Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Moses – “Seeing No One"

And it came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown, that he went out unto his brethren, and looked on their burdens: and he spied an Egyptian smiting an Hebrew, one of his brethren. And he looked this way and that way, and when he saw that there was no man, he slew the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand. Exodus 2:11-12

"Verse 12 states that Moses killed the Egyptian only when “seeing no one.” According to one interpretation, it is not to be understood that Moses was afraid or had a bad conscience. Instead, the text should be read in light of Isaiah 59:15-16, where exactly the same Hebrew expression appears, “The Lord saw it, and it displeased him that there was no justice. He saw that there was no one, and was appalled that there was no one to intervene; so his own arm brought him victory.”

Moses was not indifferent; he intervened when he saw that no one cared for justice. Moses realized the depth of the suffering of his people, not only from their outward oppression but also their inner distress. While this interpretation may not do justice to the context, it is nevertheless thought-provoking and instructive."

(Larsson, Göran., Bound For Freedom, Hendrickson Publishers, Inc. Peabody, Massachusetts, 1999, pg 24)


  1. Moses certainly had no legal obligation to do what he did. He could have lived quite comfortably for the rest of his life as an Egyptian ruler. Yet he put it all at stake to stand up for justice. A Cheesy analogy, but it reminds me of some one in High School or another similar setting who is "popular" (whatever that means) and puts that on the line to help one of his brethren. The same could be applied to high ranking businessmen who risk their position and salary in defense of truth by speaking up when they see dishonesty or something of the like. Truly Moses, or such a person fears God more than man.

  2. Nice way to put into context.

  3. I've often wondered why Moses "looked" to see if there was a man. I am so happy to understand that it had everything to do with the fact that no one was there judging righteously.

    This is further confirmation of how truly God-fearing Moses was. Thank you for this insight!

  4. Thanks. I've always interpreted "no man" to mean that no one else was intervening.

  5. I really like this post! It is really interesting and motivating.