PDF Matthew Henrys Commentary on the Whole Bible-Book of Exodus

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02 Exodus 1-3 - J Vernon Mcgee - Thru the Bible

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Moses, who was afterwards to bring Israel out of this house of bondage, was himself in danger of falling a sacrifice to the fury of the oppressor, God so ordering it that, being afterwards told of this, he might be the more animated with a holy zeal for the deliverance of his brethren out of the hands of such bloody men. His parents observed him to be a goodly child, more than ordinarily beautiful; he was fair to God, Acts. They fancied he had a lustre in his countenance that was something more than human, and was a specimen of the shining of his face afterwards, Ex.

Note, God sometimes gives early earnests of his gifts, and manifests himself betimes in those for whom and by whom he designs to do great things. Thus he put an early strength into Samson Judge. Therefore they were the more solicitous for his preservation, because they looked upon this as an indication of some kind purpose of God concerning him, and a happy omen of something great. Note, A lively active faith can take encouragement from the least intimation of the divine favour; a merciful hint of Providence will encourage those whose spirits make diligent search, Three months they hid him in some private apartment of their own house, though probably with the hazard of their own lives, had he been discovered.

Herein Moses was a type of Christ, who, in his infancy, was forced to abscond, and in Egypt too Mt. It is said Heb. Again, Faith in God will set us above the ensnaring fear of man.


How he was exposed. God takes special care of the outcasts of Israel Ps. Moses seemed quite abandoned by his friends; his own mother durst not own him: In times of extreme difficulty it is good to venture upon the providence of God. Thus to have exposed their child while they might have preserved it, would have been to tempt Providence; but, when they could not, it was to trust to Providence.

Verses Here is, I. Moses saved from perishing. Had he been left to lie there, he must have perished in a little time with hunger, if he had not been sooner washed into the river or devoured by a crocodile. Never did poor child cry so seasonably, so happily, as this did: The babe wept, which moved the compassion of the princess, as no doubt his beauty did, v. Those are hard-hearted indeed that have not a tender compassion for helpless infancy. How pathetically does God represent his compassion for the Israelites in general considered in this pitiable state!

It is very commendable in persons of quality to take cognizance of the distresses of the meanest, and to be helpful and charitable to them. God often raises up friends for his people even among their enemies. O Lord, how wonderful are thy counsels! Moses well provided with a good nurse, no worse than his own dear mother, v. The transport of her joy, upon this happy turn, we may suppose sufficient to betray her to be the true mother had there been any suspicion of it to a less discerning eye than that of Solomon, 1 Ki.

Providence pleases itself sometimes in raising the poor out of the dust, to set them among princes, Ps. Many who, by their birth, seem marked for obscurity and poverty, by surprising events of Providence are brought to sit at the upper end of the world, to make men know that the heavens do rule. Those whom God designs for great services he find out ways to qualify and prepare beforehand. Moses, by having his education in a court, is the fitter to be a prince and king in Jeshurun; by having his education in a learned court for such the Egyptian then was is the fitter to be an historian; and by having his education in the court of Egypt is the fitter to be employed, in the name of God, as an ambassador to that court.

Bible Commentaries

The calling of the Jewish lawgiver by an Egyptian name is a happy omen to the Gentile world, and gives hopes of that day when it shall be said, Blessed be Egypt my people, Isa. And his tuition at court was an earnest of the performance of that promise, Isa. Verses Moses had now passed the first forty years of his life in the court of Pharaoh, preparing himself for business; and now it was time for him to enter upon action, and,I. When Moses was grown he went out unto his brethren, and looked on their burdens, v.

The best exposition of these words we have from an inspired pen, Heb. The temptation was indeed very strong. He had a fair opportunity as we say to make his fortune, and to have been serviceable to Israel too, with his interest at court. His tender concern for his poor brethren in bondage, with whom though he might easily have avoided it he chose to suffer affliction; he looked on their burdens as one that not only pitied them, but was resolved to venture with them, and, if occasion were, to venture for them.

He gives a specimen of the great things he was afterwards to do for God and his Israel in two little instances, related particularly by Stephen Acts.

Exodus - Matthew Henry's Commentary - Bible Gateway

He found himself, no doubt, under a divine direction and impulse in what he did, and that he was in an extraordinary manner called of God to do it. It was by special warrant from Heaven which makes not a precedent in ordinary cases that Moses slew the Egyptian, and rescued his oppressed brother. His hiding him in the sand signified that hereafter Pharaoh and all his Egyptians should, under the control of the rod of Moses, be buried in the sand of the Red Sea. His taking care to execute this justice privately, when no man saw, was a piece of needful prudence and caution, it being but an assay; and perhaps his faith was as yet weak, and what he did was with some hesitation.

