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Shemot

  
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 2:1  2:2
 2:3
 2:4
2:1 A man of the house of Levi went and married Levi's daughter.
Vayelech ish mibeyt Levi vayikach et-bat-Levi.
2:2 The woman became pregnant and had a son. She realized how extraordinary [the child] was, and she kept him hidden for three months.
Vatahar ha'ishah vateled ben vatere oto ki-tov hu vatitspenehu shloshah yerachim.
2:3 When she could no longer hide him, she took a papyrus box, coating it with asphalt and pitch, and she placed the child in it. She placed it in the rushes near the bank of the Nile.
Velo-yachlah od hatsfino vatikach-lo tevat gome vatachmerah vachemar uvazafet vatasem bah et-hayeled vatasem basuf al-sfat haYe'or.
2:4 [The child's] sister stood herself at a distance to see what would happen to him.
Vatetatsav achoto merachok lede'ah mah-ye'aseh lo.



Commentary:

man
  This was Amram, son of Kehoth, son of Levi (Exodus 6:18; Numbers 3:18, 26:58, 1 Chronicles 5:29, 23:13). Amram was an important Israelite leader (Sotah 12a; Josephus 2:9:3). According to one ancient source, he had spent a number of years in the Holy Land (Yov'loth 46:10).

Levi's daughter
  Yokhebed (Exodus 6:20; Numbers 26:59).

son
  This was actually her third child, since Miriam was the eldest (Exodus 2:4), and Aaron, his brother, was older than Moses by three years (Exodus 7:7).

papyrus
  (Septuagint). Cyperus papyrus. Gomeh in Hebrew, from the ancient Egyptian word gom. (see Isaiah 18:2, Job 8:11, 35:7). It is known that the ancient Egyptians used to make boats of bundles of papyrus (cf. Ibn Janach; Radak, Sherashim). In the Talmud it is referred to as gemi. Rashi translates it as jonc, French for cane.

asphalt
  (Radak, Sherashim; Septuagint), Chemar in Hebrew; see Genesis 11:3, 14:10. Others write that it is a red clay (Ibn Ezra; Ibn Janach; cf. Ralbag). (See Josephus, Wars 4:8:4).

rushes
  Sof in Hebrew, from thuf, the ancient Egyptian word for uncut papyrus (cf. Radak, Sherashim; Ralbag). See Isaiah 19:6, Jonah 2:6. Others identify it with the bulrush or cat-tail, Typha angustata. Rashi translates it as resel, French for reeds. Significantly, in Ethiopian, supho denotes a red-topped kind of reed. This might explain the etymology of the Red Sea (see Exodus 10:19).

sister
  Miriam (Exodus 15:20; Numbers 26:59), 1 Chronicles 5:29).





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