Exodus 2:11 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Exodus 2:11, NIV: "One day, after Moses had grown up, he went out to where his own people were and watched them at their hard labor. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his own people."

Exodus 2:11, ESV: "One day, when Moses had grown up, he went out to his people and looked on their burdens, and he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his people."

Exodus 2:11, KJV: "And it came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown, that he went out unto his brethren, and looked on their burdens: and he spied an Egyptian smiting an Hebrew, one of his brethren."

Exodus 2:11, NASB: "Now it came about in those days, when Moses had grown up, that he went out to his fellow Hebrews and looked at their hard labors; and he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his fellow Hebrews."

Exodus 2:11, NLT: "Many years later, when Moses had grown up, he went out to visit his own people, the Hebrews, and he saw how hard they were forced to work. During his visit, he saw an Egyptian beating one of his fellow Hebrews."

Exodus 2:11, CSB: "Years later, after Moses had grown up, he went out to his own people and observed their forced labor. He saw an Egyptian striking a Hebrew, one of his people."

What does Exodus 2:11 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

This verse begins a new section explaining how Moses grew up and moved away from Egypt to Midian. The shift is abrupt, leaping from Moses as a young boy in verse 10 to a grown man in this verse. Acts 7:23 says Moses was about forty years old at this time.

Despite popular myth, as well as many movies, Moses clearly knew he was Jewish. This verse, in particular, indicates Moses was well aware of who he was. He was an adoptive son of the Egyptian princess, but Scripture never claims his Israeli heritage was a secret. Nor does it suggest Moses was legitimately in line for the throne. However, the Bible does say Moses benefitted greatly from his Egyptian education (Acts 7:21–22). The book of Exodus describes him leading his people out of their slavery, laying waste to Egypt in the process (Exodus 6:6; 12:36). There is no small irony in the fact that Moses' adoption was caused by the Pharaoh's own command for infanticide (Exodus 1:22). An order meant to further oppress Israel contributed to her rescue!

In particular, this verse notes one situation Moses encountered that caused him much anger. He saw an Egyptian "beating a Hebrew." This was more than slavery, but rather some instance of violence or perhaps even torture. Moses identified with the man who was being beaten as "one of his people." Moses saw that this could have been his own life if he had not been raised among Pharaoh's family. The Hebrew text literally speaks of the man as "one of his brothers." The man was unlikely a literal brother, but rather a fellow Jewish man.