Exodus 2:19
And they said, An Egyptian delivered us out of the hand of the shepherds, and also drew water enough for us, and watered the flock.
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(19) An Egyptian.—So they concluded from his dress and appearance, perhaps even from his speech. It would be natural for them to make the mistake, and for Moses to remember it. Any other author would probably have said, “a man,” or “a stranger.”

And also drew water enough.—The shepherds had consumed some of the maidens’ water before Moses’s interference, so that he had to draw more for them —another “little trait,” which speaks for the Mosaic authorship.

Exodus 2:19. An Egyptian delivered us — Such they supposed him to be by his habit and speech; or perhaps he told them that he came from Egypt. Drew water enough — Hebrew, In drawing he drew, which phrase means that he drew it readily and diligently, which caused their quick return.

2:16-22 Moses found shelter in Midian. He was ready to help Reuel's daughters to water their flocks, although bred in learning and at court. Moses loved to be doing justice, and to act in defence of such as he saw injured, which every man ought to do, as far as it is in his power. He loved to be doing good; wherever the providence of God casts us, we should desire and try to be useful; and when we cannot do the good we would, we must be ready to do the good we can. Moses commended himself to the prince of Midian; who married one of his daughters to Moses, by whom he had a son, called Gershom, a stranger there, that he might keep in remembrance the land in which he had been a stranger.An Egyptian - They judged from his costume, or language. 16-22. the priest of Midian—or, "prince of Midian." As the officers were usually conjoined, he was the ruler also of the people called Cushites or Ethiopians, and like many other chiefs of pastoral people in that early age, he still retained the faith and worship of the true God.

seven daughters—were shepherdesses to whom Moses was favorably introduced by an act of courtesy and courage in protecting them from the rude shepherds of some neighboring tribe at a well. He afterwards formed a close and permanent alliance with this family by marrying one of the daughters, Zipporah, "a little bird," called a Cushite or Ethiopian (Nu 12:1), and whom Moses doubtless obtained in the manner of Jacob by service [see Ex 3:1]. He had by her two sons, whose names were, according to common practice, commemorative of incidents in the family history [Ex 18:3, 4].

They guessed him to be

an Egyptian by his habit and speech, or he told them that he came from thence.

Drew water; Heb. in drawing drew, which notes that he drew it very diligently and readily, which caused their quick return.

And they said, an Egyptian delivered us out of the hand of the shepherds,.... A man, who by his habit and by his speech appeared to them to be an Egyptian, and upon their inquiry he might tell them so, being born in Egypt, though of Hebrew parents:

and also drew water enough for us; or "in drawing drew" (t); drew it readily, quickly and in abundance:

and watered the flock; by which means their business was done, and they returned home earlier than usual.

(t) "hauriendo bausit", Pagninus, Montanus, Piscator.

And they said, An Egyptian delivered us out of the hand of the shepherds, and also drew water enough for us, and watered the flock.
Verse 19. - An Egyptian. Reuel's daughters judged by the outward appearance. Moses wore the garb and probably spoke the language of Egypt. He had had no occasion to reveal to them his real nationality. Drew water enough for us. The shepherds had consumed some of the water drawn by the maidens, before Moses could drive them off. He supplied the deficiency by drawing more for them - an act of polite attention. Exodus 2:19Here Moses secured for himself a hospitable reception from a priest of Midian, and a home at his house, by doing as Jacob had formerly done (Genesis 29:10), viz., helping his daughters to water their father's sheep, and protecting them against the other shepherds. - On the form יושׁען for יושׁען vid., Genesis 19:19; and for the masculine suffixes to יגרשׁוּם and צאנם, Genesis 31:9. תּדלנה for תּדלינה, as in Job 5:12, cf. Ewald, 198a. - The flock of this priest consisted of nothing but צאן, i.e., sheep and goats (vid., Exodus 3:1). Even now there are no oxen reared upon the peninsula of Sinai, as there is not sufficient pasturage or water to be found. For the same reason there are no horses kept there, but only camels and asses (cf. Seetzen, R. iii. 100; Wellsted, R. in Arab. ii. p. 66). In Exodus 2:18 the priest is called Reguel, in Exodus 3:1 Jethro. This title, "the priest of Midian," shows that he was the spiritual head of the branch of the Midianites located there, but hardly that he was the prince or temporal head as well, like Melchizedek, as the Targumists have indicated by רבא, and as Artapanus and the poet Ezekiel distinctly affirm. The other shepherds would hardly have treated the daughters of the Emir in the manner described in Exodus 2:17. The name רעוּאל (Reguel, friend of God) indicates that this priest served the old Semitic God El (אל). This Reguel, who gave his daughter Zipporah to Moses, was unquestionably the same person as Jethro (יתרו) the חתן of Moses and priest of Midian (Exodus 3:1). Now, as Reguel's son Chobab is called Moses' חתן in Numbers 10:29 (cf. Judges 4:11), the Targumists and others supposed Reguel to be the grandfather of Zipporah, in which case אב would mean the grandfather in Exodus 2:18, and בּת the granddaughter in Exodus 2:21. This hypothesis would undoubtedly be admissible, if it were probable on other grounds. But as a comparison of Numbers 10:29 with Exodus 18 does not necessarily prove that Chobab and Jethro were the same persons, whilst Exodus 18:27 seems to lead to the very opposite conclusion, and התן, like the Greek γαμβρός, may be used for both father-in-law and brother-in-law, it would probably be more correct to regard Chobab as Moses' brother-in-law, Reguel as the proper name of his father-in-law, and Jethro, for which Jether (praestantia) is substituted in Exodus 4:18, as either a title, or the surname which showed the rank of Reguel in his tribe, like the Arabic Imam, i.e., praepositus, spec. sacrorum antistes. Ranke's opinion, that Jethro and Chobab were both of them sons of Reguel and brothers-in-law of Moses, is obviously untenable, if only on the ground that according to the analogy of Numbers 10:29 the epithet "son of Reguel" would not be omitted in Exodus 3:1.
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