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Exodus 2

The birth of Moses

1 At this time, there was an Israelite man who belonged to the big family of Levi. He married a woman who also belonged to that big family. 2 A baby boy was born. His mother saw that he was a very beautiful baby. So she hid him for three months. 3 Then the woman could not continue to hide him. So she took a basket that someone had made from dry river grass. She painted the basket with sticky black paint, to keep the water out of it. The mother put her baby in the basket. Then she put the basket on the edge of the river, among the river grasses.

2:3The Israelite woman did not want her beautiful baby to die. She would not let the Egyptians throw him into the river. She believed that God would keep her baby safe.

4 The baby's sister stood not very far away. She wanted to see what would happen to the baby.

5 Now the daughter of Pharaoh came to wash in the river. And her servant girls walked by the edge of the river. Then Pharaoh's daughter saw the basket among the river grasses. So she sent one of her servant girls to fetch it. 6 When Pharaoh's daughter opened the basket, she saw the baby. He was crying and she was sorry for him. She said: ‘This is one of the Israelite children.’ 7 Then the baby's sister spoke to Pharaoh's daughter. She said, ‘Do you want me to fetch one of the Israelite women? She can nurse this baby for you.’

8 Pharaoh's daughter said: ‘Yes, do that.’ So the girl went and she called the baby's mother. 9 Pharaoh's daughter spoke to the baby's mother. She said: ‘Take this baby away and nurse him for me. I will pay you to do this.’ So the woman took the baby and she nursed him. 10 When the baby was older, his mother brought him to Pharaoh's daughter. He became her son and she called him Moses. She said: ‘I will call him Moses because I pulled him out of the water.’

2:10Moses' mother believed that God would keep her baby safe. God did not fail to do this for her. Moses became like a son to Pharaoh's daughter. His mother nursed him at first. But later he grew to be a man in Pharaoh's palace. God had important things for Moses to do in future times.

Moses runs away to Midian

11 Many years later, Moses grew to be a man. At that time, he went out to look at the Israelites. He knew that he was an Israelite too. He saw them as they worked without any rest. Then he saw an Egyptian who was hitting an Israelite. Yes, the Egyptian was hitting someone from Moses' own country! 12 Moses looked in every direction. He saw nobody near. Then Moses killed the Egyptian and he hid his dead body in the sand. 13 Moses went out again the next day and he saw two Israelites. They were fighting together. Moses spoke to the man who was hurting the other man. He said to him: ‘Why are you hitting your friend?’

14 The man answered: ‘You should not be a ruler and a judge over us. Perhaps you are going to kill me, as you killed the Egyptian.’ Then Moses was afraid. He said to himself: ‘People know what I have done!’ 15 Then someone told Pharaoh about it. Pharaoh tried to kill Moses. But Moses ran away from Pharaoh. He went to the country called Midian and he stayed there. Moses sat down by a well in the country called Midian.

2:15Moses was very angry because of what he saw. He was angry because of what the Egyptians did to the Israelites. He also saw one of his own people who was hitting another Israelite. Moses did not like it when people were not fair to each other.
2:15The country called Midian was about 300 kilometres to the east of Egypt. It was also about 300 kilometres south from the country called Canaan (which was the same as Israel).

16 Now the priest of Midian had 7 daughters. These 7 girls came to get water out of the well. They filled the long stone dishes with water so that their father's animals could drink. 17 But the shepherds who lived in that place arrived. They made the girls go away. So Moses stood up and he helped the 7 girls. He gave water to their animals.

2:17The animals were sheep and goats. The shepherds were not kind to the daughters of the priest of Midian. Moses was kind to the girls. He always wanted to help weak people. That is why he had killed an Egyptian.

18 When the girls came to Reuel, their father, he asked them a question. He said: ‘Why have you come home so soon today?’

19 They answered: ‘An Egyptian saved us from the shepherds. He also took water out of the well and he gave it to the animals.’ 20 Reuel said to his daughters, ‘Where is the man? You should not have left him there. Ask him to come here so that he can eat bread with us.’ 21 Moses was happy to stay with Reuel. Reuel gave his daughter Zipporah to Moses as his wife. 22 After several months, Zipporah gave birth to a baby boy. Moses called the boy Gershom. He called him that because he said: ‘I have been a stranger in a foreign country.’

2:22Moses called his son ‘Gershom’ which means ‘a foreign person’. Moses remembered that he (Moses) really belonged to the Israelites. He did not belong to Midian. Reuel's daughters had thought that Moses was an Egyptian. This was because he was wearing Egyptian clothes.
2:22God was kind to Moses because he had been kind to Reuel's daughters. Moses was happy to have a place in Reuel's family. He was happy to marry Zipporah. He was happy to have a son.

23 After a long time had passed, the king of Egypt died. The Israelites were very sad because they were slaves. They shouted aloud for help from God. 24 God heard them crying because they were slaves. He remembered his promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. 25 So God looked at the Israelites. He knew that they needed his help.

2:25Now the king was dead. So the Israelites hoped that things would get better. They prayed that God would bring help to them. God heard them. God always hears his people when they pray.