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THE EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE HEBREWS - Chapter 11 - Verse 23

Verse 23. By faith Moses, when he was born. That is, by the faith of his parents. The faith of Moses himself is commended in the following verses. The statement of the apostle here is that his parents were led to preserve his life by their confidence in God. They believed that he was destined to some great purpose, and that he would be spared, notwithstanding all the probabilities against it, and all the difficulties in the case.

Was hid three months of his parents. By his parents. In Ex 2:2, it is said that it was done by his mother. The truth doubtless was, that the mother was the agent in doing it—since the concealment, probably, could be better effected by one than where two were employed—but that the father also concurred in it is morally certain. The concealment was at first, probably in their own house. The command seems to have been (Ex 1:22,) that the child should be cast into the river as soon as born. This child was concealed in the hope that some way might be found out by which his life might be spared.

Because they saw he was a proper child. A fair, or beautiful child— asteion. The word properly means, pertaining to a city, (from astu, a city;) then urbane, polished, elegant; then fair, beautiful. In Ac 7:20, it is said that he was "fair to God," (Marg.;) that is, exceedingly fair, or very handsome. His extraordinary beauty seems to have been the reason which particularly influenced his parents to attempt to preserve him. It is not impossible that they supposed that his uncommon beauty indicated that he was destined to some important service in life, and that they were on that account the more anxious to save him.

And they were not afraid of the king's commandment. Requiring that all male children should be given up to be thrown into the Nile. That is, they were not so alarmed, or did not so dread the king, as to be induced to comply with the command. The strength of the faith of the parents of Moses appears,

(1.) because the command of Pharaoh to destroy all the male children was positive, but they had so much confidence in God as to disregard it.

(2.) Because there was a strong improbability that their child could be saved. They themselves found it impossible to conceal him longer than three months; and when it was discovered, there was every probability that the law would be enforced, and that the child would be put to death. Perhaps there was reason also to apprehend that the parents would be punished for disregarding the authority of the king.

(3.) Because they probably believed that their child was destined to some important work. They thus committed him to God instead of complying with the command of an earthly monarch; and, against strong probabilities in the case, they believed that it was possible that in some way he might be preserved alive. The remarkable result showed that their faith was not unfounded.

{b} "hid three months" Ex 2:2 {*) "of" "by" {c} "king's commandment" Ex 1:16,22.

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