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Exodus 2:12

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

The slaying of the Egyptian is not to be justified, or attributed to a divine inspiration, but it is to be judged with reference to the provocation, the impetuosity of Moses‘ natural character, perhaps also to the habits developed by his training at the court of Pharaoh. The act involved a complete severance from the Egyptians, but, far from expediting, it delayed for many years the deliverance of the Israelites. Forty years of a very different training prepared Moses for the execution of that appointed work.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Moses boldly owned the cause of God's people. It is plain from Heb 11. that this was done in faith, with the full purpose of leaving the honours, wealth, and pleasures of his rank among the Egyptians. By the grace of God he was a partaker of faith in Christ, which overcomes the world. He was willing, not only to risk all, but to suffer for his sake; being assured that Israel were the people of God. By special warrant from Heaven, which makes no rule for other cases, Moses slew an Egyptian, and rescued an oppressed Israelites. Also, he tried to end a dispute between two Hebrews. The reproof Moses gave, may still be of use. May we not apply it to disputants, who, by their fierce debates, divide and weaken the Christian church? They forget that they are brethren. He that did wrong quarreled with Moses. It is a sign of guilt to be angry at reproof. Men know not what they do, nor what enemies they are to themselves, when they resist and despise faithful reproofs and reprovers. Moses might have said, if this be the spirit of the Hebrews, I will go to court again, and be the son of Pharaoh's daughter. But we must take heed of being set against the ways and people of God, by the follies and peevishness of some persons that profess religion. Moses was obliged to flee into the land of Midian. God ordered this for wise and holy ends.
Ellen G. White
The Story of Redemption, 109-10

The Lord preserved Moses from being injured by the corrupting influences around him. The principles of truth, received in his youth from God-fearing parents, were never forgotten by him. And when he most needed to be shielded from the corrupting influences attending a life at court, then the lessons of his youth bore fruit. The fear of God was before him. And so strong was his love for his brethren, and so great was his respect for the Hebrew faith, that he would not conceal his parentage for the honor of being an heir of the royal family. SR 109.1

When Moses was forty years old, “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. And when he went out the second day, behold, two men of the Hebrews strove together: and he said to him that did the wrong, Wherefore smitest thou thy fellow? And he said, Who made thee a prince and a judge over us? intendest thou to kill me, as thou killedst the Egyptian? And Moses feared, and said, Surely this thing is known. Now when Pharaoh heard this thing he sought to slay Moses. But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh, and dwelt in the land of Midian.” The Lord directed his course, and he found a home with Jethro, a man that worshiped God. He was a shepherd, also priest of Midian. His daughters tended his flocks. But Jethro's flocks were soon placed under the care of Moses, who married Jethro's daughter and remained in Midian forty years. SR 109.2

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Ellen G. White
The Ministry of Healing, 474-5

In the future life the mysteries that here have annoyed and disappointed us will be made plain. We shall see that our seemingly unanswered prayers and disappointed hopes have been among our greatest blessings. MH 474.1

We are to look upon every duty, however humble, as sacred because it is a part of God's service. Our daily prayer should be, “Lord, help me to do my best. Teach me how to do better work. Give me energy and cheerfulness. Help me to bring into my service the loving ministry of the Saviour.” MH 474.2

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Ellen G. White
Fundamentals of Christian Education, 342

The education received by Moses, as the king's grandson, was very thorough. Nothing was neglected that was calculated to make him a wise man, as the Egyptians understood wisdom. This education was a help to him in many respects; but the most valuable part of his fitting for his life work was that received while employed as a shepherd. As he led his flocks through the wilds of the mountains and into the green pastures of the valleys, the God of nature taught him the highest and grandest wisdom. In the school of nature, with Christ himself for teacher, he contemplated and learned lessons of humility, meekness, faith, and trust, and of a humble manner of living, all of which bound his soul closer to God. In the solitude of the mountains he learned that which all his instruction in the king's palace was unable to impart to him,—simple, unwavering faith, and constant trust in the Lord. FE 342.1