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Those who come to be of great faith, yet began with a little, and at first spoke tremblingly. Moses was afterwards to be employed in governing Israel, and as a specimen of this, we have him here trying to end a controversy between two Hebrews, in which he is forced as he did afterwards for forty years to suffer their manners. The unhappy quarrel which Moses observed between two Hebrews, v. It does not appear what was the occasion; but, whatever it was, it was certainly very unseasonable for Hebrews to strive with one another when they were all oppressed and ruled with rigour by the Egyptians.

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Had they not beating enough from the Egyptians, but they must beat one another? The way he took of dealing with them; he marked him that caused the division, that did the wrong, and mildly reasoned with him: Wherefore smitest thou thy fellow? The injurious Egyptian was killed, the injurious Hebrew was only reprimanded; for what the former did was from a rooted malice, what the latter did we may suppose was only upon a sudden provocation. The wise God makes, and, according to his example, all wise governors make, a difference between one offender and another, according to the several qualities of the same offence.

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The reproof Moses gave on this occasion may still be of use, Wherefore smitest thou thy fellow? Note, Smiting our fellows is bad in any, especially in Hebrews, smiting with tongue or hand, either in a way of persecution or in a way of strife and contention. Consider the person thou smitest; it is thy fellow, thy fellow-creature, thy fellow-christian, it is thy fellow-servant, thy fellow-sufferer. Consider the cause, Wherefore smitest?

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Perhaps it is for no cause at all, or no just cause, or none worth speaking of. The ill success of his attempt v. He said, Who made thee a prince? He that did the wrong thus quarrelled with Moses; the injured party, it should seem, was inclinable enough to peace, but the wrong-doer was thus touchy. Note, It is a sign of guilt to be impatient of reproof; and it is often easier to persuade the injured to bear the trouble of taking wrong than the injurious to bear the conviction of having done wrong.

It was a very wise and mild reproof which Moses gave to this quarrelsome Hebrew, but he could not bear it, he kicked against the pricks Act.

Who made thee a prince? A man needs no great authority for the giving of a friendly reproof, it is an act of kindness; yet this man needs will interpret it an act of dominion, and represents his reprover as imperious and assuming. Thus when people dislike good discourse, or a seasonable admonition, they will call it preaching, as if a man could not speak a work for God and against sin but he took too much upon him.

Yet Moses was indeed a prince and a judge, and knew it, and thought the Hebrews would have understood it, and struck in with him; but they stood in their own light, and thrust him away, Acts. Intendest thou to kill me? See what base constructions malice puts upon the best words and actions. Moses, for reproving him is immediately charged with a design to kill him. An attempt upon his sin was interpreted an attempt upon his life; and his having killed the Egyptian was thought sufficient to justify the suspicion; as if Moses made no difference between an Egyptian and a Hebrew.

If Moses, to right an injured Hebrew, had put his life in his hand, and slain an Egyptian, he ought therefore to have submitted to him, not only as a friend to the Hebrews, but as a friend that had more than ordinary power and zeal. But he throws that in his teeth as a crime which was bravely done, and was intended as a specimen of the promised deliverance; if the Hebrews had taken the hint, and come in to Moses as their head and captain, it is probable that they would have been delivered now; but, despising their deliverer, their deliverance was justly deferred, and their bondage prolonged forty years, as afterwards their despising Canaan kept them out of it forty years more.

I would, and you would not. Note, Men know not what they do, nor what enemies they are to their own interest, when they resist and despise faithful reproofs and reprovers. When the Hebrews strove with Moses, God sent him away into Midian, and they never heard of him for forty years; thus the things that belonged to their peace were hidden from their eyes, because they knew not the day of their visitation. As to Moses, we may look on it as a great damp and discouragement to him.

He was now choosing to suffer affliction with the people of God, and embracing the reproach of Christ; and now, at his first setting out, to meet with this affliction and reproach from them was a very sore trial of his resolution. The flight of Moses to Midian, in consequence. The affront given him thus far proved a kindness to him; it gave him to understand that his killing the Egyptian was discovered, and so he had time to make his escape, otherwise the wrath of Pharaoh might have surprised him and taken him off.