Exodus 2:14 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Exodus 2:14, NIV: "The man said, 'Who made you ruler and judge over us? Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian?' Then Moses was afraid and thought, 'What I did must have become known.'"

Exodus 2:14, ESV: "He answered, “Who made you a prince and a judge over us? Do you mean to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?” Then Moses was afraid, and thought, “Surely the thing is known.”"

Exodus 2:14, KJV: "And he said, Who made thee a prince and a judge over us? intendest thou to kill me, as thou killedst the Egyptian? And Moses feared, and said, Surely this thing is known."

Exodus 2:14, NASB: "But he said, 'Who made you a ruler and a judge over us? Do you intend to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?' Then Moses was afraid and said, 'Surely the matter has become known!'"

Exodus 2:14, NLT: "The man replied, 'Who appointed you to be our prince and judge? Are you going to kill me as you killed that Egyptian yesterday?' Then Moses was afraid, thinking, 'Everyone knows what I did.'"

Exodus 2:14, CSB: ""Who made you a commander and judge over us?" the man replied. "Are you planning to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?" Then Moses became afraid and thought, "What I did is certainly known.""

What does Exodus 2:14 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Moses has attempted to break up a fight between two of his fellow Hebrews. One of the Jewish fighters answers the question of Moses with his own questions, calling out two points of hypocrisy. First, Moses was a Jew and yet lived among the Egyptians. Socially, at least, he was the last person with any authority to make judgments among the Hebrews. Moses was also a prince in one sense, since Pharaoh's daughter had adopted him into the royal family. He may have even been dressed in Egyptian clothing, further separating him from the culture of his own people. The question, then, can be re-phrased simply as "who are you to get involved in this?"

Second, the man implies that he knows about Moses' recent killing of an Egyptian who was beating a Hebrew (Exodus 2:11–12). This second point of hypocrisy questions how Moses can criticize violence when he himself has acted violently.

This second question is the one which strikes fear into the heart of Moses. His crime was known. Moses can now be put to death himself (Exodus 2:15). Instead of worrying about the fight between the two Jews, Moses was now in fear for his own life. His courage had turned to fear as Moses faced a crisis in which he must now face the consequences of his actions, or try to escape.