Allah tells us that when Musa killed that Coptic,
(he became afraid in the city) meaning, of the consequences of his action,
(looking about) means, turning around and watching out, waiting for the consequences of his action to befall him. He went out and about, and saw the man who sought his help the day before, fighting with another Coptic. When Musa passed by him, he called for his help again, against this other Coptic. Musa said to him:
(Verily, you are a plain misleader!) meaning, `you obviously lead people astray and are very evil.' Then Musa intended to attack that Coptic, but the Israelite -- because of his own cowardice and weakness -- thought that Musa wanted to hit him because of what he had said, so he said, in self-defence --
(O Musa! Is it your intention to kill me as you killed a man yesterday) Nobody except him and Musa, (peace be upon him) knew about it, but when the other Coptic heard this, he took the news to Fir`awn's gate and told him about it. So Fir`awn came to know of it, and he became very angry and resolved to kill Musa, so he sent people after him to bring him to him.
(20. And there came a man running, from the farthest end of the city. He said: "O Musa! Verily, the chiefs are taking counsel together about you, to kill you, so escape. Truly, I am one of the good advisers to you.'')
(And there came a man) He is described as being a man because he had the courage to take a different route, a shorter route than those who were sent after Musa, so he reached Musa first and said to him: "O Musa,
(Verily, the chiefs are taking counsel together about you.),'' meaning, `they are consulting with one another about you.'
(to kill you, so escape.) means, from this land.
(Truly, I am one of the good advisers to you.)
(21. So he escaped from there, looking about in a state of fear. He said: "My Lord! Save me from the people who are wrongdoers!'') (22. And when he went towards Madyan, he said: "It may be that my Lord guides me to the right way.'') (23. And when he arrived at the water of Madyan, he found there a group of men watering, and besides them he found two women who were keeping back (their flocks). He said: "What is the matter with you'' They said: "We cannot water (our flocks) until the shepherds take (their flocks). And our father is a very old man.'') (24. So he watered (their flocks) for them, then he turned back to shade, and said: "My Lord! Truly, I am in need of whatever good that You bestow on me!'')
When the man told Musa about how Fir`awn and his chiefs were conspiring against him, he left Egypt on his own. He was not used to being alone, because before that he had been living a life of luxury and ease, in a position of leadership.
(So he escaped from there, looking about in a state of fear.) meaning, turning around and watching.
(My Lord! Save me from the people who are wrongdoers!) means, from Fir`awn and his chiefs. It was mentioned that Allah sent to him an angel riding a horse, who showed him the way. And Allah knows best.
(And when he went towards (the land of) Madyan,) means, he took a smooth and easy route -- and he rejoiced because of that.
(he said: "It may be that my Lord guides me to the right way.'') meaning, the most straight route. And Allah did indeed do that, for He guided him to the straight path in this world and the Hereafter, and caused him to be guided and to guide others.
(And when he arrived at the water (a well) of Madyan,) means, when he reached Madyan and went to drink from its water, for it had a well where shepherds used to water their flocks,
(he found there a group of men watering, and besides them he found two women who were keeping back.) means, they were stopping their sheep from drinking with the sheep of those shepherds, lest some harm come to them. When Musa, (peace be upon him) saw them, he felt sorry for them and took pity on them.
(He said: "What is the matter with you'') meaning, `why do you not water your flocks with these people'
(They said: "We cannot water until the shepherds take...'') meaning, `we cannot water our flocks until they finish.'
(And our father is a very old man.) means, `this is what has driven us to what you see.'
(So he watered (their flocks) for them, )
(then he turned back to shade, and said: "My Lord! Truly, I am in need of whatever good that You bestow on me!'')
(to shade,) Ibn `Abbas, Ibn Mas`ud and As-Suddi said: "He sat beneath a tree.'' `Ata' bin As-Sa'ib said: "When Musa said:
("My Lord! Truly, I am in need of whatever good that You bestow on me!'') the women heard him.''
(25. Then there came to him one of them, walking shyly. She said: "Verily, my father calls you that he may reward you for having watered (our flocks) for us.'' So when he came to him and narrated the story, he said: "Fear you not. You have escaped from the people who are wrongdoers.'') (26. And said one of them (the two women): "O my father! Hire him! Verily, the best of men for you to hire is the strong, the trustworthy.'') (27. He said: "I intend to wed one of these two daughters of mine to you, on condition that you serve me for eight years; but if you complete ten years, it will be (a favor) from you. But I intend not to place you under a difficulty. If Allah wills, you will find me one of the righteous.'') (28. He (Musa) said: "That (is settled) between me and you: whichever of the two terms I fulfill, there will be no injustice to me, and Allah is Surety over what we say.'')