| || |The Berean Expositor Volume 43 - Page 83 of 243 Index | Zoom | |
Stephen supplies us with the motive that prompted Moses' action. He supposed that
Israel would have risen as one man and acknowledged him as their deliverer. This was
not to be. They rejected him. He left Egypt and remained away for 40 years. Then,
"This Moses whom they refused, saying, Who made thee a ruler and a judge? The
same did God send to be a ruler and a deliverer by the hand of the angel which appeared
to him in the bush. He brought them out" (Acts 7: 35, 36).
It is very evident that Moses' two manifestations to Israel are typical of the First and
Second Coming of Christ. His flight into Midian is parallel with the Lord's rejection,
ascension to heaven and present period of waiting. Stephen, too, does not say that Moses
forsook or left Egypt the second time, but that "he brought them out". Let us look at
Exod. 2: 11-14 again. Verse 11 opens with the words "When Moses was grown" which
is translated in the LXX by words identical with Heb. 11: 24. Exod. 2: 12 gives a
statement not repeated by Stephen:
"He looked this way and that way, and when he saw that there was no man, he slew
the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand."
It is easy to say, Moses evidently looked "this way and that", to make sure that no man
should witness the deed, but is that truth? Stephen tells us that he assumed that Israel
would understand his motive, and Isaiah seems to use the expression in such a way as to
compel us to believe that Moses was conscious of the Messianic foreshadowing of his
"He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore
his arm brought salvation unto him" (Isa. 59: 16).
"And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to
uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me" (Isa. 63: 5).
While Exod. 2: 14 says "and Moses feared" it does not say he "feared the wrath of
the king"; but it appears that he feared something less personal and more vital. Spurrell
translates the passage: "Then Moses was afraid, for he said, Surely this transaction is
known", which endeavours to draw attention to what was passing in Moses' mind. We
know from Stephen that Moses expected Israel to see in this act his credentials as a
God-sent deliverer, and that when he was sent later, he said: "They will not believe me
. . . . . they will say, The Lord hath not appeared unto thee" (Exod. 4: 1), and that the
signs of the serpent and the leprosy were given to him.
Let no one judge Moses for the slaying of the Egyptian. Under God he was the
instrument of slaying thousands of Egypt's firstborn, and of overcoming the flower of
their army at the Red Sea. We understand that at the reply of the quarrelling Israelites,
Moses was seized with some apprehension that his mission would miscarry, saying:
"Surely the intention of my act is evident to them", much in the same way the Lord said
to His disciples after He had washed their feet: "What I do, thou knowest not now, but
thou shalt know hereafter", which refers to something more than the external act of
washing the feet. The only possibility therefore was, that Moses should forsake Egypt.