Exodus 2:17 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Exodus 2:17, NIV: "Some shepherds came along and drove them away, but Moses got up and came to their rescue and watered their flock."

Exodus 2:17, ESV: "The shepherds came and drove them away, but Moses stood up and saved them, and watered their flock."

Exodus 2:17, KJV: "And the shepherds came and drove them away: but Moses stood up and helped them, and watered their flock."

Exodus 2:17, NASB: "Then the shepherds came and drove them away, but Moses stood up and helped them and watered their flock."

Exodus 2:17, NLT: "But some other shepherds came and chased them away. So Moses jumped up and rescued the girls from the shepherds. Then he drew water for their flocks."

Exodus 2:17, CSB: "Then some shepherds arrived and drove them away, but Moses came to their rescue and watered their flock."

What does Exodus 2:17 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The context indicates a group of male shepherds coming to the well when the daughters of Reuel were there to water their family's livestock. These shepherds "drove them away," meaning they made the women leave. This was most likely so the men would not have to wait to obtain water for themselves and their own flock. Moses acts to correct an injustice once again, this time standing up for these seven women and watering their sheep.

The contrast stands out greatly from the previous action of Moses. In the previous account, Moses killed an Egyptian who mistreated one of Moses' own people (Exodus 2:11–14). In this account, he helps those in need without committing a crime, and despite the fact that they are unrelated to him. Instead of fleeing afterwards, Moses is invited into the family of Reuel and rewarded for his actions. His previous act led to 40 years of exile from his home and people. His current act would lead to provision during that same exile and a positive new life during those same 40 years. His previous crime took a life. This current action leads to the life of someone new, his firstborn son Gershom (Exodus 2:22).