Exodus 2:2
And the woman conceived, and bare a son: and when she saw him that he was a goodly child, she hid him three months.
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(2) When she saw him that he was a goodly child.—St. Stephen says, that Moses was” comely before God”— ἀστεῖος τῷ θεῷ (Acts 7:20). Trogus Pompeius spoke of him as recommended by the beauty of his personal appearance (ap. Justin, Hist. Philipp. xxvi. 2). His infantine “goodliness” intensified the desire of his mother to save his life, but must not be re garded as the main cause of her anxiety.

She hid him three months.—As long as she could hope to conceal him effectually. It must be remembered that Egyptians were mixed up with Israelites in Goshen, and that each Hebrew household would be subjected to espionage from the time of the issue of the edict.

Exodus 2:2. Bare a son — It seems just at the time of his birth that cruel law was made for the murder of all the male children of the Hebrews, and many no doubt perished by the execution of it. Moses’s parents had Miriam and Aaron, both elder than he, born to them before that edict came out. Probably his mother had little joy of her being with child of him, now this edict was in force. Yet this child proves the glory of his father’s house. Observe the beauty of Providence: just when Pharaoh’s cruelty rose to this height, the deliverer was born. When she saw that he was a goodly child — Fair to God, (Acts 7:20,) or very fair. Profane authors, Josephus and Justin, agree with the sacred writers in praising the peculiar beauty of this child. She hid him three months — In some private apartment of their own house, though probably with the hazard of their lives had he been discovered. Not that she would have done otherwise had he not been so beautiful. But the circumstance of his beauty strengthened her natural affection, and made her more concerned for his preservation. It is said, (Hebrews 11:23,) that his parents hid him by faith. It has been thought by some, that they had a special revelation that the deliverer should spring from their loins. Be this as it may, they believed the general promise of Israel’s preservation, and in that faith hid their child.

2:1-4 Observe the order of Providence: just at the time when Pharaoh's cruelty rose to its height by ordering the Hebrew children to be drowned, the deliverer was born. When men are contriving the ruin of the church, God is preparing for its salvation. The parents of Moses saw he was a goodly child. A lively faith can take encouragement from the least hint of the Divine favour. It is said, Heb 11:23, that the parents of Moses hid him by faith; they had the promise that Israel should be preserved, which they relied upon. Faith in God's promise quickens to the use of lawful means for obtaining mercy. Duty is ours, events are God's. Faith in God will set us above the fear of man. At three months' end, when they could not hide the infant any longer, they put him in an ark of bulrushes by the river's brink, and set his sister to watch. And if the weak affection of a mother were thus careful, what shall we think of Him, whose love, whose compassion is, as himself, boundless. Moses never had a stronger protection about him, no, not when all the Israelites were round his tent in the wilderness, than now, when he lay alone, a helpless babe upon the waves. No water, no Egyptian can hurt him. When we seem most neglected and forlorn, God is most present with us.Bare a son - Not her firstborn; Aaron and Miriam were older than Moses. The object of the writer is simply to narrate the events which led to the Exodus, and he mentions nothing that had no direct bearing upon his purpose.

A goodly child - See the marginal references. Probably Jochebed did not call in a midwife Exodus 1:15, and she was of course cautious not to show herself to Egyptians. The hiding of the child is spoken of as an act of faith in Hebrews 11:23. It was done in the belief that God would watch over the child.

2. the woman … bare a son, &c.—Some extraordinary appearance of remarkable comeliness led his parents to augur his future greatness. Beauty was regarded by the ancients as a mark of the divine favor.

hid him three months—The parents were a pious couple, and the measures they took were prompted not only by parental attachment, but by a strong faith in the blessing of God prospering their endeavors to save the infant.

1571 No text from Poole on this verse.

And the woman conceived, and bare a son,.... Which was not her first child, nor indeed her first son, for she had both Aaron and Miriam before this: this son, which was Moses, was born, as the Jews say (t), in the thirty seventh year after the death of Levi, A. M. 2365, (or, as others, 2368,) on a Wednesday, the seventh of the month Adar, in the third hour of the day: some say it was on the twenty fourth of Nisan; but, according to Bishop Usher (u), he was born forty one years after the death of Levi, A. M. 2433, and in the year before Christ 1571:

and when she saw him that he was a goodly child; exceeding fair and beautiful, as Stephen expresses it, Acts 7:20, the Jews say (w) his form was like an angel of God, and Trogus (x), an Heathen writer, says his beautiful form recommended him: this engaged the affections of his parents to him, and who, from hence, might promise themselves that he would be a very eminent and useful person, could his life be preserved:

she hid him three months; in her bedchamber, some Jewish writers say (y); others (z), in a house under ground, that is, in the cellar; however, it was in his father's house, Acts 7:20.

