|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
2:5-10 Come, see the place where that great man, Moses, lay, when he was a little child; it was in a bulrush basket by the river's side. Had he been left there long, he must have perished. But Providence brings Pharaoh's daughter to the place where this poor forlorn infant lay, and inclines her heart to pity it, which she dares do, when none else durst. God's care of us in our infancy ought to be often mentioned by us to his praise. Pharaoh cruelly sought to destroy Israel, but his own daughter had pity on a Hebrew child, and not only so, but, without knowing it, preserved Israel's deliverer, and provided Moses with a good nurse, even his own mother. That he should have a Hebrew nurse, the sister of Moses brought the mother into the place of a nurse. Moses was treated as the son of Pharoah's daughter. Many who, by their birth, are obscure and poor, by surprising events of Providence, are raised high in the world, to make men know that God rules.
Verses 7-9. - Then said his sister. Miriam had watched to some purpose. She had seen everything - she had drawn near as she beheld the "maid" go down to the water's edge, and take the ark out. She had heard the words of the princess; and thereupon she promptly spoke - "Shall I go and call thee a nurse of the Hebrew women?" No doubt, all had been prepared beforehand by the mother, who had selected the place and time of the exposure from a knowledge of the habits and character of the princess, had set her daughter to watch, and - so far as was possible - instructed her what she was to say. But Miriant at least carried out the instructions given her with excellent judgment and tact. She did not speak too soon, nor too late. She did not say a word too much, nor too little. "Surely," exclaimed the princess, "this is one of the Hebrews, children." "Shall I fetch thee then a Hebrew mother to nurse him? is the rejoinder. Egyptians, it is implied, cannot properly nurse Hebrews - cannot know how they ought to be treated; an Egyptian nurse would mismanage the boy - shall I fetch one of his own nation? And the princess, feeling all the force of the reasoning, answers in one short pregnant word - "Go." "Yes," she means, "do so; that will be best." And then the result follows - "The maid (Miriam) went and called the child's mother." So the scheming of the loving mother, and the skilful performance of the part assigned her by the clever sister, were crowned with success - Moses' life was saved, and yet he was not separated from his natural guardian, nor given over to the tender mercies of strangers: the child went back to his own home, to his own apartment, to his own cradle; continued to be nourished by his own mother's milk; and received those first impressions, which are so indelibly impressed upon the mind, in a Hebrew family. Pharaoh's daughter said, "Take this child away, and nurse it for me." "Take him with you - take him to your own home for a while - and there nurse him for me, as long as he needs nursing." And to mark that he is mine, and not yours - to silence inquiry - to stop the mouths of informers - "I will give thee thy wages." Jochebed was more than content, and "took the child and nursed it."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Then said his sister to Pharaoh's daughter,.... Miriam the sister of Moses, who observing the ark taken up, and the maidens that were walking upon the bank of the river, and other women perhaps, gathering about it to see it; she made one among them, and after hearing their discourse about it, proposed what follows to Pharaoh's daughter: Jarchi says, that Pharaoh's daughter tried several Egyptian women to suckle it, but it would not suck of them: Josephus (r) says the same, and it also is in the Talmud (s); and that, if true, gave Miriam a fair opportunity to offer to do the following message for her:
shall I go and call for thee a nurse of the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for thee? for she perceived that she was desirous of having the child brought up as her own.
(r) Antiqu. l. 2. c. 9. sect. 5. (s) T. Bab. Sotah, ut supra. (fol. 12.1)
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