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Shemot. In a place where there is no Man

“Sometime later, Moses grew up, he went out to his kinsmen and witnessed their labors.

He saw an Egyptian man beating a Hebrew man, one of his kinsmen.

He turned this way and that and saw no man.

He struck the Egyptian and hid him in the sand.” (Shemot/Ex 2:10-11)

Moses who has grown up in the Egyptian palace has quite a dramatic “coming out” as a Hebrew. Here, he goes out to his kinsmen and witnesses their brutal oppression, and lashes out, killing an Egyptian taskmaster.

Think about this scene:

  • What caused Moses to take such drastic violent action?

  • Was Moses’ violence an instinctive, spontaneous, emotive act?

It would seem that Moses’ act is thoughtful and premeditated; after all, before he strikes the Egyptian, we read: “He turned this way and that and saw no man.”

  • What is meant by the phrase: “and saw no man”?

Here are some options:<