Exodus 2

Baby Moses

2 Now a man from the family of Levi married a woman who was also from the family of Levi. 2 She became pregnant and gave birth to a son. When she saw how wonderful the baby was, she hid him for three months. 3 But after three months she was not able to hide the baby any longer, so she got a basket made of reeds and covered it with tar so that it would float. She put the baby in the basket. Then she put the basket among the tall stalks of grass at the edge of the Nile River. 4 The baby’s sister stood a short distance away to see what would happen to him.

5 Then the daughter of the king of Egypt came to the river to take a bath, and her servant girls were walking beside the river. When she saw the basket in the tall grass, she sent her slave girl to get it. 6 The king’s daughter opened the basket and saw the baby boy. He was crying, so she felt sorry for him and said, “This is one of the Hebrew babies.”

7 Then the baby’s sister asked the king’s daughter, “Would you like me to go and find a Hebrew woman to nurse the baby for you?”

8 The king’s daughter said, “Go!” So the girl went and got the baby’s own mother.

9 The king’s daughter said to the woman, “Take this baby and nurse him for me, and I will pay you.” So the woman took her baby and nursed him. 10 When the child grew older, the woman took him to the king’s daughter, and she adopted the baby as her own son. The king’s daughter named him Moses,[a] because she had pulled him out of the water.

Moses Tries to Help

11 Moses grew and became a man. One day he visited his people and saw that they were forced to work very hard. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew man, one of Moses’ own people. 12 Moses looked all around and saw that no one was watching, so he killed the Egyptian and hid his body in the sand.

13 The next day Moses returned and saw two Hebrew men fighting each other. He said to the one that was in the wrong, “Why are you hitting one of your own people?”

14 The man answered, “Who made you our ruler and judge? Are you going to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?”

Moses was afraid and thought, “Now everyone knows what I did.”

15 When the king heard what Moses had done, he tried to kill him. But Moses ran away from the king and went to live in the land of Midian. There he sat down near a well.

Moses in Midian

16 There was a priest in Midian who had seven daughters. His daughters went to that well to get water to fill the water troughs for their father’s flock. 17 Some shepherds came and chased the girls away, but Moses defended the girls and watered their flock.

18 When they went back to their father Reuel,[b] he asked them, “Why have you come home early today?”

19 The girls answered, “The shepherds chased us away, but an Egyptian defended us. He got water for us and watered our flock.”

20 He asked his daughters, “Where is this man? Why did you leave him? Invite him to eat with us.”

21 Moses agreed to stay with Jethro, and he gave his daughter Zipporah to Moses to be his wife. 22 Zipporah gave birth to a son. Moses named him Gershom,[c] because Moses was a stranger in a land that was not his own.

23 After a long time, the king of Egypt died. The people of Israel groaned, because they were forced to work very hard. When they cried for help, God heard them. 24 God heard their cries, and he remembered the agreement he had made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 25 He saw the troubles of the people of Israel, and he was concerned about them.


  1. 2:10 Moses The name “Moses” sounds like the Hebrew word for “to pull out.”
  2. 2:18 Reuel He was also called Jethro.
  3. 2:22 Gershom This name sounds like the Hebrew word meaning “a stranger there.”

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