1הבה נתחכמה COME ON, LET US DEAL WISELY — Wherever הבה is used it has the meaning of preparing oneself and making oneself ready to do a particular matter; it signifies as much as: get yourself ready for this (cf. Rashi on Genesis 11:4 and Rashi on Genesis 38:16).
2נתחכמה לו LET US DEAL WISELY WITH THEM (לו more lit., with him) — i. e. with the people (the word לו, which is singular, refers to עם used in the preceding verse in the phrase עם בני ישראל): let us consider wisely what to do to them. Our Rabbis, however, explained that the singular לו refers to God, and that the words mean: “let us use our wisdom against Him who would show Himself Israel’s deliverer, by sentencing them to death by water, since He has already sworn that He will not bring another flood upon the world, and He will therefore be unable to punish us ‘measure for measure’, as is His way.”)
3ועלה מן הארץ AND HE WILL GO UP OUT OF THE LAND, against our will. Our Rabbis explained that they spoke like a person who is pronouncing a curse against himself but attaches the curse to others (because he does not wish to use an ominous expression of himself), so that it is as though Scripture wrote “and we shall have to go up out of the land” and they will take possession of it (Sotah 11a).
1ויקח את בת לוי AND HE HAD TAKEN TO WIFE A DAUGHTER OF LEVI — He had lived apart from her in consequence of Pharaoh’s decree that the children should, on their birth, be drowned. Now he took her back and entered into a second marriage with her, and she also physically became young again. For really she was then 130 years old — for she was born “between the walls” when they were about to enter Egypt (cf. Rashi on Genesis 46:15) and they (the Israelites) remained there 210 years, and when they left Egypt Moses was 80 years old; consequently when she became pregnant with him she was 130 years old — and yet Scripture calls her בת לוי a young daughter of Levi (Sota 12a; Bava Batra 119b).
1כי טוב הוא THAT HE WAS GOODLY — When he was born the whole house became filled with light (Sotah 12a).
1ולא יכלה עוד הצפינו AND SHE COULD NO LONGER CONCEAL HIM, because the Egyptians calculated the period from when he (Amram) took her back. She, however, bore him after a term of six months and one day — for a woman who gives birth to a child in the seventh month may do so in incomplete months (i. e. the seventh month of pregnancy may not be completed) (Niddah 38b) — and they (the Egyptians) made enquiry regarding her at the end of nine months (the normal term of pregnancy, but in this case three months after the child’s birth; therefore “she could no longer conceal him”).
2גמא PAPER-REED — In the language of the Mishna it is called גמי (Shabbat 78a), and in old French junc. It is a flexible substance that offers resistance to the pressure of both soft and hard things (Sotah 12a).
3בחמר ובזפת — with pitch (זפת) outside, but with slime (חמר) inside, in order that that righteous child might not smell the disagreeable odour of the pitch (Sotah 12a).
4ותשם בסוף AND SHE PUT IT IN THE FLAGS — It (סוף) has the same meaning as אגם. old French rosel. Another example of the word is (Isaiah 19:6) “And reeds and flags (סוף) shall wither”.
1לרחץ על היאר — Invert the order of the words in this verse and then explain it: “The daughter of Pharaoh went down על היאר, by the river, לרחץ to bathe in it”.
2על יד היאר means BESIDE THE RIVER. Similar is (II Samuel 14:30) “See, the field of Joab is beside mine (על ידי)”. It really denotes even in this sense the actual hand, for a person’s hand is beside him (i. e. beside his body). Our Rabbis explained that the word הלכת “they were going” denotes dying, similar to (Genesis 25:32) “Behold I am going (הולך) to die” — they were going to their death because they attempted to prevent her from saving the child. Scripture, too, supports them in this explanation, for if this is not the meaning, why do we need that it should write “and her damsels were going”? (Scripture reports nothing as having happened because they were walking there. Why then stress this detail if it merely signifies that they were walking along the bank?).\
3את אמתה means her handmaid. Our Rabbis, however, explained it in the sense of hand (cf. Sotah 12b) — but according to the grammar of the Holy Language, it should then have been written אַמָּתָה , dageshed in the מ. — And the reason why they explained את אמתה to mean את ידה “she stretched forth her hand” is because they hold that Scripture intentionally uses this term to indicate that her hand increased in length several cubits (אמה, a cubit) in order that she might more easily reach the cradle.
1ותפתח ותראהו lit., AND SHE OPENED IT AND SHE SAW HIM — whom did she see? את הילד THE CHILD. This is the literal sense of the suffix in ותראהו. A Midrashic explanation is (taking את in the sense of “with”— she saw Him with the child): she saw the Shechina with him (cf. Sotah 12b).
2והנה נער בכה lit., AND BEHOLD A BOY WEEPING — Although he was a ילד, “a child”, his voice was like that of a נער, a grown up boy (cf. Sotah 12b).
1מן העבריות OF THE HEBREWS — She expressly said, “shall I call a nurse of the Hebrews?” because she (Pharaoh’s daughter) had handed him to many Egyptian women to suckle him and he had refused to take suck — this was because he was destined to hold converse with the Shechina (Exodus Rabbah 1:21 and Sotah 12b).
1ותלך העלמה AND THE YOUNG WOMAN WENT — she went eagerly and with vigor (עלמות) like a young man (עלם) (cf. Sotah 12b).
1היליכי (the word may be explained as a compound of two Aramaic words, הי, here is, and ליכי, that which belongs to thee — thine own) — she prophesied without knowing what she was prophesying (unconsciously she stated the actual fact) — here is thine own (Exodus Rabbah 1:21 and Sotah 12b).
1משיתיהו The Targum renders this by שחלתיה which in the Aramaic language means drawing out. The word occurs in the Talmud, (Berakhot 8a) “as one draws out (משחל) a hair from milk”, and in the Hebrew language משיתיהו might be taken to mean “I have removed him”, just as, (Joshua 1:8) “it shall not depart (ימוש)”; (Numbers 14:44) “they did not depart (משו)”. Thus indeed did Menachem b. Seruk classify it (i. e. he put משיתיהו under the same root as מש and משו in the verses quoted; according to him a biliteral root מש, our ע”ו root מוש). I, however, say, that it should not be classified together with מש and וימוש but that it is to be derived from משה, and that it means taking out, similar to (II Samuel 22:17) “He draws me out (ימשני) from many waters”. For if it were of the same class as מש, it would not be correct to say משיתיהו (in the Kal), but הֲמישׁוֹתִיהוּ a Hiphil form, (since this root in the Kal means “to depart” or “go away” and not “to make a thing go away”), just as from קם one says הֲקִימוֹתִי and from שב — הֲשִׁיבוֹתִי and from הֲבִיאוֹתִי — בא; or one must say מַשְתִּיהוּ (which is also a form from מוש used in a causative sense), just as, (Zechariah 3:9) “And I will remove (וּמַשְׁתִּי) the iniquity of that land”. But מָשִׁיתִי can only be derived from a word whose verbal form has a ה as a root letter at the end of the word, as e. g., משה and בנה and עשה and צוה and פנה. When it wishes to say in regard to these verbs, “I have done so-and-so” (a Kal), a י takes the place of the ה, as in בָּנִיתִי and עָשִׂיתִי and צִוִּיתִי.