Poole on Exodus 2:4-10: Moses, Drawn from the Water

Verse 4:[1] (Ex. 15:20; Num. 26:59) And his sister stood afar off, to wit what would be done to him.



[Standing afar off, וַתֵּתַצַּב] It is an irregular verb (in the place of וַתְּיַצֵּב,[2] or וַתִּתְיַצֵּב[3]): it indicates the fear, the trepidation, of the girl. It signifies to set one’s self steadfastly, to gather, to exert, strength, courage (Malvenda). She was stationed, understand, by her mother (Vatablus). She was ten or twelve years of age (Menochius).


His sister stood afar off, that she might not be thought to have laid the child there, or to be related to it.


Verse 5:[4] And the (Acts 7:21) daughter of Pharaoh came down to wash herself at the river; and her maidens walked along by the river’s side; and when she saw the ark among the flags, she sent her maid to fetch it.


[The daughter of Pharaoh] Josephus and others here and there call her Thermut[5] (Menochius); Artapanus,[6] Merin[7] (Tirinus).


[On the river, עַל־הַיְאֹר[8]] Toward the river.[9] It is governed by the preceding וַתֵּרֶד, and she came down (Vatablus).


[And her maidens] That is to say, She continued alone with one of her handmaids in one place, so that she might wash herself; the rest, however, were spreading out (Vatablus).


[Along the bank, עַל־יַד] Next to, or upon, a hand (Malvenda, Oleaster), that is, a diverticulum: we call it a branch of the sea. Hand is here a certain stream of the river (Oleaster).



[She sent one, וַתִּשְׁלַ֥ח אֶת־אֲמָתָ֖הּ] And she sent her handmaid: thus the Vulgate, the Septuagint, all our interpreters, and most of the Hebrews (Fagius’ Comparison of the Principal Translations). Others translate it, she extended her arm, or cubit (some interpreters in Fagius’ Comparison of the Principal Translations). Ibn Ezra does not approve for then the מ in אֲמָתָהּ would have a Dagesh (ּ).[10] But when it has a Raphe[11] (as in this place), it signifies handmaid (Fagius’ Comparison of the Principal Translations).


Verse 6:[12] And when she had opened it, she saw the child: and, behold, the babe wept. A