(t) Shatshalet Hakabala, fol. 5. 2. Tzemach David, par. 1. fol. 7. 1.((u) Annal. Vet. Test. p. 18. (w) Pirke Eliezer, c. 48. fol. 57. 2.((x) Justin e Trogo, l. 36. c. 2.((y) Chronicon Mosis, fol. 3. 2. (z) Pirke Eliezer, ut supra. (c.48. fol. 57.2)

And the woman conceived, and bare a son: and when she saw him that he was a goodly child, she hid him three months.
2. conceived, &c.] The expression (after ‘took,’ v. 1) suggests that, as in other similar cases (Hosea 1:3; Genesis 4:1; Genesis 4:17; Genesis 38:2 f.), Moses was his parents’ firstborn. A considerably older sister,—presumably Miriam,—appears, however, already in v. 4; and at least in P Aaron is represented as older than Moses by three years. It has hence been supposed that Aaron and Miriam were children of Amram by a former marriage: and it is noticed, as favouring this supposition, that Miriam is somewhat pointedly spoken of as Aaron’s sister (Exodus 15:20); and that Miriam and Aaron join together against Moses (Numbers 12:1). If this supposition be not adopted, it must be concluded that the narrator expressed himself inexactly.

goodly] Heb. good, i.e. comely (cf. Genesis 6:2): LXX. ἀστεῖος (so Hebrews 11:23; and ἀστ. τῷ θεῷ, Acts 7:20). Moses’ mother could not bring herself to part with such a fine infant; so she kept it with her as long as she could. In Hebrews 11:23, however, the beauty of the child is interpreted as a sign of the Divine favour resting upon him, and an omen that God had some great future in store for him, so that by ‘faith’ in this, his parents, heedless of the consequences of disobeying Pharaoh’s edict, hid him for three months.

Verse 2. - And the woman conceived. Not for the first time, as appears from ver. 4, nor even for the second, as we learn from Exodus 7:7; but for the third. Aaron was three years old when Moses was born. As no difficulty has occurred with respect to him, we must regard the edict as issued between his birth and that of Moses. When she saw that he was a goodly child. Perhaps Jochebed would have done the same had Moses been ill-favoured, for mothers have often loved best their weakest and sickliest; but still it nard-rally seemed to her the harder that she was called upon to lose a strong and beautiful baby; and this is what the writer means to express - the clauses are not "simply co-ordinate." She hid him - i.e, kept him within the house - perhaps even in the female apartments. Egyptians were mixed up with the Israelites in Goshen - not perhaps in any great numbers, but still so that no Hebrew felt himself safe from observation. Exodus 2:2At the time when all the Hebrew boys were ordered to be thrown into the Nile, "there went (הלך contributes to the pictorial character of the account, and serves to bring out its importance, just as in Genesis 35:22; Deuteronomy 31:1) a man of the house of Levi - according to Exodus 6:20 and Numbers 26:59, it was Amram, of the Levitical family of Kohath - and married a daughter (i.e., a descendant) of Levi," named Jochebed, who bore him a son, viz., Moses. From Exodus 6:20 we learn that Moses was not the first child of this marriage, but his brother Aaron; and from Exodus 2:7 of this chapter, it is evident that when Moses was born, his sister Miriam was by no means a child (Numbers 26:59). Both of these had been born before the murderous edict was issued (Exodus 1:22). They are not mentioned here, because the only question in hand was the birth and deliverance of Moses, the future deliverer of Israel. "When the mother saw that the child was beautiful" (טוב as in Genesis 6:2; lxx ἀστεῖος), she began to think about his preservation. The very beauty of the child was to her "a peculiar token of divine approval, and a sign that God had some special design concerning him" (Delitzsch on Hebrews 11:23). The expression ἀστεῖος τῷ Θεῷ in Acts 7:20 points to this. She therefore hid the new-born child for three months, in the hope of saving him alive. This hope, however, neither sprang from a revelation made to her husband before the birth of her child, that he was appointed to be the saviour of Israel, as Josephus affirms (Ant. ii. 9, 3), either from his own imagination or according to the belief of his age, nor from her faith in the patriarchal promises, but primarily from the natural love of parents for their offspring. And if the hiding of the child is praised in Hebrews 11:23 as an act of faith, that faith was manifested in their not obeying the king's commandment, but fulfilling without fear of man all that was required by that parental love, which God approved, and which was rendered all the stronger by the beauty of the child, and in their confident assurance, in spite of all apparent impossibility, that their effort would be successful (vid., Delitzsch ut supra). This confidence was shown in the means adopted by the mother to save the child, when she could hide it no longer.
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