Moses supposed that his education in the wisdom of Egypt had fully qualified him to lead Israel from bondage. Was he not learned in all the things necessary for a general of armies? Had he not had the greatest advantages of the best schools in the land?—Yes; he felt that he was able to deliver them. He first set about his work by trying to gain the favor of his own people by redressing their wrongs. He killed an Egyptian who was imposing upon one of his brethren. In this he manifested the spirit of him who was a murderer from the beginning, and proved himself unfit to represent the God of mercy, love, and tenderness. He made a miserable failure of his first attempt. Like many another, he then immediately lost his confidence in God, and turned his back upon his appointed work; he fled from the wrath of Pharaoh. He concluded that because of his mistake, his great sin in taking the life of the cruel Egyptian, God would not permit him to have any part in the work of delivering His people from their cruel bondage. But the Lord permitted these things that He might be able to teach him the gentleness, goodness, long-suffering, which it is necessary for every laborer for the Master to possess; for it is these characteristics that constitute the successful workman in the Lord's cause. FE 342.2

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Ellen G. White
Education, 62

From the humble home in Goshen the son of Jochebed passed to the palace of the Pharaohs, to the Egyptian princess, by her to be welcomed as a loved and cherished son. In the schools of Egypt, Moses received the highest civil and military training. Of great personal attractions, noble in form and stature, of cultivated mind and princely bearing, and renowned as a military leader, he became the nation's pride. The king of Egypt was also a member of the priesthood; and Moses, though refusing to participate in the heathen worship, was initiated into all the mysteries of the Egyptian religion. Egypt at this time being still the most powerful and most highly civilized of nations, Moses, as its prospective sovereign, was heir to the highest honors this world could bestow. But his was a nobler choice. For the honor of God and the deliverance of His downtrodden people, Moses sacrificed the honors of Egypt. Then, in a special sense, God undertook his training. Ed 62.1

Not yet was Moses prepared for his lifework. He had yet to learn the lesson of dependence upon divine power. He had mistaken God's purpose. It was his hope to deliver Israel by force of arms. For this he risked all, and failed. In defeat and disappointment he became a fugitive and exile in a strange land. Ed 62.2

In the wilds of Midian, Moses spent forty years as a keeper of sheep. Apparently cut off forever from his life's mission, he was receiving the discipline essential for its fulfillment. Wisdom to govern an ignorant and undisciplined multitude must be gained through self-mastery. In the care of the sheep and the tender lambs he must obtain the experience that would make him a faithful, long-suffering shepherd to Israel. That he might become a representative of God, he must learn of Him. Ed 62.3

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Ellen G. White
Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 417

As long as time shall last, we shall have need of schools. There will always be need of education; but we must be careful lest education absorb every spiritual interest. There is positive peril in advising students to pursue one line of education after another and in leading them to think that by so doing they will attain perfection. The education thus obtained will prove to be deficient in every way. The Lord says: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.” 1 Corinthians 1:19-21. CT 417.1

Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians. In the providence of God he received a broad education, but a large part of that education had to be unlearned and accounted as foolishness. Its impression had to be blotted out by forty years of experience in caring for the sheep and the tender lambs. If many who are connected with the work of the Lord could be isolated as was Moses, and could be compelled by circumstances to follow some humble vocation until their hearts became tender, ... they would not be so prone to magnify their own abilities, or seek to demonstrate that the wisdom of an advanced education could take the place of a sound knowledge of God.... CT 417.2

The disciples of Christ are not called upon to magnify men, but to magnify God, the Source of all wisdom. Let educators give the Holy Spirit room to do Its work upon human hearts. The greatest Teacher is represented in the midst of us by the Holy Spirit. However you may study, though you may reach higher and still higher, and occupy every moment of your probationary time in the pursuit of knowledge, you will not become complete. When time is over, you would have to ask yourselves the question, What good have I done to those who are in midnight darkness? To whom have I communicated the knowledge of God or even the knowledge of those things for which I have spent so much time and money? CT 417.3

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