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Bible Commentaries

Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Exodus 2

Verse 1

After this. In process of time, without reference to what immediately precedes. The Hebrew and Septuagint omit these words. (Haydock) --- The marriage of Amram, grandson of Levi, with his aunt or cousin, had taken place before the persecution. Tostat and others suppose, that people were not then forbidden to marry their aunts. But it is probable Jochabed was only the grand-daughter of Levi, and the daughter of one of Amram’s brothers, as the Septuagint insinuate. Otherwise their ages would have been very disproportionate. See chap. vi. 20. (Calmet)

Verse 2

Goodly. Handsome, elegant, Hebrews xi. 23; agreeable to God, Acts vii. 20. Josephus says, Amram had been assured by God that the child should be the deliverer of his people. Yet he neglects not to use every prudent precaution. (Worthington) --- Months. Hebrew moons; whence some erroneously infer, that the Hebrew year was not solar. (Calmet)

Verse 3

Bulrushes, or paper plant, growing on the banks of the Nile. Such little vessels were used in Egypt in Lucan’s time. Conseritur bibula Memphitis cymba papyro. (Menochius) --- Sedges, to prevent it from being carried away by the stream. Cajetan thinks the Hebrews did not drown their children; but by thus exposing them, abandoned them to the king’s use, Acts vii. 19.

Verse 4

His sister, Mary, who was born at the beginning of this persecution, and was therefore called bitterness. (Haydock) --- She was about 12 years old. (Menochius)

Verse 5

Daughter, and sole heiress. (Haydock) --- She is called Thermut by Josephus, and Meris by Artapanus. She was going to bathe, or to purify herself, according to the custom of the country; or perhaps she was going to wash linen, as Nausicrae, the daughter of Alcinous, was doing, when she met Ulysses. (Calmet)

Verse 6

Hebrews, against whom the persecution raged. She saw it had received circumcision. (Theodoret, q. in Exodus)

Verse 10

Moses, or Moyses, in the Egyptian tongue, signifies one taken or saved out of the water. (Challoner) --- Mo, signifies water in the Egyptian tongue; Mosse, "he drew out," in Hebrew. Philo believes that the princess feigned him to be her own child. Moses denied that he was, and would not take advantage of this adoption, Hebrews xi. 24. He was grown up, and had been well instructed by his parents, ver. 9. He afterwards became well versed in all the sciences, (Acts vii. 22,) rejecting what was idle and superstitious. Josephus assures us he became a great conqueror. (Calmet)

Verse 12

He slew the Egyptian. This he did by a particular inspiration of God; as a prelude to his delivering the people from their oppression and bondage. He thought, says St. Stephen, (Acts vii. 25,) that his brethren understood that God by his hand would save them. But such particular and extraordinary examples are not to be imitated. (Challoner) --- He was inspired, on this occasion, to stand up in defence of the innocent. (Menochius) (St. Thomas Aquinas, [Summa Theologiae] ii. 2, q. 60.) --- The laws of Egypt required every person to protect the oppressed; or, if unable to do it, he was to call in the aid of the magistrate. (Diodorus i.) (Calmet) --- Moses looked round to see if there was any help near. He was 40 years old when he was forced to flee.

Verse 14

Feared. St. Paul, (Hebrews xi. 27,) is speaking of his leaving Egypt, at the head of the people, when he says, not fearing the fierceness of the king. Without being dismayed on this occasion, by the unexpected discovery of what he had done, (which was perhaps undesignedly made public by the Hebrew whom he had rescued,) he resolves not to tempt God. (Haydock)

Verse 15

Madian. A city and country of Arabia, which took its name from Madian the son of Abraham, by Cetura, and was peopled by his posterity. (Challoner) --- There were, perhaps, some of the descendants of Cham, by his son Chus, intermixed with them; (Haydock) and hence Aaron reproaches the wife of Moses for being a Chusite, Numbers xii. 1. Jethro was a Cinean, descended from the same stock.

Verse 16

Priest. Hebrew cohen, (or cen,) means also a prince, as the Chaldean has it. When put in this manner, with the name of a place, it is generally taken in this sense. But formerly kings were also priests. Jethro served the true God, like Job, in the midst of a perverse generation, and offered sacrifice to him, when he joined the camp of the Israelites, Exodus xviii. 11. (Calmet)

Verse 18

Raguel. He had two names, being also called Jethro, as appears from the first verse of the following chapter. (Challoner) --- He is also called Hobab and Ceni. (Numbers x. 2; Judges i. 16.) Perhaps Raguel was father of Jethro. (Drusius.)

Verse 21

Swore. Hebrew Goel is rendered "was willing." --- Symmachus has, "He conjured Moses;" and Theodotion, "Moses began to dwell." The Septuagint neglect the word entirely, "But Moses took up his abode."

Verse 22


Gersam, or Gershom. This name signifies, a stranger there: as Eliezer signifies the help of God. (Challoner) --- And she, &c., is wanting both in Hebrew and Chaldean, but found in the Complutensian edition of the Septuagint. It occurs (chap. xviii. 4,) and we might naturally expect to find it in this place. (Calmet)

Verse 23

Died in the year of the world 2494. His successor, Amenophis, treading in his footsteps, was drowned 19 years afterwards. (Usher.)

Verse 25

Knew them; that is, he had respect to them, he cast a merciful eye upon them. (Challoner) --- Hebrew, "he had regard for them;" and, as some Latin copies read, delivered them. (Calmet)

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Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Exodus 2". "Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". 1859.