The Boyhood And Training Of Mose
After the death of Joseph and his brothers, the Israelites increased so
rapidly and became so many and powerful that the land was filled with
them. But a new king who did not know Joseph ruled over Egypt. He said
to his people, "See, the Israelites are becoming too many and powerful
for us. Come, let us deal wisely with them, for fear that they become so
many that, if war is begun against us, they will join our enemies and
fight against us and leave the land."
So the Egyptians set taskmasters over them to put burdens upon them. And
they built for Pharaoh the store-cities, Pithom and Rameses. But the
more the Egyptians afflicted them, the more numerous they became and the
more they spread everywhere, so that the Egyptians dreaded what they
might do. And the Egyptians were cruel and made slaves of them, making
their lives bitter with hard labor in mortar and brick, and by all kinds
of hard work in the field.
Pharaoh also gave this command to all his people, "You shall throw into
the river every son that is born to the Hebrews, but every daughter you
shall save alive."
Now a man of the tribe of Levi married a woman of the same tribe, and
she had a son. When she saw that he was a beautiful child, she hid him
for three months. But when she could no longer hide him, she took a
basket made of papyrus reeds, daubed it with mortar and pitch, and put
the child in it. Then she placed it in the reeds by the bank of the
river Nile, while his sister stayed near by to see what would happen to
The daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe in the Nile, and while her
maids were walking along the river's bank, she saw the basket among the
reeds and sent her waiting-maid to bring it. When she opened it and saw
the child, the boy was crying; and she felt sorry for him and said,
"This is one of the Hebrew children."
Then his sister said to Pharaoh's daughter, "Shall I go and call one of
the Hebrew women to nurse the child for you?" Pharaoh's daughter said to
her, "Go." So the maiden went and called the child's mother, and
Pharaoh's daughter said to her, "Take this child away and nurse it for
me, and I will pay you your wages." Then the woman took the child and
nursed it. When the child had grown up, she brought him to Pharaoh's
daughter, and he became her son; and she named him Moses, for she said,
"I drew him out of the water."
One time, after Moses had grown up, he went out to his own people; and
as he was watching them at their hard labor, he saw an Egyptian beating
a Hebrew, one of his own race. He looked around and seeing that there
was no one in sight, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand.
On the next day Moses went out, and saw two Hebrews struggling together;
and he said to the one who was in the wrong, "Why do you strike your
fellow workman?" The man replied, "Who made you a ruler and a judge over
us? Do you intend to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?" Then Moses was
afraid and said, "What I have done is known!" When Pharaoh heard what
had taken place, he tried to put Moses to death; but Moses left the
country and made his home in the land of Midian.
As he was sitting by a well, the seven daughters of the priest of Midian
came and drew water and filled the troughs to water their father's
flock, but the shepherds came and drove them away. Then Moses stood up
and protected the women and watered their flock.
When they came to their father, he said, "How is it that you have come
back so early to-day?" They replied, "An Egyptian protected us from the
shepherds, and besides, he drew water for us and watered the flock."
Then he said to his daughters, "Where is he? Why have you left the man?
Ask him to eat with us." So Moses made his home with the man; and he
gave Moses his daughter Zipporah to be his wife. She had a son, and
Moses named him Gershom.