worldly advantage and the hope of the Kingdom must surely be seen in our minds. For this reason Moses is held up so highly as our example and pattern. He "forsook" Egypt uses the same word translated "leaving" when we read of a man leaving his parents to be joined to a wife, or of the shepherd leaving the 99 sheep to find the lost one.

Exo 2:16 Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters. They came and drew water, and filled the troughs to water their father’s flock-
We think of Jacob meeting his wife at a well, Isaac's servant likewise finding Isaac's wife at a well, and the Lord meeting the Samaritan woman at a well. Such connections within Biblical history become more apparent the more we read the Bible, and thus our faith is confirmed- that here, clearly, there was a higher hand at work over the centuries. Even if we cannot attach exact meaning to event, man is not alone. There are connections within our own lives, and between our lives and those of contemporary believers, as well as with Biblical characters. We through patience and comfort of the scriptures thus have hope (Rom. 15:4).  

Exo 2:17 The shepherds came and drove them away; but Moses stood up and helped them, and watered their flock-
Moses helps and delivers (Ex. 2:17,19) the daughters of Jethro, just as God would help and deliver Israel (Ex. 12:27; 14:13,30; 15:2). He was being shown that his experiences were preparing him for something far greater. Note that at that time when Moses first met Jethro's daughters at the well, Moses was in depression. His plans and vision rejected by his own people, fallen from riches to rags, homeless and alone... and yet in that low moment he was chosen to be a manifestation of God! And this is the wonder of how God rejoices to work with the broken. However, Moses' desire to save others, his concern for the oppressed and helpless, shines through- he seeks to save the slave beaten by his Egyptian master; the neighbour wronged by his Hebrew brother; the unknown women deprived at the well by male nomads (Ex. 2:11,13,17). In all this Moses was manifesting the concern and saving help of God. And when we do likewise, we show God's face to this world. See on 2:11

Exo 2:18 When they came to Reuel, their father, he said, How is it that you have returned so early today?-
Abuse at the hand of the shepherds (:19) was a daily experience for them, just as the Israelites were daily abused- possibly at the hands of the 'shepherd kings' dynasty of Egypt.

Exo 2:19 They said, An Egyptian delivered us out of the hand of the shepherds, and moreover he drew water for us, and watered the flock-
Moses flees to Midian, where he helps some unknown shepherd women from being abused by some rough men; he did this without at first receiving any reward, and without the women wanting him to go with them; although they thought he was an Egyptian, showing that he still concealed his relationship with God. See on Jn. 4:7-10.

The whole nature of being human means that we must live in  this world, although we are not of it. Consider how Daniel’s friends wore turbans (Dan. 3:21 NIV), how Moses appeared externally to be an Egyptian (Ex. 2:19), and how the Lord Himself had strongly Jewish characteristics (Jn. 4:9).

Israel rejected Moses as their deliverer, they failed to see in that dead Egyptian the ability of Moses to save them completely from the life of slavery. And so Moses fled away from them, he came to Gentile, pagan Midian, and rescued a Gentile woman from the persecution of men, married her, and started a new life in the wilderness- to return many years later in the power of  the Holy Spirit and redeem Israel when they were in truly desperate straits. All this naturally points ahead to the work of Jesus after Israel failed to respond to his work on the cross. The word used to describe Moses rescuing his future wife from the shepherds is the same used concerning God rescuing Israel from Egypt (Ex. 2:19; 18:10). Thus Moses was manifesting the redemptive work of God when he saved his wife. But the marriage broke up, as it did between God and Israel- but was apparently restored.

Exo 2:20 He said to his daughters, Where is he? Why is it that you have left the man? Call him, that he may eat bread-
To eat bread together was a sign of acceptance. The way the Lord Jesus broke His bread with sinners was likewise a message of open acceptance to any who wished to sit at His table. He did this, He explained, in order to win sinners to Him; eating His bread was not a sign that they had cleared some moral bar He had arbitrarily insisted upon. It is a strong argument for an open table amongst God's people today. All who wish are to be welcomed.  

Exo 2:21 Moses was content to dwell with the man. He gave Moses Zipporah, his daughter-
Moses "was content to dwell" with the father of the women. The Hebrew for "content" comes from a root which means weakness of mind; the implication is that he easily yielded to this man. She was not one of the covenant people; she was the daughter of a pagan priest (Ex. 18:11 implies Jethro thought Yahweh was only one of many gods); she did not circumcise their children. Should Moses have married her? The fact Moses did not bother circumcising his son shows he was not really serious about his relationship with God; God tried to kill him because of this. God tried to kill Moses because of this; this shows how serious this was in God's eyes. Zipporah was a Midianite, a descendant of Abraham through Keturah (Gen. 25:1-6). Circumcision was a sign of the covenant through Isaac, hence the resentment and bitterness of Zipporah over the circumcision issue; and it seems Moses capitulated to her on this. Their marriage is sure proof that fundamental spiritual differences at the start can only lead to anger and break up later on.

Exo 2:22 She bore a son, and he named him Gershom, for he said, I have lived as a foreigner in a foreign land-
Positive self-talk will enable us to maintain our basic human dignity, as well as our faith and spiritual integrity, in the face of rejection, slander and breakup of human relationships. It’s all too easy to be negative. Moses said within himself “I am a foreigner in this land” – and his self-talk led to the very public ‘word’ of naming his son ‘Gershom’ (Ex. 2:22).

Exo 2:23 It happened in the course of those many days, that the king of Egypt died, and the children of Israel sighed because of the abuse, and they cried, and their cry came up to God because of the abuse-
The whole description of Egypt's judgments in Ez. 29 is also full of links with those in store for Israel. They will cry unto Yahweh in their affliction (Is. 19:20), just as Israel did when Egypt persecuted them (Ex. 2:23; 14:10).

Exo 2:24 God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob-
Israel at this time were worshipping Egypt's idols, and took the tabernacles of false gods with them through the Red Sea and the wilderness (Ez. 20:8 etc.). But the wonder of the covenant with Abraham, which is made with all those who are baptized into the seed of Abraham (Gal. 3:27-29), is that it is the covenant of grace. God honours it even when those within it are unrighteous and undeserving. And He pities them in their afflictions, even if they are self-inflicted.

Exo 2:25 God saw the children of Israel, and God was concerned about them-
Moses manifested / represented both God and Israel, superbly prefiguring the nature of the Lord's work and mission far later. As God "saw" the oppression of Israel (Ex. 2:25; 3:7,9; 4:31; 5:19), so did Moses (Ex. 2:11). He looked on God's people with the eyes / perspective of God- just as we should.