Exodus 2:11-25

Many times our lives take a detour.  I ‘fled’ England in 1993 to go to Japan.   I ended up in America after spending time in Murree, Pakistan and in Afghanistan.  In America I have found a calling teaching people about God.  I could look on those years traveling the world as ‘exile’ or meaningless.  However, I see in retrospect how God used some wilderness years to shape me.  Have you had years in the wilderness?  Are they over?  What was/is their purpose?

Exodus 2: 11-25

11 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. 12 Glancing this way and that and seeing no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. 13 The next day he went out and saw two Hebrews fighting. He asked the one in the wrong, “Why are you hitting your fellow Hebrew?”

 14 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.”

 15 When Pharaoh heard of this, he tried to kill Moses, but Moses fled from Pharaoh and went to live in Midian, where he sat down by a well. 16 Now a priest of Midian had seven daughters, and they came to draw water and fill the troughs to water their father’s flock. 17 Some shepherds came along and drove them away, but Moses got up and came to their rescue and watered their flock.

 18 When the girls returned to Reuel their father, he asked them, “Why have you returned so early today?”

 19 They answered, “An Egyptian rescued us from the shepherds. He even drew water for us and watered the flock.”

 20 “And where is he?” he asked his daughters. “Why did you leave him? Invite him to have something to eat.”

 21 Moses agreed to stay with the man, who gave his daughter Zipporah to Moses in marriage. 22 Zipporah gave birth to a son, and Moses named him Gershom, [b] saying, “I have become an alien in a foreign land.”

 23 During that long period, the king of Egypt died. The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out, and their cry for help because of their slavery went up to God. 24 God heard their groaning and he remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob. 25 So God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them.


  1. What phrase is repeated in verse 11?
  2. Who found out about Moses’ actions and tried to kill him?
  3. What does God do when he hears Israel’s groaning?
  4. How does a transition occur in this passage from a passive God to an active one?
  5. Where have you seen God look on someone and be concerned about them?  Is he that way with you?

Going Deeper


  • Who did Moses see beating whom?
  • Why did Moses become afraid?
  • What was the occupation of the man from midian who had seven daughters?
  • What does Moses name his son?
  • What circumstance changes in Egypt by the ned of the passage?


  • Why might Moses be discouraged about his interaction with Hebrews?
  • Is Moses more culturally Hebrew or Egyptian?
  • Has Moses got advantages from being a product of two cultures?
  • Is it significant that moses’ father-in-law is a priest?
  • What is Moses’ attitude about where he belongs?


  • With which people do you most belong?
  • How do you contribute to those people?
  • How have your contributions come at the wrong time and led to apparent disaster?
  • How do political transitions provide opportunities?
  • What opportunities do American Christians have under the Obama administration that they did not have under George W. Bush?

About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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1 Response to Exodus 2:11-25

  1. Marcus says:

    I’m not sure that Christians have any more opportunities under Obama than Bush.

    Just today, I read that the Obama administration had been fighting to get the nativity scene removed from the White House to not offend other religions. What’s ironic is Obama claims to be Christian, yet does all in his power to wipe his belief from public view. So Obama might be good for some, but I certainly don’t think he’s making things easier for the religious in America.

    I was not a big fan of Bush at the end of his Presidency, but as I become more religious, I’m gaining a deeper respect for a man who stood up and spoke what he believed, no matter how foolish others tried to make him look or how “politically risky” it might have been.

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