|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
7:17-29 Let us not be discouraged at the slowness of the fulfilling of God's promises. Suffering times often are growing times with the church. God is preparing for his people's deliverance, when their day is darkest, and their distress deepest. Moses was exceeding fair, fair toward God; it is the beauty of holiness which is in God's sight of great price. He was wonderfully preserved in his infancy; for God will take special care of those of whom he designs to make special use. And did he thus protect the child Moses? Much more will he secure the interests of his holy child Jesus, from the enemies who are gathered together against him. They persecuted Stephen for disputing in defence of Christ and his gospel: in opposition to these they set up Moses and his law. They may understand, if they do not wilfully shut their eyes against the light, that God will, by this Jesus, deliver them out of a worse slavery than that of Egypt. Although men prolong their own miseries, yet the Lord will take care of his servants, and effect his own designs of mercy.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And seeing one of them suffer wrong,.... Beza's Cambridge copy, and one of Stephens's, and one in the Bodleian library add, "of his own kindred": and so Exodus 2:11 he is said to be "one of his brethren"; which Aben Ezra explains, "of his family", one of the tribe of Levi; and so another Jewish writer (m) is very particular, and says,
"Moses went out to the camp of the Israelites, and saw an Egyptian smite one of the sons of Kohath, who was of his brethren of the tribe of Levi, as it is said, Exodus 2:11.''
This man, according to some of the Jewish writers (n), was the husband of Shelomith, the daughter of Dibri, Leviticus 24:11 but, according to others, it was Dathan (o): the cause and manner of his suffering wrong was this, as they report (p); one of the taskmasters having set his eyes upon his wife, who was a beautiful woman, came early one morning, and got him out of his house to work, and then went into his wife, and lay with her; which when the man understood, he made some disturbance about it, for which he caused him to serve in very hard bondage, and beat him severely; who flying to Moses for protection,
he defended him, and avenged him that was oppressed; he took his part, and screened him from the insults and blows of the officer, and avenged his cause:
and smote the Egyptian; and killed him: it is commonly said by the Jews (q), that he killed him by the sword of his mouth, by making use of the word Jehovah; though others (r) say, he smote him with his fist, which is more likely; or rather with his sword; the Ethiopic version adds, "and buried him in the sand". Beza's ancient copy, and one of Stephens's, add, "and he hid him in the sand", as it is in Exodus 2:12 and which the Jews understand not literally of any sand pit, into which he might cast him, and cover him; or of the sand of the sea, near which he was, and which does not appear; but mystically of the people of Israel, comparable to the sand of the sea, among whom he hid him. So in one of their Midrashes (s) it is observed on these words,
"and "he hid him in the sand"; though there were none there but the Israelites---who are like to sand: he said unto them, ye are like the sand; take this man here and put him there, and his voice is not heard; so this thing will be hid among you, and not heard. And so you find that the thing was not heard but by the means of the Hebrews, as it is said, "and he went out on the second day, and two men of the Hebrews", &c.''
And another of their (t) writers, says, that when Moses saw the Egyptian smiting the Hebrew,
"he began to curse him, and took the sword of his lips, and killed him, and hid him in the camp of the Israelites, as it is said, Exodus 2:12 not in the sand, but among the Israelites: hence it is said, "the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea", Hosea 1:10.''
To which may be added what one of their chronologers (u) affirms, that
"Moses slew the Egyptian with the ineffable name of God, and hid him among the children of Israel, who are like to sand.''
This Egyptian is said, by Jarchi, to be one of the taskmasters who was appointed over the officers of Israel, who, from the cockcrowing, kept them to their work, which is very probable.
(m) Pirke Eliezer, c. 48. (n) Jarchi in Exod. ii. 12. (o) Shemot Rabba, sect. 1. fol. 91. 4. Shalshalet Hakabala, fol. 5. 2.((p) Shemot Rabba, & Shalshalet, ib. & Chronicon Mosis, fol. 5. 2. & Jarchi in Exod. ii. 12. (q) Pirke Eliezer, c. 48. Shalshalet, ib. Clement. Alex. Strom. l. 1. p. 344. (r) Shemot Rabba, ib. (s) Shemot Rabba, sect. 1. fol. 9l. 4. (t) Pirke Eliezer, c. 48. (u) R. Gedaliah, Shalshalet Hakabala, fol. 5. 2.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
24. avenged him that was oppressed, and smote the Egyptian—going farther in the heat of his indignation than he probably intended.
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